Combat Engineers (Sawmill)

Since their assignment to the 28th their job had made a change for the better!  First  a year of hard labor in Alaska to build the Alcan Highway: roads and bridges,  in case the Japanese should decide to attack the US via Alaska. Then this July transfer to Europe, fighting in Brest, followed by almost six months of road repair!! It was amazing how fast good roads had become muddy tracks because of heavy traffic and, moreover, lots and lots of rain and already: snow. Not much construction there! Clearing the roads from German mines had been another tricky, but inevitable job.

 No such things now:  Yesterday they received orders to build a unit of hot showers for the men of the 28th. Their accommodation had to be as comfortable as possible in these circumstances. Hot showers was something they had lacked in the Hurtgenforest! If the 28th was to stay here longer, perhaps they could have some prefab barracks put up as well.

Time for a cup of coffee before breakfast  and roll call. After that : first thing to do: make an inventory list of things needed : plumbing and wood; small stuff like nails . Planks have  to be sawn in the mill . The Luxemburg people are good at it, and luckily they understand enough English to get things done properly.

 To their surprise General Cota pays a visit to the sawmill at 11.30. Not without reason they learn: his personal footlocker suffered a nasty fall when his orderly dropped it yesterday when he slipped over a patch of wet snow. A crack in the lid needs mending urgently. Perhaps they can fix it during his stay? Of course Cota wants to know whether there are any problems as to timber supply: No problem there yet! Transport, however,  is more of a problem: the vehicles suffer from the bad weather as well!

Fortunately the work on the generals footlocker proves  a piece of cake ! It’s good as new in no time.

At 12.30 there’s lunch and roll call again. Good to see a few men get a medal for bravery in the Hurtgenforest!

 At 13.50 they go down to the quartermasters’: He needs some more broad boards to put the stock of food products on, to prevent them from getting damp. It ‘s always nice to have the  quartermaster for a friend, so dropping by to measure up the boards would be a good start.

On the way back to the mill they drop in at the postmasters’. If he’s in, there may be some mail or even a parcel from home. After all: it’s thanksgiving!

Then there’s a lot of work to do! Those showers have to be ready soon! They want to have a sower themselves ,too, before the Show and thanksgiving dinner!

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