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World War II Veteran: Russell Smith

posted on April 9, 2006 at 7:18 PM

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Born: 1919
Reason for entering military service: Smith was drafted into the Army in April 1941 from Greenfield.
Assigned: Company "I", 133rd Infantry Regiment, 34th Division, also known as the "Red Bull Division"
Rank: Sergeant


"I seen 'em there, so that's when I stopped, and that's when I realized I didn't have a bullet in the barrel of my Lugar."

Background:

By mid-summer 1944, members of company "I" were attacking German troops somewhere north of Rome, Italy. "Bill" Smith was returning to the battlefield after requesting an artillery barrage when he came upon a small patrol of five German soldiers that had made it behind the American lines. As the Germans prepared to shoot at the backs of company "I" soldiers, Smith, took his captured German Lugar out of its holster. Smith caputered the Germans and was awarded a Silver Star for saving the men in Company "I"


Transcript

By mid-summer 1944, members of Company "I" were attacking German troops somewhere north of Rome, Italy. "Bill" Smith was returning to the battlefield after requesting an artillery barrage, when he came upon a small patrol of five German soldiers that had made it behind the American lines. As the Germans prepared to shoot at the backs of Company "I" soldiers, Smith, took his captured German Lugar out of its holster.

(Russell "Bill" Smith) I seen 'em there, so that's when I stopped, and that's when I realized I didn't have a shell in the barrel of my Lugar. Well, I got my Lugar, and just pull up, like this, and that clicked and that's when that German heard me, when that clicked. I had a shell in the barrel then, and I had it on him just like that, you know, and he decided that was a good time to quit being a soldier, I guess. He looked around, of course I had it right on him, then he hollered at the rest of them and they all threw up their hands and dropped their weapons and I marched them back.

For saving the men in Company "I" Smith was awarded the Silver Star.

Tags: battlefront education European Union history Iowa Italy military veterans war World War II