Tuesday, February 14, 2012

CPL Charles L. Reynolds, A Co 743rd Tank BN

This is a photo of my granddad, Charlie Reynolds.  Don’t have any info on when or where the picture was taken though.  It’s a long shot, but anyone recognize the guy on the left.  My granddad is on the right.

Here’s a story my granddad told me about 6 months before he passed away.  They were preparing to land on Omaha Beach.  He was assigned to a jeep with John DuQuoin in A Co 743rd.  John was the communications sergeant and granddad was a Corporal Liaison.  He said the kid driving their landing craft was about 16 years old and said that was as far as he was going.  Granddad told him he was certain the jeep wouldn’t float but they pushed it out in 10 feet of water anyway.  He waded to shore.  He said John was an old man in a young mans war….about 36 years old.  They were on the beach and John was fixing a radio.  He had finished his work when a mortar went off close by and sprayed the radio with sand, water, and mud.  He said John turned around and waved his fist in the German’s general direction and shouted….” You sons of bitches!”    I think that’s the only time I ever heard my granddad swear. 

I think the most interesting thing about my visit with granddad came as I was getting ready to leave.  He had never spoken to me of the war before that day.  I’ve come to the conclusion it was because he carried a lot of guilt about making it home when so many didn’t.  As I was standing ready to leave, he looked at me and said, "The 743rd was the best battalion in the war."  He made a couple other comments after that about the brave men and buddies he left behind.  What really grabbed me was how the 92 year old suddenly had the “piss and vinegar” of a 19 year old kid.  I could see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice.  Although he never spoke of it, you could tell how proud he was to have served.

Submitted by: Mr. Brad Reynolds breynolds@usd396.net

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