We now moved back to Frankfurt. The Germans had surrendered.We are now waiting for a chance to go home. We are repairing airfields. Our job was on a rock crusher and deliver the rock to the field.We have the crusher a long way out of the quarry and bring the rock out on mine cars. They blast the rock to get it loose.
One time in Germany, I had a little six year old boy come up to me and my friend. He looked like he was starved. We started giving him food and candy. He was always alone. It wasn’t long until we had some fat on him. We called him “Buchenwald” because he was so skinny at first. He would just smile at us. He was skinny like the people we had seen in the concentration camp. We also had a little girl come into us and we would feed her, too. One day she came in with two little wooden shoes and gave them to me. It made me feel good.
When I was working on the rock crusher, the sergeant brought a motor that pulls rocks up to the crusher, but this one was a German make and our people couldn’t fix it, so they put it on the train tracks. I didn’t have anything to do, so I went over. It would start the engine, but wouldn’t move. I looked it over and saw it didn’t have the belt on it to make it go, so my sergeant took it back and told them what was wrong. They fixed it and it ran very good.
One day, I was on top of the crusher, which is a big machine with a big hammer in it to pulverize the rock. My job was to keep the big rocks moving so the hammer would get them. I was 20 feet off the ground inside this railing on a catwalk, but inside there was no railing, only the hammer. They set off a blast in the quarry a half mile away. I watched for falling rock and just as I turned back to go work, I heard this buzzing and something hit me in the head just above the temple. It was a glancing blow, but I felt myself going unconscious. I just had enough time to drape myself over the rail and hang there. The crane operator saw me and thought I was being funny until he saw the blood running down the machine. I was out like a light. The came up and carried me down and worked on me. I came to about an hour later. They took me to the hospital for x-rays. They laid me on the table but I couldn’t lie there because my head would spin like a top when I laid down. Finally, three guys held me still while the doctors took the pictures. I guess it didn’t break my skull because I didn’t get a report. The next three days and nights, I had to sit up to sleep because the moment I laid down, my head would spin, and you could not just lay and let spin. It was a weird feeling.
Historical notes from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhein-Main_Air_Base:
After the U.S. 7th Army moved through the Frankfurt area, the 826th Engineer Aviation Battalion (EAB), a unit of the IX Engineer Command, arrived at Frankfurt/Rhein-Main Airfield 26 April 1945 It was classified as Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) Y-73. On 11 May 1945, the engineers began the task of clearing rubble and reconstructing major buildings. The Army engineers also built new runways and extended and widened the existing runway, constructed aprons and hardstands as well as taxiways leading to the terminal.