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Remembrance of Combat in Normandy

Guy Charland

2003, 2009 Colin Charland, Chad Charland, and Claire Ashford

Chapter 8

A Humorous Incident

    During the Normandy Campaign, there was a very humorous incident that occurred. On our way back from a patrol one hot day in June, there were seven or eight of us from the 2nd platoon. Nothing of note or unusual had happened. As we crossed this field, there were several cows that had met a bad end from artillery action and had been lying in the hot June sun for a few days so you can imagine the shape that most of them were in.

    We were in a column of ducks with me bringing up the rear, very quietly making our way back when an ugly and sadistic thought struck me. I always had the ability for playing pranks, sometimes with funny but disastrous results. This was one of those times.

    I had my bayonet on my rifle and as we were about to pass by this bloated cow with its legs sticking up in the air (remember I was the last one in the column), I wondered what would happen if I poked my bayonet into this carcass. The best way to find out was to do it. We were all pretty close to the cow, when with my rifle and bayonet, I stabbed the cow.

    You can imagine what the results were. There was a dull sounding explosion like puncturing a gas bag together with the foulest smelling odor that existed in this world ever. I couldn't possibly describe it. It was so loathsome, a putrilage of the vilest form. Everyone except for me was hit right smack in the kisser and upper body with the rotting contents of this cadaver. The odor was so bad that I think even the Germans felt it was a gas attack.

    As this occurred, I leapt backward to avoid being hit with this foul mess. You can imagine what kind of catastrophe this caused among the first seven guys in the platoon. All of them were hit and covered all over in gore. There was a kind of silence afterward, along with surprise and shock to the victims. Of course, they never knew how it happened. I never told them. They couldn't understand how come I escaped the brunt of this disaster. Looking at them retching and running trying to escape but it was too late, I laughed so much I was developing cramps and spasms. Up to now this had to be the worst thing that happened to them since the invasion.

    Every time I tell this tale, it brings loads of laughter and revulsion. This is what you would call a real gross and dirty story and I never told them I was the author of this atrocity. They would have killed me for sure and they would have reported me as killed in action (KIA).

Contents                   Chapter 9