Forward by Robert W. Reichard


I attended the monthly meeting of our fliers group this month. My good friend Harry had read my book and said he couldn't discuss parts of it to others, because, when he did, they didn't believe some of the stories.

Two days later I thought about the conversation with Harry and realized he had a point. I had lived it and didn't question it because it had been my life and that was the way it happened. Looking back I can now realize how ridiculous it might seem to someone else. What were some of those out of the ordinary experiences?

I have written because the computer has made it a simple task. I have no living children, so it wasn't for that reason. My writing has given me a lift and I am glad I started writing when I did because with time my mind is ridding itself of the lesser happenings of that period. I hope that some of the stories I have given out will resurface from someone's attic about 50 years from now to counter those who have worked so hard to bury the truth about this period in our history.

You are right, Harry, it does sound like the "Secret Life of Walter Mitty" or some other movie turned out by Hollywood, but the truth is that I am stuck with it. Your friend, Bob.

-RWR- 29 Feb 96. (Rev - 20 Sept 2000)


I have tried to write my stories as they occurred and as well as I can remember them. I had no diary because I never thought I'd write about my experiences. The events did occur and where possible I used my military records to establish dates. However, 11 December 1944 will remain with me as long as my brain responds normally, and with the others who were there. I used real names when proper and closely sounding names when I thought there was the possibility that someone could be still be hurt by my story.

There are still some grammatical and spelling errors and I'm sure I have the horse behind the cart once in a while. I have corrected some but not all. I had finished a story recently and my wife was on vacation, so I asked Walter (the retired sergeant major) to go over the story for me. Little did I know that he had a computer program to do the job. I looked over the corrections or rejection of my work and wrote him the following:

Received your epistle the other day. I looked it over and decided to use my language instead of the computers. My reasoning was simple: I am not out for the Nobel or Pulitzer prizes in literature and if I followed the computer dictates, the end result would not be the flow of my picturesque language, but of some programmer of the English language, who hadn't walked in my footsteps, and wouldn't know where to step if he had. After all, my stories were written for my friends and none of them have completed a doctorate in any form except my doctor and dentist and they are too busy to read it. I do thank you for the time and effort you put into it. I hope you can find another use for the program.

Walter, I know it is nice to be perfect, but at my age, I'm not trying to impress anyone. I do like to connect my thoughts, when I write but sometimes the thoughts stray and why not? It was a long time ago and my memory and a few official records have been my only guide.

So, readers don't be too critical of my work because I am not a writer.

- RWR - 17 July 1993

PS: My dentists and family doctor have taken the time to read some of my stories and have enjoyed them, even ask for more.

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Copyright (C) 2003 by Robert W. Reichard and David F. Abner, All rights reserved except for items already copyrighted by others and credited within.