Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans

COMBAT STORIES FROM World War II

Dick Arnold | Multiple Units - Army

7:51   |   Dick Arnold had just crossed the Saar River into Germany under heavy fire. His radio came to life in the middle of the night with orders from General Patton. Cross back over and get on the waiting trucks. You're headed for Bastogne. Part 1 of 6.

More From Dick Arnold

Keywords   :     Richard Dick Arnold    Germany    Saar River    George Patton    German    weather    radio    code    booby trap    Forrest Gump    Battle of the Bulge    Bastogne    Belgium    strafed

Videos ( 14 )
WWII
  • Dick Arnold  |  WWII  |  Multiple Units  |  8:18

    After what seemed like an eternity of training, Dick Arnold crossed the Atlantic to join the European campaign. On his very first day in combat, a ferocious artillery barrage pinned down the entire company. Although his group was sheltered behind a hill, he began digging in because he had been receiving some good advice. The other guys laughed at him. Then, the guns shifted their aim slightly. Part 1 of 3.

  • Dick Arnold  |  WWII  |  Multiple Units  |  8:39

    Only seven men out of an entire company were left on their feet after they were worked over by German artillery. Dick Arnold and the other six regrouped and helped evacuate the wounded. His frozen boots had to be cut off at a field hospital and he couldn't find any more because of his large feet. This started a very fateful chain of events. Part 2 of 3.

  • Dick Arnold  |  WWII  |  Multiple Units  |  5:56

    Dick Arnold had been picked up by some MP's, who had a captain who was both zealous and cowardly. He was falsely accused of desertion but he was just waiting on some new footwear. Finally, with his new boots on his feet, he went looking for his unit, but they were gone. Part 3 of 3.

  • Dick Arnold  |  WWII  |  Multiple Units  |  8:03

    Fate had brought him to a different unit and now fate found Dick Arnold on a railroad cut in the suburbs of Bastogne. A mortar shell killed the other men with him and he was all alone. He saw some footprints in the snow and it turned out to be a forward observer who had lost his radio operator. The two of them were now guarding the besieged city. Part 2 of 6.

  • Dick Arnold  |  WWII  |  Multiple Units  |  7:16

    Dick Arnold quickly got up to speed on artillery codes and radio procedures. He was part of an ad hoc team who found each other outside Bastogne and secured a position to call artillery fire if the Germans tried to bring in their tanks. They were controlling 155mm howitzers, the only ground weapon that could take out a Tiger tank. Part 3 of 6.

  • Dick Arnold  |  WWII  |  Multiple Units  |  7:10

    They were ready. All radio operator Dick Arnold needed was clear weather and he and the forward observer he had found in the woods outside Bastogne could be an effective team. December 24th dawned bright and clear and it was just in time because the Germans were bringing in their Tiger tanks. Part 4 of 6.

  • Dick Arnold  |  WWII  |  Multiple Units  |  8:28

    They had knocked out fourteen Tiger tanks with artillery fire. Dick Arnold and his new forward observer friend had successfully defended Bastogne for two days and were bracing for a third if the Germans tried to send more. But there was a problem, the deadly freezing weather. Part 5 of 6.

  • Dick Arnold  |  WWII  |  Multiple Units  |  9:04

    What makes the difference in a soldier is that you don't quit. Dick Arnold had held on in deadly freezing weather to stop German tanks from advancing on Bastogne. The others in his ad hoc team had frozen to death and he began the long walk out of there. Part 6 of 6.

  • Dick Arnold  |  WWII  |  Multiple Units  |  4:43

    Dick Arnold was spent from his action outside Bastogne. He was in a lot of pain and had to be helped around but he could still operate the radio and be an interpreter. Then he got really sick and was given a new wonder drug. It was only then that they noticed he had severe effects from being nearly frozen to death.

  • Dick Arnold  |  WWII  |  Multiple Units  |  6:33

    Dick Arnold was out of the hospital and on his way to be reassigned. Before he and the others could get out of the truck, a man with a clipboard shouted at them to stay on it. General Patton needed three men right now four miles down the road. You're going to a place called Buchenwald. Part 1 of 2.

  • Dick Arnold  |  WWII  |  Multiple Units  |  8:09

    The prisoners at Buchenwald were starving. Their German guards had fled and Dick Arnold was among the horrified Americans who were sorting them out. His assignment was to separate the living from the dead in a building where the prisoners were shackled to the wall. Part 2 of 2.

  • Dick Arnold  |  WWII  |  Multiple Units  |  6:22

    Dick Arnold's last assignment in Europe was running the switchboard connecting Allied HQ with the Dutch city of Maastricht. His post was in the city hall and one night he got an urgent call from headquarters with some startling news, news that made him cry. Part 1 of 2.

  • Dick Arnold  |  WWII  |  Multiple Units  |  6:16

    The news that President Roosevelt had died caused Dick Arnold to weep openly. He informed the burgermeister of Maastricht, where he was running the Army switchboard. Soon, the entire town square was filled with mourning Dutch civilians. Part 2 of 2.

  • Dick Arnold  |  WWII  |  Multiple Units  |  5:53

    The day before he reported to Fort Dix, Dick Arnold took a date to see Benny Goodman play in New York City. He didn't have reservations but when they heard that he was shipping out the next day, they gave him a table right on the stage. After his ordeals on the battlefield, as he was waiting to leave the hospital, he watched a newsreel that had a special music segment. Hey guys, that's me on the stage!

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