Segment 10

Annotation

Baum was sickened by the sight and the situation. He had to regroup his men and come up with a plan to get back to the division command. He mentions Charles Graham, the assault gun leader from the task force, fine soldier. He told Nutto [Annotator's Note: 1st Lt. william J. Nutto] to go down a little road in the camp. They hit a road block and lost a vehicle. Once they were followed by a German civilian on a bicycle who blew the tank up. Baum set up on a high ground, Hill 421 and siphoned gas from halftracks into tanks. He was running out of fuel and ammunition. He was prepared to move the column at daybreak and was ambushed by a platoon of German officer cadets with Panzerfausts and Hetzers and infantry units. They had no opportunity to move, they were surrounded. They were in column, prepared to go, not fight. The only 1 in position to fire was Graham with the 3 assault guns. They fired; he lost 2 guns. He kept firing until Baum said to stop because it was only causing the Germans to fire back on them. Graham and 2 others took off on foot; his hillbilly instincts got him through. He was a tremendous Sergeant. When the Germans opened fire, they destroyed a building that Baum had designated as a hospital. There were no survivors, not to his knowledge. After the Germans attacked the task force, Baum and 2 other guys retreated to the woods. They were approached by a buggy with 2 German civilians, the Home Guard. Baum tried to grab his .45 [Annotator's Note: Colt 1911 45-caliber pistol] but his hand was bandaged. The German put his rifle down, took out a pistol and shot Baum in the groin area. Baum says, "You son of a bitch, you almost shot one of my balls." The German begins to laugh; he was an American of German descent from Connecticut and member of the Bund, the Nazi organization in Chicago and New York. German soldiers came and captured them and took the other 2 task force members, but left Baum since he was wounded and couldn't walk. Some others came and put Baum in the hospital.

$60.00
Product: 

All oral histories featured on this site are available to license. The videos will be delivered via mail as Hi Definition video on DVD/DVDs or via file transfer. You will be purchasing the oral history in its entirety but will be free to use only specific clips. Please contact the Museum at digitalcollections@nationalww2museum.org if you are interested in licensing this content. Please allow up to two weeks for file delivery or delivery of the DVD to your postal address. See more information at http://ww2online.org/faqs.