I waded ashore on Omaha Beach in “Normandy, France” on June 6, 1944 from a landing craft Infantry. I was in the 29th Div, 115 Inf. Reg. Company E, Heavy Weapons. We fought through the hedge country to capture St. Lo and the Brest Peninsula. The fighting was hard most of the time. Around the middle of July on the outskirts of St. Lo, my machine gun squad was given orders on 7-12-44 to take a German artillery piece that was holding up our advance on St. Lo. Shortly after leaving our lines going over a hedgerow, a German sniper saw us and shot 3 of our squad in the head and 1 more in the shoulder. When I hit the top of the hedgerow, I got shot in the back and dropped the machine gun on my foot as I fell. The bullet went through my back missed my spine by about 1/2″ high and broke a piece out of my shoulder blade then glanced up and lodged in my shoulder muscle next to my neck. I lay in the field an hour or more before I could be picked up and taken to a field hospital just off the beach. I spent 8 months in hospitals in France, England and finally the US where I was given an honorable medical discharge and sent home.
Shortly after I arrived at a hospital in England, I had a visitor who was a first lieutenant in the Glider Troops. He happened to be back in England at the same time. He found out that I was there in the hospital. He said he came to see me and had a present for me. Then he presented me with the Purple Heart medal. The nice thing about it is that he is my cousin. That was unusual.
PS A few days later St. Lo fell to the 29 Div 115 Inf. Then went on to take Brest Peninsula. After a very short rest. Then the Division went on to help the 30th Div and the Battle of the Bulge without me.
We honor you, Robert Weirdert.
(Written by Robert Weirdert. #Repost @National Purple Heart Hall of Honor)