Buchanan County

Sgt. Robert W. Wilson



Infantry Sgt. Lauds Medics, Chaplains

Hazelton, Ia.—A genuine admiration for the medical corps and the chaplains, two of the least publicized branches of the Army, was the outstanding impression brought back from Italy by Sgt. Robert W. Wilson, infantry, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry E. Wilson, of Hazelton.

In an interview the former mortar section leader who has been a reconnaissance sergeant in a heavy weapons company in the 34th infantry division since January, told about his experiences with medics and chaplains.

“Near Alife, Italy, our company forged ahead of the rest of the battalion and ran into two German tanks,” said Sgt. Wilson.

“Our mortars covered the withdrawal of the company to safety when one of the tanks fired right into the middle of us. One man was killed and five were wounded.

“I was hit in the left leg under the knee cap and was barely able to walk. I finally limped back to a house where some other men were just leaving. The tanks by this time were firing at the house so they decided they’d have to leave me there.

“About that time a couple of medics came in and loaded me on a stretcher as if nothing was happening and carried me back to the aid station. These guys are really doing a tough job and doing it well. In the mountains between Venafro and Cassino they packed litters as much as seven miles through the mountains, but they got ‘em through.”

“And don’t ever think that the chaplains don’t go right up the line with the infantry,” continued Sgt. Wilson.

“One of the best chaplains in the Army lost a leg when he stepped on a mine right in front of us. That was Chaplain Hoffman from Dubuque, Ia.” At the present Chaplain Hoffman is spending a 30-day leave in Dubuque.

Sergeant Wilson has returned to Camp Butner, North Carolina, for reassignment. He recently enjoyed a leave, visiting his wife at Downers Grove, Ill., and his parents at Hazelton, Ia.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, July 30, 1944