"Spanking" - Austria, May 1945
Author - Harry Murray Brammer Jr.
1st Platoon - 44th Cavalry Recon. Troop, 44th I.D.
"....We'd go up to the houses. I didn't knock knock the door. I just opened it or banged it in with the butt of my M—1 rifle. In this one, I went in the kitchen and here was this young woman, in her late 20's, rather nice looking. She was cooking over the big stove that they fueled with wood, and naturally, I wasn't very quiet. Next I could hear somebody coming in the front door. I had come in through the kitchen. I turned around, and here came a little girl about 3 — 4 years old.
She ran up to her mother and hadn't spotted me and turned around, suddenly looked at me, and just started crying to beat the band. And I said, 'My God, what made that kid go into tears?' I walked over to the mirror, looked at myself, and I could see why I seared her half to death. patted her on the head and said, ' Don't worry, little Kraut. Don't cry. I'm not going to hurt you.' I looked at myself in the mirror, and I couldn't believe it. I hadn't shaved for quite awhile, although I didn't have a big beard. It was still several days or weeks since I'd shaved. I'd painted my steel helmet white earlier, back in Sarrebourg, and sitting on the helmet, the white had worn off the top, so it was green and worn right down to the metal. I had a towel, an odd colored towel that I used as a scarf. I had my overcoat on over my field jacket, and I had a wire from the top button over to hook it. In the back of my overcoat, I had a big hole that I had burned standing next to a fire back in France, in Sarregmines. I had a pistol belt on, and I think I carried a German P—38, and I looked like Willie and Joe from Bill Mauldin's cartoon. I said to this little Kraut, 'No wonder you're scared to tenth of me!'
Another little village near there — we'd captured some young Germans. I think they were in the anti—aircraft. They were about 14 to 15 years old. Stines had one over his knee. He was just getting ready to give them a good whipping. They were probably acting smart or cocky. I said, 'Sarge, hold up a minute.' He looked at me as if to say, 'What the Hell are you interfering for, Brammer? It's not your place. You're just a P.F.C. I'm the Sergeant.' I said, 'Hold up a minute, Sarge.' Sergeant Stines had great respect for me, I know, and he listened to me. I went over, and I saw a picket fence. I went over, kicked out a piece of the fence, and gave it to him, and said, 'Lay into them. Don't hurt your hand.' And he really laid into them.
And I know another incident happened that day — James 'Whitey' Allinder from New Jersey — We had captured a bunch of German flags, along with a high—ranking German Officer. 'Whitey' was strutting around there and was carrying on like a German Kraut, and he said, 'Seig Heil in case we lose!' Well, you know the war was just about over. He was carrying on!"