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General George S. Patton Jr., commander of the 3rd Army Corps

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  The come-back of Seymour L. Schnuer on his trip of 1944


The come-back of Seymour L. Schnuer on his trip of 1944

From 15th to 23rd June 2006 - Metz

  It was during a beautiful week of June 2006 that Seymour L. Schnuer, veteran of "L" Company 377th Infantry Regiment, decided to return in the area of Metz to do again his trip made in 1944. 

  Indeed, during November 15, 1944 he's wounded whereas his company moved towards Metz. Thanks to its invaluable informations and to the military and civil records, we found the place of his zone of combat as well as the zone where he was wounded 62 years before! 

  Here is his story accompanied by photographs taken during our researchs. (A page is also dedicated to him in “the Veterans”): 

  "The sky was gray, the weather cool, even cold when at dawn we advanced toward Metz. Our regiment was heading South; another was heading East, both trying to reach Metz at about the same time. The Germans were on both sides of the Moselle River (which became the Mosel when it reached Germany). The city was perhaps ten miles away. 

  The advance was slow because German tanks on the other side of the river were shooting at us. We just kept shooting our rifles without knowing if we were hitting anything. Our artillery was trying to knock out the tanks, but without much result. Sometime in the afternoon the firing intensified and some of our boys got hit. One in particular was a lad from Puerto Rico whose mastery of the English language was minimal. I had taken Spanish for two years in high school and was sort of friendly towards him. When he was hit, he started acting crazy. He ran around, yelling. I went to him and quieted him down. I sprinkled sulfa powder on his wounded arm, bandaged it up and told him to wait for the medics. I also tied his handkerchief to his rifle and stuck it in the ground, bayonet end down. By the time I finished with him, the rest of my squad had moved ahead beyond my sight. 

  By now, I had become an Assistant Squad Leader. Even though I had achieved that exalted rank, (nearly a Corporal), I had not let it go to my head. However, I did feel that I should be with the rest of the squad as soon as possible. I ran to catch up, but was hampered because besides my rifle I was carrying a Bangalore Torpedo. This was a long piece of pipe filled with explosives that was used to blow a path through various obstacles. On the other side of the river was a sight to behold. British Spitfire planes were dive bombing German tanks that were of course firing back. I kept running and caught up with some men from another platoon of our company. We were relatively alone, though. Suddenly the Germans saw us and started shooting at us. There was a small creek just ten or twenty yards in front of me and I tried to get there to be in the shelter of the creek. That was my big mistake. I just was not fast enough. An 88mm shell landed somewhere behind me and blew two others and me into the creek. 

Above : The small creek where Seymour Schnuer was projected.

  I passed out for some unknown time. When I recovered, I looked at my arm and I could see light through my left forearm. I applied sulfa and a bandage and looked around. Two fellow soldiers were in the creek with me, one was still, and I presumed, dead. The other was groaning. I asked him how he was and he told me he had been shot in the leg. It was now late in the afternoon and I said that we should wait a bit until it got darker and then head back to try to find a medic. 

  We waited perhaps an hour and walked back toward a farm building that we had passed previously. It held one of our Artillery spotters. As we approached the building, he limping with me trying to help him, we came upon a tiny fence, only a flower border really, maybe ten inches high. My companion could not get over it by himself. I helped him and we reached the door of the farm building. I opened the door. The Artillery spotter said something like “What’s with you two?”  I immediately collapsed and passed out, probably from loss of blood. The next thing I knew, I was on a stretcher on the back of a jeep bouncing over a French road. I had been given morphine and was very groggy. I woke up in a tent hospital in Verdun."

  For information, the soldiers present in this farm during the night of the 16 - 17 November 1944 were from the HQ of the Company K of the 377th Infantry Regiment. Any member of this unit, please contact us to help us in our researchs. Thank you.

Above : The farm before the WWII.


Above : Rests of the tiny fence that Seymour L. Schnuer skirted before to join the farm.  Above : Rests of the tower of the farm. este de la tour de la ferme. In the back of this tower, we have found the famous door.


Above : Rests of the famous door. Above : Rests of the famous door, es restes de la fameuse porte, seen under face.

After this discovery, we contacted the local newspapers and Seymour L. Schnuer was received at the Town hall of Metz.

The articles of the local newspapers :