"Jerry planes," yelled the convoy guards waving warning signals to the driver behind.
Fifteen big trucks all loaded to the top with gasoline shrieked to a stop. Three FW 190s
swooped down strafing the column from end to end, little dust spurts marking each bullets'
strike. Back they came for a second run, then a third before giving up the dispersed
vehicles as a bad target. The score: four punctured tires. The rest of the column
proceeded serenely down the road maintaining its record of deliveries. It wasn't the
first time troops of 102d Quartermaster Company had been under fire. Drivers of the
outfit claim to be "first" into München-Gladbach, although they didn't know it
at the time. It was just another case of wrong roads. The error was discovered when a
fusilade of shots peppered the leading truck. This convoy had more important things to
do, however, than capture cities, so they turned around, leaving the town for the 29th
Division to clean up. They moved gasoline and ration dumps into Gevenich under enemy
artillery fire only two days after the Roer crossing. Tanks were gassed up right on the
Lovenich battlefield. Across the Rhine QM troops were in Hereford several days before
the rest of the 102d caught up.
When the 102d attacked, the QM company handled a daily average of 50,000 gallons of
gasoline. To feed the division, every man in the
ration section loaded or unloaded every day an average of 2 tons of food, including
25 items that had to be drawn, sorted and "broken down". And sometimes they had to
travel 650 miles back to get the stuff. When most of Ninth Army ate "operational
rations" Ozarks enjoyed "A" rations. Why? Because our ration haulers were always
first at the railhead every morning.
During the winter 102d Quartermaster Company handled nearly a half-million dollars
worth of food, clothing and gasoline every month. Take combat boots for example --
4000 pair every 30 days, valued at over $30,000. Or trousers -- 10,000 pairs in
March, worth $47,789.18. As future tax payers they saved us an average of $46,000
every month by reclaiming and reissuing some 22,000 different items of clothing
In their "spare time" they operated baths. Back in Palenberg they solved a bathing
problem by setting up squad tents inside damaged bath buildings. In Krefeld the city
bathhouse in the hands of our QM furnished an average of 1700 daily baths. When flags
and ambulance markers were unobtainable, QM Joes sat down with liberated sewing
machines and stitched up several hundred. No job was too big to be tackled nor
too small be ignored. That's why men of the 102d Quartermaster Company now proudly
wear an embroidered wreath on their right sleeve.