American-built bridge across the Rhine, March or April 1945
American-built bridge across the Rhine, March or April 1945

“We crossed that raging torrent [The Our River, which separates Germany from Luxembourg]  in assault boats ..My crew... going across with the first company.  So that now I hold the unique distinction... of being the first person... to go onto German soil from this battalion.  The Colonel came down (he’s a son-of-a-bitch on this “first” stuff, -- a regular beaver!) after we had the bridgehead pretty well established and decided he’d go across on the foot-bridge that the engineers had put in, -- and thus hold the dubious distinction.  Stock, one of our observers with another company said to him, a little gloatingly I expect “You’re too late, Colonel, Pritchard’s been over there a Helluva while!”

 

Letter from Germany, March 12, 1945.