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One Photo; One Story: One night in Germany

After being delivered to Giessen, Germany via the USS General Stuart Heintzelman, my dad, PFC William A. Radziewicz went to town to explore.

A military truck shuttled troops from camp to town to enjoy a few hours off. GI’s spread out quickly throughout Giessen taking in a film, sightseeing or just walking about town.

Dad decided on getting a beer at the Spirituosengeschäft, A liquor store/ bakery that was set up as a small café in town.

Dressed in his brand new uniform complete with impeccable Eisenhower jacket on his first night out in Germany, Dad bought a beer and was directed to the balcony where he could enjoy his first one in months.

Upstairs at a small table sat three GI’s who had been drinking for quite sometime. He did not know these men yet decided to take a seat when one of them asked, “Are you a rebel or are you a yankee”?

“I’m from New York City.” Dad said. As soon as they heard these words they tensed up and retorted with “You can’t sit here boy”.

“Who’s gonna stop me?” Dad shot back with his Bronx accent and attitude.

“We are”!

With that, they all got up, one took a swing, which Dad avoided, the other hit him under his arm and momentum carried the drunken GI over the balcony crashing onto a table below.

MP’s closed in to break up the fight and discovered Dad had been stabbed under his armpit. They were all thrown into the same transport. Dad went to the hospital and the others to the Brig.

Although the knife wound nearly punctured his lung, Dad decided not to press charges. He was more upset about not finishing his beer.

I heard this story a few times over the years, as he would recall the story to friends. At times, I would ask “Hey Pop, tell me about the time you got stabbed by your own men”.

This is his final version and he’s sticking with it.

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