Insight to WW II Photos
793rd Field Artillery Battalion
In an  email from Mr Jensen he describes the photos in the first 5 albums

"They are a carbon copy of my own gun section EXCEPT we didn't have a football or didn't attract the girls into our gun position as they did.  The long barrelled weapon that's in one picture is a "bazooka" which each gun section had.  It's a rocket propelled grenade launcher designed for taking out tanks that broke through.  His gun section was sure a fun-loving(read bored) group and don't know who had the camera and such hard-to-get film. 

  Ray's dad had a brother who worked in the photographic section at Wright-Patterson Air Base in Ohio and he sent him film.  I myself had a small, accordion-type, lavender -colored Kodak that took like 3/4"x3/4" pictures.

We weren't supposed to have cameras nor keep diaries for security reasons.  Thus we couldn't keep records of the towns we were in.  Those items I told you about published by the XIX Corps and 228th FA Group after the hostilities did show our route from Normandy to the Elbe.  I wonder if your dad mailed them home and your uncle has them tucked away somewhere.

   It looks as if "B" Battery was pretty loose about the local girls and skylarking.  As I talk with others in "C" Battery, their sargeants and officers were a lot more flexible than ours.  Ex.:  some canoneers were allowed to be away during fire missions and could hitchhike to other towns/cities in the rear.

Ours wanted full gun crews at all times.

   You see the guys with puptents over their foxholes?  If we had the time we would (in Germany only) go to houses and tear out their doors, bring them back and use them as roofs with dirt piled on them as protection against enemy artillery fire.  We'd also, in the cold weather, find stoves and make large foxholes for 2 or 3 guys and with a stove and overhead protection have a neat little "home".  First time I'd ever seen charcoal in smooth, egg-shaped form.  We could heat up some instant coffee or hot chocolate scrapped from "D" bar rations.  Maybe even cook up a few eggs from Kraut hen houses or dig up potatoes, get some lard from the battery cooks, and have some yummy french fries.  Lots of dead cow and horse meat laying around but we stayed away from it.  A buddy of mine in the infantry and his squad got real sick from eating a dead cow.

   We would sleep in our clothes on one of the two blankets issued to us and use our raincoat to cover the open puptent.  Later they came out with a puptent that had a front cover and then they came out with a mummy sleeping bag that had a zipper and when one turned the entire bag turned with you.  During hectic times of lots of fire missions(once 37 hours without a break) we'd jump in our bags with our shoes on for a few minutes rest.  Then when we'd get a break we'd shake out all the caked mud off our boots from the bag.

  I had two showers in almost a year of fighting.  One was on a rest in Maastricht, NL, the other was when we were trucked back to a Quartermaster long trailer by a stream.  We had 30 seconds to strip, l minutes to soap, 30 seconds to rinse and then walked out to find fresh clothes.  All this by some guy blowing a whistle.  Then back into a truck for a dusty ride back to our gun positions.  To this day, Pamela, I marvel at and enjoy hot water.  Generally we just washed out of a steel helmet after getting some hot water from the cooks

taking what we called a "whore's bath".  We'd go long periods without brushing our teeth.  If your dad was here he'd echo these remarks. I'm sure."