Photo courtesy Flickr
Since combat is odious, I’m not sure war and hero belong in the same phrase, but I deeply admire Peggy J, who was an Army nurse.
On D-Day Normandy, she landed with the second wave, a hot apple pie down the front of her shirt “for her boys”. She went on to follow General Patton through Europe, sharing a tent with Ernie Pyle. One evening, she told us about liberating a major city in Germany, Heidelberg, perhaps. She was part of an advance party that went into the city two days before the main body of the troops. Their job was to destroy the wine reserve, to preserve order during the occupation.
Peggy said her group broke open barrel after huge barrel and waded seven miles through the sewers of the city knee deep in wine. One might read wade as stagger, but I don’t know for certain.
Only recently did I begin to wonder about that pie and the cook who produced it. Certainly it kept Peggy warm during the landing, and I worried about her having a sticky shirt on the beach. On further consideration, it seems safe to assume that the pie pan offered a bit of armor on a bad day, and the crust had not been engineered to be light and flaky.
That pie is one of the few things about World War Two that I really dig. Peggy built an A frame for herself just north of the Bainbridge Island ferry terminal, and every time I visit the island I think of her as the boat approaches the dock.
-30- More after the jump.