Lt. Col. Russell briefs; Air Chief Sir Marshal Tedder,
Field General Dwight Eisenhower,
Field General Bernard Montgomery,
Major General Watson,
Behind Major General Watson is Brigadier General Hickey.
Lt. Col. Carlton Russell was CO 3rd. BN/36th.AIR. This Photo was taken near Sutton Veny, England in
February 15, 1944.
Submitted by his son Robert Russell
LTC Carlton Russell in 1945
Major General Maurice Rose Awards the Bronze Star with cluster to LTC Carlton Russell in Stolberg, Germany, October 3, 1944
Irene and Carlton celebrate their 90th. and 67th year of marriage with 3 Children, 9 Grand children and 7great Grand children.
There was a great need for us to move on - to keep up this shockaction - to demoralize the enemy. We needed gasoline most of all, and we found an enemy dump and confiscated it for our tanks and vehicles. This normally is not a wise thing to do. They might have put sugar in the gasoline. But this was not normal times and it worked out all right. Our other part of the Battalion had fought their way up to us, so we moved on. When some Infantry units finally caught up with us, they just could not believe that we had already been there for several days. They had had to fight so hard to get there.
The entire operation in the breakthrough was a Combat Command show. Combat Command "A", with Colonel Leander L. Doan, a tall, loose-jointed Texas tanker leading the assault with Task Force "K", seized objectives one way or the other. This Task Force "K", with this great Commander was assuming an aura of dash and daring in the business of all out attack. In the vicinity of Brecey, France an anti-tank platoon of our Battalion set off pyrotechnics when a loaded German ammunition truck ran into one of their mine fields during the night. The explosion could be felt, heard and seen for miles. I even thought that this might be one of Hitler's secret weapons. It reminded me of the Orson Wells episode about 1935 that the world was coming to an end.
After crossing this river that has been mentioned already, German service troops and re-forming combat elements were surprised and decimated or taken prisoner.The tanks with our Task Force made spectacular gains and the roads of conquest were littered with smashed and burning vehicles of the Wehrmacht. Even the ENEMY had difficulties - it was hard for me to realize that they had their problems. We fought our way forward and at Mortain we had everything cleared out of the town. I drove my jeep through the streets, though the town was later retaken by the Germans and the Allies had to fight for it again. We had a big fight at Juvigny le Tertre. It had been rumored that we would be in a rest period here, but we did well to hold our position. One soldier remarked that "If this is a rest period - then I want to fight". A further advance was made when Task Force "K" set out for Le Teilleul. On the night of August 5, 1944, we were approaching a town named Barenton. There was a small stream on the outskirts of town and the enemy had the road mined and had 88's on hills above the town zeroed in on this road-block.
The pressure of Command on me from above to keep things rolling was so great, I just had to be all the way up front to get away from it. Though I should not have been there, I was at the road-block trying to get the mines removed so that we could proceed. So far as I know, no American was further forward. About that time those 88's opened up and the steel fragments began flying from hits there in the black-topped road. A shell fragment sliced off a part of the muscle of my right arm - another fragment almost severed the barrel on my pistol in its holster. Several of my men were wounded in the same shellfire. I got in touch with Colonel Doan by radio, got Major Dunn briefed to take over the Battalion, and then set about getting evacuated. My driver had put some sulfanilamide on the wound and had bound it up.
An ambulance was summoned and we loaded up to go to a field hospital.
The evacuation to the Field Hospital was really something. The ambulance driver did not know the way. His ambulance was loaded with my men and I was on the front seat, but did not know the way either. After he had driven several miles, and I really found out that he did not now, I could not stand it any longer. I was afraid that we would really land in enemy hands. It was then that I made him turn around and retrace his steps. We really had some words at the Aid Station from which the Ambulance had been dispatched. I got a map there and some information and did my own navigating to the hospital.
This hospital took care of real first-aid and did a nice job of that. We spent the rest of the night there and the next day made out way back to a landing strip on Omaha Beach, where we were flown in a DC 6 - converted plane - holding twenty-eight ambulatory patients-back to England in the vicinity of London. From there we were transported by ambulance to a New General Hospital at Tidworth.
This hospital had just been flown to England from he U.S.. They knew nothing
about England and we had to orient them. They didn't even know a "bob" from a
"shilling". So, within forty-eight hours after being wounded, I was in a General
Hospital in England. After a couple of days there, they put me to sleep with a
shot of pentothal in my arm and pulled the wound together and sewed it up. The
Doctor said that he hadn't done a thing like that in a long time. Healing was
slow, and it hurt so much when I began to try to straighten out my arm.
On October 1, 1944, I arrived at the Prym House in Stolberg, Germany, now being used as Headquarters for the Third Armored Division. I reported to General Maurice Rose, a new commander of the Third Armored Division. I thought of the quotation - "There arose a King who knew not Joseph" - from the Bible. General Rose said that he had heard of me, and was assigning me to the 36th Armored Infantry Regiment to help Colonel Howze, a new Commander of the Regiment. Since he too would not know me.
I asked the General to allow me to spend the night at Division Headquarters. On October 2, 1944, I reported to Colonel Howze at the 36th Armored Infantry Headquarters and was assigned as Executive Officer. He had assumed command of the Regiment just six days before, having been flown over all of a sudden from Fort Knox, Kentucky. Colonel Howze had been a Calvary Officer and was more interested in the tanks doing the job, rather than exposing too many of the infantry. this was a blessing to us and I think worked out rather nicely."
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