"Among my 18 wartime journals, the Liberation
is the one I like best ... a time of restored freedom and of
a revived France ... this journal is a candid 'THANK YOU' to
"All that morning, numerous German trucks loaded with
women and luggage have been driving past, comes FROM PARIS ...
The German officers, buttoned up tight in their uniforms, bend
over maps, glancing around with anxiety."
"Occasionally, a heavy tank drives past with a deafening
rattle of chains ... machine guns patter, bombs explode and people
are flung down ... bullets whizz past, a house collapses in smoke
... and suddenly everything is quiet ... But then a gunshot once
more! The Germans are shooting; the Americans shoot back, as
-- here they come! Hurrah, France! Hurrah, America! Bravo!"
"A small aircraft is flying over me [3rd Armored Piper
Cub]. White stars have been painted beneath the wings; surely
the pilot can see me. I wave at him, both to greet him and to
tell my French identity -- A Frenchman, happy to be freed. He
understands me and goes on his way."
"A command car [3rd Armored] draws level with me. An
officer asks how far Belgium is. I say '6 kilometers.' In the
passing vehicles, I can hear either Morse Code or radios. Orders
would come out of a tiny speaker fixed on a dashboard."
"Enthusiastic neighbors, friends, and relatives watch
the train of our liberator's tremendous army -- women kiss soldiers,
toss bunches of flowers. Cigarettes, chocolate, biscuits and
corned beef are lavishly shared out in exchange. Even a farmer
is given a pound of butter!"
"A jeep stops. The driver speaks fluent French. His three
helmeted comrades look delighted by the population's warm welcome.
They jot down a few words and write down their addresses [in
America] on my war journal. We shake hands, and the jeep starts
again; a last wave -- I've never heard from them again, BUT I
WILL NEVER FORGET THEM!"
"Nearby explosions remind us that the war is not over.
Shells burst ... we flatten ourselves against a wall. The American
soldiers, who know better, pay no attention to these explosions.
Their vehicles drive past unruffled."