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Burning Trucks Hit on the Road Ahead of Me | Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs

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Title:
Burning Trucks Hit on the Road Ahead of Me
Date:
1943 November
Description:

I was on the way up to my post at the front line dressing station, when mortar bombs began to fall on the road ahead of me, setting fire to these two trucks. Scared, I got out and jumped into the shallow ditch that you can see in this photo in the foreground. As I lay on my back, I actually saw a mortar bomb in the air coming toward me. It landed just beyond me; I was not hit.

Having just learned that I had been accepted for admission to Harvard Medical School, I had experienced a basic change of attitude. I now felt different from the rest of the guys in the platoon; I now felt I had a future to look forward to; now there was something worth staying alive for. That probably didn’t make me a better ambulance driver.

I can remember thinking how stupid I had been - this field had probably been mined. When the mortar shells stopped coming, I stood up, took this photo, and carefully retraced my footsteps back to my ambulance. I drove off, shuddering.

My mind had blocked out these disturbing experiences. Now, sixty years later, they come sneaking back out of my photos.

Location: North of the Sangro R. [River].

Phys. Desc:
Available as 200 dpi JPEG or 600 dpi TIFF.
ID:
Italy11
Repository:
Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs
Found in:
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Publisher:
Scanned by John C. Cobb or Picture Perfect ca. 2002-2004.
Rights:
This image cannot be reproduced without the advance permission of the Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs.  In the event that this digital image becomes a source for publication, a credit line indicating the Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs as the source and a credit line for the photographer are required.  Please contact us if you would like to purchase a high-resolution digital copy of the image.
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