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Author Topic: An Ode to Uncle Doug  (Read 819 times)

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Offline Clark

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An Ode to Uncle Doug
« on: November 11, 2014, 09:50:44 AM »
My mother's father's brother was Sergeant Douglas Armstrong. He is known as Uncle Doug but I never knew him and neither did my mother or her siblings.  The following is the story my grandfather told me.

Doug was a tanker, specifically a tank driver, on the Western front.  His troop was moving through a bombed out town in France. The lieutenant was in the turret.

They came to a set of crossroads and halted.  On the LT's order they moved forward cautiously. However, an 88 was hidden on the flank.

The first shot hit the turret at an odd angle. Doug could hear the shell whizzing about in the turret, like a blender. Looking over, the guy beside him was also dead.

With no time to drive to safety he opened his hatch, scrambled across the deck and dove for cover just as a second round struck the chassis. He took shrapnel wounds across one side of his body as he was thrown into a ditch.

Remarkably, he was able to return to friendly lines.

After recovering in the hospital, he and another guy were set to be redeployed. The two sat as the officer reviewed their files.

Looking at the other guy, the officer commented: "So this is the third time you have been blown out of your tank?"

"Yes sir."

Turning to my Uncle: "Armstrong, this is your fifth time?"

"Yes sir".

Well, ok then.  For the rest of the war the two of them crewed a flatbed crane that went about former battlefields, picked up tank hulls and brought them back to be fixed, refurbished or scavenged for spare parts.

Just to repeat: 5 times! However, her survived the war.

Shortly after returning to Canada, Doug was taking a drive as a passenger when control of the car was lost.  He did what had saved him in the war and tried to bail.

He got half way out the window when the car rolled onto him and killed him. If he had stayed put, he would have survived.

Offline smokingwreckage

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Re: An Ode to Uncle Doug
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2014, 11:22:25 AM »
Well, damn.