The unit in Belgium had a poor reputation for readiness and morale and John was one of a number of officers and enlisted personnel transferred in to deal with this. When transferred in he was promoted to First Sergeant. It was at this time that John had a frightening brush with death.
When he first arrived in Liege, Belgium he went into a four story barracks to find bunk space. On the top (4th) floor he found a nice room that was unoccupied and started to drop his gear. He went back out to the truck to pick up the balance of his gear and carry it up the four flights of stairs. As he approached the truck his new commanding officer (CO), a Captain, was standing by the truck. Suddenly the sound of a German V-1 Buzz Bomb was loud and close. Both John and the CO dove under the truck.
My grandfather’s story is up as part of the Minnesota’s Greatest Generation project at the Minnesota Historical Society. He tells these things much better in person, but I’m glad it was captured and posted while he’s still around to hear it. I’d say see it, but even if he trusted computers, he can’t read anything off the screen anymore. But my mom read it to him.