Bill Peters is a hero.
When I tell him that, he says, "I'm no hero, I was scared to death."
On a wall in his basement beside a photograph of his WWll outfit, hangs a heavy aluminum leg brace which he wore for 22 years as a result of shrapnel which tore through his left leg after his jeep was blown out from under him.
A good deal of his time in the army was spent behind enemy lines in Germany, blowing up bridges, sections of railroads and derailing NAZI trains by removing railroad ties. Bill frequently worked hand-in-hand with male and female resistance fighters.
Bill served with the 44th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, the outfit that the German-born rocket scientist, Wernher von Brawn, surrendered to in May, 1945. One incident, and there were many, that I would like to mention involved an old German farmhouse that Bill and his patrol stumbled across on a cold, snowy morning in 1944.
Bill was told to stay behind while his buddies looked around. Soon after they left, Bill looked out the window and saw a German patrol heading toward the house. Since he was outgunned, the only thing he could do was hide Ñ and the only place to hid was up the fireplace chimney.
When I asked him how he was able to hid in the chimney he said he used the steel spikes to climb up the chimney. The spikes, he explained, were used by German farmers to cure meat. He said his heart was pounding so hard that he was afraid the Germans could hear it.
After a few minutes the Germans kicked the snow off their boots and left. Thank God, he said, they didn't start a fire in the fireplace! I hope to write more about Bill in the coming months.
Ben Morris, MA, RPA is an archaeological and historical columnist for the Daily News. He can be reached at 812-932-0298 or email@example.com.
Bill Peters is a hero.
- Spaulding Outdoors: The Inside on Indiana's Outside Nature’s BountyOur daughters were raised in the country and definitely couldn’t be considered “citified” children. Not with Dad around! From the time I was a little boy, I learned there are a lot of good things coming from the wild, and I set about e
- Word of advice So, what’s the word?Really, what is the word? With over 250,000 words in the English language, you’d think there would be a word for just about everything. Not so. Therefore, I am on a crusade to find a term for some everyday occurrences for which th
- 9/11 Commission chair scolds Congress for national security failures INDIANAPOLIS – Retired Congressman Lee Hamilton has warned of the perils of political ideology, calling the body where he spent 34 years “noxiously partisan.” Now, he worries the divide is downright dangerous. A co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission, Ha
- Brian Howey: Rising up to meet Putin's thuggery BLOOMINGTON – Any illusions I had about the progressive nature of the Vladimir Putin’s Russian regime quickly dissipated when I returned to my Moscow Grand Marriott room in August 2007. Upon opening the door, I was greeted with the spectacle of my pa
- Pat Smith: A reader's special note Before beginning this week’s column it must be stressed that I love getting emails from readers, love getting telephone calls from readers and love seeing readers when I’m out and about – especially those who very generously tell me that they read th
- Spaulding Outdoors: The Inside on Indiana's Outside Early Migratory Bird 2014 Season Dates The 2014 early migratory bird season dates have been submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by the Indiana DNR as listed below. The dates are not final until the USFWS approves them, which typically hap
- Why incumbents get reelected Incumbents are masters at posing as outsiders, when in fact they are insiders who produce the Congress they disdain. It’s no news that Congress is unpopular. In fact, at times it seems like the only real novelty on Capitol Hill would be a jump in its
- Lessons from the largely forgotten war As we approach the official date on which the First World War started, July 28, 1914, when the first shots were fired by the Austro-Hungarians who invaded Serbia, it’s appropriate to think about the lessons that catastrophic event has taught us one h
- Protecting Indiana's agricultural heritage With the 4-H fairs in full swing, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about agriculture. Since Indiana became a state back in 1816, agriculture has played a vital role in our livelihood. For those who are not from Indiana, our state is practica
- Improving Indiana's infrastructure It is always a happy time when my family visits, especially to celebrate a wedding. I recently played hostess for my niece and her wedding party when she was looking for somewhere to hold her rehearsal dinner. I absolutely enjoy when family comes to
- More Columns Headlines