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You Did What?
By John Ruechsling, 29th Infantry Division, Forward Artillery Observer.

We were to fly to England to look at this new type artillery shell. They called it a proximity fuse shell. It was a different kind of artillery shell, which exploded above 15 feet from contact of anything. It automatically exploded. This allowed them to shoot down more planes and blow up more open-end trenches that the Germans were hiding in. The Colonel took us with him because they had extra room on the plane.

We got to London and he went to the Cumberland Hotel and we went to the Red Cross. Well, while we were there a Buzz bomb come over and hit the hotel. So we had to go back and get his luggage which was still there. As we entered the building we were told that his room was on the fifth or sixth floor. The bomb had really made a mess of the place and there were some Englishmen laying there wounded on the stretchers and we asked if we could be of any help and they said, "Yeah, sure, mates, you can help carry some of the wounded out."

So when I was getting ready to carry this one guy out he opened his eyes and he looked up and he said, "Hi Yank, how you doing?" I said, "Well we are doing all right." I said, "You are going to be all right." I offered him a cigarette which he said sure. "We are going to take you out of here in a little while." I said, "What happened?" He said, "Tell you the truth Yank, I don't rightly know. I was in the pisser, he said, and I just finished and he said, I was shaking my wicky wacky. I reached up to flush it, pulled the chain and the whole "focking" building came down!

Now this was because in England, they had water closets. There is a pipe and the tank is over the toilet. When he pulled the chain on the toilet to flush it, the place blew up at that instant! He thought he was responsible for it blowing up. We convinced him he wasn't.

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