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La Fremonde

With the fall of St. Lo, Avaranche and the sweep of Patton’s armour into the Brittany peninsula, Mandeville was considered slightly to the rear of the battle scene. On August 3rd at 0930 hours, the 406th took its leave of Mandeville and proceeded 32 miles to a new bivouac area near the town of La Fremonde (T.G. 3064-1130).

Upon arrival at the new area, the S. O. P. of camouflaging the trucks and then digging in was immediately set into operation.

The absence that night of the ack-ack barrage was appreciated by all. The presence of a convalescence hospital in the field adjoining the C. P. was more than appreciated by some. Not that they were in need of rest but rather that they felt the urge for the refreshing company of the five Red Cross girls attached to the hospital. Long and late did these gals while away the hours with their new found friends.

The training schedule started at Mandeville was continued at La Fremonde. One of the main points of interest in the morning hikes was a field filled with abandoned enemy equipment. Here, the souvenir hunters loaded themselves with loot which in most cases was junked after a month or so of lugging it in the old duffle bag.

At La Fremonde, the various units of 23rd Hq. were more widely separated, a condition which is always appreciated by line companies, for distance lends enchantment when it’s between them and Hq. It was in this area that “Heater” finally caught up with the organization and brought back to the fold Sgt. Joe Heiner, Pfc. Harris and Pfc. Goetz who had been recuperating in an English hospital.

The interplatoon soft ball competition was brought to dramatic heights at this second French bivouac. In a game between the first and third platoon, it was the ninth inning, two out and the tying run on third. The batter clipped a short grounder to the third platoon pitcher, Sgt. Martin Cogan, who relayed it to first. The base umpire called the man out but the chief arbitrator overruled the decision saying that from where he stood he could see that the first sacker’s foot was off the base!

In the ensuing argument, the players and spectators did everything but froth at the mouth. Both sides were adamant. The final result was that the game was void; the stake holders returned the bets to the interested parties. 1st/Sgt. Toth, acting in a Judge Landis capacity, ruled that henceforth no money would be bet on ball games. But Sarge! It is the principle of the thing!

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