Ole Pappy

Hero of Cologne

A friend loaned me the book, “Spearhead” by Adam Makos. I’d loaned him another book by Makos and now it was his turn to share.

It was the story of an Army gunner named Clarence Smoyer, who in World War II destroyed a German Panther tank and help win the battle of Cologne, which helped turn the tide of the war. Smoyer was supposed to get the Bronze Star with “V” but it was canceled when he was accused of “talking to the Germans” when some small boys asked if he had bubble gum and he pulled out his pockets to show he didn’t have any.

MP’s saw this and his award was never given. So it was with great surprise I read in my American Legion magazine that Smoyer has finally been given the honor he so rightly deserved.

The books author, Adam Makos and Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania persuaded the Army to review the case.

Smoyer said, when he received the award, “I wear this in memory of all the young people who have lost their lives in battle.” Smoyer, riding in the tanked dubbed, “Eagle”, rode into Cologne that day to free the city that was still a German stronghold.

Smoyer fired three shots and knocked out the German Panther tank, which went up in flames.

Author Makos didn’t tell Smoyer he was going to get the Bronze Star award. He got him to Washington under the pretense of a book signing at the Pentagon.

The book led to the movie, “Fury”, about tanks in World War II, staring Brad Pitt. I’ve got to say, Adam Makos is one of the finest writers I’ve ever read — and his research is phenomenal.

LAUGH A LITTLE: Dead joke! A guy in a taxi wanted to speak to the driver, so he leaned forward and tapped him on the shoulder. The driver screamed and yanked the wheel, jumping the curb and hitting a lamppost. The startled passenger said, “I didn’t mean to frighten you. I just wanted to ask you something.” The taxi driver replied, “It’s not your fault, sir. It’s my first day as a cab driver. I’ve been driving a hearse for 25 years.”

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “As my Ole Pappy used to say, “The time to be happy is NOW. The place to be happy is HERE!” Ole Pappy didn’t believe in “Putting off tomorrow, what you could do today.” As a result, he always stressed be happy today. “We’ll worry about tomorrow, tomorrow,” he’d say. Thanks Ole Pappy!

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