You Can't Get Much Closer Than This Combat with the 80th "Blue Ridge" Division in World War II Europe

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Synopsis

After the Citadel and Officer Candidate School, Andrew Z. Adkins Jr. was sent to the 80th Infantry Division, then training in the California-Arizona desert. There, he was assigned as an 81mm mortar section leader in Company H, 2nd Battalion, 317th Infantry Regiment.



Lieutenant Adkins and his fellow soldiers took part in light hedgerow fighting that served to shake the division down and familiarize the troops and their officers with combat. While scouting for mortar positions in the woods, Adkins met a group of Germans and shot one of them dead with his carbine. This baptism in blood settled the question faced by every novice combatant: He was cool under fire, capable of killing when facing the enemy.



Adkins acted with skill and courage, placing himself at the forefront of the action whenever he could. His extremely aggressive delivery of critical supplies to a cut-off unit in an embattled French town earned him a Bronze Star, the first in his battalion.



Before his death, Andy Adkins was able to face his memory of war as bravely as he faced war itself. In 1944-45, he did his duty to his men and country—and here, he serves new generations of military and civilian listeners.

Chapters

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