Nov 8, 2008


Orval explains how pineapple handgernades explode

Orval Kitsmiller. O-R-V-A-L. V. Yeah. Kitsmiller: K-I-T-S-M-I-L-L-E-R.

I was with Patton's Army in North Africa from 42 to 45. I was with General Eisenhower in Korea, 50 to 53. I stayed out for about six months. There were no jobs or anything like that, and they told me I could maintain my rank of corporal, so I said I guessed I'd do that.

I don't know why. There just wasn't any to be had.

I got a job as an apprentice machinst at an ice cream plant, but that didn't go too well. Didn't work out. So when they told me I could maintain my rank, I went back into the Army and stayed 'til I retired.

I was in the CCC. You probably don't know what that is. FDR's CCC, the Civilian Conservation Corps. It was for work for the depression. We were planting windbreaks in Kansas when the war started, and they said if you only had six months left, you could get out to join. So everybody was 'that's what I'm going to do, I'm going to join.' So they said, 'what about you Kits?' and I said I guessed I would too.

I went in as a tank driver. There was a surpluss of tank drivers in North Africa, though, so I drove the duece and a half. Like that one over there, did you see it? It was like that. I hauled ammo and supplies to Patton and his army.

Yeah we used to do that. In North Africa. I remember, we used to go fishing with hand gernades. You'd just throw them in. You had to get back though. They were the pineapple hand gernades, about like this, and the frags didn't care who they hit. They were frags, they didn't care. You had get back. That's what I would do.