US Army

Milk for Cereal


Milk for Cereal
In January 1945, I was with the 75th Infantry Division in the Battle of the Bulge.  Somewhere in Belgium, we had just taken a town and came upon crossroads.  We were ordered to make a gun emplacement and noticed a previous gun emplacement that was used by the enemy.  I was the assistant gunner and had just hunkered down in the hole with the gunner.  The sergeant was aware of my boyhood days on the farm.  He said “Vogt, some of the boys would like some milk with their cereal.  How about you go to that barn and milk some cows for us.” 
I probably was the only one in the company who had ever milked a cow.  I told the sergeant I couldn’t leave the gunner alone and he said he would take my place.  I jumped out of the emplacement and he jumped in.  I walked over to the house and found a pail in the kitchen.  I walked to the barn and found cows that had been brought in.  When I found a stool I began milking.  It wasn’t long before I heard a loud low flying “WHOOSH” go right over the barn.  Second later it exploded somewhere nearby.  I was thinking what a close call that had been. 
With a full pail, I returned to my mortar position and saw that the mortar round had hit the edge of the mortar emplacement.  The gunner and sergeant had both wounded.  Many shrapnel wounds were visible through their uniforms.  I later learned that the gunner had died from his wound but I never heard what happened to the sergeant.  Knowing how to milk a cow may have saved my life. 
Source: Bulge Bugle August 2013

By Pfc Roger W VOGT


"I" Company,

291st Infantry Regiment

75th Infantry Division



Battle of the Bulge,