shared by his son, Terry Toler:
Dad was a Staff Sergeant with the Combat Engineers from the time he was in
the US with Army Service Forces, until training in England for D-Day.
After a fatal accident that killed a friend, he volunteered for the
5BN Rangers and became a Private and a BAR man in Co. C for the invasion
of Omaha Beach on D-Day. He
recounted how he was the human “ramp”, up which the platoon ran to
cross the barbed wire barricade set up by the Germans. He
always swore, the US won the war due to such innovations implemented by
the American GI to reach their objectives.
while Dad's unit was set up along a river in France, an advance party from
Gen. Patton’s army came looking for a suitable crossing.
Dad told them that he could build a Bailey Bridge for them and
had the sections up that same day. Dad
built the bridge and Patton’s tanks began crossing the river
immediately. Dad also told us
four kids about the footrope crossing of the Saar River, where every
Ranger carried half his weight in gear and ammo.
was also part of the Irsch-Zerf battle and liked the friendly artillery
fire that was provided (that comment led me to be a Field Artillery
officer). During this conflict,
German artillery fire threw him in the air and he landed on his back, on a
tree stump. He was evacuated
February 27, 1945 and sent to Paris for recovery from that wound.
He was discharged October 1945 in Emporia, Kansas.
and narrative submitted by