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Les HeglandWWII Letter Home

Les was severely wounded in the fight for Caretan shortly after D-Day.  In a letter to his sister Wanda from the hospital in England, he explained what happened.

Our outfit has run into some pretty hot fighting the day before and it was still going on the morning I was hit.  We were running low on ammunition and the Capt. asked for volunteers to bring some up.  I went with three other men.  Got what we could and started back up to the company which was spread out along a hedgerow.  Got up there all right but got too close to a machine gun which the Germans were trying to knock out with their mortars.

Well, a shell dropped in and I caught a piece of the shrapnel in my throat.  It went through from left right, going through my larynx nicking the left vocal cord and taking about all of the right one on the way out. 

I bled quite a bit but I managed to crawl to a truck where I was protected to some extent.  The company was forced to withdraw so I got left there.  I expected the medics to come after me but I guess they missed me somehow so after 20 mins.  or a half hour I started, crawled, and then walked back to the Aid Station.  Made it alright and from there I don't remember much.  I remember they tried to give me some blood plasma, but they couldn't hit vein so they gave it up.  About that time the morphine hit me and I sort of lost interest. I vaguely remember being put in an ambulance and then taken to a hospital and then to another.  They cleaned up my wound there and put me to bed.  The next they operated and put a tube so I could breath easier and afetr that it was just a matter of time. 

The docs thought at first I'd get my voice back, but it didn't seem to improve and it hasn't yet.

I guess that's about all there is to tell about and that's what mother wanted to know.

 
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