I was a member of a small night patrol out on reconnaissance in the Ardennes
in Belgium. After a brief skirmish with a German machine gun outpost,
we headed back towards our lines. On the way back, we were challenged
by an American machine gun outpost. In the confusion of battle, none of
our patrol members remembered the password. What ever made me answer this
way I'll never know. I yelled out, "We are American. We don't know the
password, but if you are a G.I. we'll kiss your f----c---g a--s." We were
allowed to enter our lines.
The irony of this incident fell into place 40 years later at our annual
Division reunion. While chitchatting with my buddies from E Company, this
incident came up. I never knew the G.I. sentry who challenged our patrol
that night. To my amazement, Bud Black from Kokomo, Indiana, told me he
was that sentry. His finger was ready to squeeze the trigger on his machine
gun when he heard my reply to his challenge. The language convinced him
we were American G.I.s. I hesitated to tell this story because of the
language. In reality, though, it saved our lives.