A Dangerous Assignment: An Artillery Forward Observer in World War II

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Stackpole Books, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 247 pages
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  • Rare memoir of a risky job performed by relatively few troops
  • Honest and observant narrative describes the good, bad, and ugly of the war
  • Covers World War II's closing months in eastern France and Germany

    Cpl. Bill Hanford had one of the U.S. Army's most dangerous jobs in World War II: artillery forward observer (FO). Tasked with calling in heavy fire on the enemy, FOs accompanied infantrymen into combat, crawled into no-man's-land, and ascended observation posts like hills and ridges to find their targets. But beyond the usual perils of ground combat, FOs were specially targeted by the enemy because of their crucial role in directing artillery fire. Hanford spent much of his time fighting in the Vosges Mountains in eastern France and then in Germany in late 1944 and early 1945.

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    Contents

    Chapter 1 1
    1
    Chapter 2 11
    11
    Chapter 3 25
    25
    Chatper 4 33
    33
    Chapter 5 45
    45
    Chapter 6 53
    53
    Chapter 7 69
    69
    Chapter 8 75
    75
    Chapter 14 141
    141
    Chapter 15 151
    151
    Chapter 16 165
    165
    Chapter 17 177
    177
    Chapter 18 191
    191
    Chapter 19 199
    199
    Chapter 20 209
    209
    Chapter 21 213
    213

    Chapter 9 83
    83
    Chapter 10 93
    93
    Chapter 11 101
    101
    PHOTO SECTION
    121
    Chapter 12 127
    127
    Chapter 13 137
    137
    Chapter 22 237
    237
    Epilogue 243
    243
    Other Books in the Series
    248
    Back Cover
    263
    Copyright

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    About the author (2008)

    William B. Hanford served as a forward observer in World War II with the U.S. 103rd Infantry Division of the Seventh Army. A retired teacher, he lives in Howell, Michigan.

    Bibliographic information