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

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Stackpole Books, 2008 - History - 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.

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