Fritz Kunz- German - Forward Observer
Fritz while in signals corps in Russia
I met Fritz in my wife's neighbor village. When I asked him where he was during the war, I was amazed to hear Salerno and Monte Cassino, the exact locations of my father. Fritz told fabulous stories of the Hitler Youth and how it was so wonderful for a village boy to go on the long marches, get away from the farm work, sing songs, etc. He was originally drafted and sent to Russia as a radio operater where he was wounded in the shoulder by shrapnel. His Kamarad that was wounded with him died in the field hospital. He spoke of one instance that his relief crawled forward and asked Fritz not to be relieved as the man had a bad feeling. Fritz insisted on being relieved, that man was killed by a Russian tank that broke through that night. Fritz volunteered for the Afrika Korps and made it all the way to Sicily before Africa fell. At this point he became a forward observer for the screaming meemies. He was concealed around Alte Villa calling fire missions on my father's outfit at Salerno. My father frequently skoke of the screaming meemies and how they scared him terribly. Fritz later served at Monte Cassio and retreated all the way north to the Po river. He was the only man born in 1922 to return to his village. His father who had served in WWI, was drafted before him and came home from prison camp after him. He said when returning from prison camp, he got off the train in Giessen and saw that the town had been leveled, all he could think about was that he had some how survived.
Fritz with his tropical helmet. He left it at home on vacation, hence he still has it.
This is Fritz's last day as a civilian in January 1942
Fritz invited me over to his house where I interviewed him with a tape recorder for 4 hours. He is an incredibly interesting and kind man. He intimated how he now regrets calling in fire missions with the screaming meemies. We had a wonderful time discussing many things. I hope to visit him again when visiting my inlaws.
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