The Journey of the Purple Heart: A First Infantry Division Soldier’s Story from Stateside to North Africa, Sicily and Normandy during World War II
Bob, a happy-go-lucky kid from Connecticut, voluntarily enlists in the Army at age nineteen, a full year before Pearl Harbor is bombed.
After training Stateside with the famous First Division, Bob is sent to England in the summer of 1942, and soon sees combat in North Africa. He faces Rommel’s best and stops his Panzers near the Kasserine Pass before his regiment destroys yet another Panzer division at El Guettar, giving General George Patton his first victory as an Army Corps commander.
Bob’s battalion plays a key role during the final push in North Africa, and when Sicily is invaded his regiment stops a vicious German counterattack on the beachhead. After breaking the German hold on Troina – key to the Sicilian campaign – it isn’t long before well-liked Bob finds himself back in England preparing for the Normandy Invasion.
Landing on Omaha Beach during the morning of D-Day, Bob’s battalion forms the wedge that allows others to get off the beach in force. He makes history that day. Then, three days later the worst happens.
This is Pfc. Robert Arthur Baummer’s moving World War II story. It’s also about the friendships he forms, his family’s anguish while he is overseas and his sad journey home. It is told by Bob’s best friends, his company captain, and others he served with in the Big Red One – and how the author, his nephew, found all of them, making Bob’s war possible to write about in gripping and often emotional detail.
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