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Combat Engineers

by Pete Baucum

This poem was started by an engineer who was killed by 88's while clearing a road. The poem was finished by Pete Baucum after the battle.

'Well done', said the tankers
As their steads rolled slowly by,
We silently saluted-our buddies
Who wern't afraid to die

Again we'd done our duty
In our fight for freedom's sake,
We'd cleared the 'tellers' and 'shoe mines'
though our lives, they were at stake

The infantry deserves more praise
Than most of us up here.
They march from place to place
And fight without much fear

The artillery is needed
As is the signal corps
The planes deserve some credit
While we talk about this war

But still I want to tell you
The engioneers are rough
To pull out mines and booby traps
To take more than just a bluff

And though we know its teamwork
In this ghastly game called war
We thought we'd tell you what we do
The combat engineering corps


If you've got a few minutes, I'll tell you a tale
bout a mule dad brought home from a Baker City horse sale

We got him unloaded and turned out in the corral
I thought to myself, to gentle him up-would be a living hell

His conformation was great-this I did declare
He's by a Mamoth Jack and a quarter bred mare

Snow white in color and standing 12 hands
By the look in his eyes one knew he had sand

Dad said he was nine-give or take one or two
Had to throw and hog tie him to nail on a shoe

We had some explosions those first few years
He unloaded some packs and I cussed in his ears

Over the years we have both had some schooling
Hannibal finaly learned when I wasn't fooling

We've had some fine trips, he's turned out real good
Pack anything on him-Elk, Deer or wood

Didn't use him this fall though he's still fat and sassy
He's showing some age, not looking as classy

I've had some good horses and when they can't pack their load
I load them up and send them down the road

Hannibal is 35 - give or take one or two
You would still have to throw him to nail on a shoe

If I'm still around when Hannibal goes
We'll bury him deep and over him plant a yellow rose

NOTE: Hannibal died several years ago

Pete Baucum taught biology to all by brothers and sisters and me also at Grant Union High school. Befor becoming a teacher pete was a combat engineer who landed on Utah beech. I didnt't know this untill about 10 years ago. Pete said Utah Beach wasn't to bad, others had it a lot worse. Pete fought his way across France untill he got himself blowed up just south of Aachen Belgium at the beginning of the battle of the Hurtgen Forest. Every year on June 6th I send Pete a red, white and blue flower with an American flag. Below you will find a photo of Pete, His wonderful wife and one of his grandchildren as well as two of Pete's poems.

Related Links & Resources: The Battle of the Hurtgen Forest, by Charles Whiting; Volume 4 in the West Wall series. The U.S. Army regards the Hurtgen Forest as one of the most desperate -and longest- battles it has ever fought. Flanking the key German city of Aachen, the thick evergreen forest was a formidable natural barrier made more secure with a network of concrete bunkers that made up part of the West Wall ...

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