Cousin Harvey Hubbard was a combat infantryman during WWII. Participating in both
the D-day invasion and The Battle Of The Bulge, he returned to western-Kentucky after the war. Among the stories he shared is the one contained herein.
While enjoying a chalk board game with four elementary students, a day during my final year as a teacher comes back.
A boy named Bill was distracted. That happened often when I taught. Most often I did try and diagnose the cause, but Bill made the cause obvious. It was my face, moustache, and other Germanic features.
Raising his hand politely, that boy asked: "Mr. Kellan, did you fight in World War II?
"No, Bill." I replied. "Why do you ask that?"
Mr. Kellan, I think that I saw you on television. You were a German soldier and you were firing a machine at American soldiers. My Grand-daddy fought in that war. He's told me stories about it."
"Let me tell you, Son. The man you saw was not I. During that war, I was just a little boy who lived in western-Kentucky. I was born a year before Japan attacked us there at Pearl Harbor," I answered.
"Bill, many people on Earth share a face very similar to mine. One man I saw in a civil war photo resembled me closely. You might do better by not looking at my face so much. I'm carrying several monkeys on my back as most of us do. I can't make myself look much better. If I look hateful, I'm not thinking of you or other students at school. You're doing great. I'm pleased with the work you do."
Our game ended for a time because Bill's distraction inspired me into sharing a strange story with my class.
Cousin Harvey Hubbard's story:
Cousin Harvey Hubbard was a combat infantryman in that war, fighting in both The D-day Invasion and The Battle Of The Bulge. He was with The U.S. Army as they fought across much of Europe.
When I about three years old, my dad's birthday gift to me was a little, red wagon. It was my favorite toy, and loadin it with everything possible, I used the wagon every day around the five acres my dad owned.
Cousin Harvey Hubbard was given leave two times- one after D-day and another following The Battle Of The Bulge.
On his first visit back to western-Kentucky and the Fulks family, first thing he noticed was that I had a red wagon.
Cousin Harvey was angry. He proclaimed during his first visit: "Rum, you keep him home while I'm fighting over there. He'll get himself killed. I'll swear I saw your son pulling that little, red wagon on Omaha Beach. The Germans saw him too. They were shooting at us.
When the Germans saw him there, they stopped shooting and told us to get him out of the line of fire. We stopped shooting and tried to talk George into getting out of the way so we could advance onto the German positions. Your son was picking up spent shells and cartridges. He was throwing them into the bed of that little, red wagon.
"He finally did leave there," Harvey continued. "We overran the German positions and established a beach head during the third wave, but I continued to see him with that wagon all through Europe."
I'm going to tell you again, Rum. You keep him here at home. He'll get killed over there. I'm going back in fourteen days. Where I'll be sent to fight, I don't know."
Cousin Harvey Hubbard did survive that war. That he considered a miracle of sorts.
Returning to western-Kentucky in 1945, Cousin Harvey married a beautiful woman, set-up house, and had several children. He lived a simple life there in Kentucky until he deceased early in the twenty-first century
I don't truly believe all the stories that Harvey told, but one strange coincidence is that for a long time, there were spent cartridges and shells spread around Rummage Ira Fulks' five acres; some were German eighteen millimeter shell casings. And those shells and casings were too hot to touch. They'd burn my hands.