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Paris, France - August 25, 1944
Uninterupted Duty Status Surrounded By A Street Celebration
Jack Cunningham
1st. Lt. Jack Cunningham

C Bty, 29th FA Bn, WW2

When we arrived in Paris the streets were lined with the local people of all ages greeting us with wine and flowers. The motor column had stopped until places could be found for us to wait until orders to move on were given - which was going to be dependent on what was happening ahead of us.

Capt. Jim Hurst, the CO of Charlie Battery, asked me and my forward observer party to follow him in my jeep as he went ahead to look for a suitable place to get the battery off the street. We found a big grassy, wooded park and he left me and my party there and returned to bring up the battery. My forward observer party that day consisted of Cpl. Karam, radio operator; Cpl. Turnier, driving the jeep; and T/5 Fitzgerald, if I remember correctly. We were standing on the street side of the stone wall which bordered the park when an elderly man, who spoke English, accompanied by a young man, came along the sidewalk. He asked us to visit his house nearby. We went there and met his wife and others. He left the room and came back with two bottles of Scotch whiskey which he had been saving for the liberation. By the time the battery arrived we had undergone an attitude adjustment and felt like the war was over.

On our last day in Paris, which may have been August 27, I was with the infantry as they made a street-by-street advance through the northern edge of the city. Phase lines had been established on designated cross streets and no unit could move beyond a phase line until all were at that line. Sometimes we had to wait at a phase line while others were moving up. There were hundreds of French men and women with bottles of cognac and wine. When the time came for us to move again, it would take all of a half-hour to find those who had wandered off and get them all together again.

That night we reached the outskirts of the city and kept going. My party rode in our jeep but the infantry was on foot with some vehicles accompanying them. Somewhere along the road we gave a woman a lift and she rode in the limited space in the rear of the jeep with Karam and Fitzgerald for several miles. We did not encounter any enemy opposition that night.

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