An 18 year old boy from Thomas Idaho, drafted in 1944 leaves basic training and steps off the bus in New York City. Rulon Grant Van Orden, known as Rudy, had never seen anything like this. Two days later after buying souvenirs for his family, that the stores never shipped as promised, he boards the Queen Elizabeth with something like 7,000 other G.I.’sheaded for England. other G.I.’sheaded for England.
He told the story of being pinned down by a group of German snipers, and hiding behind the trees which, even though they were in a wood forest, were all planted in straight lines. Something very odd for a kid from the mountains of Idaho where everything was still, natural and wild. They were hiding behind trees to keep from getting shot, standing, using the trees to block the German’s view of them. One private kept peeking out, looking to see where the Germans were hiding, hoping to get a shot off.
He was given the option to go to the Pacific theater, or to go home. If he chose home, he would lose his field commission and be returned to being a corporal. He chose to go home.