Tanks and American Soldiers

Memories of WW2

By Malcolm Raynor

Trenches

We often went to Ling Forest as we Knew it (Strawberry Knob as a child for picnics with the family and taking our dog for a walk. Later on when older a group of us would go and play in the old WW1 trenches but when the americans came to Mansfield it was used for Tank training by them.

Tanks

I remember the tanks coming up Skerry Hill and along Eakring Road and we would follow them on our Bikes. The tanks would queue from the cross roads at the Eakring Road / Violet Hill junction.

We never did see them come back so it must be assumed they returned via Southwell Road and Rock Hill. I seem to think they were located on the Sutton Road (where Kings Mill Hospital is now ) as towards the end of the War the site became a American Army Hospital.

Got any gum chum?

I have vivid recollections of riding our bikes up and down the row (Got any Gum Chum?) and riding to the Co-op on Violet Hill fetching bread and potted meat for some of the Crews and no matter what they gave us, 10shillings or a pound, it was always "keep the change."

Unfortunately it did not last very long and they obviously did not have any idea of the value of the english currency. At that time we being so young didn't care.

Camp to Hospital

It didn't last Long as they soon left the Area --- D DAY was upon us. The Kings Mill Camp as stated became a Hospital for wounded GI's but I seem to think part of the installation was also a POW site for Italian Prisoners who you could later on as the war ended, see in town all in a brown uniform with either a yellow diamond or circular patches on on same. They all seemed to have Leather Briefcases, whether they made them in their time in Mansfield I do not know.

This page was added on 07/01/2011.
Comments about this page

My father was stationed in Mansfield, where he met my mother Eveline Thorpe from Pleasley. She was a war bride and my older sister was born there before they could get passage to the U. S. A.  She had so many interesting stories about her life in Pleasley growing up and during the war. One was about the blackouts and riding a bicylce to get anywhere.  

By susan amspacher
On 18/01/2016

Hi Susan, can I ask where about your father was stationed and his regiment? I am trying to trace a relative believed to be american but unsure where he was stationed and not familiar with the area so not sure where to look

Thankyou

By SARAH BIDDISCOMBE
On 22/01/2016

Hi Sarah, My father was stationed at the 30th General Hospital, Mansfield as a nurse to assist with the wounded.  Also auto mechanic and utility repairman.  He was Private First Class.  I cannot find his regiment.  Look into the American Veterans of Foreign Wars or VFW websites and you maybe able to locate him.  My uncle Seargant Carl William was also station there for awhile, and I remember my mother talking about going to dances with my dad and meeting his brother there.  Hope you can find your relative. 

By susan amspacher
On 20/03/2016

Hi Susan, I am trying to trace my father who was stationed in Mansfield. His name is James Michael Ruben.  I am not sure how Ruben is spelt.  My mother told me she went to tell him she was pregnant with me but he had been sent out to Normandy and she could not get any information.  My mother's name was Kathleen Gill and she came from a small village called New Houghton.  Can you help me in my search please

By Pamela Rafalski
On 14/06/2016

Hi Pamela, As I had mentioned to another emailer that your best bet is to search on the site for American Veterans of Foreign Wars or VFW sites and you may be able to find him through them or at least some information.  Good Luck. 

By susan e amspacher
On 14/09/2016

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