Doc Collins Part 1

Doc Collins tried not to cuss as a habit. He could cuss in at least 2 languages, as a native Choctaw speaker he was fluent in the native curses and the transliterated cuss words of English. He also spoke English pretty well.

If he was going to cuss this was the time. He was belly down in the hot dry dirt watching his “boys” get chewed up by German machine gun fire, and he was ticked off. Collins was a medic with the U.S. Army 9th division “Old Reliable” and it was his responsibility to keep his boys alive.

The 9th had sailed directly from the States into this invasion (Operation Torch)they arrived at Port Lyautey, French Morocco on Sunday 8 November 1942. They had to take the port while under artillery fire from the defenders, but the Navy came through with wave after wave of carrier based aircraft and that was all the “legs” needed to succeed.

Ranger plane handlers push an SBD Dauntless dive-bomber into takeoff position after it has just landed from a strike on French North Africa.

After the Germans temporarily disengaged, Collins started checking on his boys. He saw LC Toffey writhing on the ground. “Where are you hurt?” Collins yelled. The Col said,”something is wrong with my knee”. Hustling over Collins saw that most of Toffey’s knee was shot off. He dressed the wound and administered morphine. The Col asked Collins to get him out of there, so Doc got him in a fireman’s carry and quit the battlefield. While carrying the Col back to safety about 300 yards away to a railroad bank, the Germans started in again with mortars and machine gun fire. “We gonna make it?”  Toffey asked. Doc told him “you better believe it”. After getting over the bank,  Collins found the rest of company, along with Gen Eddy and Gen Patton.

Gen Eddy and Gen Patton talked to LC Toffey while Collins worked on some other wounded. After Patton found out how the Colonel was taken off the battlefield, he came over to Collins, slapped him on the back and told him “That’s the way to win a war! Just show them you’ve got the guts to”.  Collins found out later that the Generals had come back to eyeball where Patton was going to try to run his armor through.

More to come. I’ll try to give some background on Doc’s early years, and subsequent battles and his time as a POW of the Germans.

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Filed under Fabricated from True Tales, Memories, Step-Father, WWII