During World War II, I was drafted into the U.S. Army and received infantry basic training at Camp Craft, S.C., after which I boarded the liner Queen Mary with several thousand other young soldiers and sailed to Great Britain. We were then transported to France and Germany, where we were assigned to the 26th Yankee Infantry Division as combat infantrymen.

Our diet consisted of cold “K” rations, which were not very appetizing, but we quickly learned to obtain eggs from the defeated Germans. “Haben sie eier?” (Do you have eggs?) became our introduction to the German civilians.

Most German civilians unnecessarily feared us and quickly gave us their fresh eggs, which we would boil and heartily eat along with our cold “K” rations.

In April 1945, our squad of eight men was assigned to spend the night in a rural house in southern Germany. My squad leader and I entered the house and asked the woman occupant, “Haben sie eier?”

She opened the refrigerator door and took out a bowl of fresh eggs, from which she handed us one egg, then returned the egg bowl to the refrigerator. My sergeant opened the refrigerator and took the egg bowl full of eggs and handed her one egg – much to her surprise.

At supper our squad boiled the eight eggs – one for each man in the squad – and we enjoyed hot boiled eggs along with cold “K” rations for supper.

Alvan D. Larsen, Dixfield


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