Kingston Daily Freeman
December 7, 1918
HUN AEROPLANE FIRED ON WOUNDED
Coleman Palen, 36 Hours on the Field Before Picked Up. Tells of Germans Firing on Stretcher Bearers and Wounded, Killing Three
The following letter has been received by Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Palen of Samsonville from their son Private Coleman Palen, who was wounded some time ago, and is still in a hospital in France.
France, Oct. 27
Dear Father and Mother:
Will write to let you know I am getting along as well as can be expected. How is everything at home? All enjoying the best of health I hope.
Say, but I had the blues yesterday. Was wishing I could be home to take a hunt with you and Jack. I was in hopes I could be back in the states before the season was over, but there is not much chance, I guess.
Well, dad, whate are you doing these troublesome days. Now to tell you about myself. Well, I have written so many letters and have received no answers, so now I will again try to see if I cannot get a letter from you.
I was in the start of the Verdun drive. My outfit was in the front line. On the second day, Friday morning, I was wounded. We had reached our objective the day before about 1 o'clock, but our relief had not come up yet, so we got orders to keep going, and believe me we did keep the Boches going. They counter-attacked at different times, but they only lost more men by doing so, and gave us a better chance at them meanwhile. As I told you, I was hit Friday morning, and they did not get me off the field until Saturday afternoon. Most of the time I was nearer to the enemy's line than to our own. But believe me, there was some hot fighting around there all day Friday and Friday night. You can guess they were pretty busy when they could not get the wounded off the field for 36 hours. Once the Germans passed very near me. I guess they thought I was accounted for. But they sure would have found me very much alive had they come too near. Saturday morning about day break, our boys got them on the run again. Oh boy! That sure was some welcome sight. So after that we could breathe a little more natural. By about noon they had gotten mosts of the wounded off the field. But when the stretcher bearers were taking the wounded boys off the field, eight Hun planes came over and tried to pick up off then. I heard later when we reached the first aid stations, that they got three of our boys. So you what coyotes we have to fight. But they are paying dear, and will keep on paying. You would never believe what crimes they have committed against the women and children here in France; things too contemptible to mention. I wonder if the world can ever look at a Hun again with anything but disgust.
Well, dad, here's hoping we knock hell out of them soon, for I am longing to see that old Statue of Liberty again.
Now, I will have to cut this short as here comes the nurse to dress me (I mean my wounds). So I will say good bye to you and mother. Write me often. Do not wait for an answer as it takes too long. Write me now how you all are and what you are doing.
Mother, I am looking forward to that good dinner that no one but you can cook, for I am so tired of corn Willies. I have been hungry every minutes since I left the states. I sure would give one month's pay for a stack of your pancakes a foot high and that good butter. You see I have remembered the name, but I have forgotten the taste. With lots of love to all.
PRIVATE C. PALEN
Base Hospital No. 7
A. P. O. 717
Amer. Ex. F. France