My name is Dan Daniel
and I am from Chattanooga TN. I arrived in Schweinfurt, Germany in
November in 1948 and was assigned to D Co. 2nd Battalion 14th
A/C. D Co was formally A Co of the 1st Constabulary Squadron.
When I arrived there I was required to attend Constabulary Training for
six weeks. It wasn't long however the Battalion was required to attend
Tank Training School at Fritzlar. I became a tank driver and remained
in that MOS until I was selected to attend Radio and Signal School and
attend the EUCOM SIGNAL SCHOOL in Ansbach. I worked the Battalion and
Regimental nets for the next two years.
Sgt. John Bandy and I became good friends. He
was also in radio school. I remember the day John and I were making
Radio Check on the tanks in the motor pool after a day on the Range. It
was a cold day and John climbed inside Sgt. Hemmie's tank. This
particular tank had been worked on and a section of the fuel line had
been left out without any notification of being out of service. John
started up the engine and immediately this tank was on fire. John
couldn't see the tank was on fire from being on the inside. I knew I
had to get his attention. I dropped the scope down inside to him,
almost on his lap and this got his attention. I told him the tank was
on fire and he had to get out quick. I reached down into the tank and
grabbed John, yanking him out as fast as I could. This all happened so
fast. John wasn't hurt or burned. We quickly started moving all
the other tanks away from the burning tank saving them from the fire.
The fire on Sgt. Hemmie's tank was huge.
Everyone stood away 300 ft. or more from the burning tank because it
was loaded with all it's ammo. The German fire department was called
out and they knew not to get too close either. As the rounds of ammo
continued to fire off inside the tank, everyone just watched. The tank
would jump clear off the ground when the ammo exploded.
It was in April of 1952 when I left the
I would like to
tell you more about John Bandy, my Constabulary friend. It was in
Fritzlar 1949 when we met. John
is also the author of his first book “When Whippoorwills
John stated in his book, which I found to be spellbinding, he enlisted
brother's birth certificate at the age of 16 and came into D Co. We had
1st Sgt. named Wamstead, a hell of a trooper and much a man in every
John's book he mentioned two friends, Jack Akins and Robert
guys were older and always in trouble. Seemingly John always ended up
the short end
of the stick. I knew John had siblings at
home in deplorable conditions so I, after John had been busied and was
dirty detail you could think of, convinced our Como. Sgt., Edward Opila
give John a chance at Radio School where he excelled. John was finally
element. John made a career of the Army and retired as Sergeant Major.
By Trooper Dan Daniel
Sgt. Maj. John Bandy