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My Charger's Name Was Pegasus

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My Charger's Name was Pegasus

A Cavalryman in the OSS
  • by Charles von Bernuth
    • Merriam Press World War 2 Memoir Series
      • Fifth Edition 2012
      • 192 6x9-inch pages
      • 7 photos
      • 7 documents
Charlie was an impassioned horseman. Before the war he was a member of Squadron A, National Guard, a cavalry unit stationed in New York City. On 31 March 1942 he enlisted at Fort Riley, Kansas, in the Regular Army, where they were still training horse units and turning out horse cavalry officers. After two years at Ft. Riley, Charlie was recruited by the OSS. After training, Charlie shipped out in July of 1944 for England. Initially he was personnel officer for Special Operations, Europe, stationed in London, which included censoring mail written by the staff. Later he goes through training as a spy, including jump training, which he covers in some detail. In late 1944 he is flown to France and is in an OSS section attached to the Seventh Army. Much of the last half of the book details his experiences on the continent recruiting locals as agents to perform intelligence missions, often going behind German lines. During one such mission, things go wrong and Charlie's actions result in his receiving a Silver Star. Thirty years later, while being entertained by a Naval officer, a friend of Charlie's notices the many ribbons on the officer's uniform. Of course, Charlie was wearing the lapel ribbon for his award. Wondering if he remembered what they were all for. The officer replied, "Oh, yes, but I would trade them all for that one there that he has in his lapel." Charlie was among the OSS personnel who went into Dachau after the camp was liberated. Charlie's job was to locate certain individuals among the prisoners who had been recruited by the OSS as spies and had fallen into enemy hands, and to get them back. Charlie's memoir is written in a very understated manner and covers two topics—cavalry and the OSS—that have seen little in the way of memoirs from veterans of World War II.
 
Charlie passed away on 25 May 2002 at the age of 89, but he left this memoir of his service in World War II.
 

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