You are the owner of this article.

Raymond E. Pettingall followed the front lines across Germany

From the Stories from Frederick County's World War II veterans series
  • 0
  • 1 min to read

Raymond Pettingall’s late wife, Frances Sanger, hated the Army, so much so that she got rid of his uniform after he was discharged in 1945.

Pettingall, 97, laughed as he recalled his wife’s dislike for the reason for her then-new husband’s three-year hiatus, leaving her to give birth to and raise their first daughter alone during his service.

Pettingall’s experience during that time was no picnic, either. He spent the latter half of his service trekking across Italy with the 85th Infantry Division as it fought back German troops. As a chief clerk, he never fought.

He was stationed about 10 miles behind the front lines, in charge of a relaying messages from different section officers, among other administrative tasks. But he watched as German planes overhead dropped bombs that exploded into the air and heard the guns going off through the night.

“If you were in your pup tent trying to sleep, your rear end came off the ground,” he said.

But he survived unscathed, and to his wife’s undoubted delight, earned enough points during his service to be among the first group of U.S. servicemen returning home after the war ended.

— Nancy Lavin

Follow Nancy Lavin on Twitter: @NancyKLavin.

Nancy Lavin covers social services, demographics and religion for The Frederick News-Post.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. No vulgar, racist, sexist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, not personal attacks or ad hominem criticisms.
Be civil. Don't threaten. Don't lie. Don't bait. Don't degrade others.
No trolling. Stay on topic.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
No deceptive names. Apparently misleading usernames are not allowed.
Say it once. No repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link for abusive posts.

Thank you for reading!

Already a member?

Login Now
Click Here!

Currently a News-Post subscriber?

Activate your membership at no additional charge.
Click Here!

Need more information?

Learn about the benefits of membership.
Click Here!

Ready to join?

Choose the membership plan that fits your needs.
Click Here!