John was part of a small self-contained group of specialists that consisted of a platoon of 25 soldiers that provided early-warning radar detection of German aircraft.
…Our group, called Vermont, contained a cook, medic, drivers, radar operators, maintenance people and security.
Our mission was to locate either at the forward edge of the battle line (since in the early stages of the war early-warning radars had limited range), or locate on top of a knoll or hill to detect low-flying enemy aircraft that flew under the radar screen to keep from being detected. Once enemy aircraft were detected by our radar, a message would be radioed to Command Headquarters to alert our aircraft and anti-aircraft batteries.
We were a prime and obvious target to enemy aircraft, being very conspicuous at our higher level. We also had the training and capability to defend ourselves and to support the infantry, since we were located near them. Such support increased as the ranks of our infantry were decreased by high casualties and more and more crises occurred…