We were grounded in the middle of June 1944 at Tunis Tunisia for about a
Week and while they repaired an engine on our plane My Pilot, Andy, and I
decided to go to town. They would haul you down town to the Red Cross
building where they would drop you off and pick you up periodically. We
drifted around and found a little wine shop where we had a few. When
it gets dark they close the damn places up. Naturally we weren't ready
to quit so Andy talked the proprietor into selling us a large bottle of
wine. As we left the front door, a kid about 11 or 12 yrs old
who said "Hey Joe xxx xxx "and we said "Yea". He lead us down the
street to a gate in the wall and we entered the CASBAH. ( for you
uniformed and chaste individuals) that is the part of the city where the
bad girls and criminals etc. lived.) Our M.P.'s didn't even patrol the
Casbah. It was reported that lots of German deserters were still living
there. The kid kept wanting money and when we wouldn't give him any more
he left us. We found the bars weren't the only thing that closed at
dark. We'd knock on the doors and the scantily clad girls would come to
the door and say "Me no Sleepy"
We were lucky we could have been like the sailor who had been around the
world ten times and met a girl in Hong Kong. She told him "Honey I'm
going to give you something you've never had before" and he replied
Back to the Casbah. We finally figured maybe we ought to get out of
there but didn't know which way to go. Finally we saw a French M.P.,
gendarme or a guy in uniform who looked like someone with authority so
Andy grabbed him by the arm and waved the bottle at him and said
AMERICAN RED CROSS. He seemed to understand and and started to lead us
The streets were very narrow and had a lot of overhead connecting
buildings and was like tunnels. Andy would give me the bottle and say
I'll go through with him, and when he got through and back into the
moon light he would holler to me and I would come through. We kept doing
this and finally the guy wouldn't go any farther. I don't know if he was
out of his territory or what. At this point we could see the gate and
we let him go and we went on to the gate.
We made our way back to the Red Cross and crawled into the back of a 2
1/2 ton truck and was on our way back to the field.
We were housed in some kind of an old hotel or BOQ four to a room,
with a canvas cot and a mosquito net. At the desk was some enlisted men
you checked guys in and out.
Just as we got in front of that desk Andy passed out. Our luck was with
us again. Our enlisted men were just coming in and they helped me pour
him into bed.
That mission was probably more dangerous that our four trips we made to