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Visiting The Casbah


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 J....C...... leprosy. 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 out. 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 Ploesti.

Everett Frank - 721st Squadron




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