Joining the 222 Anti Tank Company Bud was also allocated the role of driving the truck that pulled their A/T gun which the guys named: The Coughin Coffin.
The Coughin Coffin was THE VERY FIRST TRUCK INTO MUNICH!
There are now only three men left from Bud’s platoon. The rest of them are gone. Bud and the other men of the 222nd Anti Tank Company of the 42nd Infantry Division participated in the liberation of Dachau on April 29, 1945.
“As we drove down the road leading to Dachau, I looked into the camp and I saw the prisoners.
Some distance beyond that, our convoy stopped. My squad of 7 men was given the task to ‘clear the woods’, which meant to look for any SS guards attempting to escape.
As we were going through these woods, the bushes began to shake. We immediately turned our rifles on them, but did not fire. Instead of the SS guards, it turned out to be starving prisoners in striped clothes.
They were walking skeletons, but completely overjoyed to see us.
They were so overjoyed one of them came to me, knelt down, and kissed my boots. It was an extremely moving moment that brought tears to my eyes. We gave them what little food we had with us and sent them back to interrogators.”
Historian Erin Faith Allen said:
”Having spent much time in conversation with Lockered ‘Bud’ Gahs about his memories of frontline combat during the second world war.
Our mission has been to understand Bud’s personal role and honour his service, and to compile first hand stories to add to growing research about these unsung heroes.”
Bud would like to go back for a final pilgrimage, to see some of the most memorable places of his war service, so he can retrace his footsteps and pay his respects to his fallen comrades who never made it home. I have teamed up with my friends over at WW2 Nation to bring Bud back to his combat frontlines in Europe.
Together, we will make a documentary about his memories and this experience of returning to the battlefields to remember and preserve the story of the men of his platoon and their contribution to our freedom.
As a liberator, Bud will be a guest of honour at the commemorations for the 75th anniversary of Dachau on May 3, which will be the centre point of our journey together.
The project needs support to help raise $12,500 in order to ensure our crew can travel with him to document his time there, and so that we can widen his journey to include other significant locations.
We cannot wait to help with this project. Find out how you can help support this project too: www.gofundme.com
Bud, Erin, Lawrence, Ben, and the crew of WW2 Nation.