443rd Antiaircraft Battalion in World War II



Gone are days of their pomp and splendor,
Gone are their harems and glamorous wives,
Camels they had are replaced now by donkeys –
All is now gone but the Arab survives.

Living with ruins of cities about him –
Ruins so full of disease and decay,
Children and wife and a house full of cattle
All make their home in a room built of clay.

Still they have wives, but no women of glamor
Now hide their charms with proverbial veil,
Selling their souls for the American dollar
Or even a half should the first offer fail.

Theft and deceit are an art to the Arab.
Children are taught both to steal and to lie.
Families result from their previous pleasures
And are gone without grief when they suffer or die.

Tending their sheep on the hot desert mountain,
Looking askance as the fight rages on –
Knowing they are lords of the desert,
The Arabs will be here long after we’re gone.

T/Sgt. Virgil C. Brock



443rd men were often dealing with people whose culture had changed little for centuries. In one instance, following the armistice in Morocco, Platoon A-4 was protecting the port of Safi. An elderly Arab, caretaker of a Moslem cemetery near one of the platoon’s gun-tracks, wandered over the battlefield and found a fragmentation grenade — something he’d never seen before. Noting that everything the Americans ate seemed to come from tin cans, he thought he had found something edible. He took it to his small, whitewashed, mosque-like building and proceeded to try to open it with his knife. Of course, when he pulled the pin it exploded. Hearing the explosion the platoon commander and two men ran to the site and found the old man stunned and with several, non-fatal shrapnel wounds, certain that the Americans had shot him. He went to the hospital and the lieutenant to the Arab Mayor of Safi to explain what had happened.

menu3.gif (2333 bytes)
redline.gif (912 bytes)
menu2.gif (2093 bytes)

Copyright 1998 443rd AAA Association. All Rights Reserved
This World War II history is sponsored and maintained by TMFM