the story of the world war 1 soldier, who's truth got lost in history
|I am Derrick Clay and I’m part of the 369th infantry regiment, back in New York we’re known as the Harlem Hellfighters. I worked in a factory before I was drafted, I was very unhappy back in New York, long shifts and garbage pay had a lot to do with it. At the start, I was making friends left and right. The comradery was very surprising to me, my best friend got drafted aswell, his name is Martin Montley. When I got my weapons a browning m1918 bar and a colt m1911 along with anti-tank grenades.
My first look at trench warfare came at Argonne Forest in France and we were constantly bombarded by German artillery and tear gas. Luckily there was an AA gun to take down the bombers that have been pestering our tanks and not allowing them to cross the bridge. I was trained to specialize in anti-aircraft guns, so I hopped on it and started shooting at the enemy bomber and I must have hit the gas tank because it caught fire after one shot, but not before dropping one last bomb that landed right next to me. Everything went black.
when I woke up I had no clue where I was, I just saw Martin as he was stating “Derricks heartbeats normal and his leg is wrapped up to stop the bleeding.”
“Where am I? I can’t feel my right leg, What happened?”
“Derrick, you’re in the medic tent about two miles away from the battlefield. You ended up getting hit by one of the bombs and I carried you here. Get some rest.”My eyes slowly closed like curtains at the end of a play as in the distance I heard gunfire so much gunfire. I woke up to Derrick in my face again telling me to get under the cot. Once I got under it Derrick also came under it with both of our colt m1911s. “Why do we need to get down here?” I asked
“Because our line got overrun by German forces, and they are searching for any soldiers around here.”
I saw someone run by the tent and 300 people ran after him but one lagged behind and went into the tent as he searched around I went behind him and choked him out. I ran into the thicker part of the forest and climbed a tree and untied my belt and tied it so it holds me and the tree together, so I could go to sleep.
When I woke up I realized that I left Martin there. I started making my way back as I saw Martin running towards me. Somebody was aiming at him, I tackled him and fired my M1911 as a bullet came flying by. It clipped my left arm but I hit my shot as he crippled down. I brought Martin to the forest and sat him down to ask if he was okay but then he dropped a bombshell.
“I got shot, that guy shot me and I don’t know if I will make it unless I can wrap this wound.” he said So I set off to the medic tent and while I was on my way I ended up grabbing a gun from the guy I shot. When I got there the Germans had set up shop there. I tried to go by everyone and go right to the medic tent, that didn’t happen. I had to kill one guy with my knife before I got to the tent. I used my knife to cut through the edge of the tent and saw that there is one person in there and he appeared to be asleep so I went in and found out that he was not asleep. I quickly grabbed the medkit I didn’t notice he followed me back but I was able to find Martin and give him the medkit. I then surrendered to the germans.
I got shoved into a place to be interrogated, they bounded my hands to the table. A guy in all black came up to me “This can either be the easy way or the hard way, so what do you want.” he asked
“I’m not telling you anything, I don’t care if you kill me. I’m not talking.” I say
“You want the hard way, thanks it is the more fun way.” as he punches me in the face and as blood runs down my face he smiles and says “do you want to say anything now or will I have to beat it out of you.”
“You won’t get me to say anything” I yelled
“Okay, I got it so you want to die as I break every bone in your body,” he said as He grabbed a sledgehammer from the corner and slammed it down on my hand. I bit my lip to avoid showing any weakness.”Take him away guys tell me if you can get anything out of him.”
A bag got pulled over my head suddenly They pulled me around and tied me to something. They came in every 2 or 3 hours to ask if I changed my mind and feed me. I have been working on the rope that I was tied with and I broke free. I have been waiting for them to open this door for what feels like days and finally they open the door when they go to where I was I start moving behind them and smack them both in the back of the head and I took their guns. On my way out I didn’t have to kill anyone luckily. I forgot to mention that when I gave Martin the medkit I had slipped a note in there telling him to meet me in the forest where I gave him the medkit. So I was on my way over there when suddenly I got tackled and I felt like it had broken a rib.
“Long time no see.” said the man in the mask he pulled his mask off to reveal that he was Martin
“How glad I am to see you. Why did you tackle me though?” I asked
“Because of you tackling me before and also getting captured. Anyways why were you gone so long because it took you a week to get out of there?” He asked
“Because they tied me up locked me in a basement and also they tortured me. They also broke my hand. Do you know where we retreated to?”
“Yes, It just up ahead about a mile. Do you want to start heading that way?”
“Yes I do, let’s go before they spot us.”
So just like that, we ended up walking over to our new line of defense, about 5 miles away from our old one. It was a very long treck but we were able to pass the time by talking about what happened. Finally, we made it back in one peace, we still have fighting to do. Just to keep these bloody Germans off our rectum. So, as usual, I got set up with an AA gun. Just then a whole fleet of German Bombers came in as everyone was getting into a shelter I was firing at the bombers ultimately taking down 4 planes before I had to retreat into the shelter.
After regrouping and discussing our plan of attack. Which was to send about a third of our remaining force to attack and have the other 2 thirds flank them to put them into a corner forcing them to retreat. I was planned to fight the Germans head-on. While waiting for their attack we received word that the Austro-Hungarians were joining the German army for this attack. We had tanks rolling into the battlefield to combat them and an airship that they planted me on since I had good aim with turrets. The Battle was ready to commence as I had put charge of looking out for any german planes. When the planes started coming I quickly realized they were kamikaze piolets by the fact that they were just moving towards the airship. After on hit, the whole ship ended up sinking like a ship at sea. They did give us parachutes as mandatory equipment in case something like this would happen. I landed on a tree so I was just hanging. I couldn’t do anything if an enemy would spot me I am as good as dead. I couldn’t drop because I was 20 yards in the air, cutting myself down would surely break my legs. It was my only option so I took out my pocket knife and started sawing through the rope. When I finish cutting one rope it swung me into the tree allowing me to climb down the tree and lay down and rest for a second before taking the long walk back to camp. I wonder how many people died in that because I didn’t do my job this is all my fault why couldn’t I have died, instead of all of my friends. Did Martin die he was driving the f-ing airship. I guess if he did die he would want me to move forward. Okay, I’m gonna move towards the enemy base to try to take it over, maybe I’ll run into Martin on the way. I started running there as fast as possible when I ran into the people who were flanking them as I scanned the faces I saw… Martin in there maybe he wasn’t driving it because that was the original plan, maybe he backed out after he went into it and they had to find someone else to do the job. I don’t know or care if he did or not all I care about is him being alright.
“Hey Derrick I thought you were in the airship, what happened, Why are you way over here.”
“ Hey Martin the ship crashed and I almost died, why weren’t you on the ship. I thought you were the pilot?”
“I jumped off as soon as I got it in the air.”
“Wait, you abandoned me on the vessel while it was doomed because, what you were scared of heights? You left me to die after all we have been through. I’ve known you since childhood, I helped you at every moment I could, I’ve saved your life 3 times just today and this is what I get for it? For sacrificing a working hand, taking 2 bullets for you and killing people for you? This is what I get for being a good friend, 2 bullet wounds, a broken hand and PTSD?”
“I was ordered to by some guy on the radio at the risk of being charged with deserting, I had to because otherwise, I wouldn’t see my family again. You don’t have a family anymore, okay I don’t want to be a felon.”
“I am going don’t you dare follow me, I don’t want to see you again ever.” as I walked off somebody hit in the back of the head and I fell to the ground like a ton of bricks
I woke up with something covering my head and bounding my hands, as someone lifted up the sack. I was absolutely shocked as I saw Martin looming over me. He Betrayed our country, why would he do this. He was my best friend and now he has knocked me out and tied me to a tree.
“ I knew you betray our country, Derrick, I saw many signs along the way. When you surrendered to the Germans. I knew they would break you, how else would they know where we were located and you didn’t take down the plane flying right towards our airship. You thought that I was traitor but no I was never the pilot of the airship. I just knew that lying about would show your true colors.”
“ What in the hell are you talking about, you betrayed us and used me as a scapegoat while you soaked up all of the glory. You disgust me, you traitorist sack of crap.”
Just like that, I felt a bunch of saliva hit me in the face as he walked away. My story ended here tied to a tree and they ended up telling lies to everyone because all you need to make your truth a reality is one good lie and a river of blood because truth is just a matter of perspective.