Selma vet remembers ‘angels’ on battlefield

Published 5:38 pm Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Among Pete Edwards’ memories of his time serving in World War II is an account of two “angels” coming to his rescue as he was under fire in a field.

“The Lord was looking after me,” Edwards said.

As he was scouting a field, Edwards began receiving rifle fire from a gunman stationed in a nearby farmhouse.

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He took off running through the field when two soldiers appeared, seemingly out of nowhere.

“I was certain that they were put there,” Edwards said. “They got the rifleman and I didn’t see them anymore. They just disappeared.”

Edwards landed on Omaha Beach out of England only three days after the initial invasion and ended up fighting Nazis across France, Belgium, Holland and Germany, eventually running into Soviet troops who were pursuing the Germans from the other side.

“We really fought them all the way through France, Belgium and Holland,” Edwards said. “I was up front most of the time, but I never got wounded. I could see the Germans a lot when we were fighting, but I never got hurt.”

Edwards remembers being on the frontlines fighting the Germans as his brother was overhead dropping bombs from a B-17.

“Thank the Lord we both made it through,” Edwards said.

His brother ended up running 34 bombing missions during the war.

A month away from his 99th birthday, Edwards still remembers clearly seeing General Dwight Eisenhower, who would later become president, checking in on troops in the middle of the action, once even stopping to have lunch with Edwards and the 35th Infantry with which he was situated.

The only injury Edwards sustained during the war was a flesh wound on his hand, caused by artillery fragments from a German shell that exploded at the top of an embankment he was hiding in.

“It was tough there on the beach in France,” Edwards said, recalling storming German positions as paratroopers fell from the skies behind them. “I was on the frontline quite a bit.”