134th Infantry Regiment Crest

134th Infantry Regiment

"All Hell Can't Stop Us"

35th Infantry Division emblem

Pfc. Calvin C. Mordecai

Company E

Pfc Calvin C. Mordecai

To whom it may concern:

My family is on a journey to locate the soldier that saved my grandfather during a WWII battle in France on September 10, 1944. The battle took place at Flavigny Bridge, a bridge across the Moselle River. We realize the soldier who saved him may no longer be living, however, we would like to recognize his heroic efforts nonetheless.

Calvin Coolidge Mordecai, of Fernbank, Alabama, was a US solider during WWII. He served in the 134th Infantry Regiment in Patton's 35th Infantry Division. He landed in Normandy on July 5, 1944. Initially held behind his unit because of dental problems, he was eventually placed in Company E of the 134th Infantry Regiment as a replacement.  He was assigned the position of a B.A.R. man for his squad.

Private Calvin C. Mordecai was in a culvert under Flavigny Bridge on Sunday, September 10, 1944.  He remembers a "Sergeant and a Lieutenant" who returned to the culvert after everyone else had been evacuated.  One of the men my grandfather remembers to be a Medic/Sergeant carried another man with a leg wound over his shoulder at the same time.

After much time and effort, my father, Keith Mordecai, tracked down the man with the leg wound that was in the culvert with my grandfather. That man is Albert Bloom. My father has corresponded with Albert Bloom and both of them are positive that the last two men in the culvert that were alive were Bloom and my grandfather.

Sgt. Carroll Crouch was recognized for saving Bloom many years later, however, Crouch shared with my father that he was not the man who saved Bloom and my grandfather because the stories didn't match up.  Crouch said he took the walking wounded out of the culvert and sent medics back to the culvert to get the wounded who couldn't walk. He did not carry Bloom over his shoulder and drag my grandfather out of the culvert.

This brings us to the conclusion that it was a medic who saved my grandfather. My father interviewed my grandfather and Albert Bloom several times. My grandfather mentioned "Sergeant" and "medic" several times when he referred to the man who got him and Bloom out of the culvert. Here is an account of the culvert rescue, combining my grandfather and Albert Bloom's memories of that night:

Pvt. Mordecai was halfway across Flavigny Bridge when he was wounded in his face/eye. He escaped the shooting on the bridge in an effort to find medical attention. He was told to go into the culvert where the wounded were gathering and receiving medical attention from the medics from the 110th Medical Battalion.

Although they did not know each other at the time, Mordecai and Bloom both remembered being in the culvert with each other while the soldiers of the 134th were retreating. Mordecai had a face wound and Bloom remembers seeing a soldier laying against the wall with a head or face wound. "I recall very vividly your father lying on the culvert cobblestones with a rag over his head". Mordecai remembered a man with a bad leg wound. Bloom had a leg wound. Mordecai said he was surrounded with dying men who were begging him to, "tell my mother and father I love them" and crying "I'm dying". Mordecai was covered in his own blood and soaked in the blood of the dying men piled up all around him. Bloom remembers Mordecai had a cloth over his face.  Mordecai had white powder over his face to stop the bleeding and possibly a bandage.

At 0130 there was a huge explosion on the bridge while the two men were still in the tunnel. The German voices got closer and closer. At this point it was "every man for himself". According to the 134th journal, the "Bridge had been Knocked Out".

Mordecai said as the night wore on, more and more wounded crowded into the culvert.  At about 2:30 AM The Germans made a counter attack. Mordecai could hear the Germans shouting and someone came into the tunnel and said the Germans were about to overrun their position. They were told not to resist the Germans or "give them a hard time" and that the Germans would take care of them and give them medical attention.  Later a couple of men came to the tunnel and said, "If anyone is alive in here we will try to get you out". Mordecai recalled "they" slipped back into the tunnel and the two men were being "hush-hush".  As Mordecai recalled, the two soldiers were a Sergeant, who was a big man, and another officer (maybe a Lt?) who Mordecai thought were medics.

At this point Mordecai and Bloom were the only men alive left in the tunnel. Mordecai answered the soldiers and said that everyone was dead except for himself and the soldier with the leg wound. When the Sergeant was about to evacuate with him, Bloom asked one of the soldiers, "What about him?" referring to Mordecai.  At this point Mordecai pleaded, "Please don't leave me. I just got married". The man Mordecai believed to be a Sergeant replied, "Catch my belt".  With Bloom on his shoulder, the soldier/medic/Sergeant proceeded to drag Mordecai by the collar. Bloom's recollection of the event was that "all three stumbled out of tunnel".  During the rescue, Mordecai almost fainted three times.

They went up a hill to a road that was, "so full of fallen trees that a tank couldn't even get through".  They made their way to a jeep 300 yards away which "was way up on the mountain side". The jeep had to be left there "because of enemy fire".  Mordecai remembers getting put "on the back of the jeep next to the man with the leg wound", who turned out to be Bloom.  There were two men in the front of the jeep. The evacuation of Mordecai and Bloom occurred after a huge explosion on the bridge.  Mordecai was then taken to a hospital tent, which he remembered was "over a couple of hills and behind the lines". It was here where he was given three "quarts" (my father thinks he meant pints) of blood.  He was covered in dried blood and his clothes were so stiff that they had to be cut off of him which exposed him to the cold. Mordecai's left eye turned white for a while and they thought he might lose it but he recovered full site. Mordecai was in hospitals in Paris, where they saved his eye, and England.  After that he was sent back to the states where he remained in hospitals for another six months.

I hope these memories from Mordecai and Bloom will trigger someone's memory of the events that night so we can locate the Sergeant/medic who rescued them in the culvert under Flavigny Bridge on September 10th, 1944.

Thank You,

Wendy Mordecai-Glasscock

(Granddaughter of Pvt. Calvin Coolidge Mordecai)

If you have any information regarding the Sergeant/medic who rescued Calvin C. Mordecai and Albert Bloom please contact Wendy Mordecai-Glasscock at wendymg1969@gmail.com

Pfc. Calvin Coolidge Mordecai Pfc. Calvin Coolidge Mordecai
Link to a description of the battle at Flavigny bridge
Link to a Albert Bloom's photo and biography
Link to Sgt. Carroll Crouch's photo and biography
Link to Photo of Monument at Flavigny Bridge

Thanks to Wendy Mordecai-Glasscock for this information and pictures of her grandfather.  If you have any information regarding the Sergeant/medic who rescued Calvin C. Mordecai and Albert Bloom please contact her at wendymg1969@gmail.com

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