More than 70 years have passed since a day that was, and remains for me, unimaginable. My father, Don Wedewer, was nearly dead. In fact, he should have been dead.
Then a 19-year-old Army infantry private, he lay badly wounded in slushy snow, fading in and out of consciousness, his face bleeding from the blast that moments before had shattered the hospital in Liège, Belgium, where he was a patient. It was November 24, 1944, the day after Thanksgiving, and almost three years since the United States had entered World War II. The hospital had been shredded by a German V-1 “Buzz Bomb.” The Vergeltungswaffe 1—Revenge Weapon No. 1, as it was called by the Germans—was an indiscriminate terror weapon, a long-range flying bomb loaded with almost 2,000 pounds of high explosives. It was a cross between a SCUD missile of First Gulf War infamy and a flying improvised explosive device (IED) of more recent notoriety in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Like later weapons, the V-1 was crude but gruesomely effective, exacting revenge by indiscriminately destroying and killing everything and everyone in its path.
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