Doctor Danger Forward

A World War II Memoir of a Combat Medical Aidman, First Infantry Division


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About the Book

As a combat medical aidman of Company B, 1st Medical Battalion, First Infantry Division, Allen N. Towne experienced some of the pivotal events of World War II. “Doctor B,” as his unit was known, was attached to the 18th Regimental Combat Team and moved with them, providing continuous close medical support. Covering both little-known engagements, and such historic moments as the campaign in Sicily and the D Day landings at Omaha Beach, this book is both a memoir and a history of one of the war’s most impressive units. The text is based on both official “morning reports” and the author’s personal notes, providing accuracy as well as human insight. In Doctor Danger Forward (“danger forward” was the code name of the First Division headquarters), Towne, who received the Bronze Star and Oak Leaf Cluster for his heroism at Omaha Beach and Normandy, chronicles events both epic and intimate, profoundly serious as well as humorous. There are numerous maps and photographs, including many taken by the author.

About the Author(s)

The late Allen N. Towne was a retired engineer and businessman who received three U.S. patents, authored many technical papers, and taught at the University of New Hampshire and Northeastern University. He lived in Richmond, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Allen N. Towne

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 200
Bibliographic Info: photos, maps, index
Copyright Date: 2000
pISBN: 978-0-7864-0661-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1613-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface     1

1 Troubled Times     3
2 Pearl Harbor     6
3 Maneuvers in Scotland     12
4 The First Battle     16
5 With the British Army     27
6 Kasserine     36
7 El Guettar     42
8 Victory in North Africa     52
9 Sicily     61
10 Sicilian Interlude     79
11 Back in England     85
12 Omaha Beach     96
13 Breakout     116
14 Race Through France and Belgium    126
15 Aachen    137
16 Bloody Hürtgen    145
17 Battle of the Bulge    153
18 Crossing the Rhine    161
19 Ruhr Pocket    166
20 To the Elbe     171
21 The Last Battle     176
22 European War Over     180
23 Reflections     190

Index     193

Book Reviews & Awards

“a memoir of his service as a combat medic with the Big Red One in WWII. This excellent memoir provides much detail about World War II from a perspective not usually found in combat accounts. Thanks to…Allen Towne for [his] contribution to the great story of the Big Red One”—Bridgehead Sentinel; “Very revealing…a treasure.”—Walter D. Ehlers, Medal of Honor Recipient, First Infantry Division.