Ernest Aroffo attempted to enlist in 1942 but he didnít weigh enough and was turned away. He was drafted six months later in 1942. He was sent to Fort Custer for training in October 1942, and stayed there for two years at the request of his superiors. In 1944 he was sent to Fort Sheridan for more training, and then onto the field hospital group at Camp Grant in Illinois. His last stop in the US was in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he was promoted to 1st Sergeant of the 1st platoon.
He and his fellow soldiers arrived at Normandy beach in October 1944 after D-day. He describes his experience arriving on the beach after the battle. His mobile hospital unit was comprised of 29 men, two nurses and two doctors. Their job was to work with the 3rd Army and keep up with them, and to perform medical services, mainly surgery. His unit traveled with two jeeps, a two & one-half ton truck and an ambulance, while the 3rd Army was mostly a mechanized division.
From France they traveled through Belgium and Luxembourg and stayed about three days in each location. Eventually his unit and the 3rd Army would enter Germany and visit cities like Metz and Nuremberg. As Sergeant of the 1st platoon, he had control of duties in the ranks. The mobile unit mainly worked within cities using ambulances to transport those in need of treatment (from the field and those within the cities), they were within 15 minutes of conflict so they had access to the wounded. His unit did enter a concentration camp and was assigned to delouse the detainees. He describes what he saw including the barracks and the victims. His last stop was Nuremberg and he describes the two hospital buildings he worked in and the patients he saw.
While in Germany with the 3rd Army, he volunteered to rescue an injured man in a snow-covered minefield. He successfully brought him back to the medical unit. He was twice given a bronze star for his heroism. The first was from General Patton, who at the time was not a full 4-star General, and thus without the proper authority to award the star. So a second General, a 4-star, awarded him a second bronze star later.
He kept a memorandum while overseas documenting the experiences he had. His old platoon now meets as a veterans group.