George Shee's World War II
By Mia Evans-Saracual
The 700 Club
The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, catapulted the United States - and millions of her young men - into a brutal world war.
George Shee, a 22 year old minor league baseball player who aspired to play in the big leagues, was one of them. “Uncle Sam said, ‘Come on, play on my team.’ So I had to go in the military for 3 years.”
He had only been married six months to his young bride, Evelyn, when he kissed her goodbye, and joined in the fight against Nazi Germany and its allies. “I was in the 342nd Ordinance Company. We carried parts for jeeps, trucks and tanks. When I was overseas my wife was back home praying for me, and I needed all the prayers I could get.”
George carried those prayers with him through boot camp, and eventually to the beaches of Normandy. He was part of the third wave of allied troops to invade France. “When we were on the landing craft coming into the beachhead, you could hear the guns. I said, ‘It sounds like a war going on up there, don’t it? I wish I could turn around and go back.’ But you couldn’t. You had to go on. When that big door opened on that landing craft, why, out you go.”
In the months following, allied forces pushed northward into Belgium. By now Hitler was desperate, and launched his final major offensive known as the Battle of the Bulge. George’s unit was there, delivering supplies to U.S. soldiers on the front lines.
One day, while driving back from a routine supply run, George and two of his fellow soldiers got lost. “Getting lost in a combat zone is not very healthy. The Germans had a habit of turning road signs around. As they would retreat, they would turn road signs around, which made a confusing situation more confusing.”
George was desperate to find his unit, and made a wrong turn. “As soon as I got on that road, a voice inside of me kept saying, ‘Turn around. Turn around. Turn around!’ I think that was the Lord talking to me. I kept driving down this road and the whole time I felt like ‘Well, I better turn around.’ I looked down the road and there was a lone American soldier walking towards us. I thought, ‘Well, that’s strange. What’s he doing out here by himself?’”
George feared the man could be a German soldier disguised as an American. Using all caution, he stopped to ask the soldier for directions. “He said ‘If I was you, I wouldn’t go down this road any further. You might run into something you don’t want to.’ So I said, ‘Okay, thanks,’ and I turned the jeep around.”
“I thought, ‘I’ll pick this guy up. Give him a lift.’ Well this is out on a straight road, and open fields on each side. He was gone. There’s no way a human being could disappear that quick. I believe to this day that wasn’t a guy. That was an angel. When I get to heaven, I’m going to ask the Lord to let me talk to that angel.”
If that soldier hadn’t shown up, George and his buddies might not have made it home. “The enemy was down that road. It had to be. And if I hadn’t turned around, we’d have been either captured or killed. It had to be. I think the Lord sent an angel down to turn me around. He couldn’t do it talking to me, so He sent one of His angels down to turn me around. He answered my wife’s prayers because He pulled me through.”
When the war ended in 1945, George returned home to his beloved wife. They lived a quiet life in Louisville, Kentucky, where he went to work for the railroad. He and Evelyn raised two sons, and celebrated more than 50 years of marriage. Sadly, Evelyn passed away in 1995. But the couple’s legacy of faith in Jesus Christ still lives on.
George often thinks back to that day in 1944. “God stepped in and spared me that day. I was 22 years old. And He could have easily have taken me. But He spared me. And now I’m 90 years old. And I thank him for every year.”
George shares his faith with other war veterans. “I’m proud that I was able to serve my country during one of the biggest wars in history. And I survived it. You ought to be proud of what service you did for your country. If you’re a survivor, you can thank the Lord. Cause He had to pull you through. There’s no one else can do it.”
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