The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Teakettle tea

The Spirit of Tehachapi

 

September 2, 2017

As children, my sister and I used to have tea parties. It was usually just the two of us but occasionally my brother, Buster Davis, four years my senior, would sometimes join us. His real name is Thomas but we called him Buster. A little Japanese- made tea set would be on our small table and my mother would fill our little tea pot with hot water from her teakettle. We put cream and sugar in our cups and then added the hot water. Voila! Teakettle Tea! Of course the one ingredient missing was real tea. It was fun though and we thought it tasted pretty good! My eldest brother, Everett, was nine years older than I,and on rare occasions even he would stop by and sample our wares. We were famous for our tea parties! This would have been about 1933.

Advance in time about eleven years to the waning days of December, 1944, and one would find our brother who was now PFC Thomas Davis, over in Europe during World War II, in the midst of the Battle of the Bulge. At that time the 526th Armored Infantry Battalion, to which he was attached, would find his squad bottled up due to military strategy gone awry. They were subsequently surrounded by the Germans who had made a furious last ditch counter attack creating a 60 mile bulge in the American lines. The success of this maneuver was a specially trained German unit that wore American uniforms and drove captured American vehicles. The stranded American troops could see the U.S. bombers with the star emblems on the underside of the wings, as they dropped bombs on the countryside where they were. The small squad was "holed up" in an old stone building waiting for reinforcements and orders to move. They had run out of rations and had only some water, powered milk plus some sugar remaining.

As my brother began to prepare some hot water on their tiny little military camp stove, the men began to doubt that Davis was in a normal frame of mind. There was nothing to cook. Finally they asked what in the "heck" he thought he was doing and he announced that he was making Teakettle Tea! Having never heard of Teakettle Tea they watched how he prepared it. The men soon joined in on the tea party while waiting for reinforcements to arrive. They all drank our childhood treat. It was reported that they thoroughly enjoyed it.

Reinforcements did come and they continued the advance into enemy territory on Jan. 3, 1945. The Germans were finally halted by four Infantry Divisions: the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 99th. My brother was wounded and received the Purple Heart and was commended for bravery in action. He brought his military helmet home with him for it had a large bullet hole directly through it. Fortunately it had not been on his head at the time of impact. One of those moments when providence intervened.

Two men, that I know of, here in Tehachapi, now both deceased, were also veterans of the Battle of the Bulge: Emory Hubbard and Bill Jasper. Emory's outfit under the leadership of Major General Faye B. Prickett, had gone into action on Christmas Eve of 1944. Emory and Bill, being in different outfits, never crossed paths with my brother, which is not unusual. The Battle of the Bulge lasted for over a month. The European Theatre of War ended with German surrender on May 7, of that year -- V E Day.

Sometimes a little humor can save a situation; especially the morale of military men. The Teakettle Tea event may be one of some lighter moments to be remembered by those men in my brother's squad who served in those dark days. After being honorably discharged, my brother spent 27 more years with the Los Angeles City Police Department. He, as many other World War II veterans has passed away. It's nice to think that he was able to make a difference in this world.

 
 

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