I was supposed to go check to see why a knucklehead had not turned in his shotgun after coming in from a convoy. He was laying on his bunk. I sat down on the bunk directly beside of his with a clipboard and when I asked him about the shotgun, he acted surprised and sais, “Oh yea, I guess I forgot to turn it in.” He got up and pulled the mattress back and there was the shotgun.
He pulled out the shotgun and sat down on his bunk holding it in his lap. As I was writing on my clip board, I he had the shotgun, a 12 gage stevens 520-30 pointed in my general direction but then he started messing with it and before I knew it the shotgun was pointed directly at my face. I said, “What’s the matter with you? Don’t you know you don’t point a weapon in somebody’s face?” I put my hand up and with the back of my fingers, pushed the end of the barrel away from my face to the left. At the same time he said, “Don’t worry, it’s not loaded, see?” and proceeded to pull the trigger, blowing a hole in a wall locker right beside me. I remember him saying, “OH SHIT!” as I could hear some of the lead pellets falling to the wall locker floor.
The blast took me by surprise but I jumped on him and wrenched the shotgun away. A bunch of guys came running and separated us because I would have killed him. I looked at the wall locker with the neat fist-sized hole and was curious to see what damage it had done to the contents. I opened the door and there were several uniforms hanging, all with a big hole in them. I moved some of them and more pellets fell to the floor. I picked up a few of them and placed them in a film canister that I keep to this day.
JAMES R LYLES
359th TRANSPORTATION COMPANY