Directed: Paul Stanley
Written: Art Wallace
Released: 1 Jan 1963
This is probably one of the most poignant episodes that I’ve seen of all the Combats episodes.
This story surrounds a man in Saunder’s squad, Pvt Paul Villers. He has been looking for his father Emile Villers in the little village of Beauville, France that they just had a battle in.
In the fire fight, Saunders has Caje cover for him as he sneaks up to a machine gun position to throw a grenade in. Normal machine gun crews usually consist of 3 men, however, I only saw one dead German so that’s all I’m going to credit Saunders with.
Pvt. Paul Villers is played by Chris Robinson. I would have thought that he would’ve been in a few more episodes of Combat but he only made an appearance on this one. Will Kuluva played his father Emile Villers.
They find a couple of French partisan fighters who were shot behind the head execution style. Saunders wants to know if one of them is Paul Villers’ father, but neither dead Frenchmen were.
Saunders and Villers get permission to search for Paul’s father. They finally find his house and meet his reluctant aunt Claire Bouchard. She invites them into their house where he meets his father Emile.
In the meantime, Henri Fouquet, a one armed resistance fighter warns a lieutenant that Paul will have to be a good soldier in order to deal with the truth about his father.
Saunders agrees to let Paul visit with his father as the guys in the squad are all dug in. Paul, Emile and Claire sit around the dinner table and get reacquainted.
Pvt. Villers doesn’t show up when he’s supposed with the squad so Saunders goes back into town to find him. He gets to the Villers’ house just in time to find Henri Fouquet and another man arresting Emile. Saunders tells them all to put the guns down while pointing his Tommy gun at them.
Henri Fouquet tells Saunders and Paul about Emile being a traitor and a collaborator and how they’re going to put him on trial.
Emile Villers is adamant that he is not a “collaborator”. He said the word with the exaggerated French accent which was pretty funny. Instead of pronouncing the ending as “tor” he pronounced it with a “tell”.
Saunders comes into the house and he orders the French to let Paul’s father go with his Tommy gun pointed at them. After Henri Fouquet explains that they’re arresting Emile and explains it to Saunders, the Sgt. agrees that it’s not something that they can get interfere with, that those are the “regulations”.
The Germans fire artillery fire into town once again and there’s a firefight as they push back into town wounding a couple of G.I.’s.
Saunders was ordered to do a recon back into the Beauville are because S2 wanted to find out if there are any Krauts still there. Saunders, knowing that Villers is desperate to find out what happened to his father takes Pvt. Villers with him back into town.
Saunders and Villers get to Henri Fouquet’s house, only to find his wife rocking back and forth in sadness because the Germans had picked him up.
She kept saying “Il est mort.” He is dead. Then she started yelling at them hysterically. They left his house before she could raise every Kraut in the area.
As they left, a couple of Germans came around the corner. Saunders was able to get a burst with his Tommy gun which took out one of Germans but he was able to get a shot at Saunders, wounding him in the lower left part of his gut. Villers shot the other German. He then gathers Saunders up to bring him to his father, Emile Villers’ because he’s a doctor. Unfortunately, they drop Saunders’ patrol cap behind on the ground by accident as they left.
Emile patched Saunders up and tells Paul that he’ll live longer than both of them. Saunders is in the back room recovering. A German ammunition supply dump gets blown up with a loud explosion in the mean time and Paul is very concerned and upset after a patient comes to the doctor’s office and he overhears her telling the Docotr how the Germans searched all the houses in the village except for the Doctor’s house.
Saunders and Paul prepare to attempt to go back to their lines when a German Colonel arrives in his staff car and knocks on Emile’s door.
They hid in the back room while the Colonel talks to Emile about the indigestion problems the war is causing him, making it impossible to sleep. While talking with each other Saunders and Paul overhear what could be taken as banter that is familiar between the Colonel and the Doctor as if they’ve exchanged information before.
After they left, it’s difficult for Emile to defend himself to Paul that he is not a collaborator to the Germans. You could tell that Emile is horrified that his son found this out about him and he is trying everything to convince him otherwise.
Claire had agreed to take them back to their lines in their car. They gather Saunders up and Paul takes his Tommy gun but leaves his M1 behind. While walking to the car outside, a couple of German sentries that were posted at the house were alerted and they stopped them on the spot.
All of a sudden Emile comes rushing out of the house and fires on the two sentries, immediately killing one and after the other one got a shot off, killed him as well.
Unfortunately, one of the bullets hits Emile and he dies. He said something to Paul with his dying breath but I didn’t catch what it was.
After Claire drops Saunders and Paul off before the check point, she says to Paul in French – “Remember how much your father wanted to stay alive? That will tell you how much he loved you.” Claire is adamant about going back even though it will mean that the Nazis will kill her. She tells Paul that she has already died long ago when she closed her eyes to what was going on.
I took that to mean, to stay alive so that he could see Paul again?
Saunders killed 2 Germans