Skip to main content

Prescott’s Logic

June 2024
1min read

The article “Prescott’s War” startled me while I was reading your February/ March issue, as Linzee Prescott was a 1942 member of my 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment Intelligence Platoon— later to be part of the 82d Airborne Division.

He was quite a bit off the wall even then, but the regimental commander, Col. James M. Gavin, was always high on Prescott’s artwork as a morale booster, and he was a regular contributor to our raunchy unit newspaper, The Static Line .

Much as we admired his art, Prescott was every bit as famous for a stroke of logic he employed as a just-dropped paratrooper in Sicily in July 1943. The challenge that night was “George Marshall”; the questioning “George?” had better be answered quickly by a hoarsely whispered “Marshall!”—or blooey. Prescott forgot it in all the excitement, so when he broke radio silence, he said, “Come in, Beechie Howard!” No German or Italian was likely to know Beechie Howard’s was a Phenix City, Alabama, bawdyhouse frequented by the jumpers. “Anybody who answered me,” Prescott explained later, “could only be a friend!” I laughed in memory of him as I turned all those pages you allocated to him. Thanks!

Enjoy our work? Help us keep going.

Now in its 75th year, American Heritage relies on contributions from readers like you to survive. You can support this magazine of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it by donating today.