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During World War II, Mel Brooks served as a corporal in the U.S. army. While on patrol in France one day, he and his men stumbled upon an abandoned crate of German rifles and ammunition.

The men -- having organized a sharp-shooting contest -- were using the white insulation caps on the telephone wires as targets when an urgent radio call came through from headquarters: German guerrillas had destroyed communications with the Ninth Army by bringing down the telephone lines.

The embarrassed patrol hurried back to camp where Brooks offered to take a party out in search of the culprits. After touring the countryside, Brooks reported back to base: Amazingly, the rogue German saboteurs had mysteriously disappeared!

[Among Brooks's duties during World War II? Defusing landmines before the infantry moved in.]

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