14:43 | Mathew Sikorski was a 10 year old boy in Warsaw when the Nazis invaded Poland. He describes the effect on his family, the terrible acts of the occupying force, and the close call when an artillery shell hit his apartment.
Keywords : Mathew Sikorski Warsaw Poland Jewish Ghetto
As a young boy in Warsaw during the Nazi occupation, Mathew Sikorski witnessed many roundups of civilians in the streets, including this incident when he encountered German soldiers while riding home on his bicycle.
Although he was just a boy when Nazis forced the Jews of Warsaw into a walled ghetto, Mathew Sikorski has vivid memories of this time, including the heroics of Irena Sendler and Maximilian Kolbe, who saved thousands of Jews from the death camps.
Mathew Sikorski relates his family's odyssey during and after the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, which led to separation from his father and his exile to forced labor in Hameln, Germany. (Warsaw Uprising and Exile- Part 1 of 2)
Mathew Sikorski relates his family's odyssey during and after the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, which led to separation from his father and his exile to forced labor in Hameln, Germany. (Warsaw Uprising and Exile- Part 2 of 2)
Several unusual events during his time in forced labor in Hameln, Germany, are recalled by Polish exile Mathew Sikorski, including close encounters with attacking Allied planes.
Polish exile Mathew Sikorski recalls the joy of liberation when Allied troops entered the town of Hameln, Germany where he and his mother were assigned to work in a blanket factory.
Mathew Sikorski tells how he attempted to find out the details of his father's death in a concentration camp and then opines on the greater moral issues regarding the Nazi and Soviet occupations of his Polish homeland.
The regular Navy looked down on reservists like him, according to Harry Beeman, but when the points were totaled at the end of the war, he had 139 when it took 80 to earn a discharge. That led to the 22 year old sailor getting the Bronx cheer from his elders as he walked off his ship and headed home.
After a mission, Mitch Touart and his crew notice that one of the planes has gone missing, only to find out that it has crashed into an embankment. COL Dunning ends up having to make a tragic decision about SGT Edelman, who is trapped in the aircraft.
During the battle of Midway, Harry Beeman was part of a crack swim team aboard the USS Ellet that pulled survivors from sinking warships out of the water. They did this while dodging torpedoes from a Japanese submarine, and months later, they got their revenge on that particular ship.
The first operation for the 4th Division was the landing on Roi-Namur. Lawrence Snowden remembers that, though it was an easy victory, valuable combat experience and important lessons were imparted on the Marines.
On his destroyer, Harry Beeman's nickname was Little Deadeye because of his prowess shooting down Japanese planes. He attributes his anti-aircraft gun skills to a childhood filled with BB gun adventures. One particular plane gave him a little trouble, though.
Gilbert Jensen had a best friend named Billy Ricketts. The war caught up with their friendship on a three man patrol in the jungle of Guadalcanal. Other combat memories from this time include a night attack on a Japanese camp and nighttime Japanese banzai attacks.
Eugene Whitfield tells the story of the twin kamikaze attacks on the aircraft carrier Ticonderoga. The first plane caught them by surprise when the Japanese pilot came straight down out of the sun. The second one hit the bridge and the captain was wounded, but he proved to be very tough.
Harry Beeman was excited to be leaving home and heading out to fight the Japanese in the Navy, but that excitement was nearly crushed by boring home front duty. He nagged the Chiefs every day until it paid off with an assignment aboard a combat ship.
As Al Brown's unit moved North from Italy into the Rhone Valley, the Germans fought very skillful delaying actions. Digging in near Belmont, France, he noticed an officer and a radio operator casually sitting in the open. Before long, they were all running.
Harry Beeman should have a Purple Heart. His wounds were serious but he didn't want to get sent to a hospital ship, so he hid in the tiny sick bay until he recovered. Now he wishes he had played it straight. He also survived the routine medical care on a US Navy destroyer, some of which rivaled enemy torture.
Destroyers were the cowboys of the fleet, says Gunner's Mate Harry Breeman. They rode herd on carrier task forces like Old West cowboys rode herd on cattle drives. He got a break from his regular duties when the call went out for volunteers to pilot Higgins boats that were ferrying troops to shore.
Harold Darden, along with 3 fellow students, decided to enlist in order to, "Whip up on them Germans." After an unusual problem involving a urine sample, they were sent back to Auburn for pre-radar school. As it turned out, this training was never used.