4:40 | Clifford Wilford recalls when he was first diagnosed with his Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a lot of which was attributed to his experiences with concentration camps. Seeing the inhumanity of those camps has not left him even after all these years.
Keywords : Holocaust concentration camp Americans Jew Jewish suffering United States inhumane Hitler
Clifford Wilford recalls the boat ride out to Fort Slocum off of the coast of New York. Sailing out of this precarious area, torpedoes were a real danger for all of the ships in the convoy.
While stationed in Iceland, Clifford Wilford remembers thinking that his infantry would be attacked due to their proximity to the Germans stationed in Norway. They were set on high alert on in one instance, not knowing whether they were soon to face combat.
Clifford Wilford remembers some of his infantry's encounters as they navigate through the French countryside. While in combat in France, they broke through the main line of German resistance. Continued in Part 2.
Clifford Wilford's infantry faced a number of challenges while fighting in Northern France. While facing combat in chateaus around Angiers, France, Wilford remembers the sight of a pile of dead German soldiers that has stuck with him for 70 years. Continued from Part 1.
As Clifford Wilford's infantry diverts past Paris, they encountered a few additional obstacles that they had to overcome. Wilford had to drive a Jeep across an open battlefield while his commander mapped out the locations of German artillery stations, risking fire from incoming mortar shells.
Clifford Wilford remembers when the Allies had finally liberated France from the German soldiers. During the Battle of the Bulge, they had to deal with the complications of inclement weather.
After an injury sustained in battle, Clifford Wilford found himself in the hospital out for a few days. The feeling of losing long periods of time due to sustained medical absence can leave you disoriented upon return. After his return, his company set out to capture Frankfurt, Germany.
Clifford Wilford remembers a very close encounter that led to his near-death. By slim chance, he moved locations during the night just before his previous location took a direct hit.
Clifford Wilford remembers patrolling during an artillery firing to find out why the shells were coming in so accurate. What they found was a big surprise to them.
In what was supposed to be a routine sweep of a cellar in Metz, Germany, Wilford faced one-on-one combat with a German soldier armed with a concussion grenade. The quick instincts that defined his actions in that moment are what saved his life.
Clifford Wilford recites a song from wartime that captures the essence of his experience in Europe.
It was their third mission over Berlin and they were heading home. Four German fighters pounced on the B-24 and it was engulfed in flame and going down. Clyde Burnette fought for consciousness as the other crew in the back of the plane bailed out. He woke in free fall with no idea how he had made it out, and soon he was in German custody. Everyone made it out of the plane except George "Danny" Daneau, the nose turret gunner, who went down with the aircraft.
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.
Being on the 20mm gun crew of a minesweeper, Mr. Weston had to think quickly after a nearby battleship was hit by a Japanese bomb during an inconvenient time for Mr. Weston. He received a Purple Heart for his injury, but not before heading off to fight at Saipan and Tinian.
Two engines were out, a third smoking, and they were were losing airspeed and altitude, but they were flying level and pointed home. Then time ran out for the B-17 and Don Scott had to slip down the hatch into the slipstream. Part 2 of 3.
After a nerve-wracking mission to bomb Tokyo and a typhoon, B.E. Vaughan and the destroyer O'Brien suffered a second kamikaze attack which killed all three of his hometown pals who served with him on board. Then, began the grim task of collecting the personal belongings of the dead and preparing them for burial at sea.
After being captured, John Rodgers met an old friend at the camp where he was being held. While being brought back to Rome by his captors, Rodgers was able to buy some sustenance for himself and his friends that kept them going as they were transferred to Poland. (Part 1)
Willis Brown was drafted out of college into the Army and headed south to Turner Field in Georgia. He didn't like the way he was treated there and asked for a transfer, but was denied. He reveals how he beat the system and got out of there.
His unit went ashore at Oran, Algeria and Willis Brown says it was beautiful and exotic. He was good with languages and he tells how he made friends among the locals. He did the same thing when they moved on to Italy.
When Willis Brown returned home after his deployment to Africa and Italy, he made full use of his GI benefits. After getting two history degrees, he picked up a degree in education, which served him well in a long teaching career.
January 21st, 1945, John Rodgers and his fellow officers began on the longest forced march of World War II. From Szubin, Poland, they were forced to march over 300 miles in 47 days. It took some time, but General Patton’s forces were able to liberate the prisoners as the war in Europe came to an end.
William Weston remembers minesweeping and how they would assist American ships navigate through minefields. There were many instances where ships would be hit by a mine and get sunk. He was also in charge of manning the large machine guns during a deployment in the Philippines.