6:49 | On his way to a German stalag, Jack Roan was shown a camp where prisoners were starving, perhaps to scare him. When he got to his own camp, it was large and filthy. He jumped at the chance to become a laborer for a German farmer.
Keywords : Jack Roan Stalag II-B Germany Prisoner Of War (POW) starving lice farm labor Ukrainian
He thought some of the things he had to do in basic training were stupid, like getting up early and running, but Jack Roan came to appreciate later the preparation he got there. He went first to North Africa, where he encountered the legendary General George Patton.
Jack Roan has a scar on his arm that he received from a mounted German soldier who attacked him in a manner that was straight out of the nineteenth century. It took place in North Africa, where he was found himself without a unit after being in the hospital. They had shipped out, so he volunteered for Ranger training. Big mistake.
The Ranger battalion was supposed to make it to a certain point in Italy by nightfall, but rain and mud slowed them down. The result was that the Germans were already there and had a distinct advantage. Jack Roan describes the humiliating surrender of hundreds of Rangers that followed.
He was sick with dysentery, but Jack Roan was determined to escape. The Germans were marching prisoners aimlessly on the road, so security was lax. He and two others made their move during a big storm. They hid in the woods and took potatoes from fields until they made contact with allies.
Byron Hale describes leaving England heading to Belgium in an LST filled with Artillery. The Battle of the Bulge is getting underway and Byron witnesses first hand being shelled by German 88's. Byron has to scramble to find medical attention for his 1st Lieutenant after receiving a shrapnel injury.
Normally, there would have been two Marines to a foxhole, but the 22nd had lost so many that most men were alone. Jack Houston remembers getting no sleep that long, Okinawa night because of the falling parachute flare casings landing all around him. When he moved out the next day, a bullet cracked past his ear, which caused him to begin a bad habit. Part 3 of 6. (This interview made possible with the support of JOHN & BARBARA MCCOY.)
John Holeman caught up with the 44th Division at Luneville in France. They made the new replacement a B.A.R. man. Heavier than a rifle, the Browning Automatic was, essentially, a small machine gun. Their first day moving out, a German artillery barrage sent him into a wet ditch, where he decided on a wardrobe adjustment. That same day, he watched a lone German fighter pilot parachute from the only enemy plane sent against them.
The POW's rose before dawn for their work detail, but the German guard said there would be no work that day. Instead they set out on a march toward the American lines. Canadian Paratrooper Dennis Trudeau didn't know it yet, but the Russians were approaching. After the guards abandoned them, the search for friendly forces began. Soon the hungry men would have some food, too much food as it turned out. (This interview made possible with the support of SUZANNE & RALPH HUDGENS honor of Malcom Skinner.)
John Laster never felt the enemy "had anything big enough or good enough to keep me from coming back...I am still here, some of them are not." He swears he is ready to go back and he urges vets to leave a history and a record as he has done.
On a night patrol, LT Bill Dahlman was riding on the back of a tank with four of his comrades. As they approached a bridge, they decided it would be best to go on foot to check and see if the area was clear of explosives. The moment Bill jumped off the tank, a mortar shell landed on him. His friends pulled him out and waited for a jeep to take him to a hospital. This injury would earn him a Purple Heart.
Jonathan Swift describes the numerous layers of clothing he and his squad wore when up in the air. The freezing temperatures at that altitude made using the relief tube nearly impossible. Swift's comrade Bill Bason (a navigator in a different squad) was confronted with a frozen escape hatch when his plane was coming down.
Liberated POW Hugh Lee Young and his fellows were stopped from entering nearby Mauthausen concentration camp by Allied guards because they feared that the freed men would massacre the Germans. No reserve duty for him after, "I had about all I could do."