3:21 | In a small Belgian town, Dr. Feldman rested with a young family. He describes them and then returning to battle to defeat the German troops.
Dr. Merrill Feldman recalls being drafted into the Medic training program. He describes how the 95th division trained for the Pacific or North Africa, before unexpectedly landing in Europe.
Trained to mountain climb and lower wounded soldiers over cliffs while repelling, Dr. Feldman describes how many medics were needed on Europe's battlefields in 1943.
Dr. Feldman reflects back on leaving Boston Harbor, wondering if he'd ever see it again. He relives his trip on the USS West Point traveling through bombed out parts of Liverpool before landing on the beaches where D-Day occurred.
Trained to climb cargo nets and in top physical condition, Dr. Feldman describes his trip to Omaha Beach after D-Day. He recalls the shock of seeing a cemetery where American soldiers were buried.
Dr. Feldman describes how sleeping in crowded trains and "roughing it," toughened him up, making him a member of a "Band of Brothers." He shares how they came to the aid of General Patton.
In this dramatic account, Dr. Feldman describes how he faced heavy German resistance, losing half his battalion. He vividly recalls medically treating his badly injured comrades.
Trapped in a farmhouse as a medic, Dr. Feldman describes how he used German POW's to save the lives of three Americans, the horrific sight they all witnessed, and why he was awarded the Bronze Star.
Dr. Feldman vividly recalls defeating the German resistance, seizing strategic strongholds, and participating in victory parades. Now sixty years later he describes emotional reunions with those who survived.
Battling the cold and snow, Dr. Feldman tells the dramatic story of how the Germans were defeated, what it was like to cross the German border, and eventually end up in the "Battle of the Bulge."
Remembering the snowy fields of Germany, Dr. Feldman recalls suddenly coming upon a few dead Americans lying close to dozens of dead Germans. He describes what he thinks happened.
In a small Belgian town, Dr. Feldman rested with a young family. He describes them and then returning to battle to defeat the German troops.
In a dramatic account, Dr. Feldman remembers being assigned to the 2nd Armored Division, climbing on tanks while facing the Germans, and defeating them in and around the Ruhr Valley.
Dr. Feldman vividly recalls how the Americans barrelled through German towns and villages, thwarting the resistance of German citizens.
A shocking scene during World War II still sparks Dr. Merrill Feldman's memory. He describes seeing the first Messerschmidt jet plane and the rattling of machine gun fire pointed right at his battalion.
Recalling his first encounter with Hitler's SS troops, Dr. Merrill Feldman describes how he received the Silver Star and broke the rules of the Geneva Convention.
Wounded in battle, Dr. Feldman headed out of Germany to recover. He describes where he went and what happened to his injured hand.
Returning years later to a military cemetery in Normandy, Dr. Feldman remembers being unable to find the original grave markers. He shares how the site overwhelmed him and what the burial ground represents to humanity today.
In a dramatic account, Dr. Feldman recalls attacking the Germans at night which led to a loss of American lives. He describes what it took to overpower the German resistance and how it felt to be the only medic there.
Although he was a medic and a non-combatant, Dr. Feldman remembers bullets flying around him and the moment that he picked up a gun to lead an attack against the Germans.
A mass grave and emaciated prisoners are what Dr. Feldman witnessed when he helped liberate a concentration camp. Here he describes the anger he felt and how the Americans forced a German town to bury the dead.
Fighting intensely against the SS soldiers, Dr. Feldman narrowly escaped a German sniper. He describes how he got shot in the hand and why he received the Silver Star.
Twelve years after WWII, Dr. Feldman returned to Europe with his family. In this entertaining account, he describes a hero's welcome in Belgium and swapping stories with former enemy soldiers.
After the war, Dr. Feldman headed back to college. He shares how he ended up in Harvard Medical School with dozens of fellow soldiers and the wild times that followed.
Years after WWII, Dr. Feldman was honored for his services in France. He relives those moments and how as a Jew, he was honored at a new synagogue originally destroyed during the war.
The following are Merrill Feldman’s letters mostly to his father Alfred Feldman during his time in the Army during the Second World War.
Bill Cruickshank's father secured him an appointment to West Point but, after only a month there, the Army decided it needed eighteen year olds right now in the war. Everyone born before a certain date was sent home and exposed to the draft. Then, another opportunity opened up for the avid skier. There was a new unit of ski troops being formed.
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.
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.
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.
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 news that President Roosevelt had died caused Dick Arnold to weep openly. He informed the burgermeister of Maastricht, where he was running the Army switchboard. Soon, the entire town square was filled with mourning Dutch civilians. Part 2 of 2.
Bill Cruickshank felt fortunate that he never had to face a bad artillery barrage, but he had more than enough time in a foxhole with bullets flying overhead. You never forget the noise they make when they are close.
As the ship approached San Francisco, Jack Wall was up on deck straining to catch the first sight of land. Everyone was thinking of liberty on shore. As they walked through the gate onto Market Street, all of a sudden there were horns and whistles and a loud noise of celebration. What happened?
The Okinawa campaign had ended the day before, so when Dick Whitaker and a few others set out on patrol, they had let their guard down. Sure enough, as they walked by a cornfield, there was the scream of a die hard Japanese soldier.
Dick Arnold was spent from his action outside Bastogne. He was in a lot of pain and had to be helped around but he could still operate the radio and be an interpreter. Then he got really sick and was given a new wonder drug. It was only then that they noticed he had severe effects from being nearly frozen to death.
The USS Pinkney had a dual role. The ship delivered troops to an invasion and then waited to evacuate wounded. At Okinawa, the troops were already ashore when a kamikaze plane struck it amidships. Pharmacist's Mate Jack Wall describes the incident and how he was almost a victim of it.
The newly formed ski troops were finally finding a purpose. Now part of the 10th Mountain Division, they were dispatched to Italy, where Bill Cruickshank found out that his job was going to be pushing the Germans back from their positions in the mountains above Pisa.
The men were packed in like sardines on the troop ship and Jack Wall was glad when it got to New Caledonia. He was a Navy Corpsman and Pharmacist's Mate and served in the hospital there before he went aboard ship to participate in the upcoming invasions.
They were ready. All radio operator Dick Arnold needed was clear weather and he and the forward observer he had found in the woods outside Bastogne could be an effective team. December 24th dawned bright and clear and it was just in time because the Germans were bringing in their Tiger tanks. Part 4 of 6.
It was a long recovery for Bill Cruickshank, who was wounded by machine gun fire in Italy. The hospital was in Atlantic City and, as soon as he was able, he pushed wheelchairs along the boardwalk to give more severely wounded men some recreation. This began a lifelong mission of helping others.
After what seemed like an eternity of training, Dick Arnold crossed the Atlantic to join the European campaign. On his very first day in combat, a ferocious artillery barrage pinned down the entire company. Although his group was sheltered behind a hill, he began digging in because he had been receiving some good advice. The other guys laughed at him. Then, the guns shifted their aim slightly. Part 1 of 3.
During the action at Riva Ridge near Pisa, a small group of Germans were captured by Bill Cruickshank and his men. They were dispatched to the rear and he didn't think any more about it. Years later, he was asked a question about that day which led to an extraordinary meeting.
The platoon was scattered after the disastrous attack on Sugarloaf Hill. Dick Whitaker and his buddy found a foxhole and proceeded to make it deeper. When he stopped and leaned over to light a cigarette, that's when the Japanese sniper took his shot.
The USS Pinkney was an evacuation transport. It was designed to deliver troops to an invasion site and then evacuate the wounded. The ship participated in three memorable landings, Peleliu, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Pharmacist's Mate Jack Wall recalls an episode that unfolded in the psych ward regarding a suicidal sailor.
Bill Cruickshank explains how the ski troops were used as a ruse to get the Nazis to deploy their troops in Norway, where they weren't really needed. Eventually, they were given a real task, pushing the enemy off the high mountain ridges in Italy.
Dick Arnold had been picked up by some MP's, who had a captain who was both zealous and cowardly. He was falsely accused of desertion but he was just waiting on some new footwear. Finally, with his new boots on his feet, he went looking for his unit, but they were gone. Part 3 of 3.
Jack Wall's final rank would have been one tick higher except for the one time he was late returning from liberty. He's just lucky he never got in trouble for the wild parties in the dental ward aboard ship. They had a monthly allotment of alcohol which never went to waste and once they decided to make some applejack.
After the war ended, B-24 mechanic Russell Vaudrey was prepping the planes to fly home when a monstrous typhoon hit. It lasted three days and, as they were repairing planes, a second typhoon swept in. Finally, the crews began flying what was left of their aircraft home.
Fate had brought him to a different unit and now fate found Dick Arnold on a railroad cut in the suburbs of Bastogne. A mortar shell killed the other men with him and he was all alone. He saw some footprints in the snow and it turned out to be a forward observer who had lost his radio operator. The two of them were now guarding the besieged city. Part 2 of 6.
At the train station where Bill Cruickshank was about to depart for training, he met a family of celebrities who were seeing two sons off to the same outfit. He didn't recognize the name but he would meet one of them later in Italy. The mountain training was arduous for the newly formed 10th Mountain Division, who used a lot of highly specialized gear.
What makes the difference in a soldier is that you don't quit. Dick Arnold had held on in deadly freezing weather to stop German tanks from advancing on Bastogne. The others in his ad hoc team had frozen to death and he began the long walk out of there. Part 6 of 6.