Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans


Newton Riess | Multiple Units - Army

4:25   |   New York City native Newton Riess enlisted in 1939 and his first drills were with broomsticks. After basic training he was attached to the Navy to learn to operate Higgins boats and participated in maneuvers at Guantanamo Bay.

More From Newton Riess

Keywords   :     Newton Riess    New York City    Brooklyn    Governor's Island    Higgins Boat    Fort Devens    Guantanamo Bay (Gitmo)    Pearl Harbor    leave

Videos ( 7 )
  • Newton Riess  |  WWII  |  Multiple Units  |  4:38

    After Pearl Harbor, leaves were cancelled, but that policy eased and Newton Riess and a few buddies headed to New York City for a little fun. They had a little too much fun and ran into some MP's who had a grudge against their unit.

  • Newton Riess  |  WWII  |  Multiple Units  |  6:35

    It was disgusting down below in the Queen Mary so Newton Riess went up on deck to escape the smell. In England he boarded another ship for he knew not where. It was Oran in North Africa. After a successful landing there, where he picked up some shrapnel, Tunisia was next.

  • Newton Riess  |  WWII  |  Multiple Units  |  5:04

    Newton Riess did not like the position where his platoon was placed and he mentioned it to a captain to no avail. Sure enough, his unit was nearly routed by the Germans. He was hit by shrapnel again and sent to the hospital where he saw some ladies from the Red Cross doing something deceitful.

  • Newton Riess  |  WWII  |  Multiple Units  |  4:44

    It isn't often in war that you are sent to a place you could describe as "heaven." That's exactly what happened to Newton Riess while he was recuperating from wounds in Algeria.

  • Newton Riess  |  WWII  |  Multiple Units  |  5:38

    The war was over in Tunisia and his unit was sent to England to prepare for the upcoming invasion. Newton Riess was left behind and he was mad about this until he heard the casualty reports. He wound up in Italy where he was selected for a special unit that reconditioned wounded soldiers before they returned to the front.

  • Newton Riess  |  WWII  |  Multiple Units  |  1:50

    It was apparent to Newton Riess that the older Germans were not enthusiastic about the war and the younger ones were the diehards. The little kids in Italy were certainly enthusiastic about following the American soldiers around.

  • Newton Riess  |  WWII  |  Multiple Units  |  3:17

    Newton Riess recalls some of the things that made an impression on him in North Africa and Italy: some men who did not want to return to the front, a guy who just would not do KP and a Japanese Nisei soldier, whose unit was repeatedly given the most dangerous assignments.

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