Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans


Fred King | 45th Infantry Division - Army

4:41   |   The artillery barrage was bad enough but, when Fred King hunkered down in a foxhole to get cover, a German tank parked right over it. He had to wait quite a while to get out of that hole. It wasn't much later that another barrage from the hills above Anzio caught up with him and rang his bell. Part 2 of 3.

More From Fred King

Keywords   :     Fred King    Italy    Anzio    German    artillery fire    tank    88mm gun    password    shrapnel

Videos ( 7 )
  • Fred King  |  WWII  |  45th Infantry Division  |  3:38

    Like many high school seniors at the time, Fred King rushed to enlist after the attacks on Pearl Harbor. He had to wait until a few months after he entered college but he became an infantryman destined for Europe.

  • Fred King  |  WWII  |  45th Infantry Division  |  6:34

    Fred King entered the Italian campaign at Naples, where the rations were plentiful and not bad, but his unit was soon packed up and prepped for the Anzio operation. The brass had decided this would distract the Germans. It did not work out that way. Part 1 of 3.

  • Fred King  |  WWII  |  45th Infantry Division  |  4:55

    He was unable to move. That was the concussion. The bleeding was from shrapnel. Once Fred King came around and got some medical attention, he was right back at the front. In addition to the German artillery, he was nearly done in by an ox. Part 3 of 3.

  • Fred King  |  WWII  |  45th Infantry Division  |  5:31

    Even before the push on Rome began, Fred King's feet were in terrible shape. He kept going anyway and he narrowly escaped, again, his entire unit being nearly wiped out, this time by a German plane. He went back for supplies and took over the BAR when no one else knew how to clean it. These things got him a medal and he nearly made it to Rome before his feet gave out.

  • Fred King  |  WWII  |  45th Infantry Division  |  4:14

    It was at a hospital in Naples that Fred King was able to meet his brother. He had been evacuated with trench foot and nearly lost one of them before he recovered. That would come back in the States and it would be a long struggle.

  • Fred King  |  WWII  |  Multiple Units  |  3:09

    After recovering from what the snow and ice did to his feet, Fred King was assigned to Fort Belvoir, where he worked with the payroll until the atomic bomb ended the war. He went back to college and wound up in a career he had never considered.

  • Fred King  |  WWII  |  45th Infantry Division  |  4:46

    He thinks about the war sometimes but it could just be odd details. How did he find his way through a maze of barbed wire? How does a concussion wave do what it does? Fred King prayed a lot while he was there and it must have helped. He survived three different disasters.

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