Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans

COMBAT STORIES FROM World War II

Charles York | Battery B, 375th Field Artillery Battalion, 100th Infantry Division, 7th Army

2:49   |   Shortly after the Battle of the Bulge, Charles York was startled by the sight of a German jet fighter easily outrunning two Allied fighters. It was a frightening thought, that the enemy might have been able to manufacture more of them. (This interview made possible with the support of COL ROBERT W. RUST, USMCR (ret.) in honor of LtGen Lawrence Snowden & LtGen George Christmas.)

More From Charles York

Keywords   :     Charles York    Forward Observer (FO)    7th Army    Battle of the Bulge    George Patton    German    jet    Messerschmitt    morale

Videos ( 10 )
WWII
  • Charles York  |  WWII  |  Battery B, 375th Field Artillery Battalion, 100th Infantry Division, 7th Army  |  6:37

    He passed a test in high school that sent him to Cornell University with the promise of a commission and an engineering degree, but the Army needed infantry more than engineers so Charles York went to basic training and became part of the 100th Infantry Division. After a queasy Atlantic crossing, he landed in Marseille where he was advised by veteran troops on the dangers he would face. (This interview made possible with the support of COL ROBERT W. RUST, USMCR (ret.) in honor of LtGen Lawrence Snowden & LtGen George Christmas.)

  • Charles York  |  WWII  |  Battery B, 375th Field Artillery Battalion, 100th Infantry Division, 7th Army  |  4:12

    Charles York was fortunate to be assigned to the 100th Infantry Division. It was being filled at the same time as the 106th, which was decimated at the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge. His first job in the artillery battalion was just carrying shells, but they needed more forward observers and he was glad to move into that job. That outlook was soon modified. (This interview made possible with the support of COL ROBERT W. RUST, USMCR (ret.) in honor of LtGen Lawrence Snowden & LtGen George Christmas.)

  • Charles York  |  WWII  |  Battery B, 375th Field Artillery Battalion, 100th Infantry Division, 7th Army  |  4:06

    Charles York had just been reassigned as a forward observer when he pushed toward the Maginot Line, where the Germans had turned the big guns around to face the advancing American troops. He was close when they fired over his head and glad the shells were directed elsewhere. He was in charge of communications for the team which usually meant laying phone wire because the radios were unreliable. (This interview made possible with the support of COL ROBERT W. RUST, USMCR (ret.) in honor of LtGen Lawrence Snowden & LtGen George Christmas.)

  • Charles York  |  WWII  |  Battery B, 375th Field Artillery Battalion, 100th Infantry Division, 7th Army  |  2:43

    He was the communications specialist for the forward observer team, so Charles York had the job of laying phone wire back to the headquarters position. There was one problem, it was right through the middle of an active mine field. (This interview made possible with the support of COL ROBERT W. RUST, USMCR (ret.) in honor of LtGen Lawrence Snowden & LtGen George Christmas.)

  • Charles York  |  WWII  |  Battery B, 375th Field Artillery Battalion, 100th Infantry Division, 7th Army  |  3:53

    They dug in every night from the fall of 1944 through the Spring of 1945. It was always rainy, and Charles York remembers waking up cold and wet. All the men in his unit had good German down coats, though, liberated from a factory, and they avoided frozen feet, thanks to some good advice. (This interview made possible with the support of COL ROBERT W. RUST, USMCR (ret.) in honor of LtGen Lawrence Snowden & LtGen George Christmas.)

  • Charles York  |  WWII  |  Battery B, 375th Field Artillery Battalion, 100th Infantry Division, 7th Army  |  3:19

    Charles York describes the effects his artillery fire had on enemy positions and then the frightening feeling of being under an enemy artillery barrage. You could hear mortars or artillery pieces but there was one weapon, the 88mm gun, that fired with such a rapid velocity you could not hear the round coming. (This interview made possible with the support of COL ROBERT W. RUST, USMCR (ret.) in honor of LtGen Lawrence Snowden & LtGen George Christmas.)

  • Charles York  |  WWII  |  Battery B, 375th Field Artillery Battalion, 100th Infantry Division, 7th Army  |  6:10

    Charles York had found an excellent observing position in a house overlooking the river. When his Lieutenant left to summon support to hold the position, he heard a clatter and saw eight Germans approaching up the hill. He waited until they passed, and then stepped out and demanded that they surrender. However, his unit later came across an SS infantry training camp, which led to a bloody battle. (This interview made possible with the support of COL ROBERT W. RUST, USMCR (ret.) in honor of LtGen Lawrence Snowden & LtGen George Christmas.)

  • Charles York  |  WWII  |  Battery B, 375th Field Artillery Battalion, 100th Infantry Division, 7th Army  |  2:25

    In the waning days of the war, Charles York came across many slave labor camps, but he was spared the terrible sight of extermination camps. The stories he heard were gruesome enough. (This interview made possible with the support of COL ROBERT W. RUST, USMCR (ret.) in honor of LtGen Lawrence Snowden & LtGen George Christmas.)

  • Charles York  |  WWII  |  Battery B, 375th Field Artillery Battalion, 100th Infantry Division, 7th Army  |  4:23

    After six months of continuous combat, the 100th Division was sent into reserve and Charles York got some much needed rest. He came down with a case of yellow jaundice and had to spend some time in the hospital. Once he recovered, he guarded a train of returning Soviet slave laborers, which gave him some ideas about the Soviet regime. (This interview made possible with the support of COL ROBERT W. RUST, USMCR (ret.) in honor of LtGen Lawrence Snowden & LtGen George Christmas.)

  • Charles York  |  WWII  |  1st Allied Airborne Army  |  4:26

    He had to serve in the post-war occupation of Berlin and that was an experience in itself. Charles York describes the chaotic times and the hustles of the victorious Allied soldiers as they tried to make a buck. For a while, the currency standard was a pack of American cigarettes. (This interview made possible with the support of COL ROBERT W. RUST, USMCR (ret.) in honor of LtGen Lawrence Snowden & LtGen George Christmas.)

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