Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans

COMBAT STORIES FROM World War II

Jerry Roettgers | 263rd Infantry Regiment, 66th Infantry Division - Army

6:19   |   It was a containing action around a superior German force on the French coast. There were daily patrols and it was Jerry Roettgers turn after a night of heavy snow. As they snooped around behind the German lines, trying to locate enemy artillery, they were ambushed and he looked at a lot of guns aimed at him. (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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Keywords   :     Jerry Roettgers    patrol    snow    German    machine gun    captured

Videos ( 5 )
WWII
  • Jerry Roettgers  |  WWII  |  263rd Infantry Regiment, 66th Infantry Division  |  5:56

    Jerry Roettgers saw himself as a fighter pilot, but when he was drafted, the reason they said no was quite a surprise to him. So, he became an infantryman, but when his unit was ready to go, the War Department had a different idea. (This interview made possible with the support of COL ROBERT W. RUST, USMCR (ret.) in honor of LtGen Lawrence Snowden & LtGen George Christmas.)

  • Jerry Roettgers  |  WWII  |  263rd Infantry Regiment, 66th Infantry Division  |  3:47

    Jerry Roettgers was finally shipping out to Europe. He was waiting in England when the Battle of the Bulge happened and his unit was rushed to the docks to cross the Channel. By chance, he was not on the SS Leopoldville when it was torpedoed and went down with a great loss of life. (This interview made possible with the support of COL ROBERT W. RUST, USMCR (ret.) in honor of LtGen Lawrence Snowden & LtGen George Christmas.)

  • Jerry Roettgers  |  WWII  |  263rd Infantry Regiment, 66th Infantry Division  |  4:21

    There were pockets of German troops on the French Atlantic coast who were blockaded and contained, but that didn't stop them from capturing Jerry Roettgers in January of 1945. He was interrogated by a mysterious German who was fluent in English. (This interview made possible with the support of COL ROBERT W. RUST, USMCR (ret.) in honor of LtGen Lawrence Snowden & LtGen George Christmas.)

  • Jerry Roettgers  |  WWII  |  263rd Infantry Regiment, 66th Infantry Division  |  5:20

    The American and French prisoners were kept in an old seaplane hangar near the German submarine pens in Saint Nazaire. The German officer in charge of the prisoners knew the end of the war was coming, so he was gracious to his unwilling guests, including Jerry Roettgers. (This interview made possible with the support of COL ROBERT W. RUST, USMCR (ret.) in honor of LtGen Lawrence Snowden & LtGen George Christmas.)

  • Jerry Roettgers  |  WWII  |  263rd Infantry Regiment, 66th Infantry Division  |  3:24

    It was their first exercise in the field after basic training. Jerry Roettgers recalls how it rained all night while they dug foxholes in the muck. In the morning, the chow truck came and the first man in line was also in line for a rude awakening. (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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