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Posted: 1/5/2002 11:38:55 PM EDT
My 9yr old son is doing a school project and needs to contact some vets of the last great war. He would like to do an interview, with questions that are about how it changed your life and what you did in the war effort. I know most of us here are a little young for this but my son Dan would like som help....pat
Link Posted: 1/6/2002 3:44:51 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/6/2002 5:46:16 AM EDT
Man they are dying every day. More and more, at one time the rate was 80 per day. That is how fast we are loosing these people. Its sad. Benjamin
Link Posted: 1/6/2002 6:52:32 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/6/2002 7:38:03 AM EDT
Thanks for the idea about the VFW. Funny how something so simple yet so important can be overlooked!
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 1:43:43 PM EDT
I recieved a great letter from a German solder that was draftet at 16ys old, and is now a us citizen. should i post the body of it here?
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 1:59:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2002 2:02:32 PM EDT by Rudison]
Please Delete the Soldier's (My Dad) address, Some folks think German Soldier and Nazi are the same thing. Glad you liked it.[^]
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 2:12:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By paterpk: I recieved a great letter from a German solder that was draftet at 16ys old, and is now a us citizen. should i post the body of it here?
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I would like to read it. I don't hold a grudge against the foreign soldier. They are not the ones who start the conflict. I do hold their political leadership accountable though. War is a terrible thing, and the winners write the history books!
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 2:15:37 PM EDT
Rudison, I would never post a name or adress without prior permision. The letter your dad sent was very good. My son sat down and read it over twice. He is now very excited about this project, and wants to show it to all of his friends. In the copy I have printed for him I have also deleted the mail info... Thanks again, and I will thank Your father as will my son as soon as he returns from the dentist...Pat
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 2:57:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2002 3:02:17 PM EDT by Rudison]
Pat, No Flame, just caution. I was surprised he signed it and thought to delete that part but since I was not the author I felt it should go out as is. I have an uncle that was born in Norway and was captured on Batan, he survived the "Death March" and was shipped to Japan for the balance of the war. He was on a train to Nagasaki but was rerouted for some unknown reason...[usa] Dentist,Oh no anything but that [shock] [puke]
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 4:17:37 PM EDT
MY STORY AS TOLD TO DAN PATERSON 1. How old were you when the war started? I was born in Berlin, Germany in February 1928, and was 11 years old when the war started in Sept. 1939. 2. If you were young, did your parents keep the war secret from you? NO, I think I was better informed than my parents. 3. How old were you when you went to war? I was 16 years old. 4. Were you drafted or did you volunteer? I was drafted our of high school in Jan 44. 5. What were you trained as for the military? I was trained as a dearch light operator and 88mm anti-aircraft gunner. 6. How long was the training? The technical training lasted 8 weeks. 7. Describe where you were stationed. I was stationed outside Berlin, Hamburg and Brandenburg. 8. Were you able to call home? Yes, but nobody did. In those days the use of telephone or telegram were mainly used for emergency. 9. How often did you receive and write mail home? Once a week or so (there wasn't any e-mail in those days). 10. Did you have friends from home with you? Yes, I had about 8 friends from my high school class. 11. Where did you sleep during the war? Starting in 1941 school children were evacuated from big cities to safe places due to bombing attacks, and we were sent to East Prussia (now Poland), and later to Austria and slovakia. 12. How often did you get to eat? We had all meals from breakfast to supper. I think we ate better than the civilian population who had to use ration cards for everything. 13. How did you feel when the war was going on? I felt normal and alert to the situation. 14. Did you get to take breaks? We got a weekend pass once a month and at the end of 1944 I got a 14 day furlough and visited my grandparents in East Prussia over the Christmas holidays. Three weeks later the Russians started their offensive and the village my grandparents lived in was overrun by the Russian Army. 15. How did your life change during the war? Once I got used to the condition and we were all in the same boat. 16. What was the scariest thing that happened to you during the war? I guess it was in the last days of the war, when the Russians had surrounded Berlin and were coming into our street. My mother had burned my uniform and I was in civilian clothes. I had taken shelter with my family in the basement of our apartment house, when a Russian officer and soldiers approached us. The officer questioned me about my status, and my aunt told him that I was a student and that seemed to satisfy him and he said ok. He could have taken me out and I could have been shot or rounded up and been marched off to Siberia. 17. Did you get hurt? Yes, during one of the bombing attacks a shrapnel hit me on my left ankle. 18. Did you have loved ones in the war? If so, did they all come home after the war? My father and three of my uncles were in the war and all became prisoners and were released in 1946. In April of 46' I lost my mother due to cancer and my father made it to her funeral. 19. Did you get to see your family during the war? During the time I was away with the high school we came home after once a year, and after one month home we were sent to another location where we stayed for another year or maybe longer. during those periods of the year we did not go home.
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 4:28:59 PM EDT
cont. 20. Did you or any of your friends become a prisoner during the war? If so, how were they treated? My best friend was taken prisoner by the Russians. Since he was a top athlete and in very good physical condition he survived. He never mentioned that he was mistreated. It took him over a year after the war to get back to Berlin. 21. Can you describe coming home? I took one of the last trains from Hamburg and arrived in Berlin just before the Russian army surrounded the city. I reported to a command post and was given a 14 day leave and ordered to an airbase outside Berlin. I guess the officer know that the war would be over by then and gave me a break, The city was in chaos, there was no public transportation any more. One was lucky to get 2 hours of electricity during the night and food was hard to come by. Most of the houses had been damaged or destroyed by bombing and artillery fire. 22. How long did it take life to return to normal after the war? Gradually, first we had Russian occupation. Then in July of 1945 Allied Forces moved in and divided the city in 4 sectors. We were lucky to live in the Brittish sector rather than being occupied by the Russians. It took a lot of effort and hard work to clear up the rubble and rebuild the city. I guess life returned to normalcy in 1948. We got our own new currency and were able to buy everything. PS I immigrated to the United States in July 1951. I got drafted into the US Army in 1953 got my advanced basic training at Aberdeen Poving Ground, Maryland and later was stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington, with the 2nd infantry division. I was sworn in as an American citizen in March 1954.
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 4:47:17 PM EDT
Would any other members like to post their fater's or grand father's stories?? My father was inducted into the Navy in the spring of '43. He served on the USS Essex as a biler tech suntil the end of the war. I don't have all of the details and he is now deceased, I wish I had cared when he was alive. My son's project has gotten me interested in something that was very important to many, I wish I had paid more attention when i was younger...pat
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 7:11:12 PM EDT
Rudison, In my book, your Dad is a true American. Thanks for sharing. I would like to thank your Dad and Uncle for their service to our county. My Great Uncle Carl is a WWII vet. He drove trucks for the US Army in the ETO, received a Silver Star, and the only remark I have ever heard him make about his experiences is this-- "Those damn 88's! By God, the Germans could hit a duce and a half between the head lights at 15 hundred yards with those things."
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 7:31:31 PM EDT
My mom's dad served in the US Navy in the Pacific theater. He was on USS Culebra Island ARG-7. He never saw combat, but saw many ships damaged from battle. He traveled all over the Pacific, visting many of the islands you read about in your history books, and one of his prized items from the war was a handmade lighter made from a Zero's engine block. He was a machinist before he joined the Navy. He said that since he was needed on the homefront he was able to avoid the draft, and could have made it through the entire war with out being drafted. However, as the war went on, he felt he needed to do more for his country. He joined the Navy in 1943. He passed away 2 years ago. He also had family that was still in Germany during the war. They came to America after the war, and I remember the stories they told about running from the Russians to the Americans to surrender since the Americans would treat them better. I could not imagine the conditions that the Germans had to survive in, especially at the end of the war. Av.
Link Posted: 1/9/2002 2:38:15 PM EDT
Thanx to all the guys that took the time to read my Dad's story. The positive comments made us both happy. Rudison [:)>]
Link Posted: 1/9/2002 3:56:28 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/10/2002 1:48:27 PM EDT
My Dad was in the infantry during WWII. My Uncle, who was married to my Dad's sister came to the US in 1956. He had to leave Hungary since he participated in the revolution at that time. He had been impressed into the German Army during the war. I can remember my Dad and my uncle talking about the war. They got along really well. Thank God my Dad is still alive at 82, but my uncle has passed away. He was in a Russian pow camp for a long time and the stories were grim. My Dad doesn't say much about the war to me. I only remember 3 stories or so about being straffed by a messerschmit and about how a medic saved a soldiers life by breaking the ends of a fountain pen off and inserting it into the shot away windpipe. I thank God I can still talk with my Dad, I call him every day. John
Link Posted: 1/10/2002 2:20:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2002 2:21:06 PM EDT by MC_Man]
My Grandfather served in the US Navy for 20 years (before, during, and after WWII) and never saw a day of action. He was in the Pacific Theater and serves on the USS Lexington. He was sent to Pearl six months after the attack; sent to Midway six months after that battle. Transferred from the USS Yorktown to the Lexington before the Yorktown was sunk. All in all a lucky guy. Edited because I wanted to add that it was a great letter.
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