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The Fourth of July, 1944

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Release Date: 07/04/2019

A Marine on Tinian Part 1 show art A Marine on Tinian Part 1

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

First off, I want to thank all of the listeners who stuck with Myfatherstankbattalion through a three month hiatus while I worked on the greatly expanded third edition of Tanks for the Memories, which is now available at Amazon in paperback, hardcover and for Kindle and will soon be available on my web site. As War As My Father’s Tank Battalion approaches its 100th episode, there will be some changes in the format, where I will be interviewing historians and authors about their work.

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World War II Enemies Meet Again show art World War II Enemies Meet Again

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

In this episode, Aaron interviews Ed Hays, a B17 tail gunner who in 1998 traveled to Germany to meet the German fighter pilot who shot his plane down over Denmark and who, in turn, was shot down by Ed's crew.

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A 'Guest' of the Emperor: Karnig Thomasian Part 2 show art A 'Guest' of the Emperor: Karnig Thomasian Part 2

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

War has a way a producing iconic sayings, from "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes" at Bunker Hill to "I've not yet begun to fight" in the War of 1812, to "Retreat Hell! We just got here" at Belleau WoodI, to "By the grace of god and a few Marines MacArthur returned to the Philippines" in World War II. Part 2 of my 2000 interview with Karnig Thomasian features another iconic phrase from World War II: Extract Digit, the meaning of which I'll let Karnig explain during the interview.

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A 'guest' of the emperor show art A 'guest' of the emperor

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Where I used to live in New Jersey there was a remarkable group of ex-prisoners of war. There was Ed Hays, who traveled with his family to Berlin to meet the German fighter pilot who shot down his B-17. There was Tim Dyas, who parachuted into the middle of the Herman Goering Panzer Division. And Hal Mapes, the only survivor of the crew of his B-17. And there was Karnig Thomasian, who was a prisoner of the Japanese.

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Uphill Both Ways: The Great Depression show art Uphill Both Ways: The Great Depression

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

At the Naval Air Station Wildwood Wings & Things, a visitor to my display asked me if I'd done an episode about the Great Depression. I said no, but I'll do one next. So here it is.

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Don and Evelyn Knapp Part 2 show art Don and Evelyn Knapp Part 2

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Part 2 of my 1994 interview with Don and Evelyn Knapp was quite a surprise, as it includes a discussion of my first book, Tanks for the Memories. Don passed away recently at 102 years of age. I found it interesting to hear me talking 27 years ago about my plans for the future. It would be three years before I launched my first web site. Audiobooks were on tape and not CD, and podcasting was not yet a thing. I'm Aaron Elson. Thank you for listening.

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R.I.P. Don Knapp, 102, Part 1 show art R.I.P. Don Knapp, 102, Part 1

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Don Knapp passed away last week. He was 102 years old. "I was no hero," Don said when I interviewed him in 1994. More than a thousand people who posted reactions and comments in the Battle of the Bulge Facebook group on the notice of his passing would beg to differ.

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"So long kids, and if I never see you again, goodbye"

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

A death in combat reverberates among those left behind -- mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, buddies -- for the rest of their lives and into future generations. These are some stories of lasting grief.

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Episode 90: In the Hospital show art Episode 90: In the Hospital

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Distinguished Service Cross recipient Jim Flowers lost parts of both legs in Normandy. Pfc. Bob Levine had a leg amputated by a German surgeon. Lieutenant Jim Gifford was struck by a bullet which protruded from his head near his right eye. Corporal Jim Rothschadl, Lieutenant Flowers' gunner, was badly burned after his tank burst into flames. These accounts portray a vivid picture of medical treatment during the war, and the often unsung heroism of the doctors and nurses who treated the injured.

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Omaha Beach Armageddon show art Omaha Beach Armageddon

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Combat engineer Chuck Hurlbut landed on Omaha Beach in the early morning hours of D-Day. His compelling interview is included in my Oral History Audiobook "The D-Day Tapes," along with six other interviews, available in my eBay store and at oralhistoryaudiobooks.com.

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More Episodes

July 4th came a day early in 1944 with a massive artillery barrage in preparation for an assault on the Haye du Puits sector of the Normandy campaign. The 712th Tank Battalion suffered numerous casualties on its first day of combat. Lt George Tarr became the first officer in A Company to be killed. Sgt. William Schmidt was the first member of C company to be killed. In this episode, Jim Rothschadl, a gunner in C Company, talks about the meaning of the Fourth of July, and Stanley Klapkowski describes the death of Sergeant Schmidt.