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The Fourth of July, 1944

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Release Date: 07/04/2019

Dale Albee Part 1 show art Dale Albee Part 1

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Dale Albee enlisted in the horse cavalry in 1938, earned a battlefield commission in my father's tank battalion, and led a platoon of M3 Stuart light tanks from the time he was promoted until the battalion reached Czechoslovakia at the end of the war in Europe.

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The Kissless Bride, a The Kissless Bride, a "Late Date," and The Richest Man in Town

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Lillian Feiler tells how she met her husband, Samuel Charles Feiler, a dentist in the 101st Airborne Division; Red Cross girl Kay Brainard Hutchins describes her romance with her second husband; and Nancy Mapes, wife of ex-prisoner of war Hal Mapes, tells how her young postwar family came to be featured in a photo spread in the Ladies Home Journal. For more about these and other stories please visit oralhistoryaudiobooks.com.

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Forrest Dixon Part 2 show art Forrest Dixon Part 2

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

In this episode of Myfatherstankbattalion, maintenance officer Forrest Dixon talks about battlefield commissions, guns, cameras, Hitler Youth, the Bridge at Remagen, Mein Kampf, a broken beer mug, the salt mine that would later be depicted in The Monuments Men, the Flossenburg concentration camp, and spark plugs. For information about previous episodes, please visit myfatherstankbattalion.com.

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Forrest Dixon, Part 1 show art Forrest Dixon, Part 1

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

An onion farmer from Munith, Michigan, battalion maintenance officer Forrest Dixon was awarded the French Croix de Guerre for climbing into a tank whose engine was removed and singlehandedly knocking out a German tank. For more about this and other episodes, please visit myfatherstankbattalion.com.

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"Those 88s Are Breaking Up That Old Squad of Mine"

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Jim Cary and his ukelele led the annual Saturday night singalong in the hospitality room at reunions of my father's 712th Tank Battalion. He also was a company commander with two Purple Hearts, a Silver Star and a story you'll want to hear.

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Ed Stuever Part 2: Ed Stuever Part 2: "Watch My Smoke"

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

In Part 2 of this 2005 interview, maintenance Sgt. Ed "Smoky" Stuever describes with remarkable clarity events from 60 years before. These include his experiences in the veterinary detachment of the horse cavalry, towing trucks onto Utah Beachgetting drunk on white lightning, and repairing tanks by flashes from guns. The episode is long and I've dispensed with the usual narrative, so I'll say it now: Thank you for listening to Myfatherstankbattalion. I'm Aaron Elson, your host.

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Ed Ed "Smoky" Stuever Part 1

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Ed "Smoky" Stuever was a fixture at reunions of my father's 712th Tank Battalion. I would sit down with him and record a couple of stories every year. In this episode, he describes growing up on a farm, trapping muskrats and catching bullfrogs, winning a 4H competition, telling time by the sun, how his hearing-impaired father called square dances, how he met his wife, and being drafted into the horse cavalry. Check out my new web site, oralhistoryaudiobooks.com

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Tail Gunner Sam Part 2 show art Tail Gunner Sam Part 2

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Tail gunner Sam Mastrogiacomo shares the escapades and adventures of his months as an internee in Sweden, his youth in the tough neighborhood of South Philadelphia,  and his return to Tibenham two days after the disastrous Kassel Mission. For more great interviews with World War II veterans, visit myfatherstankbattalion.com

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Tail Gunner Sam Part 1 show art Tail Gunner Sam Part 1

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

My father's 712th Tank Battalion didn't win the war all by themselves. They had help from above. In today's episode, we meet Sam Mastrogiacomo, a tail gunner on a B-24 who, when bullets from a German fighter plane shattered the glass of his turret, thought about his mother getting a telegram that he had been killed. For a full list of episodes and extra background, please visit myfatherstankbattalion.com. For my books and audiobooks, visit aaronelson.com. Thank you.

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Big Andy show art Big Andy

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Exciting news! My web site, myfatherstankbattalion.com, is now live with extra information about the episodes. Today, we meet Bob "Big Andy" Anderson, a tank driver who was awarded three Bronze Stars in 11 months of combat. The drivers in the 712th Tank Battalion were a close-knit community with a special set of skills.

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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.