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Hill 122, Part 6: No Man's Land

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Release Date: 11/10/2019

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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The Company Commander show art The Company Commander

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Clifford Merrill was the first of four A Company commanders in the 712th Tank Battalion. After recovering from wounds suffered in Normandy, he sat on a tribunal at the Dachau War Crimes trials, helped run a prison compound in the Korean War, and was wounded leading a convoy in Vietnam. To quote A Company veteran Sam Cropanese, "He wasn't afraid of nothin'!"

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More Episodes

In this episode Lieutenant Jim Flowers and his gunner describe the two days and nights they spent in no man's land waiting to be rescued and fearing they wouldn't. But first, we solve the mystery of how a fellow named Rothschadl grew up on an Anishanaabe Indian reservation in Minnesota. For more on the battle of Hill 122 involving the first platoon, Company C, of the 712th Tank Battalion, check out They Were All Young Kids in print or for Kindle at amazon, or order the audio epic "The Middle of Hell" in the ecommerce section of aaronelson.com.