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Paris, Illinois

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Release Date: 05/16/2020

"Tough Guy": Jim Koerner, Part 1

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Jim Koerner, whom I interviewed in 1997, was in the 10th Armored Division. He was captured in the first days of the Battle of the Bulge. When I first saw Jim, at a meeting of the New Jersey chapter of the 101st Airborne Division, there was something about him that said to me, "You've got to interview this guy." So I did.

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Bastogne: 101st Airborne veteran Maurice Tydor, Part 1 show art Bastogne: 101st Airborne veteran Maurice Tydor, Part 1

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Maurice Tydor, a radio operator with the 101st Airborne Division, went into Normandy on an LST, into Holland on a glider, and into Bastogne on a truck. In this interview, he talks about the siege of Bastogne. This interview and several others is included in my Oral History Audiobook "D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge," available at aaronelson.com and eBay.

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Bastogne: Maurice Tydor, Part 2 show art Bastogne: Maurice Tydor, Part 2

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

War As My Father's Tank Battalion is a podcast about the 712th Tank Battalion in particular and World War II in general. In part 2 of this 1994 interview, Maurice Tydor, a former neighbor of mine, was a radio operator in the 101st Airborne Division during the siege of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.

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Interview With a Tank Driver: Tony D'Arpino Part 2 show art Interview With a Tank Driver: Tony D'Arpino Part 2

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

War As My Father's Tank Battalion Knew It is a podcast about the 712th Tank Battalion in particular and World War II in general, or maybe it's about General Patton in general and the Greatest Generation in particular. Whatever it's about, every episode is a piece in the ten thousand piece jigsaw of history, in the words and voices of the people who made it.

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Interview With a Tank Driver: Tony D'Arpino Part 1 show art Interview With a Tank Driver: Tony D'Arpino Part 1

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Today's episode is excerpted from my interview with Tony D'Arpino. Tony was a tank driver in C Company, but he was way more than that. He was a husband, a father, a storyteller, and a fixture at reunions of the 712th. He is featured in my audiobook The Tanker Tapes, and also in Once Upon a Tank in the Battle of the Bulge.

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Five 101st Airborne Veterans Talking Bastogne (Part 2) show art Five 101st Airborne Veterans Talking Bastogne (Part 2)

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Aaron Elson sat in a lounge at West Point in 1994 with five veterans of the 101st Airborne Division as they reminisced about the siege of Bastogne. This episode concludes that conversation. For a transcript of the full conversation, please read the show notes for the previous episode (Episode 68).

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Five 101st Airborne Veterans Talking Bastogne (Part 1) show art Five 101st Airborne Veterans Talking Bastogne (Part 1)

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

In 1994 I was a guest at the annual "Nuts" dinner of the General Anthony McAuliffe New York-New Jersey Chapter of the 101st Airborne Division Association. Before the dinner, I sat at a table in the lounge with five of the veterans, Bill Druback, Frank Miller, Len Goodgal, John Miller and Mickey Cohen. One of them said, "He wants to hear about Bastogne."

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Hitch Hiker Part 4: Conclusion show art Hitch Hiker Part 4: Conclusion

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

This episode concludes the John Sweren story. It's a departure from my father's tank battalion but is well worth a listen, as it covers many of the universal themes of World War II: The post traumatic stress, the brushes with fate, the concept of heroism, the uplifting moments of humor in the darkest of circumstances, the importance of family and home and a future to return to.

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Hitch Hiker Part 3: Close Encounter With a Buzz Bomb show art Hitch Hiker Part 3: Close Encounter With a Buzz Bomb

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

John Sweren of Mesa, Arizona, was a tail gunner on a B-26 in World War II, and a former prisoner of war. In 2005, he attended a ceremony in the Normandy village of Fierville-Bray for the dedication of a memorial to the Hitch Hiker, his plane, which was shot down over the village with the loss of three of its crew members while three survived.

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Hitch Hiker Part 2: Merry Christmas in July show art Hitch Hiker Part 2: Merry Christmas in July

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

John Sweren of Mesa, Arizona, was a tail gunner on a B-26 Marauder in World War II. On July 28, 1944, while on his 58th mission, his bomber took a direct hit of flak and the tail section broke off with John in it. He survived to become a POW.

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More Episodes

Russell Loop started out in the horse cavalry, became a driver in D Company of the 712th Tank Battalion and was transferred to C Company as a gunner in a medium Sherman tank just prior to the Battle of the Bulge. In this interview, he shares his experiences in 11 months of combat.