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"Truman was giving his speech about the war being over and suddenly the German planes came over, and we shot one of them down." (Video Interview, Part 2, 2:21)

   Edward Wallace Hopkins
Image of Edward Wallace Hopkins
Sgt. Edward W. Hopkins, Camp Croft, S.C. [1944]
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army
Unit: Battery A, 411th Anti-Aircraft Artillery (AAA) Gun Battalion, 3rd Army; Training Cadre, Camp Croft
Service Location: European Theater
Rank: Sergeant
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The day World War II came to an official end, Edward Hopkins and his antiaircraft crew were taking no chances, picking off a German plane whose intentions weren't clear. Hopkins was in Austria at the time, attached to Patton's Third Army, which had been famously diverted from driving straight on into Berlin for the end of the war. His postwar experiences included supervising German civilians as they cleaned up the Dachau death camp and visiting the grave of his brother in France, who had been killed in action there.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (7 clips)
»Part 1 | Part 2 
Download: video(1) | 
Download: video(2) (93 min.)
»Transcript
  Photos
»Photo Album  (2 photos)
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»The War
»VE-Day
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (7 items)
Shipping out from Ft. Leonard Wood; atmosphere aboard the troop ship. (07:20) Artillery duty; a close call. (01:48) How a mobile artillery team sets up camp. (01:50)
Patton's frustration at being diverted from Berlin; the end of the war. (02:30) Supervising the cleanup at Dachau. (02:51) Visiting his brother's grave in France. (05:48)
Postwar relations with German civilians; their reaction to Dachau. (02:40)  
  
 

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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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