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"We didn't know actually what was going on; all we knew was that the Germans were attacking." (Audio Interview, 12:58)

   Joseph Shimko
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War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army
Unit: Company L, 384th Infantry Regiment, 99th Infantry Division
Service Location: European Theater
Rank: Sergeant
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As a sergeant and leader of a mortar squad, Joseph Shimko's first action in Europe was the Battle of the Bulge. He and his men had trouble during the Bulge finding level ground on which to fire their weapons. His main memories of the battle were of confusion; even his officers weren't always aware of where they were and where they were needed. In three weeks, his rifle company dropped from 210 to 68 men, due to casualties and disappearances. They wound up on famed Elsenborn Ridge, where the U.S. Army held off the Germans and helped to turn the tide.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (1 clip)
»Part 1 | Part 2 
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Download: audio(2) (71 min.)
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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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