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“And that was the last time we ever had a peaceful day.” (Audio interview, 39:55)

   Norman Philip Swaney
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Norman P. Swaney, Youngstown, OH [November 1942]
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army
Unit: F Company, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division
Service Location: Camp Wolters, Texas; Fort Benning, Georgia; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; England; Normandy, France; European Theater
Rank: Corporal
POW: Yes
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Drafted just prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Corporal Norman Swaney entered the Army Air Corps in January 1942, and volunteered for “the glory outfit”—the paratroopers. As a member of F Company of the 101st Airborne, although he lost a lot of buddies, he terms his experience in Normandy a “piece of cake” compared to what was to come. Wounded by shrapnel during Operation Market Garden, he recuperated in England before rejoining his unit in France, only to be taken prisoner by the Germans on January 3rd, 1945, during the Battle of Bastogne. Put through a series of work camps and eventually transferred to Stalag IX-B, he was liberated in early April 1945, and arrived stateside before his family had even been notified that he was a POW.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (8 clips)
»Part 1 | Part 2 
Download: audio(1) | 
Download: audio(2) (67 min.)
»Photo Album  (2 photos)
 Official Documents
»Authorization for Issuance of Awards for Norman P. Swaney
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 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (8 items)
Jumping into Normandy; landing in a hayfield, in the wrong location; gathering with the rest of his unit (02:26) Advancing through Normandy; in France through late July; never wounded (02:07) Operation Market Garden; jumping into Holland; constant action; running out of ammunition; wounded and evacuated; waking up in the hospital in England (04:26)
Battle of Bastogne; bitter cold; Germans all around before he knew it; taken prisoner (01:51) Battle of Bastogne; bitter cold; Germans all around before he knew it; taken prisoner (03:20) Interrogation; marching into Ardennes Forest; working first collecting wood and then taking care of horses (03:49)
Transfer by boxcar to prisoner of war camp in Bad Orb, Germany; conditions on boxcar; spent three weeks in Stalag IX-B before liberation (06:32) Liberation; importance of having clothing and shoes while a POW; buddy who died of gangrene (02:32) 

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  October 26, 2011
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