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"I can remember we were walking along on the surf and all of a sudden the fellow in front of me disappeared." (Video interview, 12:18)

   John D. Bonzer
Collection image
John Bonzer at time of interview
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army
Unit: 45th Field Hospital
Service Location: European Theater
Rank: Major
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When he entered the Army, John D. Bonzer had just completed his medical school residency. He was assigned to the 45th Field Hospital, and landed on Utah Beach on June 9, D-Day +3. As a young doctor, he was eager to put his newly-minted skills to work saving the lives of his fellow servicemen. Though his position kept him out of combat, his life was still at risk. In his oral history interview, Bonzer recalls the worst day of his service, when his hospital was shelled and his unit lost several medical personnel.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (6 clips)
» Part 1 
Download: video (57 min.)
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»D-Day: 75th Anniversary
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (6 items)
Setup of a field hospital; advent of penicillin; being given the opportunity to assist with patients. (01:58) Transfer overseas; quartered with an English family; anecdote about accepting a drink from the family who owned the house. (01:39) Landing on Utah Beach on D+3; setting up our hospital; confined to Normandy for six weeks; Germans shelled his unit one night and they lost a nurse. (02:11)
Learning important lessons in surgery; being given lots of opportunities to assist with medical procedures. (02:30) Recollections of the Battle of the Bulge. (01:40) Hard to see young men die; worst day of his service; unit was shelled and there were multiple casualties. (04:45)

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  October 26, 2011
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