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"I don't think any of us planned to make it through. I think that's what made us so good." (Video interview, 14:33)

   Earl Ervin McClung
Collection image
Earl McClung at time of service [detail from video]
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army
Unit: 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division
Service Location: Fort Bragg, North Carolina; England; Normandy, France; Bastogne, Belgium; Austria; Central Europe
Rank: Staff Sergeant
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Drafted before he completed high school, Army Staff Sergeant Earl Ervin McClung served with the famed Easy Company of the 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. After surviving the jump into Normandy, he was wounded during Operation Market Garden in Holland. In his interview, he emphasizes that he does not consider himself a hero, although as a group, he and his comrades achieved some heroic things. As for the acclaim given to his unit, he says, “We didn’t go through any more than a lot of other people did.”

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (6 clips)
»Part 1 | Part 2 
Download: video(1) | 
Download: video(2) (70 min.)
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 Video (Interview Excerpts) (6 items)
Similarity between his experience during the invasion and the series “Band of Brothers”; taking fire from every direction; staying with the 82nd Airborne for nine days (01:04) The good and the bad of being in combat; bonds between soldiers; volunteering for missions in order to spare his buddies (01:19) Difficulty in talking about the war to people who weren’t there; importance of reunions. (00:47)
Importance of teaching future generations to avoid war (00:55) Not thinking of himself as a hero; doing heroic things as a unit (01:38) Emphasizing that many other units went through the same things as Easy Company (01:17)

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