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"Nine minutes doesn’t sound like much, but nine minutes over enemies when they’re shooting at you…" (Audio interview, 51:51)

   Louis J. Zoghby
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War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army
Unit: 194th Regiment, 17th Airborne Division
Service Location: Fort Dix, New Jersey; Fort Devens, Massachusetts; Kentucky; England; France; Luxembourg; Germany
Rank: Private First Class
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On January 12, 1946, Private First Class Louis J. Zoghby marched up Fifth Avenue in the New York City Victory Parade to the cheers of a grateful nation. Though the city was cold that day, it was nothing compared to the bitter temperatures he had endured during the Battle of the Bulge almost exactly a year earlier. Part of a glider crew with the 17th Airborne Division, he made it through a winter in the Ardennes as well as the invasion of the Rhine in the spring of 1945. He credits his survival with simply being in the right place at the right time--no small feat as a glider-man. In his interview, he discusses the war fatigue of the German civilians he encountered, and their happiness at the end of the war.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (9 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: audio (89 min.)
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 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (9 items)
Setup of a glider crew; what it feels like to fly in one; sense of pride as a glider-man. (03:11) Waiting to be pulled into combat; beginning of the Battle of the Bulge; pulling out on Christmas Eve; eating cold c-rations on Christmas Day, 1944. (03:38) Extreme cold during the Battle of the Bulge; ground froze solid so impossible to dig a foxhole; taking off overcoat to dig and finding it had frozen solid. (02:33)
Strafing and mortar bombardments; people next to him getting hit; surviving with minor scratches; being in the right place at the right time. (01:36) Taking part in the invasion of the Rhine; flying over enemy territory in the glider; the guy sitting next to him getting shot in the leg. (04:30) Chaos of landing and immediately after; diving into an irrigation ditch for cover; hundreds of planes and gliders shot down. (02:28)
Happiness of German civilians at war’s end; father died in early spring, but couldn’t get transfer home; lacking necessary points to get home. (01:45) Serving in Berlin during the German occupation; befriending a young boy; receiving a phone call from the German boy 38 years later. (02:29) Marching in the Victory Parade in January 1945 in New York City; being treated as heroes. (01:58)

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  October 26, 2011
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