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"We had opened the belly of a soldier within forty minutes of landing." (Video interview, 37:28)

   George I. Mishtowt
Collection image
George Mishtowt [detail from video]
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army
Unit: 50th Field Hospital; 82nd Airborne Division
Service Location: European Theater
Rank: Captain
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The son of Russian immigrants, Captain George Mishtowt joined the Army ROTC in the late 1930s, as an undergraduate at Georgetown University. Following his medical training at Georgetown, he shipped out to England in 1944, where he served with the 82nd Airborne Division, a distinguished unit of paratroopers whose members had already seen intense action in North Africa, Sicily, and Normandy. The young doctor and newly-minted soldier caught up quickly: he flew into Holland aboard a glider under intense fire. After landing in a potato patch, he constructed a makeshift operating table using two trunks and a litter, and set forth operating on the wounded. After treating casualties during the Battle of the Bulge, he returned home to embark on a career in medicine with the State Department, becoming the first physician hired by the Foreign Service to serve at an embassy abroad.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (5 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: video (68 min.)
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»Healing with Honor: Medical Personnel
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (5 items)
Intention to join Navy; rejection from Navy due to red-green colorblindness; joining ROTC in college; entrance into the service. (01:05) Receiving orders to go to East Anglia to be attached to the 82nd Airborne Division; esprit de corps of the 82nd Airborne; packing gliders for flight to Holland. (03:55) Being made copilot of his glider; dodging flak during flight to Holland. (01:58)
Landing in Holland; finding wounded; digging fox holes to sleep in, since only patients were given tents; strafed on their first night there. (02:03) Beginning of the Battle of the Bulge; dispatched to Belgium; horrible conditions; ordering the evacuation of 500 men due to frostbite; problems with wet socks and trench foot. (03:25) 

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  October 26, 2011
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