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“I would have to say that it was one big brotherhood, and we all stuck together.” (Audio interview, 47:08)

   Anthony D. Lopez
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Anthony D. Lopez in uniform, Ft. Benning, GA [4/1943]
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army
Unit: 503rd Parachute Regimental Combat Team
Service Location: Camp Roberts, California; Fort Benning Georgia; Australia; New Guinea; Pacific Theater
Rank: Staff Sergeant
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Staff Sergeant Anthony Lopez was eager to help out with the war effort, and joined the Army immediately after graduating from high school in 1943. He chose the Army because it was “the fastest way to go” as they had an induction center near his home. Assigned to the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment, Lopez experienced months of brutal combat in the Pacific Theater. The 503rd conducted an airborne assault on the island of Noemfoor, where they fought for three weeks to establish control over a valuable airstrip. Lopez and the rest of his regiment also endured intense fighting on four different Philippine islands: Leyte, Mindoro, Corregidor, and Negros Island. Lopez was awarded the Bronze Star for rescuing a wounded soldier under heavy fire on Corregidor, and was wounded himself in the process.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (6 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: audio (47 min.)
»Transcript
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 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (6 items)
First operational experience during Battle of Noemfoor, New Guinea in July-August 1944. (03:42) Experiences on Leyte Island. Witnessing the naval battle of Leyte Gulf. (02:08) Fighting on Mindoro, Philippines. Seeing malnourished Filipinos who had suffered under Japanese occupation. Cooperating with Filipino guerrillas. (03:59)
Airborne assault and fighting on Corregidor, Philippines. Awarded the Bronze Star for rescuing a wounded soldier out of a ravine under enemy fire. (09:23) Combat on Negros Island, Philippines, where Lopez and the 503rd fought for six months. (03:10) Using Spanish language skills to organize local Filipinos into a security force to defend farms on Negros Island. (02:26)
  
 

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  October 26, 2011
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