Oral History Interview: Charles Bruns of Champaign

September 24, 2007

Charles Bruns served as an engineer in the 3rd Infantry Division in Africa, Sicily, Italy and other locations in Europe.

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Transcript for file: charlesbruns2007-09-24.mp3


that’s that’s alright you can take it away thank you interview
who is for the veterans history project and is with Charles Francis from
Brunswick senior of Champaign Illinois 3 years 1942 to
1945 he served as an Army Combat Engineer in North Africa Sicily
Italy France and Germany Busta Rhymes thank you so much for being here today


today is Monday September 24th 2007 my name is Harriet Williams
Williamson also present is the lighting sound camera director Henry Radcliffe
we are in the television studio is will on the University of Illinois campus in
Urbana prayer to joining the military what were
what were you doing I was working as a joke the coon and company Arizona
like a sales clerk at there before I went to servicing
would you like to talk about your background where you were born and your date will do anything


tell you about my background was that I was born to Villa Grove Illinois
April 27th 1919 and as far as I
far as I know for my mother I was just I was born in the house
born in the hospital so but from their eyes I think
thank God they told me at the age of 2 why we move champagne then sew in
my father was a tailor at Joseph Kuhn and company
and did you have any siblings yes I have 2 sons 1 17


son Charles just like me Charles Effron junior ad John Efron
Charles lives in champagne and John is a pharm rep assist the park
did you all do you also have any brothers or sisters yes I have
I had a two sisters and a brother hun have one brother that’s
both my brother and my sister is dead and my other sister
live in Albuquerque New Mexico and Cheese 95 so I’ll see
I’ll see her old few more weeks


no did you go to elementary and junior high school and he says I went to LA
elementary school I went to Holy Cross School Dover elementary school Ann
land Champaign senior high of no per senior
nn out there I mean words
like say the war came along is that time and I was working at Koons Annan
I was drafted in to get my draft over with why I decided to buy
is the volunteer to get my year over with so I can come back home


white make it I know if you said it was from 42 it was from 41
Bright Eyes I’m sorry that’s what I meant with clear sole combat
combat from photobucket Kombat with stars definitely right
the service is that correct yes I’m going to you join the army
army yes I have at Fort Leonard Wood Missouri well I went to go to
dua for Sheridan Illinois and funny
the funny thing happened City Johnson new the middle


he did a lot of work for Chanute field and he knew the general air welding
if a ball player that time so they decided that that
does he was going to do this general was going to get me on the ball team outing
Mather field California refuse an era base the one I got to
24 Sheridan that’s where I was supposed to go well I guess
I guess I was is argon when they call my name to go and I was around a city
I said well I have to wait a while no cold again well in the mean time they called it to go to


Portland rubenzer a well that was closer to home so I thought well shoot I’ll take this
place poster go home and I didn’t realize what I was getting into
well what do you want me to say honey in bed Portland
Fort Leonard Wood look like at that point well thats when I went in
send to Fort Leonard Wood Arizona just a very few breaks hardly any roads at all
call out already had was all we had a movie house we had a PA


free X & O maybe half a dozen
baby baby doesn of barracks and they were they were were
they were working autumn all of that same time back that’s why I took my love my training was worth
working on roads getting everything is set up for you know when they were going to move in there
what’s your initial training is the only 30 gun
were there are several Italian based Arrowood it to see one
gi good to be honest with you I don’t know there’s a lot of the velocity of


troops in there but I mean it like cartoon I think
I think there must have been at least I would say
50 is 75 & R patoon
1404 lycaste for your basic training and the beat
each of which group was setup well I don’t know
well I don’t know how to say this I mean it free word for your initial engineer training
training in other words that your engineer training with


other words does burning house
Dover set a barbed wire fence dipping
digging trenches they were going back they were teaching us things
never happened in ww1 which was no no need to try
to try to teach us to do things like that but says this is what they taught us
that’s a training was not relevant to what you were going to fill it up now that we got into combat
bad it had nothing to do training all right but it had not yawning


Tony reali training that you had with the shooting the gun at
how to handle explosives cuz we did a lot of you know and also
also clearing mines good to do a lot of you mean we learn to do
to do that and I can remember the old one of our train
MARC train schedules that we had dynamite and dynamite
very very sensitive and it just so happens at the turn off
officer pulled out is one stick of dynamite and said no this is how it how it go


I can be anything I threw the dynamite out in bingo it went off of thats how sensitive
what to do with you know that dynamite well after that we before
before we left there we were using TNT then which was
Real Steel save as you can find if there is a difference
Bogart all the difference in the world Dynamite is is very very sensitive
cancel vivid mean it it all worth if its too old
how old are the set around too long though it would rain 21


why do one side no bad words very very but the TNT was
there’s no way in God’s world you can set it off and let you set it off with a cap and primer
Cordura just like an explosive then were you also
who taught to use various kinds of equipment Lake Road digging equipment or any oil well yeah I mean that
Doug and Batman leave dislike it safe to just plain old
Road digging and we also had pontoon training to at this
the same time a time show - you know how we do we built all bridges across


across the river down in all of Missouri and
what we had build you know like pontoon boats crossword nothing compared to
what we did when once we got into training in all of
AccuWeather Fort Lewis Washington and talk a little bit about the pontoon bridges
what what is a pontoon bridge lollipop what are they made out of the
the pontoon bridges is nothing but you have a huge boat
boat rubber boat and crossed and naturally it floats in the river and then


the new head they have us like a runway in old more or less just for the truck
trucks and cars to go across and most most generally small
small pontoon boats are only for like Jeeps in small cars at that
like I said later on I’ll tell you about it we will build a bridge
in what year Portwood Washington and we send a two and a half ton truck
truck cross I got too far on one side and bingo upset into the water so I
its it’s the pontoon bridge unless you have one that is


anchored with steel pilings in and footings going across
why there there right there really dangerous
find me to get the troops across mainly 4 results we built that
build a cross so that they can you know if run across the all white Under
on the pontoon bridge when you have a deep body of water and use a condom
is the pontoon bridge or does it have to be this good doesn’t it doesn’t have to be deep but most generally Rivers
you know it all depends on how wide the river is to a man that’s no throwing money


cross the Mississippi River you couldn’t do that it’s too wide butt cross a small river
River you have to anchor a man in or make sure these are secure and they’re not going to go into place
who plays and the pontoons are white large
and you know I mean you can also love
picture tiling across Erin end of your bridge work
and the baby very secure mean you didn’t get it like I say this mainly for
need for a small vehicles and mainly to get the troops across the river


you also had some basic combat training when you were
at Fort Leonard Wood is that was very little combat training underwear what we had
Madera mean that we had our are rough you learn to Juneau
no way back in those alien head Springfield rifles and Doug
go out on the range shoot and qualify for handling
Atlanta gun everything and the but as far as the
I would say combat why cant i reenter account


we can’t remember anything that we did in Fort Leonard Wood for training other than
amor less doing engineer work
mainly fought it was for the expectation was that you would be an engineer and you wouldn’t
necessarily be be off fighting world
all the pins does the different phases of Engineers im a nerd and other words
weird smell when I went to Fort Lewis Washington that this was a combat
engineer outfit therapy Woodridge we were attached to the 7th infantry


73 and all our work there was strictly for the weather
whatever the infantry did this is what we had to do is not not for the rest of the vision
LLS we had to run into a large job where they took more
bored are you know there holes battalion to put a bridge and scribe cross in it was all together
different but I made it as far as what I learned in Fort Leonard
Leonard Wood was nothing compared to the training we got once once we got to Fort Lewis Washington
working just got into regular army training what your God


I think you just more elastic Fort Leonard Wood was kinda and then
an introductory service into the search you know how can you get your in practice does
what we had hikes and different things like that but it was nothing compared to one cigar
what’s a god to Port Louis get some dates so when
when you enter the military what what was the date of your mail
homemade mayo 41 and the war
head in your in us for the US had not actually started in it


mayfly Riveras I think was at Fort Leonard Wood about
so I can remember weather is one or two months that we were there
server transfer training and then we went through it to Fort Lewis Washington
nn art raining there from the time I think
are there is Right think every week at Alton
Fort Lewis Washington brown August sometime goes
another word for the war broke out of in December eighth of a year


year of 41
Fort Lewis Washington do you want to talk about the types of training
received their which was all there there is very intensive training me we had a law
had a lot of of all your love drilling to do
mainly was all love
what I’m trying to say amphibious work
this work but when we had to Eric every morning we’re up before daylight


daylight review be out on the Puget Sound and we have to get into these
Higgins boats which were not very big head about maybe
old 1518 men in a boat and that you would
Goldcross the sound no one make your get out your boat like you say you
say your going on the invasion or something like that and also their way back to the pond
pontoon build building pontoon bridges across the sound you know everything
saying I made it through it was really more of Engineering


really I mean it’s the show you how to clear mines building
do different things that you were really got to use during the service
but it was nothing sketchman
there is nothing compared to what we got into combat
altogether different everything everything changed it all everything that we learn
when we get into combat changed it just
is hard to say William Lee


all are sergeants and
there’s a turnover in sergeants ancano they were all
all most all of me in the service
service long before they got there they were old drill sergeants in the did this and that
the net but when we got into combat they weren’t any good at all so I’m another word days ago
baby got demoted her or nude sergeant’s place on earth
you know you feel that the Hat training


was really a benefit when you go into combat
kosher Jessamine is it made made all the difference in the world I mean it
you knew what you were going to do then an adderall so the officers made it big
big tits if you had good officers in you have bad officers I mean it I had lot offices
officer should hear from the U of I that does summer where good and some of work good
good we call a 90 day wonder so
excuse me after you left


Fort Lewis youth spend some time in California well of me when I was at Fort Lewis
all they talk about 50 of us
and from different I like somebody from a guy was in a cup
hey cupcake I took some money for making me so maven become and so am i from C cup me
and we went with the Navy then we were the Navy about full form
4 months and we went from Tacoma Washington
up to Alaska and I’ll never forget that


the waves were so big I know that feel good come
way up like that you wouldn’t see anybody then you be clear down here at all I got sick I
sick I was so sick for 3 days and then the sailors kept saying eat something eat something
something and I did something and bingo Loveland castle good just like the one side
once I got it I was never seen again I mean no deben like when we went overseas
Dyson soldier just got sicker the devil never bother me a bit so
its old but I mean what what I got by that part was okay but we live with this


the I live with the Navy there for about 4 months when we got down to San Diego
San Diego and we were taking our training with the 1st 2nd 3rd Marines
what we were going to the South Pacific sorry
about that but anyhow I were there we stayed on the show
and course we had this is a soldier they were eating C rations
here we were eating does food at the Navy Yard provided in and we go in Italian
they could do anything so I really enjoyed my self


so I wish I was back in the Navy again
what was the idea that swing with a navy it was all we had
top rated the boons and stuff the put the boats over the side and down into the
into the water and I also had the the big table nets that you put over the side
side for the soldiers to crawl down the side of the boat and get into the Higgins boat C
when was a crawl down in and got into the Higgins boats then they go out and then make us
make a circle around and around and you had to keep going until all the all the


all the boats have we been filled you know what the soldiers and lost and then they do
when did lineup in in bingo do they would head toward the beach then but today
they practice at practice SAT practice that goes I made all the difference in the world 2011
once you got everything you said keep going around till the next boat filled in and you keep go
keep going no turbo with billion see everybody was there and then what was it was all day
call their there they’re commander would make a motion like that in bingo that all spread out then it all
Nadal head pussy torture


staff training what was your next
Camp did you continue in California will know it well I guess it
who said we were at Camp Pendleton we were taking all this different raining there at Camp Pendleton
Gifford marches get alot of margin but no more lessons
who did the build up your strength in everything and any health dinner 30
third is evasion come down yellow jaundice in 1906
couldn’t go in then it’s back and I are those days why it took a long


the long time for a person to know to get over a jar
God has another word deja scrap the whole thing and they sent us back to 4 Dourdan
then we went back there and we were more less just doing different
deferred training like clean of clearing minefields ER
all odds and ends really until we got ready to go
does the rich not many things that we could do it all soul in the end
engine engineer if we had all of water


what we have to set up different camps to make AV had a huge
huge tank that would use for water in with learn
learn how to filter out the water make the water clear in everything and
can weed go on different today they take us out the difference small towns were we accept the same
who sings all up so that would have something that you know to go along
how long do cats like I can send this one time does
all San Francisco we went on a few know all way up there and we set up


but all well water tanks all around you know I would just hurt
just moving and setting him up moving and setting about forever
ss about the really to do anything that was bad about the lower right back
what bad but a minute we didn’t really have what you call and fibula
Fabius training then to the amphibious training with Borla s kinda over what we left camp
Pendleton IN did you know where you are going
map did you know where you are going no no when we left Portland


Fort Leonard Wood nobody knew where they were going on man does a just loaders on the training
in fact we didn’t know if we were going to we got close to
somebody that I had got out of somebody said we were going to camp Pickett Virginia
and everybody got their wife we started our train again
amphibious training and always
oh well then we load the show deception IV loading ships there
is there white we had what you called Bangalore


torpedoes error hola pipe old about that big around
where is there about 8 to 10 feet long and
Dougie t1 Gruden to another pipe and you would run those underneath
the barbed wire and explode a man I would love a bullet hole through the earth Bible
barbed wire and Tiger muscle that you could get through there and then when we leave
we were getting ready to get on the ship the stevedores refuse to handle
the Bangalore torpedo cuz I thought they were explosives and they couldn’t do it


so we had to load our own Bangalore torpedo Z on to the ship
you’ll get the quite a while to get the everything on that ship and everybody had to do it
do it doesn’t does Jimador just they would do it
from Fort Worth and then to the capital of Virginia
how is camp Pickett on the coast or is it in this town near Newport News
weather going that flash for roulette for real e from Newport News when we went
Wendover slaves to Africa then when you were there did you know where you are


we were headed at that point I hope nobody knew where we’re going there anything I mean it
until a career out to sea for you know quite some time in minutes
then somebody said we were going to Africa and we didn’t really know then we’re going to bud
we were going to Adela North Africa Woodridge about 20 miles
miles from Casablanca now the other groups or go on there they will
landed way up all of nerve
well I don’t know where you’re going to miss her some place in the northern part of Africa


and we landed in the southern part
were you in a big convoy when you were traveling to egg

whenever Division movie every dog go back on for HGH
outfit like the infantry with move in and of artillery would move
move an engineer’s with movie or vice-versa will you never know which one was going to
what year was ready to go out white then you take off and they already knew where is a bill


the bivouac where are areas were where you’re going to set up a head of time
what time so I need you you really I mean you didn’t have to worry about anything like that goes
everything was already taken care of for you ever got their cousin
we went from different over there we went from there clear up to
from Casablanca character Boozer tea with this clear up on their own
upper part of the of the coast and goes
does pussy smell and and


all the British were still fighting in Africa at that time
does at one time there is a cooks part of our sergeants
and we had to go up and see you know they took acceptance deceive
this is what’s going on at the Kasserine Pass on couch that was really want
disasters of the army there was a dead Kasserine Pass
impasse when to talk about that well I went there that long do weed
free talk about it cuz I mean ID I don’t know a whole lot about it I mean that I wish I wasn’t in the battle


the battle or anything like that but I do know that we lost a lot of men lot of tank
tank that the Germans cartas before you even get set forward
and that’s when patent Caymen Patton came in and he change the whole thing around
and then we start pushing the Germans complete
figure out of of Africa that time
I would like to free to talk about North Africa Zamora but before we do that we should probably
identify your rank in the division


what that you will I was a sergeant
combat engineers and we
and we were test for the 3rd Infantry Division so in other words
I was in the 3rd Infantry Division Bible say bud AR
we were attached to the 7th Infantry Regiment divisions have lights
like 3 regiments they have the 733 ray company was a test
do they have the 15th infantry which movie company with the test 2


and we also had the 30th Infantry which I see company was a test today
do then we had our Headquarters Company in Headquarters Company of supplies us with all of our
material I need any material that we need it but
Audie Murphy who is the most decorated
decorated serviceman in the United States Army
he was in the 15th infantry and I I’d seen you know sometimes we had to work
had to work with a 15th infantry at different times you know that if the


we had to have more men had to be used to
clean the minefields or something like that so but that he was a little guy
hide and I can’t believe it said how big he was a minute
minutes out where do the size of it first before a but he was he was something else that was all the way
and also James Arness Hulu
Google from Gunsmoke was in art it was an r30 I never did seem but a man he was
he was in our 30th infantry to so we had we had some famous men


dinara division I would like to
to stop for a 2nd and talk about your photography during the war
left evening you allowed to look through your phone
4 albums and they are truly an amazing
amazing documentation of your service and how
how when it looks like you started taking photographs when
when you went to Fort Leonard Wood is that accurate yeah yeah I had I had that I had that


led camera went with me all through service I made with just a little time to think
call PD 16 anybody knows anything about photography
Bobby don t know what it is but it was a little box camera used pull out the lens on
benzonatate duck good pictures I don’t imagine Babyz dating take good pictures
I had that and I took the pictures in and get them developed
send them home and my sister put everything that I sent home into an hour
album and like a safe when they went overseas they told us we couldn’t have a cam


camera and iPad
probably cost couple of bucks or something like it what the heck they take it away from them take it away from me
free from it so I just stuck in my back back and then when I got there
they didn’t say anything about her than I had Film and I took pictures but when we were in Africa
Africa it was so hot and no place to get the film developed in I couldn’t say
send it home and now you know all this like this and that idea I lost
price of Everett all my pictures in Africa I lost what you have


a remarkable collection and didn’t have you started taking photographs
how long before you went into the service all yeah but I mean it was just manly family pictures and stuff
like that I may know the just disagree nude retard where you went and everything
everything yeah well I think it takes a lot of moxie to be taking forever
photograph income what is it bad to like you said you’d be surprised at
said sometimes I know that the love explosion be gone all
gone already there you are taking a picture but I would I was lucky on counter


my squad I we had like a two and a half ton truck all the time
the everybody Road on that truck where we went and I had to
iPad 2 Camera with me all the time and
where most people you couldn’t do that I was lucky that that I had some
some place to put the camera and minutes and it would be around
does just can’t see in anybody
nobody else now I can understand it all I had also had a friend that was in the


the vision that was a photographer and he did all the division photography
so he’s the one to develop my pictures and everything for me so I really real
the real and true in the long run if it had been for him I could I would head and these and other than
other than picking up postcards as I went along also made the album
albums complete all so well that’s another remarkable
inclusion in this album is that you also would
would find as you are traveling and come out that you would find a postcard


cars and that they would be included in the album in to make it feel to c**
document it I mean if it’s quite remarkable the understand that you also
also I had a diary or journal that you were right eye
I kept it a good day to get some rules to but I also have been
whatever I can scribble little bit fits on a paper I would put it on a little piece of paper
parents and this guy never gets better homyk
I kept it all with me all the time but I had and my son


son John tried to decipher it one time and some of their boobs on onion
onion skins in the woods just got all you know together and everything like you said it to Daddy
daddys that I can’t figure out you don’t have to tell me what this is all about so that you know
maybe if we get down on a piece of paper so what kind of things would you Rico
record well guess what happens from day to day I just eat each day I put
put down the day today or we were bombed or Shellder will remove decisons
such and such a place or whatever we did that’s about all was on it really true events


should never had it good if it if it got captured or something like that n**** got a hold of it
no wrong intelligence for
true United States well I am i finding
f*** it I haven’t seen your diarrhea but I just find this truly amazing that
satellite view you if you want to go outside I have never seen a diary by self
buy your son had it and I’ve never it I’ve never looked at it since
this is the end watch 65 years and I’ve never says I don’t know what it looks like


what looks like to a man is there you are mean it but he had his secretary tied
type a lot of it and some of it he’d call me on the phone and ask me about something
such and such a thing you know what it was and I would explain to a man
so but he is still not complete old cousin as I got down there the end of the war
war cuz you know a lot about we just scribbles and you know
what would this be something every viewer creating words
words and also photographs was this also helpful to you in


progressing through the war off like I can say
can say they did I can’t say it didn’t let me know when you’re young kid you don’t
you don’t think about that that’s all there is to it just you worry about day today in
let it go it that a man that you really don’t follow shelling in Everett
and everything goes wrong in the end at death a lot of times you just have
just have to put on the side and just forget it that say cuz I lost a lot of good
lot of good friends and hang in a lost my best


my best friend on an conned it it bother me for quite a while
file but then after awhile you just get over it that’s all there is to it you have to
2 should we talk about
Africa North Africa again because you were in operation
torch which was the Allied invasion of North Africa
girl in your group came directly from the United States
face in North Africa thrice western coast


host the date was November 8th 1942
42 a large remember God in kind of weary
truly not supposed to be any opposition we were supposed to do
just go right on in heaven Bruno go to the doc
boondocks get off dachshund move in but it didn’t turn out that way I mean it
the free labor supposed to be making of always
I don’t what you call love


width of the Free French another word to say that was that was going to happen
what happened rising whether we’re going to fighter Watt and at the last minute
bingo Lodi guess in negotiations broke down and Inglewood everywhere
we were we were on our way into shore and Penny’s Ludlow Higgins
tell me about and when they had a Electra Glide
blighted shown weighs up in the air and you can see that searchlight way up
way up there a la seda net search light came down holy crap my n****


Navy battleships opened up the net Holbeach just one upping
all you could just you can just see the stuff is flying sky high
and I save level does Volbeat Jenner butt
does the soldiers and there were nothing but I’ll print single ladies we had Barry
very very few French soldiers most of the French soldiers
the way there were officers the rest of War all the single ladies all
all soldiers what time of day was it in the early morning


early morning real early in the morning dark
when we were we were going in neighbors still pitch dark I never judge us divisions
which is barely starting to turn daylight when you know lyrics
forget the beaches in the location was Adele
della della della North Africa and how long did the battle last
3 days that’s about all I really enjoyed dinner
it was just more or less the inferred Regis Bora last was cleaning up different spots around


what’s around other everybody could the invasion did take over
I would say by mid afternoon
most everything was all taken care of but we lost more men deserve boats
turning over then we lost but you know by gunfire
the Higgins Lowes do not work well in that was too big the waves were too big waves
just monsters waves in your get those Hagen post sideways
and they would just roll over I was always there


honey I have no idea but we we lost a lot bear
lot of soldiers I made it and also a German wolf pack
Khmer that not that does after the morning that night a German wolf
Wolfpack of submarines command in a sec 5 of our ships you can be you
just seeing blazin out there in the water I lost everything I had to the show
do the ship the name of the test grades bliss was the name of the ship
that we went over on and lets up and I lost everything I had you I think I had on


like a semi haul pack and that was it
unfortunately your camera lol when Cameron was in it with me
what the what happened man after landing and going through the attic
experience where did you head next year we went to
do was I think was partly Rd Woodbridge
are no I’m a robot I can’t remember which route we went to


is there went to robot and then Fort Lee Arlie Moore Portland Rd or
we went to Fort Lee Rd and ender about one of the other they were a result of
father up in the Africa is that
that’s about you that’s about the only two towns that I can read I remember was courtly Rd
robot fighting continue or did you
no no we didn’t have any wants wants that was there right I think I told
I told you about this when we were


in padella we had to march in the Casablanca
President Roosevelt was sitting in his Jeep there as Wiimote
we marched into Casablanca and heroes review and the Troops when we went by
Best Buy in Dublin that like I said 23 di mean
the fighting with all over there is no fighting it all in fact we never got in
got into any fighting at all other than a well like I said I told you about the
about the time that was no fighting we just went up into a zombie servers to see what was going


what’s going on so that you know that we know a little bit more to tell her man what to do
stuff like that in the Kasserine Pass
past year old is there in about 4 days and that we read it weren’t
we were close deceased summer love you know what was going on
but we were never Elien what. Call in danger of assault minutes
you can be close enough and still not be in danger
when you landed that was your first experience of combat


is it katharine password yeah uh huh how long do
long then did you spend in in North Africa is honey I got you
I can’t remember if I buy a new
news of the day that we went into Cicely is another word
another word we’re outside of Missouri cuz they bomb at the Port of Missouri
the Grammys did quite often should we worry about all I would say 25
85 miles from Missouri in Midway area


and we can we can see the searchlights in stuff at night up there and you can
you can see the a cat going up breaking in new could hear the bombs falling and everything
but it was a long way from Azure mean it but when we lay
we laugh we left that was saved clean everything out to the coast of Africa Zavala
ballin by that time and the goodwill at from the port of
Bubba’s ur teeth to go to sleep then
the interview of training that you had them was


use for the landing at seven Lions of amphibious training with head
what is Latin for the amphibious there ads on North Africa
Africa and that was all you on the other time when you used it was they had it
C Company of our outfit use an amphibious landing in on sis LeAnn
Ashley and went around behind the Germans there and try to trap some of mine come tomorrow
and that was in it then an LNG overhead landing
nn southern France we had landed but it was altogether different type of buzz


the really the bad part was was the Higgins boat
boats in Africa rather than a minute
lol all love women landed in Sicily we had what would called LCI
guys with a bigger ship Vineyard run go down the gangplank and you know it go off and go
open go in and then the others had to landing the transport with her great United
is a great big door on the front and Bingle David flop down on you
head on your vehicles and everything else to take off and go into it if you do it


Patriots results gather different tactics the man on that was all
no but the Higgins wealth would you go over the size of those yeah you get crawl over the side of him
did you just go over the side of them it was all they were there a small bow tie mean
I think you look at me like I would somebodys bass boats Runner
they were bigger than that but I mean that’s about the way they were you mean that they just had to
sides on it how are you transported
from North Africa to Sicily because then you were involved in


operation husky which is the invasion of Sicily yes
well it we went out the doors we have a cold LCI they were
they were a bigger boat and when you when you get hit in the head
add the like on each side of the boat they had like a landing strip
a walk thing that went down like that and you go down the gangplank on either side of an egg
they got him close to shore and you that’s that’s the way you went down on the
halo 4 used as true as transports in the Mediterranean


tell if you too to Sicily how I want to trip is it bad
Ben from North Africa was through the eye of the tiger I can’t
I can’t tell you about me babe maybe if I don’t like that my diarrhea is something women buy that I fry
probably go to told you about what went on a different times but I may know the other than that
if it fits shameless baby son
maybe someday I’ll get up enough nerve to read that again honey I guess its
is it I guess I’m an odd ball on count of a something


things I don’t mind talking about others I just can’t now I have to go to your
go to Europe don’t want any part of a guy love you urinated no way that you
can get me to go to Europe thats all I gotta say United States first
but I’m a nut that Diaries episodes
scared of it or what it is but I have never never looked at it
never is from the time I come home its intervention for big 10 4
no folder I like to say with faces and stuff on it but I’ve never seen


Racine it would you like to talk about the
invasion of Sicily and the strategy their wealth
Laird there’s another thing to the people don’t know about on the invasion of
vision of Sicily 101st airborne was coming in for a
parachute drop we got the word
that it was Germans dropping parachutes
and player not we shot up our own men cumming


cumming in their own on Sicily Amanda hey whats up the ass go out with all the ways to attempt
ReliaCard there there’s a whole thing is CSUN somebody just got something
uncrossed and then and they said they were dropping german paratroopers in Tolleson AZ
when do you know when they did that was that was that it
401st Lawson off alot of men and planes
planes by being shot down like that when was it finally the Sun
is that that was the case well


assets can I live we were we were away from the beach in the end you know
inland even if is daylight by the time they realize that
that what was the sea that work there again we at the beaches in dark
omeprazole ways that seem like her at night time when view New York go in
who in there and you didn’t reading you confusion
asian boy you you can’t believe on an invasion how much confusion you can’t run


run into on calendar favored by does know where they’re going to go or somebody baby
baby run into a firefighter something like that and some of those guys get pinned down and you’re supposed to be going over
are we here to do this and it its its its its
something else do you want you want you get in and get situated for you know worth
for each outfit is what you got before so you know when to advance
advanced forward like it if its alright so what we went from their end
Belltown Kodak projeto and David a bitch


assist leaders all mountains ever ever know if there is no flat
flatlands hardly the light Akon new member other than like you know
going into some of the larger cities would be flat but other net
Shrek lyrics English in the mountains terrain was real real
30 difficult train goes the fray
Agrigento we went two player mode we were I can remember walking
streets of Palermo at night before


do anything what’s going on I mean we’re out to
patrolling and the
I like to laugh when you see this pattern shows that he showed him
Andy’s island Rajan everything coming in 2 player mobile that was about 3 days after
decorator it been to flare mounting food death
your role at this point in time when you’re in Sicily are you following me
infantry yeah yeah we go where was this where were the seven different tree when we went


a man think that they needed us to go out and clean the mind you know it say that God
pinned down by minebuilder something like that we have to go out in front of the infantry
and pick up that minefield and clear it out we would take the whole minefields WeWood
clear a path through forum say another way to clean up old big mine
minebuilders too much but all you had to do we have what was call tracing table
take that was a flight tape Android Market like a picket on each side and
wind claim that part right there right through that part and then


somebody else another engineer outfit behind us would come in and clean
clean pick up the rest of the minefield in the bud we were all
we were always out front let’s put it that way I’m in that anything that had to be done
redundant like heavy bridges that had me build another engineer outfit the big
big engineer outfit builder bridges and stuff behind us of what ever we did
we did we were in front hair
here in your back up would be here and you are kind of in the middle row all I can say where we were


frankly always low we had quite a few days of infantry ride along with
what’s a 74d army end up with you know you get pinned down why and everybody goes into
do all fighting services
is that all there is to it now you are truly on the front line oil yeah I mean that.
how many days that we really had that happen trees they got combat page
here we were a lot of times out in front of the time we didn’t get combat baby I’m in that I could never end
never understand that I’m a note on calendar we were infantry a lot of different times


weather Infantry Regiment have us too much
scattered out to we would they would throw us into that hole right there as infantry
free study if I fill in and of clay we never did
never did get combat pay hey I could never really understand that
how did I can understand Evan dragon combat Vegas odds of boy that is it
is it you didn’t infantry with infantry that was always told I would want to be an F
soldier how do you do diffuse Disneyland lines


set you’re working with the butt how do you defuse
who is on the landline well
there’s so many different kinds of landmines the third just love you
you have a call with a bouncing betty would be a bigger ass
around and about that tall and David said a man in that have like 3 prongs
sick enough out the ground like it if you hit any one of those three prong bingo
bingo in bounce right out and explode but then then you have color


well tell her mind with a big tank my nose is about all of that big around
all about that deep and you would have wanted come in contact with him
weather my your tattoo take your bayonet poke around to you found a man and you had to pull call
call the way are playing all around and make sure there’s no what’s it called tripwires
delete a booby trap a lot of times we do this at night to anothet
that’s that’s pretty teenagers when you start picking up my eyes at night time
time date I was a bad good you could see what you’re doing but it’s not you really had to be careful


I don’t understand how you could possibly see you at night time will you feel how you feel that’s all
that’s all you do you just take your hand in your dream if you come to a wire you would stop
that was all the ways to figure out where the heck that’s why I went and everything
the river was something you could have told you would put a flag
Wagoner and back off and so somebody would know exactly where that mine
mine was now are you always in danger while you’re fooling around with old guy
yes yes we had fun we had a number of guys


that were growing up by mine said that they accidentally trip them
Yuno and lot of times you know when you walk in there and and
they always told you that if you hear that pop underneath your foot
the room flower flat immediately on cows that thing with bouncer
bounce up out of the ground and then you would spread of various and if you’re right and you had less
Atlas chance of getting hit on Calif going to spread out over an area
area that sees Minds lead by the German German Joey


Germans and Italians jail through the war did the Maya
is a mind changes all the base oil they had they had a number
amber different time in a different kind of mines to out the whole
area man that does like I said it was the same way as ours
we had different minds to Amanda said but weird but most
Moses most of our minds will a lot of time for justice
small box mind about this big around that


Everleigh pattern and your eyes whenever you’re late a minefield Royce made a pattern
update minefield so you know exactly when to come in
love you for you to pick it up then you know where exactly where it and if any of War booby trap
trapped you had that Mark specially on the map like so that you know that
that’s a booby trap mine but that’s why I love our kids got blown up
blown up by is by accidentally rip enough a booby trap by NASA
maybe this guy over here will be picking up that mine and somebody over here


get blown up so you encounter what was that hit the wrong of all
tripwire this going across and was set off another man
father mine someplace else its it’s
turn hazard assessment how did you feel because it would seem
animes that you are in a you are always in a hurry hazardous position because
you’re involved in thief my mind
well I get likes a Amana most most of the most


most of our guide for all berry very conscientious I know one night
I went to a get what one of our man called Malcolm on wall
I’ll always remember his name I want to get him to go out
go out you know I have on William Hawley was going out on guard duty
duty and anyhow I threw back of his car goes on
Bonanza were dug in all the time but I threw back is Tarpon eyes and Malcolm
how come time to go on guard he was down there saying the rosary on his hands and knees


I just put the car back what’s the officer and I told him get rid of Malcolm as always
Allen County he wouldn’t he would be a detriment
sent to us that’s all it was to it I mean if your pap anybody that would
just the least bit scared of what I want you got scared
you were gone I made another word say they put you doing something else or ship back someplace else
how can you not be scared well I guess you can always be
scared that’s all a many time I cried and I


and I’m not getting giant lizard I was so scared of the
I will like to say I wonder if invasion of Anzio
when we got it on Anzio there was nothing no fighting no nuts
no nothing but the second day when they start coming oh god they just
Vegas bomb the living daylights out of a sentence did bombs are falling guy got no
I got knocked down twice in the same night and you talk it I think I was
I was scared I was really a Iowa Oldboy Batman other kid night


babe believe it or not we ran down to the beach there was a big pill box down on
down on the beach and we knew that this pill box with their Andy’s bombs are coming in with so
whistle we beat it down there for you figure well that’s a pretty good safe place to be as in that pill box
the boxer that was wrong and everything and we crawled in that pill box and we held
tell when other and both of us was cry that that’s hard to say
how to save for two grown men don’t cry but we were both scared to death
the death that was always do it by really scared I’ll never show Waters his name


does the name in fact he came from the town that I was born in Villa Grove Illinois
Grove Illinois did you see him after the war
he was up in Wisconsin and Louis had
irr army reunions leappad1 every year next year will be our last reunion
better for 62 years and I said no but I mean that
huge Dido quite some time ago but I should see him all the time now
every year when you deleated 10 the reunion get the same


work we’re going to stop here and we will continue and I wanted
I wanted to pick up your album and the have Henry
the camera is taking photographs of
ri should they filming sister Charles from album
album 4 of 4 albums on the album sizes
is approximately 14 in a quarter by 11 and
and these two pages represents a sample of the type


photographs and postcards that are found in the album on the way
on the left are postcards that are picked up from Italy
on the right are photographs that Mr Brown’s truck
the small photographs show the size of the PD 15 camera
film which is approximately 1 & 7 eighths by 2
two and a half and then the larger photographs are enlargements
author of song that sais photograph


also you can see the beautiful cursive handwriting
Mr Brown’s sister who labeled all of these photographs and put them into the cell



this is a continuation of an interview for the veterans
veterans history project with Charles Francis chick runs of Champaign Illinois


Charles Brunswick a combat engineer with the armies company age
Engineer Battalion 3rd Infantry Division his rank was Sergeant
join the military in 1941 and Wilson Combat from November 1942 to the end of the
end of the war in August 1945 Mr Brown
what was awarded the Purple Heart the Good Conduct Medal Aquada Gator and several other citation
Stations of moles in the first interview on September 24th Mr Brun
describe his combat engineer training at Circle US bases is part Indian


the invasion of North Africa in the Sicily campaign he also describe the diary
Larry the TCAP the collection of postcards that he collected in the photograph that he took during training
Training and Service Adrian talking about his combat experiences in Italy when the
interview ended today is Friday October 5th 2007 my name is Harry and William
Williamson also present is Henry Radcliffe who is the director of lighting sound and recording
we are in the television studio love will in Urbana Illinois
on the University of Illinois campus Mr Burns 10 Things I wanted


I wanted to ask you about it is all u had a photograph where you were building a road
toad in Sicily and when we look at that photograph you had mentioned that
and that Arnie Pyle has been in contact with your unit for a few days
holidays to would you like to talk about that at all that was involved in a road like it was
it was the Germans say what’s up mountain passes
the mountain and the Germans instead of blowing up the whole mouth
mountainside or bring down the road they blew out the far side of the tunnel on lips


what’s went out into the Mediterranean Sea that disc edition shared everything
ruthanne all off the back side and we had to build a road from back
backside of that around to the land on the other side of the mountain and the
does Rihanna had just her how I think it’s a breeze finished in the lesson lesson
less than 2 days where we got the first Jeep across then 2
get supplies and stuff on upper to the infantry abet
Ernie policy spent about 3 days with us while we were there at


is that site and write about your hero about this
they live about that he called a theory Island in the sky I think is in Life Magazine
anybody ever had old life magazines from 1943
3 I’m sure that would end the Battle of Sicily is on the ballot this because my sister
Mr singer the magazine my sister had it when I came home and
I could see my picture in a very clearly is it you know it
working on that road is there anything else you would like to talk about


come out and regarding Sicily and operation world
I would say this is it for Comic Sans
actors of in Sicilian campaign was over with
and I had to go in a water details and we went down to Messina
and they talk about Patton been the first ruler of bending machine
Massena he didn’t commando quite a few days after words for the the crowd
everything but that we were there and they were showing us from Italy


we had a spin down behind a building in one of Art guys with just naturally went out
round scouting around and come into a burned out building
in the bottom of that was the bottom of a brewery so anyhow we had it
underwater cans weigh filled with water cans out of a great big spicket
and put bariana will by the time we got back to the office
does cans of beer with lighter in a pancake one of the good also
where to go get water again when you


you had talked about North Africa you had mentioned that they German guns
really a worm better than the American
all by far the snow comparison between the German guns in our guns
when we went in Africa
evasion that’s probably the reason why we didn’t advance too far
2 Parkers R&R equipment was so far
the Germans so far superior to our guns and everything it was


ridiculous when did that or did it not change in terms of
is of American armament versus dreamworld inferred it took
well Kleerup until invasion of Sicily before we had better better equipment
pregnant and everything was better but
better by the time wait on the invasion 800 progressive over the years
here is your bedtime into the war we had our quick adjust nut allergies
I just as good or better than the Germans but I


is that they had they read ahead good equipment equipment
equipment you were you wanted to talk about the truck that was
asking when time I get a good nurse and in the end
the engineer in a company of engineer G squad have had their own truck and on Archer
are truck we carried all bromine detectors all reminds
anytime a road you know pics shovels anything for road construction
TNT for blasting everything everything we had we had on our


truck and where we went it went with us
dangerous to be with a trucks in Fort Hood have been if you would it be if you got hit you hard cuz
Edward Gibbon take a direct hit from a artillery shell to
directions load everything undergone Canada remind everything you had to set
set those all same way the TNT they had to be set off with a primer cap
add to be the explosive so it really wasn’t that dangerous I can tell you a story
story you talk about NGOs we had a bridge on Anzio and Oliver


all the pillars all the way around the bridge we had a case of 10
AT&T setting on each pillar all the way around and then we had
all wrapped with primer cord and then the cab for just sitting there a loser
another word for if we had to blow the bridge of the Germans counter table roulette Bridge overhead
all we had do a stick that caffeine does block AT&T in blow the whole Bridge
will the Germans would come in at night and wish Ellis friends with tanks
weird crawl up underneath that bridge complete back underneath them buttman


buttman part of it and the shelves strapon stuff could hit Earth
headers for that they would hit one of those boxes at TNT with Robby all went up
would you like to talk to more about an siol bit brothers
do you want me tell you a story about the end champagne hair
a lot of these peoples nose Michael Kennedy go Michael Kenna go is editor of that
the part of while he was married to Mrs contigo
and any how we used to have a gentleman


gentleman would come by 4 ever so often and I talk
talk to him under bridge in their paid any attention to him who he was it go on
I want to our lives to be gone for a few days and come back and give me the
the password when you come back with talking it going back after the war was over
so where I work for the news-gazette and I have to be up up in his office
Opus one day and Harris a great big bunker sandbag bunker that we build
we build on an 04 the general and I have to see that there in there


Harry was dead along side general Triscuit asking about that
anyhow he got talking and it turned out that he was a gentleman that was going to are lying
are lions and I didn’t even know anything about it are there any other people
fall in your unit who came from Champaign Urbana from another Mayan outfit my brother
my brother in law was in the offer special service for that was the Canadian
American outfit that’s the one that lost the old
allahumma tired I think they lost more than three-quarters of Italian


dianon Cal the Germans counterattack in cotton flat footed bad headache after
captured in her children but he was he was in the first vessel surveys the Oni
Johnny I did get to see him a couple times when we are on anvil but that was about it
how did the British and the news
birth and there were many other troops from South Africa in
and I India who were in Italy did you ever have contact with any of those
Lowes Truth up


unless they were fighting along the side of its I would say no I mean this as far as
the only other groups I could think of was the
42nd to Japanese outfits they were fought alongside of us for a while
dial up when we were going up to southern France on up into German
Germany they were as a special unit at one time
on time but that’s the only time I can think of any other special outfits of the other than that
all 36 in the end the 48 Division these they were right lawns


Lawnside was most all the time
I’m with my train of thought here
is there anything
singing else that you would like to talk about in terms of the fighting at Monte
Casino are in the over under stand that that was some of the fiercest fighting in well
well there’s a light and Zanjoe is the people just don’t understand you
when we hit the beach is there an everything everything goes quiet for all feud


hope you days until the Germans start counter texting and what they started counter attack
attack and what they threw everything under the Sun at a good airsoft
off the the beach at when on parole heck
not quite two weeks and then they Vegas for Less is a good sugar soft again
do anything for this flag was in the Navy brought in a smoke pot
sports and then smoke pot from the Mediterranean Sea
the smoke back to the mountains you couldn’t see the mountains anymore so another


another word for the Germans could not say yes and we could see the Germans won kow the mountain
look completely covered with smoke and in the day time on and
on and Zoe was do you get out walk around me play ball we did everything and date
daytime nighttime it was a different thing I mean it new season
ever drink called for stats go up and pick up a minefield we had to go up pick up a minefield
we had to go lay in minefield we had to go to lemon it was always done at night never in the day time
daytime after and to what was your next


BAM where did you go after amnio after and Zoe
end of the roll Wilson that’s what I see I got one
Atwood in 80 going in the wrong but anyhow I was in the hospital and I
got up ala hospital could I didn’t want to miss out and my phone is cut
forgot to tell her grandmother was wounded in action they got telegram I was missing in action and I kept
cap writing a letter so that they would really confused I didn’t know what was going on but anyhow
I got into Rome on the day they went into Rome on the 4th


of June and the D Day was the 6th of June
and I was I was going into the wrong dude I dislike back to school
try to find my outfit on the 6th at the day that I got back in the wrong with the 6th
the sixth day of June does it in as a with everybody was talking about the invasion of
Europe at that time
back to your family what kind of things would you write to them what life is like in the other young
young kid you’re just you’re having a great time and nothing was happening I mean


you know you’re safe and all that but it wasn’t quite Atwood
did your parents did you receive frequent letters from home yes I received credit
quite a few letters from home and I home quite a few letters must my sister cap
capo 7 whatever happened to all of metro I got home I had since they had a big box button
that’s removed why I don’t know whatever happened to
did you want to talk it any further about your experiences
incest in Italy leather book the river the Volta River or


Montecassino well hey honey I do I really don’t know what you would you
we had quite a few different crossings of alternate
Riverwood Inn deadly was that was he had to put a pontoon
turn bridge across for the infantry to get a Crosman that was a pretty her oants Perry
parents are mean that the Germans really didn’t want to come
over the river and through nicely they were always shell innocence we still kept right on
Workington got the bridge across will they can get a cross


do you think is your most
important memory of Italy what up
what are the most important
g p s
the come out alive look
look for it that way one of the photograph that you showed me that
struck me was a actually there were two photographs


Bratz 13. Which was the photograph of your best friend’s wedding
who have been killed was it at Anzio are you there yet honey photograph was it

do I buy my above my really best friend that I was with
with serving all the way through from Fort Leonard Wood Road Northport
Fort Leonard Wood bookoo Fort Lewis Washington from man on all the way through the war
order up to Anville he was killed on Enfield and anytime


what time but like I said we would go out at night network with come back in red get in AR
bunkers something like that her sleeping quarters
and I will always we always saved a little tiny piece of candle and will
weird like that little candle sometimes we are like a little shadow
shed like an underground everything
Everett Ave bus routes to the top of its really just like a little room like and
and we play chess and we had a chess board that was


I get folded up but the pegs fit in tights or another word
other words that we could just move it from Dayton I take as a week to play a game of chess
so we always had that chest hair but he was killed on an 01
I will I will I think I show you a picture of his dream that I took on an sealed air
another photograph that you showed me was a picture of
are all of Mark Clark Lamar Clark he visited our
value is coming to our Big Y carry just checking up I supposed to come to come


the command office and he was there just a short while another time
Iran and this is that was in Italy with Mark then he came to visit this one time when
Time Warner on Anzio and the funny part was about 12 couple three weeks late
weeks later we got the stars and stripes and the stars and stripes and send it
that he just barely missed being killed will
it was about his left our area about 200 half hour and Roo airy woods


The Stars and Stripes military
military newspaper of hot guys on Irene
entry don’t remember how often we would get that would be ever so often everybody
tickled to death to get to see it go
did you know if I’ll be live wallpaper bill Mauldin
does an AR 3rd division and Ollie
is he was he was his cartoons are we something else I mean if you ever get it


get a chance to look at one of his books on Joe and Willie
why they they’re their there thats quite something to see
but I think you have to be a combat veteran to really appreciate them and under
another words to somebody thats in combat Oakwood
would really understand you know what they’re all about when
when during the time that you were in combat did you always
you always know where you were and what the plan was or was there a lot of chaos


chaos in confusion no not really I’m into you and another word for you
is it dead whatever you were going to do the authors would come and tell you that you know road another word
where did the whole platoon was going to move out or do you know
do work on something over whether your squad had to go Deus do one job
job or something like that 2 minutes you know that look like people get the missing
ebony is a call for you to clean a minefield you didn’t
you didn’t completely clean that minefield all you did was clean a path through the


who that minefield fill the infantry can go through a 10 minutes then another engineering
Kyra out that Bun B north at the after through another engineering
Mary outfit would come down and they would clean out the rest of that minefield
Safeway in building bridges we just put wheel
really and combat you want to build temporary bridges if it’s never a permanent bridge
Woodbridge permit Bridgewater MA built by if a larger engineering fit
restaurants where the woman he received that cause you any difficult


difficulties with real life not really all I did was terrible little bit of my flesh and everything
singing the blues live I got a few scars from up with that about it
when you left Italy how did you proceed
where did you go next was actually went in their invasion of love
add Salerno was already on and we didn’t come into a couple couple days
days after the invasion was already there and of the 36 and 45
45th was already in there and they were getting pregnant getting shoved out and then we commanded


both of them up and that’s what he’ll the beach and then and then and then and then are we
push forward and then when you left when you left it all
Eataly what was your next place that you went well in other words
do Hedley I mean we got up to Monte Casino at Monte Cassino they pull it off the line
we took a little bit of an invasion or less all
polo practice on the boats and then we went do we got on the boat cement the end
Yanceyville and that was it named for Manziel who went to Rome and we were supposed to garrison Rolla


romance at least that’s what we were told while we were there about 3 weeks in Rome
troll and Napolean division out we went back to do
Naples again and I’m from Naples why we went through southern France