Oral History Interview: Jim Hull of Urbana
Jim Hull served all over Europe in many of the major campaigns. He was in the Army for about three years, serving with the artillery in places like the Argonne Forest and Normandy. His artillery group followed the troops in on the beaches on D Day and went with Patton through France. Hull was in the Battle of the Bulge and talks about the bitterness of the cold 7 degree temperatures. He shows samples of the K rations that soldiers ate—small boxes containing a canned dinner or a breakfast/lunch combination, and cigarettes. Hull shares the letter all soldiers received from Gen. Dwight Eisenhower before they hit the beaches. At the time, he said, he and his buddies were so ready to go that he didn’t think much of it, but reading it after surviving the war and looking back, he realizes how much that letter meant. His group was the only one to hold a bridge over the Elbe River, a bridge they called the Truman Bridge. His group served as part of the Army of Occupation when the battles ended.