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Oral history interview with Albin Irzyk

Oral History | Accession Number: 2015.392.1 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0840

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

General Albin Felix Irzyk (né Jerzk), born February 1, 1917 in Salem, Massachusetts, describes being the eldest of three siblings; his sister Flora, who was three years younger and his brother, Arthur, who was six years younger; growing up with good values in a middle class family; his schooling; life during the Depression; attending Massachusetts State College and working full or part-time to help pay his tuition; being active in ROTC and graduating college on June 10, 1940 with a bachelor's degree and as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Horse Cavalry Reserve; going to Fort Ethan Allen in Vermont for active duty for two weeks and then to East Boston Airport for Air Cadet training; going through physical exams and receiving notice to report July 1, 1940 to Fort Ethan Allen as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 3rd Cavalry Regiment; being the platoon leader for 40 Cavalry men and joining the first squadron of the Cavalry at Ft. Myer, Virginia, where he trained draftees; being in Fort Myer when Pearl Harbor was bombed and being sent the next day with the regiment to Washington, DC to guard government buildings; beginning an intensive and extensive training program in the spring of 1942; his regiment being redesignated as the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Mechanized; training in Tennessee and the Mojave Desert; being promoted to the rank of Major in 1943; being sent to England in January 1944; being trained close to Bristol; attaching to the 4th Armored Division; arriving in France on July 13, 1944; staying in Granville for three days; being the operations officer and living in a tank for eight or nine months close to several other men; his memories of the winter of 1944-1945 and the Battle of the Bulge; going through Germany; heading south to Ohrduf; being surprised to find a concentration camp, where they saw many dead bodies and people who looked like skeletons; facilitating Eisenhower's visit to Ohrdruf; the book he is writing about his experiences; remaining in Germany during the occupation with his wife, Evelyn, from 1948 to 1954; spending two years in Vietnam; and retiring as a Brigadier General.

Interviewee
Brigadier General Albin Irzyk
Interviewer
Ina Navazelskis
Date
2015 October 07  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
1 digital file : MPEG-4.