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Oral history interview with James Bryant

Oral History | Accession Number: 2015.103.2 | RG Number: RG-50.865.0002

James Bryant, born December 24, 1924 in Southampton, VA, describes his volunteer work at the D-Day Memorial in Bedford, VA; being drafted at age 18 as a private into the infantry in Norfolk, VA; receiving training for a year; spending several weeks in early 1944 in Camp Pickett then Camp Myles Standish; being shipped overseas to Liverpool, England; signing on to the 325th glider infantry; landing in Normandy on D-Day and the danger of his mission; going to "jump school" and became a paratrooper in Normandy; how at the age of 19, in mid-December 1944, in the midst of snow and fog during the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge his platoon was told to seek an isolated crossroads near Bastogne, Belgium, and they came under heavy fire from the Germans; almost being shot by Germans then Americans while retrieving a jeep with supplies and hiding all night before returning to the 82nd Airborne; getting leave time and going to Pepinster, Belgium and befriending a Belgian family; being promoted to First Sergeant of his company; crossing the Elbe from Cologne and heading toward Ludwigslust; the German Army surrendering to the 82nd Airborne; his unit learning of a nearby concentration camp in the village of Wobbelin and how this made a deep impressions on him; the conditions in the camp when they arrived; his commander requiring all of the civilians to view the dead and bury them in the town's palace grounds; revisiting Ludwigslust and Wobbelin in 1994 and the memorial that had been erected; returning to the US in October 1945; reenlisting in the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg, NC, and subsequently serving in the Korean War; how his war experiences have shaped his views; and lessons he learned from the Holocaust.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
James Bryant
Dr. Marcia Horn
interview:  2006 October 05
1 DVD.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Marcia Horn
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:39:32
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