This is Tape 1, Side B. This is an interview with Irv Bromberg in February of
2003. This is the start of the interview. On the reverse side of this tape is an
earlier interview with Irv Lichtenstein conducted in December of 2002. That
interview continues onto a second tape as does this one on the reverse side of
the Lichtenstein tape. So this is the start of the Irv Bromberg inter- view.

This interview is for the Columbus Jewish Historical Society, being recorded
on February 11 as part of the Columbus Jewish Historical Society Oral History
Project. The interview is being recorded at the Melton Building on College
Avenue, Columbus, Ohio. My name as the interviewer is Dave Graham and I am
interviewing Irv Bromberg. And now we’ll begin the very first part of this
interview.

Interviewer: Let’s start off with background information. I’m going to,
because of the amount of combat experience you have had, I’m going to do this
a little bit in reverse. Because if I ask you and we talk a little bit about
Karen Tan and Ubach, then I can do a bit more research about those areas and
touch on a few questions that I anticipate would come up and touch on those
later on, maybe at a second interview. Because what we usually do is, the format
is let’s talk about your family here in Columbus and some of your Jewish
heritage and then training and on into the war. But in order for me to do some
research, I’d like to, in fact, touch on this story that you wrote here and
then Ubach and then we’ll work our, then maybe go back to Karen Tan.

Bromberg: You do this Spring story, in fact I wrote it in once, they didn’t
want to print it. Does this sound a little far-fetched? Want to hear a really
far-fetched story?

Interviewer: We don’t consider anything far-fetched in this area of
history.

Bromberg: Oh, okay.

Interviewer: You go right ahead.

Bromberg: Well then you better not record it. Then I’ll just tell you and
you use your own judge—. On this camp in a road . . . .

Interviewer: You’re on a road?

Bromberg: And I see this tank come around the curve, you know, this turn,
where every- body’s going a mile and, you know, hardly moving. So when I saw
the tank come towards us I thought maybe it was one of our tanks. You know, you
think you can tell a German tank from American tank but you know, looking in a
periscope, so I saw this tank come towards us and all of a sudden I see a big
puff of smoke in front of our tank. It shot at us and missed. It hit the front
of our, you know, on the ground.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: So we shot and we missed. And we both missed.

Interviewer: How far away was it?

Bromberg: What could I say . . . .

Interviewer: I mean you could see it was a tank and . . . .

Bromberg: Oh yeah . . . . closer than a half a block.

Interviewer: Football field, closer than, you’re really close.

Bromberg: Oh yeah, we’re reasonably close, yeah. I would say so. All the
time looking through this periscope and I see this.

Interviewer: Were you the driver?

Bromberg: No I was the machine gunner.

Interviewer: Okay but you had the periscope?

Bromberg: Oh yeah, as the bow gunner. So anyway we shot and missed. The
difference is our tanks have what you call an automatic breach and the Germans
crank it, you know, when they eject the shell. So we got the second shot in
first and hit it. Didn’t, we just, I don’t now, we just, so anyway that’s
all I could see because right after that, that, in the turret, you know, we had
our phones and our helmet, they yelled to me to hand up shells. So behind my
seat I can lift off the back of my seat, I had a lot of shells behind me. So I
was handing up shells to the turret and they were throwing down empty shells to
me. So when I, so this is, how many tan–, that German tank never did burn.

Interviewer: In other words you fired more than once?

Bromberg: Oh we fired, I must have had maybe a half a dozen or a dozen shells
behind me I handed up to the turret. And they were throwing down these empty
shells.

Interviewer: Now did you have to select a certain type of shell or . . . .

Bromberg: Oh no there were . . . .

Interviewer: armor-piercing type of . . . .

Bromberg: No, no, I just . . . .

Interviewer: . . . .

Bromberg: I either . . . .

Interviewer: You just grabbed . . . .

Bromberg: I have to tell you, I just grabbed them. I didn’t check what I
was handing them.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: I was just handing them shells, that’s all I was doing. And
normally they’re real hard to pull out. They came out so easy, you know, the
gentle one. So anyway I was handing up shells to the turret and they’re
throwing down the shells. Then the lieutenant screamed at me, you know, in the .
. . . He said, “Machine gun”. Then the Germans started to bail out.
So, and we machine-gunned them.

Interviewer: So you were able to get on your gun then?

Bromberg: Oh yeah, yeah. I turned around and grabbed my gun.

Interviewer: What was that, a 30 caliber one?

Bromberg: A 30 caliber, yes.

Interviewer: It’s small caliber. Would that really do much damage?

Bromberg: Well I was just going to shoot the Germans. That . . . .

Interviewer: I’ll bet.

Bromberg: it could kill a guy. That would solve the problem. That’s, that
was the purpose of the gun.

Interviewer: It would still knock down . . . .

Bromberg: It wasn’t for armor piercing or anything like that.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: It was just, you know, regular . . . .

Interviewer: It was enough to . . . .

Bromberg: for personnel . . . .

Interviewer: to knock off the Germans?

Bromberg: Yes.

Interviewer: Were you able to hit any?

Bromberg: Oh yeah, yeah, we got . . . . So anyway then, getting back to that
story there, then we, you know, we pulled back that evening. Then the next day .
. . .

Interviewer: Yeah?

Bromberg: The next day the sergeant came up to my tank. And I knew him pretty
well, Sergeant Manqueso, real nice guy. And he came up to the tank and says,
“Irving we need a tank in the company commander’s tank”.

Interviewer: Need a man?

Bromberg: Need a man. They needed a man.

Interviewer: With the company commander?

Bromberg: Yeah. There’s four men in a tank, there’s five. They needed
another man in his tank and Manqueso wanted me to come over to their tank.

Interviewer: They invited you over to their . . . .

Bromberg: Oh yeah, they wanted me to join that crew.

Interviewer: Why, did they think you were good or something or?

Bromberg: I don’t know. I knew Manqueso. I did know him. I didn’t know
the company commander but I did know Sergeant Manqueso.

Interviewer: Okay. So what did you say?

Bromberg: I told them no, I wanted to stay where I was.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bromberg: And the reason I wanted to stay because of the lieutenant I had
because he was, I figured I could stay alive with him.

Interviewer: Why did you think that?

Bromberg: Because he was, he just, I had confidence in him. I didn’t like
him as a person, even a friendly person . . . .

Interviewer: And that was . . . .

Bromberg: but he was a good combat . . . .

Interviewer: And his name was Swarthy?

Bromberg: Swartz. They pronounced it wrong.

Interviewer: Oh, Swartz?

Bromberg: Yeah . . . .

Interviewer: Okay.

Bromberg: that was his name.

Interviewer: So you thought he was a good commander?

Bromberg: Oh yeah, yeah. He was, he was combat. He knew his business.

Interviewer: How long had you been in combat to that point?

Bromberg: Well we started when we landed in, around June 12th.

Interviewer: So you had had, you were fighting. Had you fired at tanks before
this time?

Bromberg: Oh yeah.

Interviewer: This wasn’t your first . . . .

Bromberg: This was the first one we knocked out though.

Interviewer: Oh. But this wasn’t the first one you ever fired at?

Bromberg: Oh no, no, no, no.

Interviewer: Okay. Just a little background on that.

Bromberg: Yeah I know.

Interviewer: So you had been with him all this time then?

Bromberg: Oh yeah, yeah.

Interviewer: Okay. So that was the reason, huh?

Bromberg: Oh yeah. It was just, I had confidence in him. I believed, you
know, I believed in him. You know . . . .

Interviewer: Even though his name was Swartz, isn’t that German?

Bromberg: Yeah, he’s from Pennsylvania. Yeah, he was a Pennsylvania
Dutchman.

Interviewer: Oh is that right?

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: Okay. So what happened then with this, you were offered the
other position . . . .

Bromberg: And I turned it down. I said no, I didn’t tell Manqueso. I couldn’t,
you know, I just said, “No, I’ll just stay where I’m at”. The next
day his tank went out.

Interviewer: Ummm. Yeah it went out?

Bromberg: Got hit. Manqueso got killed and the captain got killed.

Interviewer: Oh my.

Bromberg: The next day after that.

Interviewer: Were you in the vicinity when it happened or?

Bromberg: I don’t know.

Interviewer: See anything?

Bromberg: You know it’s funny. You don’t know whose tank is what. You don’t
know nothing till you pull back.

Interviewer: Did you see it happen, how the tank got hit?

Bromberg: No I didn’t see, I didn’t see, you know, I didn’t see it
happen.

Interviewer: You didn’t see that one get knocked in . . . .

Bromberg: Maybe I did but don’t know.

Interviewer: This was F Company though, huh?

Bromberg: Yeah this was, oh yeah.

Interviewer: You’d all be staying within F Company?

Bromberg: Yeah, yeah.

Interviewer: And that was the company commander?

Bromberg: That was the company commander.

Interviewer: Remember his name?

Bromberg: No I didn’t even know him.

Interviewer: But this was, this was brand, a new commander ’cause your
other one was killed by a sniper?

Bromberg: Yeah Nicholson was killed.

Interviewer: And this guy is killed?

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: And you don’t even know him?

Bromberg: No I didn’t even know him, no. I’d seen him but I didn’t
know, I never talked to him or anything.

Interviewer: That would certainly show you guys were in heavy, heavy combat.
You’re losing . . . .

Bromberg: Uh huh.

Interviewer: company commanders like that. You were kind of lucky, weren’t
you? How did you feel about that, I mean the next day or when you heard or what?

Bromberg: Didn’t think nothing of it.

Interviewer: Did you think that you, because of that, you were going to make
it to the end?

Bromberg: Didn’t even give it a thought. Didn’t even . . . .

Interviewer: Did you in general think you were going to live or die during
this time?

Bromberg: Well . . . .

Interviewer: Did you have a feeling about it?

Bromberg: No I just . . . .

Interviewer: Were you resigned to your death? Some men said, “Well I
didn’t think I was going to make it”.

Bromberg: No I just say I scared or what it . . . .

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: I tell you too, the longer you’re in it, you think more of it, so
to speak, the longer you’re in it. But you don’t think the next one’s
going to be you. No I never thought of, you know, no I don’t think I thought
that. I was scared but I don’t think it was going to be me. But every time I
looked at a dead G.I., it’s like looking at yourself.

Interviewer: Is that right?

Bromberg: Yeah I could look at dead Germans all day long but when I saw a
dead G.I., then I was looking at my—, then, you know, then I thought about it.

Interviewer: That could be you, huh? Did your buddies all know you were
Jewish?

Bromberg: I let them know it.

Interviewer: You let them? Why make such a statement?

Bromberg: Well because when I joined, my division was a southern division. It
was from the south. Most of the boys were, so the draftees started to come in.

Interviewer: Oh, okay.

Bromberg: It was . . . .

Interviewer: So the original men came from the south?

Bromberg: Yeah well most of them . . . .

Interviewer: Before the draft?

Bromberg: Yeah, more or less, yeah, from Georgia, North Carolina. They were
all from the, and they thought a Jew had to have horns on his head and all that
kind of . . . .

Interviewer: Are you kidding me? They had thoughts about Jews?

Bromberg: Oh yeah, oh yeah. So what I did, when I’d get the Jewish Chronicle
from home. I’d leave it in front of my tent to let them know I was Jewish.
That was my way of letting them know I was Jewish.

Interviewer: Did anybody show any reaction to you?

Bromberg: No, no, I didn’t, not really because I’d kid about it. I made a
joke out of it so to speak. You know, I’d say, now when we were in the lines,
“Don’t call me Bromberg, call me Schneider ’cause I don’t want the
Germans to hear us”. I’d make a, you know.

Interviewer: Did you ever sense any anti-Semitism towards you or anybody
else?

Bromberg: I never, I knew it was there, I’m used to it. I was used to it
back in ’42.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: I was used to it.

Interviewer: I see.

Bromberg: But, well some of the guys said, “Well you’re not really
Jewish are you, Irving?” I said, “Yes I am”.

Interviewer: Hmmm.

Bromberg: And I tried to set a good example. I was very conscious of it.

Interviewer: Oh yeah?

Bromberg: I was very conscious of it.

Interviewer: Is that right? In your article here, I’d like to ask, you have
a blank space here where you say you’d like anyone to tell you what Lieutenant
Swartz said, your tank commander, said.

Bromberg: Oh yeah, well that . . . .

Interviewer: Did you ever find out? Did you not know . . . .

Bromberg: Oh I was there. I’ll tell you what he said. I’ll tell you what
he said.

Interviewer: Oh, okay. You knew before this article?

Bromberg: Oh yeah, yeah.

Interviewer: Okay.

Bromberg: Because I don’t think they wanted to print it.

Interviewer: Oh. What did he say?

Bromberg: They didn’t, after the, that’s what I said, after the captain
got killed and our platoon was, you know, you’re going out every day, every
day, every day. So one day he called us together, just our platoon. He said,
“I’m going to tell you some- thing. You probably wonder why we’re going
out every day”. He said, “The reason was the captain is trying to get
me killed”. . . . . That’s a little . . . .

Interviewer: Why?

Bromberg: Because he was, now I’m just talking, because I don’t, you
know, I didn’t know what was going on. And he said, “Well he’s jealous
of me,” ’cause the lieutenant was running the company.

Interviewer: Oh my gosh.

Bromberg: This Swartz was running the company and this captain came in . . .
.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: and I don’t know, but, I didn’t know anything. I wasn’t aware
. . . . He called us together and he said, “That’s the reason we’re
going out every day”, ’cause it got to be a joke, you know, Second
Platoon going out all the time.

Interviewer: Really heading out into combat? The commander would decide who .
. . .

Bromberg: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And he’s sending us out. He called us together
and he said, “You wonder why we’re going out every day,” he said,
“That was the reason”. He said this after he got killed. He didn’t
say it while he was alive.

Interviewer: Yeah I understand.

Bromberg: He never said that while he was alive, but after he got killed,
then he called us together and said, “That’s why we were going out”.

Interviewer: So you were doubly lucky? You had been out there?

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: And then you had made your decision not to go to his tank. Wow.
That’s an interesting story there. We know from our previous discussion
setting up the interview that you had battles in Karen Tan and also Ubach,
Germany.

Bromberg: . . . . then Vire.

Interviewer: Vire, France?

Bromberg: Mortan.

Interviewer: Mortan?

Bromberg: I remember those names. But generally you’re out in the hedgerows
. . . .

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bromberg: all the time. Most of the time you’re fighting in the hedgerows.
Now there’s a story I can tell you about Vire.

Interviewer: Okay that’s fine. Long as you brought it up.

Bromberg: Okay. Vire was a sort of like a . . . .

Interviewer: Vire, okay?

Bromberg: Now before we went into Vire, before we attacked at Vere, just a
little story there. They came around, a fellow named Bickel, which I knew pretty
well, and then in England, I knew him back in the States and in Africa and
Sicily. Then in England he was transferred to Headquarters Company. He left our
company. Then we were outside Vier. Before we attacked at Vire, they pulled us
back and, you know, maintenance and so forth. It was like a rest I guess before
we went in again. And this Bickel came around the battalion, to different
companies, asking for volunteers to go into the German lines to get some
prisoners to interrogate. So I told Bickel, I gave him my name, I said,
“Bickel, I’ll go”. He says, “Okay”. And I gave him my
name.

Interviewer: I have to ask you why did you volunteer?

Bromberg: Well I tell you, if you want to know what went through my head, we
were pulled back, we weren’t doing nothing. I don’t know, I was young. Maybe
I was reckless or whatever.

Interviewer: Okay.

Bromberg: I don’t know why. I can’t give you an intelligent reason but
that, I remember, I was reck–, you know we weren’t doing nothing. We’d just
pulled back.

Interviewer: Was this your only time to ever volunteer or did you do it . . .
.

Bromberg: No once before I did.

Interviewer: Okay.

Bromberg: This was back in Sicily. This was . . . .

Interviewer: Okay, well just go ahead then. I just wondered.

Bromberg: So anyway, he says, “Okay,” and I gave him my name. And
after he left, word got out in the company that I’d volunteered for this. I
was the only one in the company that volunteered so all the guys were coming up
to me and asking me for my watch. They said, you know they were riding me, you
know, kidding with me, but trying to scare me, see?

Interviewer: They want some of your . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: belongings, huh?

Bromberg: Well they were just doing it, you know, to be funny. But I didn’t
take it. So they’re asking me, “Bromberg can I have your watch, can I
have this?” and to be honest with you, I did get scared. And I said to
myself, I wouldn’t tell nobody, “Why did I do it?” Well it wound up
they never called me. And maybe two or three months later, I don’t know where
we were, in Holland, Germany or something, I bumped, I pulled back and I bumped
into this Bickel. And I said, “You know Bickel,” I said, “I’m
not mad or anything,” I said. “Do you remember back in Viers when I
volunteered to go in the German lines?” And he said, “Yes”. I
said, “How come I was never called?” He said, “Well Bromberg,”
he said, “I liked you and,” he said, “I tore up your name. I
never turned it in,” he said. “I figured it was suicide.”

Interviewer: Is that right?

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: So these guys were going on foot?

Bromberg: I, I have no idea.

Interviewer: Or some—

Bromberg: Reconnaissance like, you know, just get some prisoners, I guess.

Interviewer: Golly sakes. Wow. So you missed out on that one?

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: Names of places again. Now the Battle of the Bulge did not come
up previously. Where were you during that December-January time frame?

Bromberg: I was in the hospital.

Interviewer: Okay, that explains it. Where were you injured or what happened?

Bromberg: Well they just sent me, I guess you’d call it “combat
fatigue”.

Interviewer: Okay, that happened . . . .

Bromberg: . . . .

Interviewer: That was common.

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: You just had, can you tell us how it transpired or when? When,
for example, did you go to the hospital?

Bromberg: Well they pulled me back and I guess I weighed about 100 pounds. I
didn’t have my clothes off for maybe, I think I had my clothes off maybe a
month prior to that day, I think I did. They took us to some showers. They found
a coal mine. I remember that. And I had no stomach. I was just, I mean, I didn’t
have my clothes off and they put me in the hospital and they gave me insulin.

Interviewer: Did they . . . .

Bromberg: The hospital did.

Interviewer: make the decision or did you go to . . . .

Bromberg: Oh I, no, no, I had nothing to say . . . .

Interviewer: Or did you go to a doctor and say, “Doctor” . . . .

Bromberg: No, no. I had nothing, no, no, no, no . . . .

Interviewer: Was it a medic? It sounds like someone saw you and said,
“You got to go for care”. Is that what happened?

Bromberg: Well more or le–. Here’s what happened. You want to be precise
about it?

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bromberg: When my tank got hit, that’s when it happened. And I got out of
the tank, and then when I got out of the tank, I was running back to our lines.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bromberg: And when I got to our lines, oh that’s the time I ran into this
German in the foxhole.

Interviewer: You told me that, about an incident where a German followed you.

Bromberg: And he followed me . . . .

Interviewer: Okay.

Bromberg: he followed me to the lines and the doughboys turned around and
said, “What have you got behind you?” It was that German.

Interviewer: That you didn’t know was there?

Bromberg: Then he, I didn’t know he was there. Then the infantry called up
a combat medic and that’s how it was.

Interviewer: Treating you for . . . .

Bromberg: Well I don’t know . . . .

Interviewer: the results of the . . . .

Bromberg: I don’t know, he just, the medic took me . . . .

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: to a field hospital.

Interviewer: This was Ubach, was it? Was that the Ubach?

Bromberg: Yeah. The medic took me to a field hospital.

Interviewer: Do you recall the date? Quite often when a soldier is put in a
hospital, he remembers the date he was wounded. Do you know the date?

Bromberg: It was in October.

Interviewer: Day, do you know the day?

Bromberg: No I have no concept.

Interviewer: Early, late October, do you know?

Bromberg: I couldn’t tell you, you know why? You don’t know no dates. I
learned more about dates after the war where I was, associating with, what I
read . . . .

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: because you have no concept of dates. I can’t believe anybody
could know what day or what month it would be.

Interviewer: I see. But it was October?

Bromberg: I can’t believe that anybody in combat can tell you what day or
what month it is.

Interviewer: Well maybe this . . . .

Bromberg: . . . . I’m wrong.

Interviewer: Maybe this would be a good point to discuss the Ubach and start
with your tank being here. What were the circumstances?

Bromberg: When you say that, what do you mean?

Interviewer: Your tank was hit and knocked out?

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: What happened that day? Do you remember?

Bromberg: Before our tank was hit?

Interviewer: Yeah. Uh huh.

Bromberg: The tank to the left of us was hit, the tank to the right was hit.

Interviewer: What’s hitting you?

Bromberg: It could be 88s or German tanks. I don’t know what was hitting
us.

Interviewer: Could have been artillery? Or was it . . . .

Bromberg: I doubt it was artillery.

Interviewer: Was it line-of-sight firing?

Bromberg: Yeah. No. I know what you’re saying.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bromberg: I know what you’re saying. You bring up that artillery. ‘Cause
one day I was telling my son, I was standing beside our tank and a swish came
right by my face. I, it took off half of my face. And I told my son I think it
was an artillery shell and my son said, “No, Dad, it had to be somebody
shooting at you because a shell wouldn’t take . . . .” I had, my son
pointed that out. I thought it was artillery.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bromberg: And my son pointed. I said, “No it couldn’t be artillery ’cause
it’s like the wind”. I felt, that shell was so close to my face, I felt
the wind.

Interviewer: He’s probably correct.

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: It could have been an 88 . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: which would fire a high velocity straight . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: at you.

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: Artillery, cannons . . . . coming down.

Bromberg: I thought it was artillery but, you know, then my son pointed what,
which is a . . . . .

Interviewer: Now where was this, Karen Tan or . . . .

Bromberg: This was out in the field . . . .

Interviewer: later?

Bromberg: out in some field, out in an open field I remember. I, it might
have been France, it might have been Belgium.

Interviewer: And you were on foot, not in . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah. Yeah, I wasn’t in the tank. I was standing around the tank
there and (makes whooshing sound).

Interviewer: That shows . . . .

Bromberg: I didn’t think nothing of it.

Interviewer: Didn’t think anything of it? Well tell us about, was this an
attack at Ubach? You were making an . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah we were attacking Ubach. Yeah we were attacking. It was an
attack. Yeah.

Interviewer: Could you see the town or was it pillboxes? This was a
heavily-fortified area.

Bromberg: Yeah well, yeah I know that. It was tank traps.

Interviewer: Yeah, yeah.

Bromberg: Tank traps.

Interviewer: Infantry was going along with you?

Bromberg: They were behind us. No, no, no, no, the infantry weren’t, no
infantry around us.

Interviewer: All right.

Bromberg: No, no, no. There’s no infantry.

Interviewer: Just F Company or, yeah?

Bromberg: Well there might have been other companies . . . . just . . . .

Interviewer: But your F Company guys were . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: in other tanks with you?

Bromberg: Yeah and they were knocking them out ’cause I looked in, you
know, in the periscope. One was knocked out, this one’s knocked out and . . .
.

Interviewer: Did you see them? Did you see them burning or anything? Do you
recall the sights and sounds to just kind of add to this?

Bromberg: No I can’t, now on the Siegfried line, you mentioned the sound.
On the Siegfried Line, we were in there one night and the Germans came over all
night long in their airplanes. And I think they could do it on the Sieg— ’cause
they knew where we were. And what scared the, I think this was one most scariest
nights, and they dropped their bombs and the bombs had whistles. I remember
that.

Interviewer: Is that right?

Bromberg: Now this went on all night. Then the airplanes had sirens on them.

Interviewer: Oh yeah?

Bromberg: You know, after they pulled out . . . .

Interviewer: The Stuka dive bombers . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah that’s what they were. Evidently that’s what they were.
And they could be a mile away but it sound like they’re right on top of you.

Interviewer: My, my.

Bromberg: And that went on all night.

Interviewer: You heard that too?

Bromberg: Yeah I remember that.

Interviewer: Well back to Ubach. This was a daylight attack on the city?

Bromberg: Yes it was, yeah.

Interviewer: And you see what, two tanks knocked out?

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: Burning or just knocked out, yeah?

Bromberg: Just knocked out. I didn’t pay any attention.

Interviewer: Now you say you had earphones? You could hear things?

Bromberg: Well just so everybody could talk to each other.

Interviewer: Oh in the tank?

Bromberg: Yes, within the tank.

Interviewer: With your commander?

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: Did you still have your lieutenant Swartz or with you?

Bromberg: Oh no, he was killed way back . . . .

Interviewer: Oh.

Bromberg: He was killed back in France or I think of, yeah I think he . . . .

Interviewer: In your tank?

Bromberg: Oh yeah, yeah.

Interviewer: I want to ask about, do you recall what happened? We’ll want
to cover that too.

Bromberg: Yeah, well there’s a story attached to that.

Interviewer: Have you written that story or is it?

Bromberg: No, no, no.

Interviewer: Okay. So we’ll want to touch on that. See this is why I wanted
to get straight into this because, you know, your tank commander is an important
story.

Bromberg: Uh huh.

Interviewer: Let’s go ahead Ubach. You had a new tank commander. Do you
remember his name?

Bromberg: We had, after Swartz there was Evans.

Interviewer: Oh yeah?

Bromberg: But then he got it. And then after this, I don’t know who our
tank commander was. I couldn’t tell you.

Interviewer: You had another one too?

Bromberg: Yeah I didn’t know. No Evans was wounded.

Interviewer: Wounded?

Bromberg: But I can’t tell you who this tank commander, I couldn’t even,
I didn’t know anybody in the turret by this time.

Interviewer: And you’re with a crew of what, five men?

Bromberg: Five, right.

Interviewer: And you don’t them?

Bromberg: No sir. And anybody could tell you the same thing, that was in a
tank. After a while you didn’t know who, you didn’t know nobody in the
turret.

Interviewer: Could it be, I’ve heard soldiers, they really didn’t want to
know anything more. They’d seen so many men die.

Bromberg: Well you didn’t want to know anybody.

Interviewer: Didn’t want to know them?

Bromberg: Maybe that was the reason. I can’t tell you, you know. Then you
become a loner or what have you. No I didn’t know anybody in the turret. I
couldn’t tell you who it was.

Interviewer: Did you still have the same driver? When you say
“turret,” how many men are in the turret?

Bromberg: Three.

Interviewer: So there’s three men there and then there’s a driver . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: by you?

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: Did you know the driver?

Bromberg: Yeah I knew the driver.

Interviewer: What was his name?

Bromberg: Delogan.

Interviewer: Delogan?

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: Okay. Well I’m trying to push a little bit here to recount,
what do you remember about that attack when your tank was knocked out?

Bromberg: Umm.

Interviewer: Did you know what the purpose of the attack was?

Bromberg: Really they did but I didn’t pay any attention. I didn’t pay
any attention. They, I remember when the attack started, when the Siegfried Line
they had a sand board, they’d laid out a sand board.

Interviewer: Huh.

Bromberg: But I don’t think this had to do with Ubach per se.
It had to do with the Siegfried Line.

Interviewer: Did you get to see that sand board?

Bromberg: Yeah but I didn’t pay any attention to it.

Interviewer: They were kind of giving you some briefing, was that it?

Bromberg: I think, yeah briefing, yes, yes.

Interviewer: Is that right?

Bromberg: Yes, yes, what you’re going to run up against.

Interviewer: Why didn’t you pay any attention?

Bromberg: Because I, you know, I was just a machine gunner.

Interviewer: You were still a machine gunner?

Bromberg: I was just a machine gunner.

Interviewer: So you’re going to do what you have to do?

Bromberg: Yeah I was just going to do what I had to do.

Interviewer: I see that.

Bromberg: That’s the way I looked at it. I mean I looked at the board but
maybe if I was tank commander, then I’d have a personal interest in it.

Interviewer: So you’re tending your machine gun in this attack on Ubach.
Could you see the town, it’s a village or something or do you recall anything
what was ahead of you or in front of you where you were? Was it a forest area?
Were . . . .

Bromberg: No it wasn’t a forest area. It’s open, no, it was open.

Interviewer: You know something else that’s there, mining is in that area.
Slag, what they call slag piles. Great big piles of . . . .

Bromberg: No, no.

Interviewer: debris . . . .

Bromberg: No, no.

Interviewer: from mining. None of that?

Bromberg: The only thing I remember I shot up, there was a church and I was
looking for snipers. I took my machine gun, I remember that.

Interviewer: At Ubach?

Bromberg: Yeah, yeah.

Interviewer: You remember that at Ubach?

Bromberg: Well I don’t know if this was in Ubach but it might have been a
town before Ubach. I can’t tell you that either.

Interviewer: Did you . . . .

Bromberg: But I remember this church and I machine-gunned every part of it
because of snipers and ’cause that’s where the Germans, a lot of them would
be.

Interviewer: You think that was during the Germany, attack into Germany?

Bromberg: Oh this was in Germany, yeah, yeah. Now I’ll tell you about
Germany. When we crossed the border into Germany, our company commander, whoever
it was, oh yeah, he got killed. A nice man. I couldn’t, yeah, we had a new
company commander.

Interviewer: In Germany, huh?

Bromberg: Yeah, yeah. Just when we went into Germany. We had a new company
com- mander. I forgot all about that.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: A nice man. When I say a “nice man,” he was just a nice
guy.

Interviewer: Is that the first one after the one was killed in Normandie?

Bromberg: Oh this is way after, yeah.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: This is about the third or fourth one.

Interviewer: Oh I see. Third or fourth one.

Bromberg: Yeah, yeah, a nice guy.

Interviewer: Did you see him get killed or not, you heard about it . . . .

Bromberg: Well you don’t know who gets, you know . . . .

Interviewer: Why’d you picture him? I guess I’m, I hate to interrupt so
much but why do you mention him at this point?

Bromberg: Because, oh I tell you why . . . .

Interviewer: You shot the church?

Bromberg: No, no, I tell you why I mentioned it.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bromberg: Because when we crossed the border into Germany, it came over our
radio, he said, “Now everything you’re seeing here in Germany, shoot,
kill”. That was the reason I . . . .

Interviewer: Your company commander said that?

Bromberg: Yeah. He said, “Now you’re in Germany. Everything you see,
shoot.” You got, ’cause we used to hold our fire if we saw civilians or
something. So anyway, I remember seeing two old people crossing a field. They
looked like farmers so I didn’t shoot them.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: But that’s why I thought of him.

Interviewer: You thought of him?

Bromberg: Yeah. That’s why I thought of him.

Interviewer: But you were shooting that church steeple . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah, yeah. But this company commander, he got killed. I didn’t,
I couldn’t even tell you his name or anything. I remember what he looked like
but I couldn’t tell you anything else about him.

Interviewer: A lot of casualties . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah, it just dawned on me.

Interviewer: Okay. So you probably shot at that somewhere on the way to Ubach.
Now you’re in attack on Ubach. We don’t know, level ground, forest . . . .

Bromberg: Level ground. It was open area.

Interviewer: Open area?

Bromberg: And I can tell you that.

Interviewer: Pillboxes, do you know?

Bromberg: You know, I remember we crossed a tank trap.

Interviewer: You had crossed that day?

Bromberg: Yeah we crossed a tank trap.

Interviewer: Was it morning, afternoon, any idea what time of day it was? Had
you just eaten breakfast and got started?

Bromberg: We don’t eat. There’s no breakfast. There was no nothing. We
don’t eat. Didn’t eat breakfast, no . . . .

Interviewer: Didn’t have a pot of coffee for breakfast?

Bromberg: You don’t drink, no, you don’t eat. You just, you don’t eat.
. . . . you have a pot of coffee. You don’t eat, period. You eat, what, you
know, if you want to eat. I, you know, I tried to get, if I could eat, you know,
anything you could eat but you didn’t think of eating. Open up a can of C
Rations.

Interviewer: Did you sleep in your tank the night before or in a house or . .
. .

Bromberg: No we slept in the tank or on the ground. I remember one day I
climbed out of the tank and I lay down on the ground and just fell asleep. And
next to me is two young German soldiers, dead. I woke up and there, these guys
were right next to me. I didn’t know it when I laid down. It was at night. So
when I got, you know, when I woke up, there are these two guys there. Now they
were there before, when we got there.

Interviewer: You didn’t see them at night?

Bromberg: Didn’t pay any attention.

Interviewer: What did you think about that?

Bromberg: Didn’t think nothing of it.

Interviewer: Thinking nothing of it?

Bromberg: Now if they had American uniforms I probably would have got sick
over it.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: Just the uniform, didn’t think nothing of it.

Interviewer: The things, when I ask a question, the things that come back,
you know, the night you woke up that morning with two . . . .

Bromberg: Uh huh.

Interviewer: So you had so many experiences. I could understand that that
medic, you had been fighting for, well October, you know, June, July, August,
September, you know, four months. And now here you are on another attack. Okay,
so level ground, perhaps pillboxes in the area and something begins to knock out
the tanks around you. Had your tank been hit and survived and moved on or was it
a sudden . . . .

Bromberg: Oh that was it.

Interviewer: What happened inside the tank then?

Bromberg: It blew up and this Delogan, he screamed at me, “Get
out!”

Interviewer: Oh yeah? Your driver?

Bromberg: Yeah he screamed, he said, “Get out!”

Interviewer: Did you see fire, anything burning?

Bromberg: No, I can’t, I can’t, to tell you the truth I can’t . . . .

Interviewer: Obviously you got out?

Bromberg: I got out. I can’t tell you how I got out or, another thing I can
never remember to this day, I can’t remember crossing the Channel from England
to France.

Interviewer: Oh yeah?

Bromberg: I can’t remember that.

Interviewer: Well that would have been in June or . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah that was June.

Interviewer: near D-Day?

Bromberg: Yeah, yeah.

Interviewer: You didn’t land on D-Day?

Bromberg: No, no, we landed June 12th.

Interviewer: June 12th?

Bromberg: See, six days after it.

Interviewer: So you tank is hit and it’s blowing up? Did your driver get
out, Del—, what was it?

Bromberg: I don’t know.

Interviewer: Did you never, you never saw him again?

Bromberg: No, no. He screamed and said, “Get out!”

Interviewer: So you do not know to this day?

Bromberg: No I, no, huh uh.

Interviewer: What was his first name?

Bromberg: I don’t know. I just know him by Delogan. I don’t know if that’s
his first name or second.

Interviewer: Delica?

Bromberg: Delogan.

Interviewer: Del-o -gan?

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: Know where he was from? Remember his hometown?

Bromberg: Yeah he was from the Midwest, no.

Interviewer: From the Midwest? And we don’t know if he survived that day?

Bromberg: No, no.

Interviewer: Did you ever see anyone from that tank again?

Bromberg: No.

Interviewer: Do you suppose your other guys were killed then?

Bromberg: I don’t know. I don’t know.

Interviewer: You don’t know about any of those guys?

Bromberg: No, I didn’t know that, I didn’t know who was in the turret
anyway.

Interviewer: So you didn’t , you couldn’t even place the face anyway,
huh?

Bromberg: I couldn’t . . . .

Interviewer: So you say you got back there? This German followed you and then
a medic examined you, is that the way I understand it?

Bromberg: No, no. Nobody, they just took me to the, I mean they could have
slapped me in another tank for all I know.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Did they?

Bromberg: No, I said they could have.

Interviewer: Oh.

Bromberg: I didn’t know what was going on. You know, they, I was with the
infantry now.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: And in the infantry, they called the combat medic and he took me to
a first aid station.

Interviewer: Okay.

Bromberg: And the first aid station sent me to this hospital, this field
hospital. And the field hospital sent me, you know, back and back and back.

Interviewer: Did you have any physical injuries that they were treating?

Bromberg: No.

Interviewer: Cuts?

Bromberg: No, all I remember was they were giving me insulin.

Interviewer: Oh yeah?

Bromberg: I remember that.

Interviewer: Now you said something about taking a shower. How did that fit
in with this . . . .

Bromberg: Well the shower . . .

Interviewer: being skinny?

Bromberg: Huh?

Interviewer: You were skinny and all that?

Bromberg: Well that, the last time I had my clothes off between that, I think
we took our clothes off once, was in this thing, then in the hospital when I saw
my body, I couldn’t believe I didn’t have a stomach.

Interviewer: I see.

Bromberg: That sounds . . . .

Interviewer: You were shocked to see your condition?

Bromberg: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Interviewer: Oh. Okay. How long until you were back with your tank unit then?
How many months?

Bromberg: Say that again there?

Interviewer: How many months were you gone from your unit, in the hospital or
whatever?

Bromberg: They just kept me there. They never sent me back.

Interviewer: You never went back?

Bromberg: They never sent me back. They kept on sending me to the rear, to
the rear, to the rear.

Interviewer: You, that was the end of the war for you?

Bromberg: More or less, yeah.

Interviewer: Did, now, here’s something that comes to mind. I’ve
interviewed a lot of veterans and I’ve read a lot, in some cases the men were
so badly shell-shocked they had to put them to sleep for days and days.

Bromberg: No, no.

Interviewer: They didn’t do that with you?

Bromberg: No.

Interviewer: No mental/psychological interviewing or treatment or any of
that?

Bromberg: No more than the . . . .

Interviewer: Special?

Bromberg: no more than I told you that. The insulin. Then I remember in
England, I remember in the hospital there was a guy next to me in my bed named
Frank Casuny. No, not Frank. Pasternak, that was it, Pasternak.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: And I was in the bed there and I remember every day the doctor come
around, “How are you?” And I’d say, “Okay”, and that’s
all I would say. I wouldn’t say too much. I said, “Okay”. And
Pasternak next to me would complain like hell. You know, “This is wrong,
that,” and I said to myself, “Jeez, I wish I, I wish I could do
that”. I said that to myself. I said, “I wish I could do that,”
’cause he’d really, you know, carry on.

Interviewer: What did they treat you for? Did they tell you you had some
injuries or something?

Bromberg: I just, I’m just, maybe I’ll get to it. I don’t know. But
anyway, he, so they took Pasternak, oh no, yeah, Pasternak. That was his name.
They sent him back up to the front.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: And me they sent back to Paris. Then in Paris, they sent me to
England. And England, the doctor called me in and said to me, he said to me, he
looked at my record and said, “What do you want to do?” He said,
“I can do anything you want. Do you want to go back home, do you want to
stay here, whatever?” He said, he looked at my record and he said,
“You’ve been in Africa, you’ve been to Sicily and all this,” he
said. “You’ve seen enough.” He said, “What do you want to
do?” The doctor said this to me.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: I said, “I’d just as soon stay in England. I don’t care
about going home.” So he said, “Okay”. So I went out to my ward
and the fellow that, from Columbus, I was only over maybe about a month and I
got wounded right away. Come over and visited me. I couldn’t get out of the
hospital. They were keeping me in the hospital. And he came over to visit me.
And I told him. He said, “I’m going home Irving,” he said.
“Anything you want me to tell your folks?” He knew my people back
home. That’s how come he looked me up. I said, “Yeah, when you see them,
tell them I’m okay, not to worry.” And I said, in fact, the doctor asked
me if I wanted to go home and I told him no I wanted to stay here. And he said,
“Why?” I said, “Well you know, I’ve been away from home
two-three years. I understand the camp, getting up and back in the States,
everything’s rationed and all that.” He says, “Baloney, you can get
all you want. You can get all the . . . .” All I was interested was
cigarettes and drinking and women. . . . . “All you want”. And I said,
“Is that right?” And he said, “Yeah”. So I went back to the
doctor after he left. I said, “Is it too late to change my mind?” He
said, “Why?” I said, “I’d like to go home.” He said,
“No problem”. And I ended up with the same hospital ship as this
fellow that came in to visit me.

Interviewer: Oh yeah?

Bromberg: So that’s the story about going home or whatever.

Interviewer: So you did go home?

Bromberg: Yeah it was sort of . . . .

Interviewer: Hmmm. Their choice to send you home because you had Africa? Did
you see combat in Africa?

Bromberg: Some, a little bit on occasion.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: Sicily.

Interviewer: Let me just ask you about the invasion. The French forces . . .
.

Bromberg: Fought us.

Interviewer: Yeah did that happen with your unit?

Bromberg: Yeah they shot at us, yeah.

Interviewer: Frenchmen shot at you?

Bromberg: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Interviewer: Did you shoot back?

Bromberg: Oh yeah.

Interviewer: You were fighting the French?

Bromberg: Yeah, then they surrendered real fast. It wasn’t like fighting
the Germans.

Interviewer: Yeah but . . . .

Bromberg: It wasn’t like fighting the Germans.

Interviewer: But you know, you think about that. Here are our good friends
the French trying to kill American soldiers.

Bromberg: Yeah, well.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bromberg: So that didn’t last. It was nothing. I mean . . . .

Interviewer: It wasn’t very . . . .

Bromberg: I wouldn’t even call it combat.

Interviewer: And then you were in the Sicily invasion?

Bromberg: Yeah, yeah, uh huh.

Interviewer: Any major combat for you there?

Bromberg: Well in Sicily, what happened there, I was sort of lucky. Our ship
got hit, our LST. We lost our tank.

Interviewer: Oh.

Bromberg: And our LST. And I got ashore.

Interviewer: Were you in the tank when it got hit or . . . .

Bromberg: No, no, no. A dive-bomber hit our LST.

Interviewer: Is that right?

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: But you were in the LST? With the tank?

Bromberg: Oh yeah, sure, sure, sure.

Interviewer: Is that right? This was the actual invasion force coming in?

Bromberg: Yes, yes, yes.

Interviewer: And a dive-bomber? One of these German Stukas with the screaming
. . . .

Bromberg: Well it didn’t have screaming but . . . .

Interviewer: Didn’t scream?

Bromberg: it hit us and we got ashore. A Duck picked us up, one of these Army
ducks picked us up. I went ashore and then we just, then in shore, once we were
on, you know, on land, then it was like a little furlough because they had no
tank, we didn’t belong to no outfit . . . .

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: and the Second Armored moved up ahead and we bummed around there
for about two weeks, following . . . .

Interviewer: Is that right, in Sicily?

Bromberg: But then one day a Second Armored, they sent a Second Armored truck
back looking for stragglers and that’s how we . . . .

Interviewer: Is that right?

Bromberg: That’s when they found us.

Interviewer: When your tank was lost, did the ship sink and you were
floundering in the water or?

Bromberg: No, I got into the water. I jumped in.

Interviewer: You jumped in?

Bromberg: Yeah I jumped in. Then a duck, they had some of these ducks . .. .

Interviewer: Yeah?

Bromberg: and they picked us up.

Interviewer: Did you have any, in the water did you have a life . . . .

Bromberg: Yes, yes I had a life, yes, yes.

Interviewer: So you weren’t going to drown?

Bromberg: Well we were close to shore. We weren’t that far off the shore.

Interviewer: Yeah but . . . .

Bromberg: They were ready to land.

Interviewer: Doesn’t take much water to drown in if you just get stuck
there.

Bromberg: No.

Interviewer: My gosh. So that was another way that you lost a tank. What did
you think about the Sherman Tank? Was that a good weapon to be in?

Bromberg: Well I’ll give you another example about the Sherman. I remember
one day we shot at a German tank and we saw the shell, I saw, it ricocheted, you
could see the spots where that shell hit it; it went up.

Interviewer: Is that right? What did you think about that?

Bromberg: We got the hell out of there.

Interviewer: Were you ever able to tell, maybe after you knocked out a tank,
the Germans had very special kinds of tanks. There was the Mark 4 was the early
models. And then there was the Panther and then there was the Tiger. The Tiger
was the biggest, the Panther was one of the best. Mark 4 was still better than a
Sherman but not as good as the other two. Would you ever know what tanks you
were . . . .

Bromberg: No, I didn’t.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bromberg: I didn’t myself personally, no. Like that tank that came . . . .

Interviewer: Yeah, right.

Bromberg: you know, that tank that ricocheted our shell . . . .

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: We got out of there. The driver pulled in reverse and we just got
the hell out of there. We found, I remember, we found a tank destroyer . . . .

Interviewer: Oh.

Bromberg: and I remember I got out of the tank and went over to the guys in
the tank destroyer. I said, “There’s a German tank up there”. And
they said, “Well lead us to it.” I said, “No way”. They
weren’t going to look for it. They wanted us to take it to it. And we said,
“No way. If you want it, you go and find it.” I remember that.

Interviewer: Is that right? The American tank destroyer was a good weapon.

Bromberg: Yeah it was a good one.

Interviewer: Propelled like a tank.

Bromberg: I think it had a 90 mm . . . .

Interviewer: Yeah, big gun.

Bromberg: But our shells, our tanks, anything could go through it. Our gun
wasn’t that great.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: and . . . .

Interviewer: Yeah, it wasn’t that . . . .

Bromberg: No it was that . . . . It was good mechanically and all that but.
And I remember another incident, you talk about, I remember, I don’t know, I
think it was, this was in Holland or Belgium. You know they’re so close.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: And one day our tank was on the road, halfway on the road and half
off the road and we were like on a roadblock. And they’re bringing in, I
remember the infantry was around us bringing in some prisoners.

Interviewer: Oh really?

Bromberg: I remember that.

Interviewer: This is a good story. You’ve got infantry then, huh?

Bromberg: Yeah. And they’re bringing in some prisoners around some hills
there. I remember they’re bringing down some prisoners. But it was just
getting dark and I remember looking down the road. I see a half-track. In the
meantime I’m on the turret or standing on the tank and talking to the tank
commander in the turret. His name was Evans, I remember him. Talking to him in
the turret. And I was standing there and I had to urinate but, you know in the
Army you have no modesty. While I’m talking to him and I see this half-track
come down the road, chugging down. It was just getting dark and I see a bunch of
German helmets in it. And I said to Evans, I said, “It looks like they’re
bringing in some more prisoners”.

Interviewer: Yeah?

Bromberg: So that half-track goes by us, I’m taking a leak, and I looked in
there and I didn’t see an American. And I said to Evans, “Did you see
what I saw?” So I jumped down into my seat, you know, and Evans swung the
turret around and he, you know, the gunner, he hit that half-track smack. And
that thing burned all night. In the morning when it got light out, we walked
over to it and all those Germans, they’re still there. You see them in their
position and all their personal stuff. What we did, we looked around the
half-track where all their personal stuff blew out . . . .

Interviewer: It’s amazing. So that was a German half-track?

Bromberg: It was a German half track with all Germans in it.

Interviewer: Coming down the road and they didn’t . . . .

Bromberg: And they didn’t know us and we didn’t know them till the last
minute. Then we just swung the gun around and hit them.

Interviewer: And you think that was Belgium or Holland?

Bromberg: It was Belgium, it was during the breakthrough. You see, the
breakthrough . . . .

Interviewer: Oh.

Bromberg: we’d trap them, you know, on the roads.

Interviewer: When you say “breakthrough,” do you mean out of the
hedgerow or something?

Bromberg: Out of the hedgerow, out of the hedgerows, yeah.

Interviewer: And you were catching them like that?

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: And you really got it, so you shot them from behind then, the
tank?

Bromberg: Oh yeah, we hit him from . . . .

Interviewer: commander . . . .

Bromberg: behind, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Interviewer: Right, drilled that half-track?

Bromberg: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Interviewer: What a sight to see?

Bromberg: Yeah, yeah.

Interviewer: Did you ever collect any souvenirs?

Bromberg: No, that the . . . .

Interviewer: No?

Bromberg: last thing I ever . . . .

Interviewer: German Lugers or . . . .

Bromberg: No, no. They’re laying all over the place probably. I never even
thought about it. Had no, no desire. Didn’t even think about it, no.

Interviewer: Didn’t think about that? Yeah as you mentioned that, in this
book it covers, they called this place “the land of the dead”. Your
Division killed so many Germans in one area, they just called it “the land
of the dead”. They just caught them, maybe this was part of that activity.
The Second Armored really did a good job in fighting the Germans that way,
effectively catching them when they didn’t expect.

Bromberg: I remember one day we were lined, our tanks were lined up across a
field and we were waiting for the Germans to come around the road.

Interviewer: . . . . did they do here? Okay, this is Tape 2 of our interview
with Irv Bromberg. Let me go ahead then. You got your tanks all lined up there
somewhere.

Bromberg: Yeah. So, you know, like eating, you eat when you can and you sleep
when you can.

Interviewer: Uh huh. I can’t imagine sleeping in a cold tank. It must be
awful.

Bromberg: Well anyway, I fell asleep in the tank. We were just sitting there
waiting. And the reason I mentioned that, so I’m sleeping, all of a sudden the
Germans started to break through and all the guns opened up on ’em. And when I
woke up, I was shaking so I could hardly grab my gun. I had the shakes.

Interviewer: You had the shakes? You couldn’t fire your machine gun?

Bromberg: Well I finally got my composure together but when all the shooting,
all hell broke loose, it was hard for me to grab my gun because I woke up, you
know, shaking like hell. Tell you another time, talking about getting scared or
whatever, waking up like that . . . .

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: I think this was around Mauritan, Vire, and that area. It wasn’t
a hedgerow country. I was sleeping in the tank and I had a nightmare and the
Germans were in front of us and I jumped out of the tank screaming and I started
to run toward the German lines. And Delogan, the driver, he jumped out of the
tank and ran after me and brought me back.

Interviewer: My goodness. What in the heck was going through your mind? You
got out of the tank and ran towards the . . . .

Bromberg: But I was sleep—, you know, it was like a nightmare. I wasn’t
awake I don’t, you know, I mean, it was like a nightmare.

Interviewer: Which causes me to ask about nightmares after the war, did you
have nightmares?

Bromberg: I stayed drunk for a year (laughs).

Interviewer: To try to what . . . .

Bromberg: Well just . . . .

Interviewer: forget it?

Bromberg: just drunk and anybody looked at me the wrong way or whatever, I
just blew up.

Interviewer: Now you . . . .

Bromberg: If an airplane . . . .

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bromberg: if I walked down Broad Street and an airplane, you know, would fly
over me, I’d hit the ground automatically. Reflex, automatically hit the
ground. It took me about a year or so or more.

Interviewer: How old were you?

Bromberg: How old was I? I guess I was 21-22-23.

Interviewer: Coming out?

Bromberg: Yeah coming out. When I went in I was 18.

Interviewer: You were 18?

Bromberg: Eighteen or 19 when I went in. In fact my father came up to the
hospital to visit me and he took me out to New York City and we went to a movie,
a show. And he had to take me out. I busted out crying. I said I couldn’t
believe. I started to cuss, call people some, that everybody could sit in the
theater and watch a show and the war, you know, I went to pieces.

Interviewer: The war was still on?

Bromberg: Yeah, I went to pieces.

Interviewer: Now it causes me to ask you, did you have some good buddies in
your unit?

Bromberg: Yeah, oh yeah, yeah, yeah.

Interviewer: A lot of guys like ground soldiers will have what they call a
foxhole buddy where you get real close to somebody.

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: And it really hurts when they get hit and you lose them. Did you
have anyone like that?

Bromberg: Well no I wouldn’t say. Maybe in a tank it’s different, in a
tank. Because when you pull back, at first when we used to pull back, you’d go
out, you know, in action then pull back. You’d say who came back and who didn’t.
I quit doing that.

Interviewer: Oh you had asked who came back?

Bromberg: Yeah you do, yeah, when the tanks would, you know, when we were
pulled back. We’d be gone for maybe two or three days. And then when we pulled
back, you know, for more ammunition or whatever, or gas, you’d wonder who came
back. Then after a while, I didn’t do it. I didn’t pay any, I just, you
become, the more you’re in it the more a loner you get. The more you become a
loner I would say, my experience.

Interviewer: Now there’s five of you in that tank, you knew the driver
there at the end? You didn’t know the other guys. What about this Swartz? You
knew him pretty well?

Bromberg: Yeah but he got killed.

Interviewer: What happened to him? What do you recall about that time?

Bromberg: Well that time there, I remember we were on a hill and you could
see the whole, we took this hill, what I, the story, now this is what I hear.

Interviewer: What do you mean you hear? You weren’t there?

Bromberg: Among the men, you know, among the men.

Interviewer: Oh but you were there?

Bromberg: Oh yeah I was there.

Interviewer: Okay.

Bromberg: I didn’t know, you know, I don’t know the details. I’m just
sitting there with a gun all the time. So I don’t know the layout, the plans
or anything like that. That’s what I meant when I say “I hear”. So
we took this hill pretty quick. It was important. And what I heard, that the
Germans are on the other side of the hill and we took it pretty fast. We went up
the, well we expected to go up the hill. We went up the other end of the hill,
whatever that means, and we took it pretty quick. And we were occupying, and you
could look down on this hill and see the whole German army, you know, all the
Germans. You could see them all moving around. They were throwing artillery at
us and all that.

Interviewer: Did you see that?

Bromberg: Oh yeah, sure.

Interviewer: Wow!

Bromberg: So they’re throwing artillery and that. And the reason I bring
that up, so the lieu- tenant called us and told us that we got to get off the
hill and take the next one. He’s calling the, he called the platoon together.
Were we a platoon or were we a company? I can’t remember. We must have been in
a platoon, the Second, I think it was a lieutenant. Yeah. Or was he still
because the captain got killed and then he’s running the company again, I
guess.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: So anyway he comes, he calls us together. We got to get off the
hill and take the next one. He said, “It’s suicide,” ’cause you
see the whole German army down there. He says, “What we’ll do, we’ll,”
he had his orders, he thought that head-quarters didn’t know we were on the
hill we already had.

Interviewer: Oh.

Bromberg: So this is all hit-and-run killing is the way I understood it.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: So he, so we had to get off this hill and take over the next hill.
So he said, “Now I’m going to tell you right now, when we go over it,
when we pull down the hill and go over there,” he says, “first think,
when they start shooting, stop and just, you know, fire it out. Don’t try to
push and go to that next hill. So when they started shooting at us, stop.”

Interviewer: Who’s telling you this?

Bromberg: The lieutenant, Lieutenant Swartz.

Interviewer: Swartz, okay.

Bromberg: He’s telling us that. “And as soon as you get down there,
stop.” You know we, so we pulled down the hill and we started to go, you
know, on the flat ground. And it’s all hedgerow country.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: It’s hedgerow country. So we’re going and all of a sudden all
hell broke loose, they shooting and all that. And a shell hits the top of our
tank and kills Swartz.

Interviewer: You mean it killed him now?

Bromberg: Yeah he got killed.

Interviewer: Was he out of the turret, head up out of the turret?

Bromberg: No he’s, he had his head down. He’s probably, you know,
directing the company.

Interviewer: I’ve heard of men being decapitated.

Bromberg: Well.

Interviewer: Body falls back in the tank.

Bromberg: No he just, then he, he got it then. And then the company moved
back. And we got him on . . . .

Interviewer: Who’s operating your tank, who’s giving orders in your tank?

Bromberg: Well but that, I’ll get to that then. I was the bow gunner. So
the guy that, I don’t know who the gunner, who the tank commander, second in
command, but he says, “Bromberg, get up in the turret and take over the
gun,” and . . . .

Interviewer: It must be covered with blood and gore; a man was hit.

Bromberg: That’s right. So I’m just telling you, so he said, “Bromberg,
you do as you’re told.” You know, I did it automatically. I wasn’t a
gunner or anything. He says, “Bromberg,” I’d shot the 75 but I was
no gunner. He says, “Bromberg, get up in the turret,” and the radio
man, the assistant gunner, evidently he stayed put ’cause he told me to get up
and I, I was the gunner. Then he took over the command of the tank and we pulled
back right away. We pulled right back; we didn’t fight it out. The whole
company pulled back.

Interviewer: Was your tank hit by a shell or?

Bromberg: It was hit on the top of the tank. The shell hit the top of the
tank.

Interviewer: Ummm. But it didn’t damage, didn’t knock you out?

Bromberg: No I didn’t knock us out.

Interviewer: So it must have just . . . .

Bromberg: It got Swartz. He got killed.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: And then we pulled back and then, I’ll tell you something about
this Swartz too. This happened earlier, earlier. I don’t know where we were,
someplace in hedgerow country. One day a German plane came over. We were out,
you know, bivouacked, and dropped some of these butterfly bombs. You ever hear
of those?

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bromberg: Yeah. And one hit Swartz, shrapnel hit Swartz.

Interviewer: Oh yeah.

Bromberg: So they took him to the, they sent him, you know, we called the
medics up and they took him away. And a week before this happened, he ran away
from the hospital and came back to the tank.

Interviewer: Before he got hit by . . . .

Bromberg: He got hit . . . .

Interviewer: Oh I see.

Bromberg: with that butterfly bomb.

Interviewer: He was in the hospital for that?

Bromberg: He was in the hospital. He ran away from the hospital . . . .

Interviewer: To get into your tank?

Bromberg: get in, and then he got killed.

Interviewer: And then he was killed?

Bromberg: Then we had a Jewish boy in the company. The same damn thing. He
did it too.

Interviewer: Left the hospital?

Bromberg: He left the hospital and came back up and got killed.

Interviewer: Wow! The guys really wanted to get back into with your unit.

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: Now did you have medics to come and treat him or just, what do
you do with, for medical aid? Did you . . . .

Bromberg: Well there was a, we had combat medics.

Interviewer: But not in your tank?

Bromberg: Oh no, no, no.

Interviewer: So you had to go back for. . . .

Bromberg: On no. This here, no, no, no, huh uh.

Interviewer: You have to drive back to get aid?

Bromberg: Half the company got shot up that day, half the company got shot.

Interviewer: It did?

Bromberg: Oh yeah, half the company got shot up that day.

Interviewer: Wonder where that was. Was that Mortaine? That’s hilly . . . .

Bromberg: No, no I don’t, it may, I don’t know. I think I was with, I
have no idea. It was in . . . .

Interviewer: Was it in July?

Bromberg: It was in France, it was in France. It was in France. It was
hedgerow country.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bromberg: And it was warm. I can tell you those things but what day or what
month . . . .

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bromberg: I couldn’t tell you.

Interviewer: Might have been during that Mortaine attack. You don’t
remember any villages or towns?

Bromberg: No.

Interviewer: Well I might ask you that, in general, you’ve mentioned towns,
Ubach . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: Viers. Do you remember any other towns by name for some reason?

Bromberg: Toward St. Lo, Vires . . . .

Interviewer: Do you remember some St. Lo?

Bromberg: Mauritan.

Interviewer: Huh?

Bromberg: I remember those towns.

Interviewer: Any of these places where you had another close call, almost
killed or something like that?

Bromberg: Yeah but, you know, it was out in the, to give you some idea too. I
remember we were in . . . .

(Beeping)

Interviewer: Just a minute, I got to, sorry, I got to change this one now.

Bromberg: Well this had the, I remember, what was strange. One day they came
up to our tanks and took us way in the rear for coffee and doughnuts, the first
Red Cross . . . . . coffee and doughnuts.

Interviewer: Oh really?

Bromberg: But they brought us, they took us, they, we got on a
two-and-a-half-ton truck and they drove us to where they were in the rear.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: They didn’t come up to us; we had to go to them.

Interviewer: For coffee and doughnuts?

Bromberg: Yeah. And the reason I mentioned it, when we got in that truck, we
were going back for miles and miles and miles. I said, “I didn’t believe
we were that far inland.” I thought we were still at the beach.

Interviewer: Hah.

Bromberg: You know what I’m trying to say?

Interviewer: You really didn’t know where you were?

Bromberg: Well yeah, you know, we were fighting in the hedgerows and every
hedgerow was a battle and . . . .

Interviewer: I’ve seen those hedgerows. It’s just like a wall . . .

Bromberg: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Interviewer: ten feet, ten feet up. Have you ever gone back to Europe?

Bromberg: No, no, I have no desire.

Interviewer: No you’ve never gone?

Bromberg: Huh uh. Huh uh.

Interviewer: But you do go to your veterans’ reunions?

Bromberg: Yes, yes, I belong to them, yes.

Interviewer: You go to them? Have you ever met any guys you knew during the
war there?

Bromberg: Oh yeah, yeah . . . . One, I was with my son, with my son . . . .

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: and a guy came up to me, his name is Lester . . . .

Interviewer: Yeah?

Bromberg: And my son was with me and at the reunion he came up to me and he
says, you know you have your name badge, and he says, “Bromberg?” and
I said, “Yeah,” and I looked at him. He said, “Don’t you know
who I am?” I said, “No,” you know, after 50 years I’m not going
to know him. I didn’t recognize him. And he’s sort of like a redneck. He was
from North Carolina, that’s where he was from. I said, “No, I don’t
know, I don’t remember you”. And he said, “God damn it,” he
said, “I saved your life”. My son thought he was going to punch me in
the nose, he got so mad.

Interviewer: What did he do to save your life?

Bromberg: And I said, “Yeah, what do you mean, you saved my life?”
Then he told me who he was. He said, “I’m Lester”. Well he was in a
different platoon but after a while, you know, it came back to me, you know, it
all came, but I was no buddy of his or anything like that.

Interviewer: What did he do to save your life?

Bromberg: Well the S.S. there during Karen Tan were trying to climb on our
tanks and drop hand grenades in them.

Interviewer: You’re kidding. They were that close?

Bromberg: Yes. And he said he machine gunned a couple of them that were
climbing on our tank.

Interviewer: They were THAT . . . .

Bromberg: Oh yes.

Interviewer: That is, that reminds me of this, the movie, the Easy Company,
the paratroopers.

Bromberg: Uh hum.

Interviewer: Or “Saving Private Ryan”.

Bromberg: Uh huh. I didn’t see that.

Interviewer: They’d get up on top of these . . . .

Bromberg: Uh huh.

Interviewer: these tanks.

Bromberg: So he said a couple were trying to get on our tank to drop some, he
said he machine-gunned them.

Interviewer: And you wouldn’t have known that?

Bromberg: No, he said, then he told me, he said, “I saved your
life,” and I said, “Well okay”.

Interviewer: My goodness, that is something. Do you remember Karen Tan, huh?

Bromberg: Oh yeah.

Interviewer: Did you ever see any of our paratrooper boys?

Bromberg: You mean afterwards?

Interviewer: No during that time.

Bromberg: Oh yeah.

Interviewer: . . . .

Bromberg: They’re good. They’re good, they’re good boys. They’re good
boys. I always had respect for infantry, any paratrooper or infantry. I always
respected them. I, in fact, I’d rather have a doughboy next to my tank than
another tank.

Interviewer: Why is that?

Bromberg: Because of bazookas.

Interviewer: Oh really?

Bromberg: I felt more comfortable if there was infantry around me than
another tank.

Interviewer: Wowee! Well this is fascinating that Germans were on your tank.
You were in that close with the enemy that they were actually on your tank,
crawling on your tank. Did you ever see them on someone else’s tank?

Bromberg: No I didn’t, huh uh.

Interviewer: That is really, that’s close combat.

Bromberg: Yeah that was close area.

Interviewer: To have all that happening. Well we’ve touched on some
significant combat here. I was asking, I guess, in the line of thought, that how
close did you come to getting seriously injured? You’ve had your commander
killed in your tank but you were not hurt in that one? Your tank was knocked
out. How many tanks did you lose? I believe you . . . .

Bromberg: Well we lost one on the track in the mine. We hit a mine and blew a
track.

Interviewer: Now wouldn’t that have injured you?

Bromberg: No I didn’t get hurt. Huh uh.

Interviewer: Is that right? No one in the tank was hurt?

Bromberg: No, no one was hit that day.

Interviewer: And that destroyed the tank though or . . . .

Bromberg: Well it knocked off the track, it blew the track.

Interviewer: What did you do when that happened?

Bromberg: Well we, you know, they brought up one of those wreckers and . . .
.

Interviewer: Oh yeah?

Bromberg: put a new track on that. It’s no big deal.

Interviewer: Oh I see. So they fixed your tank?

Bromberg: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Interviewer: Oh okay. So then you stayed with the same tank?

Bromberg: Yes.

Interviewer: So the one tank you lost, was actually lost?

Bromberg: Uh huh.

Interviewer: This one they repaired. Any other tanks that you had to . . . .

Bromberg: Well no more than one on the LST.

Interviewer: One on the LST? It was lost there? I see. Thinking about here,
when you actually saw Germans indicating how close you were in combat, you saw
them getting out of that tank you knocked out. Did you ever see German infantry
attacking towards you?

Bromberg: Oh yeah.

Interviewer: Is that right? You were the bow gunner. Were you called into
play to shoot?

Bromberg: I’d do it automatically.

Interviewer: Is that right? That’s pretty close combat when you’re not
just against a German tank, you’re against infantry, ground troops?

Bromberg: Yeah, that’s what normally a Sherman was really for, really. It
wasn’t to fight German tanks.

Interviewer: Oh I see. So you were firing at infantry?

Bromberg: That was mainly . . . .

Interviewer: In the hedgerows or elsewhere?

Bromberg: Yeah, hedgerows and very, on breakthrough you didn’t see too much
of the infantry till we got to the Siegfried Line.

Interviewer: Okay.

Bromberg: Then we came up against close combat with the infantry, with the
Germans.

Interviewer: You remember that?

Bromberg: Oh yeah. But as far as the breakthrough, no more than that infantry
and that half-track and, but generally it was more trapping them, you know,
setting up road blocks . . . .

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: so to speak.

Interviewer: But in the attack you saw them at the Siegfried Line?

Bromberg: Yeah you see them at the Siegfried Line.

Interviewer: Did you know the Siegfried Line was there, had you been told?
Well you said there was a sand table?

Bromberg: Yeah they said that but, you know, you see the pillboxes and you
saw the dragons, the chief dragons, you saw a tank. I didn’t give it any
significance, you know, about Siegfried Line.

Interviewer: Oh yeah?

Bromberg: I didn’t think, I didn’t think, I don’t even remember
thinking about it. But I saw all the fortifications . . . .

Interviewer: Oh yes.

Bromberg: and I knew we were in Germany. I was conscious that we were in
Germany.

Interviewer: Do you remember entering Germany?

Bromberg: Oh yeah, yeah.

Interviewer: Any idea of where you were, in any town that you remember?

Bromberg: No, no.

Interviewer: You remember Ubach?

Bromberg: Oh you see the buildings with the swastikas on it and the white
flags. Everybody put out a sheet.

Interviewer: Oh yeah?

Bromberg: You see all that.

Interviewer: You remember that?

Bromberg: Uh huh.

Interviewer: Did you ever speak to any Germans, take any prisoners? You
wouldn’t take any prisoners in tanks?

Bromberg: Well we had prisoners. What we did, I had . . . .

Interviewer: You did?

Bromberg: This, in the hedgerows we took a bunch of prisoners. Just came out
and surren- dered. And we had them lined up and remember that Manqueso I told
you about?

Interviewer: Yeah, he’s in your article.

Bromberg: Yeah, yeah. Well that Manqueso, what he’d do, I took out my 45
and I’d line them up. And I’d step in front of each one and had my 45 out,
and Manqueso would be behind me and he’d say, “Jew, Jew”. Those poor
guys, I shouldn’t have done it but they were just shaking in their britches.
They thought I was going to shoot them, I was going to shoot them. And Manqueso,
and each one, I’d step one and then I’d go to the next one and Manqueso
would say, “Jew, Jew,” you know, just to scare the hell out of them.

Interviewer: Scare them to death. Yeah. Well there were sometimes when you
couldn’t take them alive, the prisoners would, you had no place for them, I
mean, there were times when they were dispatched . . . .

Bromberg: Well . . . .

Interviewer: on the spot.

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: When you’re in moving combat you can’t . . . .

Bromberg: No, no, no, nobody thought about prisoners then.

Interviewer: Yeah?

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: Just pfft, bump them off and go on your way. That was . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: That happened particularly with S.S. I’ve heard.

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: Did you know there were S.S. troops? Did you know what those
guys were all about, the S.S. troopers?

Bromberg: No I wasn’t, to be honest with you, I didn’t pay much
attention.

Interviewer: You hadn’t heard about the S.S.?

Bromberg: I didn’t pay any attention.

Interviewer: You wouldn’t have known S.S. from . . . .

Bromberg: No, no . . . .

Interviewer: regular army guys . . . .

Bromberg: No, no, no, I didn’t pay any attention.

Interviewer: I take it? Uh huh. Well. Well you mentioned General Rose, that
you had seen him when he was a commander in your unit. Do you remember him?

Bromberg: Oh yeah.

Interviewer: Yeah?

Bromberg: He was a pusher. I mean we have no relief in combat.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: In combat he just pushed, push, push.

Interviewer: So you knew his name then, that he was . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah, I was aware of it. I was aware, you know, of Rose. I wasn’t
aware . . . .

Interviewer: Did you know he was Jewish?

Bromberg: No, no, didn’t give it a thought. No, I was . . . .

Interviewer: ‘Cause you know, Rose is not necessarily . . . .

Bromberg: No, no.

Interviewer: someone you’d think would be Jewish.

Bromberg: No I didn’t give it a thought.

Interviewer: Yeah. Uh huh.

Bromberg: Didn’t give it a thought.

Interviewer: You mentioned a Jewish boy that was killed. Any other Jewish men
. . . .

Bromberg: No other Jewish, him and I were the only Jewish fellows in the
company. I think that’s why I volunteered. I was Jewish and I tried to be more
aggressive and more combat, ’cause I could have got out of combat a couple of
times.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bromberg: I had fellows, you know, like friends of mine that were in the
medics and wanted to get me in the medics.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: And then I had a, in England, what was his name? P. T. Beragga. He
was in charge of our maintenance. He says, “Bromberg, I’ll get you in
Maintenance,” ’cause I, we used to drink together and run around
together. And I said, “No, no, I want to stay in the tanks. I want to be in
combat.” And then after we were fighting, I’d come back, we pulled back,
I never want–, I’d be bitching about fight—, you know, being in the line so
much. And I couldn’t talk to him ’cause he would rub it into me.

Interviewer: Oh.

Bromberg: Say, “I told you so, I told you so”.

Interviewer: That’s interesting. You know, I’m thinking here about your
time in the hospital and then the time afterwards, you had a difficult time
trying to perhaps erase some memories. Is there anything in particular that you
were bothered by, that you wanted, it may be difficult for you to think of now,
that you wanted to get out of your mind?

Bromberg: Was Lieutenant Swartz, when he got killed. That was when it
bothered me the most.

Interviewer: That was it?

Bromberg: Yeah that was when the, ’cause you want to know, that was the one
that got to me.

Interviewer: I think it’s pertinent because you’ve mentioned him in the
article that you wrote and . . . .

Bromberg: Uh huh, yeah.

Interviewer: You certainly respected him, that he was . . ..

Bromberg: Then I was in the turret with him that day.

Interviewer: that day . . . .

Bromberg: We were running when he was all shattered and that bothered me for
years.

Interviewer: He was still in the turret when you got up there?

Bromberg: Yeah that bothered me for, I’d say of all the things in the war,
I always thought about him in that respect.

Interviewer: Did you know if he had a family or anything or his background?

Bromberg: He was very, no, we weren’t social. I mean, some of the guys, but
it wasn’t a social as far as knowing. I knew he was from York, Pennsylvania. I
knew that. But as far as . . . .

Interviewer: Hum.

Bromberg: I heard stories. Again, I’m going to go back, “I
heard”. I heard that he was in the Pacific, in the . . . . during Pearl
Harbor and this is “I heard”.

Interviewer: Oh yeah.

Bromberg: And that during, one of the guys in his barracks went berserk. And
he shot him.

Interviewer: Ummm.

Bromberg: And that’s why they sent him over to the ETO.

Interviewer: . . . .

Bromberg: Now I don’t know if there’s truth to it or not. But he was very
contrary. None of our officers liked him.

Interviewer: But he was an officer? He was . . . .

Bromberg: He was an officer. But they, it’s very . . . .

Interviewer: Was he your platoon . . . .

Bromberg: He was our platoon commander.

Interviewer: That’s why you’d have a, ’cause lots of times you’d have
a sergeant as the com- mander of the tank.

Bromberg: Oh yeah.

Interviewer: So you had an officer?

Bromberg: Yeah, yeah . . . .

Interviewer: But he’s your platoon leader?

Bromberg: Yeah he was our platoon leader and my tank commander.

Interviewer: Ah.

Bromberg: Then after he got killed, then they put a sergeant in command of
the tank.

Interviewer: Oh I’m glad I thought of that.

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: Because you would not normally have an officer in your tank.

Bromberg: No, no he was a platoon leader, remember? Then he took over the
company and became . . . .

Interviewer: What platoon was it? Sorry, what platoon were you, 1— . . . .

Bromberg: Second, second.

Interviewer: Second. Yeah ’cause you showed me that picture of that tank.
That’s Company 2.

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: That’s your platoon?

Bromberg: Yeah that was my platoon.

Interviewer: Oh my goodness. That is so interesting. That would certainly be,
’cause you obviously respected the man that was key to your staying alive.

Bromberg: Uh huh. Yeah.

Interviewer: And yet there he was lost . . . .

Bromberg: Uh huh.

Interviewer: in that attack and in that time which may have been in the
Mortaine. I’m just thinking here off the top of my head, we’ve talked about
German prisoners, we talked about entering Germany, we haven’t talked about
Africa and Sicily. We did, well, Sicily in general. I know what I was trying to
get my mind straight on, personalities. You saw General Rose or the man who
became promoted to General, Rose. You were not under Patton’s army?

Bromberg: In Africa, in Africa and Sicily . . . .

Interviewer: Oh in Africa, oh, there we go.

Bromberg: Sicily.

Interviewer: Did you ever see Patton, the famous . . . .

Bromberg: Only once. I only saw him in the States before we went overseas.

Interviewer: Oh yeah.

Bromberg: He gave our division a pep talk.

Interviewer: Oh yeah.

Bromberg: That’s the only time I ever saw him.

Interviewer: What did you think of him, any, you remember?

Bromberg: Well he was impressive, I mean every word out of his mouth was
profanity . . . .

Interviewer: Is that right?

Bromberg: Every other word. And he is, you know, he impressed me but I didn’t
give it any significance, you know . . . .

Interviewer: That was Patton?

Bromberg: that he was going to be a famous, you know, I remember that.

Interviewer: You didn’t think so?

Bromberg: And then too, when I joined the division, they talked, the men
talked about him. He had, just after I joined the division, he was our division
commander. He was commander of the Second Armored.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: And then he left. Then he got promoted. So right after I joined he
got promoted more or less. And everybody was saying how rough he was on the
officers. Not the enlisted men but on the officers, he was rough on.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: I remember that when I joined the division, they’re talking about
him.

Interviewer: Thinking about officers, we had started off talking about your
first company com- mander who was killed but you say he was a really nice guy
but he was killed on the 13th of June, Nicholson.

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: But you really didn’t know how. He was killed by a sniper and
. . . .

Bromberg: Yeah, no, I mean you don’t know those things. You know what I
mean? You don’t know. You don’t know till you’ve pulled back. Then, we had
fellows in the company, every now and then somebody would shoot themselves in
the company.

Interviewer: Is that right?

Bromberg: And then they’d, then I’d, then they’d pass around a paper as
a witness. They always claimed they were cleaning their gun. Well I never saw it
but I used to sign the paper, I’d say, you know as a witness. I never saw it
happen but I used to sign it, you know.

Interviewer: Is that right?

Bromberg: Yeah. There was always somebody shooting themselves.

Interviewer: To get out of . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: combat?

Bromberg: To get out of combat.

Interviewer: Now in this pre- to combat up until October, did you ever have a
time where your tank unit was pulled back and put in a village for rest and . .
. .

Bromberg: No, never.

Interviewer: you got to see something or?

Bromberg: No, no.

Interviewer: Is that right?

Bromberg: No, no, no.

Interviewer: Now you mentioned showering somewhere though?

Bromberg: Well that was in . . . .

Interviewer: Was that in Holland?

Bromberg: That was in Holland. I think there was a coal mine there.

Interviewer: Yes?

Bromberg: And they . . . .

Interviewer: They had showers in . . . .

Bromberg: and they had showers and they took us in there. Now that’s the
first time . . . .

Interviewer: Yeah?

Bromberg: that we, I think too, the last time we took a shower was in France
before the breakout. They brought us in portable trucks with showers or
something with water.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: I remember that.

Interviewer: Between that and then . . . .

Bromberg: And Holland. They took us in these coal mines . . . .

Interviewer: Yeah?

Bromberg: that had, you know for coal miners, and we took a shower there.

Interviewer: There’s a mining area I know of called Hierlan and south of
Hierlan, Holland.

Bromberg: No I didn’t, I never . . . .

Interviewer: They put a lot of, you don’t remember any . . . .

Bromberg: No. I remember . . . .

Interviewer: anything particular in Holland?

Bromberg: No I remember in Holland, we pulled our tanks back. We were just,
we were chasing the Germans is what it was. And we were outside this town. You
talk about little towns.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bromberg: So me and a couple of other guys went into the town looking for
something to eat, just to eat.

Interviewer: In a jeep or something or what?

Bromberg: No just to eat.

Interviewer: I mean how did you get there, on foot?

Bromberg: We walked. We left our tank there and we walked in to town, walked
into this town.

Interviewer: Had it been captured?

Bromberg: Yeah it was captured.

Interviewer: Okay.

Bromberg: Oh yeah. We captured the area. The Germans were there and we just,
you know, pushed them out, whatever. Germans were still around. They were still
around there.

Interviewer: Did you carry a weapon with you?

Bromberg: Oh yeah, yeah. Carried a 45.

Interviewer: Okay.

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: So you’re going into town . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: to find something to eat?

Bromberg: Because all we were thinking of was something to eat.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: So we go in this house and this fellow in the house, he could talk
English. And he was telling me and you know, who I was with, we were just
talking to him. They gave us some bread and he told me that they put sawdust in
the bread to rise. I don’t know if you knew of that.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: I remember he mentioned that to us. Then he, a couple of girls came
in, young girls came into the room. We were sitting in the front room and they
saw us and they bust out crying and ran out. And we said, “What’s
wrong?” He says, “Well day before we got there, their husbands were in
the Underground and the Germans caught them and shot them, the day before,”
and when they saw us, they just, you know. Talking about that, back in France I
remember, we pulled up to a hospital and I think the lieutenant was with us
then, he was, Swartz, and him and somebody else said, “Stay by the tank. We’re
going to go in the hospital and see if there’s any Americans in there.”
And they went into the hospital and we, you know, our tank was outside, outside
the grounds there. And some Frenchmen had a couple girls and they were dragging
them out of the hospital.

Interviewer: Hmmm.

Bromberg: Now this happened so fast, you don’t know what’s going on. And
they took them out of the hospital and they put them by a tree. They took out
guns and shot them.

Interviewer: Girls?

Bromberg: These two girls.

Interviewer: You saw that?

Bromberg: Yeah, yeah. We ran up to them. When we saw what’s happening we
ran up to these guys and they said, “Shlept with the bush”. They slept
with the Germans.

Interviewer: Yeah but they shot them?

Bromberg: They shot them right then and there.

Interviewer: Whew. I’ve heard of them shaving their heads . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah I saw that too. I saw that.

Interviewer: In photographs.

Bromberg: . . . . and then dragging them through the streets.

Interviewer: but not killing them.

Bromberg: They shot these two girls just like that. They took their guns and
you couldn’t stay but, it happened so fast. They said they were sleeping with
the Germans. They said, “the bush”. Oh yeah, they shot them right then
and there.

Interviewer: That’s an awful sight to see, huh?

Bromberg: We didn’t think, you know, the gun, you know.

Interviewer: That’s a lot of killing going on?

Bromberg: Yeah you don’t think, you know, you don’t . . . .

Interviewer: Yeah, yeah, it’s a lot of prisoners that can’t be taken back
and . . . .

Bromberg: I’ll tell you this though. I remember in my first day in combat,
you know, talking about combat. My first day in combat, you know what my
thoughts were when, you know, you always cross a line. You cross what you call,
and I, an initial point. You’re always crossing something and then you know
you’re in combat. You button up, you close down, you know.

Interviewer: Oh you mean on an attack or something?

Bromberg: Yeah, yeah.

Interviewer: Oh okay.

Bromberg: So the first day we went in I said to myself, I was wondering in
the tank, “Am I going to be scared?” I always wondered about that, you
know, where I, but it wasn’t. I didn’t get scared till toward the end, till
maybe a year or two years later, you got scared.

Interviewer: Is that right? I wonder what was going on.

Bromberg: Well you see it every day, . . . .

Interviewer: In your mind.

Bromberg: every day, every day, every day. But first I think you’ve talked,
I don’t know if you spoke to anybody but that was my reaction. At first I was
always pretty gung ho. I was till later, you know, how long can I last?

Interviewer: Oh I see. Near the end of your combat time?

Bromberg: I think that . . . .

Interviewer: How long can you last . . . .

Bromberg: ‘Cause I remember when we were in Germany we, you know, when we
pulled back to eat, they’d bring up a truck and bring up some hot chow, and we’d
go back to eat. I’d have to look for somebody, I remember this, I’d have to
look for somebody I could sit next to that I knew.

Interviewer: Why?

Bromberg: Because nobody was there. Everybody was, you know . . . .

Interviewer: Oh you’d have to look and . . . .

Bromberg: ‘Cause they’re all new men.

Interviewer: try to find someone?

Bromberg: Yeah that I could talk to.

Interviewer: So many new men?

Bromberg: Yeah I remember that. I remember I’d have to find somebody I
could talk to.

Interviewer: Not being afraid until the end. Now I’ve often asked men how
could you get up and do this day after day once you’ve experienced what it . .
. .

Bromberg: Uh huh.

Interviewer: what it is and you know what’s coming? Like pilots and bomber
crewmen. How can you go up . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Interviewer: and face that again?

Bromberg: Well it’s the way you’re trained, you do it automatically.

Interviewer: And you’re in a tank going out. How can you . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah. You do it . . . .

Interviewer: You know what’s out there?

Bromberg: Yeah. I remember one day in France, we had replacement. Nice young
kid. Generally I didn’t get friendly with somebody but he was a nice guy and
evidently we sort of got friendly with each other. He was from Pennsylvania. And
he came in as a replacement. And he said to me, “When are we going out? I
want to get myself some Jerries. When are we going out?” Every day he
wanted to get out in combat. He said, “When,” this is his first time
so he . . . .

Interviewer: Oh yeah.

Bromberg: He said, “When are we going to get out? When we?” I said,
“Don’t worry, what-ever his name was, I said, “We’ll be going,
pulling out in a couple of days”. So anyway we pulled out and he was in
another tank. I don’t know which tank it was but it was another tank. And so
we were out a couple of days. We were out, you know, two-three days then you
have to pull back again. And we pulled back and I wanted to see him. I wanted to
see how he liked, how he liked it, that he was so gung ho. And I found his tank,
his tank came back. And I said to the guys, I said, “Where’s that new guy
that came in from Pennsylvania?” They said, “Oh the first day out he
cracked up, he went berserk in the tank and we had to pull it out, pulled back
and let him out of the tank”.

Interviewer: Is that right?

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: He’s so gung ho and he . . . .

Bromberg: The first day he just went to pieces. Talking about that, first
day, we were, I don’t know what country this was. It could have been France.
It was out in the open. It wasn’t hedgerow country any more. We were out in
the field and our tanks were in the circle like a covered wagon.

Interviewer: Oh yeah.

Bromberg: Somewhere pretty close to the German lines that we’d do that, you
know, we were in a circle. And they brought up a bunch of replacements and they
put them in the middle of the circle. And I remember I was leaning against my
tank and I think we needed a man. I was wondering who we were going to get, you
know, they assign these guys to different tanks as replacements. And would you
believe a shell came in and went right, those guys never saw a day of combat,
and landed right in front of those guys and blew them away.

Interviewer: While you were there?

Bromberg: Yeah we were standing, you know.

Interviewer: You saw this? That must be awful, ghastly, to . . . .

Bromberg: Didn’t think nothing, didn’t, it didn’t, you know. It don’t
hit you that much.

Interviewer: The men are blown to pieces?

Bromberg: Yeah. It don’t hit you that way.

Interviewer: And there you didn’t even get to know them? And that’s the
end of it?

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: When they coiled up like that, they would call that
“coiling up for the night”.

Bromberg: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Interviewer: You had coiling up?

Bromberg: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Interviewer: When you’re in a . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: You were front line pushing and that’s what you would do at
night would be to . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: to draw together?

Bromberg: I remember one night we did that, we pulled into this area. A lot
of trees, I remember that. And we had on our tanks what we called “Homelight
engines”. You ever hear of those, that name, Homelight?”

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: They, you know, generate the engine, you know, electric power, you
know, those auxiliary engines for the electric . . . .

Interviewer: Oh I see.

Bromberg: to charge up the batteries. That’s what that was for.

Interviewer: Oh yeah?

Bromberg: To charge up the battery. So we pulled in this night and all of a
sudden every-body came around. “Turn off your Homelight engine and get the
hell out. There’s a whole . . . .” Now we were just a company. There’s
a whole German army across the road bivouacked. “Get out of here.”

Interviewer: Is that right?

Bromberg: So we all got out, you know. We pulled back.

Interviewer: It was that close?

Bromberg: Yeah, yeah. I remember that. They said, “Turn off your
Homelight engine. You get out of here.”

Interviewer: That sounds like something what happened in the hedgerow
country. It seems like the hedgerow country you get up so close you don’t
know.

Bromberg: Well see, I remember that, that we had a guy in our company, his
name was Sergeant Smart. Real nice fellow from Texas. And they took his tank,
this was in a hedgerow. They put a big bulldozer on him in front of his tank.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: And I remember I looked up, like yesterday, I could look up at him
and I thought to myself, “That poor bastard”. You know, he could be
the first one to bust a hole through the hedgerow.

Interviewer: Yeah, yeah.

Bromberg: That was the purpose of that bulldozer. Somebody got that idea.

Interviewer: Yeah?

Bromberg: That’s before they put those forks on.

Interviewer: Oh did you get the fork on your . . . .

Bromberg: Oh yeah, yeah. But this was before that.

Interviewer: Oh yeah?

Bromberg: So they put this big, when I say “bulldozer,” they put a
shovel, you know, a big shovel . . . .

Interviewer: The shovel blade, yeah the blade.

Bromberg: on his tank.

Interviewer: Is that right?

Bromberg: But you know what? The Germans never touched his tank.

Interviewer: Yeah they didn’t?

Bromberg: They let him bust a hole through and then when the other tanks came
through, then they’d zero in on them.

Interviewer: Really?

Bromberg: So he was in the, he was, I thought he was going to be the first
one to get it but he didn’t. See they’d let him go.

Interviewer: And you saw this kind of thing happening?

Bromberg: Oh yeah, yeah. Well I’m just saying I felt sorry for him at first
but it was just reverse.

Interviewer: He was safer?

Bromberg: Umm.

Interviewer: You know they called this thing a Cullen hedgerow device that
they welded some kind of big . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: piece of steel on. They put that on your tank?

Bromberg: Oh yeah, sure.

Interviewer: Did you use it? Did you actually use it . . . .

Bromberg: Oh yeah.

Interviewer: to break? It would push . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah push the dirt.

Interviewer: Big pointed . . . .

Bromberg: I remember the time they came around and, you know, with the blow
torches and that.

Interviewer: You remember them putting that on your tank?

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: Oh yeah. That’s special to see those on the tank and even
sometimes you see them on there when they’re all the way into Germany.

Bromberg: Oh yeah, there was, yeah.

Interviewer: Yeah. Left over from the hedgerows.

Bromberg: That was the only good thing about the American tank. It was,
mechanically, it was, you know, perfect.

Interviewer: Isn’t that something?

Bromberg: Yeah. It was a good tank.

Interviewer: That would . . . .

Bromberg: Outside . . . .

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bromberg: the protection it had nothing.

Interviewer: You’re driving? If I’m thinking right, that’s the same
tank from when you entered France all the way . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: to Ubach is your tank?

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: Did you have a name for it? That came . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah, “Fireball”.

Interviewer: Fireball?

Bromberg: That was the name of it.

Interviewer: Wonder where that name came from.

Bromberg: I don’t know. I didn’t, it wasn’t my . . . .

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bromberg: In fact, one day I was driving the tank. You know, we’d take
turns. I’d drive it.

Interviewer: Oh yeah?

Bromberg: You know, you got tired. And I was driving the tank and that night
when we pulled in, we always pulled under a tree. That was automatic, to get
under a tree.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bromberg: So one night, I guess the guy in the turret was named Butler. He
was from New York. And evidently he was our tank commander then. I don’t know
who our tank commander, but I remember him. So I was running the tank and that
night when we pulled in I was pulling under a tree. And he had his hatches open.
Well generally the hatch had a lock on it. When you open, it can’t, you know,
come down on you. Evidently he didn’t have it locked and the hatch got hold of
a tree branch and came down and he had his hand under it, and broke his hand and
all his fingers.

Interviewer: Oh my goodness.

Bromberg: So he gave out a scream and we got him down. And he said to me, he
said, “Bromberg, if I ever see you again, I’ll buy you a drink.”

Interviewer: He’s done . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah that’s what he told me. He was so happy. He said, “If I
ever see you see you again . . . .

Interviewer: That was the end of him?

Bromberg: Yeah I never saw him again.

Interviewer: From a freak . . . .

Bromberg: It was a freakish accident, you know.

Interviewer: Yeah. Isn’t that, just things like that save your life.

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: Change your . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Interviewer: changes your whole life . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah, yeah.

Interviewer: what’s going to happen to you.

Bromberg: Then I remember we’re up in Germany and we were just dug in, you
know, our tanks were, you know, we weren’t, then we’d go out on
reconnaissance the next day, you know, and that. And some Germans, it wasn’t
my tank. It was the tank next to us, Sergeant Lester. And a couple of Germans
came in to surrender. So Lester made a deal with them. He’d give them
cigarettes for every prisoner he could bring in. Go back to the German lines and
persuade. We called him “Sergeant York”. He must have got 20, we used
to see those Germans come in and surrender to his tank.

Interviewer: Wow!

Bromberg: And he’d give this guy cigarettes. I remember that. That was up
in, around the Siegfried Line.

Interviewer: What a great idea.

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: Giving cigarettes to go get some more guys to surrender. That’s
just amazing, little things . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: On and on. Yeah the major aspect of history, that Siegfried Line
attack was tremendous, of fighting all along there.

Bromberg: Uh huh.

Interviewer: And then the other, the hedgerow fighting all, it was so
terrible, these areas that day after day of trying to break through . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: those two places. Now in particular this book called Breakout
at Normandie and this “land of the dead,” you guys got
all mixed up with the Germans as you said. That’s probably where that
half-track was.

Bromberg: Probably was. I . . . .

Interviewer: It was in hedgerow country.

Bromberg: to be honest with you . . . .

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bromberg: I never knew, I learned more where I was with dates associated with
the time. Like if you mentioned St. Lo . . . .

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bromberg: I was at St. Lo. It was July. Then I knew what month it was. But at
the time I had no concept of time or . . . .

Interviewer: St. Lo was hilly too. I’ve been there. It’s only . . . .

Bromberg: Is that right?

Interviewer: Do you remember St. Lo?

Bromberg: Oh yeah. There was a lot of fighting there. That wasn’t a piece
of cake.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bromberg: But I can’t remember the terrain that much. I can’t remember
that.

Interviewer: In some of these places you guys knocked out whole columns of
Germans.

Bromberg: Uh huh.

Interviewer: Did you ever pass a column that was your . . . .

Bromberg: Oh all the time, all the time, yes, yes. So you’d have to take
bulldozer and shove the vehicles off the road, there’d be so . . . .

Interviewer: Isn’t that . . . .

Bromberg: You know, the German vehicles?

Interviewer: Yeah. To see that much . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: German . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah, yeah.

Interviewer: Did you think you were winning the war when you destroyed that
much stuff?

Bromberg: The only time we thought the war was over, after the breakthrough,
then I remember an English column came through. We thought it was pretty near
over with, yes. And we asked the English ’cause they weren’t good on rumors.
I mean they’re more factual.

Interviewer: Yeah?

Bromberg: . . . . and we asked them was the war over and they said,
“No,” yet it wasn’t over.

Interviewer: Oh my gosh.

Bromberg: Yeah we thought the war was . . . .

Interviewer: You saw the English guys, huh?

Bromberg: Yeah, yeah. We thought it was over with.

Interviewer: Isn’t that something?

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: Yeah you see all this destruction . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah we thought it was pretty near over.

Interviewer: you think you had defeated the German . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah, yeah, we did.

Interviewer: army but they had apparently so much . . . .

Bromberg: Yeah, yeah.

Interviewer: material and men that that wasn’t the of it at Normandie was
it?

Bromberg: Yeah.

Interviewer: You know.

Bromberg: And we never, I never thought it would ever end. I thought it was
going to go on forever.

Interviewer: . . . .

Bromberg: See two of his, here’s something else. See I got a friend of mine
that was in Italy. And he left the lines, in Italy he left, he went home on
points. On points.

Interviewer: On points from Italy, huh?

Bromberg: From Italy. Now the, we were still in the lines and I never even
gave a thought about points.

Interviewer: Was he tanker or something else?

Bromberg: Well he was in the, he wasn’t in a tank per se. He
was in an armored division, the First Armored.

Interviewer: Oh I see.

Bromberg: But he was in supplies. He was in a supply battalion. But he got
home on points, being overseas and being in a combat area. And here we were over
there and the word “points” wasn’t even mentioned. I didn’t know
there was such a thing as points.

Interviewer: Now points was from various items gave you certain points, like
being wounded?

Bromberg: Yes, yeah.

Interviewer: Were you given credit for being wounded at any time?

Bromberg: Well there was no points period.

Interviewer: No points for you?

Bromberg: There was no points period. We didn’t even know there was such a
thing as points.

Interviewer: You didn’t know about that?

Bromberg: We didn’t know about points. I think points didn’t come into
being in the European Theater until after the Battle of the Bulge . . . .

Interviewer: Till the end and they were sending men back by points?

Bromberg: Yeah. But over in Italy, they were sending guys back early on
points.

Interviewer: Is that . . . .

Bromberg: ‘Cause if you had enough, ’cause you came back early, way
before the Battle of the Bulge, he went . . . .

Interviewer: Way before that?

Bromberg: Yeah ’cause he said he got home on points and then when the
Battle of the Bulge broke, they held him in the Army . . . .

Interviewer: Oh yeah?

Bromberg: just in case.

Interviewer: Is that right?

Bromberg: And then they let him out. So that, I’m just bringing it out.

Interviewer: You know we might just touch here to make sure we get this on
this tape, your family background here in, were you born and raised in Columbus?

Bromberg: I was born in Chicago.

Interviewer: In Chicago? What brought you to Columbus?

Bromberg: My father, he got work in Columbus.

Interviewer: What was his full name?

Bromberg: Lou, Louis.

Interviewer: Louis Bromberg?

Bromberg: Uh huh.

Interviewer: Is that the family name from, to go back to the Old Country, so
to speak or do you know?

Bromberg: I don’t know.

Interviewer: Don’t know that history part of it?

Bromberg: I don’t know that.

Interviewer: Oh I see. And how about on your wife’s side? Were you married
after the war?

Bromberg: Oh yeah.

Interviewer: After the war?

Bromberg: After the war, yes.

Interviewer: What was her family name?

Bromberg: Ferrell.

Interviewer: How do you spell that?

Bromberg: F-E-R-R-E-L-L, or F-E-R-E-L-L.

Interviewer: Oh and you have children?

Bromberg: Yes, two boys.

Interviewer: Two boys? Scott and . . . .

Bromberg: And Craig.

Interviewer: Okay. And your business after the war, Irv, your current
business. Let’s touch on that.

Bromberg: It’s plumbing supplies.

Interviewer: Plumbing supplies? How many years?

Bromberg: Well I started that, I think I started that when I was 72.

Interviewer: Seventy-two? What’s the name of the business?

Bromberg: Kraftwood Supply.

Interviewer: Kraftwood?

Bromberg: I started . . . .

Interviewer: What did you do before you started that?

Bromberg: Well I started, after the war, after the war I drank. Then finally
I went to school and toward the latter part of the 40s, maybe ’48 or 1950, I
started a plumbing business, my father and myself

(Tape ends)

Transcribed by Honey Abramson

Edited by Peggy Kapla