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Interview: Virgil Westdale

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522nd and Dachau

And sometimes, you’d see a pile of snow and there’s somebody dead underneath the…you know. That’s…the concentration camp. [Clears throat.] And I know that one of the guys said that, that um, he heard a noise. And their group, someone sent…taken down into a valley, and are being been shot. And he had…he was so tired, he was just been lyin’ down.

And so, uh, the Germans had to leave because we were moving pretty fast on them. So they left and he was alive, yeah. And, but he was covered up with snow. Which kept him warm all night. And then he heard a noise next morning and he woke up and he saw a truck. It was one of our guys. And the truck was on a hill. And the guy got out, he said, and he saw him walking toward him. And as he walked toward him, he said he thought he was gonna be shot again.

And, uh, but he said the guy reached into his pocket and pulled out a candy bar. And gave to him. He said the first time a soldier had ever given him a candy bar to eat. And it was the full four…the 522nd artillery battalion of the 442nd.

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Virgil Westdale interview #5: 522nd and Dachau
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* Virgil Westdale interviewed by Duncan Williams on August 27, 2012 for the exhibition, Visible & Invisible: A Hapa Japanese American History. A Collaboration with the USC Hapa Japan ... More »


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