Idaho, Germany, Two Tanks discussed on Based On a True Story


Of what the army called v platoons and in a in a number of infantry regiments. They have fifth bulletins that are in segregated infantry regiments meaning white infantry regiments and they add a platoon of african american soldiers. And so this guy jack. Thomas is given an opportunity to volunteer. Be given an opportunity to volunteer and become infantry. And he takes that volunteers. He goes through a little bit of training and then he is put in the fifth platoon of company of the sixtieth infantry regiment infantry division and he begins fighting with that unit all the way until april forty five. Were there in a little town in germany. Not far from number. Where during an attack that stalls he runs forward helps to men to safety than picks up a bazooka uses it to knock out two tanks and he is subsequently awarded the distinguished service cross reaction so he went from drafty to distinguish hers cross. And i think that's absolutely fascinating. At the end of the war. He goes back home. He's processed out discharged at fort benning georgia and he goes out spends a couple of days at home and then immediately goes back and reenlist in the army and stay stays in the army until nineteen sixty seven and he is really still serving as drill instructor and then eventually i mean he has so relocated his life that when he dies he's close to fort benning and he's actually buried now at the fort benning post cemetery and i find his story to be just exactly the kind of story that needs to be told. Now there's a reason why that guy that guy who could have stayed a truck driver and never been in harm's way had never had a shot fired at him but instead he wanted to be up front and he ended up being upfront and improved just when he was made of in germany in april forty-five when he earned the distinguished service cross which is an extremely impressive decoration and then i think he proved it once again when he re enlisted in the army and stayed in he went literally from being a drafty. Two distinguished service cross recipient combat veteran and life. And that's the story that needs to be told. Sounds like your next book. If i ever get another i would love. I would welcome the opportunity to write about him. And i was friendly. I was friendly with the only surviving. African american medal of honor is being in second world war as name was vernon baker. And he's lovely human being. He received distinguished service cross in april nineteen forty five and northern italy near town called monty new so and then in nineteen ninety-six under the clinton administration he was upgraded to melgar. He was not the only one several others were upgraded but he was the only one store wash at. I was friendly with him. And travels to idaho where he lived in interviewed him spent time getting to know him getting to know historian and eventually we brought him to do orleans and he was a great human being in a great american and a guy that stayed in the us army. He volunteered for the army and stayed in it until the nineteen sixties and he became a lieutenant briefly during world war two in the ninety second infantry division and when he became an officer was only during the worst that when the war ended he went back to being sergeant that was very interesting quality of his personal story and then he was completely content in the years after world war two as a recipient of the distinguished service cross and he embodied something that i that to me is. It's catnapped when it comes to admiring people in that is that he was very quiet about his service. He was not boastful and he wasn't overly proud of it was his. It was his and he was cool with it. And he didn't seem to undergo much change from when he was just a distinguished service cross recipient and that was a that was obscure enough to where people didn't he didn't stop traffic but then he nineteen ninety-six became a medal of honor recipient. And he lived in northern idaho around a whole lot of white people and it was funny to he. Lived near this town called saint. Mary's and when i was interviewing we in saint mary's and he came in and we went to this diner one morning and when we did that and he walked into the steiner every person in that diner stood because he was he was in the reu. They would not be seated in his presence. Until he's everybody sit down. Stop it sit down. And then it was just this procession of well-wishers and people wanting to come back just to shake his hand. These stories that. I feel like need to be made more conspicuous. And that's why. I would wish that i wish. Hbo would spend the kind of money that they did. Get others to make something. That dogs stories. Like jack thomas vernon baker and there are hundreds of other stories out there that would narrate the african-american experience in world war two significant significant a great degree. Because i believe that they had the same sense of duty optimism and sacrifice that the men depicted in band of brothers ad. I think their experiences no different aside from the fact that they dealt with of course overt racism and segregation. But i still think that they were american pair patriots.

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