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Interview with Frank McKee [May 1, 2003]

Donna Frederickson:

This is May 1st, 2003. We are taping at the Rockland Independent Living Center in Spring Valley, New York. On behalf of the Independent Living Center and the Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association, I would like to introduce Frank McKee. He's a veteran of World War II, the 82nd Airborne Division. He's 81 years old and he was born on November 20th, 1921. Okay, Frank.

Frank McKee:

Okay, you're about ready? Am I okay to go?

Donna Frederickson:

Yes, go ahead.

Donna Frederickson:

Tell us what your pack was full of.

Donna Frederickson:

5th of what year?

Donna Frederickson:

Sure, go ahead. I will zoom in.

Donna Frederickson:

Where would you hide during the -- during the -- would you be in homes or --

Donna Frederickson:

Was it pretty shallow the river all the way through or --

Donna Frederickson:

That is okay

Donna Frederickson:

Something you said you destroyed.

Donna Frederickson:

Now, we're talking about --

Donna Frederickson:

You are hungry.

Donna Frederickson:

Tell when you were in the ditch, you had morphine on you?

Donna Frederickson:

Weren't you taking fire though, too, at the, at the, in the medical tent wherever you were? Didn't you say that they had to put you underneath the, you were getting shot at through there, no?

Donna Frederickson:

Not in the medical.

Donna Frederickson:

That is okay. We can stop if you want.

Donna Frederickson:

You miss them. It is terrible.

Donna Frederickson:

Tell how many that you left with and how many came back?

Donna Frederickson:

They are so loyal. They're your brothers, they're your brothers.

Donna Frederickson:

That is okay. You want me to stop?

Donna Frederickson:

Okay.

Donna Frederickson:

Wooden folding --

Donna Frederickson:

Yes.

Donna Frederickson:

Folding chairs.

Donna Frederickson:

Did you have a place to sit on the plane?

Donna Frederickson:

All those chairs?

Donna Frederickson:

Stacked up and tied up?

Donna Frederickson:

Oh, my God.

Donna Frederickson:

And did you meet up with your friend?

Donna Frederickson:

And was the gentleman who dragged you off the battle field?

Donna Frederickson:

No, you said he --

Donna Frederickson:

Did they have a cover on them or anything?

Donna Frederickson:

That was a long trip.

Donna Frederickson:

No more champagne though.

Donna Frederickson:

But you originally heard --

Donna Frederickson:

Right.

Donna Frederickson:

And you couldn't make fires.

Donna Frederickson:

Right.

Donna Frederickson:

Right.

Donna Frederickson:

They were frostbite.

Donna Frederickson:

Did they air evac -- how did they take you out?

Donna Frederickson:

The weasel.

Donna Frederickson:

It must have hurt, my gosh.

Donna Frederickson:

Did they give you anything for that, no morphine?

Donna Frederickson:

Tell us about the Purple Heart actually.

Donna Frederickson:

Did you know -- when you were in Germany, did you know about what else was happening around you? Did they -- because I hear a lot of stories that the soldiers really didn't know abut the atrocities that were happening --

Donna Frederickson:

-- in Germany and --

Donna Frederickson:

But did you know about the prison camps and --

Donna Frederickson:

Okay.

Donna Frederickson:

Just in shock.

Donna Frederickson:

Goodness.

Donna Frederickson:

Then you went to school.

Donna Frederickson:

Right.

Donna Frederickson:

Where did you live?

Donna Frederickson:

You loved fishing.

Donna Frederickson:

Oh, my goodness.

Donna Frederickson:

And then but you said you loved hunting and fishing.

Donna Frederickson:

And finally had your daughter. You didn't live there any longer?

Donna Frederickson:

Had a son.

Donna Frederickson:

No running water?

Donna Frederickson:

Annie Oakley, I guess. That is wonderful.

Donna Frederickson:

Wow.

Donna Frederickson:

Yes.

Donna Frederickson:

Oh, my goodness.

Donna Frederickson:

Show us your wonderful, the book you have there with your photos.

Donna Frederickson:

It's wonderful.

Donna Frederickson:

Yes.

Donna Frederickson:

That is wonderful. And your friend that -- I forget his name.

Donna Frederickson:

Giggle.

Donna Frederickson:

No.

Donna Frederickson:

And he lived --

Donna Frederickson:

That's right, you were there for each other. And he had a farm. He --

Donna Frederickson:

Wonderful.

Donna Frederickson:

Yes.

Donna Frederickson:

No.

Donna Frederickson:

Absolutely

Donna Frederickson:

Yes, keep talking.

Donna Frederickson:

Just hold it.

Donna Frederickson:

This is you over here on the other side; right?

Donna Frederickson:

That is when you --

Donna Frederickson:

At West Point?

Donna Frederickson:

That is fine.

Donna Frederickson:

That is it on your head.

Donna Frederickson:

You were saying that.

Donna Frederickson:

I want to make copies of it, but you did show me. We were reading it before we started taping.

Donna Frederickson:

Yes.

Donna Frederickson:

Well, you can read parts of it.

Donna Frederickson:

We will make a photocopy.

Donna Frederickson:

A wonderful piece of history there. Okay.

Donna Frederickson:

Thank you very much.

 
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  October 26, 2011
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