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“All these guys crying for help and dying up there in Aachen and these guys stop and make tea. That didn’t go over too well with our boys.” (Video Interview, 58:14)

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   Thomas Blakey
Image of Thomas Blakey
Thomas Blakey, 2003
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army
Unit: 505th Regimental Combat Team (RCT), 82nd Airborne Division
Service Location: European Theater
Rank: Staff Sergeant
Place of Birth: TX
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Thomas Blakey was a paratrooper with the 505th Regimental Combat Team. He saw action at Normandy, jumping out of a plane on the morning of June 6, and at the Battle of the Bulge, but it was his experiences as part of Operation Market Garden that colored his opinion of our British allies and those in command.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (12 clips)
»Complete Interview  (90 min.)
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 Video (Interview Excerpts) (12 items)
His flight to the drop zone over Normandy in the morning of June 6, 1944. (02:30) On the ground, 1 AM, June 6, 1944. (04:32) Fighting for the bridges near St. Mere Eglise (01:09)
How being scattered all over Normandy did not really hurt the invasion effort; comparison with the Holland invasion. (03:49) Linking up with his unit following June 6; fighting house to house in the villages of the Normandy peninsula. (03:24) Blakey didn’t want to make friends, knowing that he would lose them (00:18)
The objective of the drop into Holland: bridges. (00:17) While historians may call the operation a failure, Blakely believes they did their job (00:51) Crossing the river in rubber boats was the fate of the 504th (01:08)
The German soldiers were worthy combatants. (00:15) The Americans weren’t happy with British behavior in Holland. (00:52) The retreat of Allied forces from Holland was a devastating blow to the Dutch. (01:16)
  
 
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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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