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"The ways of the world I knew very little about - boy, I learned 'em overnight there." (Interview)

   Russell Mack Baldwin
Image of Russell Mack Baldwin
Dr. Russell Baldwin in uniform [detail]
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army
Unit: 551st Heavy Pontoon Bridge Battalion
Service Location: Utah Beach, France; Ardennes, Belgium; Holland; Germany; Austria
Rank: Technician Five
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Growing up in an idyllic suburb of Cleveland, Russell Baldwin had just opened practice as a licensed optometrist in October 1941 when he was drafted. The army wasn't much interested in his specialty, and he became a member of a bridge building battalion. His unit landed in the second wave after D-Day, when danger was still prevalent. Baldwin survived several close shaves only to be captured by the retreating Germans, who abandoned him after a month. Back home, he found that his parents had rented his bedroom to a college student, and the two eventually shared their own room after they were married.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (5 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: audio(1) | 
Download: audio(2) (72 min.)
»Transcript
  Photos
»Photo Album (2 photos)
 Other Materials
»View List (2 items)
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 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (5 items)
Landing on Utah Beach just after D-Day. (02:43) Coming under fire; believing in angels. (01:54) The horrors of the Battle of the Bulge. (01:33)
Not sharing his memories right away; meeting his future wife. (01:07) Readjustment after the war; working with troubled youth. (02:12) 
  
 Other Materials (2 items)
Forward by Dr. Russell Baldwin Obituary of Dr. Russell Baldwin 
  
 

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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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