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Alois (Bud) Madl video interview on experiences in World War II (transcript)

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Creator: Madl, Alois "Bud"

Date: June 12, 2007

Level of Description: Item

Material Type: Manuscripts

Call Number: World War II Oral Histories Project

Unit ID: 218566

Biographical sketch: Alois "Bud" Madl grew up on the farm during the Depression; they raised hogs and cattle and had a garden and several fruit trees so they made out alright. His wife grew up in the same area and they met on the school bus. His second year of high school his father wanted him to shuck corn so he never finished high school. At the age of eighteen he was drafted and went to Fort Hood, Texas for basic training. He then went to New York where he boarded a ship for an eleven day journey to England, zigzagging every seven minutes to avoid attack by submarines. Like everyone else, he got very seasick and he said that they didn't feed them much on the way over. They landed at Liverpool, then rode the train to Southhampton and got aboard another "rickety old ship" and crossed the English Channel to Le Havre. They traveled through France and Belgium and Bud said that the day he went up on the line, "all hell was poppin' out loose." There were dead Germans and dead Americans laying everywhere. He crossed the Rhine River and described the fighting on the bridge and how the tanks went into the water and the men drowned. In Pilsen, Czechoslovakia he helped guard the German generals being held there so they wouldn't be killed. As far as the civilians, most every country treated the soldiers well, even the Germans. He recalls one German mother that scrambled a bunch of eggs to feed them and the prisoners, it was all she had. One night they were in foxholes when the hill was shelled; he told the sergeant the next day, "that hill wobbled three and four foot." Many of the soldiers suffered from battle fatigue and were taken to hospitals. Bud described in detail gruesome things that he witnessed and said that "Everybody come an eighth of an inch from getting killed or wounded. God, a lotta people got killed!" One time he was on top of the turret when a German Royal Tiger tank shot at them and only missed him by a few feet. These were big tanks that were heavily armored and carried an 88-mm gun. In March of 1945 he tells of wading across the Ruhr River and how cold it was from the melting snow. He ended up with pneumonia, diagnosed by a Japanese-American doctor, and was ordered to rest. In July he returned to the States and spent ten months as a guard at Fort Leavenworth at the U.S. Army Disciplinary Barracks. Bud and his wife operated a dairy farm for 48 years and today they rent out their farm.

Summary: Alois (Bud) Madl was inducted into the Army (Infantry) in 1944 and served until 1946. He was stationed in Belgium and Czechoslovakia. Interviewed by Brian Grubbs on Jun 12, 2007, Madl talked about military experiences in the Second World War. He was born near Baldwin City on Februrary 6, 1926. He attended Prospect School and one year of Baldwin High School. After that he work on the family dairy farm with his father. The 2005 Kansas Legislature passed a bill funding the WWII Veterans Oral History grant program. This transcript is from one of the community institutions receiving grants. The transcript of the interview is presented here; the original video copy of the interview is available through the Watkins Community Museum of History (Lawrence) and through the Kansas State Historical Society.

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Title (Main title): Alois (Bud) Madl video interview on experiences in World War II (transcript)

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019-14-05-04  Mini DV Tape 

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