Curtis Wicklund

Curtis Wicklund served during World War II in the U.S.Army in the European Theatre.

He was drafted when he turned eighteen and was sent to San Francisco. There he spent six months training for nocturnal ambulance driving and six months receiving medic and rescue instruction.

Mr. Wicklund was sent to Normandy, France where he was assigned to the 595th Medical Ambulance Company. He and another medic were assigned to an ambulance used to deliver injured American and German soldiers from the front line to one of five hospitals throughout Europe.

Source: Veteran’s account (follows)

“I quit high school at seventeen to work on the boats in the Lake Superior harbor to help support my mother, dad, and family. However, as soon as I turned eighteen that April, I was drafted to fight in World War II. Most of the high school teachers were drafted as well; the men were headed for Europe as long as they were under thirty-five years of age.

“I was sent to southern San Francisco and underwent six months of nocturnal ambulance driving training, followed by six more months of medic and rescue instruction. Shortly, I was shipped to Normandy, France, where two of us manned an ambulance built to deliver injured American and German soldiers from the front lines to one of five hospitals throughout Europe.

“The ‘Free French’ would stop our ambulance and demand the release of the German soldiers, who would be immediately shot. Ten years of German occupation was finally being revenged.

“Some of my favorite memories were: climbing the first floor of the Eiffel Tower (the top was occupied by U.S. radio operators), sending used parachutes back home for brides to make wedding dresses out of, and finally, while taking over a castle in Czechoslovakia, the bombing suddenly stopped, bullets ceased to fly—that’s when the war ended.

"My unit, the 595th, had met for fifty-two years, the last reunion being in 2008. My buddies are gone; only three of us remain in Superior. Hopefully, I’ll meet some of my comrades in Washington, D.C., at the veterans’ reunion in May.”

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