Shaun Illingworth: This begins our second interview with Joseph G. Marino in New Brunswick, New Jersey, with Shaun Illingworth and ...
Hanne Ala-Rami: ... Hanne Ala-Rami.
SI: Mr. Marino, thank you very much for having us here today.
Joseph G. Marino: Glad to be here.
SI: To begin, in our last session, we ended by talking about the beginning of World War II for America. AfterPearl Harbor, how did you get into the service? What happened then?
JM: Well, actually, I started to try to get in the service right away, in the Navy. The Navy wanted, especially, phys. ed. teachers for a special program that they were running out of Chicago. What was it, the big naval base out there?
SI: Great Lakes?
JM: Great Lakes, that's right, and a fellow teacher, Bill Lindstrom, and I went into New York and tried to get in; the place was mobbed, was mobbed. They wanted a couple of hundred; they had a couple of thousand down there. ... They started interviewing individually and it couldn't be done. They got to the point where they came out and said, "Anyone that doesn't have a master's degree may as well go home," and that cut it down by about fifteen hundred, quite a few of them left. Anyway, I had my [master's], as did Bill, and we went down there and were interviewed. ... We were accepted by the interviewer, but we had to take our physicals and everything was fine, except that I had one eye that wouldn't pass the test. So, since my credentials were "with a master's" and that's what they wanted, phys. ed. and all that sort of thing, they said, "You go home and see an eye doctor and come back in about a month," which I did. ... I came back in a month, oh, and the treatment, incidentally, [laughter] was nothing but eat carrots and drink carrot juice, and my mother cut up the carrots for me, and cried, for a whole month. [laughter] Anyway, I went back and ... the eye that failed the first time passed and the eye that passed the first time failed. So, the Lieutenant said to me, he says, "Marino, let's go in and see the Admiral and talk to him. This is unusual." So, he took me in the office. I walked in and there was the nicest looking, ... elderly admiral, who obviously had been retired and brought back because of the war. I don't think he was five-feet-six-[inches] tall, white hair, red cheeks, and I said to myself, "I've got it made." [laughter] So, the Lieutenant explained to him what had happened and he stood up. With his gestures, he said, "The Japanese are coming in from the west and they've attacked LA and all the California coast. You know why?" "No, sir." "Because you couldn't see," and he proceeded to give me the devil. He raked me up one side and down the other like a top sergeant. When he was through, I said, "Thank you. That's it." He said, "Wait a minute, I'm not finished." I said, "I'm finished. I'm not in the service. You can't tell me what to do." I said, "You don't want me? That's up to you," and I left and that's the way it was, and then, I stayed in school until the end of June, when I was drafted into the Army.
SI: When you say "in school," do you mean teaching?
JM: I went back to my teaching job, yes. Bill Lindstrom got in. My fellow teacher, he got in and I was drafted in June, when school was out, and I left. I was sent to Fort Meade, Maryland, for basic training.
SI: I actually have one question before we get into the military. You were in New Brunswick for about six months between Pearl Harbor and when you went in the service.
JM: Right, yes.
SI: Did you see any impact of the war on New Brunswick at that time?
JM: Not really. I mean, there were a lot of rallies for money, bonds salesmen, movie actors and actresses came through, you know, ... and they sold bonds and all that sort of thing. That happened. That happened all over the country, though, not only in New Brunswick. That was about the limit of it, though.
SI: I remember ...
JM: And some of my kids, by the way, athletes at the high school, they dropped out and enlisted right away.
SI: Did the school have a policy of trying to keep kids from dropping out and going into the service?
JM: No, no. That was an individual thing and that was it. ...
SI: We were just talking about how some of your students left early to go in the service.
JM: Quite a few, as a matter-of-fact. I was surprised. ...
SI: In John Ragone's interview, he said that the school instituted a lot of physical training programs for the kids. Was that later or while you were still there?
JM: No. That was after I was gone. John didn't get in the service right away. As a matter-of-fact, ... Eddie (Bloomberg?) was another teacher, he taught at the high school, and he was ROTC, so, he was in right away. So, Johnny was a senior at Rutgers, doing his practice teaching in New Brunswick. They hired him. He didn't quite finish at Rutgers. He graduated, but he worked full-time at New Brunswick and got paid, his last half of his senior year.
SI: Do you have any memories of what your students' attitudes towards the war were? Were they frightened by what was going on? It sounds like they were eager.
JM: No, not really. At the beginning, I don't think there was that much of an impact. What happened after that, I have no idea.
SI: What about other things, like blackouts or Civil Defense drills?
JM: I was not involved in that, but the head of our phys. ed. department at the junior high school was. He was actively involved and they had areas where they had built some kind of a [tower] for them to climb up into, you know, and observe. ...
SI: Like spotters' towers.
JM: Spotters and all that sort of thing, yes, but he wasn't the only one. They had them all over the city, had them, I'd imagine, all over the country, especially along the East Coast.
SI: You were still living at home, right?
JM: Yes, yes.
SI: Can you tell us about going from your home into the service? What was that like?
JM: Well, it was a normal thing. "Look, I'm going somewhere," and that was it. Dad was a little concerned and, of course, Mother was upset, as all mothers were, I'm sure, you know, and that was it.
SI: Your first stop was Fort Meade.
JM: I was ... shipped to Fort Dix, yes, and I was there five days and did one KP [kitchen police duty]. [laughter] In five days, I did one KP. I never saw so many potatoes in all my life, ... but that was it. In five days, I was shipped down to Fort Meade, to the 76th Infantry Division down there. They were cadred by the Third Infantry Division and we got down there. ... As usual, when you get about twelve thousand people coming in, it took time, and then, they started basic training.
SI: How much time did it take to get organized before the training began?
JM: Practically, things happened right away. As people came in, they were just integrated, that's all, and we started right away with what had to be done, you know. ...
SI: At this point, you were still an enlisted man.
JM: Oh, yes, yes. Yes, I was down there; Meade was basic training. They were forming the 76th Infantry Division down there.
SI: Were you just classified as an infantryman then or did you have a specialty?
SI: What was that like, basic infantry training? What do you remember about that?
JM: It was, basically, getting you in shape, mentally and physically, for ... what you had to be going through, you know, training marches with weight on your back, at first, a couple of miles, and then, five miles, then, ten miles, with this weight on your back, which is going to be done during the war. You carry things around with you, you know, and minor things that you did, oh, observation posts, things that you had to do during the war and ... how you should do it, the proper way to do it and ... [how] not to do it, you know. That's sort of an interesting thing that happened to me, at one time. We were down in the [forest]. There's a lot of pine down there and, apparently, they wanted to clear it up. It was so thick. So, they cut a lot of the pines down. The trees weren't big. They weren't more than ten or twelve feet high, some of them, some were higher, and they cut them down, but they cut them about a foot from the ground and there was a lot of the trunks all around the area, you know. ... I was sent up to climb a tree, one of the higher trees, and I was the observation person, looking for [the enemy], while these people were crawling around down below. ... When it was over, I'll never forget, the Lieutenant says, "All right, Marino, come on down." Just then, the branch broke, down I went, landed on my back, and a lot of pine needles, fortunately, and, very fortunately, I didn't hit one of those trunks, or I'd have been seriously hurt. As it is, I spent ten days in the hospital down there. ... That's the closest I came to being injured [laughter] while I was in the service. Well, that's not quite true, but that's the first time, that's for sure. ...
SI: Did that affect your training, being out of the training for ten days?
JM: No. In ten days, I went back to the unit and picked up where I left off. ...
SI: How long was that training?
JM: Three months. At the end of three months, I was shipped to Fort Benning, Georgia, for officer's training.
SI: When did you apply for OCS?
JM: I didn't. I was kind of forced, in that I was in amongst a young [group], a lot of people. At that time, they were taking people who were forty-four years old and they were not too physical, you know, at that time, and, anyway, I guess I was probably one of the more educated people in the whole unit, in my company. ... I'm not talking about the division, now, I'm talking about the company, and so, I was made acting corporal right away. They go over your briefs, you know, your resumes and all that sort of thing that the Army [solicits] when you sign up, and they saw my background, all that sort of thing. So, I was made acting corporal, and I told you, we were cadred by the Third Infantry Division. Now, they were an old division. They're still in, in Iraq, right now, and, when you were a noncommissioned officer, even though you were acting, you were somebody with them, you know. ... Periodically, and especially on Saturdays, before we got leave, [laughter] we had to pick up anything that ... wasn't growing. See, that's the usual thing, and then, my guys went out there, and then, I'd pick up this thing. One of the top sergeants saw me, "Marino, what are you doing?" He said, "You're an acting corporal. You don't do stuff like that." Oh, jeez, that's the way they were. Oh, they were Army from way back, regular Army, the infantry divisions. So, that's the way they were. Anyway, we moved along, and another interesting [story]; I've never talked about this. I guess it's all right now. I was handed; I was called into the Captain's office and he said, "Marino, I have a letter here. All I know is, it came from our headquarters. That's all I know about it." He said, "I'm to give it to you. I don't know what's in it. My instructions are that your instructions are in this letter. That's all I know." He said, "When you do what you're supposed to do with them, I don't want to know from nothing. I'm not to know anything," and that was it. ... I went back to the barracks, ripped open the letter, and it was a letter and all it told me was, "This is a phone number. Memorize it, then, burn this letter." ... It had instructions on it, what I was to do if I had to use that number, which surprised me, and, apparently, my guess is that there was someone in every [unit]. I don't know this, but I think some one person in every company ... got one of those letters. Where it came from, I have no idea, whether it was FBI, CIA; from where, I have no idea. The instructions were to call that number and give anything that I felt was subversive to them, and that's all I was to do, forget, don't do anything, just give them the number and tell them what I know and they would look into it.
JM: I've never spoken about that, first time, and that was, what, sixty years ago, seventy years ago?
SI: How did you feel about that?
JM: Never had to use it.
SI: Yes. Do you think you would have had a problem using it?
JM: Well, I would guess it was [that] they were covering all bases, as far as ... in case anything subversive was going to go on. ... You never know who's in there, you know, what they're going to do, and, if they felt there's anyone who was doing anything that's against the US, they wanted to know about it and they would investigate. ... I was to do nothing, but nothing, tell no one, not even my captain. No one knew it, no one in the ... company knew it. It was just between me and whoever, and I still have no idea where that letter came from.
SI: Wow. There was no letterhead, "From the Army." I am glad you remembered that and shared it. I have never heard of that before.
JM: They're about the only things that [stand out] during basic training, except doing what we had to do every day, you know, marching and this, that and the other thing, getting into physical shape.
SI: Was this the first time you had met people from outside the New Brunswick area?
JM: Oh, yes. Well ...
SI: Outside of just New Jersey, people from different backgrounds.
JM: Well, they came from all over. I had people in my company who were from, mostly, [the] metropolitan area,New York, Jersey.
SI: You were thirty at the time. You were probably, as you mentioned, one of the older guys in the unit.
JM: No, I wasn't [that] old. I was about twenty-five, twenty-six, at the time, yes, but they were taking people who were older, you know. I had one elderly gentleman; the Captain had set up [a challenge], and he told us, he said, "You want to go home weekends, when you're allowed to go home? Learn," whatever it was we had to learn, you know, and this poor, old fellow, he couldn't. He never would be able to do it, never, and I was acting corporal and he came to me and he said, "Marino, I haven't been home." So, I went to the Captain and told him, ... "He's never going to make it. I think he deserves to go." ... The guy tried, you know. He didn't have the mental capacity to learn, there were ten of them, whatever they were, I even forgot, and he let him go. The other interesting thing, our first payday; at that time, when I first went in, and it only lasted for one month when I was in--it was before me, after that, we got a raise--the pay was twenty-one [dollars] a month. ... I had signed up for one [war] bond to be sent home, a fifteen-dollar bond, to be sent home, that comes out of your pay, you know, and the laundry came out of your pay, and this came out of your pay. ... My first payday, we lined up. ... The Captain says, "Marino, don't spend this all in one place." It was sixty-nine cents in my envelope. [laughter] That's all it is, sixty-nine [cents]. He said, "Don't spend it all in one place," but it was drudgery, you know, and the things didn't get really active until I was sent to Fort Benning.
SI: Did you feel as though you had proper supplies? Did they have a rifle for you?
JM: No, no. At that time, everything was makeshift. You didn't have what you needed and all that sort of thing, okay.
SI: At Fort Benning, were you still with the 76th?
JM: No, no. Now, I'm an individual sent to a class. I think I've forgotten the number of the class, but they were knocking out one class practically every two days, something like that. ... The class started with about a couple of hundred people, give or take a few, and a number of them dropped out, couldn't make it, you know. They wanted no part of it or the instructors felt that they were not capable of being officer material, and so, they were dismissed. ... That was tough. The hours were tough. We had Sunday off, and a half-day Saturday, if I remember correctly. I'm not sure, to be honest with you. Seems to me, Sundays, I know we got off, ... but that was all learning about mortars, machine guns, M-1s, you know, and physical training, [in] which I had an advantage, because a lot of it was vocal commands, and, being a coach and doing a lot of that, the marching stuff, in classes down here, you know. So, I didn't have to do too much of that. They knew my background, because of my resume, and I did it once or twice, and then, they didn't bother me anymore. They had other people do it, as I say, because of my background, but the rest of the stuff was kind of harassment, to see how much you could take before you crack up. I'll give you an example. We were there, maybe, about three or four weeks. We had no M-1s yet and, one night, about midnight, all of a sudden, all the lights went on, screaming and yelling, and, "Everybody [up]." They brought in M-1s and told us that we needed to have them cleaned and ready to go when we got up in the morning for our first [exercise], right after breakfast. Now, these guns came in boxes of Cosmoline. You know what Cosmoline is? It's really a grease, [to] preserve the rifle. [They] gave us nothing to clean it with, not even a Kleenex, nothing, and we had to do it, which we did, and, in the barracks; are you familiar with a barracks, by any chance?
JM: Each barracks had a bathroom and a shower room about the size of this dining room, out to the wall out there, and that was the size of it. ... The barracks had, about, maybe, each one, ... somewhere around, maybe, about seventy-five GIs in it, had no room for anybody. [laughter] To make a long story short, with us, we had a top sergeant who decided he wanted to become an officer, and he was no kid. He was probably, I would guess, somewhere around forty, forty-five years old, which was much older than anyone else that had been in there. He blew his top. He said, ... "This is nuts." So, in the morning, he went out and laid into the officers about, "What are you doing?" [what] he felt. [laughter] When we went out that morning, he wasn't with us. When we came back, he wasn't with us, either. He was gone. He was gone. He just couldn't handle that. Everybody else took it, you know. We were down there with our toothbrushes, scrubbing with the hot water, ... and we made it, made it, but that's part of the thing. They made it difficult for you, you know. Another time, we went out; we were working on machine guns. Rain, you wouldn't believe it. It came down in buckets and we were out in the field. The machine guns wouldn't work, because, at that time, the bullets were inserted into [a ribbon]. It wasn't a metal, it was a kind of a cord, and, with the rain, they shrunk and it wouldn't work in the machine guns, you know. That's something they learned then, ... but we sat out there in that rain all day long, and, at lunchtime, [laughter] the meal was served as though it wasn't raining. We had our mess kits. I'll never forget, it was pork chops, lima beans, mashed potatoes with gravy and these fruit salads that you get in cans, but they whipped it up in the [kitchen], cut up oranges and apples and pieces of cherry, I guess. ...
SI: Like a fruit cocktail.
JM: Fruit cocktail, that's the word, that's right, a fruit cocktail, and it was floating around. Everything was floating around in our mess kit. Oh, jeez, as far as the war was concerned, there was no rain. You never saw so much mud, ... wet, oh, jeez. I'll never forget that as long as I live. It got to the point where it was funny, you know, and the machine gun, you had to shoot one at a time. [laughter] It was something, but we survived and we scattered all over and [were] sent to different places. Another interesting thing, and this is where my luck changed, for the better; about two weeks before graduation, I was on my bed, Sunday afternoon, reading manuals, of the mortars, how to take them apart, put them together, how effective they are, angles, and all this sort of thing, and the M-1s and the machine guns, the whole megillah, and I had it up to here. I said, "The heck with it. I'm going to the movies." So, I went to the movies. Coming home, I hear, "Hey, Joe," and this jeep turns around and comes back; a fraternity brother of mine, at Rutgers, who happened to live in New Brunswick, by the way. We went to school together, and he said, "What are you doing here?" and I told him I was in there. He says, "You were?" "Yes, I was one of them in there. I'm going to graduate in a couple of weeks." He says, "Guess what?" "What?" He says, "Charlie," and I've forgotten his last name, another fraternity brother of mine who's down there, he made the assignments for the people who were graduating. He says, "I'm going to speak to;" Charlie was his first name. I can't remember his second [last name]. He was a senior, the one that made the assignments, when I was a freshman, also, an ROTC man, as was (Beanie Gordon?). ...
SI: Was (Beanie Gordon?) also your fraternity brother?
JM: He was a fraternity [brother]. He's the one that saw me walking home. I didn't see him, and he was a fraternity [brother]. He was a captain, as a matter-of-fact. He was in ROTC, also, and I was never ROTC. ... So, he said, "I'm going to tell Charlie that you [are graduating]," and, sure enough, when the assignments came out, I was assigned to a Special Service officer [position], which was legitimate, because of my background, my coaching background and the phys. ed. background, and to the 75th Infantry Division. The other outfit that he assigned was the 65th Infantry Division. I mention that because, as I say, my luck had turned. When we finally crossed the English Channel, the 75th made it. The 65th, one of their ships, which included practically all of division headquarters, was torpedoed crossing the English Channel. So, it was a fifty-fifty chance and that's how lucky I got. That's how lucky I got. Incidentally, crossing the English Channel was the best three days of my life in the Army. [laughter] I went over in a ship and, because of fog, we couldn't land for three days. The ship was furnished, more or less, by the City of Milwaukee. ... They had knives and forks and everything else, you know, dishes and everything, that they donated to the ship, to be used, but it wasn't nickel-and-dime stuff, that had theMilwaukee crest on it, you know. You almost had to lift the fork with two hands. It was like that. These guys, I could walk down the row here and walk into the kitchen, get a cup of coffee, which you ... couldn't do in the Army, you know. [laughter] They lived like kings in that Navy, if they weren't being shot at, you know, yes, but that was the best three days of my life. It was warm, you know.
SI: When you were switched from being an infantry officer to being a Special Services officer ...
JM: I'm still an infantry officer, yes.
JM: But, that was my job, being Special Services officer.
SI: Were you happy with that decision? Did you realize what that would mean?
JM: I had an idea, yes, and I was happy with it. Look, hey, it's in my field, you know, and it kept me busy. When we finally got out to Fort Leonard Wood, where ... the 75th was assigned, ... it kept me busy, very busy, as a matter-of-fact, and I enjoyed it.
SI: Two weeks later, you graduated from OCS. Then, you went to Fort Leonard Wood.
JM: Oh, I got a ten days' leave. We all did. We could go home and, from there, report wherever you're reporting, you know. ... Most of my outfit was in the 75th, and, well, no, I shouldn't say that, could have gone most anywhere, but a lot of them went to the 75th and the 65th, because they're the ones who were graduating, you know.
SI: Do you remember what you did on your leave? Did you come home?
JM: ... Oh, I came home, yes. I came home, not here. I lived in a different part of town and I came home. I had a young daughter that I had never seen, ... because I was married while I was in the service, and, well, you know, spent ten days home, and then, reported back.
SI: When did you get married?
JM: During the service. ...
SI: Did you get married when you were on leave?
JM: Yes, yes, got married when I was on leave, and we left from Fort Wadsworth, in New York.
SI: What about Fort Leonard Wood? What do you remember about your time there?
JM: It was very hot during the summer and very cold during the winter. [laughter] I mean, well, it's in the Ozarks, you know, and it was cold, cold country, but it was a very vigorous outfit. It was an outfit, from what I understood, kind of experimental. Every GI was, supposedly, twenty-two years or younger. They wanted to see if they could get a division ready for combat in six months, rather than nine, and, apparently, it couldn't be done. ... They had us going. There were some suicides, unfortunately. Everybody can't take that kind of stress, you know, and so, they tapered it down, ... but it was very, very active and I was busy out there. We had a lot of Italian prisoners out there and a lot of land. So, I had them construct a lot of ball fields for us, so [that] kids could play soccer. I had soccer schedules. We had hardball schedules, softball schedules, you know. I arranged boxing matches. I tried to get a lot of USO [United Service Organizations] in, you know, entertain the troops. Every week, for about ten weeks, I took a bunch of two-and-a-half-ton trucks into St. Louis. St. Louis adopted the 75th as their division. We were maybe a hundred miles from St. Louis itself, that is, Fort Leonard Wood. ... I'd take a bunch of trucks, two-and-a-half-ton trucks, and they supplied our rec rooms, for each company, with the furniture, couches, chairs, whatever entertainment they needed, you know, had cards and checkers and backgammon, everything, ... entertainment, if they wanted to go sit in the recreation room, in your own company, ... but the furniture was the big thing. ... I went in there and we picked up this furniture, had enough for about several companies every day, ... each trip, you know, and, finally, got it all done, ... but we were, the 75th Infantry Division, was St. Louis' division, which [was similar to], like I mentioned, [in] the Navy, with Milwaukee and that ship, yes.
SI: When you went to Fort Leonard Wood, were you immediately put into division headquarters?
JM: Yes, yes. That's a part of the meat of the division. That's what runs everything, the headquarters division, and Special Services is run out of there.
SI: There was not a Special Service officer for each regiment.
JM: Well, there was a Special Service [officer] in each regiment, also, and in the artillery, you know, who worked under me and with me, you know, and I didn't do everything. ... It's just like you had secretaries and all that sort of thing. ... We also published a newspaper, you know, much like the one that the Army published. I've forgotten the name of it now.
SI: Stars and Stripes?
JM: That's it, Stars and Stripes, published all the time.
SI: This was just news about the division.
JM: And an interesting thing; [laughter] it just so happened, I started that, of course, Stateside, and I was inIndiana. We were in Fort Breckenridge, at the time, and I had to go into town, ... make several stops with things that I had to do, and that's the day my daughter was born. ... Every place I went, "Congratulations, you're a father," because, I'll tell you, my wife, my family, had sent a telegram to my office and I wasn't there. Incidentally, I was not head man; I was the assistant at the time, yes. ... So, the Major called up, and said, "Tell Joe he's a father," every place. He knew where I was going, you know. [laughter] Every place I went, "Joe, congratulations, you're a father;" so, oh, well.
SI: It sounds like you got a lot of support from local civilians and local towns.
JM: Yes. ... Oh, hey, the civilians, "You name it, you got it," you know, and we got a lot of help, ... with equipment, supplies. I had everything I needed, whether it would be a fungo bat or a bat, balls, hard, soft, footballs, everything else. I had help. ... I had the authority to go; for instance, I was the head track coach. I coached football and basketball, freshman, here in New Brunswick, but varsity track at the high school, and so, I had a [track background], and, incidentally, very interesting, one of my weight men that I coached in New Brunswick was in my division, big Joe (Halocowitz?), six-[foot]-seven, big guy. ... He was in the division. So, I arranged a track meet for all of them, you know. Each regiment had their own team, artillery had their own team and ... everybody helped, you know, and we built a track, such as it was. We didn't put cinders down, but ... I had the engineers make a quarter track on one of the fields up there, and we built a big scoreboard and I got them supplies. They practiced on their own. I had nothing to do with coaching. That's up to them, you know. ... We had quite an affair and I got a lot of good reports on how much they enjoyed it, you know, and it kept the guys busy and out of trouble and all that sort of thing. ... Big Joe, incidentally, won the discus. [laughter] He got shot up, but wasn't killed, and I saw him after the war, during the Battle of the Bulge, first night out. ... Another incident, interesting thing, I had to get something done with this. ... You've got to carry this, carry that, and I needed a two-and-a-half-ton truck and I needed this stuff badly. So, there was a truck there and I said to the driver, "Come over here," and we loaded his truck up, took the stuff where it had to be. I thanked him and that was it. Well, it seems as though someone with more authority than I had reported it. So, my, not my boss, but upstairs, in the General's office, called me in and he chewed me up one side and down the other, told me what it was wrong, "Yes, sir, yes, sir, yes, sir, yes, sir." He says, "So much for that." He says, "You get the job done?" "Yes, sir." He says, "Congratulations, nice job," and he let me go. [laughter] "Don't do it again," he says.
SI: What did you think of your officers in general?
JM: Well, we were a very close group, yes. I've got a picture of them upstairs, but a very close group. You worked together. Hey, you know, you've got this thing, you're handling the schedules of, roughly, ten thousand GIs, and that's not easy, you know. ... Then, you've got rainouts [laughter] and all that sort of thing, ... but we had a good league going and the kids, the guys, had a lot of fun. ... We were at Breckenridge during the warm weather, so, it wasn't as though it was [cold. When] we were in St. Louis, it was cold. Oh, it was cold.
SI: You went from Leonard Wood to Breckenridge.
JM: From Leonard Wood, we went down to Leesville, in Louisiana, on maneuvers, but nothing stopped. Now, we didn't have games and all that sort of thing, ... but I still had to publish the newspaper, you know, and so, I found a place, a place called Mansfield, ... up a little further north in Louisiana, and they were tickled pink to let me [print the paper]. I had a crew who ... worked in newspapers. One was from Boston, I remember, was a reporter, another one handled the machines; they'd knock out the type and all that sort of thing and we'd spend a couple of days up there a week, and then, came home with the newspaper, published everything right in there, and you know what? He didn't want a penny. As far as I know there, he wasn't paid a penny. In the meantime, I was treated like a king there, you know, and invited here to dinner and invited there to dinner, all that sort of thing. ... The maneuvers, they went well, apparently, and our biggest problem were coral snakes, believe it or not, and, when it was first discovered; it's a beautiful snake, by the way. Are you familiar with it?
JM: It's black and yellow and gold, and ... almost like inch-wide stripes, all the way down. ... When it was first found in the division area, they took it into town, said, "It can't be. They don't come this far north." It turns out that they did and this was legitimate stuff, and these things are poisonous, to the nth degree. So, we had to roll up our gear at night, in our pup tents, so that you'd be sure they didn't crawl into your tent, your bedding, you know.
HA: Did anyone ever get bitten?
JM: Not that I know of, no, not that I know of.
SI: Is that one of the things you would put in the newspaper, "Watch out for this snake?"
JM: Yes, you'd put something like that in. It's important, plus, the fact that it [the paper] would go into every company and everybody was told, you know. So, you know, it's a beautiful snake, but it's deadly, deadly.
SI: After the maneuvers in Louisiana, then, you went to Camp Breckenridge.
JM: From there, we went to Breckenridge, yes, and then, from Breckenridge, we went overseas.
SI: Do you remember which ship you went over on?
JM: The Aquitania. It doesn't mean anything to you, but it does to me, because it was one of ... England's big ships, and we went over ... on the Aquitania without escort, because a ship like that could outrun a submarine, and they had gear on it to know when there's one nearby, you know. ... Of course, everything's zig-zag, but we went over in class, as opposed to coming home, on a freighter. [laughter] But, we were served mostly English food and, believe it or not, we were served by civilians in "monkey suits" [tuxedos]. Oh, yes, everything, white tie and tails, not tails, but, hey, they did everything. The war didn't stop them.
SI: Was that just for the officers?
JM: Gee, I don't know. I don't know. You know, I never thought of that, because it could very well have been, because we were [in the] upper decks. Again, division headquarters, you know, you're upstairs with the generals and all that sort of thing, and it could probably be, but we ate well. We were served well, with class. [laughter]
SI: What about your quarters? Were they cramped?
JM: Oh, they were cramped, oh, yes. You didn't get into individual rooms, no, no. ... Where a couple would rent, you know, when they took trips back and forth to the United States and England, there were two people, [in peacetime], there were probably twenty-two people in the room, you know. No, they were cramped. We had our usual drills, you know, in case of being torpedoed, and everybody had to walk around with your ...
JM: Gear, yes. You didn't go anywhere without it, and we had drills ... every day, during the trip over.
SI: Did you have to keep doing recreational work, organizing activities, any kind of recreation?
JM: On the ship? No, I had no authority at all. I was just a passenger.
SI: How much of your division was on that ship?
JM: That, I couldn't tell you. I know Division Headquarters was, but there were several thousand on that ship, several thousand on the ship.
SI: Where did you land?
JM: We landed in Scotland and, from there, we went down to Wales and gathered ... everything together and got to do what we had to do before we crossed the English Channel.
SI: How long were you in England before you went over the Channel?
JM: Oh, maybe about two weeks, that's all, yes, until everybody got together, get the whole division together, and then, we crossed the English Channel.
SI: What time of year was that, thereabouts?
JM: Late October, early November.
SI: The invasion had taken place.
JM: Oh, the invasion had taken place, yes, and we were going in for reinforcements then, and that was well before the Battle of the Bulge.
SI: Did you get a chance to interact with any of the British civilians or see any place in England, like sightseeing?
JM: Oh, not really. ... You were busy, getting ready for this and getting ready for that. ... I did find out why they always carry umbrellas, though. ... If I would walk from here to the next block, the sun would be out and, by the time I got to the next block, it would be raining, you know. So, that's why the English always carried umbrellas with them. [laughter]
SI: Do you remember what you were thinking and feeling as you were moving towards the division going into the field?
JM: I never gave it, really, any thought. I guess, most people, you're doing what you're doing, you know. You can't think about, "Am I going to get shot?" You take each day as it comes, that's all. It's kind of rough. You sleep where you can. Of course, when we were in Wales, we slept on a bed, you know, but, once we crossed theEnglish Channel, that was the end of that. You might have slept indoors, like, when we landed in France, we landed in Rouen and we went directly to what they called a caserne, and it was a military outfit. Well, there, you slept on the floor, everything was cement, you know, or a table, something like that. At least you're indoors, you know, and then, we moved out and got into position for front lines, you know, and, eventually, along came theBattle of the Bulge.
SI: Was the division initially put into a quiet sector? Were they doing that then?
JM: No, we went right into the Battle of the Bulge, yes, filled in, yes. Well, I shouldn't put it that way. We were in before, but we got there, that was our first battle, the Battle of the Bulge. An interesting thing happened; one of my friends, ... he was the assistant chemical officer. His jeep broke down. Of course, he was there and we went on, you know, and he tells the story about how he caught up. It seems as though he didn't know where we were, and neither did anyone else. You weren't supposed to talk. So, he was riding along. Now, here, we're going up these streets, if you can picture it, the street out front here, for instance, with 105 shells and 155 shells, packed up maybe about ten, twelve feet high, on both sides. All streets were like that and he stopped a GI, he thought. He stopped him and he asked him, "Hey, have you seen these [men]?" He said, "Joe, I said to him, 'Have you seen the 75th go by here?'" [laughter] ... The guy says, "No, no," and he kept asking him questions. Finally, Jack lost his temper. He says, "You know, for an American soldier, you're a stupid bastard." The guy says, "Soldier, look down," and Jack looked down and he had a .45 pointed at him. [laughter] He says, "You're the guy; you think I'm going to tell you anything? How do I know who you are, you know? I ought to blow your brains out," and, oh, gee, he said, "Joe, that was the biggest mistake of my life." That was Jack.
SI: Before the Battle of the Bulge, did you think that it was going to be a long campaign or did you think it was going to be over relatively soon?
JM: Well, you never know, you know. As it turns out, the Battle of the Bulge extended it there quite a bit, because they put quite a line in there and everything got nasty. During the Bulge, that incident in Malmedy; does that mean anything to you? [Editor's Note: Mr. Marino is referring to the Malmedy Massacre of December 17, 1944, in which American POWs where shot by SS troops.]
JM: Happened, and, fortunately, for history, a couple of them who were shot and wounded didn't die and they told what happened and, from then on, the so-called "white gloves" of war combat were taken off, you know, and even in our outfit. As a matter-of-fact, I saw this for myself. Well, I didn't see Malmedy or anything like that; ... one of our outfits captured a stray. He was shot, shot in the buttocks, a German, and they patched him up at the first aid and he was all right, but they made him live in a pigsty, with the pigs. He didn't talk ... English and we didn't have anywhere to hold Germans in the outfit, so, ... that's where he lived. They fed him and that was all they did. They just fed him and he lived [in], ... when I say a pigsty, I'm talking about mud and, it was a room, the thing was maybe about as big as this living room here. ... What happened to him, I don't know, but I'd imagine he was sent on up, you know, in the prisoners, but ... the guy actually lived in a pigsty.
SI: Before that, what was your attitude towards the Germans, the German Army and soldiers?
JM: Hey, it's killed or be killed, you know, one of those things, although, personally, I never shot a bullet in anger overseas, and all the bullets I shot were learning how to handle a .45 and an M-1, Stateside, and the machine gun, never had to use them, but that was division headquarters, you know. We were prepared and we still trained, you know, because, ... while we weren't, there were divisions that were overrun, especially during the Battle of the Bulge. ... So, you had to be training all the time and ready for action. We never went without a weapon.
SI: Did you carry a carbine or a pistol?
JM: No, I carried, the officers carried, in division headquarters, carried a .45, although we trained, originally, down at Meade ... and in Benning, with an M-1, and they were improved. As a matter-of-fact, while I was at Benning, to go back a little bit, I'll show you how much they improved. You know, we used to dig foxholes, to avoid the shrapnel from the shells, the 105s and 140s. ... By the time I graduated from Benning, a foxhole wouldn't do you any good, because they were shooting shells that, when a shell got at a certain height above the ground, coming down, it would explode and the shells, the shrapnel, would go down and get you anyway. So, a foxhole wouldn't do you any good anymore.
SI: The division was deployed a little bit before the Battle of the Bulge.
SI: When the Germans started coming through in that offensive, how did that affect what you were doing? How did you hear about it? How did that whole thing unfold, basically?
JM: Well, see, I wasn't in the battle, so, I don't know.
SI: Yes, but, from where you were, in the division headquarters, what were you learning about the battle?
JM: Well, we were finding out [that] what had actually happened was that they'd let them come through so far, and then, they'd pinched from up above, and, in that way, this whole group was encircled, you see. ... They were weakened and wiped out, and those coming in didn't have anything for them. So, they were taken care of up there by others, you know, other divisions, and that's what happened, but we had our problems. Unfortunately, you had to be careful, even though we were in the back, because there was always these Messerschmitts coming over, you know. ... As a matter-of-fact, our head, he was a lieutenant colonel, awfully nice guy, we were having lunch, outdoors, you know, and a Messerschmitt come over, with his machine guns going, and got him, ... just below the belly button, just one bullet, but a machine gun was a big bullet. It's not an M-1 bullet, and it killed him.
SI: Were you there when that happened?
JM: I was seated exactly where he was seated on the other side of the room. ... Well, there was a number of us in there. It was just [luck], you know, but he's the one, just one guy, and he was killed. As a matter-of-fact, the name was [Ralph L.] Lowther, L-O-W-T-H-E-R, and I'm certain he was the first; he was a West Point graduate and, as I understand it, he was the first West Point graduate to be killed from the communications [branch]. He was the head of all the communications in the division.
SI: He was Signal Corps.
JM: What's that?
SI: Signal Corps.
JM: Signal Corps, and he has a road named for him at [Fort] Monmouth.
JM: Which is ... [a primarily US Army Signal Corps installation], you know, from the street to the officers' club, Lowther, I don't know, Road, Lowther Lane, something like that.
SI: What would you do during an air attack?
JM: During an air attack?
SI: What would you do during an air raid?
JM: Find the nearest shelter, that's all, you know. If there isn't any; [laughter] you're talking about an air raid. When we first landed, ... we were in Belgium, in a little town called Huy, H-U-Y, and we were in foxholes, or not in foxholes, but we were in the fields. I'll never forget, it was [like] a windy, March day, and the wind was coming from Belgium towards Germany. Germany was sending over those V-8s [V-1 rockets]. ... They were sending them for Liege, which was about five or six miles from us, beyond, and, apparently, they didn't allow for the wind. You don't have to worry about a V-8 [V-1] as long as you can hear the motor. Well, when the motor died down, you know they were coming down. As I say, apparently, they didn't allow for the wind, because they were falling short. They were falling on us and we were getting shot up pretty good. Oh, those things were powerful, big hole in the ground. You'd be surprised at the hole in the ground, but it wasn't [bad], now that the detonation did its damage, too. It didn't have to be hit [by fighters or antiaircraft], you know. So, we're dodging a bullet then; usual jokes, "Will somebody tell them they're short? [laughter] Put more gas in them."
SI: During one of these raids, you would just find shelter where you could and hope for the best.
JM: Yes, yes, that's all you can do, you know.
SI: How often would you lose people, like this lieutenant colonel, in an air raid? How often would your unit take casualties?
JM: In the back, very seldom, yes, in the back, very seldom. When we got into action, you know, you get to the point where you just don't care anymore. Jack (Harth?), I mentioned, I think, was a chemical officer, and we got pretty close. As a matter-of-fact, ... he passed away, but I still contact his wife. ... Jack, he came up to me, one day, crying. He says, "Joe, I'm going home." "What do you mean, you're going home?" "I'm going home. If I have to swim home, I'm going home." He says, "They made me Graves Registration officer." He says, "That's not for me. I can't." ... Oh, he was beside himself. So, I sat down to talk to him, "Jack, look, apparently, they weren't worried about chemical officers. There's no need for chemicals. We're not even carrying our bags [gas masks?] with us anymore, you know." He said, "I don't care." Anyway, he went away crying. About a month later, maybe a little longer than that, I guess the Battle of the Bulge was over, as a matter-of-fact, I went back, was going somewhere, and I knew I was going by his place. So, I stopped in, "Joe, how are you? Good to see you." So, we got [to] talking. He was over it, you know. "Come here, I want to show you something." He took me in the back and there was an old, wooden shed back there. He had bodies back there. It's something I'll never, never forget.
SI: Do you want to take a break?
JM: Went back in the shed, opened the door and there are bodies frozen stiff, in different contortions, you know. One was just a peaceful death, apparently, another one, they still had tears frozen on their cheeks, crying when they died. Others died in pain; you could see the pain on their face, you know. I'll never forget that as long as I live, but Jack, "Joe," he says, "you and I are old buddies from the start." He says, "When you get yours, I'm going to personally bury you." [laughter] That's how you changed. You get hardened to a thing like this. It's really something.
SI: He really came around.
JM: Oh, he came around, yes. As a matter-of-fact, when the war was over, he went back in.
JM: Yes. I got a call one day; he was at [Camp] Kilmer [in neighboring Piscataway, New Jersey]. I said, "What are you doing here?" He was from Oklahoma. I said, "What are you doing there?" He says, "I'm going overseas." "What?" He said, "Yes." He said, "I got back to Oklahoma. I couldn't get my old job back." He says, "I might as well go in the Army. I'll do better," and he did, and he went back in the Army.
SI: Do you know if he stayed in Graves Registration?
JM: Yes. They were glad to take him back.
JM: Yes, he kept his status as a; I don't know what status he was in. ...
SI: One of the other things that people bring up about that period is how cold it was, that it was one of the coldest winters in European history.
JM: During the Battle of the Bulge?
SI: Yes. Do you remember the weather and what that was like?
JM: I'm trying to [explain]; if you can picture a snowy day, and, sometimes, no snow, no sun, cold, damp. When I say cold, I mean cold, damp, and that's the way it was for about ten days. So, the military couldn't use the Air Corps at all and we just had to sit there and do what we could about beating them back, you know, without the help of being bombarded by artillery and by; well, artillery, they did, but the bombers coming over and bombing their positions, all that sort of thing, and it was really something. There's nothing much you could do. ... I still get [choked up]; I don't think I've been ever happier. I believe it was Christmas Day, I can't remember [if] it was Christmas Day or New Year's Day, where it was a day like today, all of a sudden; the sun was out. It was still cold, but the sun was out, but you could hardly see it with bombers coming over. They were coming over, over and over and over. Oh, jeez, what a delightful sight, and things picked up after that. They bombed the devil out of them, you know.
SI: When you said you were being attacked by Messerschmitts ...
JM: Well, they were individual things; it wasn't a whole squadron, for instance. ...
SI: One or two planes, like harassment.
SI: Did that continue after the Bulge or was that only during the Bulge?
JM: No, after the Bulge, it was all over. Yes, when the Bulge was over, the war was basically over, yes. From that point on, everything was mop up. I know, when the Bulge was over, for instance, we were sent down toColmar. There were some battles down there, Southern France, and then, again, I tell you, you get to a point where you don't care. When we went down there, there were still bodies all over the streets, you know, and they were being picked up and put in two-and-a-half-ton trucks, to be taken wherever the Graves Registration officers [were], ... but the actual battle was over. Down the street, maybe about a hundred yards, perhaps maybe a little bit more than that, there was a bridge that crossed from Colmar, from where we were, over into this Colmar District. Over here, about twenty-five miles away, now, we didn't know this yet, was a railroad car with a mounted gun. Well, when we got in there, the first thing we looked for is a building that's intact, you know, and I spotted one about three stories high and I went up to the top and I found, not a bed, but a mattress. Boy, I thought right then, "That's where I'm sleeping," and the rest of the guys came in. Some found a mattress and some found [nothing]; at least you weren't in a mud hole, you know, to sleep. It was like the Hilton. About twelve o'clock that night, "Boom." "Holy jeez." I hear this loud explosion and the building rocked. "What the heck is that?" Everything got quiet, went back to sleep, "Boom." This went on all night long, every half-hour or so. Found out, in the morning, they were trying to knock out that bridge, to make it more difficult, for us to get from here to there, it was maybe a quarter of a mile. But, if that bridge was out, for us to get from here to there, we had to go this way, maybe about fifty miles, you know. ... So, they're in there, trying to knock out that bridge. It was a railroad car with a mounted, huge gun, and, [when] they'd shoot, you could spot it, but, then, it got dark, and then, they moved the train, you know, up this way, a mile, two miles, five miles, whatever. You know, what are you going shoot at, you know? So, we couldn't get it. So, that was going on, but, to just show you, do you think [it bothered us]? because it was a place to sleep, that I hadn't slept in[doors] in so long, not only me, a lot of guys, with a roof over your head, no mud; ... you didn't care anymore. You got to the point, you just didn't care.
SI: Were they able to take out the bridge?
JM: No, we stayed there, no, no. After awhile, then, during the day, the next day, they got out their ... fighter pilots and went over to the railroad and shot them up. [laughter] That took care of that. That was just that one night.
SI: Were there other times when you came under artillery attack?
JM: Well, our biggest was the Bulge, yes. That's about the only real, real scrap. Everything else was mop up stuff, you know. The real battle was over.
SI: When the division went into combat, most of the soldiers did not have time for the things you had done in the States, like the baseball leagues.
SI: What did you do every day?
JM: ... Not much. What could you do in a battlefield, you know? The only thing we could do is do what we could for them, as far as getting writing paper, for instance, whether I ... could buy it or steal it or lift it somewhere, get them pens and pencils, things that make the little things happier for them; at least, they could get mail. For instance, our mail division, ... we hadn't gotten mail, and I could understand it, but, when you don't get mail, that's an important thing in the Army. ... So, the General called the postmaster in and he says, "Look, I'm giving you two trucks." He says, "You go find our mail and bring it back, and don't come back until you find it, and you'd better come back right away," you know, and that he did and he found it. He brought it back and we got a lot of mail. Yes, that's an important thing, and it's the little things like that you do, during combat, you know. After combat is something else. Where you had a chance, we used to bring the band out, the division band, and play the music of the day for them, you know, but that's not in battle anymore. Nothing much you can do there; what are you going to do, build ball fields, you know? So, my job was pretty much done, and, when the war was over, I was shipped to military government, because I didn't have enough points to come home, but, before then, we went from here to there and we were broken up in pieces. ... I don't know how they did it, ... in each division at a time, whatever they did, but some people went here, some people went there, you know, and I was sent down to Bad Tolz. We were in Germany, waiting for assignments, and it was a town that was ... in a direct line between the airfields inEngland and Berlin. They flew right over this town. It was a town of, as I understand, about a hundred thousand people. Every night, they went over and bombed Berlin, every night, every night, and, pretty soon, those people, when the sirens went off, "Eh, you know, don't bother." They used to go into their ... holes for protection from the bombs and all that sort of thing. ... I remember, it was a beautiful city, by the way, they had a kind of park in the middle of the street. There's a street on this side, ... and the [park in the] middle, and they had their fire engines outside, because they didn't want them getting caught, in the bombings, in the buildings, you know. ... Anyway, this one night, they dropped them on the city. Thousands of people were killed. They didn't expect it. They thought they were going to keep going, you know. Well, they were angry beyond measure, and ... then, we were given orders, "Don't go out alone, never at night, and, during the day, walk never alone, [always] several of you, and be armed at all times," because they [did not] wanted anybody picked off, you know. They were angry, and I could understand, when you get so many people killed like that. They're just wiped out. ... The interesting thing is, by the way, when I got back to teaching, would you believe that a kid who lived in that town was in one of my classes? Isn't that amazing?
SI: You did not know him over there, though.
JM: What's that?
SI: Did you know him when you were in Germany?
JM: No, no, no; [we discovered this] in the course of conversations, but he had that strict German accent, you know, yes.
SI: Had he been alive during the war, or was it years later?
JM: Oh, yes, yes. Well, I was in junior high school, he was fourteen, fifteen years old, see. So, I'd only been home a couple years, yes.
SI: When you were moving from place to place, you said you would always look for a building that was intact, or someplace to set up. Did you have to deal with either Germans or other civilians at that point?
JM: When that happened, the town is practically empty, yes. The town is practically empty. You dealt with Germans. For instance, up at Colmar, now, they're getting ready to cross the Rhine. So, we were shipped up to; where was it in Germany, in Germany, but the northern part of Germany? Anyway, we were shipped up there and they were bringing in these landing ships, but, now, those old German towns, they didn't have streets that were very wide. The cars were small, as you probably know, from German [cars], and these ships couldn't get around the corner. So, they'd go in, [say to] people on the corner, "Get out of the house. We've got to blow your house out. We've got to blow that. We can't get the ships around there," and then, they had to get out of the house. They'd blow up the house, and then, they'd get the landing ships, so that they could come around the corner; nothing meant anything.
HA: How did the people react to their house being blown up?
JM: They [were told], "Just get out." They can't move and [say], "Wait until we move." "Now, now, not tomorrow, not two minutes from now; now, get out." ...
HA: Did you get a chance to travel around Germany at all?
HA: I wondered if you got a chance to travel around Germany at all.
JM: After the war?
HA: Or during the war.
JM: During the war? During the war, only with the division, yes; [laughter] no, no, you didn't go wandering any place, yes. No, afterwards, I went. As a matter-of-fact, the first year I retired, my wife and I went back for five weeks and we traveled all over Germany and Austria, France.
SI: What about during the occupation? Were you able to travel much then?
JM: I traveled a lot in that I was sent down to Bad Tolz as a civil servant; not civil, military government is what they called it. ... Our group had five officers and we had all our own responsibilities, and maybe about twelve or fifteen GIs. ... I had my own car. I lived in [Walther] Funk's home. Funk was the Reich's Minister of Finance. He was tried at Regensburg, was it?
JM: Nuremberg. He was tried at Nuremberg and was given life. I lived in his home. Shaun, you wouldn't believe how that man lived. We lived in his home, not in Bad Tolz, but about five miles out of Bad Tolz, on the top of a hill. My bedroom was canopied. ... The room was about maybe about fifty percent bigger than this room, with a canopied bed, with [intercom] buttons on the side, for whoever I wanted, you know, "Do this, do that," never used it, but his house was being built during the war. They'd probably started before the war, and we went in there. Our dining room table was maybe about twenty feet long. The dining room was at least as big as this room, and probably, as a matter-of-fact, probably, if you could picture the whole downstairs [of this house], from there, with a rug that was so big that they had to fold the ends over to make it fit. They had confiscated it from somewhere, which is where he got a lot of his material. ... The people in town hated his guts, because, if he needed [something], because of the war effort, he couldn't get it, but, if he needed flashings, for instance, and you had some in your house, they'd take it off your house and put it in his. [laughter] That's what he did. They hated his guts to the nth degree, but it was a big place. It had a stable with a dozen horses that they kept there, down maybe about a hundred yards from the [house]. These are one of the pictures I wanted to show you, but I can't find [it] anywhere. Maybe I gave them to my granddaughter; she's teaching history. Anyway, the wife [Funk's wife], we threw her out, but she lived in the stable, with some of the groomsmen, you know, and they had horses, which we rode weekends, when we're free, you know, around there, but, also, there were two cellars. One cellar was a game room, bowling alleys, this, that, and the other thing, but underneath the cellar, this guy had a minimum of thirty to forty thousand bottles, thirty to forty thousand bottles of all kinds of liquors. That's hard to believe.
JM: Not only that, on the side of the hill, the servants gave us a map of where barrels of very fine liquors and whiskies and scotches were buried, and, sure enough, they were all plucked out. We called George; Patton. Patton was in Bad Tolz. That was his Third Army Headquarters and [we] called his officers and they came out and got them. Needless to say, a number of bottles didn't go. [laughter] They stayed. I myself don't drink, never did, but ... our outfit had all they needed, you know, and our food was always shipped in to us regularly, by the Army.
SI: You were with Civil Affairs.
JM: Military government, yes. They came to us, ... the people did, for anything they wanted, "Mit dem stempel," "With the stamp." If it didn't have the stamp, they weren't happy, "Mit dem stempel."
SI: You did not speak any German, did you?
JM: ... I was very fortunate. What little German I knew, I had a year or two in high school and some of it came back, but usually [not too much], you know, but my secretary was a woman who was maybe sixty, sixty-five years old. She was the secretary to the German ambassador to England. So, she spoke English very well. We got along very well and she watched over me like a baby. She'd talk to the guys, ... whoever came in, in German and interpret for me, and then, she'd tell me, in English, "Don't trust this one. Trust this one. Don't trust this [one]," you know. As a matter-of-fact, when I left and said good-bye to her, she started to cry, and why, I don't know, I stuck my hand in my pocket, you know, ... she had put in my pocket, my coat pocket, her engagement ring, with a diamond in it. ... She says, "I won't need it. I won't need it." I said, "You need it. You hold on to it." She had two sisters in Red Bank, [New Jersey], by the way.
JM: Yes, and, when I got home, I got a letter from them, telling me how much they appreciated how I treated their sister and all that sort of thing. ... Peg used to send me CARE packages and, one time, it was a bottle of peanut butter that didn't make it. It was cracked. So, when the package came, I took it out, dropped it in my basket. She came around, picked it up. I said, "Martha, what are you doing?" She says, "After all I've gone through, this won't hurt me," and so, I took it, put it back [in the trash], and, from then on, I kept her supplied. ... When I came home, every Christmas, I'd send her packages, and every Sunday, she spent climbing the mountains. Would you believe that? Every Sunday, she spent climbing the mountains. ... In Bad Tolz, I was in charge of education, being a teacher, I was in charge of the hospitals and I was in charge of property, which included apartments and anything that they put away, brought down from Munich to get away from possible bombings of the museums up there. ... For instance, I had three boxes, about the size of the average coffin, with money that was centuries old. How they kept track of that stuffs, I don't know, but I know I never touched the stuff, never touched it. I looked at it, you know. It was very, very valuable, as you can imagine, but, if I had decided to take it, where could I palm it off, that they couldn't follow it, you know, a thing like that? You'd be surprised. They had monies, wooden nickels, for instance, the size of the base of this [microphone stand, approximately six inches]. That's the way money was, you know. It wasn't anything like we have today, huge things that were [used as] money.
HA: Had the Germans confiscated that from other people?
JM: No, that was from the museum.
HA: The museums in Germany.
JM: You know, in Munich, yes, in Munich. They brought it down. They had rugs and paintings in the vaults of banks in these little communities, away from Munich, that they wanted to preserve and see if they can save, you know, and these rugs and the paintings, ... they were very valuable. ... In education, the kids had to come in, if they wanted heat, each brought in a piece of wood. There was a stove in the middle of the room and the teacher would make a fire and keep the room warm that way, and, if they didn't bring any wood, they taught in cold weather, in the cold, you know. ... One of the biggest problems I had, every time I walked into a room, they all jumped up, "Heil Hitler." I had an awful time breaking them of that habit. I managed, before I left. Now, what happened after that, I don't know, but I'm sure it stayed that way, but all these kids, everything was, "Heil Hitler," and we could easily find a Nazi; if we looked up Shaun and Shaun, in 1930, he had 150, whatever it was, in the bank, you know, then, Shaun joined the Nazi Party and, all of a sudden, [the amount rises to] three hundred, a thousand, two thousand. So, just as soon as they joined the Nazi Party, they were made. If you didn't join the Nazi Party, you didn't live very well, you know, and that's where we caught up with a lot of them. Now, my education supervisor ... was a Nazi. I had to fire him. I got notification that he was a Nazi. We looked it up, sure enough, and not only fired him, put him in jail. Then, [in] the hospitals I was responsible for, ... among other things, I ran the, I was responsible for, the diseases. ... At that time, the syphilis was being treated by silver nitrate, but that was a long, painful process. So, the people didn't bother. Then, the Army announced that it would make penicillin available to the civilians. You'd think I was giving away dishes. They'd line up at my office, oh, [like] you wouldn't believe. I didn't have enough doctors, I didn't have enough bed spaces for them. They had to take turns, but they'd come out in droves for the penicillin, because it was not painful, it was quick and it was all over, you know.
HA: Was syphilis really common?
JM: Oh, yes, yes, even among the GIs. They took advantage of all of this. ... I'll never forget, one Sunday morning, I was still in bed, one of the butlers came upstairs and said, "There's a soldier downstairs to see you." "See me?" I don't [know why], and so, I got dressed and went downstairs and, sure enough, there he was. He says, "Sir," he says, "I need a big favor. I hope you don't mind." He says, "My girlfriend," and she was beautiful, by the way, a beautiful girl. She had won the third prize in the '36 Olympics in figure skating. He had been sent on a mission [to] pick up something. He was in the supply [Quartermaster Corps]. He had a girl like this at home, home, back where he was living in Germany, and he strayed and picked up the disease. Of course, he transmitted it and he asked for some penicillin. I said, "All right, I'll take care of you." So, I took him down to the hospital and took care of him, of him and her, you know, but the same [thing] happened. There's a woman came in, one time, with a black truck driver. [laughter] As nice as this other girl was, that's how bad that truck driver was. He looked like he was shot up and hit, teeth out. Oh, God Almighty, the dregs of the [earth], you know, and this woman spoke English, and I said [something] to her; she says, "Sir, my children got to eat." ... Every time he would deliver food, she'd get a box of something, you know, so [that] her kids ate. One man came in, he lived up in;Kristallnacht, does that mean anything to you?
HA: When they smashed in the Jewish stores.
JM: Yes. He was destroyed. He came down in my office, showed me his picture, and I said to Martha, I said, "Martha?" She says, "That's the same one." He had been wiped out at Kristallnacht and had no place to live for his family. So, I went through my charts. I said, "Come with me." I said, "Martha, are you sure?" So, I went to one of these places and I said, "Out." Then, "Now, you move in," and he had nothing with him, ... he and his family, you know, but he didn't look anything like his picture. It [was] awful, the way those people were treated.
SI: Had he and his family come out of a concentration camp?
JM: No, no. Concentration camps were something else. Shaun, you would not believe, in spite of what this guy said yesterday, how people could live like that. [Editor's Note: Mr. Marino is referring to a speech given by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Columbia University in which he said that the authenticity of the Holocaust should be questioned.] ... I went through Buchenwald, after the war. Now, the people who lived just outside of Buchenwald claimed they didn't know that Buchenwald existed, and, anyway, to make a long story short, we went through there. You wouldn't believe the way these people looked. If you can picture me, or Hanne, with nothing but bone and skin, that's all it was. That's the way they lived.
HA: How aware of the Holocaust were you before you actually saw the camps? Did you know about the conditions they were in, or was it a shock?
JM: The conditions, no. It was a shock to me. It was a shock to me. As a matter-of-fact, in Buchenwald, they had a system. They worked ... mostly at night. Now, for instance, ... when we went down there, ... they walked these people out at night. You ever see these places, they don't have them anymore, outside, they'd have these cellar doors that go business end out front [similar to a storm cellar]? They opened those up and people walked and they'd have a board from there to the top, down this way, like this. So, they wouldn't just drop down, they'd slide down. At the bottom, when they hit the bottom, there's somebody down there with a club, hit them on the head and hang them up, pick them up and hang them up, on a meat hook, on the side, you could see the oil from their shoulders on there, the oil from their hips and their feet down below, and they just hung them up there. They were out, you know, but they were hung up there, and, over there, was the, where the fire ...
SI: The crematorium.
JM: The crematories. They had two of them, but, before they put them in, they always inspected their teeth. If they had any silver, any gold, they pulled them out and ... made a big pile over here, and outside, over there, were the ashes of the people they threw in there. Whether they recovered from this or not, in they went, you know, and that's the way they operated. It was horrible. It was horrible, and, as far as feeding was concerned, they were nothing but skin and bones.
SI: Were the people who had been in the camp still there when you went through?
JM: They were gone. They were all taken prisoners, yes. These guys, ... it's the same old story, you couldn't feed them everything right away. ... It'd be a slow process, bringing them back. ... If no one had told me, if I hadn't seen it for myself, I couldn't believe that people lived like that, were able to live like that. I'm sure, eventually, a lot of them lived a little bit, but you couldn't continue, you know. The damage had been done. An interesting thing, I was riding in my jeep, going back home, in one of the big cities up in northern Germany, and there was a huge crowd. I stopped and it was a fight and one guy was pounding another guy to death. [laughter] I stayed out of it, but I found out, Shaun, that this guy, who was doing the pounding, had been a prisoner, and the guy who was being pounded was the authority. The guy who was doing the pounding had escaped, but, when the war was over, he came back to find this guy, because of the way he treated him during the war, and he beat the devil out of him. He beat the devil out of him. I'll never forget it. ... Personally, I thought to myself, [as I would] often go by these cities; if you can think of a city, the size of Newark, for instance, being absolutely leveled, nothing but rocks and stones and bricks, no walls up except maybe in the extreme edge of the city, where bombs didn't get. Everything was flattened. I said to myself, pipes here, pipes there, water running there, and you get to the point where [you say], "How can they ever rebuild this?" and, yet, when I took my wife back, after the war, after I retired, ... we went to visit these places. There were still some; I know, [in] England, for instance, I don't know whether they still do it or not, I think there's one little area, in England, where they didn't rebuild, as a reminder, you know, but how they rebuilt that place, I'll never know. Of course, where I was, in Bad Tolz, ... the war didn't reach, really. It reached from the standpoint of hardship and all that sort of thing, and an occasional this or that, but nothing at all as far as [bombing], and I was in charge of it. The 1936 Olympics, Winter Olympics, were held down there, in Bad Tolz, and, down in the south part of Bad [Tolz]; Bad Tolz is a little city, but it was also Kreis, K-R-E-I-S, Tolz. That's the county, like Middlesex County, Union County, and so on, and, in the southern part of Kreis Tolz was the [Olympic facility], and we visited down there. The hotels were still running and the GI recreational area was still running when we were down there, ... but I had to cover the whole county, you know, and the only real hospital they had was in Bad Tolz. Everything came up there. I think, down where they had the Olympics, there was a small hospital. It was quite a city, because, down there, too, I don't read about it anymore, but it used to be, I don't know if you've ever read about it, every four years, they had this big religious thing down there. ...
SI: Is that the reenactment of the crucifixion?
JM: That's right, yes, the crucifixion.
SI: Yes, the Passion play.
JM: Yes, that's right, the Passion play, and all the equipment was down there, worth millions of dollars. They had huge areas, huge buildings, where they kept all this equipment, you know. It was quite a thing, but a lot of it, the museums, the same thing, Bad Tolz had there, but Munich was the big place, of course.
SI: When you say you were in charge of all these facilities, would you just be supplying them with things, would you be administering their use, would they come to you with problems?
JM: Oh, they came with their problems, whether they needed food for this, they needed a piece of material that they could buy for that, you know. They had to have permission for everything, and we were pretty liberal. ... As a matter-of-fact, it's unfortunate that this thing is happening in Iraq. I still think they didn't prepare for this. If they'd have thought a little bit, they could have learned a lot from World War II and maybe prevented all this, but it's done now. ... We were pretty liberal with them. They got their food stamps and all that sort of thing, so that they'd have food, and anything they wanted to do, they got permission for, "Mit der stempel," so that they could go buy this and go buy that. ... They came in one time and they wanted to have; one of their holidays was coming up. I guess, yes, one of their holidays was coming up, and they wanted to celebrate. Could they celebrate? Well, I told them I'd think about it, you know. I was well-liked because, every Sunday, I went to church. I'm Catholic, so, I went to the Catholic church, and, of course, I went in my uniform. ... Well, I always was in uniform, and so, they knew who I was and I guess I was well-respected, and so, they came to me and I told them I'd think about it. I knew I was going to give it to them, but I got permission from my CO, who, in turn, got permission from upstairs, somewhere, ... because I was in military government, but I wasn't the head man. The head man was a man from Atlantic City, by the way, but I was responsible, you know, and, anyway, we set the whole thing up and they had this affair. They had this parade. Talk about bicycles; they had no cars, although a few of them had cars that they ran on wood and they had this, like a boiler on the back of the car. [laughter] I don't know how it worked, but the car ran anyway, ... but you had very few of those. They were on bicycles. If I told you, and I am not exaggerating, there were a thousand bicycles, they're all alike. How they found their own bicycle afterwards, I don't know, but, over and above that, there was a big building that we had there, much like; it was bigger than the RAC [the Rutgers Athletic Center], for instance, you know. I'm talking the whole building of the RAC, not just the gym, and they had a dance in there and they had their own folk dances, you know, and they enjoyed it. ...
SI: Is that what these pictures are of?
JM: The picture of the affair.
SI: The parade.
JM: Yes. They had their parade and all that sort of thing.
SI: Are they all dressed in costume?
JM: Oh, yes; well, look how, with the lederhosen, you know, the shorts.
SI: There are a lot of Clydesdales pulling wagons as well.
JM: ... Down there, incidentally, in southern Germany, they're all good with their hands and they made dishes, wooden dishes, plastic dishes. The sides of their houses were not wood. It was cement, or something like that, you know, and they painted them, designs, pictures of farmers tilling soil, or someone riding a horse or something. All their buildings had paintings on the side of them. I don't know [if] you can see them on any of those, ... but, with their handcraft; look, see, that was sent to me, by my Martha, the bells.
SI: Yes, very intricate metalwork.
JM: I had other stuff there that my grandchildren purloined, they wanted for their homes. [laughter] So, I don't have anything left ... anymore.
SI: How long were you in this role?
JM: I was in the service forty-seven months.
JM: Forty-seven months.
SI: It was well into 1946 when you came back.
JM: I got out in May of '46.
SI: Did you come back from Europe that same month? Did you have any other Stateside postings after that?
JM: No, no. When I came back, I came back on a Victory ship. Every time you hit a wave, it bounced back and forth, as opposed to the Aquitania, [laughter] and we ate differently, too, but, no, I came back and ... went from New York right to Kilmer. I lived in New Brunswick, at the time, and so, I was there in Kilmer about three or four days, and then, from there, I was shipped to Fort Dix and ... dismissed in Fort Dix.
SI: You chose to stay in the Reserves.
JM: I stayed in the Reserves for seventeen years, and I'm now a paid "light colonel" [lieutenant colonel] in the Reserves, but I'm retired. I retired in '63.
SI: Were you ever recalled for active duty?
JM: No, no, I never was. I never was, although a couple of people in our outfit; my Reserve outfit, here, ... would have been a cadre for a division headquarters, had it been necessary. Much like when I went to Meade, we were cadred by the Third Division, and so, ... we had our G-1 and G-2, G-3, G-4, you know, and regimental stuff and Special Service and ... everything that a division needed, that was what we trained for.
SI: You remained in Special Service.
JM: I stayed in Special Service there, too, yes.
SI: Was it the active Reserves, where you went for one weekend a month?
JM: ... We met once a week and, every year, we had to do two weeks, somewhere, and it all depends on where, wherever they wanted to go. ... Most of the time, we went to Dix. Some of the time, we went to Kilmer. We went to Virginia one time, went up to Drum another time, Fort Drum, in northern New York, another time. So, it all depends on where the type of training you want [is held], all that sort of thing, you know.
SI: You were released from active duty in May of 1946. How did you get back into civilian life? What was that process like?
JM: Well, I came back and, [after] about three days, I went back to the superintendent and I got sick and tired of sitting around, you know. So, I said to him, "I'm ready to go back to work," and that was it. I went back to work, simple as that, like nothing happened.
HA: How were you adjusting to civilian life? Was it a really easy adjustment?
JM: Hanne, I had no problem at all. I went back to my gym classes like nothing's changed. I got out in May; well, let me correct that. I was paid until May, because you didn't get time off during the war and you're entitled to thirty days. Now, I did Stateside before we went overseas, did get some time off. I'd come home when I got married and ... that sort of thing, and so, I was paid until May, but I got out of the service February the 12th, 1946, and so, ... by the 20th, I guess, I was back in work, you know, about a week. I didn't want to be sitting around. ... I had to draw pay anyway. I had a wife and a child, and I got right back in the swing of things and I was busy with gym and my coaching again, you know. So, nothing changed.
SI: Did you notice any changes in New Brunswick? Had the war changed the city much?
JM: The attitude towards the military was great, you know, and, every place I went, you know, clap on the back, "Hey, Joe, how are you?" all this sort of thing, and that went on for awhile, and, as a matter-of-fact, for several years after that, it was always brought up, but, like everything else, it dies down and, unfortunately, same thing, I remember the first couple of years after the war, [there were] big parades, Decoration Day [Memorial Day], you know, big parades, up and down Livingston Avenue, and all over. Now, they don't amount to a thing. "What have you done for me, lately?"
SI: Can you just tell us a little bit about your career in education, such as what positions you held?
JM: Well, as I told you, I graduated from Rutgers in '36 as a phys. ed. major. ... I got a job here in New Brunswick, for twelve hundred dollars a year. The second year, I got a raise, 1,225 dollars a year, twenty-five dollars. [laughter] Would you believe that? and I taught phys. ed. at the junior high school level, I guess it's twenty-three years. In the meantime, before World War II broke out, when I graduated, I continued at Rutgers and got my master's degree in administration. I didn't attend my administration degree [graduation] ceremonies, because I went in the service. I was drafted and gone. When the war was over, I continued and I have, beside my master's degree, ... what they call a six-year level, which is a doctor's degree, minus the dissertation. The only thing is added education and a different pay scale. So, it helps in that direction, also [in] administration, and, in '63, one of our assistant superintendents retired and they made the assistant superintendent out of our vice-principal at the junior high school. ... I was asked to be the vice-principal in '63 and I was vice-principal for a number of years, and then, my principal retired and I became principal of the Roosevelt Junior High School, which doesn't exist anymore. They changed it to the Redshaw [Elementary] School. The whole system has changed since I retired. We used to be a K-through-sixth, and then, the junior high school was seven, eight and nine, and the senior high school was ten, eleven and twelve. Today, it's K-through-eight, and the senior high school is nine, ten, eleven and twelve. So, the Roosevelt Junior High School doesn't exist anymore. They've made it the Redshaw School, and I retired in 1973, and here it is, 2007, and I'm still hanging around. I'm retired almost as long as I taught, but I'm ninety-five years old.
SI: Do you have any other questions?
SI: We talked a little bit in the last interview about your coaching career. Did you continue that when you went into administration?
JM: No, no. I had to give it up. I couldn't do both, so, I gave it up, sometimes to my regret, because I loved being with kids on that basis. What I had to deal with was other people's problems now. I could handle my own, but I couldn't handle their classrooms, but I had to take what they threw out, [laughter] and that wasn't always easy, and I missed the athletics. I missed the coaches that I met throughout the state, with the track team and the basketball team and the football team. That, I missed an awful lot, but I got used to it after awhile. ... I've still got a lot of mementos in my den, in there, that I got, earned, I guess, and my wife decided to put them up in there.
SI: Do you think your experience in World War II affected your life afterwards, either professionally or personally? Did it encourage you to do some things?
JM: Yes, yes. It made you a lot more decisive about stuff. It made you a little bit more confident in what you could do. If you could handle something like that, you could handle something like a measly few kids around here [with] no problem, you know. When you set up schedules for ten to twelve thousand people and make it come out in pretty good shape, do things for ten to twelve thousand people, that's a big feather in your cap, and, when people read my resume, it didn't hurt that I had done this in the Army. So, it was a big positive, plus the fact, being in the Army, Washington took care of us, in that the retired pay, if you stayed in, as I did, of course, I draw a military check every month and there are certain privileges that military people got, after the war, that other people did not get, jobs, for instance, you know, that sort of thing.
SI: You were guaranteed your job back.
JM: ... I had no problem getting it back. That was ... [the] law for everybody, though, Army or no Army, but anyone who came back from the service got their job back. That was the school's problem, you know, even if it meant the person who hadn't been in the service and got the job had to be dismissed. That didn't happen, because New Brunswick grew so fast after that that everything was assimilated.
HA: Have you kept in touch with any of your old war buddies?
JM: Yes, but there's only one left. He's in Florida and not [in] too good of health, either. Hey, ... he's my age; when you start pushing ninety-three, things happen to the body, [laughter] but I can't complain. I've had a very, very healthful life. Up until I was ninety-one-and-a-half years old, I was going to the gym every day, working out, not severely, you know. I'd pace myself, because, being phys. ed., I'd know how much I could do and how much I couldn't do, and so, I went to the club and worked out and enjoyed it, met a lot of people from all walks of life, including some of the kids I had in school, who have all now retired, you know. [laughter] So, I stayed active that way, up until then. ...
JM: Shaun, there were a couple of instances, before we closed the [gap], crossed the Rhine, it happened in northern Germany, our engineers had cleared a minefield and it was a huge pile of mines. One, apparently, was different, from what we understand, and a group was walking away from ... this pile of mines. ... One of the GIs caught the eye of one that was different from [the] others. So, he went back to look at it and the report was that the Lieutenant said to the guy, "Come on. Leave it alone. Let's go," and, with that, the kid picked it up and it blew up and they all went and killed most [of the men]. It killed him and most of his group, because of something like that, you know. That was something you've got to be careful of. Another incident, while we were there; I was sent up, because north of us was the Ninth. Another division's going to cross, getting ready to cross, the Rhine, too. I was sent up with ... a message for the command of this division, English division, north of us. I got there at teatime. Do you know, I had to sit and wait until the general was through with his tea before [he would see me]? There's a war going on, and here's something that he had to know, because of what we're doing, coordinate whatever they were doing, you know. I had to wait until the tea, his tea, was finished before he would receive me and take the message, you know. ... I gave it to him (in a hand pan?). Isn't that something?
SI: Yes, wow.
SI: The English had a very different attitude towards the war.
JM: And diplomatically. ... Whether it affected anything, I don't know, but I had to wait. He didn't know what it was, but, "The General is not to be disturbed," and he wasn't disturbed. [laughter] Isn't that amazing?
SI: Yes. Did you have any other interactions with the British in the field?
JM: No, ... I guess that's about all.
SI: Okay. Since we still have the recorder on, do you want to tell us a little bit about these pictures? You told us that these were from that celebration that you approved in Bad Tolz.
JM: ... Here's a Catholic priest.
SI: Okay. This is a Catholic priest in the middle.
JM: He used to come, and ... these are our officers. ...
JM: You can put this in your can. ... We used to get phone calls. As I told you, General Patton's headquarters was in Bad Tolz and we'd get phone calls about what we could do and could not do, and we were not to steal anything, not to remove anything from homes, not to do this and not to do that, and be sure that the people did this and be sure that the people did that. ... Other times, his chief aide, which was a three-star general, two-star general, General [Hobart R.] Gay, I believe his name was, would call up and say, "The General would like for his grandchildren..." [laughter] Then, we'd have to go out and procure, for his grandchildren, what we weren't supposed to let the GIs have, you know, and it was usually lederhosen, something like that, that would fit them, you know, and we did what we [were] told to do, that's all, but, while there were laws, they didn't always apply to everyone. [laughter]
SI: All right. A lot of these are portraits.
JM: I don't even remember these being taken, to be honest with you. I can't tell you.
SI: Here is you on the rifle range.
JM: Oh, I know. I know, yes, ... where this was. ... This was taken in Louisiana, a Sunday Mass.
SI: This is in Leesville.
JM: Leesville, outside of Leesville.
SI: Sunday Mass. I think that is you back there. Is this how most services were set up, just out in a field? This is out in the forest.
JM: Yes, yes. Well, he went around, you know.
SI: Did you usually go to services?
JM: Always, when I could. One of the oddest, oddest; you on?
SI: You can put it on, if you want.
JM: All right. One of the oddest feelings I had about going to church was in Belgium, a little city called Huy, H-U-Y, went to church on Sunday with my rifle and my .45. It was at that time when the Germans ... had dropped behind the lines, a lot of German soldiers who had been to the United States as students. Some of them were from Texas, went to school in Texas, some from the deep South, and they had the accents down perfectly. They dropped them behind the lines. Their mission was to get Eisenhower. So, everything was tightened about security, and I remember crossing the bridge in Huy and [being] stopped, ... asked where I was going. I was told I was going back to headquarters, and he says, "Where are you from?" I said, "Jersey." No, before that, they asked me, "Do you read the Stars and Stripes?" "Yes, I read the Stars and Stripes, but I haven't seen it in a couple weeks." "What about this?" and I couldn't answer it and they thought they had a live one, you know. So, finally, he said to me, he said, "Where are you from?" I said, "New Jersey." He said, "Oh, that's it. Newark's the state capital?" I said, "No, Trenton is." He said, "Okay, go ahead, go." ... At that time, they had dropped a lot of these guys in. That's the problem. ... They got the uniforms from prisoners of war, officers, and they just put the colonel [insignia] on them or whatever, lieutenant, you know, captain, and they dropped them behind the lines and they made their way in and their object was to kill Eisenhower, and so, security was tight as a drum, but, going to church on Sundays, ... I'll never forget, and that same Sunday; no, it wasn't. About the same time, I hadn't had a shower, it felt like, [in] ages, you know, no time to get one. It was a clear day, cold. I found a home that had running water. I took my helmet, filled it with water, used my handkerchief as a washcloth, stripped down and took a bath that way, in the ice cold. Then, I had to put on my dirty, stinking clothes again, [laughter] but that's the way you lived, that's all.
SI: Okay. Just one last photo; do you remember what this was of?
JM: This is a picture of the woman to whom I reported to pick up the furniture for Fort Leonard Wood.
SI: Okay. This is in St. Louis.
JM: The Red Cross outfit, and these are a couple of my drivers, a couple of guys who helped load the furniture and drive the trucks, and so on. There was a whole group, though, actually.
SI: Was this photo taken for publicity?
JM: Publicity for it, yes.
SI: Is there anything else you want to add for the record?
JM: Nothing that I can think of.
SI: Thank you very much for talking with us.
JM: Well, it was a pleasure.
HA: Thank you.
SI: This concludes our interview with Joseph G. Marino on September 25, 2007.
JM: Yes, and off in here, ... their stables was the size comparable to what you see in Kentucky. They had everything. Now, that was a big home.
HA: How many men lived in that house when you were there?
JM: Well, the servants lived in; they had their servants' quarters attached to the house. I think it was this end down here.
JM: But, this was the house itself. ... All of us, we each had our own huge bedroom, big dining room, the bowling alley's downstairs, and there were, I would guess, ... about somewhere between eight and ten bedrooms.
HA: Okay. How did you guys treat the house? Did anyone mess it up?
JM: No. Hey, we had servants; if we messed it up, they un-messed it. [laughter]
SI: This little picture is a picture of Funk's residence.
JM: Yes. That's Funk's home. He took care of himself in good shape.
SI: Yes. It looks like it was new.
JM: It is new, it was new, when we got in there.
HA: Do you know if that house is still around?
JM: I can't see it not being there, but you never know, you know. There was no way of knowing. ... It was built beautifully. ... Mostly, as you can see, it was cement. It wasn't wood.
SI: Did you go back there when you went back to Germany, after the war?
JM: You know what? I couldn't find it.
JM: I couldn't find it. I wasted practically a whole day and I couldn't understand, I thought it was so easy. I could not find that building. ... Peg and I drove back, I'll never forget, it was on a rainy day, too, and I could not find that house. I asked around and, for whatever reason, I got lost, couldn't find it.
SI: Thank you very much.
HA: Thank you.
---------------------------------------------END OF INTERVIEW-------------------------------------------
Reviewed by Alexander Ragucci 4/8/09
Reviewed by Deborah Chang 4/8/09
Reviewed by Shaun Illingworth 4/20/09
Reviewed by Shaun Illingworth 5/1/09
Reviewed by Joseph G. Marino 6/6/09