Date of Interview
James Beck was born 21 May 1921 on a farm outside of Palisade, Minnesota. He attended the local country school through eighth grade, then worked full-time on the family farm. In 1939, following the German attack on Poland, he enlisted in the US Army and after basic training was stationed at Ft. Lewis, Washington. With the US entry into the war in December 1941, James' unit, the 41st Field Artillery, 3rd Infantry Division, was sent into action. They participated in the landings in Morocco in November 1942, and fought across North Africa. Following this, Jim's unit landed at Sicily in 1943 and in Italy later that same year. Jim was at Anzio in early 1944 when he was selected for rotation back to the United States. Once stateside, Jim was stationed at Camp Wheeler, Georgia, as an infantry instructor. He remained here until being discharged in July 1945. In July 1944, while at Camp Wheeler, Jim married Velda, whom he had known since childhood in Palisades, and they lived in nearby Macon, Georgia. After Jim's discharge the couple moved to Minneapolis for two years, where Jim completed training as a construction electrician. They then lived and worked in several smaller Minnesota towns before settling in Cloquet in 1950 and raising their children. Jim was a member of VFW Post 3979, Cloquet, for more than fifty years, stayed active in his church, and kept busy with a number of hobbies.
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Saylor, Thomas, "Oral History Project World War II Years, 1941-1946 - James Beck" (2001). Oral History Project: World War II Years, 1941-1946. 100.