Date of Interview
Emmett J. Yanez was born on 3 March 1920 in San Angelo, Texas, one of twelve children of Mexican immigrant parents. Emmett's parents worked as migrant laborers, harvesting sugar beets in Minnesota; by age 12 the Yanez family had settled in St. Paul, Minnesota. Emmett completed school through sixth grade, then held a number of different jobs, including at Crown Cleaners on University Avenue in St. Paul, before being drafted into the US Army in October 1941. Emmett completed Basic Training at Fort Warren, New York, and was stationed briefly in the quartermaster corps at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, and Camp Pickett, Virginia, before volunteering in early 1943 for airborne duty. After completing this training Emmett was shipped to Europe and joined the 82nd Airborne. As a BAR [Browning Automatic Rifle] man in Co. D, 2nd Btn, 504th Parachute Infantry, Emmett saw action at Anzio (Jan-Mar 1944); the Netherlands (Sep-Nov 1944); Belgium and Germany (Dec 1944 - May 1945). Following V-E Day he spent some months in France before being shipped home in December 1945 and discharged with the rank of private first class. Again a civilian, Emmett worked in the construction trade, including thirty-two years in the bridge department of the City of St. Paul; he retired in 1984. For many years Emmett worked with Twin Cities area youth as a boxing coach; he was also a member of DAV, the VFW, and AMVETS Post 5.
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Saylor, Thomas, "Oral History Project World War II Years, 1941-1946 - Emmett Yanez" (2002). Oral History Project: World War II Years, 1941-1946. 153.