Date of Interview
Otto Schmaltz was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on 23 December 1922. After graduating from high school he worked for a local packing company before being inducted into the US Army at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, in May 1943. Otto completed Basic Training at Camp Barkley, Texas, and was subsequently sent to Fort Lewis, Washington, for advanced training as a medic. He shipped out to Andover, England, in March 1944, and then participated in the Allied landings in France on D-Day, 6 June 1944, landing on Utah Beach. He served in the 31st Medical Company, 4th Infantry Division, during heavy fighting in France for the next several months, and was present at the liberation of Paris in August 1944. Following the liberation of the French capital, Otto was posted to Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) in Paris; his unit was moved to Nancy, east of Paris, in January 1945. In the same month, Otto's unit participated in the Battle of the Bulge, seeing action in Belgium. Duties at Nancy continued until May 1945, when Otto's unit was designated for reassignment to the Pacific Theater in preparation for the invasion of Japan. Otto was traveling through the US en route to the West coast when the Japanese surrender was announced on 15 August 1945 (VJ-Day). After several months at Fort Benning, Georgia, Otto Schmaltz was discharged in December 1945 with the rank of sergeant first class. He later joined the Army Reserve and was called to serve again during the Korean Conflict. At the conclusion of World War II, Otto returned to the Twin Cities area, working at Cudahy Packing Company for approximately nine years before opening a liquor store in the mid-1950s in Newport, Minnesota; he maintained this business until his retirement in 1983.
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Saylor, Thomas, "Oral History Project World War II Years, 1941-1946 - Otto Schmaltz" (2001). Oral History Project: World War II Years, 1941-1946. 167.