Date of Interview
Ed Haider was born on 17 September 1921 in St. Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota. The middle child of five, his mother was an immigrant from Austria; his father, born in the United States, was of German heritage. Ed attended St. Bernard's Catholic through eighth grade, then Washington High School (class of 1941). In early 1942 he enlisted in the US Army. Following Basic at Camp Wheeler, Georgia, Ed volunteered for Airborne and was posted to Fort Benning, Georgia. He completed this training and joined the 504th Regiment, 82nd Airborne, stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In April 1943 this unit departed for North Africa, in preparation for the invasion of Sicily. On 9 July 1943 units of the 82nd Airborne parachuted into Sicily; within five days Ed was wounded in the back and buttocks, and captured. He would spend the next twenty-two months as a POW of the Germans. After an operation and brief time at a holding facility in Italy, Ed was sent with other POWs by train to Germany. He spent time at three different facilities, two of which were work details; malnutrition, disease, and poor treatment were constants. At the beginning of May 1945 Ed was liberated from his final facility, a work detail near Rostock, by advancing Soviet forces. After some weeks at an Army camp in France he was rotated back to the United States and, in October 1945, discharged. Again a civilian, Ed married and raised two sons. He worked for the Burlington Northern Railroad in various capacities, and lived some time in Illinois and Missouri. He retired to Roseville, Minnesota, in the early 1980s.
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Saylor, Thomas, "Oral History Project World War II Years, 1941-1946 - Ed Haider" (2004). Oral History Project: World War II Years, 1941-1946. 27.