Date of Interview
Earle Bombardier was born 23 May 1922 in Crookston, a small town in northwest Minnesota. He graduated from Crookston High School in 1940, and was drafted into the US Army in December 1942. Earle volunteered for airborne duty, and was trained as a paratrooper. Earle was with the 101st Airborne, and was part of the D-Day invasion of France on 6 June 1944. His plane was shot down over the coast on the day of the invasion. Twelve days later, on 18 June 1944, Earle was captured by German forces after a firefight that left twelve of his group of thirty men dead. As a POW, Earle spent time in several temporary facilities, including Camp 201 near Alencon, France, and Trier, Germany. He then was at Stalag VII-B Memmingen until October 1944 before being sent on a work detail with approximately sixty other POWs to the city of Augsburg, in southern Germany. Earle performed various types of work here, mostly timber cutting, until he was liberated by US forces in April 1945. Earle spent several months recovering from his time as a POW, and was discharged from the Army in November 1945. Again a civilian, Earle got married in 1947; he and his wife raised four children. Earle worked from 1948-984 with Otter Tail Power Company in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. He was active with the American Ex-POWs organization, serving as state commander for Minnesota.
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Saylor, Thomas, "Oral History Project World War II Years, 1941-1946 - Earle Bombardier" (2004). Oral History Project: World War II Years, 1941-1946. 7.