Interview of William Krucke by Dana Woodcock
March 25, 2014
At the height of World War II, Mr. William Krucke fought in Germany, his parents’ homeland, as a scout and infantryman in the 10th Armored Division of the U.S. Army. When he returned from the war, he recorded his memories in narrative form. The interview focuses on these memories.
Since he grew up in a German-speaking household, Mr. Krucke was the platoon’s mode of verbal communication with the Germans they encountered, military and civilian alike. As a result, Mr. Krucke came eye to eye with “the enemy” more than the average soldier, forcing him to realize that those he was fighting against were not all that unlike himself. They were young men fighting for their country, just as he was.
Mr. Krucke’s memory of the minute details of his war experience is incredible. He remembers the meals he ate and the beer he drank. Some of his anecdotes are surprisingly light and downright hilarious, with Mr. Krucke chuckling as he remembers the laughter he and his fellow soldiers shared during their time overseas. Yet he also remembers the fate of every member of his platoon, both the men who survived and those who did not. This is the reason why Mr. Krucke wanted to participate in this interview—to immortalize the men who he remembers as heroes.