June 8, 2011 - Harvey Peshoff - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

June 8, 2011 - Harvey Peshoff

Harvey Peshoff served in the armored tank division of the U.S. Army in both North Africa and Italy.  As a tank commander, he remembers training a young crew of 18 year olds.  

"I asked him, ‘You drive a truck?' One of them said, ‘Yeah, I can drive a truck.' Okay, you're my driver.  I asked the other guy, ‘You ever shoot a gun?'  ‘Yeah.' ‘Okay, I'm making you my gunner.'" 

Peshoff remembers telling his crew to be swift while moving their tank through an Italian town.  He saw signs of the enemy down the street, telling his driver to hurry it up.

"When you start across this street, you move it.  I said, Don't drag your feet.  Let's go.  We got halfway, that sucker shot us in the side with a bazooka. It went right into the ammunition box and it set that thing on fire." 

Peshoff and other occupants of the tank were sent to the hospital to be treated for their burns.  Ironically, a doctor from his hometown of Sulphur, visited him in the hospital gave him options.

"You got two choices.  You can either go home but then you have to go to Japan.  If you stay here, you go to the front line.  I'm going to stay here, because it's just about over with here in Europe.  I ain't going to Japan.  You can take that, buddy."

Later, Peshoff was with thousands who saw the hanging body of Italy's Benito Mussolini toward the end of the war.

Copyright 2011 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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