Hometown Patriot: Jan. 2, 2013 - Harvey Peshoff

Hometown Patriot, Jan. 2, 2013

SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) - Harvey Peshoff served in the Armored Tank Division of the U.S. Army in both North Africa and Italy during World War II. As a tank commander, he often trained young soldiers.

"'I asked him, you drive a truck?' One of them said, 'Yeah, I 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 watch out.

"When you start across the 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 and told him he had 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."

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

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