Segment 1


Joseph Diamond served with the 104th Infantry Division, which is the Timberwolf Division. They fought through Germany after going through France and Holland. Diamond was born in Camden, New Jersey. Diamond suffered through the 1930s because of the Depression. Diamond was only a young boy and only in retrospect realizes how hard it was growing up. Diamond was at a fraternity meeting when he found out about Pearl Harbor. Everyone was fairly upset because the brother of one of the fraternity members was serving in Pearl Harbor. Diamond was interested in public speaking and studied Germanics. Diamond also had the lead in the Christmas play. He was interested in English. Diamond entered the service at Ft. Dix, New Jersey and enlisted in the Signal Corps. Diamond was sent to Camp Crowder, Missouri. With a background in electronics, Diamond thought he would do something along those lines. They made Diamond an armorer and artificer. Diamond was upset with this and requested a transfer into the Air Force. Diamond spent a year in pre flight school and thought he was going to be a fighter pilot. They ended up closing down the school because they had enough fighter pilots. Diamond wound up in the medical department; he trained in the medics, and was sent to England. It was surprising to Diamond that they spent money training him and all of the money ended up being wasted. Diamond felt patriotic about his role in the medics. Diamond notes that being deployed overseas had its harrowing moments. Diamond was the first one called when someone got hit. Diamond did not know much about combat; he found that there was a close knit group. Everyone’s life was dependent on another. Diamond joined the unit when they approached the Siegfried line. That was where he first saw combat. Diamond recalls fighting in Aachen and Cologne. Diamond recalled that he became a veteran after 24 hours. After one day it felt like he had been there forever. Diamond remembers the first casualty he treated, a young man who had his legs blown off on the banks of the Ruhr River. They crossed the Ruhr River on February 23, 1945. The man Diamond went up to had apparently been booby trapped; he warned Diamond not to move him. It was a rough experience. Treating the wounded was automatic for Diamond. He did not have any thoughts; he did what had to be done without thinking about it. Diamond despised the Germans before he left the states. He notes that he wanted to kill them but he could not because he was a medic and unarmed. Diamond never felt threatened being unarmed. Everything seemed automatic because of the training. After they went through Aachen they came to a town on the banks of the Ruhr River. They were to jump off and head into the town called Duren. The Timberwolves were known for night fighting. When they crossed the river the casualties were rough. Some of the guys were sunk while attempting to cross. In Duren there was an old insane asylum they needed to capture for headquarters. They then went on to Cologne. Diamond witnessed the massive raid put on by B-17s that essentially destroyed the city. As far as Diamond could see he could see planes. The city was eradicated except for the Cathedral. The Cathedral did not have a mark on it. From Cologne they worked their way through small towns in Germany. They linked up with the Russians on the Elbe River.


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