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Zager was born on December 30th, 1924 in Los Angeles, California. His father was out of work for a while but was able to make ends meet. Zager remembers a lot of people being out of work. He was in high school when he found out about Pearl Harbor. He woke his father up that morning to tell him that Pearl Harbor had been attacked. Zager graduated high school in 1942 and from there he joined the army. After he joined the Army he was sent to California and then from there he went to Texas.In Texas, Zager completed his basic training. Zager wanted to be a pilot and through letters of recommendation he was sent to the Army Air Force. The Army Air Force decided that Zager needed a little bit more education so they sent him to Utah State University. Zager was there about three or four months, but he was sent back to the infantry. He trained with a jungle and mountain unit that only worked with mules. He was transferred to a heavy division at Ft. Benning, Georgia. It was the most up to date division in the army. All of the equipment, uniforms, tanks etc. were up to date.A lot of the men were folded into the unit after training for another branch. This added to the overall intelligence of the entire division according to Zager. After training for a few months the 25,000 men of the division went to New Jersey in the winter of 1944. A convoy of over two hundred ships took the men from New Jersey to France. Zager recalls a ship next to him getting hit by a torpedo from a German U-Boat. Once a day the men had to help scrape ice off of the boat because it was so cold.Zager landed in France and was sent to a training camp called "Old Gold." All of the camps in France were named after cigarette brands. It rained most of the time they were in Old Gold. It rained so hard they had to dig irrigation trenches around their tents so they would not flood. Zager remembers an instance when General Eisenhower came and gave the troops a motivational pep talk.Zager was introduced to different kinds of German weapons during his training in France. They would routinely fire German weapons so that troops would become familiar to the sound.
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