Prewar Life, Being Drafted and Deployment to Europe
Occupation Duty in Germany
Returning Home and Reflections
Oliver Brewster was born in 1926 in Lincoln Parish, Louisiana. He had three sisters. His father was a sharecropper, and Brewster worked with him. He also went to school and played basketball. He was only 15 when he learned about the attack on Pearl Harbor [Annotator's Note: Pearl Harbor, Hawaii]. He recalled being at school when he heard about it and that war was declared. He had an uncle who died in the war. After graduation, he was drafted into the Army and sent to Camp Robinson [Annotator's Note: in North Little Rock, Arkansas] for basic training. The Army then sent him to New York, and along with 12,000 other soldiers, he boarded a ship and began the journey across the Atlantic Ocean. The trip took 14 days. They had a German submarine nearby that was eventually destroyed. After two weeks, they docked at Southampton [Annotator's Note: Southampton, England]. They stayed there for the night and then went across the English Channel and docked at Le Havre [Annotator's Note: Le Havre, France]. He could not believe the sight he saw of the cities in rubble. The war had just ended. He was put on a cattle train with the rest of the troops. He did not know where they were going, but they ran into a skirmish at one point on the trip. They crossed the Rhine River on the train and headed into Germany. Then for about two weeks he just sat around doing nothing. He thought that he may be shipped off to the Pacific at one point but was assigned for occupation in Europe. He was given the task of driving a truck around Europe.
Oliver Brewster was as assigned as a truck driver [Annotator's Note: in the 90th Infantry Division] during the Occupation of Europe. He was responsible for hauling freight and supplies and for the first few months he transported displaced people in Europe back to their homes. These people consisted of all nationalities and on several occasions, he got to know many of them. They told him stories about how they had not been home in five years and were afraid of what they were going home to. Brewster recalled interacting the with Germans at the borders. He commented that they eventually got better as time when on, but at first he did not want to be alone with German soldiers. Halfway through his service, his unit was transferred to a hospital in Badwische, Germany. He eventually worked in the motor pool in that town. Brewster recalled that there was a dance one night and the Americans and Germans showed up and danced together.
Oliver Brewster finally earned enough points to go home. He was discharged from Fort Meade, Maryland and got married a month after his return home. Brewster reflected when he was a driver, they brought soldiers up to the Eagle's Nest, Hitler's [Annotator's Note: German dictator Adolf Hitler] hideout in Berchtesgaden. He used to G.I. Bill to farm. Brewster believes that The National WWII museum is a good institution.
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