Segment stub for 71143

Combat Across France

Taking Germany

Feelings Towards the Japanese

Basic Training to Cherbourg

Arrival in England

Christmas 1944

Czechoslovakia and War's End

Reuniting with His Mother

Postwar Life

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[Annotator's Note: Wallace Yip, Sr. was drafted in 1943.] Congress started drafting 18 year olds who registered [Annotator's Note: Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, or, Burke-Wadsworth Act, 16 September 1940]. They made the landing in Normandy 1944 [Annotator's Note: D-Day; the Allied invasion of Normandy, France on 6 June 1944] and expected a high loss. Most draftees were put in the infantry. When they made the D-Day landing on 6 June 1944, Yip was still in the United States. [Annotator's Note: Yip talks about being sent overseas with different dates.] He left from Boston [Annotator's Note: Boston, Massachusetts] at age 19. They zig-zagged [Annotator's Note: a naval anti-submarine maneuver] across the Atlantic to avoid German submarines. They landed in Liverpool, England. They slept in tents. They were moved down to Southern England. He went to Southampton, England for staging for the invasion. He went to Normandy as a replacement to the 79th Infantry Division [Annotator's Note: Company C, 1st Battalion, 313th Infantry Regiment, 79th Infantry Division]. They were still fighting there. They fought until July when they broke through. He had a foxhole buddy in Normandy. They would stand watch four hours and sleep four hours in shifts. They took Caen [Annotator's Note: Caen, France] and Saint-Lo [Annotator's Note: Saint-Lô, France]. General George Patton [Annotator's Note: US Army Lieutenant General George S. Patton, Jr.] cut a pocket that they went up. They fought house to house across France until they went into Germany. He saw the horrors of the front line. In July and August, he could smell human flesh. [Annotator's Note: Yip gets emotional.] When tanks explode, guys get trapped inside and burn to death. Every minute, every second they were sweating over getting killed.

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[Annotator's Note: Wallace Yip, Sr. fought his way across France with the 79th Infantry Division.] They finally made it into Germany in October [Annotator's Note: October 1944]. In Germany, they were in an artillery barrage. His foxhole buddy since Normandy [Annotator's Note: Normandy, France] was killed. He will never forget him. [Annotator's Note: Yip gets emotional.] Yip was wounded and was lucky. He was sent to the hospital. He found out later his friends got killed. He was in the hospital for six weeks and received a Purple Heart [Annotator's Note: the Purple Heart Medal is an award bestowed upon a United States service member who has been wounded as a result of combat actions against an armed enemy]. He got well and was sent back to the front lines. They were at the Rhine River for over two weeks in their foxholes. The 8th Air Force blackened the sky flying over every morning and evening. The artillery never stopped. At night the Canadians and British [Annotator's Note: Air Forces] took over. Yip crossed the Rhine River at 2:30 in the morning [Annotator's Note: on 24 March 1945]. The Germans were shell-shocked and dazed and surrendered. The Rhine was their last obstacle. The Russians were coming. Hitler [Annotator's Note: German dictator Adolf Hitler] committed suicide [Annotator's Note: 30 April 1945]. After Yip got out of the service in 1945, every day he was so grateful and thankful he came home. The ones who gave their lives are the real heroes. Yip is a survivor. When he sees young soldiers come home now, he gets so emotional. He will never get rid of the horror he saw on the front lines.

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[Annotator's Note: The interviewer asks Wallace Yip, Sr. what it felt like to hear the news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 7 December 1941.] He knew they were going to go to war. Yip got drafted. Then he went to Normandy [Annotator's Note: Normandy, France] as a replacement. He went to basic training in 1943. Yip hated the Japanese. His generation hated the Japanese all their lives. Their sneak attack on a Sunday morning makes him mad. He remembers the Japanese buying up all of the scrap iron in the United States. Japan took over China and raped and killed people with no reason at all. They killed in Nanking [Annotator's Note: now Nanjing, China] and down to the Philippines. MacArthur [Annotator's Note: General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander, Southwest Pacific Area] left Bataan [Annotator's Note: Bataan, Luzon, Philippines]. Yip remembers all of that. If the Japanese had won the war, they would have tortured us. They lost and we let them survive. This country [Annotator's Note: the United States] is so lenient. Japan was small and needed all of China and the Pacific Ocean. We carried them on our shoulders and then 30 years later they are the richest in the world. We did the same with Hitler [Annotator's Note: German dictator Adolf Hitler]. Yip did not care where he fought. He was put where he was needed. When the Japanese came to his village [Annotator's Note: in China], his mother ran into the hills. The Japanese raped all of the women. The rape of Nanking [Annotator's Note: Nanjing Massacre; Nanking, China, 13 December 1937 to 20 January 1938]. They killed babies. We do not do that. It makes him sick that we [Annotator's Note: the United States] tortured prisoners [Annotator's Note: at Abu Ghraib Prison, Abu Ghraib, Iraq] in Iraq [Annotator’s Note: Iraq War, 2003 to 2011]. We should never do that.

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Wallace Yip, Sr. did his basic training at Camp Claiborne in Alexandria [Annotator's Note: Camp Claiborne, Rapides Parish, Louisiana]. They were awakened every morning at four o'clock. They were taught how to survive. It was really hard. They did a 30 mile hike with full field packs. He made it. The Army makes you or breaks you. All walks of life were on the front lines in combat. If you were lucky, you came home. The Marines were harder than that. All of the Marines are volunteers. Anybody in this country should get a taste of the military and do their share. He was in the 313th Infantry Regiment, 79th Infantry Division in Company C [Annotator's Note: Company C, 1st Battalion, 313th Infantry Regiment, 79th Infantry Division]. He was assigned in England as a replacement. They took Cherbourg [Annotator's Note: Cherbourg, Normandy, France] in July [Annotator's Note: July 1944]. He had a foxhole buddy in Normandy. They took turns doing watch and sleeping. Yip went ashore at Utah Beach [Annotator's Note: Utah Beach, Normandy, France]. They fought almost a month before taking Cherbourg. The battleships and the Air Force bombarded them. The French had beautiful money. He wishes he had kept some. He feels for the troops on the front lines today in Iraq [Annotator's Note: Iraq War, 2003 to 2011]. Every day you sweat if you are going to get killed. He saw the horrors then and sees it now in the Veterans magazines. It makes him sick.

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Wallace Yip, Sr. went to England and the Germans were sending the V-bombs [Annotator's Note: V1 Buzz Bomb, V-1 pulse jet flying bomb, German name: Vengeance Weapon 1; Allied names: buzz bomb, doodlebug; and V2, Vergeltungswaffe 2, or Retribution Weapon 2, ballistic missile] over. All that Yip saw was all of the troops there. England was not normal then. Every place in Germany and France was leveled. It was horrible. When he came from China, he was ten years old [Annotator's Note: 1933] and played the whole time. On the troopship, they did not have much room. They mostly played cards and dice. He met all walks of life. They were all on the same side to help each other. If you were lucky, you came home. He feels sorry for the young soldiers now coming home with no legs. It gives him nightmares and flashbacks. He does not drink or smoke and does high-impact aerobics. He remembers a few soldiers with Spanish names. Once in a while he saw Chinese but no Blacks [Annotator's Note: African-Americans]. The Blacks were Quartermasters. The Japanese in California fought in Europe as the 442nd [Annotator's Note: 442nd Regimental Combat Team], They fought well. They did not go to the concentration camps [Annotator's Note: American internment camps]. [Annotator's Note: Yip and the interviewer discuss United States Senator and Medal of Honor recipient Daniel K. Inouye.] Yip was a PFC [Annotator's Note: private first class] and was on a four man mortar team. He carried the ammunition. Other battalion people brought the ammunition up to them at the front lines. The medics were with them too. The machine gun squads work the same way. They went through the Maginot Line [Annotator's Note: a series of defensive fortifications roughly paralleling the Franco-German border built by France in the 1930s] . After they crossed the Rhine River [Annotator's Note: Rhine River, Germany], they did not fight much.

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[Annotator's Note: The interviewer asks Wallace Yip, Sr. how he felt about being wounded and hospitalized, and then sent back to the front lines.] Yip got a flesh wound and got well after six weeks so he went right back. He wanted to go home just like on the first day. He was fed well in the hospital. He had been sleeping in the field. At Christmas 1944, he was in Germany and it was so cold. The Germans overran the 106th Division [Annotator's Note: 106th Infantry Division, 16 to 19 December 1944] and did not take prisoners. Yip was in a cattle car going to Belgium as reinforcements [Annotator's Note: Battle of the Bulge or German Ardennes Counter Offensive, 16 December 1944 to 25 January 1945]. [Annotator's Note: The interviewer pauses the interview to change tapes.] On the last German thrust with the tanks, they ran out of gas. Two days later the Air Force came. It was really cold. Yip did not make it there before it stopped. Yip carried a carbine [Annotator's Note: .30 caliber M1 semi-automatic carbine] and a German P38 [Annotator's Note: Walther P38, 9 mm semi-automatic pistol] he took off a dead German when he got on the front lines in France. The Germans had Lugers [Annotator’s Note: German P08 Luger 9mm semi-automatic pistol] and P38s.

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Wallace Yip, Sr. was in basic training at Camp Claiborne [Annotator's Note: Camp Claiborne, Rapides Parish, Louisiana]. He went to Normandy [Annotator's Note: Normandy, France] and went to the 79th Infantry Division [Annotator's Note: Company C, 1st Battalion, 313th Infantry Regiment, 79th Infantry Division]. He stayed with them until V-E Day [Annotator's Note: Victory in Europe Day, 8 May 1945]. [Annotator's Note: The interviewer asks if he knew the soldier in H Company, 313th Infantry Regiment, 79th Infantry Division who earned the Medal of Honor which is the highest award for valor in the US military.] He did not know him. H Company was heavy weapons. Yip was in a rifle company. After the war ended, they went to Czechoslovakia [Annotator's Note: Schönbach, Czechoslovakia, now Luby, Cheb District, Czech Republic, 6 June 1945] for the occupation. He had so many points [Annotator's Note: a point system was devised based on a number of factors that determined when American servicemen serving overseas could return home]. In July [Annotator's Note: July 1945], he was told he was going home. The people drafted served the duration of the war. The volunteers had to stay their four years. He was told he was going home for a month furlough [Annotator's Note: an authorized absence for a short period of time] and then go train for Japan. General Doolittle [Annotator's Note: then US Army Air Forces Lieutenant General, later US Air Force General, James H. "Jimmy" Doolittle] and the B-29s [Annotator’s Note: Boeing B-29 Superfortress very heavy bomber] dropped one bomb [Annotator's Note: nuclear weapon dropped on Hiroshima, Japan on 6 August 1945]. A couple of days later they dropped a second [Annotator's Note: nuclear weapon dropped on Nagasaki, Japan on 9 August 1945]. The Japanese were going to die for the emperor. The people on Okinawa [Annotator's Note: Okinawa, Japan] were committing suicide. The bomb saved his life. He was still in Europe when the bombs were dropped. He came home just before Christmas 1945 from Marseilles [Annotator's Note: Marseilles, France]. He landed in New York [Annotator's Note: New York, New York]. He was discharged at Camp Shelby [Annotator's Note: Camp Shelby near Hattiesburg, Mississippi].

Annotation

When Wallace Yip, Sr. came into New York Harbor [Annotator's Note: New York, New York] there were fireworks. He went to Camp Shelby [Annotator's Note: Camp Shelby near Hattiesburg, Mississippi] and got out. He then went home. He had left his mother when he was ten years old in 1933 [Annotator's Note: in Canton, China]. She went through the war in their village. She survived by running to the hills. Yip was 23 when he came home. When he was 25, he found out his mother was still alive. He worked in a restaurant for two years to save money. In 1947, he met his mother. Yip got married in China and has been married 60 years. [Annotator's Note: Yip gets up to get pictures to show to the interviewer.] In China, daughters who are 17 years old and up are sent to match makers. There were 25 to 30 women his mother investigated before he arrived. Once a week they went to meet them. Everything has changed now. He selected his wife. He hopes she likes him. [Annotator's Note: Yip laughs.] They have five children, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He is grateful and thankful. Hong Lee Yip is his wife's name. He came to this country through San Francisco [Annotator's Note: San Francisco, California]. His sister lived in New Orleans [Annotator's Note: New Orleans, Louisiana]. He went to live with his sister. One son is Harry Lee [Annotator's Note: Harry Lee, sheriff, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, 1980 to 2007]. Lee donated to the museum [Annotator's Note: The National WWII Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana].

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Wallace Yip, Sr. returned to China and got married after the war. He brought his wife back in 1947. She did not speak English. Yip only speaks Cantonese [Annotator's Note: a Chinese language] and not Mandarin [Annotator's Note: a Chinese language]. The Communists made everybody speak Mandarin. In 1933, his father was an American citizen. They did not leave China for any problems. America was the land of opportunity. His father helped build the railroad in Omaha [Annotator's Note: Omaha, Nebraska] and lived in Stockton [Annotator's Note: Stockton, California]. His father went to China every five years with the money he earned. Yip and his wife left Hong Kong [Annotator's Note: now Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, Pearl River Delta, China] in October 1947 after being married in June. He had to get two jobs. He went back to New Orleans [Annotator's Note: New Orleans, Louisiana] with two children in 1950. He worked in restaurants and sold cars. When he had his third child, he got a third job. He had to hustle. He started selling window air conditioners and refrigerators. They would soak their children's diapers in the bathtub. They had no washing machine. He bought an old machine finally. You have to work hard. He took care of his family. He is grateful and thankful. His children have college degrees and good jobs.

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