Veteran Stories:
Henry Borge

Army

  • Diploma awarded to Henry Borge for completion of Engineer Officer Candidate Course on August 19, 1942, at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, USA.

    Barbara Landell/Henry Borge
  • Aerial View of Bailey Bridge, Ponton Bridges, Yuma, Arizona, 1943. This is the type of bridge that Mr. Borge helped to construct as an engineer.

    Barbara Landell/Henry Borge
  • Newspaper Clipping showing Henry Borge and his brother Stanley Borge. Describes Henry Borge's "gallantry under fire", April 24, 1945.

    Barbara Landell/Henry Borge
  • Henry Borge in Leipzig, Germany, May 1945.

    Barbara Landell/Henry Borge
  • Citation for Bronze Star Medal awarded to Henry Borge for military action against enemies on January 31, 1945 at Luxembourg.

    Barbara Landell/Henry Borge
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"I wrote this letter to the army at that time because I figured that I wanted to separate myself from the others because I realized that I was one of a huge quantity."

Transcript

Prior to going in the service, I was a delivery boy at an advertising agency in New York. My job was very menial, but it was a job that was very important to me because it was the start in a field that I was very interested in, namely advertising. The influence of my desire to be in advertising had a lot to do with the fact that I wrote this letter to the army at that time because I figured that I wanted to separate myself from the others because I realized that I was one of a huge quantity. I wrote this letter that I was better than any non-commissioned officer in his battalion. I believe the net result was that they sent to officer candidate school [officer training]. It was not made easy for people. They wanted to separate the good from the bad, so to speak. There was a lot of physical like hiking and walking across little streams, sleeping out at night, this type of garbage, but I did well enough that I survived it. Well, it’s a hole that is big enough an individual can get into it and protect himself from artillery fire. You don’t want to make it too big, that’s what a fox hole is like. And I remember the fox hole and probably about two and a half feet in diameter by maybe four and a half feet deep. And when the shells were coming in, you’d bend your head down into the hole and that type of garbage. That was what a fox hole was. You stayed in there as long as it was necessary and that might have been a day or a day and a half, but then when it was permissible, you got out and you did whatever other people were doing. But I was there when the shelling was rather heavy and so you get into the foxhole to protect yourself. I like sports in general ̶ baseball, basketball, football. I was made the captain. To get these two teams made, I picked 11 people that most likely would make a decent football team and after a, we knew nothing about each other. In any event, I became the quarterback, but I wasn’t particularly outstanding. The first two plays I called for two other guys to do the running and we got zero yards, both times. So the third time, I felt that I had to call my own because both of them had been hurt; and so I called my own and first thing I knew, I was on the ground and I had broken my arm in the tackle and they sent me into the hospital.
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