Birthday: July 17, 1921
Birthplace: Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin
Family: Matilda and Earl LaVaque
Occupation: worked in the mill
Branch: 3rd Army
Unit: 403rd Artillery Group
Post: Radio Operator
Myron LaVaque was drafted in 1941 at the age of 21. "I took the Queen Mary overseas landing in Ireland. Even though the Queen Mary had to zig-zag back and forth to avoid torpedoes, it was a fairly good ride over."
Myron was in the 3rd Army in the 403rd Artillery Group, also known as the bastard outfit. "I served as a radio operator in the front lines from southern France to Belgium. While on the front lines I would watch where the shots landed so I could tell the soldiers if they needed to move backward or forward. My lieutenant would be up above in a plane giving me the information so I could relay it back to the other lieutenants on the ground."
"On one occasion, my unit had to break a circle of German soldiers who were surrounding a group of American soldiers. My brother happened to be one of the American soldiers who were surrounded. My unit successfully broke the circle of German soldiers freeing the American soldiers. Many German soldiers surrendered to our unit."
Not long after that Myron stayed with a family in a little village. "It wasn't much of a village, It was shot to pieces, all blown up, we were on the out skirts of this town. We were getting organized to make the push into Germany. There were four or five of us and we were put up in a house (or what was left of it). The families we stayed with were nice people. The father, Joseph, I think he was German and the wife was French. One of the kindest things I remember is the morning we had to leave, right before all the soldiers left the little girl baked us a cherry pie."
"One of the worst things about the war was the cold weather, especially guard duty at night. We would take blankets and rap them around us, then put on our heavy coats. Another thing I didn't like was the fact that we didn't change our clothes in months."
"Our unit lived on `K' rations and salty ham. The `K' rations consisted of three crackers, three cigarettes, a stick of gum, and a little packet of coffee. One time we went into this one town and found a pig and cooked and ate it."
After the war Myron was put into Lucky Stripe Camp, where they would draw names out of a helmet to go visit towns. Myron's name got picked and he got to go visit Paris.
"On the way home we rode on a ship through the Mediterranean. When we got to the Atlantic Ocean there were lots of storms lasting about thirteen days and everyone got seasick. The ride home was the worst part of the war. I went home in 1945 and went back to the Consolidated Mill and worked there until I retired"
under Learn and Serve American Grant #00LSFWI104