Oral History interview of William Kahn. Interview conducted by Steinberg, Andrew at Kahn Residence.
0:20 Basic biographical Information; 2:13 Drafted into U.S. Army; 2:57 Expectation of Army life; 3:08 Basic Training at Fort Bliss, Texas; 3:58 Training to become an Artillery Range Setter; 4:57 Special training in the ASTP at Vanderbilt University; 6:18 U.S. Army closes ASTP program; 6:55 Joining the 423rd Infantry Battalion, 106th Division; 7:15 Poorly treated by Company Commander; 8:35 Deployed to Europe; 9:10 Arriving in St. Vith Luxembourg; 9:25 Fog during the Battle of the Bulge; 9:40 Reasons why the 106th was captured; 10:09 Recalling the start of the Battle of the Bulge; 11:08 Fighting in dense fog; 11:23 Being captured; 12:00 Crossing into German border as a POW; 12:15 Loaded onto train; 12:50 Strafed by friendly planes; 15:40 Forced to march 513 miles; 17:00 Gaining favor by speaking German; 17:07 Asking Guard for pile of straw, in German; 17:28 POW's who gave information received hot soup; 18:43 POW's who tried to give info for soup were taken away to the work camps; 19:06 Food given during captivity; 19:57 Locals sneaking food to POW's; 20:46 Drinking snow; 21:11 Stealing chickens; 25:14 German guards search POW's for any sign of chickens; 28:00 Building a make-shift radio; 28:55 Listening to BBC; 30:39 Escaping German captivity; 32:33 Surviving on the run in Germany; 33:55 Rescued by U.S. Tank Battalion; 34:50 Talking about the 513 mile walk; 34:54 German soldiers takes POW's shoes; 35:49 Resting in a wagon next to a dead body; 36:10 Field hospital; 36:16 Delousing; 37:20 POW during the bombing of Koblenz; 41:09 Given an apple by a German Guard; 41:58 Priest reads last rights at the field hospital; 42:45 Waking up in a hospital in England; 44:10 Boat ride back to the U.S.; 45:17 Remembers more details about the food as a POW; 48:20 Rank leaving the Army; 49:36 Talks about Medals; 50:17 Life after the Army.
Date of Birth
Place of Birth
War or Conflict
World War II
Entrance into Service
Branch of Service
Unit of Service
Canon Co 423rd Infantry Battalion, Log Division
Location of Service
Prisoner of War
Service Related Injury
Battle of the Bulge; Battle of Rhineland
Overseas Service Bar; American Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Ribbon; Bronze star; Good Conduct Medal; Purple Heart
Battalion Commander at ASTD program at Vanderbilt University, Nashrine, Tenn. Escaped POW (Prison of War)
Country of Birth
Location of Interview
Kahn, William R.; World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives; Prisoners of War -- United States; United States. Army
Contains logs, audio and video recordings of interviews with Central Florida's veterans as part of a history class project for the students at the University of Central Florida (UCF). The UCF Community Veterans History Project(CVHP) started in fall 2010. It collects, preserves, and makes accessible to the public the experiences of Central Florida's veterans so that future generations will better understand the realities of conflict. It is a collaborative endeavor supported by multiple departments and offices at UCF. The veterans' histories are archived and made digitally available through the UCF library and selected materials are contributed to the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress.
Contributor Affiliation / Organization
RICHES; University of Central Florida
Length of Interview
Department of History, University of Central Florida
All rights are held by the respective holding institution. This material is posted publicly for non-profit educational uses, excluding printed publication. For permission to reproduce and/or for copyright information contact Special Collections and University Archives, University of Central Florida Libraries, (407) 823-2576. http://library.ucf.edu/about/departments/special-collections-university-archives/
University of Central Florida Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives
UCF Community Veterans History Project
Central Florida, RICHES of, "Kahn, William R. interview" (2012). Veterans Oral Histories. 101.