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War: World War II|
Branch: United States Army
Unit: 24th Infantry Division
Highest Rank: Sergeant
Birth Year: February 1, 1921
SEE VIDEO BELOW
|Claude Curry was born on February 1, 1921. Before the war, he worked on sailboats. When he was twenty, he knew he was going to be drafted. He did not have a college education. Therefore he did not pass with good enough math to get into the Air Corps. He was sent to the 24th Infantry Division. Before leaving the country, Claude was threatened racially and hit the man responsible. He was sent to Honolulu, Hawaii for infantry training. From there, his division was sent to Saipan. On the first night on Saipan, he was sent with other men to set up an ambush. In the middle of the night, another soldier in a separate squad made a noise by mistake. Claude and his fellow soldiers were unable to assist and had to wait until morning to observe the scene. None of the three men could be found, except for their dog tags.|
The next day, Claude was sent out to the foot of a mountain near the ambush site in order to clear out some caves the enemy was hiding in. During the fight, another soldier stood on Claude's back and shot a flamethrower into the nearby cave. A day or two later, he was ordered to check for bodies. He was relieved of duty due to the traumatizing experience.
From Saipan, Claude was ordered to Okinawa for two or three days during the height of the fighting. After Okinawa, he and 126 other men were sent to an unidentified island nearby. He stayed on the island for six months. There were enemy on an adjoining island. Before being ordered to engage the enemy, the war was declared over. During celebrations, a couple of soldiers shot rockets that hit a small cargo ship.
A typhoon soon hit the island. Despite orders not to move, Claude went in search of shelter. He went out into the storm and made two miles progress in four hours with floodwaters coming up to his waste. After braving the storm, Claude was sent back to Okinawa from November 1945 to April 1946. Claude was discharged in May of that year and became a bus driver until retirement at the age of 55.