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Smither, James (Interviewer)

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Van Dis, Melvin

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Melvin Van Dis was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan and served in the Army during World War II. Van Dis was drafted into the Army in 1943, and was sent to Europe as a replacement for killed or injured troops. He was attached to the 1st Division, which had lost a number of men during their previous campaigns. He landed in Normandy on D-Day as part of the second wave to hit the beaches. He was injured in Normandy in a friendly fire incident. He recovered and was sent back to his unit, serving with them across France and into Aachen, only to succumb to trench foot in the Hurtgen Forest. He finished his tour of duty working for the American Legion back in the United States.

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Veterans History Project Collection, (RHC-27)