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The Villages
Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Villager tells Straight Shooters Club about surviving World War II

Villager Irving Locker shows off some of the Nazi memorabilia he brought back from World War II.
Villager Irving Locker shows off some of the Nazi memorabilia he brought back from World War II.

Villager Irving Locker regaled the Straight Shooters Club Thursday evening with the story of how he survived Normandy.

The D-Day invasion will have taken place 70 years ago this June.

Locker was “a young Jewish kid from New Jersey” serving in an artillery unit.

He said from the day he landed he never knew what would happen.

“It’s like going into a dark building with someone with a gun who’s waiting to kill you,” Locker said. “You have to know what you’re doing and you have to be lucky.”

He went in as a private and was promoted to staff sergeant.

“I had 65 men under me at 19 years old,” Locker said.

His unit shot down 97 enemy planes.

“We lived in the ground. You have to understand what it is to dig a foxhole every single night,” he said.

One night, he and his men had a chance to sleep in a barn.

“We got a march order to leave early the next morning,” he said.

When they went back to the barn to retrieve items, they discovered the barn had been blown up.

His unit went on to fight in the Battle of the Bulge.

“It was so bad and so cold. I had to send my men back to the mortuary to take boots and coats off dead men,” he said.

He had on display items taken from the Germans during the war, including a helmet, a Nazi flag signed by the men of his unit and a German Luger pistol taken from the pilot of a Luftwaffe plane he shot down.

He said he feels lucky to be alive.

“I thank God every single day,” he said.

The Straight Shoots Club gave Locker a standing ovation.

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