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Charles Norman Shay


Shay was drafted into the military in 1943 at the age of 19. He was selected for training as a medical technician and learned basic surgery skills. Shay joined the Medical Detachment of the First Division's (Big Red One) 16th Infantry Regiment and was attached as a platoon medic to Fox Company.[2] As a combat medic, Shay treated as many of his wounded comrades as possible - bandaging wounds, applying tourniquets, applying makeshift splints, administering morphine, and otherwise trying to make the wounded as comfortable as possible. Shay pulled several struggling soldiers from the rising tide, saving many immobilized wounded from drowning[3] during the first wave of the landing of Omaha Beach on D-Day. He was also present helping the fallen at the Battles of Aachen, Huertgen Forest, and the Ardennes (Battle of the Bulge).

Shay was later attached to a reconnaissance squadron moving into the small farming village of Auel near the Sieg River in Germany. The squadron encountered about 20 German soldiers accompanied by a Panzer tank with an 88mm weapon, and were forced to surrender. The squadron was then marched 50–60 miles, moving only by night, to the POW camp Stalag VI-G.[4]The column of prisoners grew along the way as the German unit accumulated more and more American soldiers. Shay was interrogated at the camp and held there until April 12, 1945 when American troops encircled the camp, trapping 350,000 enemy soldiers and liberating the camp. Shay was sent home soon after.

(Wikipedia)


Young Charles Shay

Charles Shay and comrades in Aachen

Charles Shay combat map

Charles' MIA letter

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