Jules Jacquin stepped off a train from El Paso, Texas in College Station in 1942 with dreams of earning a degree in engineering. Those dreams were put on hold after he joined the enlisted reserves at Texas A&M. He was called up in 1943 and after training, he was sent to Camp Swift near Elgin, Texas, where he joined the 102nd Infrantry.
"From there shipped up to camp Dix, Fort Dix, in New Jersey and from Fort Dix we were ferried over to Camp Kilmer which was our port of embarkation."
Jacquin and his outfit arrived in Europe some 3 months after D-Day and moved along the Western Front fighting the German resistance through France, Belgium and Holland. He was involved in one of the bloodiest battles of World War II, The Battle of the Bulge - a major German offensive to combat the advancing Allied Armies on Berlin.
"We had a big push on Feb. The 23rd and...the Germans put on a big counter attack and we were caught pretty much on the other side of the river, because we had no armor and the Germans knew this...we called for big battery of cannon aids on our own facilities because we had no choice so we were caught between our own lines and the German lines, so trying to scurry around and do the best we could until we could get some help, and it was at that time that I sustained my wound."
Jacquin was hit by artillery and after a short time in the hospital, was back in action.
After the victory in Europe, the US was preparing for a ground assault on Japan in the Pacific. An invasion that never happened, because the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
"There was training and preparation for getting us home and from there going on to the far East. Of course things happened in a good way, as far as we were concerned, when the war ended...so that was a big relief."
After the victory in Europe and the end or World War II, Jules returned to Texas A&M to finish his education. He got married and went to work for Dow Chemical, and he is proud to be part of what has been called 'The Greatest Generation.'
"Well, I feel very thankful that I was able to serve, and thankful that I was able to survive of course, and that I was able to help my country and do that job. At that time, you really didn't have a choice of where you went, but...it really didn't matter where you ended up as long as you were helping and doing your job and you didn't care that they other guy was doing this or that - we were all in it together. And we were anxious just to get it over with."
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