Joseph W. Bulkeley, born on April 20, 1916 in Ayer, MA., inducted in the Army at Fort Devens, MA on Nov. 8, 1942. Trained at Fort Benning, Ga from Nov., 1942 to June, 1943 followed by Tennessee maneuvers. At Camp Gordon, GA, from Sept. 1943 to Sept. 1944. Prior to shipment overseas was at Camp Shanks, NY, which was the port of embarkation. Shipped overseas in Sept. 1944. Served with the 10th Armored Division in combat as a radio operator. Participated in the capture of Metz, Germany in early Nov. 1944, followed by fighting in the Ardennes from Dec. 17 to Dec. 24.
I was part of the American forces erasing what was known as "The Triangle" during Feb. 1945 until I was seriously wounded and captured (Feb.25). When my wounds were somewhat healed I was forced to draw a German wagon with about 20 other American prisoners from the Darmstadt area to the Rhine River and beyond. The wagons were supposedly loaded with hospital supplies, or so we were told. It felt more like small-arms ammunition.
We were poorly fed and totally exposed to the weather, as well as to American air attacks. On March 31 I escaped with nine other Americans. I reached a German village, the name of which I cannot recall, where a family took me in and fed me. A few hours later, I met up with an American armored unit that was going through the village, and they allowed me to join them. I stayed with them until the next day, April 1, when they turned me over to the American forces. When I was finally liberated I weighed 80 pounds.