For U.S. Soldiers, World War II Was More Than A Fight For The Fate Of The World

January 19, 2020 Topic: History Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: WarWorld War IINazi GermanyMilitary

For U.S. Soldiers, World War II Was More Than A Fight For The Fate Of The World

But for their very lives.

For about a month Lorenzi and his brother spent their nights drinking, getting the war out of their systems. Then their father told them, “It’s about time you boys got back to work.” And that is just what they did.

 

Lorenzi returned to his projectionist job at the theater and worked in the profession for the next 20 years. He then took a security guard job at the local steel mill for 35 years until he retired in 2001.

Lorenzi met Patricia McFall through her stepfather at a club the two frequented. He married her, but they divorced after 32 years. He met another woman and married her for seven years, but she passed away. Today, he shares his life with Mary Lou Lachman, whom he calls, “a very good woman.” They enjoy dancing together.

In 2006, Lorenzi received a print of the Nazi flag he had signed on the last day of the war. The child of a woman who received it after the war sent it to him in an effort for all C Company veterans to have a copy. As of 2018, Lorenzi still had the Italian pistol he snuck off the ship, though he has never fired it for one simple reason: “I took the firing pin out of it.”

Since the war Lorenzi has attended a number of 94th Infantry Division reunions. He has also gone to the annual D-Day reenactments at Conneaut, Ohio. He has visited Normandy, France, and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, but has never returned to the forests and small towns of Germany where he fought. He still remembers his introduction to combat like it was yesterday. “I can still remember seeing that [dead] German soldier.”

Kevin M. Hymel is a historian for the U.S. Air Force Medical Service History Office at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. He is also the author of Patton’s Photographs: War As He Saw It and leads tours of General George S. Patton’s battlefields for Stephen Ambrose Historical Tours.

This first appeared at the Warfare History Network.

This was first published last year.

Image: Warfare History Network.