Biography of George I. Skoda
US Army #: US51112971
Czech Underground &
533rd Engineering Aerial Photo Reproduction Company, U.S.A.
The official end of WWII is listed as May 8, 1945, but in reality the war did not end until May 9th. I was in Prague, Czech Republic throughout the war and from May 5th until the 9th of May I and the Czech underground were fighting Germans in Prague. General Eisenhower made a terrible decision to let the Russian Army liberate Prague and the better part of Bohemia. General Patton was in Pilsen and could have easily driven to Prague, but was not allowed to do so.
On May 9th, the Russian Army finally arrived in Prague and I rode on one of the first Russian tanks that entered Prague. We arrived at the Military Academy near Prague's Castle and the SS were still fighting fanatically. During the skirmish, I was wounded in the right leg and left behind. This turned out to be a fortunate incident, since the Russian tank crew went ahead and on the way down to the river Vltava, they encountered a German tank and the Russian tank commander and a couple of the Russian soldiers were killed.
The last fanatical SS gave up on May 9th, 1945..
I escaped from Czechoslovakia after the communist takeover in 1948 to Germany, where I spent few months in the D.P. Camps (Displaced Persons Camps) and after over 2 years in England, working in the brickyard, I arrived in the United States on immigration visa in February 1951. Since the Korean war was going on I was drafted in the US Army in July 1951 and spent 2 years in the Corps of Engineers, first in the States, and then back in Germany. I went to the Cartodrafting school in Ft. Belvoir, Virginia, December 1951-January 1952, and to the Motor Pool Sergeant School in Eschwege, Germany in December 1952 (Honor Graduate). I served in the 533rd Engineering Aerial Photo Reproduction Company in Wiesbaden, US Occupation Zone of Germany between April 1952 to June 1953. Our unit was directly attached to the 7th Army Headquarters. I was honorably discharged in June 1953.
--- George I. Skoda
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