Oral History Interview: Roger Shortt
February 24, 2011
Roger Shortt (1925-2019) was one of five brothers from the County Line community drafted into the Army during World War II. [His brother Ward Maston Shortt (1920 -1944) was killed fighting in Germany and was awarded a Silver Star posthumously.] First assigned to the 239th Anti-Aircraft Artillery, Shortt was reassigned to the 1280th Engineer Combat Battalion. He was trained as a rigger and talks about repairing and maintaining bridges in Germany. At the end of the war in Europe, his unit built a temporary pontoon bridge across the Rhine so that heavy equipment could be moved back to France. Then they were trucked to France and were waiting on transport ships to take them to the Pacific Theater when the Japanese surrendered. Shortt describes the scene as the men learned the war was over. He also discusses the rigors of training, ocean travel during the war, early years on the family farm, and how being in service “will make you respect life a whole lot more.” He remembers Clifford Shaver of Copper Hill who began Army service on the same day as Shortt and was discharged from the Fifth Army on the same day.
Portions of this interview are included on the DVD "From the Front Porch to the Front Lines."
OGG, “Oral History Interview: Roger Shortt,” Floyd Folklife Gallery and Archives, accessed January 20, 2021, https://floydvafolklife.org/items/show/26.
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