Wallace “Wally” Curry volunteered to join the Army in December 1942 just before his 20th birthday. He was an engineering student at Drexel College in Philadelphia but when World War II began he knew he wanted to become a soldier. He volunteered so he could choose engineering as his assigned duty.
Wally trained at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. He became an expert rifleman, qualified as a sniper, and was promoted to Sergeant. He tested for officer training and went to Fort Belvoir, Virginia, for Officers Candidate School. Wally was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in July 1943 and went to Fort Devens, Massachusetts. He trained new recruits and became a trial judge advocate where he participated in some difficult cases.
In January 1944, Curry headed to Europe with 15,000 troops on the Queen Elizabeth. They landed in Scotland and traveled by train to England, stopping twice due to bombing near the railroad. The unit was assigned to the 346th Engineer Regiment outside of Bedford. On June 6, 1944, bombing began and they shipped to Normandy, landing on Utah Beach in mid-June. The unit was assigned to the British 8th Army during the Battle of the Bulge under General Montgomery. They cleared land mines, built and repaired bridges, helped in the hospitals, prepared bridges for demolition, and built enclosures for German POWs. This unit was later awarded a Congressional Citation.
When the war ended in Europe on May 8, 1945, Wally remained in Germany and was promoted to Company Commander. In December he was assigned to the 84th Infantry Division to return home, but came down with dysentery. Finally, he arrived in New York Harbor January 16, 1946. Wallace Curry was later separated from the Army as an officer.
He spent his civilian career in management with Pepperidge Farm. He married, raised a family, and after retirement moved to Fairfield Harbor with his wife Dot in 1987.
Wallace Curry, 92, maintains vivid memories of his war experiences. Although not directly on the front lines, he saw enough to convince him “war is hell.”