Jun 16, 2021
Don Knapp passed away last week. He was 102 years old. "I was no hero," Don said when I interviewed him in 1994 at the Cincinnati reunion of the 712th Tank Battalion. More than a thousand people who posted reactions and comments in the Battle of the Bulge Facebook group on the notice of his passing would beg to differ. Incidentally, it was the second time Don went viral. The first was eight years earlier when he posted a picture of himself holding a sign that said "I went golfing on my 94th birthday and shot a hole in one. How many likes can I get for that?" Don is survived by his wife of more than 75 years, Evelyn, and a large and loving family.
That 1994 interview touches on several of the major events in the history of C Company: the battles for Hill 122, which encompasses nine previous episodes of the podcast; and Pfaffenheck, which is told in three earlier episodes. In between he was involved in the Sept. 8, 1944 battle with the 106th Panzer Brigade at Mairy, France; the monthlong standoff in Maizieres les Metz, and the crossing of the Saar River at Dillingen, where my father was wounded.
Along the way he gives insight into the character and personality of several of the men of C Company who appear from time to time in other episodes.
If you'd like to know a bit more about your host -- moi -- I recently was interviewed by a pair of podcasts, The Journalism Salute, about my dual career in newspapers and oral history; and the Truckers Network Radio Show with host Shelley Johnson.