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Irwin Isaacs kept U.S. tanks rolling

From the Stories from Frederick County's World War II veterans series
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Irwin “Buck” Isaacs still has the dog tags that hung from a chain around his neck during most of his service as an Army tank mechanic. But at one point, they were almost lost to war.

Isaacs’ unit was attached to infantry divisions as they fought across North Africa and Italy before invading France. Isaacs lost his dog tags somewhere in Normandy, he said. A lieutenant found them and mailed them to Isaacs’ mother.

“The military was holding all our mail,” Isaacs said. “She hadn’t heard from me for probably six weeks, but she knew the invasion was going on. ... They must have been worried or thought something happened to me.”

Isaacs had enlisted 11 months before the United States entered the war. He was looking for a job, not to be part of a war, he said. But he did well in the Army and even rose to the rank of master sergeant. After the Allies took Germany, Isaacs entertained ideas of staying on as a career officer.

“They were going to give me a 30-day furlough and then send me to Japan,” Isaacs said. “So I took my discharge. ... I’d had enough war.”

Isaacs went on to work for Montgomery County for 30 years and retired early. He had his dog tags dipped in silver several years ago and lives in an apartment decorated with 70th Tank Battalion memorabilia.

— Cameron Dodd

Follow Cameron Dodd on Twitter: @CameronFNP.

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