Americans in Wartime Experience

Michael Hubiack

World War II

Michael Hubiack served in the United States Army during World War II.  He was born in Wolfsburg, Pennsylvania.  His younger brother served in the 8th Infantry Division of the Army.

In June 1942, Michael graduated from High School.  Now 18, he was drafted into the US Army, and was then sent by train to Camp Wheeler, Georgia for Basic Training.  Michael traveled to Virginia and was loaded onto a Troop Transport Ship and sailed to Casablanca, Morocco.  The troops were then trained through Northern Africa and boarded another ship to a replacement camp on Sicily. Michael was assigned to the 1st Division, 16th Regiment, G Company.  The Division was soon loaded onto a boat, destination for England.  After arriving in England, the Division began training on landing crafts.  Michael and 1st Division were inspected by Churchill and Eisenhower during their training period and was then moved to Southern England and loaded onto transport ships and awaited further orders.

June 6, 1944; 19 year old Michael Hubiack and the 1st Division would learn of the invasion of France.  Very early in the morning the troops climbed down rope ladders to landing crafts.  As the morning haze lifted, they could see a beautiful beach that was littered with large metal obstacles.  It was low tide when Michael and G Company landed on Omaha Beach as the 1st wave of Operation Overlord (D-Day).   Once the ramp of the landing craft was dropped, they ran up the beach and passed the obstacles.  As they got further into the beach, the German machine guns opened up on the troops. G Company went as far as they could into a rocky area and set up the 60 mm mortar.

Michael was the Assistant Gunner on the 60mm mortar.  The Gunner would adjust the range and they began to fire on the German location.  The beach started to take German artillery fire and Michael’s mortar location was hit and everyone in the area was wounded. Michael had shrapnel wounds to his head, hand and back.  He laid in the rocks until the heavy fighting had passed.   A Navy medic cared for Michael and carried him to a transport ship and the wounded from Omaha Beach returned to England.

Michael spent 3 months in a hospital in Totten, England before being loaded onto a C47 aircraft for the flight back to the United States.  Michael and other wounded men would recuperate at the famed resort, The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. After Michael recovered from his wounds, he was discharged from the Army.   Michael remembered his homecoming wasn’t anything special; the war was still going on.

After the war Michael went to school in New York to become a Bulova watch repairman and he repaired watches for the next 20 years.   Michael said that he is grateful for the very good sergeants he had during the war.

Thank you Michael for your service to our country.

Bio prepared by Rebeccah Christovich

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The Americans in Wartime Experience explores the impact of war and conflict on America since WWI. It honors those who served in the military and on the home front and highlights the values they demonstrated in serving – duty, honor, and courage. It examines how periods of conflict have profoundly shaped American society. It educates visitors about the costs of war, both on a personal and social level. It challenges visitors to remember the service and sacrifices made by their fellow citizens to preserve and defend our freedoms. LEARN MORE

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