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Out of the Infantry

Heroes Remember

I begin speaking to this one prisoner they brought back and one of the officers that knew me, Buck Buchanan, Buck he says to me, he says, “Decker, you understand him? Do you speak to him?” I said, “Yes sir!” He says, “You speak the language?” I said, “yep!” Well so when we got back to the camp at Pole Burrow, under canvas in a bluff, then they started checking my records and they called me in and they says, “Well there’s nothing in your records to say that you can speak other languages, that you can speak another language." I said, “I was told by a First World War man which was my friend Mr. Skinner, not to relate anything that is not asked. You do not volunteer anything you’re not asked.” He says, Colonel Swift, at that time he says, “Well, what else do you speak? Do you speak anything else?” I said, “Yes, Ukrainian and Polish.” He says, “What? What the hell are you doing in the infantry?" Just like that. He says, “You’re not going to be around here very long!” And it wasn’t very long.

When Mr. Decker is seen talking to a prisoner in German, an officer questions him about his language skills.

Ted Decker

Ted Decker was born in 1918 in Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan. His father was an an immigrant from Austria, and worked in a coal mine in Drumheller at first, before working on farms in Southern Saskatchewan. His Mother was a district midwife who delivered over 60 babies in the area. Mr. Decker grew up with two brothers and three sisters,in a community where a Germany pastor taught him on Saturdays to read and write different languages including German. He went to school until grade seven and worked on a farm until he was seventeen. In 1940 Mr. Decker went into Yorkton to enlist and was denied, he was finally sworn in on February 5,1941 as a volunteer with the south Saskatchewan regiment as a reinforcement. After his father disowned him for joining the army he took an non-commissioned officer's course and he worked as a firing range instructor at Fort Osborne,Winnipeg until he left for overseas on December 13.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Ted Decker
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War

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