When Clarence Smoyer was 19, he enlisted to fight in WWII. He had planned to be a paratrooper, but when the military saw that he had experience as a mechanic, he ended up in a tank. This past week, he was in the Boston area to help promote a book about the exploits of the Third Armored Division in Cologne, Germany. Clarence had not been inside a Sherman tank since 1945, and when he walked out of his hotel, expecting a cab, he got a huge surprise!! A 33-ton Sherman Tank very similar to the one he drove. Clarence is 95 now--and is promoting a book about the 200 men of Easy Company, in a book called, "Spearhead".
Smoyer says he did not expect to survive the war--but he did. He was in battle for more than two years. Even this many years later, the stress of being in a tank takes a toll and requires him to be on medication. Smoyer dropped out of high school to help support his family, doing odd jobs, selling blueberries, and actually was not a fan of hunting. Though he became a natural with the massive tank gun. At the time of his enlistment--he was a passionate roller skater!
Now, so many years later, as Mr. Smoyer rode in the tank to the USS Constitution museum, he was greeted with cheers and huzzahs.