Pusch gets 5th WWII History Series off and running

Joachim “Yogi” Pusch, a member of Germany’s 14th Infantry Division, helped District 728 Community Education kick off its fifth year of its WWII History Series this past week.

As a Forward Observer, Pusch fought on the Eastern Front for 36 months. He was involved in “Operation Barbarossa,” which was the code name for Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on June 22, 1941.

About 50 people turned out to hear Pusch talk.

The series, which has been renamed the James C. Church World War II History Series in honor of the late Jim C. Church, got its start five years ago with a panel discussion that attracted more than 200 people.

Church, who was instrumental in the early planning stages of the series, was also one of the original panelists on the first night.

The series, which has been popular, will resume Nov. 16, when Marshall Harris will lead a program titled, “Iwo Jima: A hellish battle, and then the flag rose.”

In it, Harris, a local veteran, will recount the experience that he had as a Marine on Iwo Jima. Harris belonged to the 2nd Armored Amphibian Tank Battalion whose initial mission was to make the first wave in the battle and provide the necessary fire power all the way to the beach, and once ashore to assist the infantry where needed.

Jim Carroll will lead the following program on Dec. 8, called “D-Day: the Day of Days.”

Carroll found himself jumping out of a C47  into Normandy along with 1,300 other members of the 101st and 85th Airborne Divisions. He experienced Cherbourg, the Battle of the Bulge, Operation Market Garden and more.

For more information or to register, stop by the Handke Center at 1170 Main St., call 763-241-3520 or visit www.728communityed.com.

Sessions are typically $9 for adults and $2 for students. Childcare is sometimes provided. Reservations are preferred.