David Guralnik was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1921. Before enlisting in the Army, Guralnik worked at the Frankford Arsenal in Philadelphia under the War Department. In 1942, he left his job and enlisted in the Army. He then went to Maryland to start his training. Because he had experience in the War Department, Guralnik went to California to help start a new training facility for soldiers. This facility helped soldiers learn how to complete specific tasks overseas. These tasks included everything from working with bomb disposal units to repairing and retrieving disabled tanks.
After helping start the training facility, Guralnik served with the 142nd Ordnance Battalion in Texas. There he received some additional training before going back to California for more training. Guralnik was one of about 2,500 men who traveled from Virginia. They landed in Oran, North Africa, but soon went off to Marseille, France. Guralnik landed in France to a bombing attack from the Germans. He then went to Langres in France from there to set up an ammunition drop. While there, he and his battalion took command of several hundred German prisoners of war. Guralnik and the 142nd Battalion continued to move across Europe until the war in the European front was over.
Afterward, he traveled to Japan along with his outfit. When the atomic bomb was dropped over Nagasaki, Guralnik was ordered to go to the Philippines. There, he worked with the Philippine Army by giving them food, vehicles, and ordnance equipment. After serving in the Philippines, Guralnik promoted to master sergeant and moved to Tokyo, Japan. In 1946, Guralnik shipped back to the United States after being honorably discharged from service. Guralnik is still very active in helping the military and dedicates his time to giving back to the Veteran community.
For more about Guralnik’s service, go to http://memory.loc.gov/diglib/vhp/bib/loc.natlib.afc2001001.82309.
We honor his service.
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Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Editor: Essence McPherson
Graphic artist: Kimber Garland