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Episode #510 of Hometown Heroes, airing February 9-11, 2018, continues the conversation with 95-year-old Dr. Fitzalbert Marius of Fresno, CA. If you missed the first part of his interview, check out episode #509.
In this episode, Marius outlines his World War II service with the 725th Medical Sanitary Company, an all-black unit within the then-segregated U.S. Army. One of his first stops was New Caledonia, an archipelago that had been governed by France for nearly a century. Fluent in French, Marius was pressed into duty as a translator, which led to some unexpected exchanges with inhabitants there that you’ll hear the 95-year-old recall in comical fashion. Bert’s unit followed the 1st Marine Division around the Pacific Theater, responsible for spraying insects to guard against disease, as well as burying the dead after battle.