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Special Collections Online at UT

Erwin B. Bigger Oral History

Identifier: MS-3303

  • Staff Only

In this oral history, Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Erwin Bigger traces his military career from his basic training to combat in World War II and Korea. His discussion of World War II provides the researcher with an account of the life of a member one of the first parachute regiments in the United States military. Bigger focuses specifically on jumps he made in the Italian theater (including Sicily), which he considers comparable to if not more dangerous than the Invasion of Normandy. Bigger's discussion of the Korean War includes an account of the capture of Hill 1221 and the landing at Inchon. Bigger suffered several injuries while serving in Korea, but they seem minor compared to the wounds he describes avoiding through luck or skill during his combat service.


  • 2003 February 26

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These two VHS tapes contain a recording of an oral history by Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Erwin B. Bigger. In it, Bigger discusses his early life and his service with the U. S. Army as a paratrooper during World War II and the Korean War.

Biographical/Historical Note

Erwin B. Bigger was born on 1919 July 4 in Athens, Alabama. He attended Castle Heights Military Academy and was called from school to active duty in 1942. Bigger was sent to Fort Benning, where he attended infantry school and later parachute training. He was first deployed to North Africa as a part of the 82nd Airborne Division's 504th Parachute Regiment and later participated in jumps in Sicily and Salerno, Italy. Bigger was transferred back to the United States prior to the Invasion of Normandy. Bigger died on January 27th, 2009.

Bigger continued to serve with the Army after World War II. He was sent to Japan (which acted as a staging area for the eventual war in Korea) in 1948 and later served in the Korean War as part of the 7th Division of the 32nd Infantry. Bigger was injured on 1950 December 3 and was eventually evacuated from Korea. He retired from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1963 after 21 years of service.


This collection consists of two folders.

Acquisition Note

This collection is property of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville Special Collections Library.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA