Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Terrence George Leonhardy
LEONHARDY: I came down to Washington and talked to Walton C. Ferris and he said, “Well, we're thinking about assigning you to Europe somewhere, you know, after the War you'll be going in.” He says, “We'll send a letter down.” Well, I kept getting these different letters assigning me, first, to Naples and then to Warsaw, but I had to wait to go into Warsaw when things were propitious. And then they said first go to Naples, then London. And then they sent me up to the States working on a special project over behind the White House there. It was in a temporary building. Then I was interviewed again by Walton C. Ferris. Well, I had my dad get me all kinds of heavy clothes for Warsaw, Poland. He went into the local men's store and got all these heavy coats and jackets and stuff, while I started studying the Polish language - not taking formal lessons but I was studying Polish on my own. And then one day, I was flirting with a girl in an elevator that worked in the old Walker-Johnson building there (I'd met her at a party the night before) and I asked her if she was busy. She said, “Oh, I am terribly busy.” I said, “Well, maybe I could come up and help you.” I was just kidding her. The next thing I knew, I was getting a call from Walton C. Ferris and he said, “You know, her boss called me and said he thought you didn't have anything to do and he was looking for somebody.” He says, “While I had your file out and (I'm trying to think of his name, he was Director of the Foreign Service) called and said he needed somebody in Denmark, Copenhagen. So I called Arthur Blisslane. He said he'd release you.” Anyway, the next thing I knew - Ferris was very demanding - he said, “At such-and-such a time, you've got to go at such-and-such a place. So the assignment was changed to Copenhagen. So I went off to Copenhagen. I left New York on the last convoy going to Europe and I remember they gave me a foot locker full of those - you remember, those big thick regulations - heavy as hell. Plus my own personal effects. We get over to Cherbourg and we were supposed to be unloaded by German prisoners of war but for some reason, I don't know why, we stayed overnight onboard the convoy. The next day there weren't any prisoners of war but we had all these UNRRA (UN Relief and Rehabilitation Administration) people and Quakers and everything else plus State Department people. We stayed in... where there was an empty troop ship. We stayed up in the sickbay and then from there...
Q: Excuse me but when did you make your crossing?
LEONHARDY: It was in May. Just a few days after the war was over.
Q: May, '45 then.