Clayton Bihl was born September 9, 1923 in Buffalo, New York. He grew up there against the backdrop of the Great Depression, attending Bennett High School and Canisius College. He and some friends enlisted in the army in 1938, and Clayton went through all the regular training. He decided though that the army life was not for him, and he was able to transfer to the US Army Air Corps, where he began pilot training. The war was getting to a critical phase though, and with the Battle of the Bulge and entry into Germany looming he was transferred back to the army – the 103rd Infantry specifically – and sent over to Europe. Clayton was at the center of the Battle of the Bulge, suffering through the weather and doing his part to hold the line. The 103rd ended its war at Innsbruck, Austria, and after that Clayton was in the Army of Occupation – and serving as the mayor of a small Austrian town! He eventually made his way back to Buffalo, where he returned to school and became a math teacher at his old high school. He also married and raised a family, finding his way in postwar America. Clayton Bihl was interviewed by Scott Masters at his home in Williamsville, New York in August 2023.
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