Yang Kyoungjong a Korean soldier who fought in the Imperial Japanese Army, the Soviet Red Army, and later in the German Wehrmacht
Yang Kyoungjong born March 3, 1920 in the Korea Japanese Protectorate is to date the only soldier to fight on three sides of a war, and this legendary status has earned him much recognition., In 1938, at the age of 18, Yang was in Manchuria when he was consripted into the Kwantung Army of the Imperial Japanese Army to fight against the Sovet Union. At the time Korea was ruled by Japan.
During the Battles of Khalkhin Gol , he was captured by the Soviet Red Army and sent to a labur camp. Because of the manpower shortages faced by the Soviets in its fight against Nazi Germany, in 1942 he was pressed into fighting in the Red Army along with thousands of other prisoners, and was sent to the European eastern front.
In 1943, he was captured by Wehrmacht soldiers in eastern Ukraine during the Third Battle of Kharkov, and was then pressed into fighting for Germany with the forces of Field Marshal Erich von Manstein , commander of Army Group South at the time of the battle.. Yang was sent to occupied France to serve in a battalion of Soviet prisoner of war known as an “Eastern Battalion”, located on the Cotentin peninsula in Normandy, close to Utah Beach. After the D-Day landings in northern France by the Allied Forces, Yang was captured by paratroopers of the 101 Airborne Division of the United State Army. in June 1944. The Americans initially believed him to be a Japanese in German uniform; at the time, Lieutenant Robert Burham Brewer of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment , reported that his regiment had captured four Asians in German uniform after the Utah Beach landings, and that initially no one was able to communicate with them. Yang was sent to a prison camp in Britain and later transferred to a camp in the United States.
The 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment , “Band of Brothers” would liberate the hometown of the webmaster, Eindhoven in the Netherlands, in September 1944.
Yang Kyoungjong as a German POW was released by the U.S. Army from captivity at the end of the WWII and settled in Illinois, USA, where he lived until his death in April 7th 1992, age 72..