Veteran Interviews – Corporal Biega

Corporal Biega grew up in a small farming community in Eastern Poland. When attacked by both Germany and the Soviet Union in September 1939 Joe was too young to fight. He was not however too young to have his entire family deported by the NKVD to Siberia where he was forced to work as slave labour on non-existent rations. Escaping death due to exhaustion and illness Joe made his way to the Polish military camps being formed by General Anders in 1942. From there he was evacuated through Pelhavi, down to Iraq and into Palestine. There the emaciated army regrouped and trained. In 1943 Biega joined the famous Third Carpathian Division and became a universal carrier driver for a heavy Vickers machine gun unit. He fought with distinction in the battle of Monte Casino, Ancona, Bolonga and points up the Eastern Italian coast. After working in post war England for several years he emigrated to the United States in 1954 and worked for the city police department in Schenectady, NY. Joe is commander of the Polish Army Veterans (S.W.A.P.) post 18 in Schenectady. He is pictured in his SWAP uniform with wife Regina. In addition to being a fountain of information on the 2nd Corps he is also one of the best Polish cooks I have ever met. I owe a great deal of gratitude to him for his assistance over the years.