WWII veteran finds ambulance driven during war

On a recent visit to a military history museum, Thomas Grasser, 91, recognized the serial numbers on an ambulance

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A World War II veteran was recently reunited with an ambulance he drove 71 years ago in Germany.

The Albuquerque Journal reported Thomas Grasser, 91, was visiting the New Mexico Museum of Military History when he recognized the serial numbers on the bumper of the ambulance.

Harry Misel, a board member at the museum, said museum officials checked into Grasser's story and are convinced the ambulance is the one Grasser drove in Germany. A photo of Grasser with the ambulance during the war shows the last three digits of the serial number on the hood. The serial number of the ambulance at the museum matches the one in the photo.

Photo courtesy of Thomas Grasser.
Photo courtesy of Thomas Grasser.

Grasser was drafted into the Army just after finishing high school in 1943. Despite now knowing how to drive, Grasser was assigned to drive the ambulance.

"I suspect there may still be some marks on those redwood trees," Grasser said of his training in California.

Misel said the ambulance at the museum came from Nat Holzer, a collector and World War II veteran who died in 2008.

“This was part of his collection, and we don’t know where he got it,” Misel said.

Grasser has appeared publicly with the ambulance several times since discovering it in the museum.

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