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More WWII Veterans' Stories PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 14 September 2010 17:15

We are collecting more stories that have been videotaped from local WWII veterans.  While we are digitizing and acquiring permission to disseminate the stories, feel free to view some of the stories below.

In late October, 1944 the first battalion of the US 141st Infantry Regiment, comprised mostly of men from the Texas National Guard, broke through German lines in northeastern France and then found themselves cut off and surrounded by the enemy. They became known as "The Lost Battalion" and would have been killed or captured had it not been for a heroic rescue operation carried out by the mostly Japanese-American soldiers of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Around 40 aging veterans from both units came together in Houston on November first for what may be the last time. VOA's Greg Flakus was there and filed this report. Dim lights
A Texas WWII veteran talks about his experiences in the air force, being captured, and being a prisoner of war. This was part of a larger presentation including a documentary. Part 1 (about 8 min) Dim lights
A Texas WWII veteran talks about his experiences in the air force, being captured, and being a prisoner of war. This was part of a larger presentation including a documentary. Part 2 Dim lights
A Texas WWII veteran talks about his experiences in the air force, being captured, and being a prisoner of war. This was part of a larger presentation including a documentary. Part 3 Dim lights
Feb 22, 1945. Mission: The Group commander ordered the commanding officer, 3rd Calvary Rcn Sq to send a deep reconnaissance patrol over the Saar River. This patrol was to remain at least one night along the Merzig-Brotorf road to determine vehicular traffic along the road. Story by John McCreary of Rectortown, Virginia, who died June 3, 2009. This recording is part of series of John's stories that are part of the Library of Congress's Veteran's History Project Dim lights
Professor Hatgil started teaching the art of ceramics, sculpture and two and three dimensional design to UT students in 1951. During his tenure of thirty-four years at the University of Texas he instructed over 2,000 students. Immediately, I became fascinated not only because of Hatgil's accomplishments, but he posted on our website! It's not often that we see someone his age contribute to Docubloggers. We also discovered that Professor Hatgil is a veteran of the Second World War. At that time Sean and I were working on The World, The War and Texas - a local documentary that featured the experiences of local veterans during World War II that aired in conjunction with the National presentation of The War by Ken Burns. We were still in the process of identifying local veterans to interview at the time. I found out that Professor Hatgil was a communications officer stationed on the island of Tinian when the Enola Gay was sent to Japan. We didn't have much material about the Pacific War, and Professor Hatgil was more than willing to share his experience. Dim lights
For 36 days in February and March, 1945, U.S. Marines fought an epic battle for the Japanese island of Iwo Jima. Dim lights
Calzada family reunion to celebrate Christmas in El Paso, Texas in December 2009. Guillermo M. Calzada, a World War II Army veteran, speaks about his experiences on Guadalcanal. Dim lights
This compelling 2007 documentary chronicles the extraordinary series of events that bonded together a group of sailors who served together on the USS Houston during the early days of World War II. Told entirely through on-camera interviews with the surviving veterans and their families, The Cruiser Houston was nominated for two Emmy Awards in 2007 and won the Best in Show Award at the 2008 Gulf Coast Regional Film Festival. Dim lights
Member of the Filthy Thirteen Robert Cone shares how and why he joined the paratroopers with the audience of the 2008 American Veterans Center's conference. The Filthy Thirteen were made famous in the movie "Dirty Dozen," which was loosely based on their true story. Dim lights
Part 1 of 2 - Robert Clark was one of the wounded on USS Marblehead in Feb 1942 who were transferred to Java hospitals. (See movie of era - The Story of Dr. Wassel). Marblehead was so damaged it was sent back stateside for repairs. USS Houston remained with other allied cruisers which were all sunk by March1. Early March the Japanese were taking Java with troops. The wounded from Houston and Marblehead were shipped out on any available vessel. He left on USS Sturgeon (a submarine) after being chosen by lottery and landed safely in Freemantle Australia. Others left on the Pecos which was sunk - survivors going to USS Langley - which was sunk. Those surviving Langley were picked up by one of two destroyers providing assistance. The lucky ones made it to the deck of the Whipple. The other ship, the Edsall was lost later that day without a trace ( epic story in book -" A Blue Sea of Blood" -- Kehn). Surviving this epic disaster of sea battles -- he came back to the states and then served further in the Pacific War. If you understand the circumstances of the Asiatic Fleet and the start of the Pacific War ( The Asiatic Fleet was to defend the Philippines and Java until the Pacific Fleet from Pearl Harbor could arrive to help according to the war plan). The Pacific Fleet never showed up and we know why. The Asiatic Fleet and its morphed Allied group of Australian, British and Dutch ships ( ABDA FLEET) was wiped out. Bob was there. Learn more www.usasiaticfleet.org. See part 2 of this interview. (see part 1 ) Dim lights
Part 2 of 2 - Robert Clark was one of the wounded on USS Marblehead in Feb 1942 who were transferred to Java hospitals. (See movie of era - The Story of Dr. Wassel). Marblehead was so damaged it was sent back stateside for repairs. USS Houston remained with other allied cruisers which were all sunk by March1. Early March the Japanese were taking Java with troops. The wounded from Houston and Marblehead were shipped out on any available vessel. He left on USS Sturgeon (a submarine) after being chosen by lottery and landed safely in Freemantle Australia. Others left on the Pecos which was sunk - survivors going to USS Langley - which was sunk. Those surviving Langley were picked up by one of two destroyers providing assistance. The lucky ones made it to the deck of the Whipple. The other ship, the Edsall was lost later that day without a trace ( epic story in book -" A Blue Sea of Blood" -- Kehn). Surviving this epic disaster of sea battles -- he came back to the states and then served further in the Pacific War. If you understand the circumstances of the Asiatic Fleet and the start of the Pacific War ( The Asiatic Fleet was to defend the Philippines and Java until the Pacific Fleet from Pearl Harbor could arrive to help according to the war plan). The Pacific Fleet never showed up and we know why. The Asiatic Fleet and its morphed Allied group of Australian, British and Dutch ships ( ABDA FLEET) was wiped out. Bob was there. Learn more www.usasiaticfleet.org. See part 2 of this interview. (see part 1 ) Dim lights
A well-known and well-liked survivor of the Bataan death march died this week in Albuquerque. Stuart Dyson is here with a look at the remarkable life of Frank Lovato. Frank's death leaves only 42 death march survivors left now in New Mexico - our state paid the heaviest price of all when the Japanese invaded the Phillipines in 1942 - Frank Lovato was 19 years old. Frank lived to be 89 - a man of peace and one heck of a good car mechanic - we interviewed him a couple of years ago about why he enlisted in the National Guard all those years ago. " I just wanted adventure - I wanted to see the world - you know - see the rest of the world." Frank saw the Phillipines - saw combat on the beach against the Japanese - surrendered - somehow survived the 60 mile death march through steaming jungles - no food - no water - Japanese soldiers slaughtering thousands to weak to walk - then Frank survived prison camps and slave labor in Japan - three and a half years. " Instead of sitting there worrying about what's gonna happen in the next minute - the next year - the next whatever - I said to myself i'm gonna set me a plan." After the war Frank got married - joined the Air Force - raised a family - retired in 1962 - worked for the federal government - retired again - loved his grand kids and great grand kids. Frank told us he craved enchiladas when he got home from Japan - but his stomach was too weak for the chile - he had lived on rice for three and a half years. Dim lights
Reuniting two vets that were college buddies and joined the war effort together. After the war, they lived less than 20 miles from each other, but never knew the other made it through the war. Dim lights
An interview for the Library of Congress of a WWII veteran that served on the battleship New Mexico in WWII. They survived 3 kamikaze hits and captured a Japanese submarine. Dim lights
My great uncle shared some stories about World War 2. He experienced combat on Iwo Jima. He provided suppressing fire for the guys that hauled the flag up to be raised at the historic flag raising. He also talked about shooting down kamikaze planes that were trying to take down his boat stationed in the waters around Iwo Jima. Dim lights
WALPOLE — Piles of decomposing human bodies. That's what Jim Shiels remembers most about the day he entered the Dachau concentration camp when it was liberated by U.S. forces. Shiels, then 19, was among soldiers in the 19th Armored Infantry Battalion, Combat Command C, 14th Armored Division. Dim lights
Dr. Cooper is a veteran of World War II and the Korean War. He currently practices aviation and family medicine at B/CS Family Medicine, in Bryan, Texas. Dim lights
A look at the Navajo Code Talkers from World War II. Dim lights

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 August 2011 08:38