A few years ago, World War II veteran Corporal Frank Hall was interviewed by the American Veterans Center. In this interview, he talks about his time as a Marine in the Pacific Theater, the survivor guilt he felt for many years after he came home and what helped him cope with it.
We found an excellent interview by WWII Veterans History Project with Julius Haberman, a former member of the 69th Infantry Division who served in the European Theater in World War II. Among his experiences was an encounter with prisoners in a concentration camp. Listen to his story below.
Not long after the daring Royce Raid occurred, the Allies would surprise the Japanese with another raid that wound up on the front page of newspapers across the U.S. With the anniversary of the Doolittle Raid next week, we wanted to share a couple of stories from The National WWII Museum’s interviews of two men who were there.
Between August and November 1941, the U.S. Army scheduled a series of war games for military forces to prepare for combat. The Carolina Maneuvers took place in November 1941. This interesting video from the U.S. National Archives contains footage of setting up for the maneuvers as well as some of the action in the field.
We found this great tribute video by the American Veterans Center about baseball players who put their careers on hold to serve their country during World War II. Watch it below.
It had been more than two years since General Douglas MacArthur was ordered to leave the Philippines as the Japanese captured the islands. At the time, he promised to return, and he fulfilled his word on October 20, 1944 when he waded to the shore of Leyte. Back on New Guinea, the 312th Bomb Group and other units began receiving lectures and booklets about the Philippines. It wouldn’t be long before they would pack up and move to the islands.
Below is some footage from the landing as well as Gen. MacArthur’s speech to the Filipino residents.
Have you watched any of the World War II bomber aircraft training videos on YouTube? If not, we can help you get started with this A-20 training video, which was uploaded by Jeff Quitney. Today, Lewis Air Legends Collection flies the only airworthy A-20.
This post was first published on September 2, 2015.
September 2, 1945 marked the official surrender of the Japanese. Below, you can listen to President Truman address the U.S. and watch the ceremony in color. Try playing them at the same time for an interesting background to the surrender proceedings.
The title and written content of this week’s post come to you from the 63rd Squadron, 43rd Bomb Group’s history. Once again, we’re focusing on that August 19, 1945 flight that stopped over in Ie Shima on the way to Manila to discuss the Japanese surrender.
On August 19th, the men on Ie Shima witnessed history in the making, as at 12:30 p.m. two white Jap Bettys approached the island escorted by hordes of P-38s, 2 PBYs, two B-25s and other elements of our efficacious air force. After making two trips around the island, the Bettys landed gracefully on Mocha strip which was lined up with M.P.s and thousands of curious soldiers. As the ships taxied down the runway, their bespectacled engineers stood half out of their open top hatches. They were bedecked in most elaborate flying attire—leather jackets, flying helmets, and goggles. One couldn’t help but think how uncomfortably warm they must have been, because the afternoon was torrid. The contrast of these Japanese flying personnel to our airmen who usually wear nothing more than a T-shirt and sun-tan pants, was certainly sharp, but on this particular day, the little guys were perhaps salvaging the last remnants of that imperialistic pride so completely stifled by their defeat.
Upon reaching the end of the runway, the planes did an about-face and taxied to the other end of the runway as hundreds of soldiers with cameras made a mad dash in that direction. At this end of the strip were parked two C-54s, resplendent in the afternoon sun. These were to take the Japanese emissaries to Manila.
Not much time was wasted, and within 15 minutes the emissaries with their entourage boarded one of the giant cargo planes and were off to General MacArthur’s headquarters.
We also went digging around YouTube and found part of a newsreel from that day’s events.
Want to read more about this point in history? Check out The 345th’s Final Show.
We found another interview to share with you this week. Here, Fergus Anckorn recounts his time as a POW in the Pacific Theater. His multiple brushes with death during World War II played a major role in the shaping of his perspective on life.