World War II Central Illinois Stories

Danville Residents Remember World War II


Pop Up Archive Item: “Danville Residents Remember World War II” :
Transcript for file: danvillewwiiprogram2007-10-16.mp3


Mymen’s bills are whatI’m president of the board of trustees of the library and half of the board in the
study. I want to welcome you to a very special.
presentation tonight. Last spring in anticipation of the
showing of the the war mini series on the way although I know
they asked libraries to interview veterans in our case we
also filmed those interviews with the auspices of our. Very talented director


like inviting behind me or.
Any film producer of his own right
We had three teens who helped us with the. recommendations working so hard
and working all over the use of the war museum.
Johndroe withhand-held camera. Brian Brown
and Brad Cody helped with the.


And the role that all the people who were interviewed are here to guide you or make
you thinkyou’re going.
To have a look at our polling is what they are in.
A federal suit but
I. Felt it was a
dance that.


was unable to be with us that he was attending aP.O.W. reunion
in Springfield. I believe and then. Last but not least
walking in the door is our very own sparks over.
So. Michael was able to condense that to an hour each interview in three to
five minute clips which are of course extremely difficult.
process andhe’s going to be you can view them on the reality allows website.
And also special thanks again to Sparky for letting us use the word wisdom and to


recommend veterans.
And giving us the tips on the young gentleman that helped us
also will have that recall ofwho’s going to moderate our discussion tonight.
Thank you very much for.
What we want to thank you. Kimberly product andthey’ll be on it. Well or
be inviting us to participate in this project.
That will be very brief delays missing between some of the clips because of that. I think


the switch.C.D.‘s around. So. Without further adieu with a really
active and.
Thank You knowit’s so great to see all of you here tonight. This is wonderful. This is our
sixth event. Working with others to tell the stories of veterans
from Central Illinois. And I appreciate everyone who came here and the veterans
and the library.It’s been a great partner to work with. And we know that during World
War two Between the years of one nine hundred thirty nine and one nine hundred forty five fifty to eighty


million people perished in that war. The vast majority of them were
civilians. More than four hundred five thousandU.S.
airmen seamen and Marines who were killed during the war.
And so for all those who were killed and were injured.I’d like to just invite you for a
bit to share with me. A moment of silence.
Ken Burns. And when Novak started out working on the program the war thatit’s airing on
telly while. Well back in two thousand to more than six years to make this program.


Andwhat’s unique about this program is it tells about the war both on the battlefield and the home front from
the people who were there.It’s not told from the perspective of the generals.It’s
not told from the perspective of scholarly expertsit’s individuals like you and me who were
there during this time. And we thinkthat’s what makes it so powerful. And W I L
L is just like Ken Burns is aware that over a thousand veterans a day from World War
two are passing on board. And so we wanted to work with libraries to gather their
stories becausethere’s a tremendous need in the schools. For the kids to have these


stories firsthand accounts maybe children today believe we were allies with Germany during World
War two. So. Sowe’re producing a lot of local materials to give to teachers. And if you
are a teacher or know a teacher. Please see me afterwards we would love to get that material
in your hands. Also I want to let you know that we are very
we very much. Appreciate your feedback. We want to know how we did it. And outside.There’s a green
survey if you will my pleas filling that out after the event. We really appreciate that. And
also you may already know that Marion Blumenthal is on who was a


child and survived the Holocaust during World War two.She’ll be here next Wednesday at seven
P.M. Andshe’ll also be in Charleston. The next day at sevenP.M.There’s a flyer on that as
well. So we appreciate your being here. And now without further delay. Let
us look at the eight minute segment from the warthat’s been airing on W. Well ifyou’ve
missed it every Wednesday night for the next five nights five Wednesdays.We’ll be
repeating that series. So eight until tenP.M. every Wednesday night for the next five weeks. You can watch the
war. All of our local stories be it radio or television or all or


histories.We’re collecting more than seventy oral histories. Will be
on our website. Andwe’re sending those to the Library of Congress so that. Future
scholars and students can access this material because we believe that peopledon’t really know what it was
like. And these stories help tell tell the story. So here we are now with the opening
segment from the war by KenBurns’ and Lynn milk.
So I am.
One evening in the summer of nineteen forty one. Several months before the


United States would be drawn into the second world war. In a little farming
town in Alabama. A sixteen year old high school boy named Glen
Dowling Frazier. discovered that the girl he loved. was
interested in someone else.
Frazier was so angry and upset. But when the owner of a juke joint fused in
service. He stopped outside. climbed onto his motorcycle.
And roared through the door. Shattering bottles and smashing furniture.


As he raced away. The bar owner chased him down the street with a shotgun.
The next morning. Humiliated scared and unable to face his parents.
When Frazier went to the nearest recruiting office lied about his age.
And joined the Peace time army.
He volunteered to serve. In the Philippines.
When I volunteered for the Filipino I had no idea that we would actually
be at war. I was thinking that probably


Germany was the most likely place that there would be a war. So in my mind I thought
I’d be safe over there. I never thought man would be attracted much.
Over the next four years. Frazier would find himself in the midst of war.
Desperate hand to hand combat in a forced march so brutal.
The world would never forget. them nightmarish prison camps.
were simply surviving required luck. And bravery and


Back in Alabama. Those who loved him would be told he was.
Good ol Glen Frazier would be able to do
was cling to the hope that one day he could come back home.
I am a
Idon’t think there is such a thing as a good war. There are sometimes necessary.
And I think one might say just two hours.


And it never I never questioned the
necessity of that one. I still do not question it was something that
had to be done in.
The greatest catechism in history grew out of ancient and ordinary human
emotions like.
Anger and arrogance and bigotry. And the
lust for power and it ended.


Because other human qualities. courage and perseverance and selflessness
faith. Leadership and the hunger for freedom.
Combined with unimaginable brutality. To change the course of
human events.
The Second World War brought out the best.
And the worst in a generation. And Blurred the two.
So that they became attempts almost indistinguishable it.


In the killing that engulfed the world of nineteen thirty nine to one nine hundred forty five.
Between fifty and sixty million people died.
So many. And in so many different places. But the real
number will never be
More than eighty five million men and women served in uniform. But the


overwhelming majority of those who perished were civilians.
Men women and children or the arithmetic
of war.
I had. The United States of America.
was relatively fortunate.
More than four hundred five thousand soldiers and sailors airmen and
Marines died. But that figure


represented proportionately fewer military casualties than were suffered by
any of the other major combatants.
American cities would not destroy.
American civilians were never really at risk.
But without American power. Without the sacrifice of American
lives. The struggles outcome would have been very different.


The American economy only grew stronger as the fighting went on. And by the
time it ended the United States would be the most powerful nation on
And a once isolated and insular people would find themselves at the center
of world affairs
The war touched every family on every street in every town in America


towns like Missouri Minnesota. Sacramento California.
Waterbury Connecticut. Immobile Alabama.
And nothing would ever be the same again.
I’m not sure I can speak about why. Human beings
in general. Go to War. I thinkthat’s a. Pretty large
category that I can only speak about
byeighteen-Year olds from Minneapolis called. me to go to


war becauseit’s impossible not to. Because
our current is established in the society so swift
flowing toward that every young.
Man who steps into it is carried downstream.
And. Emma.
Forty three. HaroldG. song president and curator of the Vermilion.
County War Museum in Danville was drafted into theU.S. Army Herald


better known as Sparky works. Here is a volunteer.He’s a war veteran and a lifelong military
man committed to providing a place for both the young and old can learn or reflect on war
history. Seldom has a day go by when. Sparkydoesn’t recall the bloodiest days of World
War two. Surrounded by war memorabilia and dressed in a jacket similar to.
The one she wore when the battle of the Bulge broke on December sixteenth one nine hundred forty four.
He recalls the final days of that surprise attack by the Germans in Belgium. Deep
in the dense forest.


LOL LOL drop and go. They knocked.
out our division in threedays’ time. And we fought until we
ran out of everything. And Colonel calendar. came up in
the morning of the nineteenth. And I remember very well. And they asked
us if we want to fight to the finish for sure. And. We saidwe’ll fight as
a family because we had no communication from our headquarters. They
didn’t want to do.


He said destroy remember where your weapon.
The rifle. You could pull back and they began throwing away
they were gash loading zone or
any other clip. When up inside. They were nine. And Shirley
MacLaine. If you take a good.
script theshow’s answer a limo loyal to the lovely guys forgot


about that one and the chambers over there. Andthey’re
doing frustrate shown everything like a million
barrels slamming up against a tree and then when it is
one hell of a commotion screaming.
And. They shoot themselves.
Too and not intentionally.
And restroom. And groan or go about their


own drop and we were you know and.
We just had about six weeks. Ifyou’re training to go.
to clock in the afternoon. Starting us got killed
right there side of me and I hit the ground and I raised my head
and the sniper. Hit the spill. And I had in my pocket.
Which I have now. But this is not the jacket. This really wanted to end the
museum here. But the spoon was in my.


pocket while I had no never. No I.
Had nothing to eat. One of them is giving a ration you could.
What do you mean you I mean you knowyou’re right you.
know whenyou’reyou’reyou’reyou’re not.
Sure. The world
Come on.


That’s funny. I was my thirty second mission that we were. Flying
we were heading for Czechoslovakia to go to black camera
which had oil refineries got shut down. And that was in
July. Friday July seventh of.
forty four we were walking down the road tracks and it was a work
crew there and the one.


Fellow says in perfect English. This is Friday.You’re going to have a very
poor lunch and I thought where are you about an hour ago and I
could use somebody who spoke English and they talk about
Friday the thirteenth Friday the seventh is a little. More shaky to me than
Friday the thirteenth. But anyhow. AfterWe’re in prison camp
about two weeks later who comes marching into prison camp. But. I know
Bob champ and his crew who was my roommate in flying school. He was my


roommate for the rest of the war.
They head guard towers at each corner of the compound
and then they had double barbed wire below last. And then there was a space of about.
OhI’d say fifteen feet. They had a little. Barbed wire
stretching there and. Youdidn’t go beyond that if you did you
maybe have got shot in the barracks. I was in we had
said there were ten rooms and they were.


Where we ended up with about twenty guys to a room. Which was about
sixteen feet by fourteen feet and slept and.
Three high monks we had an argument though I never saw a fellow
another foot one. Fall or take a punch and another guy. And that I was
thought was rather unique. And if you got in an argument with somebody you
Go out and do a walk around the compound and get over it and then go


back to what we were doing before we did our own cooking.
The food was mostly very sparse. Where you got Red
Cross parcels every once in a while but they were. few and far
between. I have to say of whatI’ve heard of the other camps.
WhatI’ve heard of the guys in. The South Pacific. In Japan we
we were pretty well off. Maybe not the best of years. But.
At least wedidn’t have. You know one thing was in our


favor. being officers. Youdidn’t you want required by the Geneva Convention
to work.
I’ve been back over there. A few years ago and went back to.
visit. And I. think I found the place where I had landed
when I bailed out. And while we were there.
Working it over a woman from across the road. came over. I want to know what
we were going and.


We explained to her and she says all three shows. I
remember seeing somebody land in that field. She said and then after
everybody cleared out. We went over and got the parachute. And took it home
so that the kids make clothes for the kids. And I
actually saw actually as I was ten years old. Guys.
In bars. They made they made quite a bit of it because they had
a. scale model of the camp. Which we could see this was


when I went back on the tour. And they had a gallery and she was the
story in and she knew quite a bit about it. And we ask them
about the fact that. Today how do they
still have a prisoner of war camp right next to their town. And
they said actually they felt very good about it because they figured if they had a prisoner of war
camp there. The allies wanted to be bomb in there so.
That saved them or.


Our change charge of an engine room. There were nine. In the
interim. We shall not strike that. Each section of that dry dock had
two major diesel is that turn into large
generators that supply power for all of the
ballast valves. And that two hundred horsepower
pumps. Eighteen these souls turning eighteen
generators. You are getting four hundred forty volts.


Steady and two hundred twenty amps approximate. And
while electricity and diesel people and the
electric electrician just work together. There was a great big a
switchboard lit up like a Christmas tree. And I was a
talker on the phone for a while.That’s what I learned was able Baker
Charlie and the docking officer used to say able Baker
Charlie start your star board pops. And


running for three minutes and then electricians would hit the button
and those breakers handlers switch boxes. You could hear him. And
those big pumps. You see their share
turn into a home and then they speed up and the breakers and the
switch boxes would kick in. So they and then our off
time. Actually electricians would open up those boxes and file which
breakers. So they would work for spiking forty five.


Electrical service where we swore and dangerous. These
these men knew what they were doing.
It but the dry dock was. Broken down and then it
ended up. In the harbor of Portland
Maine and its use. Right now they broke down all the
sections that we saw as long as we put all the.
You know thatU.S.S. Pennsylvania was built in. one thousand nine hundred


fifteen. It was an old battleship and I
served in war a war one and World War two
And there were twenty four sailors killed. And I had a
national torpedo attack. Anyone Jima. And when
the Pennsylvania came into our dried up. The
burial crew was there. There was an eighteen foot hole.
In the back of the pants of pain. And the


recovery team. Had
to. Well the ship. Feathers one that was hit by the
torpedo. And be the lead dog down all of the
hatch or just the. After part of the
battleship. And there were people in there are still alive and
theycouldn’t tell out. But in order for their ship not the same.
These men sacrifice their life. So when the burial crew


came and that long. They brought all of the coffins rolled around the back of
our driver and took these men out one at a time.
And had assured us for that. At worlds
are under pressure. You know.
Thatwe’re just out of high school and then
maybe some of us a year or two you know. And it
is hard to do. Learning


all the different things that youshouldn’t do and you had to learn about
all the gas.S.. Now once they were. You had to know about the first day and
and know how to help somebody if they broke a bone or sat like that. And.
There’s all those little basic things and then somebody said the
gas as well as mustard gas smell. I guess and mustard and then run
like everything into it. And so we had to peel in
places where the men were already gone. So we had to do that.


And just like when I was called in that were in that hospital and never sure and
nurses and surgery which I had to go whether I did have an experience or
One day this. One soldier
what everybody else got on the you know to go and once to go to that
hospital. But there was one short mistress. This young fellows nineteen years
old that was badly wounded but he was creamy and for


his mommy. I never forgot that. And so I just
cradling him in my arms like this and said mommy is right here. Eat eat eat.
You just stop hollering.I’ll take care of you. You just be a good boy.
And a priest and he. You know went right to sleep but I never
forgot that because I had blood on my new warmth and it was so.
But when we got to the hospital. He was in a different section of the hospital
where I was working. So we we were like practical nurses


and doing everything they had to. Do their you know regular would
do because there is a shortage of everybody. Youcan’t be in two
places at one time. And yet this is something you never
forgot. And. It is part of your memory that I never
forgot that young you know. You were not supposed to show any emotion at all.
If you did. You cried inside. And we did a lot of that. And.
When everything I told you do need to eat you can cram all that. I want people to know


that womendidn’t dare to share it. And there is not a known.
untold story thatI’m trying to get a hold of the
rest that I know what my group did that London the evidence. Put parts of the
And the biggest problem was going into the breach. And it had a
three day storm. And a
little. Shifting tanks. Some of


the landing craft were for. It safe
were high. And were bailing water out of the coma people.
You’re about to see shake.
We did we go there. We get in there. We will have to look.
At our own. Somebody serve the deep water men.
Comb all the floor several clouds.
And that makes. Somebody they give to


increase shock morphine to right on the spot and
they die quietly. Now you see a man a peer that
their arm rode off with a little.
Quality control. And.
So did men.
Morning. MASH like theycouldn’t.
He seems so much. Well people are trying


to carry out any way they can.
You get one hundred the first time. Now me I was in or what.
Someone would have.I’m going to take a lot of that.
Why am I got it.
For you. And there are no second I made it you know damn well you got me here.
And from there on your watch whatyou’re going to be.
Discarded on August fifteenth. AndB.J. day


ahead in the show for a little.
Shock or wild.P.J. day in all
three days later I got out of a bar I had Murray Road
to get more money and a bottle of whiskey in a report.
I got to bamboo shared up Main Street.
Mother motion to ride across the street that evening with you.
I got home I.


Had to pull a passion. out to show my dad. I had my legs Icouldn’t
get a job. I was gone by the evergreen hero by
various shy correlated what youcouldn’t trust me.
So I went back into the army. And
on October thirteenth. Back onboard a ship.
Got out checks usage.
And I was in a great care reserve and related to


that were made in one nine hundred eighty
and I.
won’t tell you that no one.
Thenyou’re a nice station house that was divided up into two
doctors and nine innocent men and then you were to be sent up.
Along New Guinea to help.
With the troops as they invaded New Guinea. And


then what happened today other doctor that was like you.
You know to suit the Hutus who are
true to who moved in. This is this is news of the tropics
and the natives are.
They are immune to it. And is your view.
of the American people who have you been in
use in that area to deal with her.


And then when you found the the.rat’s nest under his
under his tent under his cot. He might have gotten it that way. So you decided
that you should have some cement under your tents.
There was a. group of
Australian troops.
You will soon be using this event
through. The movement and we are


in a room in Sweden where we really are
rural term but in.
The end that the hand of the law firm and hit him in the nose and broke his nose.
He was the only doctor around to fix it. So he had to fix his own nose. So
the other one ate many innocent man.
Maybe and a Purple Heart. They carved out and they


use a wire and put valor on it and they found something right there at that.
I was up on this or certainly with lawyers and so I think
the United States should be made to turn in their power and
strength. As well as rural
phone to illustrate her role as well hidden. And so as I
would have done in the machine to show up since we are
trying to fly. Back to the United States with her unit gave life for


And so I did a deal.
With them in return. Or we went right straight back to.
Australia. And I straightened her cruiser and
not notice they pick up her roles
were reversed so harshly.
We were to attack our very strategically Al course everyone was


cagey but this is still three o three and I pass out in air trawler Germany just
an ordinary village. We lost later found out.It’s years later we lost
seventy eight men.
In that attack and counterattack was only forty two men out of my company
It took me ten days of marching from the day I was captured to get back to
Bloomberg which was a holding camp and then we were taken out of big camps by


box car and put into this labor camp. And then it got.
To the point when the Russians were coming through
coercion by the German soldiers from the front lines would come down andthey’d see that it was a prison
camp on the road. They did open up their suppliers or is unnerving. Also for the last four
or five days we had to stay on the floor. We just laid on the floor although Icouldn’t go to work or any of.
Andthat’s when the guards finally said We gotta get out of here. But the Russians were common. So the.
Guards saidwe’ll take you to the American lines if you give us your word that you will not have


punished for being your guard. Well these were older men in World War one. Most of
them saw it when they did dream. But by the time.
We could get everything together and leave and we were in.
Such physical condition. Wecouldn’t go very far. So I finally got picked.
Up in Berlin and then I was sold in a Russian prison camp by
Russian law saying wait this is Russian.


Finally after about seven days I could see that they were set on
out. Our camp Siberia lot ofD.P.S. displaced persons than
anybody. So another kid and I still.
prayer while cars and we cut our way out of the fence line along
with the guard tower cut the two bottom strands and crawled
through and then took off across a minefield and headed for the woods.
And then he and I got separated that night and I headed west.


And I traveled only at night andI’d hit it high during the day in a woods. And I
finally got through. Whitten.
Berg on the Elbe River on the morning of the fourth day out traveling.
Andthat’s it for lack of go are.
More or less passed out and a medic was working me
over and me away and me and all that kind of stuff. And that last sentence. I
remember he asked me you know what does your way whenyou’re in.


Combat I said I weighed a hundred eighty pounds. And he said you knowit’s your way.
Now I sort of know. I weighed. A hundred and ninety pounds.
Andthat’s all I remember.
And near the end. My wife said yeah kind of a nice
way that I thinkit’s about time you wrote this book about your experience of what she did. Knowing
We’ve. All seen it with Alana nightmares every night. And that was it.


So after Christmas. They said after Christmas is over.We’re going to sit
down andwe’re going to write a book and I write a column all
morning and then maybe I could spend it til about noon. And I had
to quit my nerves were shot.
So she said downstairs and started the cipher in as best you could
my note. We kept out of the trolley. Are you ready by November. Butthey’re not
funny at all. Gracie had said and I said Ican’t stand it anymore. This is it.


So we got it together. And I turned into a publisher up in Chelsea Michigan. We set it out
the last week of.
November and I have not had a nightmare. Since that day that
book went out of how we should get out there out of nightmare sites.
That contain nothing but highest praise for them because this was their country and who is being
devastated by the by the Axis powers. So we felt
in a sense we felt sorry for them that we did everything possible because I


repeat they are. They were our friends. And we were their friend
and we ran across quite a few families. And they were delightful.
Because they were they wanted to take good care of us here. And we love through
their cooking with their children.
And the French families to save the eggs but
theyhadn’t been shaken so horrible and given to us they
would be if. We would bring Candy until poor and.


Then we may on this Sunday morning. We would line up at the mass that is.
Wherethey’re holding our eggs. And. The man in front of me with a
good friend of mine. And just as he got short of the necessary can
take the egg. The cocoa out for him. The Stonewall trip
and broke the egg on the ground. crew there and then crashed.
into various seats and then he ended up.
Making a second callcouldn’t get his second repaired. Little


thing was so important.
So I ended up going to the Mediterranean.
that were in Monte Carlo but.
They were seated with a. The sad day in
American tactics. And he was a master sergeant. So
we got talking while we were on the bus going from one location to another.
And I said name here.You’re in charge and sit down on the plane and that was their


mission. He said yes. He said we did. He said of the wrong one. And.
We had an American plane by mistake. And Ali said we did everything right.
And he said. That it was the end of it did not identify itself. So
really the plane. In the wrong thing. In the bad part
was. Not only that. But it was in person on that
Flew very well known and it was.


Even when I was overseas and played for the troops. He said he happened to
be. On the record show that he was on that plane.
And he saidwe’ve had.
I have heard the grandmother died. You know mysterious case. I have
to go with the master sergeant.
Dear Mr Mubarak as his nominee they share.
Is a pleasure for me to. inform you that you are eligible to


receive your French diploma from the government in France where your
contribution in the fight to liberate France from the Axis
powers in World War two. People of France. And my government.
are delighted to be able to present to you. The special Du Palma in
recognition of your. unselfish action and your efforts on behalf of
strength and the free people wherever.
Mercy. Boko. And during a recent migration were


all over where everything you did for French. Farmers for you guys.
Great. And nowwe’re going to move the tables together and ask our panelists and our moderator.
Please come forward for some live discussion and then we will take your
questions. So we hope that you know.You’ll have some as well.
And I thinkwe’re ready to start. So we want to thank the mayor Compean for green to moderate our
panel Mary.
All right. But I think look I think some of us are not very used to show business.I’m


not in fact. I had a chance to view the
videotape that you just saw twice and both timesthey’ve been so
tremendously moved by it is what almost speaks for itself. But I did think of
several questions that I was going to start out asking some of our
panelists. And then we really want the audience to take part in this. I
recognize some people in the audience. I know there are some people here who lived through World
War two who perhaps are at some of their own memories to share. And who also would like


to ask questions of our analysts. One of the questions I was
thinking about is for Helen Montgomery. Mrs Montgomery
mentioned that there are manywomen’s stories. During the war that have not
yet been told and I had not really heard. Prior to
watching the videotape of the particularwomen’s association that she
spoke of the Americanwomen’s voluntary service. So Mrs
Montgomery. Could you tell us how you heard of the service and


how he volunteered for it. Where did they send you first.
When we were eleven in California. At that time near
Brisbane California. And my brother had
invested in theU.S. Navy.
And a year before you die. In one month of being a king. And so you went
in and he went to Hawaii. And. At Pearl and he
was in the radio department at theU.S. West Virginia. And so


we were more interested.
In knowingwhat’s gone on that time. And so when Pearl when the
Japanese attacked at Pearl. Well the West
Virginia was the only one that had information
that the Japanese for an attack. Some time
theydidn’t know what intercepted atMassey’s So my brother Les came back to
San Pedro on radio naval bases. And


so when he was gone. Low when they attacked it. That Sunday
while he was at the torpedo went right through a
spot where he would have been there. Soit’s just one miracle and he went
back and.
And he said at that time hedidn’t know.
He had a sore knee. So I at that time when Leahy went down to take.
went back to take his buddies out of the ship you know open the


hedges and put them in body bags so that I was really interested in
getting into something after that. But the womenweren’t allowed anything but
then later on the War Department. This after the attack.
wanted women to be anything. So the War Department issued where the
women. Would be enough voluntary service to America with
officers that was on the secrets or a war to the present rows where
air. had hatched up and report and so see the


whites were.
In the Congress had been an actor that day and at nineteen
forty two.
And that women would be in there. But there was already a group there. We were in military
that if you want to see pictures afterwards. I got them. To show the
country. Butthat’s how I got interested in it and getting in there. And I
said that I found some muscles. Ididn’t know I had been at


So women were involved in the service even before the wax which most of us have
heard of. And yes well I I have a
question for male Crippen next. And that is you
talked about coming home from war. And I I imagine all
of us are going to remember your story about limiting all your pockets with bottles of whiskey.
I mean we thought about asking you how many pockets.You’re.


going out all right in here you.
Well I mean I was talking about your return from war. When
you came back and the first time from active duty and
landed in Chicago onV.J. Day. And came to
Danville with your bottles of whiskey in your pockets.
My question is this.
Which is in Europe or in a field today.


I feel Jack. You knowI’m OK good. And.
Bad ifyou’re from. For sure. And I. feel
like a particular part.
But I had.
an ark and.
Then my serious question for you is when you realistic it.
How did you feel about reenlisted after years active duty.


going. When I came back to them when Icouldn’t get a
job when there were riots or I was like local road comedy victory and they
were afraid of me. Ididn’t probably look born or something like
that and think about Conan. You know and so Icouldn’t get a job and I
really I mean and I really wanted to go every year from now until
I retired. And it became his rival.


It was a career and.
Dr Sealy. I I had the opportunity to chat with you Mr McCormick for
just a moment before we began. And I was I was trying to
think of something that I wanted to ask a couple of different people. And so
I’m going to ask you Mr McCormick same question I think.
Al how did how did the.
Word change you. At the end of the war. Are


we the same person that you were at the beginning. Howie difference.
In blood. On mymother’s side. In
fact up at camp and felt a little bit
By the military courtesy.
incorporate discipline and. I was
much more than so much.


Pain in my room there doing errands
for the last fall. And.
Many other.
People close to me you know in order to
take. Care.
stream right military discipline.
And you.


And Mr McCormick How about you. How did the world change
you. In what way were you different. When you Richard is.
Oh. Oh we were all
in which group.
And you know.
I agree with what has been said I would summarize


it by saying that I thinkI’ve matured.
Not completely. Of course because it takes years and years. But when
I was older I had seen a lot of things that had gone on
and I met some fine men. There were a few who could
stand improvement that we all need.
And.It’s a very happy and
I’m very attracted my feeling toward my


parents that he had gone through a lot of things. And many parents or
parents who had me. And later women
in the church.There’s. No maturity as against what I would
say you know greatly in this neighborhood and thank
the world for them.
Q. Thank you. Mr DIX.
When you escaped from the Russian side. I mean


you said you had a friend. Still pair of wire cutters and fight your way through and
went across the minefields. Did you ever see your friends again after
so you.
know when we got lost in the woods and he was a Texan
and. I were. And him and I really kind of I got a little stupid.
When I went into a barn and then filled my pockets full of grain out
of story. And I stumbled across a child. And as you know


that out of Big Blue. Farmer heard that because of the bones right next to houses
over there in those farms. So I go barreling out the door across the field. And and I
and neither of us Russians are. So Ididn’t expect it but they.
were ousted me out. But they have a truck and I went back to camp again by Navarro Army
and I stayed there. The next day and at night. I get out more
or less. And then that night. I found the same place on the wire and
the Russians and he said that war was like not provide better than the Taliban


camps that everything was shut down. So I went to the same hall the next night and.
at malls found the path thatI’d gone through all my belly pins here
believe the mines because of the mines for about two hundred years. And I got back to that
same wood and you know my boy scout. While the north
east or north star. And I hated West. And that
the morning of the fourth day I come across the river. And I went down to a place called looking for
it. And I had a big iron bridge there. But it had been


blown. But here are the bay leverage and I was there. I got an early
night and I passed out more or less. And the next morning. A big truck.
Six by. One is the river. But some Russians and a loud out
there were still exchanging one direction for one ally that went on for.
Maybe a month after the war was over. So they let one Russian go. And then
was allowed to go across the bridge. And I had to crawl. On my hands and knees


and my stomach because it was just a daily bridge andthere’s no really anything bizarre
bounced around. Most got seasick but I got across and got on the truck and got on the
highway. Andthat’s all I remember.I’m way way hundred nine
pounds when I passed out and starvation and woke up in hospital
and returned. They took my clothes.
I tell all my uniform. Sot in uniform all in here on my head. Andthat’s


where I had with my shoes in my head and wonder where everything else was gone.
Dr Kenneth Powell and Mrs Kennedy. Thank you very much. I mean.
We had a chance to talk a little bit before the program too. And so
I I posed a question that I hope Dr Kenneth Pell will
answer for us or try to answer for us.It’s a little bit complicated.
And I wanted to know if the doctor looks at war. A little bit
different than other people in the military. Does war seem


different to you as a doctor.
You. But.
You can.
Hear the receivers question and.
The question is as a medical doctor.
How did the war seem to you.
When we were recruiting station


for our United Nations observers were
standing in the center across to.
new balloons and down the road.
And their currency proved.
That they could reach.


Mrs Campbell I thinkyou’re part of that but not in its
entirety. Could you give us a couple of highlights from that as.
Well. He was with a group that
United States announced that it was divided up. So there are two doctors. And I think
seven in the segment. And they followed the
troops in.


As they invaded blowing up New Guinea. And
so the troops would go in and then make the nine men would
go in and bring out the ones that were. All.
injured and there is no one they would take them back to their little
unit which. consisted of this nine group and nine. We
had tents on the shore down further on the island
where I was a little bit safer. And they would then take care of the


ones that were. Could be cared for or they are and others are
sent back to Australia. I thinkthat’s what you like. All right. I
appreciate that. And.
I think at the beginning we were hearing about the arms that the
daughters were in. She also said the sentence.
Yes Idon’t think thatyou’ve got to keep arms and they were there
they had to originate some things on


their show and on their uniforms that indicated that they were
medical and but. Then
they found out later that there was only a chart. So there was they were required to
take those off.
All right. And he was over there or.
He went into service. And it was over there about three years
in in the service.


Thank you. Now I think I think John Sampson is here is that.
Correct. No. Oh well
I am.
John Stanton. I think was the first interviewee. And he
was the one who kept a journal. I was going to ask how his father managed to get the
journal out. But one more question. I think Sparky song. Yes.
Oh yes. Could you make me so.


Where are you right now.
Do you know how your father managed to keep his journal
because we we saw a picture of it photographed and we could see his
what he had for lunch and dinner and the slices of bread and so on.
How do you manage to keep that journal with him.
I’m not a senior.
It came in the Red Cross package. The blanket was like we all move books we did in college


and he just kept the German prison camp.I’ve seen our credit is poetry. And there
they were written by guys in his barracks he has a list of absolutely everybody
that was in his barracks. What they ate what they read they had a whole
list. They were able to get books to the Red Cross that sent them so they were nothing else to read
and they read. So all this is just catalogued in his journal of his. And I think when.
The war was over and they were releasing the appeal. It appears from the prison camp there which is part of his
personal offense to be brought home with them. OK.


Butit’s such a wonderful piece of history such a wonderful
artifact you get all the artwork.
He ended up being becoming an engineer so he certainly had a knack for that kind of drawing.
The wonderful architect leads me to our other panelist and that is Mr
Saunders. Sparky someone or.
I think.


You’ve devoted your life to a certain extent to veterans
affairs.That’s whatyou’ve always been involved with this is right or in my life.
Well that red line. Is the moment that you decided that was what you were going
to do. What made you decide that social I.
was this juror number four fired from Europe.
And I my brother just got out of the survey shows and really opened up to me.
Crushed Velvet Revolver crushed up in the years. Burdened by any or no. We were viewers


were. Give me a point on my own and.
It was a busy highway all forty one was a busy highway.
And we had a chance to open up the truck stop and or buy a.
Couple and that you guys were just getting out of service and they were buying
the oldG.I. truck she was sure. Push up and they would buy a
trailer from somebody. That was about half broke down on me
that we you know entire regime. They got through military vehicle


working. They would go to the floor to pick up pointers.
Then they take them down to St Louis and drop them off when they come up hauling
something was going to Michigan or Chicago misrule a
mostly or track line started.
broken-down equipment new.
Tires of new ball tonight using the urban around an old
car shop and I bought the managing inner tubes andthere’s a great smile. Idon’t want. It was a


barren patch and put it on and you can get a high showing this.
Is a new landscape. Anyway and
then I walked into town and opened up.
A kid hanging out at will. I kid. Hang out
literally in. Our cold. Cardinal character in was a blue
moon are all Asian. And Ihaven’t yet had the bloody


There were boys who were added there because we thought they had the prettiest girl.
Outfit guys come of the year. Burton they thought we had British girls in Williamsport. We
divided them up. Oh man.
Anyway kid hang out.It’s going great guns.
And then. A friend came in from Brooklyn.There’s his
And he fell in love of these birds. He had never driven a car


broke. Youdon’t drive a car if you get your kind of transportation that are novel
by you and you start going and bar were. Frank
Cain who owned a bar I had to get there. You know two doors up
and he came in one day of his party he would go with me by Frank King bar.
He wants to show.
How I Spent a lot of time thinking why not.
Kill two birds one stone. So we bought the land butthey’d never.


been back there. Notably And so everybody came to the war
was over. There was.
No fighting. No.
screaming or fistfights or anything anytime in the tavern. And to have a
good time. I did. Things are going
great guns.
But I found out he was cheating on me and I confront him about it.


And he took off and I never seem to this day. So
I. bought him a note about a mile. The first time first
Airborne. He jumpedD.-Day at the Silver Star you
decorated hecouldn’t play mostly as a civilian.
And Ididn’t like it either. And he. joined the Air
Force which I thought was impossible. No oysters. I joined.
Air Force andI’m a recruiter. But at the end of their car. They gave me a


new staff.
Car I live in a proper Israel in hotel rooms. At red stop a month
there were never there is a boy there for a great outfit you better join it.
And I should tell them I believe that my brother but they were working that. Should Idon’t
go to do anI.P.O. and we signed up to get a long way from here in
Berkeley a year in the year of bird Chihuahua rumors or.
Prior. So what happened.


We went down. That was joint signer name. That same evening
we came back on this samefour- hour coach bus at the map was
stopped in my hometown. We got off with lunch and then you knowwe’re just thirty
five miles inland. And.
Spent thirty two years there. Beyond that more and more.
I want them rail of taxes. AndI’ve had two more years there andI’d already. Get out.
Andthere’s a spark in you first on the list due to your plans to be one


huge fan. Bonkers. As Idon’t know the next month or
soyou’re going to get out or reenlist. Idon’t want to go butI’ve been dating a
young lady a beautiful young lady back here in Bangor Maine was whatwe’ve heard
so much. We might have known.Nobody’s issued ID forty seven graduate.
And I was in Amarillo. And I said sorry guysI’m
a cult leader. I mean Bambi. I want to question a young lady. I know back
there. OKI’ll let you know so I called her


on a date on whichyou’re working to solve a huge. Now
this is a Halloween party that will only
date casually. We were madly in love with it for a ring. And
I thought wellhere’s one and worked out so she can.
They lose your job you want on your own for an hour.
And I was twenty which point should


Practice twenty nine when I got married.I’ve heard of. It
so I.
Guess I know it is you want to get married go to Pamela three years
old. She said what I said you want to get married and go to plan for
three years of your drinking. And I said noI’m not going to sayit’s the middle of the day. And.
I know youdidn’t make it in there.
So I said wellI’ll call you back tonight and give you knowwe’re three or four hours to make up your mind.


So I did. And she said yes. And so I went down and read a list of the other
big bones about three hundred dollars that I.
went downtown bought me a suit.
Which I never bought or saved my life was always for children. And little boys so
minutes with a jacket.That’s fine.That’s a big but they care that would be ready for Friday. I
said OK have them pay for what they rejected they were blurred on my
car go straight back. And I will. Tell her that. Now your life and


let this go. And I told her I said nowwe’re going to Kokomo Indiana tell your sister and
brother will get us a minister. After services. He could marry us. No time.
But we wanted to do thisyou’re growing up today and it would be fine.
OK. So we got ready for the wedding put the pants on. Icouldn’t find a
pocket. Neither pocket right pocket. He had taken a sort of together.
While I was terribly embarrassed that I never took my jacket. All can be available from
Dr Laura. Anyway with the manager who married


just after the search.
Wedon’t compare notes about the Battle of Bulge. He was captured exactly the same time
I was.
He was a chaplain at the time. And we had a long conversation
and a great conversation by court officers were treated for it. And
they have seasoned Corporal Charlie can vouch for that. But
the same token we have a lot in common. The new.


Thing about him. When I arrived there he knew about my hip pockets because I was
rather mad at the proper use of language. I could never afford.
And so anyway Matt had dinner.
And so ever. But we came home and were married
Myfather-in law will never have to pay for her wedding. We have four daughters.
Two on one hedidn’t have to pay. So him and I go and get


With your pants. Three years came back and went to North Carolina. And there are those that
place you.
know the fine place but so we had a good twenty
years in the Air Force.
She learned that her kids were using Air Force. We travel
our life. Silence Thailand. If you ever been to Bangkok. You can see


all those beautiful buildings look likethey’re gold and all that good. Up
close are not beautiful at all. Just. cups and plates with a rope
broken over the years and I glue them on the outside and make them from a
distance and just step through just like. This Sodon’t go there expecting to
climb up to one of those or no. I am a real home.
I got about twenty steps up and down stairs all get up and sit down and come back
back then. The monks can do it again when they are young andthey’ve


been saying in a way that was twenty years ago. Great.
At the moment military. Total twenty three. And
I was with a group in Thailand. Air Force. We had
an plane shot down. In my squadron.There’s three squadron
who would you know wing a large quantity
of shoot him. Pilot like an order of which.
That was the hardest part in my life to see those you know


highly educated men take an F one o five.
Up over North Korea. Nam and never come back.It’s
just a shutdown wound up and I am only away for five years.
I was forty one at the time I was old enough to be seventy two of their
solar power. If I look at some of them. But I knew all
of them who I worked directly with. There was a better life. supported by the Air
Force knows what it is you work with there. She says serving almost. Her


parachute and all this kind of suit you get well acquainted with the back to. Well
when. I cried in tears.
I hated every damn somebody would lose two or three
airplanes.You’d have to go through the personal
belongings and check to make sure when you sent
this back to their family. There was something there should not be there any.
So you would have to package and I did. And we had an officer in charge


took out responsibility. I just purchased. It was a very
warm one and was a metal wire. A ship you knowhe’s been on
television. And he also has worked with the History
Channel. Putting Barrett back to his documentary about
the call suicide missions
over North Vietnam. From Thailand. Part of the time.
And then.


He spent five minutes here is you know a large and I know a lot
of talk to him about on. The pitch and the quiet work world. Sure.
Captain Johnson. He stayed on radar to brigadier general in the Air
Force. I never told anyone. Rashid. But joy to know these
people like you.
And I apologize family wrote to Mr Sanger that I think you got any idea
why Mr Summers become so involved in this business is a life that sounds as if.


You were one of the people who from the very start realize the importance of sharing
stories with joy to serve your.
country now or so ago people were already very good at to try
harder to go through so much and.
Now this. I think is probably a good time high time to get questions
from the audience. So please you can address specific questions to members of the
panel. Yeswe’ve got one right there.


This is for the candles. I remember you telling me about
Tokyo Rose. When I was interviewing you and I thought these guys might
want to know about it too. Oh well all.
Right. You wrote this.
Book Tokyo Rose. was I was there. And I
just there is this bill.I’m sixty one years ago after he got back from


I’ll tell that because I thinkit’s easier for me than it is for him.
To talk heroes was a person who talked.
To her dad talked over a radio and the veterans like to hear the
music that was played with her program.
But so one night she said.
They had told him that their their camp and


Air Force and another camp sayingit’s right here.
And they said.
They were new but your airport an airport that right.
Now is going to be bombed out. The next day and
so are.


I guess that theydon’t go trenches or something and then the next day.
The Air Force area nearby
and it was also going to be bummed out. They got up and were ready
for the winds coming the Jets coming down. And down or were there
are men in their camps and everything got down in their
trenches but they could. Just start
watching sticking their heads up above. And finally they get set up and watch it


because every one of them. Our planes took
off over.
finished off the jet plane and out. And in the
sea before I got down there. So then there is nothing that happened
back at that time and all or all of the men could sit up on their own they enter their
trenches and watch this to take place. I would also say that


they’ll start taking care of veterans after he got back from the service.
Or he. was
with me. With theV.A. taking care of it and said
after that for forty years. So when
I I.
Have Another question from the audience. Yes. Beck there and.
This is for Charlie. Charlie at one point before you get captured you and another buddy. I think you


got some loot from someplace a bank or something and you buried it and you
could pull it back to try to find a job or go back again and try to find you
know the.
Funny thing about this is that you.
And now the Netherlands. And they wrote up an article about
me. And a picture of my book. And a map of the area
that my combat division fourA.M. And instead of


bragging about how much September will do to help the people in the Netherlands.
He welled on a story about me. And two of
my buddies or rob and bank it. And it
was one of those days.We’ve been in combat. Night and day and really messed up a
good cook. And we landed this town and mills and
around the state. Are they in that town with are they
saying that well anyway.That’s all is well. WellI’ve been a banker.


My father was a banker and I worked in a bank for one when I was in high school. So I said this is a
bank vault. So we worked around it broke into the three of us with this
black family found a box full of Dutch
builders. So there were three of us so we went out at night
and I found a little monument. I met I was six. That North Park
north of the monument and we took aheart-wrenching two or three full combat
gear dug a hole and buried in. The loot. And I made a


map and I tore into three pieces. And the idea was when the war is
over. Come back and they pull that steel is up and. Well
unfortunately I had two of my buddies were both killed in combat. But I want to George Will
died in my arms and back. So that everything Ididn’t know or they never
came back. So when I was in London. And I had aSeven-Day delay on route
to get home. And Idon’t know. And I thought it was another story. So
one night. I got talking and some of my Canadian buddies and I was telling the


story knows once you go back and try to find money. So I
borrow his civilian clothes off of a girl that I was.
More or less to be dancing with at night and she held me. Herbrother’s
civilian clothes. I changed clothes and went across the channel that
night and got into Holland. And found the village
and I worked all day long trying to find out I had no I thinkthat’s the wrong place probably had no
idea where it was. And the math course was gone. And


I worked all day. Not a lot. Sat down on the ground that night. And then
I tried a little bit. The next morning and I figured it would have wasted my time. So I went back down
to London. But you know of all the stories he had to tell that.
I see that.
OK. And it was all a judge. So I. decided when I got a
couple of friends that Paul and I met.
Her And they met me through the Internet and their two sons over at the


museum. And I have my own private views in our home so we can trade back and forth.
So she sent me this article on that front page of the newspaper
or the article and she and Target for me in English.
So I guessI’ve been forced to stir over the.
Like I said
I did go out.


And bought it and.
Really. We were somewhere in the West right now
there are.
There were spots where our eyes. The problem was I was on the other side of the Elbe River
near Czechoslovakia.That’s forced labor camp. And when we heard
the Russians come on. We made an agreement with one
hundred thirty six Guard platters thirty six of us in a camp thirty two were left


over. Three got second and disappeared. One of them made an
escape. So we made a deal with the
commander of the clan or here. We call him. And five of the guards with the agreement that.
They would take us to American lines. If we we gave them our word that we
would not have them you know be treated by the Americans
mistreated the Americans. So we had no choice. So we agreed and we took
off. The next morning and at this time. Two of the guys who are unable to walk for


malnutrition. So we read up a two wheel cart with rope. And we had to go
across country. We could go down the road because they were filled with civilians. I mean it is. Coming
out of Russia and Poland. So we had to go cross country
and cross roads in ditches. One of the houseboat. We got very few miles. The first
day I sat down in a bar. Next day at noon we were done.
He woke up the next morning and Russians had command call sex. And


I’m sure no one could understand a word he said at one point they came in and
took over the town found our guards gave us. Rival said you know you
guys shoot them. Well you know it could be thatthey’re both over guys. So they shot.
Well or we were well then that the Germans made a kind of a counterattack in the Russian gun on
the ponies and took off and we were. Surrounded by Germans more or less.
So I had met town called Rosenthal I hit that town for six days. And we hiked during
the day and come up at night looking for approval of those that theydidn’t like us either. So we had our problems.


And I decided that we had to get out of here. So we headed back. For his
first trip of two days. And I took off on my own and
I ended up in Poland and the Air Force camp hoping the flight
out of the center line amount. And I found outit’s wrong. So I know
the key. And I took off we headed west.
I got.
picked up off of a Polish tank. And thank God it


had split open and unconscious and rescued by two British boys.
So we wanted to ask you as we headed east to get on
the end come out Tuesday guardrails.
Found out the war was over turned around and came back. fired up in Berlin
and then I woke up with the end of my
godson. And.
They said wellwe’ll take you to the American lines. Will they took me to Berlin


down to Luke involved which was a Russian. I was followed three a bit with a Russian
control tower behind barbed wire or.
Well the Russians have come over to the Elbe River. And you know the Americans or have
we made so many stupid mistakes. Andthat’s when we gave the Russians control of
everything east of the Elbe River. Andthat’s why Berlin was
where it was under Russian control butit’s on the other side of the old river and
I was in a camp for seven days. And every night again and I was with cake


or walking towards the American alliance at all. They knew the next morning.
Trucks will come back or what the Russians are bringing back full of expat prisoners and throw him back
in camp again. That went on for six or seven days. Sothat’s when we
decided that they were getting well either so. I thought the choice I
had and they took about twenty two thousand of our boys.
in to Siberia and some of them were my buddies
that I was in a prison camp with the thirty six men that I was with it.


And of course the government. And finally a few years ago when ten or fifteen admitted.
The fact that they were there in Russia. And I have an endorsement on the back of my book
of a woman from Texas. It has been
the Russian. has got photographs of American grave
sites in Russia.
For a friend of mine. So I know that happened but.
They kept my room behind the lines for a month and I


saw more devastation there than I saw the comments. When describing
but they had control over our city and then Americans live in.
the building.
And sure we do have Mr Dukes look at the library and yes
I think. Is there a question in right in there and then we have someone here in front here.
I guess before I ask my question. There are lots of other veterans in the audience too. Along
with the panelists. AndI’d just like to say thank you and thank you to you for the


sacrifices that all of you have made for people like me.
And we thank you.
Thank you. Raise your hand ifyou’re a veteran of World War twoLet’s see who else we have. Yes.
Thank you.
Thank you. And then my question I guess is for for anybody to answer becauseI’ve
heard you know the stories of coming home and how difficult it was to
to readjust. Andthat’s my question. What made it so difficult to to


readjust to home life.
And. I do. Yes I can answer in
my part of that era. Where it.
was said was that Mr Wong. Yesthat’s one
of the here and.
We’ll try again this is one of the things that was difficult.
was that gave things had changed in the space obviously


and many people were living under different economic
situations and we were naive.
We were very thankful we were home we were thankful that
their parents were still there or I was hersister’s.
Many things were different. And that was part of the adjustment
coming back. And I think that we should be very
appreciative frankly of you people being here tonight.


And I. feel that your presence in the very words were.
AlsoI’d like to add one thing that it did say well you
know in general in general will end up you
know I you know and many other people who
participated in this. Give us a chance to talk. And we
have. And thank you again. Thank you.


I thinkthere’s a question. I hear a lot. Well are we going to lose more and Idon’t
Or mostly to suicide. Andwe’re going through the normal people.
That goes for Russians change sides. The original road
axis. switched
over and help our allies and said
you know. One and certainly.


For those.
Who may.
Say maybe they made an agreement. I guess and Americans and the Russians and.
The problem was an exchange of prisoners. There was a lot of us on the other side of the river.
Theydidn’t go against these men.
When they our government found out that the Russians that we were
change and for our lives were taken on a couple a mile behind the lines and being


shot. So they are poorly equipped exchanging man for man.
They are there. The Russians are killing our own soldiers. They bail out themselves as they said to be captured.
So that shut us down.That’s whyI’ve asked them more time behind the lines overnight.
So other people here because they run out of a righteous exchange and that
I. Had I was lucky I got cross some line twenty days after the war was
over. And that for the final on the last document a deal that used to come
out of Russian control.


Do we have another question. Yes sir.
I served in the Navy and I was aboard theU.S.S.
Denver and the Pacific. And after
watching Ken Burns found became aware of the fact that how
good the Navy had it and.
As far as the foot soldiers that served not only in Europe.
And although. All the invasions took place out in the Pacific.


I just wonder ifthere’s anybody that could give me an
idea of.
What the ratio of foot soldiers to those like
us in the Navy and Air Force.
It might be and how how good we had it except maybe when our ship
got torpedoed or when there was a kamikaze were coming


with them. If you treat your plane and. Hopefully getting us to the

Seventy-five people attended a community conversation October 16, 2007 at the Danville Public Library in Danville, IL featuring stories from eight Danville-area residents. Speaking were John Saint who enlisted in the Air Force in 1942 and was a POW in Germany; Bill Kannapel, who cared for wounded soldiers as a doctor; Helen Montgomery, who served in the Medical and Identification division of the American Women’s Voluntary Service; Charlie Dukes, who was a POW in Germany and Russia; Joe McCormick, who was a translator who worked with the French Underground; Milt Crippin, who landed on Utah Beach on D-Day and “Sparky” Songer who was a POW in Germany during the Battle of the Bulge. The event was co-sponsored by WILL AM-FM-TV and the Danville Public Library. The panel and audience discussion were moderated by Mary Coffman of the Danville Area Community College. The Danville Public Library has been videotaping oral histories of local residents. Some of those residents, John Sant, Bill Kannapel, Helen Montgomery, Gerald Sooley and Charlie Dukes, share their stories with Mary Coffman, retired humanities professor from Danville Area Community College.