Ut Ha
Tim Meyers/Illinois Public Media
December 21, 2015

[Vietnam] Oral History Interview: Ut Ha

Ut Ha grew up in Da Lat Vietnam, one of eight children, in the 1960s and 1970s.  She survived multiple acts of war, invasion and displacement.  In 1990, she moved to the United States with her husband, Bon Bui, a former prisoner of war.  

Central Illinois Vietnam Stories - Ut Ha

Bon Bui
Tim Meyers/Illinois Public Media
December 21, 2015

[Vietnam] Oral History Interview: Bon Bui

Bon Bui was born in Quảng Bình, Vietnam in 1946 and fled to the South during the war.  He became a South Vietnamese Marine during the war and was trained by US forces in the United States. After Saigon fell in 1975, he become a prisoner of war for 10 years before finally relocating to America under an asylum program. Bui recounts the atrocities of war first hand.  

Central Illinois Vietnam Stories - Bon Bui

Thomas Boaz
Tim Meyers/Illinois Public Media
December 21, 2015

[Vietnam] Oral History Interview: Thomas Boaz

While the Vietnam War raged on, 18-year-old Thomas Boaz from Decatur, Illinois was living as an exchange student in post-WWII Germany.  Required by law to register for the draft, he did so as a non-combative conscientious objector and later became a nonpolitical pacifist.

Central Illinois Vietnam Stories - Thomas Boaz

Pham Thien Khoc
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
February 23, 2015

[Vietnam] Oral History Interview: Pham Thein Khoc

In 1967, Pham Thein Khoc’s college education came to a halt when he joined the South Vietnam Army as a combat engineer. Shortly after the Vietnam War, Pham was arrested and taken to a prison camp in Bình Thuận, where his physical and emotional health deteriorated. After enduring years of post-war anxiety in Vietnam, Pham and his family were finally able to immigrate to the United States, although Pham had to leave his oldest son behind in Vietnam.

Central Illinois Vietnam Stories - Pham Thein Khoc

October 10, 2008

Oral History Interview: Sam Weldon of Urbana

Sam Weldon grew up in Champaign, Ill., a Midwestern college town. He was drafted and became a member of the 4th Marines Division at 18. Following a shortened training session, he and his fellow Marines were put on ships and sent to the Pacific. He was part of the second wave to land on Iwo Jima. His stories of the days and nights of battles there are amazing and touching and very human. He became a Corporal when the officers ranked above him were killed. Weldon talks about friendships made and friends lost and those who survived during the fights on Iwo Jima and afterward. His stories of being discharged and celebrating in Chicago add another picture. Looking back over it all, he can still say he would do it all again.

August 28, 2008

University of Illinois WWII Veterans Presentation

Three hundred people attended a community conversation August 28, 2008 at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center at the University of Illinois IL featuring musical storytelling emphasizing the events of WWII and prominent songs of the period with vocalist and narrator Dena Vermette , Don Heitler and his jazz trio with Ben Taylor on bass and Jeff Magby on drums. The musical performance will be narrated by veteran John Weaver.  The musical performance was followed by a video screening of people who lived and trained at the U of I during WWII and discussion with panelists plus an archival display.

Speaking were Katie Harper Wright, who attended the U of I from 1940 to 1944 and was one of a small number of black students on campus; Jim Stallmeyer, who was drafted into the Navy and trained at the U of I from 1944-1946; Earl Swanson, who attended the U of I before joining the Army in 1943; William Prather, a soldier in the Army who trained on campus, and Kathryn Luther Henderson, a student from Champaign.

The event was co-sponsored by co-sponsored by WILL, the U of I Alumni Association, and the U of I Archives' Student Life and Culture Archival Program, funded by the Stewart S. Howe Endowment. The panel and audience discussion were moderated by Tom Rogers of WILL AM-FM-TV.

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