War Era Story Project
From June through August, 2012, the Ohio Department of Aging teamed with the Ohio Department of Veterans Services to collect stories from current and former Ohioans about their experiences during the World War II era. Nearly 300 people sent in stories, books, articles and videos. We will share them with you in monthly installments.
Please note: These stories are for personal entertainment purposes only. Except for minor edits for readability, the stories are presented in the authors' own words. The Departments of Aging and Veterans Services have not independently validated any of the claims made therein. If you wish to reproduce any of these stories, please contact us and we will help you obtain permission from the authors.
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Nov. 6, 2013 - Truly a "World" War
A busy street in Cologne, Germany. Photo submitted by Ingrid Silvian, who lived there at the end of the war.
Frank D. Bergstein, Cincinnati
In this excerpt from a book published after his death, Mr. Bergstein recounts his experience landing on Omaha Beach on D-Day.
Carl Creamer, Xenia
Mr. Creamer and his company of engineers had to seek refuge with families in Bassenge, Belgium. He befriended the Delvaux family, who took care of him. Later, he would return to Belgium and visit them.
Emmett Davis, Nelsonville
Mr. Davis was a crash team fire fighter for the Army on an airfield in southern England. He recalls meeting other Ohioans in his travels. He also witnessed pilot heroics and met his wife-to-be in the nearby town.
William Diggs, age 89, Canal Winchester
Mr. Diggs was drafted into the Navy as a mess attendant, a post he says was typical for black men at the time.
Robert H. Doolan, Cincinnati
On Aug. 12, 1943, Mr. Doolan's bomber crew was shot down inside Holland. He eluded capture for 21 days before being arrested by German Gestapo.
Maury Feren, Cleveland Heights
Mr. Feren had rotten luck during the war. First, a change of residences got him drafted. Then, he was assigned to an anti-tank team, a machine gun crew, and then to medic, all in a short time and without training.
Barry Friedman, San Diego, CA
Mr. Friedman was a medical officer on board the U.S.S. Russell. He recalls hearing about the German surrender on the plane ride back to the states, where he and his fellow soldiers were treated to a birds-eye view of the re-lighting of the Statue of Liberty's torch.
Paul Fuchsman, age 93, Chillicothe
Mr. Fuchsman tells the story of the sinking of the U.S.S. President Coolidge, which struck mines in the harbor of Espirito Santo, New Hebrides, in October, 1942. The ship took 55 minutes to sink.
Howard Gorrell, age 68, Yakima, WA
Mr. Gorrell shares a passage written by his late father, Paul, in 2003. The elder Mr. Gorrell was quickly promoted from reserve officer to acting company commander near Naples.
Robert Hermann, age 56, Chula Vista, CA
Mr. Herman shares the story of his father, Robert, originally of Chillicothe and now deceased. The elder Mr. Hermann was shot down over Germany, taken prisoner and interrogated. He recalls with humor how the interrogator realized he was "just a dumb 1st Lt."
Harry J. Hinkle, age 87, Barnesville
Mr. Hinkle was captured in Holland and sent to a prison camp on the Polish border. He was later liberated by Russians. He recalls meeting Max Schmelling, a German boxer.
Arthur Hunsicker, Cincinnati
Mr. Hunsicker was inducted into the army in 1943 and assigned to the Golden Acorn Division. He served in the 3rd Army under Patton and was preparing for the invasion of Japan when the atomic bomb ended the war.
William R. Kimmel, LaFayette
At age 21, Mr. Kimmel was considered by many of his comrades on the U.S.S. Starlight in the South Pacific as the "old man."
Robert E. Kinney, age 89, Ashland
Mr. Kinney was a member of the 736th Tank Battalion and trained for special missions on an experimental tank dubbed "Jumpin' Jive." He was reassigned, but later saw the "Jumpin' Jive" in battle.
Donna Kitta, Vandalia
Mrs. Kitta's father, Francis U. Puthoff, was visited on a moonlit night in August, 1944, by a fellow soldier who had had a premonition of his own death that would prove accurate.
Tim Lyons, Columbus
Mr. Lyons shares a story written his wife's uncle, Tony Nicolosi. Mr. Nicolosi served on the LST 43 when the cargo it carried exploded. Much of the crew was killed, but he was saved by a Marine whom he never met before or again.
John E. McIntire, age 93, Poland
Mr. McIntire shares the history of his long military career that began when he enlisted in the Army in February 1940. In the signal corps, he served on the U.S.S. James Lykes.
Earl Miller, age 93, Cedarville
Mr. Miller piloted a B-17 Flying Fortress on 25 missions in Europe. His crew was one of only three (out of 46) who made it through that many missions, and he was one of only two members of his original crew to survive.
Dan D. Milosevich, Columbus
Mr. Milosevich got a first-hand view of racial segregation in 1943 in Augusta, GA. He was part of the 15th Replacement Control Depot and was put in charge of Squadron E, a group of black soldiers. He recounts how these troops were treated differently by the Army and the city of Augusta.
Eileen Muccino, Mason
Mrs. Muccino shares excerpts from letters her father, Robert Murphy, wrote to his new wife back home in Cincinnati. He details the work he did to capture and try Nazi officers and accomplices.
Jennifer Kimmel Palmer, LaFayette
Mrs. Palmer shares journal entries written by her uncle, John Kimmel, while he served in the Navy in 1945-46. His ship transported troops, personnel and supplies in the South Pacific.
Norma Haignere Prehm, Hilliard
Mrs. Prehm shares the story of her uncle, John Haignere, who was a communications operator at the top of the Eiffel Tower. He recounts what life was like for an American soldier in Paris during the war.
Ted Ringwald, age 88, Milford
Mr. Ringwald piloted a B-24 and describes one mission where enemy fire took out the plane's hydraulics and they had to use creative solutions to land safely.
Lawrence H. Rogers, age 91, Cincinnati
Mr. Rogers was the commander of an efficient field artillery battery that was chosen by General Patton to be part of the Advance Guard of the 3rd Army. He devised a strategy for avoiding German fire and his unit went six months with no casualties.
Edward Roth, age 91, Cincinnati
Mr. Roth's ship, the U.S.A.T. Uruguay, collided with another ship en route to North Africa. As a result, the 4,500-plus troops aboard set a record for the length of time required to reach their destination.
Dave Rothenberg, age 91, Beachwood
Depressed and lonely at Passover, Mr. Rothenberg, the only Jew in his training group traveled across New York City to attend a Passover Seder at the U.S.O. club sponsored by the Maneschewitz family.
Shirley Rough, age 59, Beavercreek
Ms. Rough shares a 1945 newspaper article about the mission of the Band Wagon II, a B-17 Flying Fortress that was shot down, and how the courageous crew (minus one) survived.
Jack Schultz, age 87, Cincinnati
Because he raised homing pigeons as a hobby, Mr. Schultz was assigned to the 9th Army Signal Corps in 1943. He describes the many important advantages the birds gave the U.S. and our allies during the war.
William L. Sherry, Columbus
Mr. Sherry's father, Lester, served with the 148th Infantry of the 37th Division in Fiji and New Georgia. He later volunteered in a composite unit known as Merrill's Marauders.
Sanford Silverman, age 95, Beachwood
Mr. Silverman relates his adventures on Guadalcanal, hiking through swamp-like beaches, digging fox holes and tolerating itchy Army hammocks. He also includes two letters written by his brother, Maurice, who served in Holland.
Ingrid Silvian, age 82, Groveport
Mrs. Silvian shares an interesting photo of her late husband and relates how this quick-thinking young man used the "wolf in sheep's clothing" parable to evade capture by German troops in 1945.
Lony Smith, age 80, Dayton
Mrs. Smith was a German teenager and refugee from Berlin. She recalls how German propaganda painted Americans as monsters, and all the children feared them. But she found out how untrue that was one day in May, 1945.
Richard Thome, Columbus
Mr. Thome relates his nearly three years of service overseas. He served in Asia as a radio engineer, and learned to drive a truck in a convoy. He tells how he stayed busy when the war was over, before coming home.
Bernard Utz, Waterville
Mr. Utz describes his basic training then his services as infantry on Leyte and Okinawa. While on training in Honolulu, his unit was visited by President Roosevelt.
R. William Vogel, age 95, Milford
After Pearl Harbor, as other men his age were lining up for the war effort, Mr. Vogel was told that his work as a machinist at home was too important. So, he quit and joined the Navy, serving in a unit that would be the precursor to modern-day Navy SEALS.
Ed Volkerding, age 89, Cincinnati
While serving as an instrument tech in China, Mr. Volkerding worked on P-61 aircraft that routinely flew over the Himalaya Mountains, also known as "The Hump."
Marilyn Walton, New Albany
Mrs. Walton shares the story of her father, Thomas Jeffers, who was a bombadier on a plane called "Rhapsody in Junk." He was shot down on his third mission over Germany and held in the legendary Stalag Luft III.
Clifford Wise, Sr., age 86, Minster
Mr. Wise says he was small in stature, but grew during his service for his country. He describes the effort it took the Americans to cross the Siegried Line, which had been a German asset for years.
June 18, 2013 - Steady on the Home Front, Part II
Sixth grade students of Fayetteville Elementary School in St. Martin, Ohio in 1942-43, submitted by Loretta Carlier Dean (fifth from right).
Vivienne Bickley, age 86, Amherst
Ms. Bickley recalls life as a young woman during the war and shares an interaction she had with a neighborhood woman who was speaking out about the war and anyone who supported it.
Marie Ciano, age 89, Fairborn
Mrs. Ciano was attending a friend's wedding reception with her future husband when they heard about Pearl Harbor. War turned life on end for this young couple, who would spend 67 years together.
Ohmer Crowe, age 81, Camden
Mr. Crowe was 11 years old when a plane crashed on a farm in Preble County. He helped the pilot, who asked the family to guard the plane because it featured new technology.
Loretta Carlier Dean, age 81, Hillsboro
Mrs. Dean gives a child's-eye view of how life in the tiny village of Fayetteville, Ohio changed following the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Ida Fackler, age 95, Dayton
Ms. Fackler was a young woman during World War II and recalls how she and her neighbors coped with rationing and how she and her friends passed time with few men their age around.
Eileen Schuckman Funk, Westerville
Mrs. Funk recounts a hot summer evening as a girl of five in Cincinnati during the war and how an unexpected early-morning visitor gave her a memory she's carried her entire life.
Clara Sesler Genther, age 95, Cincinnati
Mrs. Genther was a microbiologist working on a contract to conduct tests for the Army and recalls how rationing affected city life before and after the war ended.
Jack Gibson, age 83, Dayton
Mr. Gibson was a boy of 16 in the summer of 1945. He got a job driving a truck cross-country for the government and recalls several memorable stops.
Jacqueline Helmers, Cincinnati
Ms. Helmers supported her family in their local civilian defense unit. Her father was the commander of the volunteer group and her mother was trained in first aid. She tells of a memorable practice drill.
Nancy Kerr, West Chester
Ms, Kerr shares excerpts of letters that her father sent to a friend back home. The tone of his letters became darker and more serious as the fighting continued.
Abe Lincoln, age 78, Brookville
Mr. Lincoln describes how talking to the older boys as they returned from war inspired his own service during the Korean War.
James L. Matson, Sr., age 71, Wapakoneta
Mr. Matson grew up near the railroads in Lima, Ohio and recalls that there were three things you didn't waste during those years: time, energy and food.
William Moore, age 79, Lima
Mr. Moore was eight years old when the war began and fondly remembers how living near the B&O railroad shaped his attitudes and inspired his lifelong military service.
Marilyn M. Mulligan, age 80, Rocky River
Ms. Mulligan was a fifth-grader during the war. She remembers how children and families expressed their patriotism and did anything they could to support the war effort.
Harry Noble, age 75, Xenia
Mr. Noble recalls how a gift from a stranger staying with his family gave him the first realization that something out of the ordinary was happening in the world. He includes pictures of items from the era.
Colleen Lee Plevelich, age 86, Trotwood
Mrs. Plevelich worked for the War Department as a typist and was in Washington D.C. when President Roosevelt died. She experienced segregation through a friend.
Mary Lou Shepherd, Milford
Ms. Shepherd shares a newspaper article that heralded the safe return of her father, Sgt. Wm. D. Warren, a.k.a., "Baker Bill," from fighting oversees.
Madeleine Kenz Tagg, age 76, Chillicothe
Mrs. Tagg recalls how her father tirelessly supported the war effort at home by working full-time at the library and also volunteering as a neighborhood watchman and fire fighter.
John J. Voisard, age 75, Dayton
Mr. Voisard describes how everyone in his town worked to support the war effort in their own unique ways. His father was an air raid warden.
Ann Evans Wolf, Englewood
Mrs. Wolf's father served as a general's aide overseas. Mail correspondence by her parents about her newborn brother's name led to suspicion of espionage.
May 22, 2013 - D-Day and the Invasion of Normandy
Harry T. Masram's tank crew in Europe, photo submitted by Caroll Roden
Charlotte Blake, Fairfield
Mrs. Blake shares a story written by her husband Jim before he passed away. Mr. Blake details his involvement in the first wave on D-Day and how he was taken prisoner by Germans, but escaped and lived with a Czech family until the fighting ended.
Kent Cahlander, Columbus
Mr. Cahlander shares interviews he conducted nearly 20 years ago for the Worthington Suburbia News. Three of his subjects participated in the invasion of Normandy, and the fourth was among the first women to enter Europe with Allied Forces.
Kay Crockett, age 88, Milford
Mrs. Crockett was a senior in high school when the war started in Europe and remembers her male classmates leaving to fight. Her father was a WWI veteran and wanted to re-enlist, but couldn't. Later, he was contacted by the FBI about security of the defense plant at which he worked.
Robert DeVilbiss, Westerville
Mr. DeVilbiss describes coordinated German air strikes on U.S. and British air fields in Belgium, Holland and France in January 1945. The Germans hoped to subvert the allies' air superiority with simultaneous surprise attacks.
Leo Helentjaris, age 89, Celina
Mr. Helentjaris worked for Huffy before going into the Navy. His ship was sunk off Utah Beach during the D-Day invasion. He returned home and taught himself construction by visiting building sites.
Ruth Hosack, age 74, Carrollton
Ms. Hosack lived on the family farm through the Great Depression and WWII. One of her brothers was in France, and his unit was betrayed by their host family. Her other brother witnessed the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Roger Hubley, Mason
Mr. Hubley shares the story of his father, Rankin Dale Hubley, written in his own words. As a G.I. in France, he got knocked out by an explosion and was separated from his unit. Despite not knowing the password, he was admitted to U.S. territory because of his knowledge of Ohio sports.
Ray Inderhees, age 90, Cincinnati
Mr. Inderhees entered the army in 1942 and traveled by crowded trains to California for training. In 1944, his unit went to France and engaged the German army in several battles. He describes living conditions for the Allied fighters.
Richard C. Johnston, age 90, Grove City
Mr. Johnston served in Italy on a machine gun crew and witnessed many of the atrocities of war. Complications from an earlier surgery sent him home just before D-Day.
Joan Jones, Apple Valley
In 1999, Ms. Jones' father, Harley Sims, recorded the story of his childhood through his tour in Europe as a gunner on a howitzer team. He describes military life, as well as being welcomed by the locals in France.
William E. Kuhrt, Fairfield
Mr. Kuhrt was drafted while he was still in High School in 1943. He arrived in France one month after D-Day as a replacement soldier. He stayed with Patton's 3rd Army through France until he was wounded.
Garl McHenry, age 87, New Carlisle
Mr. McHenry was drafted in 1943 and became a radio man on board a B-24 flying out of Norwich. He flew 31 missions over Germany and France and details two extraordinary missions where his plane was almost shot down.
Donald McKillop, age 91, Oxford
Mr. McKillop had typing training in high school, which landed him a clerk's job in the military. He joined a harbor craft company and arrived in Europe on D-Day. He also served in the Omaha Beach invasion as harbor master.
Victor F. Musial, age 88, Lorain
Mr. Musial shares a copy of the speech he gave at the 5th Armored Division Memorial ceremony in 2012. He outlines the division's combat innovations and integral role in victory in Germany, France and Luxembourg.
Charlie Napier, age 86, Lebanon
Mr. Napier and his four brothers served in WWII. His oldest brother was wounded on D-Day and later killed. Another brother served in the Navy, transporting troops from England to France during the D-Day invasion.
Robert Newell, age 90, Washington Court House
Mr. Newell details his service aboard the U.S.S. Tuscaloosa in Normandy. His ship was visited by General Eisenhower, and was later saved from shelling by an Air Force pilot who died drawing fire away from the ship. Each crewman received a piece of parachute cord to remember the sacrifice.
Richard P. Nicholas, Jr., age 92, Carlisle
Mr. Nicholas recounts his service from 1942 to 1945 in African and European theaters. He earned the Purple Heart when he took a piece of shrapnel in his shoulder. The same piece of shrapnel that wounded him, killed a friend.
Tom Oatney, Dayton
Mr. Oatney shares the story of his father, Neil, which was written by Neil's granddaughter, Gretchen. Neil flew 35 missions in Europe and relates his adventure of bailing out and finding his way back to base with help of the French Resistance.
Geraldine Powers, age 89, Beachwood
Mrs. Powers was a newlywed in 1943 who left her life and job to follow her new husband through training and early assignments. He was to ship out right before D-Day, but her boss, sensing her grief, got him reassigned for a later deployment.
Robert Wendell Richey, age 92, Georgetown
Mr. Richey enlisted in 1942 and was assigned to the 1st Transport Group, Army Air Corps. He was a crew chief in the middle east and European theaters and flew many missions on different planes, including the "Boomerang."
Donald James Robinson, age 89, Cincinnati
Mr. Robinson was in ROTC at OSU when Pearl Harbor was attacked. He joined the reserves in 1942 and was activated in 1943 and trained for artillery. A fortunate case of the mumps kept him from being in first wave at D-Day. He fought at the Bulge, where his tank crew was taken prisoner.
Caroll Roden, Cincinnati
Mrs. Roden shares the WWII memories of her father, Harry T. Masram, which she recorded in the last summer of his life. His regiment was called "Spearhead" because they led many drives in France, Belgium and Germany. He describes his experiences on a tank crew at Omaha Beach.
Gary Sperling, age 62, Cleveland
Mr. Sperling shares stories about his father Norman, who was in a reserve battallion in France in 1944. He tells of an attack on his father's convoy by a German pilot in an old American plane, as well as the time they barely missed a Thanksgiving ambush.
Cynthia Stephenson, age 63, Vandalia
Mrs. Stephenson shares an article about her father, Harry L. Roberts, that the family believes appeared in the French edition of Stars & Stripes. His brothers were both in the army and serving in separate companies and did not know each others' whereabouts. They finally met up after D-day near Frankfurt.
Raymond Tamburro, age 85, Cleveland
Mr. Tamburro was drafted in 1946 for the restoration effort in Europe. He was talked into switching from draftee to enlisted, and the Army sent him to typing school three different times. He worked in France and supervised two German prisoners.
Eugene Yarger, Bellville
Mr. Yarger joined the Army Air Corps in 1942 and was married in 1943. His son was born on the same day that Mr. Yarger shipped out for Europe. His plane was shot down during the Battle of the Bulge, and he was missing in action for three days.
Jane B. Young, age 87, Centerville
Mrs. Young tells the stories of her her two brothers and her husband. One brother was a navigator on B-24s and narrowly escaped a crash in Germany. Her other brother was a Navy seal and mined the beach at Normandy the day before the attack. Her husband was an electrician and worked on damaged ships.
April 9, 2013 - Steady on the Home Front, Part I
Employees at Western Automatic Machine Screw Co. in Elyria, photo submitted by Helen Mesko
Nellie Ball, age 73, Cincinnati
Mrs. Ball was a girl living in Amsterdam when the German army invaded the Netherlands. She describes the destruction and how her mother risked capture and death to get food for her family.
Delbert Blickenstaff, M.D., Greenville
Dr. Blickenstaff was drafted into Civilian Public Service in 1943 and worked in a national forest, a mental hospital and a farm. He was inspired to pursue medicine and volunteered for a nutrition experiment conducted by the Army.
Patricia Combs, age 77, Cincinnati
Mrs. Combs was seven years old at the start of the war. She remembers her uncle volunteering as an air raid warden, air raid drills, rationing and other aspects of home life.
C. Catherine Crowley, age 76, Centerville
In 1943, at age seven, Ms. Crowley was sent to live in a boarding school while her mother worked in a factory to support the war. She would stay there for four years, sharing the experience of coming of age without parents in a time of war.
L. Lyle Dreibelbis, age 93, Cincinnati
A mechanical engineer, Mr. Dreibelbis was assigned to the rocket lab at Wright Field in Dayton during the war. He requested and got permission to examine an unexploded german bomb and developed a truck-based missile-launching system from what he learned. He includes photos of the first rocket test.
Geraldine Falardeau, age 85, Parma
Mrs. Falardeau was a teenager living in Oahu, Hawaii, when the Japanese army attacked the U.S. base at Pearl Harbor. She recounts life under strict military curfews and how she and other girls entertained the troops through USO projects.
Larry Gara, age 90, Wilmington
Mr. Gara presents "another view of World War II." He served three years in a federal prison for refusing to register for the draft, and took on several civil rights causes during the war.
Caliope Gialousis, age 72, Campbell
Mrs. Gialousis was a young girl during the war, but remembers air raid drills and learning about the war via the radio and movies. She describes how she read about celebrities supporting the troops.
Alethia Green, age 92, Columbus
Mrs. Green is the proud wife of one of the Tuskegee Airmen, Captain William W. Green, II. She describes how she and the other wives supported each other in raising their families.
Dorothy Jones, age 93, Hamilton
Mrs. Jones shares several letters that her husband Fred wrote to her while he served with the U.S. Army, Sixth Division.
Carole M. Lanning, age 77, Fostoria
To help her children and grandchildren understand how things were during the war, Mrs. Lanning wrote about a unique experience she had when a train carrying troops stopped in her hometown.
Gale and Angel Lumbatis, Lewisville
Though they were young and had not yet met, Mr. and Mrs. Lumbatis had similar experiences during the war. Both of their fathers were given draft deferments due to the type of work they did. The author describes civilian life for each of them.
Helen Mesko, age 88, Grove City
Ms. Mesko took a job as an inspector at the Western Automatic Machine Screw Company in Elyria, Ohio in 1942. Later, she would join a government employment program for women at Wright Patterson Air Force Base until Japan surrendered.
Mary Morgan, age 87, Yellow Springs
Ms. Morgan was 17 years old when the war started, and answered the call to support the war effort as an engineering aide at Wright Field, doing calculations for the aircraft engineers.
John Myers, Cincinnati
Mr. Myers was a young boy at the time of the war. His father was deferred from service due to his work as a fireman, and he had no brothers fighting abroad, but the war still affected his life in very important ways.
Mrs. Douglas Peters, Cedarville
Mrs. Peters describes how her father, a Greek immigrant to the U.S., became an American citizen. He was too old to serve in the military, but found ways to contribute.
Carl Michael Victory Reece, age 67, Hamilton
In his story, "My Name is Victory," Mr. Reece describes how his father was overseas when he was born in 1945, and recounts some of his father's experiences.
Nancy Wilkey Somnitz and Jane Wilkey Tapassi, ages 72 and 77, via e-mail
Mrs. Somnitz and Mrs. Tapassi recall family life with their mother, their grandmother, their aunt and a cousin. Their father did not serve, but worked as a chemist during the war.
Peter Tamburro, age 50, Columbus
Mr. Tamburro shares letters his grandmother sent to his father Raymond while he was overseas working on the restoration effort. She tells of life back home and how the family was adjusting after the war.
William Williams, age 82, Perrysburg
Mr. Williams was 12 years old when the attack on Pearl Harbor happened. He describes how his father and uncle changed jobs to support the war effort, and discusses growing up near a prisoner of war camp.
Patty Lee Ziskin, Dayton
Mrs. Ziskin was a young girl when her father left to fight in the war. Tragically, his boat was sunk crossing the Atlantic. She describes how and why her grandfather was never made aware of his son's death.
March 11, 2013 - Victory in Japan
Victory in Japan - Image Courtesy of U.S. Navy, via Wikimedia Commons
Ralph Bornhorst, Sidney
Mr. Bornhorst was drafted into the Navy in 1944 and served on the U.S.S. Idaho. He watched the invasion of Iwo Jima, including the iconic flag-raising, from the crow's nest on that ship.
Shacorrah Nicole Crosby, age 25, Twinsburg
For a school project, Ms. Crosby chronicled the World War II experiences of her grandfather, Walter Lewis Brown. Mr. Brown's unit relocated Japanese residents in the U.S. to internment camps. He met boxer Joe Lewis in Italy.
Judy Cupp, age 75, Greenville
Ms. Cupp retells the story of her uncle, Donald Kincaid, who was an M.P. and was on duty the night that the Japanese Premier Hideki Tojo was executed. As a final act, Tojo gave Mr. Kinkaid a very unique and meaningful gift.
Joseph D. Durant, age 89, Cincinnati
Mr. Durant was sent to Australia and was selected to support the "Advanced Echelon." He worked in the office of General Akin, Chief of Operations for the Asian Pacific Theater.
Dorothy Gilbert, Venice, FL
Mrs. Gilbert lived in Cincinnati all her life and remembers life at the Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation. She included actual ration stamps from the period.
Ruth Hergenrather, age 86, Brookville
Mrs. Hergenrather tells the story of her husband Bob, who served aboard the U.S.S. Missouri in 1945 and was present when the peace treaty with Japan was signed. She gives details of that event in his words.
Clement Kiener, age 94, Columbus
Mr. Kiener was a commander of 125 men in Okinawa. He witnessed kamikazes flying overhead. He saw Ernie Pyle a day before the journalist was killed.
Ralph W. Lucas, age 88, Houston, TX
Mr. Lucas joined the U.S. Navy in 1943 and served aboard the U.S.S. Sea Owl, a submarine that did three patrols in the East and South China Seas and sunk a destroyer south of Nagasaki.
Sho Maruyama, age 86, Yellow Springs
Mr. Maruyama was the teenaged son of Japanese immigrants in 1942. He and his family, like many others, were interred in an evacuation camp from 1942-44.
Marvin Miller, age 96, Arcanum
Mr. Miller joined the Army, but when he reported for duty, he reported to the wrong company. This led to him being "accidentally" introduced to service as a supply officer with the M.P.s. On a stop for repairs, he "accidentally" wandered into enemy territory.
Wayne Morr, Xenia
Mr. Morr tells the story of the 37th Infantry's liberation of internees in Manilla who were being held by the Japanese at Bilibid Prison, just three days before the prisoners were to be executed.
Betty Odley, age 93, Cincinnati
Ms. Odley writes about her brother Paul, who completed seminary, but then dropped out to enlist. When his parents bought a house, Paul promised to come home and paint it, but fate had other, more tragic plans.
Nancy Ollier, Cincinnati
Ms. Ollier was just four years old when her father served in the Navy. She describes life with her mother and grandparents while her father was away. She also relates some stories her father shared about incidents onboard the U.S.S. Hancock.
Dan Reichard, Jr., age 91, Grove City
Mr. Reichard enlisted in the Navy so he wouldn't be assigned to the Army, but he never saw shipboard duty. Instead, he was assigned to special forces to set up visual communication for invasion operations.
John Ruff, age 90, Cincinnati
Shortly after the Japanese Surrender, Mr. Ruff and his seaplane squadron accepted a Japanese veteran’s invitation to dine at his home, much to the disapproval of a passing M.P.
Wayne Shaner, age 86, Columbus
Mr. Shaner joined the Navy in 1944 and served on the U.S.S. Oneida, an amphibious transport. He describes daily routine and the organization of men aboard into divisions.
Kenneth Stryker, age 88, Greenville
Drafted into the Navy in 1944, Mr. Stryker served on a mine layer, the U.S.S. Terror. His ship was hit by kamikazes, just a deck below his.
Dr. Robert Sundin, age 85, Mason
Mr. Sundin tells of the service of Ed Slagle, who served aboard the U.S.S. Franklin and was a member of two Navy bands. When his ship was hit by a kamikaze, Mr. Slagle was not badly hurt, but lost a prized possession.
Joseph Villari, age 85, Cincinnati
Mr. Villari served on the U.S.S. Wasp as a plane captain, prepping planes and pilots for missions. On the day of the Nagasaki bombing, his ship was hit by a single kamikaze. A typhoon prevented his ship from being present at the peace treaty signing.
Frank Wiesner, age 89, Delaware
Mr. Wiesner was sent to the Pacific just before the bombing of Hiroshima in July 1945. In October, his unit went to Okinawa, but an injury sent him home.
Homer Wilson, age 87, Cincinnati
Mr. Wilson served in several European campaigns before being sent to Okinawa as part of the occupation force. There, he had an unexpected reunion with someone he hadn't seen since the war started.
Antony Zifer, age 89, Darbydale
Mr. Zifer was a baker on the U.S.S. Pavo. He witnessed a horrible fate for Japanese women and children who believed their leaders' propaganda. He also describes the celebration on his ship when the war ended.
Dec. 7, 2012 - Remembering Pearl Harbor
Remembering Pearl Harbor - Image Courtesy of Library of Congress
Joseph Alessi, Jr., age 81, Youngstown
At age 10, Mr. Alessi was a paperboy for the Youngstown Vindicator. He remembers being awakened by his supervisor with a special edition of the paper to deliver immediately.
Jackie M. Boyd, Cincinnati
Mr. Boyd was in high school when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Two years later, he enlisted and was assigned to a ship in the South Pacific. He survived a kamikaze attack and was on the escort team for Ernie Pyle when the reporter was killed.
George Forrest, age 84, Belen, NM
Mr. Belen was a teenager in Bowling Green, Ohio, when the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred. While his older brothers went to fight, he stayed home and helped on the family farm and worked in factories. He was drafted as the war was winding down.
Catherine Gary, age 85, Sharonville
Mrs. Gary was 14 at the time of Pearl Harbor and remembers how that fateful day changed life for her and her community. While singing for soldiers at Fort Bragg, she fell in love with a man who was later killed in battle.
James Gillis, age 77, Huber Heights
Mr. Gillis was only six years old when the attack on Pearl Harbor happened, but he remembers hearing the news. His father was a marine and sent a cryptic message home that signaled to his mother that he was in Pearl Harbor, since letters were being censored.
David J. Goodman, age 80, Moreland Hills
Mr. Goodman was 10 years old when he heard about the attack on Pearl Harbor, but he reckons he was more frightened by the prospect of war than most children his age because he was Jewish.
Mary Ann Logar, age 79, Lorain
Ms. Logar remembers hearing about Pearl Harbor as an 8-year-old girl. One brother was already in the Army and was sent to the southwest Pacific. Her other brother was injured when his ship was sunk. Her sister served in the WAACs.
Rolla E. Malan, age 92, Fairborn
Mr. Malan served aboard the U.S.S. Preble and was in Pearl Harbor when the Japanese planes attacked. He recalls the reaction on the ground to the unthinkable act.
Mary Ann Martin, age 99, Greenville
After Pearl Harbor, Mrs. Martin began working for the war effort at Wright Field in Dayton. She made parts for guns, which she found appropriate, since Annie Oakley was a distant relative. She met her future husband in Dayton and followed him through his military training.
Winnie McFarland, age 71
Ms. McFarland was only eight months old at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, but she remembers seeing cousins come home on leave in their uniforms and wanting to be a sailor. She also remembers celebrating victory in Japan by banging pots and pans.
Nicholas C. Nett, age 78, Liberty Township
A boy of eight years when Pearl Harbor was attacked, Mr. Nett describes home life for him and his community. He recalls how the community mourned together when one of their own was lost to the war, and how they celebrated together when the war ended.
James. S. Parobek, Lorain
Mr. Parobek remembers paperboys going up and down his street on Dec. 7, 1941, shouting "EXTRA," with the news of Pearl Harbor. He recalls that we were a strong nation that supported our soldiers.
Virginia Snowden, age 84, Cincinnati
The attack on Pearl Harbor would change Ms. Snowden's family forever. She was the youngest of six children and the only girl. All five of her brothers served. Two were killed in action and a third spent much of the war in a Japanese prison camp. Her other two brothers were sent home due to her family's hardship.
Teresa A. Stamm, age 77, Cincinnati
Ms. Stamm was only 7 when the attack on Pearl Harbor drew the U.S. into the war. She recalls her father serving as an air raid warden and her mother working in a factory building planes. She remembers how her community celebrated when the war ended.
Gabrielle Strand, age 74, Liberty Township
Pearl Harbor inspired Ms. Strand's brother, a pilot and engineering student, to enlist. During the winter of '43, on Christmas Day, he received pictures of his family playing in the snow. It was the highlight for her brother and his companions, but it was also the last Christmas he would see.
Jeanneane Engle Teti, age 74, Fairborn
Ms. Teti was only three when her father responded to the call and she would not see him again until three years later. She recalls that she did not know him when he returned from service in the Army Air Corps.
Chad Wade, age 82, Union City
Mr. Wade was 11 when Pearl Harbor was attacked and remembers how the rush of many young men in his community changed home life for him and his neighbors. Everyone felt a need to support the war effort in some way.
Jean Wexler, age 90, Milford
Having already heeded the call to be ready for war, Ms. Wexler was in nursing school when Pearl Harbor was attacked. She joined the Cadet Nurse Corps and was inducted into the Army. She worked at a hospital in Washington treating war wounded and found the work rewarding.
Leon White, Columbiana
Mr. White remembers hearing about the attack on Pearl Harbor while driving home. He was inspired by the attack to enlist. He recalls how they had to fight off recruits because their train would not hold them.
Nov. 12, 2012 - Honoring our Veterans
Celebrating Veteran's Day
Roger Adam, age 90, Mansfield
Mr. Adam worked in a TNT plant mixing chemicals before he was commissioned as a pilot and flew missions in Japan. He recalls being warned away from the area just before the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb on Japan.
Ellen Alexander, age 89, no location given
Mrs. Alexander joined the Marines to escape a restrictive father. She was an M.P. and arrived in Pearl Harbor the day after the attack. She met her future husband in the Marines.
Rob Allen, Grove City
Mr. Allen writes about his father, Robert, who was drafted in high school, but was ineligible due to failing French class. As a result, he was saved from fighting in the Battle of the Bulge. Later, fate would save him from fighting in Japan, as well.
Kathleen Anderson, Bellville
Ms. Anderson writes about her father and uncle and how they used to communicate via "V-mail." Her story includes a copy and transcription of a V-mail her uncle sent her father.
Gina Arens, Sharonville
Ms. Arens tells the story of Albert Wesley Halloway, who served on a ship that was attacked by Kamikazes twice. He escaped injury in the first, but was wounded in the second. Eventually, tuberculosis would end his military career.
Frank Bodnar, age 93, Youngstown
Mr. Bodnar outlines the course of his service from 1941 to 1945. He traveled by ship to New Zealand, where many of his fellow soldiers did not want to leave. He tells of his experience crossing the Himalayas. He includes photos of him then and now.
Robert Bohyer, Lima
Mr. Bohyer remembers hearing about the attack on Pearl Harbor on the radio as a kid and how his brother, who turned 18 the next day, was eventually drafted. Mr. Bohyer joined the fighting in 1942 and served aboard the popular bomber, "5-Grand."
Chuck Boone, Fredericktown
This story was written in 1997 by Mr. Boone's granddaughter for a high school project. Mr. Boone was on a bombing raid when his plane was shot down. He details his ordeal parachuting into China and being escorted to safety by pro-American coolie-guerillas.
Mark Brandenburger, Hamilton
Mr. Brandenburger shares the notes of his father, Edwin, in which he details his involvement in the D-Day invasion, June 2-7, 1944.
Eileen Burns, McKinney, TX
Ms. Burns was an English girl who had evacuated from London to a small village. U.S. troops eventually made a base there and she met an Ohio soldier who would eventually become her husband and bring her to Ohio.
Charles C Caskey, Sr., age 90, Fairborn
Mr. Caskey was drafted in 1941 and became a truck driver. He hauled wounded soldiers to Air Force planes that would take them for medical care in France. He recalls staying with a Belgian family and selling gas to a local child.
Norman Cohen, Hilliard
Mr. Cohen fought in the Battle of the Bulge and recounts how he and his group evaded German capture (or worse) by hiding in a Belgian attic.
Jack Corwin, age 84, Groveport
Mr. Corwin was a drummer in the 501st Army Air Force Band, stationed at Wheeler Air Force Base in the Hawaiian Islands. He includes a picture of the band.
Robert W. Crewe, age and location not given
Mr. Crewe served aboard the Wallace L. Lind in Japanese waters, making mail runs between U.S. bases after the Japanese surrender. He recalls being invited to Thanksgiving dinner by a local priest.
Robert D. Davis, age 88, Costa Mesa, CA
Mr. Davis wanted to be a pilot, but was color-blind. He joined a B-24 bomber crew and was shot down on their 23rd mission. He recalls meeting other Ohioans at the German prison camp in which they were held.
Becky Decatur, age 80, Cincinnati
Ms. Decatur was nine when the war broke out. Here family owned several stores and she recalls town life during the war - rationing, air raid drills and recycling. She includes scans of war bond applications, ration books, V-mail, pamphlets, photos and other things from the era.
Larry De Maria, Mayfield Heights
Mr. De Maria was recruited to be a part of the Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the C.I.A. He was one of many first-generation Italian-Americans recruited to complete special missions behind enemy lines.
Philip Denlinger, Sr., age 51, Miamisburg
For a Memorial Day program, Mr. Denlinger wrote this essay in the voice of his uncle, Howard Carr, who was killed in the Battle of the Bulge, years before Mr. Denlinger's birth.
Leonard J. Dentinger, age 86, Bloomville
Mr. Dentinger was drafted in 1944 and assigned to a tank in the Battle of the Bulge. He describes in detail the battle and his near-death experiences.
Connie Dow, age and location not given
Ms. Dow submitted an excerpt from a book written by her father, Frank Bergstein. In it, Mr. Bergstein details his role in the D-Day invasion at Omaha Beach as an Army Boat Commander.
Billie Hall Komen Engel, age 90, Cincinnati
Ms. Engle left her teaching job to be a mechanic instructor for the Air Corps. She describes how she met her first husband and moved to Ohio, where she processed G.I.'s pay records while her husband went to fight in the Pacific.
Val Farnham, age 89, Columbus
Mr. Farnham describes how he was preparing to go home from Germany when his company was selected for a special assignment to capture Russian soldiers who had defected to Germany, part of a deal between Roosevelt and Stalin.
Caroline N. Field, age 88, Tipp City
Ms. Field describes how she responded to an offer for free nursing school from the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps and trained at Bethesda Hospital in Cincinnati.
Lillian Fildes, age 83, Grafton
Mrs. Fildes contrasts life then and now. For example, she describes products that didn't exist or were rationed during the war. She also describes how her husband was humbled to see "top brass" kneel in church, making them seem more human to him.
Kathryn E. Fruchte, Dayton
Mrs. Fruchte and her future husband were childhood friends and dated some before she went to nursing school and he went into the Navy. She joined the Cadet Nurse Corps and they were soon married when he came home on leave.
Darlene Glaze-Hockman, Lancaster
Mrs. Glaze-Hockman tells the story of her father, Wayne Glaze, who grew up in Lancaster and set out on his own to "see the world." All that changed with Pearl Harbor. Her father soon went into battle, where he drove a tank. She describes a special Christmas dinner and includes a copy of the menu.
Janice and Christine Glenn, Lancaster
The Glenn sisters relate how their father, James, was unable to fight in the war due to a heart defect. He found ways to support the war effort working for Goodyear Aircraft, but was always haunted by not being healthy enough to do his part.
Martin Kahl, age 94, Miamisburg
Mr. Kahl signed up for the C.C.C. at age 15 during the Great Depression. At age 18, he joined the National Guard in Dayton, then was drafted. He chronicles how one missed assignment to K.P. led to a career as a Mess Sgt.
Ruth Maurer, age 88, Hamilton
Ms. Maurer grew up in Nahant, MA, which became a thriving defense post and training facility for soldiers. She recalls her memories of rationing and shortages, blackouts and dating soldiers.
Thomas W. McLaughlin, Norwalk
Mr. McLaughlin shares the story of his father, Clinton, the highest decorated WWII veteran from Huron County. He includes articles about his father's missions.
Robert L. Mersman, age 85, Cincinnati
Mr. Mersman describes his theaters of services and the honors he received. He also talks about his career in the railroad after the war and his long marriage to his wife. He includes a picture of himself in his Navy uniform.
Jerry Mogan, Grove City
Mr. Mogan briefly describes his family's military service. He includes a letter written by his brother John to his new bride about his travel and service in Europe, and how he missed Christmas dinner by a day.
Edgar Moorman, age 93, Dayton
Mr. Moorman was drafted in 1941, before Pearl Harbor, despite having a crippled hand. He served five years in the South Pacific and participated in the liberation of Manila.
Frederick Murrish, age 87, Galloway
Mr. Murrish was in high school during the war. His senior year, he drove a school bus because most of the men in town were off fighting. He graduated and wanted to become a pilot, but became an aerial gunner instead. His team flew missions over Okinawa, including a bomb run.
Milt Okum, age 86, Cincinnati
Mr. Okum describes how he was rushed through basic training due to a need for replacement troops in 1944. He recalls traveling through Europe and how he stayed a couple of days in Rommel's house, where he collected some souvenirs.
Oida Mae Peacock, age 88, Greenville
Mrs. Peacock was homeless from the Great Depression, moving from place to place, when a call to become a Navy nurse changed her life. She recalls how she worked in a factory to pay for school and how her future husband was shot down in action, but survived.
Millie Poff, age 86, Lebanon
Mrs. Poff lied about her age to join the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service), where she was a teletype operator. She was caught and discharged, but went on to be a teletype operator at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.
Thomas Rosmarin, Columbus
Mr. Rosmarin was a radio-gunner in B-25s during the War. He tells the story of how he almost mistakenly bailed out during a mission in Germany to destroy enemy supply cars.
Elizabeth Seurkamp, Cincinnati
Ms. Seurkamp tells the story of her brother, John Bolton, who enlisted at age 13, was found out and discharged. Undeterred, he faked a draft card and finally saw combat. She includes a newspaper article detailing his exploits.
Richard B. Simkins, London
Mr. Simkins describes a mission to take a ship from Illinois down the Mississippi river to New Orleans. He also recalls a mission to the Panama Canal in which he was reunited with his brother, who was serving on another ship there.
Harold Smith, Duncan Falls
Mr. Smith was drafted at age 18 into the infantry and spent three months in a hospital in Australia. He recalls several unpleasant Christmases.
Virginia Spanfellner, age 88, Gibsonburg
Mrs. Spanfellner details her and her husband's training and service. They met while both were working as physical therapists for the Navy.
Anna Stout, age 87, Chillicothe
Ms. Stout was a senior in high school when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. After school ended, her boyfriend enlisted. She married her boyfriend when he came home on leave. She recalls rationing and home life and describes some of their life together after the war.
Marjorie Sydor, age 89, Dayton
Ms. Sydor graduated high school in 1941 and was attending The Ohio State University when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. She recalls how campus life was strange with no boys on campus. Later, the Army would send soldiers there for classes. She recalls how life changed when the boys returned.
John M. Williams, age 88, Howard
Mr. Williams enlisted in 1942 and was a Morse code instructor. He recalls how he went to France and ended up driving Jack Benny in Goering's car.
Donna Wilson, age 66, Chillicothe
Ms. Wilson tells the story of her grandfather, Walter, who was a merchant marine in Iceland. She details how merchant marines were not given the same recognition as soldiers, since they were considered civilian. She includes a copy of a commendation from President Truman.