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Veteran Interviews

Name Place of Interview Date Theater Branch
Richard T. Alexander (I) Canton, NC April 4, 2003 ETO Army
Born in 1917, childhood in Nashville, New York City, Berlin; father worked as an educator; spent a year in Germany beginning in 1925; recalls inflation in the Weimar Republic; attended school in Germany in 1930; describes Hitler’s rise to power and National Socialist initiatives like Winterhilfe; emotional lift Hitler gave Germans; drafted on October 20, 1942 in Canton, North Carolina; Tennessee Maneuvers, 1943; 83rd Division Artillery, aerial liaison artillery observer; Omaha Beach, Normandy to east of the Elbe River, 1944 to October, 1945; Recipient of Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star, and Silver Star.
Richard T. Alexander (II) Knoxville, TN October 1, 2004 ETO Army
Post-war; how his father came to be in the Office of Military Government in Germany after the war, until 1951; German education system; return visits to Germany; University of Tennessee (EdD, 1955); Returned to math and science teaching post in Haywood County, NC and part-time at Adelphi University until 1957; Professor at Ball State University in Muncie, IN until retirement in 1982.
Francis O. Ayers Knoxville, TN May 8, 2001 ETO  Army
Born December 31, 1925 in Pittsburgh, PA; father worked for Gulf Oil Corporation as a traffic manager, and mother stayed at home; enlisted Dec. 1943, U.S. Army; 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division; attitudes toward death upon enlisting; time in England and France prior to combat; Battle of the Bulge, Ardennes, Christmas in 1944; Two weeks leave in London; studied Business Administration at Waynesburg College, 1950-53; Factory Engineer Representative, 1953-59, and Sales Engineer 1959-1973.
Sam Balloff Knoxville, TN March 12, 2004 ETO Army
Born 1923, LaFollette, TN; recollection of parents’ emigration to America, mother from Romania, father from Russia; father owned a clothing store called Balloff’s; childhood in LaFollette; Jewish practices; attended private Presbyterian school at McCallie Boarding School in Chattanooga, 1940-41; recalls impact of Oak Ridge on LaFollette; attended Vanderbilt, 1941-42; Zeta Beta Tau fraternity; enlisted Dec. 1942; 78th Infantry Division, 309th Field Artillery service battery, truck driver; Battle of the Bulge, Remagen Bridge; Aachen to Kassel; discharged, February 1946; returned to Vanderbilt following the war; continued working for his father’s store; opened additional stores in Oak Ridge and Knoxville.
Simon Chilewich (I) New York City, NY November 26, 2003 ETO Army
Born April, 1919 in Bialystok, Poland; father worked in the family’s animal/cattle hide business; grew up in a Warsaw ghetto; encounters with anti-Semitism; grandparents emigrated to Palestine, 1928; graduated gymnasium (high school) in Poland, 1936; moved to England to attend London School of Economics and simultaneously the Royal Academy of the Dramatic Arts; recollections of Winston Churchill; student culture in London; response to the Munich Pact; arrived in the United States on September 5, 1939 on the Champlain; lost 138 family members to the Holocaust; found work in Andrews, North Carolina in 1940 supplying sole leather to the Army; father begins new business in hides futures trading; drafted to Camp Lee, Virginia, 1943; Intelligence School, Camp Ritchie, MD; attains rank of Master Sergeant;
Charles H. Coolidge
Medal of Honor
Chattanooga, TN April 20, 2010 ETO Army
Prewar life in Signal Mountain and Chattanooga, TN; family owned Chattanooga Printing & Engraving Co.; enlistment, June 1942; basic training, Ft. McClellan, AL; Camp Edwards, MA; assigned 36th Infantry Division, 141st Infantry Regiment, 3rd Battalion, M Company; 27 months overseas; North Africa—Oran, Casablanca; Italy—Salerno, San Pietro, Rapido River, Monte Cassino, Anzio, Silver Star action at Velletri; France— Medal of Honor action at Hill 623, near Belmont-sur-Buttant in the Vosges Mountains; Germany; Austria; also awarded Bronze Star; postwar, returned to Chattanooga; Contact Rep. for the Veterans Administration; returned to Chattanooga Printing and Engraving, 1949; manager and partner, 1974 to retirement.
Grady Corley Kingsport, TN September 1, 2000 ETO Army
Born in Greenwood, South Carolina, 1916; parents worked in cotton mill; moved to Virginia, then back to Kingsport; began working as a paper boy for the Bristol Herald Courier around 1930; left high school in 1934; found work at Eastman Company, yarn production and machine maintenance; enlisted in Army National Guard, Feb. 1941; Trained at Camp Forrest, TN, Fort Sill, OK, and Camp Roberts, CA; 191st Field Artillery Battalion; artillery mechanic; deployed to Europe April, 1944; C Battery, 959th Field Artillery Battalion attached to the XIX Corp; Landed Omaha Beach, June 24, 1944; post-war, returned to job at Eastman; retired as foreman in Fiber Divisions Maintenance after 45 years of service.
Kurt and Margo David Glenwood, IL August 13, 2000 ETO Army
Born in 1920 in Germany; father was German Army officer, World War I and worked for Amoco Oil; Germany in 1930s; he emigrated to U.S. in 1940 while parents fled to Uruguay during the Third Reich; born and attended grammar school in Zwingenberg; expelled from gymnasium in 1936 because he was Jewish; reactions to American society; could not join the U.S. Army because he was registered as an enemy alien; became an agent for the Counter Intelligence Corps, 1943; C.I.C. school, Camp Ritchie, MD; interrogated Gestapo members; thoughts on French collaborators; experiences of being Jewish during World War II; reconstruction in Germany following the war; Post-war, salesman and resided in Chicago. (Wife Margot Wolf David also participates in interview; born in Germany.)
Dr. Elvyn V. Davidson Knoxville, TN April 4, 2000 ETO Army
Born 1923 in Rockaway Beach, Long Island; grew up in an Italian and black neighborhood in New York; raised in both Protestant and Catholic church; attended Stuyvesant Science & Math Academy; recalls the Harlem Riots; relationship with Adam Clayton Powell; found work in the Photostatic department of the War Department on Wall Street; rebellion against public transportation through jitney committees; attended Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, 1941; volunteered at the age of 18 in 1942; assigned to Fort Riley, Kansas with Joe Louis and Jackie Robinson; Army Special Training Program – University of Nebraska, Wilberforce program, Camp Polk; 92nd Division “Buffalo Soldiers” 370th Regiment, F Company in North Africa, Italy; encounters with Ghurkhas (from Nepal); issues with race relations in the army; thoughts on medical care in the field; member of Japanese occupation forces; visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki; Discharged January, 1946; Returned to Lincoln University to complete degree; completed medical studies at Meharry Medical College, Nashville; Married in Knoxville; Internship and surgical residency at Harlem Hospital, NY—was on duty there when Martin Luther King, Jr. was brought in after being stabbed; returned to Knoxville; began work at Oak Ridge Hospital emergency room, 1958-61; Hospitals still segregated; Opened private practice in Knoxville, 1959; Also, in 1959 began working 3 months a year as on-call surgeon, UT Hospital, for several years; semi-retired in 1990.
Fred Davis Knoxville, TN September 4, 2000 ETO Army
Born 1922 and raised in Sharps Chapel, Union County, Tennessee; Horace Maynard High School; worked in his father’s general store; enlisted March 1943; Basic training at Camp Cooke, California; U.S. Army, 488th Quartermaster Depot, Headquarters; Promoted to corporal, sergeant, first sergeant; arrived England, October, 1943; positive experiences in London; D-Day +14; supplied Patton’s Third Army while in France; Extended stay in Reims, France; impressions of Patton, France, American supply lines; Recalls interactions with German civilians upon arrival in Berlin; Postwar, took over family general store in Sharps Chapel, moved to Maynardville, closed store in 1976, simultaneously maintained four farms; opened hardware store in 1989.
Ben Franklin (I) Knoxville, TN October 20, 2004 ETO Army
Born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee; Native American heritage; Father wounded in World War I; visited Cherokee reservations with his grandfather; Committed to the Democratic Party; early life in Knoxville; Enlisted at 16 two days after Pearl Harbor (total stranger signed his papers); Joined 1st Infantry Division (Big Red One) in May, 1942—16th Regiment, 3rd Battalion, I Company; North Africa, Sicily, France, Belgium, Germany, Czechoslovakia; After his service visited the parents of Mark Dickerson, his best friend who was killed during the war; Went A.W.O.L. while in Paris and Licata.
Ben Franklin (II) Knoxville, TN November 19, 2004 ETO Army
Basic training at Camp Wheeler, GA; Machine gun training; Joined the boxing team while in Sicily; Invasion of North Africa; Comments on French-Arab relations while stationed in Oran; offers opinions about the French; Kasserine Pass, Tunisia; Read books to pass time on the front; Notes the significant amount of friendly fire and the nature of the air-ground cooperation; Number of encounters with German POWs; Thoughts on German soldiers; Battle of the Hurtgen Forest; Receive passes to Paris.
Ben Franklin (III) Knoxville, TN March 10, 2005 ETO Army
Paris; Rejoined regiment headed to Mons, Belgium; Entered into Germany in September of 1944, Battle at Aachen; demoted from staff sergeant but later restored after Havre; Hurtgen Forest; Battle of the Bulge; Ruhr Valley; Experiences with insubordination as a staff sergeant; Interaction with German civilians and Russian soldiers; Berlin Blockade of 1946; Still in Germany, meets wife there in 1946; Returned stateside in November, 1948; Promoted to First Sergeant; Volunteered to go to Korea, but was assigned to a unit in France instead.
Jimmy Gentry Franklin, TN July 22, 2000 ETO Army
Born in what is now Wyatt Hall, TN on November 28, 1925 near Franklin; father died when he was eleven; He and siblings found ways to make extra money by selling animal pelts and walnuts; Church of Christ services; Father supported Roosevelt, but he did not; Recalls rationing and the effects of World War II on Franklin; Joined the Army shortly after one brother was KIA, Itay; Basic training at Camp Blanding, FL; Assigned to the 42nd Infantry (Rainbow) Division when he arrived in Pettincourt, France; 232th Infantry Regiment, 2nd, Battalion, E Company; Battle of the Bulge; Part of liberation of Dachau concentration camp in 1945; Visited Austria and Italy following the war; Met Ezra Pound while visiting Genoa; Returned to Tennessee in March, 1946; Married in August 1946; Post-war memories of Dachau; Began college at Vanderbilt, transferred to Tennessee Tech, then transferred again to Peabody College for Teachers in order to take a job as a high school football coach; Benefits of G.I. Bill; Later attended the National Science Foundation program at Middle Tennessee State University; Taught at Brentwood Academy during desegregation; Traveled back to Germany to visit. Retired, but went back to Brentwood Academy as Athletic Director; Retired again 1999.
Charles Robert “Bob” Harmon (I) Seattle, WA (with Daniel Burnstein) Oct-Nov 2001 ETO Army
Born April 12, 1925; Grew up in Olympia, Washington; Father managed a freight lines dock, stable income; Mother worked there too, then at department store; Family’s military history; Catholic high school, graduated 1943; Wanted to join Marines or Merchant Marines to serve country; Discusses Japanese friends; Signed up to attend Army Specialized Training Program for engineering school, but program was cut in early 1944; Joined the 80th division, 319th Infantry as a part of an anti-tank company; Infantry training at Fort Benning; Relationship with his rifle; Fort Dix; Normandy, August 1944, and the “Breakout;” Germany, 1945; Dicusses conditions of the soldiers, mail, provisions, civilians.
Bob Harmon (II) Seattle, WA (with Daniel Burnstein) January, 2002 ETO Army
Germany, Spring 1945. Occupation force for 8 months after V-E Day: Austria, Germany, & the Sudetenland.
Bob Harmon (III) Seattle, WA (with Daniel Burnstein) Feb-April, 2002 ETO Army
Nov. 1944, Delme Ridge. 1945, slave labor camps: Kaiserslautern, Mauthausen, Ebensee. Various discussion of war experience in general & more on previous topics covered in Parts I & II.
John E. Kesterson Knoxville, TN July 26, 2001 ETO, PTO Army
Born in 1918 in LaFollette, TN; dad was a pharmacist; educational experiences, including when local Roma immigrants burned the school; TVA, prewar Knoxville; graduated high school and enrolled at UT at the age of 16, graduated at 19; attended Vanderbilt Medical School, surgical residency was in the Veterans Administration Hospital in Nashville, completed in 1943; inducted into Army Medical Corps as a First Lieutenant in 1944; training at Camp Barkley in Abilene, TX, Ream General Hospital in Palm Beach, FL, Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN; Assigned to Ft. Bragg, 114th General Hospital as chief of anesthesia; 114th Field Hospital in Kidderminster, Scotland; 84th field hospital, France; postwar: Newton Baker General Hospital, WV; discharged 1947; Opened a general surgical practice in Knoxville, TN and worked at various hospitals, Knox General, Baptist Regional, Fort Sanders, and St. Marys; a surgical pioneer who taught his procedures to other surgeons in the region.
Dr. Milton M. Klein Knoxville, TN April 10, 2003 ETO Army Air Corps
Born in New York City in 1917; Hungarian-Jewish family; father worked as a tinsmith in Europe and as a mechanic in America; talks about his family and immigrant communities and life in New York City; primary school; Boy Scouts; Depression years; anti-Semitism in America; talks about Socialist Party in New York City; B.A. and M.A. at City College, Manhattan; Oxford Oaths and student clashes; discusses New York libraries and intellectual communities; New York World’s Fair; high school teacher at George Washington High School and Ford Foundation grant; graduate school at Columbia University; registered in 1940, Air Force training at Keesler Field, MS in 1942; Air Transport Command, Squadron Clerk/Typist, Presque Isle Field, ME; promoted to Staff Sergeant; Officer Candidate School, Miami Beach, FL; Special Services Officer and Assistant Personnel Officer, Edmonton, Alberta field; Historical Officer of the North Atlantic Wing, Manchester, NH; promoted to Captain; decommissioned, 1946; postwar, civilian historian, Mitchell Field; PhD at Columbia; Dean of Graduate Studies, State University of New York at Fredonia; Professor of History, including at the University of Tennessee from 1969-1988 and served as the university historian from 1988-1997.
Cecelia S. Koch Hixon, TN March 16, 2004 ETO Army
Born in England, moved to Canada and grew up in Saskatchewan; St. Boniface Hospital, Winnipeg, ’39-’42; Mount Sinai Hospital, Cleveland; enlisted in Army Nurse Corps, 1943; classes and work at the station hospital at Fort Benjamin Harrison, IN; maneuvers in Yuma, AZ, 5 January to 12 March, 1944; 105th Evacuation Hospital; Fort Jackson, SC, 16 March to 10 August, 1944; Camp Kilmer, NY, August, 1944; England, France, Holland, Belgium, Germany; awarded the Soldier’s Medal, 1945; Occupied Germany; return home, July, 1946; post-war, general duty nurse and OB nurse, 1952-1985.
Hugo Lang Newton, NJ March 19, 2001 ETO Army
Born in 1923 in Arnsbach, Germany; Jewish family; father was a cattle dealer; talks about his father and uncle’s service in WWI; childhood experiences; anti-Semitism in Germany; talks about how supportive the German-Jewish community was; forced labor; fled Germany in 1941 (some of his family had left earlier); part of his family was deported to a concentration camp in Poland; talks about the Holocaust and what he knew at the time; life in Jersey City and impressions of America; worked in manufacturing; drafted into the army in 1944, training at Fort Dix, Fort McClellan; served as interrogator and translator in the 28th; talks about his fear of being captured (because of his German-Jewish heritage); Bastogne and the Battle of the Bulge; describes his work in the army; talks about the nature of war; captured, describes interrogation and life as a POW; Malmedy Massacre; liberated in April 1945; retuned to the States in May 1945; reunited with sister who survived a concentration camp in 1946; vocational school in Elizabeth, NJ; worked for Bristol Myers for thirty years; took trips to Germany in 1969, 1972, and 1988, talks about post-war Germany; talks about his children and family.
George R. McIntosh Knoxville, TN April 8, 2000 ETO Army
Prewar life in Nashville, TN; Lipscomb High School; drafted in 1944; basic training at Camp Van Dorn, MS; E Company, 2nd Battalion, 253rd Regiment, 63rd Infantry Division; Colmar, France, Rhineland, and Saar campaigns, Germany; Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient; active in unit tennis tournaments, qualified for Wimbledon; post-war at Lipscomb College, 1946-1949; agent with National Life Insurance Company in Nashville; retired as V.P. in 1990.
Jesse Miller Knoxville, TN July 19, 2003 ETO Army
Born 1919 Hagerstown, Maryland; childhood in York, Pennsylvania; plumbing school; Pipefitters/Plumbers Union 250; work at Three Mile Island; history of the 238th Combat Engineers Association and reunions; enlistment in the Army, 1942; basic Training, Plattsburg, New York; transport to England; D-Day; combat experiences; Miller’s opinion on the differences between current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq versus World War II; end of World War II; construction of redeployment camps (Cigarette Camps); directing work crews comprised of German prisoners of war; views on West Point educated officers versus regular Army officers; returned to United States, 1945; demobilization at Indian Town Gap, Pennsylvania; marriage and post-war life; returned to Europe in the 1990s with veterans and their reception by Belgian citizens; retirement.
Charles Morton Jr. Franklin, TN April 16, 2000 ETO Army
Born in 1918 in Nashville, TN; grandfather was Civil War veteran, was wounded at Shiloh; father worked for Postal Service in Nashville; talks about family life, childhood, and teenage experiences; talks about race relations; worked at local Ford dealership; bought a dealership in 1941; talks about what he thought of FDR; entered army in 1941; basic training at Fort Belvoir, engineer training at Fort Benning, Camp Edwards; 531st Engineer Shore Battalion; invasion of North Africa; talks about his encounters with enemy soldiers; invasion of Sicily; Salerno Bay; France, D-Day, Utah Beach; Aachen; talks about his dislike of “strategic bombing”; talks about his opinion of Germans; returned to the dealership after the war; talks about a family trip to Germany in 1989.
Rodney Q. Nelson Jr. Knoxville, TN
(with Charles Johnson)
August 18, 1987 ETO Navy
Born in Covington County, MS in 1916; attended the University of Mississippi; worked for American Airlines in Nashville and New Orleans; joined the Navy in 1941; reported to Chicago for officer’s training in May 1942; transferred to Norfolk, Virginia; USS Dorothy Dix; North Africa Invasion, Morocco; returned to Norfolk and was appointed captain of a LCIL ship; next mission was to Algeria, Tunisia, Sicily, Salerno; talks about his ship hitting a mine; talks about different types of naval crafts; returned to Boston and reported to Olathe to Naval Transport Command; was then stationed at Bunker Hill Naval Air Station in Indiana; got married in September 1945; demobilized in 1946; went back to work for American Airlines in Indianapolis; medically retired in 1949 due to injuries suffered from the mine blast; talks about relations between the Navy and Navy Reserves.
John W. Nipper Knoxville, TN April 6, 2001 ETO Army Air Corps
Born in Knox County, TN on September 16, 1924; grandfather was a Baptist minister from Texas; father was born in Knox County and worked as a machinist at ALCOA; mother was a music teacher; talks about his family’s opinions of FDR and the New Deal; talks about childhood and the Depression; talks about educational years and the strict disciplinary policies; worked at ALCOA and TVA-Spring City after high school to save money for college; talks about his memories of learning about Pearl Harbor; entered UT in 1942; talks about memories of UT days; enlisted in February 1943 and took the Air Force exam; talks about how he meet his wife; training in Miami, FL, then to Nashville, Maryville College, and Maxwell Field, AL; more training at Malden, MO, Spence Field in Moultrie, GA, Eglin Field, FL, Camp Springs, MD, and Millville, NJ; shipped out from New York; talks about a horrible storm at sea; stopped in Southhampton, England before heading to France; flew P-47s as part of the 371st Fighter Group; talks about close calls; talks about the Air Force in comparison to the other branches; talks about being stationed in Linz, Austria at the end of the war and taking lots of joy flights all over Europe; attended UT after the war on the G.I. Bill; worked for DuPont and Chandler & Company before starting his own business.
Dr. James L. Pointer Knoxville, TN April 8, 2003 ETO Army
Born April 15, 1921 in Heiskell, TN; father was a logger and farmer, mother was a housewife; talks about childhood and life on the farm; describes local community and living conditions; impact of the TVA and WPA; discusses early schooling; recounts interracial interactions in the community; education at Norris High School; discusses the Great Depression and national politics; participated in FFA in high school; joined the army upon finishing high school; training at Fort McPherson and work at an induction center; Air Force cadet training in Springfield, MA; discusses hazing in the military; 9th Armored Division at Camp Polk, Louisiana; OCS and Fort Benning; Camp Gruber, Oklahoma; departed from Fort Dix for Marseilles in 1944; Strasbourg, France; Maginot Line; impressions of German soldiers; Battle of the Bois D’Ohlunqen; treatment of POWs on both sides; crossed into Germany at Dahn; ended up in Würzburg, where he was injured; talks about soldiers raiding German wine and food cellars; talks about his encounters with friendly Germans; recovered at a hospital in Daytona Beach; enrolled at University of Tennessee in 1946; worked as a Professor of Agriculture at University of Tennessee.
Jacob J. Presser Knoxville, TN March 5, 2004 ETO Army
Born 1918, Providence, RI; Great Depression; Jewish life in Providence; Rhode Island College; enlistment, 1940; basic training, Fort Ord, OR; assignment to 103rd Artillery, 20th Division; arrival in Brest, France; clerical work on unit’s staff; contact with German prisoners of war and civlians; post war life.
Clinton E. Riddle Knoxville, TN March 19, 2002 ETO Army
East Tenn. native; 1/325th Glider Infantry Reg. 82nd Airborne; 194th Glider, 17th Airborne (post-war until discharge); North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Normandy, Netherlands, Germany.
William Schmidt Knoxville, TN April 28, 2000 ETO Army
Childhood in St. Paul, MN; enlistment, 1943; training, Fort Bragg; assignment to the 100th Infantry Division; Battle of Raon L’etape; Lorraine campaign; Maginot Line; captured by German troops; Prisoner of war camps, Ludwigsburg, Muhlsburg, Bad Scandau, Hohenstein, Germany; conditions inside camps; labor details; liberation; post war civilian life.
Betty J. Sparks Knoxville, TN March 24, 2001
May 3, 2001
ETO Navy
Born 1920, Harrisburg, PA; family life, father’s Post Traumatic Stress from his service in WW I in the 28th Infantry Division; parent’s political affiliations and impressions of Roosevelt; Great Depression; nursing school, University of Pennsylvania, 1938-1941; enlistment in Navy, 1941; Nursing Cadet Corps, promotion to lieutenant; working relationship with male orderlies; training in hospitals in Philadelphia and Norfolk, VA.; assignment to Special Navy Advance Group 56; deployment to Scotland; leave in London and interaction with British; treatment of casualties from the D-Day invasion; treatment of wounded German prisoners; return to the United States; post war life.
M.E. Springer Knoxville, TN April 3, 2001 ETO Army
Prewar life in Missouri; Univ. of Missouri, Columbia; ROTC; enlisted, August 1942; training in Medical Corps and OCS, 236th station hospital, 1943; 56th Field Hospital assigned to the 9th Air Force; England on D-Day; Oct. 1944, France (LeBourget and Valenciennes); Battle of the Bulge; Belgium and Germany (Kaldenkirchen); returned home, April 1946; postwar Japan occupation force, 1946, as a civilian soil scientist on MacArthur’s staff; University of California-Berkley, 1949-1953, PhD; Professor of Soils, University of Tennessee, 1957-1979; honorary lifetime member of Knoxville Track Club; Senior Olympics; USA Track and Field Hall of Fame, 2006.
Eugene Schwartz Knoxville, TN April 18, 2005 ETO Army
Father’s service in the US Army during World War I; prewar life in Luxembourg; political and social atmosphere in interwar Europe; flight from Luxembourg and return to the United States; World’s Fair, New York; wartime life in Washington, D.C. as a teenager; military training in Arkansas and New Jersey; selection for Army Intelligence; attached to the 79th Infantry Division, training in Tennessee; sent to the Military Intelligence Camp, Camp Ritchie, California; work with Jewish émigrés; travel to ETO, assignment to SHAEF Military Intelligence Division and attachment to the 35th Infantry Division; Battle of the Bulge and return to Luxembourg; interrogation of German prisoners and assessment of their morale; postwar atmosphere in Germany; Cold War Vienna; worked with CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency in their China section; nuclear war games at Black Rock; logistical assessments of Soviet Union.
James Talley Knoxville, TN June 5, 1990 ETO Army Air Corps
Helen Tarr Knoxville, TN July 2003 ETO Nursing Corps
Lonas Tarr Knoxville, TN March 7, 2003 ETO Army Air Corps
Childhood, Jefferson City, TN; family background; father’s medical practice; childhood activities; Carson Newman College; Great Depression; enlistment 1941; training at Fort Oglethorpe; flight training at Shaw Field, SC. and Valdosta, GA.; assignment to Air Transport Command; Ferry Command; delivery of B-24 and B-25 bombers to India, Iran, and Egypt; discussion of lend lease aircraft to the Soviet Union; notes assignment of prewar pilots from American Airlines and Eastern Airlines (TWA) in Air Transport Command; deployment to England, France, and Italy; impressions of English civilians; airlifts during Battle of the Bulge; V-E Day; return to the United States; Berlin Airlift; career with American Airlines; post war life.
John Towle Knoxville, TN March 20, 2002 ETO Army Air Corps
Born, 1921, Knoxville, TN; childhood, Great Depression; Tennessee Valley Authority; enlistment, Air Force, training Fort Oglethorpe; flight training Keesler Field; gunnery school, Utah, training with B-17s, Burbank, CA.; deployment 709th Squadron, 447th Bomb Group; Rattlesden, England; recollections of V-1 and V-2 rocket attacks on England; missions to attack Frankfurt, Germany; preparations for missions; Big Week, February, 1944; Schweinfurt, shot down over Orly, France, February, 1944; hidden by French civilians in Hericourt France; interactions with Resistance and efforts to escape German occupied France; life in hiding; liberated by British troops; return to the United States; training on A-20s; post war life.
Edgar C. Wilson (I) Knoxville, TN June 26, 2003 ETO Army
Born 1914, Powell, TN; family background and childhood; Tennessee Valley Authority; Great Depression; Milligan College, 1933-1935; career as a school teacher; enlistment, 1941; training at Fort Oglethorpe and Fort Sill; Officer Candidate School; Artillery Liaison Officer, 314th Artillery, 80th Infantry Division; transport to England.
Edgar C. Wilson (II) Knoxville, TN March 2, 2004 ETO Army
Arrival in France, July 1944; interactions with French civilians; Moselle River campaign; awarded the silver star, artillery protocols; motives for fighting and combat experiences; leave to the United States, December 1944; perception of war in the United States; discussion of the surrender of Weimar, Germany; German prisoners and discussion of perception of SS; Austria; interactions with German civilians.
Edgar C. Wilson (III) Knoxville, TN September 4, 2005 ETO Army
Discussion of combat motivation; role of religion among soldiers; Moselle River campaign; guarding German prisoners and impressions of them; return to the United States; work with Veterans’ Association Farm Training Program; retirement; post war travels and return to battlefields in Europe; membership in veterans’ organizations; impressions of World War II Memorial, Washington, D.C.