VHP WWII Collection Topics, Fall 2014 Internship

by Fall 2014 Interns, with Graduate Coordinators Jessica Taylor and Matthew Simmons

admin-ajaxThe goal of our semester’s work is to take you through the history of World War II through the eyes of the average American soldier. The more we rediscover about the everyday lives of young people stationed in Britain, Japan, Belgium, and all over the world, the more daunting this goal seems. Not all Americans who served were male and white, and not all who served returned alive and well. Listening to war experiences from a veteran’s perspective also alters our traditional thinking about the chronology of World War II, defined by major operations, titan generals, and the Axis and Allies.

Veterans across theaters and backgrounds recall major life events, such as the attack on Pearl Harbor, their enlistment, coping with the loss of friends on the front, missing home, the joyful chaos of V-Day, and finally, readjusting to civilian life. While Patton planned and Roosevelt chatted, survivors adapted and coped inside the contexts that continued to traumatize them and threaten their lives. After the war, veterans took advantage of the GI Bill and the booming economy to build both their own lives and postwar America. These tens of millions of anonymous veterans constructed, invested, gave birth to, bought, and invented every facet of modern life; their values, both positive and damaging, remain potent and omnipresent in the twenty-first century.

-Jessica Taylor, Graduate Coordinator

The following spotlights on topics in the Veterans History World War II Collections were written by student interns in the Fall 2014 academic internship class, illuminating broad themes through specific interviews and experiences.

Spotlight on Veterans History: World War II Collections with Fall 2014 Interns

Former SPOHP Director Julian M. Pleasants Releases New Book

May 1st, 2017

“A powerful book; a tale of heroism, volunteerism, and sacrifice.”—Gary R. Mormino, author of Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams: A Social History of Modern Florida “Personal anecdotes humanize the… Read More

“Deciding to Join,” Caitlyn Ross with Coy Easter, WWII-109

Dec 8th, 2014

“Deciding to Join” with Coy Easter (WWII-109) By Caitlyn Ross, Intern Coy Easter is from North Carolina, and was drafted as a teenager into World War II following the attack on… Read More

“Training,” by Patrick Daglaris with Morgan Welch, WWII-230

Dec 8th, 2014

“Training” with Morgan Welch (WWII-230) By Patrick Daglaris, Intern Listen: Oral history interview clip at UFDC with Morgan Welch 02:51 Morgan Welch grew up on the foothills of the Ozark Mountains in… Read More

“Women Contributing to the War Effort” by Christian Wanamaker with Alvina Bowen, WWII-201

Dec 8th, 2014

“Women Contributing to the War Effort” Alvina Bowen (WWII-201) By Christian Wanamaker, Intern Listen: Oral history interview clip at UFDC with Alvina Bowen 00:55 Alvina Bowen was just seventeen years old when the… Read More

“Segregation,” by Jasmine Reynolds with Joseph Welch, AAHP-303

Dec 8th, 2014

“Segregation,” Joseph Welch, AAHP-303 By Jasmine Reynolds, Intern Listen: Oral history interview clip at UFDC with Joseph Welch 00:55 Upon entering the military during World War II, Mr. Welch talks about his experiences… Read More

“Faith,” by Arielle Heinke with Colen Thomas, WWII-057

“Faith,” by Arielle Heinke with Colen Thomas, WWII-057

Dec 8th, 2014

“Faith,” Colen Thomas (WWII-057) By Arielle Heinke, Intern  Religion had always been an integral part of Colen Thomas’ life, and after his enlistment, his faith became a guiding force which shaped… Read More

“Letters to Home,” by Mariah Justice, with Robert Molosso, WWII-218

Dec 8th, 2014

“Letters to Home,” Robert Molosso (WWII-218) By Mariah Justice, Intern Listen: Oral history interview clip at UFDC with Robert Molosso 00:12 Robert Molosso is a World War II veteran who served in the Pacific theatre. … Read More

“Behind Enemy Lines,” by Virginia Hamrick, with Edward Wackowski, WWII-135

Dec 8th, 2014

“Behind Enemy Lines,” Edward Wackowski (WWII-135) By Virginia Hamrick, Intern Listen: Oral history interview clip at UFDC with Edward Wackowski 00:43 On September 11, 1944, Eddie Wackowski’s family heard he was lost somewhere… Read More

“Mortality,” by Austyn Szempruch, with Leo McCracken, WWII-070

Dec 8th, 2014

“Mortality,” Leo McCracken (WWII-070) By Austyn Szempruch, Intern Listen: Oral history interview clip at UFDC with Leo McCracken 00:37 A reality that many people fear to acknowledge today, mortality was all too real… Read More

“Nursing,” by Brittney Mejia, with Pauline Pepper, WWII-077

Dec 8th, 2014

“Nursing,” Pauline Pepper (WWII-077) By Brittney Mejia, Intern Listen: Oral history interview clip at UFDC with Pauline Pepper 02:17 Pauline Pepper is a Gem. She served as a nurse in the war on… Read More

“Fighting an Enemy,” by Maria Fuentes with Bill Cross, WWII-021

Dec 8th, 2014

“Fighting an Enemy,” Bill Cross (WWII-021) By Maria Fuentes, Intern Listen: Oral history interview clip at UFDC with Bill Cross 02:35 Bill Cross was born in Missouri during 1925 but raised in… Read More

“Prisoners of War,” by Steven Houston with Herbert Pepper, WWII-030

Dec 8th, 2014

“Prisoners of War,” Herbert Pepper (WWII-030) By Steven Houston Listen: Oral history interview clip at UFDC with Herbert Pepper 07:57 Herbert Pepper was an Air Force sergeant who served in the Pacific… Read More

“Occupations” by Bruce Hunt with Howard Long, WWII-200

Dec 8th, 2014

Occupations, Howard Lamar Long (WWII-200) By Bruce Hunt, Intern Howard Lamar Long, a veteran of the Second World War, was interviewed on the 2nd of April, 2012 and it was… Read More


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