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National WWII Reunion

Wartime Stories

Using a "talk show" format, this pavilion featured interviews and panel discussions with World War II veterans and war workers.

Among the participants were political figures and public servants, authors and journalists, film and television entertainers, sports figures, and others drawn from the fields of business, military service, and academia.

List of Participants:

Quentin C. Aanenson (Wartime Stories, May 29)
Served as a fighter pilot, flying a P-47 Thunderbolt in the European theater. Following the war, he worked in the fields of insurance and securities. His wartime record was featured in the film, A Fighter Pilot's Story, broadcast on public television.

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John R. Alison (Wartime Stories, May 29)
Served as commander of the 75th Fighter Squadron in China, with additional service during the war in England and Burma. He served in the Air Force Reserves until 1968, reaching the rank of Major General. He is currently chairman of the board of the Hope Anderson Engineering Company.

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Jeff Anthony (Wartime Stories, May 28, 30)
A Special Events Producer, who is also a former Marine, a decorated Vietnam veteran, and a graduate of Georgetown University. For the past four years, he has served as a tour manager for the USO, and has traveled extensively in support of U.S. troops worldwide.

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Melissa Block (Wartime Stories, May 28)
The newest host of All Things Considered, National Public Radio's daily evening newsmagazine. Since joining NPR in 1985, Block has worked as a producer, editor, director, and reporter, covering both breaking news and human-interest stories.

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Jim Bohannon (Wartime Stories, May 27)
A radio talk-show host, whose nightly Jim Bohannon Show, featuring interviews and calls, is heard on nearly 500 radio stations from coast to coast. He is a member of the Radio Hall of Fame.

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Ossie Davis (Wartime Stories, May 28)
Helped establish an African-American medical station in Liberia while serving in the U.S. Army during World War II. Ever since his acting debut in 1946, he has made numerous appearances on film, stage, and television. He and his wife, Ruby Dee, have received the National Medal of Arts and the Life Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild, among many other honors and awards.

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Lorraine Jacyno Dieterle (Wartime Stories, May 28)
Served in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II as a trainer of combat photographers, teaching them the techniques for still, motion, and aerial photography. From 1961 to 1975, she coached girl's and women's basketball in Detroit, and currently serves as a director of volunteer services of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. She is the author of Arlington National Cemetery: A Nation's Story Carved in Stone.

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Thomas Doherty (Wartime Stories, May 27, 28, 30)
Chairs the Film Studies Program at Brandeis University, and is the author of Projections of War: Hollywood, American Culture, and World War II (1999), and Cold War, Cool Medium: Television, McCarthyism, and American Culture (2003).

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Bob Dole (Wartime Stories, May 27)
He was a captain with the 10th Mountain Division in Italy, and was twice wounded in combat. He served as a U.S. Representative from Kansas from 1961 to 1969 and as a U.S. Senator until 1996. His terms as both Senate Minority Leader and Senate Majority Leader set a record as the nation's longest serving Republican leader. He was the Republican candidate for Vice-President in 1976 and for President in 1996. As National Chairman, Senator Dole led the fund-raising campaign for the National World War II Memorial.

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John Dolibois (Wartime Stories, May 30)
Served as a captain in Military Intelligence, and was assigned to the International War Crimes Trial in Nuremberg, Germany. There he interrogated (among others) Hermann Goering, Julius Streicher, and Joachim von Ribbentrop. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg from 1981 to 1985, and is the author of Pattern of Circles: An Ambassador's Story.

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James Counts Early (Wartime Stories, May 27)
He is the Director of Cultural Heritage Policy at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, and the Acting-Interim Director at the Anacostia Museum Center for African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution. He has also served previously as Assistant Provost for Educational and Cultural Programs and as Assistant Secretary for Education and Public Service at the Smithsonian.

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Bob Feller (Wartime Stories, May 30)
Served four years in the U.S. Navy, earning eight battle stars as the chief of a gun crew on the battleship USS Alabama. Known for his fiery fastball, he holds the record as the pitcher with the most wins (266) in Cleveland Indians history. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962 (his first year of eligibility).

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Idella Ford (Wartime Stories, May 28)
Served with the Army Nurse Corps during World War II. Her assignments included Fort Huachuca, Arizona; a German Prisoners of War camp in Florence, Arizona; and Brigham City, Utah, where she helped treat cases of psychoneurosis. She is an active member of the American Society of Parliamentary Law.

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Liane Hansen (Wartime Stories, May 30)
She has been the host on National Public Radio's Weekend Edition Sunday since 1989. Previously she hosted Performance Today, NPR's award-winning daily two-hour classical music and arts information program, and served as a regular guest host for NPR's newsmagazines and Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

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Marjorie Lee Hadlock (Wartime Stories, May 29)
She worked during World War II as a junior hostess at the Stage Door Canteen inside the Belasco Theatre in Washington, D.C., and also at several USO facilities in the area. Starting in 1943, she worked with the Radio Section of Public Relations for the U.S. Navy, and following the war with CBS Radio and NBC Radio.

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Jean Hay (Wartime Stories, May 29)
She was known during World War II as "The Reveille Girl, Beverley," thanks to a daily radio show designed for troops that was broadcast between 5:30 and 6:30 six mornings a week. In 1943, Columbia Pictures released Reveille with Beverley, starring Ann Miller in the title role. Following the war, she moved to California, where she continued her career as a radio and later as a television broadcaster.

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Tony Hillerman (Wartime Stories, May 27)
Served in the U.S. Army and participated in the D-Day invasion, earning the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Following the war, he worked as a journalist in Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico, and also as a journalism professor at the University of New Mexico. Today he is best known for his novels about the culture of the Navajo people.

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Grant Ichikawa (Wartime Stories, May 27)
Volunteered to serve in the Military Intelligence Service in November 1942, and was later sent to Japan as a member of the Occupation Forces. He spent additional tours working as a civilian for an intelligence organization in Japan, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Ichikawa is president of the Japanese American Veterans Association.

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Norman Ikari (Wartime Stories, May 27)
Served with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team in the U.S. Army, while at the same time some of his relatives were interned in camps for Japanese Americans. Following the war, Ikari resumed his education, eventually earning a Ph.D. from Georgetown University. He worked many years as a research microbiologist for the National Institutes of Health before retiring in 1980.

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Monte Irvin (Wartime Stories, May 30)
Served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1945. He began playing professional baseball with the Newark Eagles of the Negro National League in 1937, and later played with the New York Giants from 1949 to 1955. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973.

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Jean Kariya (Wartime Stories, May 27)
Kariya and her family were interned at the Tanforan Assembly Center in San Bruno, California; Topaz Relocation Camp in Topaz, Utah; and Crystal City Family Internment Camp in Crystal City, Texas. After World War II, she worked for the Occupation Forces in Sendai and Tokyo. Currently she is active in the Japanese American Citizens League.

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Don Lopez (Wartime Stories, May 29)
He was a fighter pilot in the 75th Fighter Squadron, the Flying Sharks, of the 23rd Fighter Group in China. Following the war, he taught at the U.S. Air Force Academy, worked as a Systems Engineer on the Apollo-Saturn Launch Vehicle and Skylab Orbital Workshop, and helped create the National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian Institution, where he currently Deputy Director. Lopez is the author of Into the Teeth of the Tiger and Fighter Pilot's Heaven: Flight Testing the Early Jets.

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George McGovern (Wartime Stories, May 27)
He flew 35 combat missions as a B-24 bomber pilot in Europe, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross. Following the war, he served as a Professor of History and Government at Dakota Wesleyan University, and as a U.S. Senator from South Dakota from 1963 to 1981. In 1972, he was the Democratic nominee for U.S. President. Following his career in the Senate, he has served as the president of the Middle East Policy Council, and as Ambassador to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, among other positions.

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William McNamara (Wartime Stories, May 30)
He wrote for Stars and Stripes while serving in the Army, and started the Beachhead Bulletin, after landing in Normandy shortly after D-Day. Following the War, he became an information and legislative officer for the National Selective Service, and later the director of Armed Forces Sports. He also served for 20 years as a consultant for the President's Council for Physical Fitness and Sports.

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Francis X. (Frank) Medina (Wartime Stories, May 28; Veterans History Project, May 30; Family Activities, May 30)
He was serving as a tail gunner in the 459th Bomb Group of the 756th Bomb Squadron, when his plane was shot down over northern Italy in July 1944. The crew of nine bailed out, and all but Medina were captured. He eventually linked up with Italian partisans, and fought with them for eight months. He is the author of Ciao, Francesco.

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Norman Mineta (Wartime Stories, May 30)
Mineta and his family were among the 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry forced from their homes and into internment camps during World War II. From 1975 to 1995, he was a member of U.S. House of Representatives, representing California's Silicon Valley. Under President Bill Clinton, he served as the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, and since January 2001, he has served as the U.S. Secretary of Transportation under President George W. Bush.

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Allen Neuharth (Wartime Stories, May 30)
He served with General George Patton's Third Army in Europe. Following the war, he worked as a reporter for several newspapers in South Dakota, and then held management positions with the Miami Herald, Detroit Free Press, and Rochester Times-Union. As chairman and chief executive officer of the Gannett Company, Neuharth founded USA Today in 1982. He is also the founder and senior advisory chairman of the Freedom Forum.

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Franklin Odo (Wartime Stories, May 27)
He is Director of the Asian Pacific American Program at the Smithsonian Institution and a curator at the National Museum of American History. He has also been a professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Hawai'i and editor of The Columbia Documentary History of the Asian American Experience. His latest book is No Sword to Bury: Japanese Americans in Hawaii during World War II.

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John Jordan (Buck) O'Neil (Wartime Stories, May 30)
He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He played for many years with the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro National League, and managed the team from 1948 to 1955. In 1956, he was hired by the Chicago Cubs as a scout, and in 1962, still with the Cubs, he became the first African-American coach in the Major Leagues. He is currently chairman of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.

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Marc Pachter (Wartime Stories, May 27, 30)
Pachter has been director of the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery since July 2000. He has also served as the Smithsonian's deputy assistant secretary for external affairs and as counselor to the Secretary of the Smithsonian. He is a member of the Board of the National D-Day Museum and chaired the 150th anniversary celebration of the Smithsonian Institution in 1996.

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Jack Palance (Wartime Stories, May 30)
He flew surveillance planes for the Army Air Corps during World War II. Known for his tough persona on screen, Palance has made numerous films since his movie debut in 1950, including Shane, Attack, The Professionals, Bagdad Cafe, and Batman. He won an Academy Award for his performance in City Slickers (1991).

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William J. Powell (Wartime Stories, May 28)
Powell returned to Ohio following service with the Army Air Forces during World War II, only to find that because of racial discrimination he was prevented from playing golf at public or private courses in the area. The result was his own Clearview Golf Club in East Canton, Ohio: the first U.S. golf course designed, owned, and operated by an African American. This story is told in Clearview: America's Course—The Autobiography of William J. Powell.

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Martha Settle Putney (Wartime Stories, May 27; Veterans History Project, May 28)
She was a first lieutenant in the Women's Army Corps, with service as a basic training officer at Fort Des Moines, Iowa. Following the war, she became a Professor of History at Bowie State College, and a Senior Lecturer at Howard University. She is the author of Blacks in the United States Army: Portraits through History, Black Sailors: Afro-American Merchant Seamen and Whalemen prior to the Civil War, and When the Nation was in Need: Blacks in the Women's Army Corps during World War II.

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Lorraine Rodgers (Wartime Stories, May 28)
She was one of a select group of volunteers serving in the Women Airforce Service Pilots program of World War II, which was designed to free more male pilots for combat and strategic missions. Following the war, she worked in the Operations Department at the Glenview Naval Air Station, where she all over the world.

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Daniel Schorr (Wartime Stories, May 28)
Schorr served with U.S. Army intelligence during World War II. Following the war, he began writing from Western Europe for the Christian Science Monitor and later the New York Times. He joined Edward R. Murrow's team at CBS News in 1953, and worked with the network until 1976. He is currently Senior News Analyst at National Public Radio.

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Scott Simon (Wartime Stories, May 29)
He joined National Public Radio in 1977 as chief of its Chicago bureau and is now host of Weekend Edition Saturday. In 2002, he took leave of his post to cover the war in Afghanistan. He is the author of two books, Home and Away: Memoir of a Fan and Jackie Robinson and the Integration of Baseball.

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Alan Simpson (Wartime Stories, May 30)
He served as a U.S. Senator from Wyoming from 1979 to 1997. As a Boy Scout in Wyoming during World War II, he met a fellow Boy Scout, Norman Mineta, in an internment camp for Japanese Americans. Simpson is the author of Right in the Old Gazoo: What I've Observed in a Lifetime of Scrapping with the American Press.

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Tony Vaccaro (Wartime Stories, May 30)
He served as a scout with the 83rd Infantry Division, taking photographs as his unit moved from Normandy to the Elbe River. He continued to take photographs in Germany until 1949, and after returning to the United States worked as a photographer for Stars and Stripes, as well as for Flair, Look, and Life magazines. He is the author of Entering Germany, 1944-1949.

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Mike Wallace (Wartime Stories, May 30)
He served in the U.S. Navy as a communications officer from 1943 to 1946. Following the war, he worked as a news reporter for a radio station in Chicago, but moved to New York in 1951. Known as a probing interviewer and reporter, Wallace has achieved great renown with television programs such as Nightbeat, Mike Wallace Interviews, and (since 1968) 60 Minutes.

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Linda Wertheimer (Wartime Stories, May 28)
She is senior national correspondent for National Public Radio, having worked at the network since its inception in 1971. She spent 13 years as a host of NPR's news magazine, All Things Considered, and has also served as the network's congressional and national political correspondent, regularly reporting on the major events of the day.

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Edgar Whitcomb (Wartime Stories, May 28)
He was serving as a navigator in the Army Air Corps when he was imprisoned on the island of Corregidor. After escaping from this prison camp, he was recaptured, but then lived in Manila under an assumed name. Following the war, he practiced law, and served as Governor of Indiana from 1969 to 1973. He is the author of Escape from Corregidor and On Celestial Wings.

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John Withers (Wartime Stories, May 30)
He was serving as a lieutenant with an African American supply convoy in Germany when (against orders) he helped two Jewish survivors of the Holocaust regain their strength. Following the war, Withers earned a Ph.D. in political science, and worked 21 years for the U.S. Agency for International Development. In 2001 he was reunited with one of the men he had helped.

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Howard Zinn (Wartime Stories, May 27)
Zinn served as a bombardier in the 490th Bomb Group, flying many missions over Europe. Following the war, he taught history and political science at Spelman College and Boston University. He has authored more than twenty books, including A People's History of the United States, which takes the perspective of oppressed and exploited groups in American history, and an autobiography, You Can't be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal Memoir of our Times.

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