V-J Day, 1945

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Interview with Mary Alice Patterson about growing up in Kansas City, Kansas, during the Great Depression, and her marriage to her husband Dee. She discusses Dee's education as a civil engineer at the University of Kansas, his enlistment in the Navy Seabees in 1943, his service in the Pacific, and sending V-mail and care packages to him while managing life on the homefront. She also discusses memories of VJ Day while they were stationed in Providence, Rhode Island, and life after the war, with Dee returning to engineering and later work with the General Services Administration, and notes her sister Virginia's service as a nurse in the Women's Army Corps in the Pacific during the war.

Video Recording

Interview with Joseph McNerney about his service in the Merchant Marines during World War II after being declared 4-F when he tried to enlist in the Army. He describes training at Sheepshead Bay, New York, and his first trip overseas, supplying aviation fuel and aircraft to the United Kingdom ahead of D-Day. He discusses life onboard ships, witnessing German attacks on American convoys, and sailing throughout the world, including Southeast Asia, the Persian Gulf, and a year-long voyage from the East Coast of the United States to Shanghai by way of Sydney and the Philippines. He left the Merchant Marines in 1947 and returned home to Kansas City, where he worked as a pipefitter and had a family. He notes that 55 years after his discharge, it was determined he was eligible for veterans benefits due to his length of service during the war years, and shares family pictures and artwork.

Video Recording

Interview with June Neal about her life and civilian work for the Army during World War II. She discusses growing up on a farm in Brown County, Kansas, during the Depression, and taking a job with the Army Effects Bureau in Kansas City in 1941, processing personal items for soldiers killed in the war. She also talks about her five brothers surviving their military service, the death of her first husband and life as a widowed young mother during the 1950s and returning to work at the Internal Revenue Service in Kansas City, and about a photograph appearing on the front page of the Kansas City Star of her kissing a serviceman during VJ Day celebrations near 12th and Main. The photograph later appeared in Life magazine, resulting in calls and letters from soldiers.

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Audio Recording