World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives

Displaying 1 - 10 of 26
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Interview with Edith Long about her two brothers, Charles Richard and Robert, their childhood in Independence, and her brothers' experiences in the Korean War and World War II. Robert enlisted in the US Army Air Corps but was not sent overseas. Richard, as she called him, enlisted in the Army and served in Europe during World War II, participating in the Battle of the Bulge. He went into the Reserves after his discharge and was later sent to Korea, where he was killed in action, and posthumously received the Medal of Honor. Edith shares fond memories of her brothers and recalls how Richard was acknowledged in local newspapers and by peers.

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Interview with Marinus van der Weele about his experience of World War II in The Netherlands, including work in the Merchant Marines and later in the Dutch Royal Navy. He describes losing his home to German bombing and living with his father in a seaman's mission while continuing to work as a newspaper technician, and joining the Merchant Marine to avoid being drafted into the German labor service, working on a ship ferrying railroad construction equipment along the coast of Norway. He shares the story of their Dutch captain being replaced by a German one, and the crew choosing to take the German prisoner and sailing across the North Atlantic to the Shetland Islands to escape. He describes returning to the Merchant Marine, ferrying fuel for Royal Dutch Shell, and later working for it and other petroleum countries in work that would take him around the world, and to ultimately settle in Kansas.

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Interviews with 14 individuals conducted at a 2006 reunion of former employees of North American Aviation, Inc. - Kansas (NAAK). Interviewees worked in various capacities, including as Rosie the Riveters, as artists, and assembling B-25s and P-80s. They discuss their jobs as well as their personal lives, accidents at the plant and in test flights, and memories of World War II.

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Interview with Eugene Lebowitz in which he discusses his childhood in Czechoslovakia, surviving the Holocaust in a labor camp and later as a tailor for Nazi officers in Budapest, living as a refugee in Austria and Italy, and coming to the United States as part of the Displaced Persons Act. He discusses working as a tailor for garment companies in New York City, and later being hired by Kansas City garment companies Youthcraft and Fashionbilt as a designer. He also talks about his work as a Holocaust educator with a speakers bureau, the decline of the Kansas City garment industry in the face of Asian manufacturing, and he and his wife Kate share family photographs and additional stories.

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Interview with Harry Brown about his family, childhood, and education in Kansas City, Missouri, working for the William Volker Company, and later being joining the civilian war effort by working for North American Aviation and Technicraft assembling and inspecting aircraft and aircraft components at their Fairfax Airport facilities. Mechanical aspects of the job and test flights are discussed in detail. He also discusses his day-to-day life as an adult, his rejection from the draft, and the 1951 Flood.

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Interview with Hazel Thomas about her experience training as a welder through the National Youth Administration and working for several aircraft manufacturers, including building B-25 Bombers at North American Aviation during World War II. She recalls parts being delivered by people on roller skates, receiving pay equal to that of the men, and marrying and having children. She also discusses going on work for decades in other manufacturing and maintenance jobs in the Kansas City area, growing up in northwest Missouri, Colorado and Rhode Island, and shares photographs and stories from her family.

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Interview with Joseph F. Moore about his experience growing up in Kansas City, Missouri, during World War II. Moore discusses being very young when Pearl Harbor was bombed, and seeing his uncles go off to war in various branches of service. He describes civilian practices at home, including stars hanging in the windows of homes; seeing sailors coming home through Union Station; rationbooks, scrap drives, and small coin banks used to support the war effort; and an in-home daycare run by his mother for young mothers working while their husbands were overseas. He also discusses American views toward Japanese and German people, and how (or whether) those views changed after the war, and discusses the difference in public support for wars and leaders in the 1940s vs. present day.

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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.

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