WWII Veterans’ Oral Histories

National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force

We will begin with the website of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force:    http://www.mightyeighth.org/.  To learn about the more than 1,000 unpublished personal accounts written by Eighth Air Force veterans available through the Research Center, go to: http://www.mightyeighth.org/special-collections/.  To add a veteran to the Veterans’ Database at the museum, go to: http://www.mightyeighth.org/veteran-database/.   To learn how to apply for a search of the Research Center’s archives, go to: http://www.mightyeighth.org/research-center/.   The home page of the Museum (http://www.mightyeighth.org/) has several excerpts from oral interviews of veterans of the 8th Air Force.  To contact Dr. Vivian Rogers-Price, Research Center Director, email her at vrogersprice at mightyeighth.org.  Or write her at  Director, Research Center, National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, P.O. Box 1992, Savannah, GA 31402.

Library of Congress Veterans’ History Project

The home page for the Library of Congress Veteran’s History Project is https://www.loc.gov/vets/.  The “About” page is at https://www.loc.gov/vets/about.html.  To learn how to participate, go to https://www.loc.gov/vets/kit.html.   You can search the collection of interviews by going to https://memory.loc.gov/diglib/vhp/html/search/search.html.

Other Oral History Sources

The following links are a combination of links compiled by the Library of Congress Veterans’ History Project, updated as of May 2018, with dead links removed, and supplemented by links to several bomb groups and fighter groups.  Suggestions for further additions to the list are welcome.  Please contact the webmaster.

Floyd County, Indiana Oral History Projectexternal link
https://www.in.gov/ibc/legacyprojects/3310.htm.  Includes interviews and photographs from World War II and the Korean War.

U.S. Coast Guard Historian’s Office
https://www.history.uscg.mil/.  U.S. Coast Guard website.  Included oral histories from former commandants, general oral histories, and primarily WWII experiences;  is expanding and has already added Viet Nam experiences.

U.S. Naval Institute Oral History Programexternal link
http://www.usni.org/heritage/oral-history.  Comprehensive, tape-recorded interviews with people who have made history in the naval profession;  these interviews are then transcribed, annotated, indexed, and bound.  Have also some specialized projects involving early WAVE officers and Vietnam War prisoners of war.

World War II

70 Infantry Division Associationexternal link
http://www.trailblazersww2.org/.  Includes three reels of combat footage, discovered in the National Archives, featuring the 70th Infantry Division.

91st Bomb Group (H) Memorial Associationexternal link
http://www.91stbombgroup.com/.  Site includes photos, music, memorabilia, and over fifty stories.

91st Bomb Group. http://www.91stbombgroup.com/91st_info/91st_veteran_interviews_links.html

95th Bomb Group: http://95thbg.org/j3migr/95thbg-history/vet-stories/veterans-short-stories

379th Bomb Group: http://www.379thbga.org/war_stories.htm

384th Bomber Groupexternal link
http://www.384thbombgroup.com/.  A collection of 17 stories about members of the 384th BG, submitted by veterans and their relatives.  Also contains photographs.

392nd Bomb Groupexternal link
http://www.b24.net/.  Includes stories and diaries of those who flew in the B-24, also links to extensive research and documentation on POW Stalag Lufts (http://www.b24.net/powStories.htm).

398th Bomb Group Memorial Association, Timeless Voices Project (contains a great many video interviews): http://www.398th.org/History/Veterans/Voices/Interviews/index.html

446th Bomb Group.  http://www.446bg.com/.  Contains 37 biographies written by veterans or their family members.  Click on “Stories”.

447th Bomb Group Stories: http://www.447bg.com/447th%20Stories.htm

453rd Bomb Group Stories: http://www.453rd.com/stories.html

458th Bomb Group Stories: http://www.458bg.com/stories.htm

487th Bomb Group Stories: http://www.487thbg.org/Stories/487thStories.shtml

493rd Bomb Group Stories: http://www.493bgdebach.co.uk/vetmems.php

55th Fighter Group.  Click on Accounts to go to the Personal Accounts page: http://www.55th.org/

56th Fighter Group Interviews: http://www.56thfightergroup.co.uk/interviews.htm

339th Fighter Group.  Dutch Eisenhart interview: http://www.339thfg.com/Eisenhartreference.html

352nd Fighter Group Stories.  Click on Stories: http://www.352ndfightergroup.com/assoc/main.html

357th Fighter Group Stories: http://www.cebudanderson.com/combatstories.htm

Albert R. Panebianco’s WWII Siteexternal link
http://www.45thinfantrydivision.com/.  Account of his experiences in the 45th Infantry Division, 157 Regiment; includes many links to main infantry division and armored division sites.

American Airpower Heritage Museumexternal link
http://airpowermuseum.org/?page=cms/index&cms_page=95.  World War II Veterans Oral History Program; has a significant collection of over 2,000 oral histories from WWII veterans of aviation.  [The link is to the Commemorative Air Force website and does not appear to have any reference to oral histories.]

Dover Air Force Base Museum: WWII Oral Historiesexternal link
http://amcmuseum.org/history/.  [It is now the Air Mobility Command Museum.]  Includes histories, as well as numerous links to related websites.

Private Art. A Collection of WWII Letters To and From The Home Front external link
http://www.private-art.com/.  This site serves as a tribute to the 86th Chemical Mortar Battalion.

Rutgers Oral History Archives of World War IIexternal link
http://oralhistory.rutgers.edu/.  Records the personal experiences of men and women who served on the homefront and overseas; based on in-depth interviews of individuals who lived through World War II, beginning with an initial target group of Rutgers College alumni and Douglass College alumnae (formerly New Jersey College for Women).  Currently features about 238 oral history interviews.  Interviews are searchable with Google search engine.

Stalag Luft Iexternal link
http://www.merkki.com/.  Site contains a collectionof reminiscences written by the POWs detailing their experiences during World War II, before and after being shot down and imprisoned.  Includes photos and poetry as well as links to numerous other ex-POW sites.  Also contains watercolor drawings, cartoons, sketches and carvings of the prisoners of war at Stalag Luft I.

TANKBOOKS.comexternal link
http://www.Tankbooks.com/.  Audio clips from over forty veterans and spouses; requires RealPlayer software.  Also includes pages of stories and poems, interviews, and links to approximately 75 other World War II sites, some oral.

The Troubleshooters.com external link
http://www.thetroubleshooters.com/ww2/pt0001.html.  Patton’s “Troubleshooters” and the story of the 702nd Tank Battalion; includes links to several sites dealing with personal reminiscences.

The Voices of WWII for Use in the Classromexternal link 
http://www.wwiihistoryclass.com/.  Includes numerous pages of teacher and student resources, lesson plans and ideas, and over 130 interview transcripts, a step by step “How to do Oral History” section, as well as a wealth of information on grants, scholarships, contests, and links to veterans’ organizations, maps and geographical resources, research sites, photographs and documents, translations, graves registration and oral histories.

What did you do in the war, Grandma?external link
http://www.stg.brown.edu/projects/WWII_Women/tocCS.html.  An oral history of Rhode Island women during World War II.  Twenty-six veterans are interviewed by students in the Honors English Program at South Kingstown High School.