The War: Nebraska Stories
4 of 12

Over There

Soldiers running during WWII combat in Europe
Soldiers running during WWII combat in Europe.
Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG2842-01-02
"The most important thing on your mind was trying to stay alive."
—Bill Gilgren, Dalton, NE
Third Infantry Division
in Europe

"It’s just kind of hard to describe really. You are scared, jumpy, and you prayed. You knew when there was a [kamikaze] raid and the planes were coming in, that somebody was going to get hit because it was just a one-way trip for the pilot."
—John Zimola, Wahoo, NE
Fire Controlman First Class
USS Louisville

Combat Over There
What is it like to be under enemy fire or waiting for an attack?

Find out what happened to several Nebraskans during combat,
both in the European and Asian Theatres of War.

In the videos, the soldiers sometimes refer to Japanese people as "Japs". This term was as offensive back then as it is today to Japanese and Japanese Americans, but was in fairly common usage by non-Japanese in the first half of the twentieth century. Because we were at war with Japan, government officials, newspapers, and propaganda posters as well as military personnel of that era all used the term to show contempt for the enemy.

WWII Combat Veterans Photo Gallery

Warren Miller Hollis Stabler Richard Connell B. Nick Garcia
Warren Miller, Hollis Stabler, Richard Connell, B. Nick Garcia.
Courtesy NET Foundation for Television
Francis Greenlief, circa 1945 Francis Greenlief, 1972 Richard Kaplan Charles Lane, Jr.
Francis Greenlief, circa 1945 & 1972, Richard Kaplan, Charles Lane, Jr.
Courtesy NET Foundation for Television
D-Day Invasion
D-Day Invasion
Courtesy NET Foundation for Television & U.S. Government Archives
USS Bismarck Sea
USS Bismarck Sea
Courtesy U.S. Navy, NH78142
USS Bismarck Sea explodes
USS Bismarck Sea explodes
Courtesy U.S. Navy, 80-G-335103

For More Information within Nebraska Studies:
The War: Nebraska Stories, Minority Experiences: African Americans
Nebraska & World War II: Pearl Harbor
Nebraskans on the Front Lines: Uncle Sam Wants You!
Nebraskans on the Front Lines: Nebraska National Guard

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