"The most important thing on your mind was trying to stay alive."
—Bill Gilgren, Dalton, NE
Third Infantry Division
"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
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. Courtesy NET Foundation for Television
Francis Greenlief, circa 1945 & 1972, Richard Kaplan, Charles Lane, Jr. Courtesy NET Foundation for Television
D-Day Invasion Courtesy NET Foundation for Television & U.S. Government Archives