Interviewing a WW2 Veteran

Discussion in 'USA' started by Sgt Hawk, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. Sgt Hawk

    Sgt Hawk Member

    I had the honor of talking to a WW2 Veteran this past weekend. He was a Medic with a Tank Destroy Unit. As we talked ,I could see that it was bring up old memories of things that he had seen.
    He told me of a Tanker that was serverly wounded, as he was trying to make the mortality wounded man as comfortable as possible, the man spoke to him to see to the other tank crew members for he knew he was dieing. Mr Robert told me with tears in his eyes of all the men he had treated during his tour of duty this man has stayed burned into his mind. He and I both cried as he was telling me stories. Once as he and another Medic were treating wounded as the battle raged around them German Soldiers burst into the house and sprayed the wounded with machine gun fire, killing several of them and re wounding many more. He told me of never having as much rage for another human as he had for the German Soldiers as they shot them up. A Infantry man with a machine gun shot the German Soldiers as they excited the house, when the firing was over he treated 2 of the German's before they were took off to a POW Camp. The other Medic was KIA and Mr Robert was not hit by any of the bullets.
    This Veteran is a gentle , humble man who has not talked about these events to any other people , not even his family.
     
    Za Rodinu and Slipdigit like this.
  2. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    Sounds like an eventful visit, and a moving one.

    Thanks for sharing that with us.
     
  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    A conversation to remember.
    Cheers.
     
  4. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Well done Sarg!

    I know how rewarding conversations like that can be. I have been very fortunate to have met and corresponded with several WW2 veterans. Some have been surprised by how easily they can talk to near strangers compared to their nearest and dearest.

    I would say that the majority of the men I have talked to needed to get some of the memories and experiences they have held onto all these years off their chest, so to speak! Speaking with them is such a privilege but needs a delicate and careful approach and the ability to just listen and learn. :)
     
  5. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Bamboo
    That is exactly the problem with many of the young to-day - they don't want to listen except to the radios glued into their ears and as for learning . shhheeeesh - that's a double four letter word - they mainly SAY they want to learn but the reality is different with few of them actually learning whatever we can teach them...
    Cheers
     
  6. Earthican

    Earthican Senior Member

    Good work, Sgt. Hawk!!!

    Be sure to record the particulars of unit, dates, assignments and such. Try to cross check those with other sources and reconcile any differences. Then save that information with the family. So often a family does not have the means to get this information recorded accurately.
     
  7. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Assuming the family cares... Well done, Sgt!
     
  8. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Hawk,

    Well done.

    I can well imagine the scene as you listened to the story unfold.

    Thank you for sharing that moment.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  9. Sgt Hawk

    Sgt Hawk Member

    Thanks fellows. I all ways take notes, ect when I talk to these Veterans. This has become a passion for me. At least here there is not a day that goes by in the news or paper there is another Veteran that has passed on. If not for these brave men and women , we would not have the freedoms that we have today. Thank God for what they did for the world. As they have passed the torch to us and in some cases we have passed it to our Sons and Daughters, the least we can do is not forget those that have given so much.
     
  10. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    Thanks fellows. I all ways take notes, ect when I talk to these Veterans. This has become a passion for me. At least here there is not a day that goes by in the news or paper there is another Veteran that has passed on. If not for these brave men and women , we would not have the freedoms that we have today. Thank God for what they did for the world. As they have passed the torch to us and in some cases we have passed it to our Sons and Daughters, the least we can do is not forget those that have given so much.

    Well done and well said!
     
  11. PA. Dutchman

    PA. Dutchman Senior Member

    Our son was in 9 TH Grade when he interviewed my father for a school History project. this is the interview.

    He kept the bad things from being too graphic because of our sons' age.

    Our son recorded the interview and I have a tape and CD of the interview. My father was telling my son how on Saturday night they would go into town to have a beer and SEE THE GIRLS.

    My mother was washing dishes in the kitchen and she can be heard saying on the original recording, "HE DOESN'T NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE GIRLS IN TOWN ON SATURDAY NIGHT"!

    I am including an interview in 1956 by our local media on the 15 TH Anniversary of the Attack on Hickam on 12/7/1941. Our 3 RD grade teacher read it to us as a History lesson and then surprised us by stating "That young airman's son is in our class today".

    I was very surprised to here my name called out by the teacher. That night at supper I asked my father if it was true he was at the Attack on Hickam on 12/7/1941?

    He was as surprised as I had been in school that morning and said "who told you this?" I said our teacher read it for a History Lesson. It was the first time he spoke of the Attack, he said "yes I was there."

    I wrote our media to see if they wanted to reprint their interview this past December 7. When I told the editor my story he asked me to write about my experience in 1956. That is one of my postings and the last is the Girls in Town on a Saturday night. He had it in his papers, he had not been dating my mother at time of that photo. On the back of the photo is states, Jeanne, Mae and myself.
     

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