Most of the Oral History Audiobooks in this collection are available in my eBay store. Here is a new audio sampler with a bit of a description for each track.
In 1994 when I interviewed a series of D-Day veterans in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of D-Day, I wanted to find a veteran who suffered from post traumatic stress disorder. So I called a psychologist at the VA Hospital in Orange, N.J., and asked if he could suggest a patient to interview. He set up a meeting with Jerry Rutigliano, a former prisoner of war. This particular story, in which Jerry showed me a photo of him sitting with Jimmy Doolittle, always gets me a little choked up. A waist gunner on a B-17, Jerry was shot down on his sixth mission to Berlin. It was his 27th mission overall, and General Doolittle had recently raised the number of missions for crew members from 25 to 30. Jerry met General Doolittle at a reunion in the 1970s. Excerpts from my interview with Jerry are available on my double CD World War II Bailout Package, available in my eBay store and at oralhistorystore.com
Karnig Thomasian was a gunner in a B-29 that was destroyed when two bombs of unequal weight collided in midair. For the next several months he was a prisoner of the Japanese in Rangoon, during which time he was regularly beaten and starved. In this excerpt, he describes the emotional rollercoaster of coming home as the plane dipped down and flew past the Statue of Liberty. Karnig's full two-hour interview is included in the collection "POW: Right in the Keister," available in my eBay store.
Erlyn Jensen is the sister of Major Don McCoy, the B-24 command pilot who was killed leading the ill-fated Kassel Mission of Sept. 27, 1944. In this brief excerpt, Erlyn tells how her mother blamed her son's death on President Roosevelt. Erlyn's interview is included in "The Kassel Mission: An Oral History Epic," available in my eBay store.
Don Knapp was a tank commander in the 712th Tank Battalion, my father's outfit, which is what got me started doing this whole oral history thing. In this excerpt, Don talks about his role in the fight that broke out in the middle of the night of Sept. 8, 1944, between the 712th Tank Battalion and the 108th Panzer Brigade. Don's full two-hour interview is included in both The Tanker Tapes, available in my eBay store and at oralhistorystore.com, and "The Middle of Hell: An Oral History Epic," about the role of the battalion's First Platoon, Company C in the battle for Hill 122 in Normandy. "The Middle of Hell" is available in my eBay store.
George Bussell was a tank driver in Company A of the 712th Tank Battalion, and one of the most colorful characters you're ever going to meet through an oral history audiobook. In this excerpt he also talks about the battle with the 108th Panzer Brigade. George's full-length interview is included in "The Tanker Tapes," available in my eBay store and at oralhistorystore.com.
In this excerpt, Erlyn Jensen described the day in 1943 that her brother came home on leave before going overseas. A transcript of my interview with Erlyn and a great deal more about this epic battle between 35 B-24 Liberators and 150 Fokke-Wulf 190s and Messerschmitt 109s can be found at www.kasselmission.com, and while you're at it, why not think about joining the Kassel Mission Historical Society.
Ed Boccafogli was a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division and fought in Normandy, Holland and the Battle of the Bulge. After you listen to this (not before), read this story about Johnny Daum as told by his nephew. My full two-hour interview with Ed Boccafogli is included in "The D-Day Tapes," available in my eBay store and at oralhistorystore.com.
Henry Dobek was a navigator on a B-24 on the Kassel Mission of Sept. 27, 1944. His plane, piloted by Paul Swofford, was one of only four of the 35 planes in the 445th Bomb Group to make it back to their base at Tibenham, England, that day. Of the others, 25 were shot down, three crash-landed in Allied territory, two reached an emergency landing field in England, and one overshot the runway at Tibenham and crash-landed five miles away. For the full story, visit www.kasselmission.com. "The Kassel Mission: An Oral History Epic," is available in my eBay store.
Bill Scheiterle was a lieutenant, and later a captain, in the Marines. In this excerpt, he describes an incident on the island of Peleliu. My full interview with Bill is included in "Four Marines," available in my eBay store, and the printed transcript is included in my book "Semper Four," along with transcripts of my interviews with three other Marines, available in my eBay store.
Stanley Klapkowski was a gunner in C Company of the 712th Tank Battalion. My full-length interview with "Klap" is included in the audiobook "Once Upon a Tank in the Battle of the Bulge," which is available in my eBay store and at oralhistorystore.com.
Tim Dyas was a sergeant in the 82nd Airborne Division who was captured during the invasion of Sicily. In this excerpt he describes the emotionally wrenching decision to surrender his men, despite being faced with the certain death of all of them. My full-length interview with Tim is included in the autiobook "POW: Right in the Keister," available in my eBay store.
In this excerpt, Erlyn describes her mother's participation in Gold Star Mothers, and her mother's trip to St. Avold, to see her son's grave. Although this is the third excerpt from one interview, it's intended to give you an idea of the depth of the full-length interviews. A full-length interview with Ed Boccafogli, for example, is available on the home page of tankbooks.com. My full interview with Erlyn is included in "The Kassel Mission: An Oral History Epic," available in my eBay store.
In this excerpt from my audiobook "Four Marines," Jerome Auman talks about a reunion of his unit in which he encouraged his fellow veterans to write their stories. Spoiler alert: Keep a handkerchief nearby. Jerome's full-length interview is included in "Four Marines" and is available in my eBay store.
Vern Schmidt was a replacement private first class in the 90th Infantry Division. He and two other young men were assigned to the division in the Siegfried line, and in ten days, the two men he joined with were dead. My full-length interview with Vern and his wife Dona is available as a double CD, "Kill or Be Killed," available in my eBay store.
Thanks for listening. Your purchases help fund the substantial project of digitizing and making available my archive of more than 600 hours of audio interviews with the men and women of the Greatest Generation. If you'd like to sign up for my email newsletter, please send me an email at: email@example.com.