105 episodes

The Library of Congress established the Veterans History Project in 2001 to collect memories, accounts and documents of U.S. war veterans from WWII and the Korean, Vietnam, and conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere and to preserve these stories for future generations.

These GVSU History Department interviews are part of this work-in-progress. Only selected interviews have been added here. To view additional videos and read transcripts of the interviews visit the Digital Collections Veterans History Project web site. DVDs of the interviews are available to researchers at Special Collections, located at the Seidman House, Allendale campus.

People interested in being interviewed for the project or learning more about it can contact the project director, Dr. James Smither of GVSU's History department at smitherj@gvsu.edu

Veterans History Project Grand Valley State University

    • History

The Library of Congress established the Veterans History Project in 2001 to collect memories, accounts and documents of U.S. war veterans from WWII and the Korean, Vietnam, and conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere and to preserve these stories for future generations.

These GVSU History Department interviews are part of this work-in-progress. Only selected interviews have been added here. To view additional videos and read transcripts of the interviews visit the Digital Collections Veterans History Project web site. DVDs of the interviews are available to researchers at Special Collections, located at the Seidman House, Allendale campus.

People interested in being interviewed for the project or learning more about it can contact the project director, Dr. James Smither of GVSU's History department at smitherj@gvsu.edu

    • video
    Arthur Bleecher - WWII 1939-1945 GVSU

    Arthur Bleecher - WWII 1939-1945 GVSU

    Arthur Bleecher enlisted in the Merchant Marine in 1944 and trained as a radio officer. He sailed to Asia and Europe in 1945 and 1946 and then returned to civilian life, only to be drafted for the Korean War. This time he served in the army, attended Officer Candidate School and trained as an anti-aircraft officer. He shipped out to Korea in 1952 and spent several months there on active duty.

    • 47 min
    • video
    Lester Alcumbrack - WWII 1939-1945 GVSU

    Lester Alcumbrack - WWII 1939-1945 GVSU

    Lester Alcumbrack was drafted into the army in 1942. Les became very sick during basic training, and became a truck driver. He trained as a fuel truck driver and received amphibious training. He began duty in Scotland and Wales prior to the Normandy Invasion, and continued to serve as a truck driver in France and Germany during and after the Invasion. After the German surrender, he spent his last months working with a refrigeration unit delivering food to US occupation troops.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    • video
    Wayne Anderson - WWII 1939-1945 GVSU

    Wayne Anderson - WWII 1939-1945 GVSU

    Wayne Anderson served as an armorer in the Army Air Corps from 1942 to 1945. He was based in England and serviced fighter planes, primarily P-51 Mustangs, that escorted bombing missions. At the time of the Battle of the Bulge, he was assigned to infantry training in France, but was not needed for combat. He served as a prison camp guard before being sent back to the US for his discharge.

    • 1 hr 33 min
    • video
    Robert Balckwell - WWII 1939-1945 GVSU

    Robert Balckwell - WWII 1939-1945 GVSU

    Bob Blackwell served in the US Army Air Corps during World War II. He served as a ball turret gunner on a B-17 bomber with the 8th Air Force in Europe. His account covers his training, experiences in England, and flying missions over northern Europe. During the Battle of the Bulge, his plane was shot down, and he had a narrow escape from the Germans when he landed in a river near the front lines and was rescued by Belgian civilians.

    • 1 hr
    • video
    Joseph Boball - WWII 1939-1945 GVSU

    Joseph Boball - WWII 1939-1945 GVSU

    Joseph Boball was born in 1912 and worked in the Aviation Engineers from 1943 through 1946. Joseph was Staff Sergeant in Okinawa and Korea. In Okinawa Joseph spent most of his time building an air strip and other infrastructure. While working in Okinawa, Joseph was threatened by Japanese plains flying over and shooting many times. After his time in the service, Joseph worked with for an oil refinery and as attended a few veterans' reunions.

    • 1 hr 1 min
    • video
    Gerald Bocian - WWII 1939-1945 GVSU

    Gerald Bocian - WWII 1939-1945 GVSU

    Gerald Bocian was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1925 and enlisted in the Navy in 1943 when he was only 17 years old. He went through training in Chicago and then chose to continue his training with submarines. After going through submarine school Gerald was stationed at Pearl Harbor where he worked on refitting submarines while the crew had time off on R & R. Gerald worked in Hawaii for 3 years before he went on a war patrol on the submarine USS Silversides in the Pacific.

    • 42 min

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