Veterans Chronicles tells the stories of America's greatest heroes in their own words.
James McEachin, U.S. Army, Korea
James McEachin joined the U.S. Army before turning eighteen, fascinated with the idea of being part of answering Uncle Sam's call to join the United States military. During his years in uniform, McEachin experienced the integration of the U.S. Armed Forces and deployed to fight in Korea in 1952.
In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Mr. McEachin describes his first combat experience and what it felt like to take another life. He also recounts being ambushed and nearly left for dead, until the only other survivor from his unit rendered heroic service to save his life.
McEachin also tells us how he came home and found work acting in Hollywood, appearing alongside the legendary John Wayne.
Mae Krier, Rosie the Riveter, World War II
Mae Krier grew up in North Dakota during the pain of the Great Depression. Shortly after the war, she went to visit Seattle. While there, she learned of a very good job for Boeing, working as a riveter on the wings of B-17 bombers. Later, she also worked on B-29 bombers.
In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Krier shares what it was like to be an original "Rosie the Riveter," how the men in the factory reacted to women entering the workplace, and what it means to her to have worked on so many planes that helped the Allies win the war. Mae also takes us on her successful journey to establish a national day of commemoration for all the Rosies who entered the factories when America needed them.
SSG James Pierce, U.S. Army National Guard, Iraq, Afghanistan
James Pierce joined the U.S. Army National Guard as he finished high school in the spring of 2001. Within months, America was at war and Pierce eventually served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Pierce describes his duties in both countries and details the devastating injuries he suffered when an Afghan police officer became a suicide bomber targeting American service members. Pierce details his injuries, his grueling recovery, and his new work with the National Park Service, including one monument near and dear to him.
George Walsh, U.S. Navy, WWII
George Walsh learned to fly before he learned to drive. He then served as a Navy dive bomber pilot in the Pacific theater of World War II. He shares his memories of service from critical battles such as Iwo Jima and Leyte.
Walsh is also a longtime historian about the dive bombers and a tireless advocate for dive bombers getting their due credit for their critical role in winning the Battle of Midway.
Those efforts and others were eventually rewarded with a feature film on Midway that focused on the decisive actions of the dive bombers.
Lt. Col. William Bonelli, USAF, WWII, Pearl Harbor
Bill Bonelli joined the U.S. Army Air Corps prior to Pearl Harbor, strongly suspecting that the U.S. would soon be at war against Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. Before long, while stationed in Hawaii, he witnessed and survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Mr. Bonelli also describes his service as a B-17 pilot in Europe, the types of targets he was assigned, and the important change he made on his missions without consulting a superior officer.
Don't miss this fascinating conversation with Lt. Col. William Bonelli.
Col. Bruce Crandall, U.S. Army, Vietnam, Medal of Honor
In November 1965, U.S. Army helicopter pilot Bruce Crandall defied orders and flew an unarmed chopper into enemy fire 22 times to evacuate dozens of wounded American soldiers. His actions would later lead to him being awarded the Medal of Honor.
On this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Col. Crandall discusses his Army career, his mindset in repeatedly facing enemy fire to rescue his injured brothers from the battlefield, and the hard lessons learned from that mission and the rest of his time in Vietnam.