443 episodes

Veterans Chronicles tells the stories of America's greatest heroes in their own words.

Veterans Chronicles Radio America

    • History
    • 4.5 • 173 Ratings

Veterans Chronicles tells the stories of America's greatest heroes in their own words.

    Capt. Dick Nelms, U.S. Army Air Corps, World War II

    Capt. Dick Nelms, U.S. Army Air Corps, World War II

    Dick Nelms was fascinated by flight at an early age. Born just five years after the end of World War I, he still vividly remembers what an event it was to see a plane in the sky when he was a child. Not long after the U.S. entered World War II, Nelms volunteered for the U.S. Army Air Corps. He would eventually pilot or co-pilot 35 missions aboard a B-17 bomber.

    In this edition of " Veterans Chronicles," Nelms reveals why the Army pulled the plug on him becoming a fighter pilot and assigned him to a bomber crew. He also walks us through a typical mission from briefing to pre-flight checks to take off and formation to the dropping of the bombs over German targets.

    Now 101 years old, Nelms takes us inside two of his most harrowing missions and also details his mental approach to confronting fear and carrying out the missions. He also shares how he and other bomber pilots saved thousands of American troops in Normandy. 

    Finally, Nelms shares how his love of art led to a unique opportunity years after the war and how his artistic legacy lives on today. 

    • 50 min
    Michael Trotter, Jr., U.S. Army, Iraq, The War and Treaty

    Michael Trotter, Jr., U.S. Army, Iraq, The War and Treaty

    Michael Trotter, Jr. was born into a family with a rich tradition of military service, but that had nothing to do with his decision to join the Army in 2003. By his own admission, he had made a lot of mistakes and his life needed to change course. So he joined the military just a a couple years after the 9/11 attacks and the same year the war in Iraq began. Soon he was a supply sergeant in theater, stationed in what he calls the "so-called Green Zone." His second tour would bring his unit to Ramadi in some of the worst fighting of the war. After leaving the Army, Trotter and his wife formed the musical duo "The War and Treaty."

    In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Trotter explains his role as a supply sergeant and how that put him up close to the combat. He also goes into detail about the impact that losing one brother in arms has on a unit and how his singing ability helped his fellow soldiers deal with the painful loss of their friends. He also tells us how much tougher the second tour was in Ramadi and how his time in war left him with an undiagnosed case of post-traumatic stress.

    Finally, Trotter reveals how he and his wife created The War and Treaty and the opportunities that helped them break out into stardom. He also shares how his service and honoring the men he served with is closely linked to his music. And he details what Memorial Day means to him.

    • 45 min
    Capt. James Baynham, U.S. Army, Air Corps, World War II, POW

    Capt. James Baynham, U.S. Army, Air Corps, World War II, POW

    James Baynham had never flown a plane before entering the service in 1942. In fact, he didn't even have an interest in aviation. What he did know is that he did not want to be in the infantry, so he volunteered for the U.S. Army Air Corps. Soon he was off to training, eventually being assigned as a B-24 pilot with the Mighty Eighth Air Force based in England. By mid-1944 he was flying missions, but his war service came to an abrupt end over the skies of Germany in late September.

    In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Baynham tells us what it took to make it through flight school, the planning and execution that went into each mission, and why his fourth mission was even more harrowing than his last one.

    Baynham also walks us step-by-step through his eleventh and final mission, during which his bomber was shot down by German fighters. He describes jumping out of a burning plane, being captured as he hit the ground, and what it was like to be interrogated by the Germans. He also tells us about the conditions at Stalag Luft 1 and what daily life was like there. 

    Finally, Baynham shares his memories of the prison being liberated by the Russians in April 1945, how he and a buddy did not want to wait around under Russian control and their grand adventure to get across Europe and eventually make it home.

    • 47 min
    LT Mark Greene, U.S. Navy SEALS, Iraq, Afghanistan Part 2

    LT Mark Greene, U.S. Navy SEALS, Iraq, Afghanistan Part 2

    In this second half of our interview with retired U.S. Navy SEAL Mark Greene, we will focus on Lt. Greene's deployments - first to Iraq and then to Afghanistan.And he discusses his work helping veterans transition from the military back into civilian life.

    Greene shares what sound was so common in Iraq that it served as an alarm clock just about every day. He also details the role his SEAL team played on that deployment.

    Greene also takes us along on multiple deployments to Afghanistan. He explains why he really couldn't put his sniper skills to use there and what it was like operating in Afghan villages. He also tells us about the firefight there that he describes as "mayhem."

    Finally, Greene tells us about his very difficult transition to civilian life, what helped to set him on the right path, and how he is helping other veterans thrive after leaving the military.

    • 38 min
    LT Mark Greene, U.S. Navy SEALS, Iraq, Afghanistan Part 1

    LT Mark Greene, U.S. Navy SEALS, Iraq, Afghanistan Part 1

    Mark Greene grew up in a military family but his dream was to play quarterback. And he was doing well until an injury suddenly ended his career in college. After half-heartedly (at best) trying to finish college and taking other jobs, he and a friend joined the U.S. Navy with dreams of becoming Navy SEALs.

    In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Lt. Greene discusses how he wound up in the Navy, how he struggled mightily to meet the qualifications to attend BUD/s training, and the physical and mental challenges of the six month gauntlet of becoming a SEAL.

    Greene also takes us with him to sniper school - from the random way he got the assignment to the very high standards required to pass to the teamwork and quick calculations that sniper teams go through in training and in combat.

    You'll also hear how Greene was almost killed by falling off Navy ships on two different occasions and the unexpected challenges he faced when trying to become an officer.

    This is the first of two episodes featuring Lt. Greene. Please listen next week when we discuss his deployments to Iraq & Afghanistan and the work he does helping servicemembers transition from military to civilian life.

    • 39 min
    SSG Jake Larson, U.S. Army, World War II, D-Day

    SSG Jake Larson, U.S. Army, World War II, D-Day

    Jake Larson joined the U.S. Army National Guard in 1938 in order to earn money and help his family during the Great Depression. He was just 15 years old. By late 1941, he was preparing to leave the service. After Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, the Army required him to stay. By 1942, he was in England helping to train American forces assigned for invasions in North Africa and in the European theater. Finally, Larson himself was part of an invasion - the largest amphibious assault in history - the D-Day invasion in Normandy.

    In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Larson details his top secret work on the D-Day invasion olans long before most troops knew what was coming. He also shares tremendous detail about coming ashore at Omaha Beach, being under fire from German machine guns, and how he made it up the bluffs.

    Larson also chronicles several close calls at Omaha Beach, including how a very unwelcome assignment likely saved his life. And he does his best to convey what the invasion sounded like that day.

    Finally, at age 101, Larson discusses the responsibility he feels as one of the final D-Day survivors to tell his story, the stories of the men who never made it homr, and the stories of the veterans who have passed on.

    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
173 Ratings

173 Ratings

A-sal211 ,

Good content

Overall it’s good but sometimes it feels like half the podcast is the host giving intros and outros

gdgdjdifj ,

Disgraceful

Telling a 90 year old vet your outta time lol

six star roofing ,

Awesome

Really enjoy

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