Joseph Barisano


Joseph Barisano joined the U.S. Army shortly after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He spent most of his time with Military Government, driving officers around. He earned four battle stars while serving in England, France and Germany.

A poster honoring Joseph Barisano, aka Ray Barron.


Joseph Barisano at the Bedford VA Medical Center, 2017


Joseph J. Gallick

U.S. Army 1986–2009


Joseph “Father Joe” Gallick wanted to serve in the military because his relatives did so during World War II. An ordained priest with the Orthodox Church, he began his career with the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps in 1986. Gallick would serve in a variety of units, both stateside and overseas, including Afghanistan, during his 23-year career in active duty and the Reserves, retiring in 2009 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.



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Rose Dewing Young

U.S. Army 1943–1945


Fresh out of nursing school, Rose Dewing Young enlisted in the Army Nurse Corps in 1943 and served in England, France and Belgium, researching and treating soldiers with combat fatigue. Landing at Normandy shortly after the invasion, her unit was transferred to Belgium, directly behind the American line at the Battle of the Bulge. Later in France, she treated the soldiers who liberated the German prison camps. Although a shy girl, she learned to do what she had to do. Her medical group in Belgium was known as the “Americans on the hill” and offered care and friendship to the locals. In 2004, she returned to Belgium and reunited with many of the people she had known as children.


Rose Dewing Young and others with the King of Belgium


Young – Separation Qualification Records

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Cyril B. Woolf

South African Air Force, 1940-45



Born and raised in South Africa, Cyril Woolf enlisted in the South African Air Force in 1940 at the age of 27. Because of his electrical background, he was assigned to be an aircraft electrician, working on British-and American-made air planes in Egypt, and across Africa to Tunis and into Italy, with the #2 Fighter Squadron. Living in tent cities, Woolf speaks about Cairo, the Pyramids, Tripoli and seeing President Roosevelt in a motorcade in Tunis. During his five years in the service, Woolf also worked with the squadron that flew British Mosquito planes and used American-made Fairchild cameras to photograph the oil fields in Romania. American servicewomen then made models of the terrain that were used in successful British bombing raids.


Cyril Woolf atop a camel


A Merry Christmas postcard



Cyril Woolf – medals

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Manuel Witt “Manny”

U.S. Navy 1942–1945


When he was only 16, “Mannie” Witt convinced his parents to let him enlist in the Navy. He was assigned as a signalman to the USS Arkansas which, as part of a convoy of ships, participated in the Normandy Invasion at Omaha Beach and saw action at Iwo Jima, the ship’s target being Mt. Suribachi. Mannie witnessed from the mast the battles, the Kamikaze pilots and all the close calls. After the war, he was assigned to the USS Tennessee under Vice Admiral Jesse Oldendorf, who was in charge of the occupation of Southern Japan. He witnessed the devastation of Hiroshima and finished his tour of duty on the USS Appalachian, where he was discharged as a Signalman First Class.


Mannie Witt – greetings from Casablanca


Samples of money, including Italian and Japanese


USS Arkansas signalmen group

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Harry Westcott

U.S. Army 1943–1946


Harry Westcott was drafted into the Army in 1943, shortly before his 19th birthday. He was assigned to the 75th Infantry Division and became known as the “guy that carried the radio,” accompanying the company’s lieutenant as he coordinated information within the division. Westcott took part in the Battle of the Bulge, and other campaigns to drive the Germans out of France and Belgium. He earned a Bronze Star and the French Legion of Honor.


Harry Westcott plays the bugle


Harry Westcott, “the guy with the radio”


Harry Westcott on R&R with a dog


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Henry Walter

U.S. Army 1941–1949


Escaping Austria as the Nazis advanced across Europe and outwitting the Gestapo in Czechoslovakia, Henry Walter arrived in America, was drafted and served under General Patton at the Desert Training Center in California. He then joined the 10th Mountain Division at Camp Hale in Colorado, where he trained troops to ski, rock climb, and cross avalanche slopes. His next assignment was to attend the first class of Military Government at Fort Custer in Michigan, and was then sent to England to teach German and French to officers, with super-secret clearance for D-Day. On D plus one, Walter landed on Omaha Beach and went through France with the 2nd Division, 38th Infantry Regiment. He was at the front lines of the Battle of the Bulge, crossed the Rhine into Germany and was back with the Czechs for VE Day. Postwar, he stayed to help oversee the occupation, where he met his future wife.


Henry Walter, basic training





Henry Walter in Germany


A military government jeep


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James Vanderpol


James Vanderpol was a high school student in the Netherlands when it was invaded by Germany in 1940. Labeled as Jews in the second year of the Nazi occupation, he and his family spent four years in hiding, separated from each other, often hungry, always in fear of being discovered. Vanderpol talks about what this period was like, and especially about the cruelty of the Germans. When the war ended, the family was reunited and immigrated to the United States.


The Star of David that Jews in Amsterdam were forced to wear during the German occupation
An underground radio


“No Jews” sign in Amsterdam during WWII


A collection of photos from Amsterdam during WWII



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