Hilbert Margol and his twin brother, Howard, served in the 42nd “Rainbow” Division out of Oklahoma during World War II; both served as gunners with 105MM gun batteries. They would be shipped to Europe in early 1945, serving in the Alsace, Ardennes and Rhineland campaigns. Both brothers witnessed the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp, and both served with the Army of Occupation in Austria just after the war ended.
Harold Eckman was born in Worcester, the son of immigrants. He attended Clark University in Worcester, and joined the U.S. Army Reserve Corps in 1942. Eckman would eventually head to Europe as part of the 94th Infantry Division, where he served as mail orderly, delivering (and sometimes censoring) mail for his company.
This interview covers Mr. Pema’s service as an electronics technician and aerial gunner on a B-29 with the Strategic Air Command stateside and in Okinawa, Japan.
This interview covers Mr. Oulton’s service as a forward observer with the 7th Infantry Division, 32nd Regiment, 1st Battalion in Korea. He was also part of the Honor Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery.
Mary Ida Murphy was born on Prince Edward Island in Canada in 1914. Her family ran a large farm about 100 miles from Charlottetown. Among her earliest memories was a neighbor heading off to fight in World War I; her three brothers served during World War II in the Canadian Armed Forces, as did her husband, who was born and raised in the United States. Mary Ida talks about raising her family both on PEI and in Natick, Mass., where they moved in the 1950s.
Beatrice Wadland is a lifelong resident of Melrose; she currently lives at the home where her husband grew up. The daughter of a World War I veteran, Wadland remembers growing up during the Depression, and life on the Homefront during World War II. During the war, her husband worked for General Electric, helping develop the first jet engines.
U.S. Army, 1942-46
Interview discussing Mr. Smith’s experience as a Forward Observer in World War II in North Africa, Sicily and Italy. This follow-up interview places special emphasis on battle fatigue and medical care in military hospitals.
In part two of his interview, Bill O’Brien talks about his confinement as a POW in Stalag Luft 1 (South Compound) in Barth, Germany. He talks in detail about the camp, the food, and the parcels sent by the Red Cross.
These interviews cover Mr. Abrams’ service as a B-24 bomber pilot with the 8th Air Force, 392nd Bomber Group, in England.