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HOMEFRONT PRISONERS OF WAR THOMAS K. OLIVER (USAAF)      Tom Oliver in 2009      Oliver photos 2012 PETER DAHLBERG (ARMY)      December 7, 1941      Friends for Life      He Took My Place       Christmas Lights HAROLD TAYLOR (USAAF)      Story of Had Taylor STAN LIEBERMAN (ARMY)     Story of Stan Lieberman LESTER SNYDER (USAAF)       Durkee's Crew WARREN FAGERLAND (ARMY) EJI SUYAMA (ARMY)      My Combat in the 442nd HARRY NOLLSCH (ARMY)        Harry Nollsch       Taps Delayed       The Purple Heart FRANK MORAWA (GERM. ARMY)        Life of Frank Morawa LOYD BRANDT (MARINES)      Reluctant Heroes       Brothers in Arms JERRY TEACHOUT (USAAF)       Leaving Home for WWII CHUCK CHILDS (USAAF)       I Flew the Big One      Combat Mission 15      Riding Rails before WW2 HARRY PUTNAM (NAVY)       Veterans STEVEN WARREN (NAVY) GORDON LEASE (COAST GUARD) CLARENCE CARSNER (ARMY) WALLY DAHLQUIST (USAAF) GEORGE W. LARSON (NAVY) ALAN HERBERT (ARMY) RICHARD PERKINS (MARINES)      Letter home, 1944 RUSSEL FRINK (NAVY) JIM LOCKHART (NAVY) REX ALAN SMITH (ARMY ENG) VINCE FITZGERALD (NAVY) HONOR FLIGHTS CHARLES ANDERSON (USAAF)      Life of Charles Anderson HARLAND HERMANN (ARMY)      Letters during WWII WALTER MARCHAND (ARMY)      D-Day Doctor's Diary JUNO SUNDSTROM (ARMY) KEITH CHRISTENSEN (ARMY) DEAN SHAFFHAUSEN (NAVY) CHARLES GERLACH (NAVY) WAYNE BREWSTER (ARMY) WILLIAM A. SEMLEK (ARMY) KENNETH HALLIGAN (ARMY) WALTER MEHLHAFF (ARMY) EDDIE KODET (ARMY) TOM McDILL (ARMY) PAUL PRIEST (ARMY) VICTOR WEIDENSEE (ARMY)       Weidensee maps OLA CAMPBELL (USAAF) DALLAS BLOMQUIST (Marines) BILL LOFGREN (ARMY) HAROLD JANSEN (Navy)       Personal Summary JOHN W. FULLER (NAVY)      John Fuller Goes to War JOHN WILKINSON (ROYAL AF) MARCELLA LeBEAU (ARMY) HILARY COLE (USAAF) TOM WENN (USAAF) JOHN GASTON (USAAF) MAURICE CROW (USAAF) GEORGE MOLSTAD (USAAF) GEORGE MOE (US ARMY) MEL CARLSON (NAVY) GEORGE BLAIR (USAAF)

to the Black Hills Veterans Writing Group which has helped veterans write up their military experiences since 2005.

 

The Black Hills Veterans Writing Group continues to focus on the writing process, with Battlestory.org promoting the recording of military memoirs and archiving of stories, while showcasing new ones.  Our founding motto remains the same: “What I remember should not be erased from human memory….I must write….I must write now.”

Family members are well-positioned to research and interview veterans close to them.  Scott Bury has written an Eastern Front trilogy about the experiences of his Canadian-Ukrainian father-in-law Maurice who fought in the Soviet Army during WW2.  The third book, Walking Out of War, is published on Kindle with the others, which might be called fiction/nonfiction novels. Kindle is definitely easier to get published on, far less expensive, but only self-demanding in terms of traditional standards.  Marketing is via Amazon. Audiences will support--or shun. more

One of our own, LTC Chuck Childs left WW2 as a distinguished B-17 pilot with 37 combat missions behind him against the Reich.  He was soon called up for the Berlin Airlift, now saving Germans instead of bombing them.  On February 8, 2018, he will be at the World War II History Round Table at Fort Snelling near Minneapolis, as an veteran witness accompanying the keynote speaker Roger G. Miller, author of To Save a City, The Berlin Airlift, 1948-1949.  Now at its 70th anniversary, The Berlin Airlift is billed as the “First Allied Victory of the Cold War.”

 

South Dakota Twins Died Together in WWII: Born in South Dakota, Julius and Ludwig Pieper spent the formative first half of their lives in the state before moving to Nebraska.  They joined the US Navy and served on LST-523 right after the D-Day Invasion at Normandy.  On June 19, 1944, their ship went down, killing the 19-year-old twin brothers and 200 other sailors of the 300th Combat Engineers.  Ludwig’s body was recovered and buried at Normandy but Julius remained unidentified until his body was found in an unknown-labeled military grave in Belgium.


. . . . Now the brothers lie together in the same Normandy cemetery.  more (this Nebraska article was forwarded from Barry, Wales, by a historian who has chronicled the wartime experiences of US military like Rapid City Coastguardsman Gordon Lease who'd put into Barry for repairs after also serving offshore at Normandy).


Mission: veterans write up the stories of other veterans.

"George Blair, Sturgis, South Dakota  B-25 bomber pilot in World War II, lands in the South China Sea": so begins the latest dispatch to this website, written and researched by Rapid City SDNG veteran Duke Doering, who concludes that "Blair, now 96, continues to live on his ranch in Pleasant Valley....the re-telling of Blair’s Army Air Corps service in the Pacific Theater reminds everyone how the skill, bravery and sometimes luck of this veteran contributed to victory against Axis forces." more


Film and video provide another way to document the stories of veterans: My name is John Mollison and I interview old guys and draw their airplanes.  Three OGTA episodes, six Premieres, a bunch of airplane drawings and now, a foray into the classroom—2017 has been a huge year!  Thank you for your friendship...and may 2018 be yet another year where you find that "History is Nutritious"!  more

 


One local veteran writes "The wars in Korea and Vietnam should continue to be studied by scholars, armchair military historians, and veterans. The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere was a central tenet of Japanese militarism and regional protectionism during World War II. Now China has picked up this geopolitical baton." more on conference

 

The Vietnam War Documentary:  Doom and Despair. Writing for Stanford University's Hoover Institution, USMC combat veteran Bing West reviews the recent Ken Burns film series on the Vietnam War: "So yes, we could have fought a different kind of war, but the commander-in-chief, President Johnson, chose not to do so. He bullied and berated the generals, who to their discredit acceded a terrible, half-baked campaign of attrition, exchanging American for North Vietnamese lives. That 'strategy' was a moral outrage." more, book


Critique of Burns Vietnam Film 6 by R. J. Del Vecchio who served with a Marine unit in I Corps, nearest to the DMZ: “First and foremost, we get the full special on General Loan blowing away the captured VC.  We get to see the picture more than once, and hear the horror in the voice of the American newsman who witnessed it.  And we hear about the awful impact of that photograph on so many.” more


Sketching military experiences can be done with words or art—or both together.  Both formats help the writer remember.  Details are locked-in, seemingly forever, if drawing is done on the battlefield.  The only tool needed is—once again—a simple pencil.  Nationally known Vietnam infantry combat artist James Pollock of Pierre just recommended to us a new YouTube video that focuses on combat art, “a piece by Josh Kappler you may find insightful and interesting.”

 

The South Dakota Veterans Forum (Speaker Series) is always the second Saturday monthly. Check here for a printable poster each month.

-----Veterans find that a good first step in writing is to inventory what they know, to share what they remember with others interested in preserving memories of military experiences. Just listening will put a would-be writer in the mood--or help a family member collect ideas and photos.


The uses of ham radio during WWII are being explored as a possible area museum exhibit. Photo shows USAAF radio operator aboard warplane. Shortwave radio was then in its heyday, as many older veterans remember, so it provides a writing stimulus for recapturing thoughts from long ago. Anchoring the exhibit might be a recently acquired BC-342-N receiver, built for the military by Farnswroth Radio Corporation with a frequency range of 1.5-18MHz. more

Contact us at veterans@battlestory.org if you live in the Black Hills and have a summary of your military experiences--or an excerpt of a larger work you've written or published.