World War II | KERA News

World War II

Associated Press

With the silence of remembrance and respect, nations honored the memory of the fallen and the singular bravery of all Allied troops who sloshed through bloodied water to the landing beaches of Normandy, a tribute of thanks 75 years after the D-Day assault that doomed the Nazi occupation of France and portended the fall of Hitler's Third Reich.

Associated Press

Queen Elizabeth II and world leaders including U.S. President Donald Trump gathered Wednesday on the south coast of England to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings that, at great human cost, turned the tide of World War II and helped liberate Europe from Nazi occupation.

In the years immediately after World War II, at the Peers' School in Tokyo, a Quaker teacher named Elizabeth Vining liked to give English names to her students, all children of the Japanese nobility.

"I was Eric," recalls Masao Oda, one of Vining's former pupils.

His roommate and classmate, a boy named Akihito, was given the name Jimmy. But Akihito pushed back.

"So he stood up and rejected this name given by Mrs. Vining, 'Jimmy,' " Oda recalls. " 'I'm not a Jimmy, I'm a crown prince,' he said."

Virginia Hall is one of the most important American spies most people have never heard of.

Her story is on display at the CIA Museum inside the spy agency headquarters in Langley, Va. — but this is off-limits to the public.

"She was the most highly decorated female civilian during World War II," said Janelle Neises, the museum's deputy director, who's providing a tour.

World War II pilot Dick Cole, the last surviving member of the Doolittle Raid, died last week at age 103.

Cole was renowned aviation pioneer Jimmy Doolittle's co-pilot in April 1942 on what was regarded as a suicide mission – the first counterattack against the Japanese mainland after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. The raid caused Japan to contract its forces and start a battle with the United States over Midway Atoll, a small ring shaped island between North America and Asia. This battle, which the U.S. won, shifted the tide of the war into America's favor.

 L to R: Lt. Henry A. Potter; pilot Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle; Staff Sgt. Fred A. Braemer; Cole; and Staff Sgt. Paul J. Leonard. Co-pilot Lt. Richard E. Cole, second from right, was the last of the 80 airmen from the daring raid after Pearl Harbor.
U.S. Air Force

Hundreds of Air Force airmen will line the main entrance of the Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph to salute while family of Retired Lt. Col. Richard "Dick" Cole — the last of the 80 Doolittle Tokyo Raiders — arrives for his memorial service.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

A hero of the Second World War died yesterday. Retired Lieutenant Colonel Dick Cole was 103. He was the last of what were known as the Doolittle Raiders.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

George Mendonsa, the Navy sailor whose passionate kiss in Times Square symbolized a nation's exuberance over the end of World War II, has died. He was 95.

The photographer never got the name of the sailor, but Mendonsa claimed it was him, and many experts who analyzed his facial structure came to the same conclusion.

A public viewing for Richard Overton, who was the nation's oldest man and World War II veteran, will be held Friday.

Navy Fireman 1st Class Albert U. Kane
Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency via AP

A 26-year-old sailor from Fort Worth killed during the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor will be buried in Dallas on the 77th anniversary of the attack.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

The Madras Maiden is all gleaming metal with red markings when it pulls up onto the tarmac at Meacham Airport in Fort Worth. Up near the cockpit, a painted pinup girl in short shorts salutes from the side of the plane.

This is one of only a handful of working World War II-era bombers left of the more than 12,000 B-17s.

At 98, Riichi Fuwa doesn't remember his Social Security number, but he remembers this: "19949. That was my number the government gave me," he said. "19949. You were more number than name."

That was the number that Fuwa was assigned when he was 24 years old, soon after he was forced off his family's farm in Bellingham, Wash., and incarcerated at the Tule Lake camp, just south of the Oregon border in California's Modoc County.

This weekend marks 75 years since President Roosevelt's executive order that sent Japanese-Americans to internment camps.

Roy Ebihara and his wife, 82-year-old Aiko, were children then, and both were held in camps with their families.

At StoryCorps, 83-year-old Roy told Aiko about what happened in his hometown of Clovis, N.M., in the weeks just before the executive order was issued.

Winston Churchill: The Early Years

Sep 28, 2016
Shutterstock

Long before Winston Churchill was the leader who got Britain through World War II, he was a 20-something trying to make a name for himself as a journalist.

Kenny Ryan / SMU

This month marks the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Japan. Two atomic bombs named ‘Little Boy’ and ‘Fat Man’ were dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 in an effort to end World War II. A Texan, Major James Hopkins, piloted one of the planes on the Nagasaki mission. 

Courtney Collins / KERA News

Saturday is the 71st anniversary of D-Day. That’s when Allied troops stormed the shores of Normandy, in a turning point battle that claimed almost 20,000 lives on both sides.

Two veterans now living in Fort Worth weren’t on that bloody beach in France, but their memories of World War II are indelible.

KERA News

Seventy years after escaping death, a group of holocaust survivors got together over the weekend in Dallas with military veterans. The Daughters of World War II, an organization dedicated to honoring World War II Veterans, brought together these men and women for the 70th Anniversary of the U.S. and Allied Armed Forces victory over Nazi Germany.

Study Up for ‘Think’: Uncovering A Dark Past

Jan 29, 2015
Shutterstock

Crystal City was once home to the only internment camp in Texas. Known as the "quiet passage," immigrants from Germany, Italy and Japan would settle in the small town during WWII.  

Arthur Rothstein / Library of Congress

During the Great Depression, photographers fanned out across the country to capture the United States. Some of them visited Texas, snapping thousands of pictures.

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

World War II veterans from around the country gathered in Gainesville for a Memorial Day ceremony. Some of the aging soldiers trained at Camp Howze there seven decades ago. The men from the 103rd Infantry Division helped to liberate the Dachau Concentration Camp. 

Wadim Wall / Shutterstock

A half-dozen Texans were among the 24 veterans who received belated Medals of Honor today at the White House. President Obama presented the honors to three living recipients and 21 who have died. All were veterans of World War II or the Korean or Vietnam wars who were passed over earlier because of their Jewish or Hispanic heritage.

BJ Alias/Nostalgia-domas / Flickr

Gov. Rick Perry will travel to the small North Texas town of Farmersville to present a state honor to World War II hero Audie Murphy.

Perry will be in the Collin County town on Tuesday afternoon to bestow the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor posthumously on Murphy.

Murphy was one of the most decorated soldiers in U.S. history, and his portrait hangs in the Texas House of Representatives chamber.