World War II | Texas Public Radio

World War II

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Updated at 10:05 a.m. ET

"The wartime generation — my generation — is resilient, and I am delighted to be with you in Portsmouth today," Britain's Queen Elizabeth II said Wednesday, as she kicked off a two-day commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Nazi-occupied France that reshaped World War II.

Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez

The Voces Oral History Project marks its second decade in 2019. The project’s founder, Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, said they’ve “gotten very fancy” in the last 20 years.


Hanni Weissenberg, now Hanni Lévy, survived as a Jew in Nazi Germany.

Today, the petite and lively 94-year-old lives in Paris. Earlier this month, she returned to Berlin, her home during the war years, to attend the screening of a film about her and other Jews who survived while hiding under the noses of the Nazis.

The Invisibles, a German documentary-drama based on the accounts of four survivors, opened Friday in the U.S.

In the film, Lévy is depicted first at age 17, sitting in her Berlin apartment in 1943, with the Gestapo pounding on the door.

Photo courtesy of Wayne and Eileen Gotke

A Kerrville man was reunited with a piece of WWII history Friday. His father’s wedding ring, recovered nearly 75 years after it vanished in a German prisoner of war camp, made its way home.


An effort to prevent scurvy in U.S. troops led to the growth of the orange juice industry, popularizing what had been a relatively obscure beverage.

On Aug. 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. It was the first time a nuclear weapon had been used in warfare.

There were three strike planes that flew over Hiroshima that day: the Enola Gay, which carried the bomb, and two observation planes, the Great Artiste and the Necessary Evil.

Russell Gackenbach was a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corps and a navigator on the mission. Today, the 95-year-old is the only surviving crew member of those three planes.

Preparation

During World War II, more than a quarter million Filipinos fought alongside American soldiers. Many are still awaiting the recognition promised to them.

StoryCorps

“People throw a rag doll in the air -- that is how I flew in the air,” said Henry Cannon. “I was hurt pretty good.”

After only a few weeks of basic training, Henry Cannon was assigned to the USS Tennessee (BB-43) battleship during World War II. Several days into the Battle of Okinawa, on April 12, 1945, a kamikaze hit the ship. Henry recalled rushing to save his wounded friends but his superior officer ordered him to seek cover because Henry was also badly wounded. 

Pages