World War II | Texas Public Radio

World War II

Next week marks the 70th anniversary of one of the worst disasters in U.S. Naval history — and one of the worst shark attacks on record. But it's a story that many people don't know.

In the summer of 1945, World War II was almost over, but in the shadows of that moment comes a story of survival that changed lives forever.

If you're a movie fan, you may recognize this line from the 1975 blockbuster, Jaws: "Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into our side, Chief. We was coming back from the island of Tinian to Leyte. Just delivered the bomb."

As a young U.S. Army soldier during World War II, Rollins Edwards knew better than to refuse an assignment.

When officers led him and a dozen others into a wooden gas chamber and locked the door, he didn't complain. None of them did. Then, a mixture of mustard gas and a similar agent called lewisite was piped inside.

We told you earlier this week about the anger in Poland over remarks made by the head of the FBI linking that country to the Holocaust. Hungary, which James Comey also mentioned in his speech, has now joined in the protests against the comments. The FBI chief, in an interview Tuesday, said he has no apology.

Author Jan Jarboe Russell has gotten a lot of national attention for her most recent book. Now she’s appearing at the San Antonio Book Festival on Saturday to talk about it. I caught up with her recently.

"This is the history you do not know."

The 70th anniversary of the end of WWII will be marked later this year. In the meantime, some veterans of that war are embarking on one more mission.

In some cases, wives or children are taking on the mission if the veteran has passed away. The object is to return Japanese flags taken as war souvenirs from Pacific battlefields.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Tom Banse reports from Astoria, Oregon on an emotional gesture of peace and reconciliation.

Many people know that during World War II, the United States created a system of internment camps for resident aliens from Japan as well as American citizens of Japanese descent.

However, what’s not generally known is that some Germans and Italians were targeted as well. They, too, were put into camps. Some of them were deported.

Holocaust survivors gathered along with several world leaders today to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation by the Soviet Red Army of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in Poland where more than 1 million people, mostly Jews, were killed.

Lowell Steward, one of the famed World War II Tuskegee Airmen, has died at age 95 at a hospital in Ventura, Calif., his family says.

Steward, a Los Angeles native who flew 143 missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross among other awards, died on Wednesday.

The new film Unbroken, directed by Angelina Jolie, tells the story of an Olympic runner and World War II prisoner of war. Louis Zamperini shattered records at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, and when the war broke out, he enlisted. Then, on a routine mission, his plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean, leaving him stranded in shark-infested waters for 47 days. When he was eventually rescued by Japanese soldiers, he became a prisoner of war.

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