Veteran's Stories

This section aims to gather the previously untold stories of the Second World War.


The 'Battle of the Bulge'

Link to story about Christmas Eve in Bastogne

The Battle of the Bulge was Hitler's daring gamble to drive through the Ardenne region of Belgium and Luxembourg and seize the vital port of Antwerp; stemming the much needed flow of supplies.

Carrying out a 'tail-gate drop', the 101st Airborne Division defended the vital road intersection at Bastogne, Belgium; forcing the German forces to make costly diversions around the town. These are the stories of those who fought in this campaign:

December 25th 1944 US Flag
Christmas in Bastogne: 'Screaming Eagle' Art Schmitz tells of Christmas Eve 1944

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Market Garden

Operation Market Garden was Montgomery's ambitious plan to cross several rivers in Holland and gain access into the industrial Ruhr region of Germany. The plan was meant to end the war by Christmas 1944.

The operation centered around a British armored thrust punching a hole through German lines, while Allied airborne forces captured the bridges over which the tanks would advance. These stories come from the men who took part in this operation:

September 17th 1944 UK Flag
The Lommel river crossing': The 4th Welch tell of the first moments of Operation Market Garden

September 22nd 1944 UK Flag
The 'Battle of Reusel Church': The 4th Welch tell of the vicious fighting at Reusel ( 3 stories)

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The African Campaign

A Bren Gun Carriers shelter under trees in Africa

Through the blistering heat of the north African desert the war was fought. The troops fighting not only the enemy, but the harsh environment, with blistering daytime temperature and bitterly cold nights.

Eventually the tide of war turned, and the German forces were driven from Africa following the battle of El Alemein and the US Torch landings, forcing General Rommels Afrika Corps to fight a war on two fronts, with a desparate supply shortage.

Fighting with a Bren Gun Carrier in Tunisia UK Flag

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Civilian memories of WW2

The Zeppelins of the First World War brought civilians to the front line for the first time. By the time war broke out in 1939, every civilian in the UK was in range of enemy aircraft; and then there was the rationing of everyday items.

It's estimated that around 70,000 British women married GIs during WW2. After the war many of these women left the UK for a new life in the USA.The Second World War was a time of uncertainty: but it was a life changing event for all who experienced it.These are the stories of civilians during WW2:

GI Brides: A section dedicated to the stories of GI Brides UK Flag

WREN marries GI:The story of Betty Farmer & Capt Irving UK Flag

Evacuated from the City: Elaine Pitman tells of moving from the bombing of Cardiff to Devon UK Flag

Veterans of the Second World War will never forget the events of those far off days - and neither should we. We should capture these memories now, while we still can - so that these deeds shall not be forgotten.

The ups and the downs - they are all history, and the people who have told their stories here were part of its making. Thankyou to you all.

This section aims to gather the previously untold stories of this period.

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US Combat Cameramen

The Second World War was the first war in history to have been extensively recorded by the media.

As the people who made and captured this history, themselves fade into memory, the images taken by these brave Combat Cameramen the world over bare testiment to WW2.

Interview with Norman Hatch (Major USMC Ret): With the Marines on Tarawa US Flag

Staff Sgt Norman Hatch on Tarawa. Photo courtesy of the Combat Cameraman's Association

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Memories of Normandy

Link to story about the landing in Normandy with a bicycle

The Normandy D-Day began during the early hours of June 6th 1944, when Allied airborne troops landed on the east and west flanks of the Normandy coastline as part of Operation Overlord.

These are the stories of those who fought in this campaign.

June 5th 1944 UK Flag
Prelude to D-Day: A Sherman tank gunner tells of the day before D-Day

The RAF Servicing Commando in Normandy: Alan Mc Quillin tells of getting his feet wet in France

June 6th 1944 US Flag
How I learned about D-Day: US Signalman Art Schmitz tells how he knew that D-Day had arrived

June 25-26th 1944 UK Flag
Bicycle Invasion: An officer of the 4th Bn Welch Regiment tells of landing in Normandy with a bicycle

June 28-30th 1944 UK Flag
Static Warfare: An officer of the 4th Bn Welch Regiment tells of trench warfare in Normandy

July 11th 1944 UK Flag
Wounded: An officer of the 4th Bn Welch Regiment tells of being wounded in Normandy

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RAF Servicing Commando

Link to letters from RAF Servicing Commando

The RAF Servicing Commando were responsible for ensuring that Allied aircraft could operate almost the minute that there was somewhere for them to land.

Often the frontline was only hundreds of yards from where the aircraft were being re-armed and re-fueled. These are the memories of those who served in the RAF Servicing Commando:

The RAF Servicing Commando (RAFSC) UK Flag

Joining the RAFSC: Alan Mc Quillin tells why he joined the RAFSC UK Flag

The RAFSC in Normandy: Alan Mc Quillin tells of getting his feet wet in France UK Flag

Memoires of 3206 SC RAF: Letters from N.W.Europe to Eddie Prichard, 3206SC UK Flag