Richard Cunningham and December 7, 1941

Shortly after sunrise, Seaman 1st Class Richard Cunningham and two other sailors, Earl Kuhn and Bill Morris, boarded a wooden boat tethered to their battleship, the USS West Virginia. They got underway at 7:50 a.m. and motored across the placid water. Theirs was a most routine assignment that morning: cross the harbor to a dock … Continue reading Richard Cunningham and December 7, 1941

Holocaust camp liberator: Melvin Waters

Melvin Waters is legally blind, a result of suffering from macular degeneration. But he can still see and smell that time in late April 1945 when he came upon the Bergen-Belsen, a concentration camp in northwest Germany. Historians say about 70,000 Jews, Russians, and other prisoners died at Bergen-Belsen during World War II. Among those who … Continue reading Holocaust camp liberator: Melvin Waters

D Day on a PT boat

On June 6, 1944, Clyde Combs was aboard PT 515 looking upon history's largest amphibious landing before dawn. All he could hear was the constant drone of U.S. and Allied bombers flying above, thunderous shelling from nearby battleships. About one-third of a mile away, soldiers waded to shore. Combs was a nineteen-year-old quartermaster on the … Continue reading D Day on a PT boat

Visiting a WWII stalag in a small Texas town

Heino Erichsen was born June 7, 1924 in Kiel, Germany, a Baltic Sea port. When he was nine years old, Adolph Hitler became Germany's chancellor and led the country into its irrational and destructive decade that led to perhaps the world's largest and most gruesome war and ethnic persecution. When he was growing up, Heino … Continue reading Visiting a WWII stalag in a small Texas town

Crystal City internment camp

During World War II not all the internment camps established by the federal government were in California. Several of them were created in Texas, with the largest one in Crystal City built on the grounds of an old migrant farm worker camp. Other than some historical markers and informational signs, you would be hard-pressed to find … Continue reading Crystal City internment camp

One of the last of the Doolittle Raiders: Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” Cole

I pull up to the gate and I see the old man out front of his brick home. I drive in and park next to a pickup truck. As I get out of my car, roosters squawk and three buffalos chomp faded grass out back and the smell of large animals fill the December air. … Continue reading One of the last of the Doolittle Raiders: Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” Cole


A video (55 seconds) I shot in the museum about the morning of the Pearl Harbor attack 71 years ago. Below: a photo of four survivors who attended yesterday's ceremony to commemorate the attack on Pearl Harbor. The gentlemen -- all gracious and generous and kind men -- are wearing tan caps. Left to right … Continue reading Survivors

Dec. 7, 1941 circa 2012

It was Sunday morning, about 10 minutes before 8 o'clock, seventy-one years ago. U.S. warships were tied up in the port of Honolulu. Vernon Kelly was aboard the USS Honolulu, a light cruiser. He was reading the comics in the newspaper. Katzenjammer Kids was his favorite. Richard Cunningham had just left the battleship USS West … Continue reading Dec. 7, 1941 circa 2012