On-Air Highlights

World War II Remembrances

Written by Fred Vigeant, Director of Programming and Promotions for TV and Radio | May 21, 2013 1:03 PM

Photo by United States Marine Corps

First Iwo Jima flag raising by the 2d Battalion, 28th Marines, on Mount Suribachi in February 1945.

More than 400,000 uninformed men and women died in World War II. Sixteen million served between 1941 and 1945 in the U.S. Armed Forces. Now, only one-and-a-half million remain, and they are in their 80s and 90s. Some were awarded medals for their valor, while many served with quiet distinction. Others played supporting roles at home or abroad.  All Things Considered pays tribute to veterans of the Second World War who have died recently with a series of remembrances. The series begins Memorial Day, Monday, May 27 on witf.

Jake McNiece - Monday, May 27
In the first of the week-long remembrances of veterans of the Second World War who died this year, learn about Jake McNiece, who died at age 93. He was the leader of the "Filthy Thirteen," a crack U.S. Army demolition unit that inspired Robert Aldrich's macho classic The Dirty Dozen.

George Porter - Tuesday, May 28
George W. Porter fought for his country in World War II while battling racism at home as a member of the Tuskegee Airmen. After he retired in the late '80s, Porter spoke about the airmen he served with -- reminding audiences of their distinguished service -- and that a pilot's skin color was no measure of his worth. He died this winter at age 91.

Mildred Manning - Wednesday, May 29
Mildred Manning died in March at age 98. She was a nurse who was a POW in 1942, and was held for 33 months along with more than six dozen other nurses from the Army and Navy called the "Angels of Bataan and Corregidor." She is thought to be the last of the surviving Angels.

Herman Boudreau - Thursday, May 30
Herman Boudreau was a retired command sergeant major in the Maine Army National Guard, a sergeant with the Maine State Police, and a longtime auxiliary police officer in Brunswick. His son and a daughter talk about his service.

Hollis Branting - Thursday, May 30
During World War II, Hollis Branting served in the U.S. Army in the European Theater from 1942-1945. He was in the 3217th Signal Service Battalion in General Eisenhower's communication unit headquartered in London, and lived through the London Blitz, receiving several commendations for his actions at that time.

Tad Nagaki  - Friday, May 31
Tad Nagaki of Alliance, Nebraska was a veteran of the Office of Strategic Services and died about a month ago. Soon after the Emperor of Japan made his surrender announcement, the OSS parachute team was dispatched to Weishian China POW camp to ensure no harm came to the captives.

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