More than 16 million Americans served in uniform during World War II. Fewer than 700,000 survive, and their ranks are dwindling every day. Alongside stories of civilian life, StoryQuest records their memories: a young Marine in combat on Iwo Jima; a sailor helping rescue a Japanese child cast adrift in the Pacific; a soldier picking souvenirs from the remains of Hitler’s headquarters, and many other stories.
Click on the photos below to read about the interviewees and experience their stories through audio tracks and transcripts. Check back as we continue adding more from our collection of more than 160 oral history interviews. And please contact us if you, a family member, or friend have stories to share.
Fred Israel was a sixteen year old college student when World War II began. Despite being in college, he joined the Naval Reserves as soon as he had the opportunity. In this interview, he shares memories from his naval training, as well as his reaction to the end of the war. Drafted into the Navy […]
Fenton Martin was born 1928, in Portsmouth, Virginia. He spent much of the war as a high school student. In his interview, he discusses his participation in the war effort, which took the form of recycling metal coat hangers, maintaining a victory garden, and troop entertainment. At the end of the war, Fenton was employed […]
Bill Nuttle was a U.S. Marine during World War II. During his interview, he discusses fighting in Jima, Tinian, and Sipan. He speaks about the many survival strategies he employed when he was in combat, along with a near death experience on Iwo Jima. He recalls hearing about Pearl Harbor, and how he and the […]
Cynthia Ramsey worked as a typist in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) in Wilmington, Delaware, from 1944 to 1945. In this interview, she shares , she meeting her husband, traveling to New York, and her experiences as a WAC. She also describes her reasons for disliking President Franklin Roosevelt, and her work experience as an […]
Jennings Spicer was born in Seaford, DE in 1926. Jennings was drafted into the army and was sent to Europe. He is one of four brothers, and they all served in the Army. Jennings fought in the Battle of the Bulge. After the war, the G.I. Bill helped Jennings land a job at DuPont where […]
Shelley Spicer was born before World War II in Seaford, Delaware. He is one of four male siblings, and they all served during World War II. Shelley enlisted into the Navy. After he was discharged from the war, he traveled back home to the east coast on a plane, and then got a train ticket […]
Dan Tabler was born in 1924 and moved to Centreville, MD when he was 10 years old. He graduated high school in 1941. Dan worked at Camp Lee during the entire war and got the chance to write columns and interview many celebrities of the time. In his interview, Dan discusses his move to Centreville, […]
Rolph Townshend grew up in Chestertown, MD, and was a teenager during World War II. He was a boy scout who escorted a blind woman, Ms. Minnie Hicks, a woman who worked at the Kent Defense plant, to the bus daily. He later wrote a book called ” Growing up in Chesterton 1929-1945.” In this […]
John Willey, a native of Seaford, Delaware, served in the Navy during World War II. Born in 1921, John is currently 97 years old and recalls both Home Front and war time experiences. Prior to the war, John worked for a regional oil distributor, Peninsula Oil. In 1940, John married Virginia Elliott and had two […]