Making History Project
"Preserving Veterans' Stories"
501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization

Video Archive

Veteran Oral History Interview: Vietnam War Veteran Norman Gaddis

US Army Air Force/USAF Pilot and POW

Veteran Oral History Interview of Norman Gaddis

Veteran oral history interview for Vietnam War Veteran Norman Gaddis is now available.

Patrick Russell conducted this interview on June 5, 2014, at Omaha Beach, Normandy, France during the celebrations for the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion. This was a challenging interview to handle in that it was conducted in the public spaces of the Visitor Center at Omaha Beach. Since it was not a controlled environment, you will hear background noises of other visitors. However, when given the opportunity to conduct an interview, you do what you can do.

Norman Gaddis is an American pilot who was born in Tennessee. Norman served in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II from 1942-1945. Norman received his final pilot training just before the end of World War II and as a result, he flew no combat missions during the war. After World War II, Norman was recalled as a pilot for the U.S. Air Force in 1949 and he ended up providing fighter escort for the supplies being delivered during the Berlin airlift. In 1967, Norman was shot down over Hanoi and became a POW for the entire duration of the Vietnam War. Norman Gaddis was released as a POW in 1973 and eventually retired from the Air Force in 1976 as a Brigadier General.

During this short interview, Norman discusses the details for how he was shot down in Vietnam and the cruel treatment and torture he received as a POW. Altogether, Norman spent 1004 days in solitary confinement and a total of 2,124 days as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

 

Veteran Oral History Interview: WWII Veteran Harald Mayrock

Vetean Oral History InterviewVeteran oral history interview for WWII Veteran Harald Mayrock is now available.

Patrick Russell completed this interview on February 10, 2015, in Lima, Peru.

WWII Veteran Harald Mayrock is a German Paratrooper from the 7th Paratrooper Division, 1st Company. Harald was born in Lima, Peru. As fate would have it, Harald’s father, who was German, took Harald to Germany to enroll him in a prestigious school right before WWII broke out. In fact, Harald’s parents were on a ship ready to leave when they were ordered to disembark just prior to Germany’s invasion of Poland. After the start of World War II, Harald was drafted into the Luftwaffe and served in a heavy mortar platoon in Holland, Yugoslavia, and Germany.

During this interview, Harald reflects upon his childhood, how he arrived in Germany, the state of Germany prior to the war, his military service, the end of the war, his time as a prisoner of war, and his fantastic journey to reunite with his family and then return to Peru.

 

Veteran Oral History Interview: WWII Veteran Brodie Hand

US Paratrooper – 82nd Airborne and POW

Veteran Oral History InterviewVeteran oral history interview for WWII Veteran Brodie Hand is now available.

Patrick Russell conducted this interview on November 5, 2016, in Charleston, South Carolina during the annual reunion for the Family and Friends of the 508 Parachute Infantry Regiment Association.

Brodie Hand is an American Paratrooper from the 508 P.I.R. of the 82nd Airborne where he obtained the rank of Corporal. Brodie was born in a small town in the big state of Texas and volunteered for the U.S. Army during World War II. As a paratrooper, Brodie jumped on D-Day into Normandy and was captured by German forces on the first day.

Brodie remained a POW for the duration of World War II while working in a mine and reflects on that difficult experience during the interview. Additionally, Brodie describes his training to become a paratrooper, how he got captured, and the long journey home.