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

Veterans Oral History Interviews

Veteran Oral History Interview: WWII Veteran Robert Shelato

Veteran Oral History InterviewUS Combat Engineer – 249th Engineer Combat Battalion

Veteran Oral History interview for WWII Veteran Robert Shelato is now available.

We conducted this interview on June 4, 2014, in St. Mere Eglise, Normandy, France. St. Mere Eglise is a small village in Normandy where paratroopers landed early during the D-Day invasion. St. Mere Eglise presently houses an impressive Airborne Museum dedicated to the D-Day invasion.

Robert is an American Combat Engineer from the 249th Engineer Combat Battalion. Robert was born in Indiana and was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II. As a Sergeant during WWII, Robert served in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany.

During the interview, Robert describes some of the incidents involving mines and booby traps that he had to handle as a combat engineer, as well as his encounter with a German dive bomber.

 

Veteran Oral History Interview: WWII Veteran Rock Merritt – pt2

Veteran Oral History InterviewUS Paratrooper – 82nd Airborne

Part 2 of the Veteran Oral History interview of WWII Veteran Rock Merritt is now available.

This interview was conducted in Dallas, Texas on October 16, 2014, during the annual reunion for the 508 Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne.

Rock commanded a heavy machine gun platoon for the 82nd Airborne during World War II. Rock jumped into Normandy, France during D-Day and his experience during D-Day is covered in part 1 of the interview.

Operation Market Garden

In part 2 of the interview, Rock reflects upon his experience jumping into Holland for Operation Market Garden and the resulting battles there. Later in the interview, Rock discusses his participation in the Battle of the Bulge and how he was rushed into battle without winter clothing and very little preparation to counter the last major offensive of the German Army during World War II.

Rock Merritt is a distinguished and treasured member of the 82nd Airborne after serving 35-years in the military. To this day, Rock remains the honorary Command Sergeant Major for the 508 P.I.R.

 

Veteran Oral History Interview: WWII Veteran Kenneth Rock Merritt

Veteran Oral History Interview

US Paratrooper – 82nd Airborne

Veteran oral history interview for WWII Veteran Kenneth Rock Merritt is now available. This is part 1 of 2 interviews.

We conducted part one of this interview in La Fiere, Normandy, France on June 5, 2014. La Fiere was the site of an important battle for a strategic bridge during the Normandy campaign.

Rock is an American Paratrooper from the 508 P.I.R. of the 82nd Airborne. Rock was born in Oklahoma and volunteered for the U.S. Army during World War II. During this interview, Rock reflects upon his experience of jumping into Normandy during D-Day, the battle for Hill 30, and the action that lead to his receiving the Silver Star.

 

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