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

Normandy France Archive

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.

 

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 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.