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

Veterans Oral History 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 Robert Chisholm

Veteran Oral History InterviewUS Paratrooper – 82nd Airborne

The Veteran oral history interview for WWII Veteran Robert Chisholm is now available.

I conducted this interview in Dallas, Texas on October 17, 2014, during the annual reunion for the Friends and Family of the 508 Parachute Infantry Regiment.

Robert Chisholm is a highly decorated Paratrooper from the 508 P.I.R. of the 82nd Airborne. Robert was born in Texas and volunteered for the U.S. Army during World War II when he was seventeen years old.

In this interview, Robert reflects on his experience in jumping into Normandy on D-Day, and his later service in Korea and Vietnam. Having served in three separate conflicts over the course of three different decades, Robert has had a long and distinguished military career. Robert received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and French Legion of Honor, and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel.

 

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.