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

World War II Archive

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 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.

 

508 PIR Association Veterans Panel Video

508 PIR Association Veterans PanelBusy Times…

It has been a very busy few months.  This is why updates have been less regular than normal.  Besides being lead counsel for an ethics trial, I recently wrapped up an oral history project on behalf of the archives for a medical association.  While working on that, I attended the 10th Annual Reunion for the 508 Parachute Infantry Regiment Association of the 82nd Airborne in Charleston, South Carolina.

508 PIR Association 10th Annual Reunion

While at the 508 PIR Association reunion, I was able to make a presentation to the membership concerning the benefits and goals of the Making History Project.  On the final day of the Reunion, I conducted two additional Veterans oral history interviews.

508 PIR Association Veterans Panel

After my initial presentation to the membership, I filmed a Veterans Panel that was assembled of paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne.  This unique Veterans Panel included Veterans from World War II, the Korean War, and the Afghanistan War.

It was fascinating to hear the contrasting experiences of these Veterans in terms of how things have changed but somehow also remain the same for paratroopers.  The Veterans Panel video has now been uploaded in its entirety and can be viewed on the Veteran Oral History Interviews page.