WYSO

WWII

B-17F Memphis Belle over Europe
Dan Patterson Archival Collection

On May 17, the National Museum of the United States Air Force opens an exhibit about the Memphis Belle, a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress.  The exhibit tells the story of the Memphis Belle and her crew, one of the first American bombers to survive 25 missions, at a time when surviving 10 missions was considered lucky.  Aviation commentator Dan Patterso has a few thoughts.

The first atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima in Japan in 1945. Shortly thereafter another bomb was detonated over the Japanese city of Nagasaki. Our war with Japan ended shortly thereafter.

Much has been written about what happened at Hiroshima. Much less has been said about Nagasaki. Susan Southard conducted extensive interviews with some residents of Nagasaki who survived that nuclear blast.

Caro Bosca: Flying And Flourishing Above The Clouds

Oct 9, 2015
Caro Bosca in 2001
Dan Patterson

Seventy years ago, Americans were celebrating the end of the Second World War and beginning the much-anticipated return to normal life, but "normal" had changed. Men who had gone to war expected to return to jobs and families, but while they were away, the homefront, as it was known, had changed. Aviation commentator Dan Patterson has a local story for us today:

 

After the Japanese launched their surprise attack on Pearl Harbor the morale of most Americans was quite low. The United States had finally been drawn into another war and in Washington, D.C. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was searching for something that could encourage Americans. FDR was looking for a way to strike back at the Japanese. James M. Scott describes the plans that were made and the astonishing result of that planning in his new work of history "Target Tokyo - Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid That Avenged Pearl Harbor."

courtesy of Antiochiana

August 6, 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. When the bombs were dropped, the world was both awestruck and horrified by their destructive power.  And while some worked to further develop them and harness their immense nuclear energy, others dedicated themselves to preventing more tragedies from happening. Earle and Barbara Reynolds were two of these people. The former Yellow Springs residents and their family protested nuclear development in a unique - and dangerous way.

courtesy of John Harshman

For some who serve in the military, their work is top secret, and the contribution they make to national security may never be publicly known. Today our Veterans Voice series continues with the story of Army veteran John Harshman who, unbeknown to him, helped crack the code of the German Enigma machines. Those machines were used to encrypt secret messages during World War II. Marine Corp veteran and Wright State student Jeremy Dobbins has the story.

Dan Patterson

Last week WYSO's aviation commentators, Paul Glenshaw and Dan Patterson, teamed up to cover the World War II Flyover in Washington DC. A parade of privately owned vintage warbirds celebrated the 70th of VE Day – the victory in Europe. Paul recorded voices and Dan took photographs to bring us this impression of the event.

9th Air Force P-47 Thunderbolts
Dan Patterson

Friday, May 8th is recognized as VE Day, which stands for Victory in Europe. 70 years ago, in the spring of 1945, American armies were streaming across Europe – the war was nearly over.  Part of the Americans' success came because they had learned how to support the troops and tanks on the ground with support with from the air.

Military flying began in 1914, in the early days of WWI as a way to see over the horizon and figure out what the enemy was up to.  Soon military flying became a sophisticated tactical and strategic weapon in itself.

Tuskegee Airmen
Jerry Kenney/WYSO / NMUSAF

This month, the National Museum of the United States Air Force is featuring an exhibit dedicated to the Tuskegee Airmen—an all African-American army air corps squadron who served in the WWII.  The museum has expanded the exhibit, and to find out more about the Airmen and their historical significance, we spoke with museum historian Dr. Jeff Underwood. In the following interview, Underwood calls the inception of the Tuskegee Airmen into WWII a 'watershed moment' in American military and civil rights history.

Today our Veterans Voices series continues as we learn about Army veteran Jim Martin who despite being 93 years old, parachuted into Normandy this year to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. Jim was in the now famous 506th parachute infantry regiment featured in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers. He was nicknamed “Pee Wee” because he was the lightest man in the unit. At the end of the war, Jim returned to Xenia to build a house, raise a family, and live a modest life. But when Jim got online and connected with social media, his popularity reached celebrity status.

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