TSgt Paul 'Bud' Haedike, B-17 Bombardier, World War II
Veterans Chronicles
by Radio America
11h ago
Paul "Bud" Haedike was drafted into the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1943. Before long, he was assigned as a bombardier on a B-17 bomber crew. From the final months of 1944 until the end of the war in Europe, Haedike took part in 23 bombing missions, and none of those missions came with a guarantee he would return to base safely.  In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Sgt. Haedike recounts his first mission, which resulted in a crash landing in Belgium. He also remembers emergency landings on two other missions, what it was like to suffer through anti-aircraft fire on most missions, and ho ..read more
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T/5 Buck Winters, U.S. Army Engineers, WWII
Veterans Chronicles
by Radio America
1w ago
Roger "Buck" Winters was a recent high school graduate working at a tool factory in Texas when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. He immediately wanted to quit his job and join the U.S. Army Air Corps. The government would not let him do either of those things at first. Winters would join the Army in 1943 and get trained as an engineer. He would be deployed to Guadalcanal and then to Cebu in the Philippines, where he would have a front row seat to history. In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," 100-year-old Buck Winters tells us about his ordnance training and his work ..read more
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LCDR Lou Conter, WWII, Pearl Harbor, Last Survivor USS Arizona
Veterans Chronicles
by Radio America
1w ago
On April 1, 2024, LCDR Lou Conter, U.S. Navy (Retired) died at the age of 102. He was the last living survivor of the USS Arizona, which was sunk by the Japanese during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. His passing marks a somber milestone for a generation that courageously rose up to defend our nation and our allies. In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Conter shares how he joined the Navy, got assigned to the USS Arizona, and was privy to the conversations of commanders aboard the battleship. He also shares what it as like to live through the Japanese attacks that killed ..read more
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CPT Kelly Elminger, U.S. Army, Iraq, Afghanistan, Paralympian
Veterans Chronicles
by Radio America
1M ago
Kelly Elmlinger was a three-sport athlete in high school. She excelled in cross country, basketball, and track. After considering military service, she decided to keep playing sports at the next level, but she quickly decided college was not for her. That's when she joined the Army and became a combat medic, eventually with the 82nd Airborne Division, serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Later, she became a nurse and then a cancer patient herself. Yet even after losing a leg, Elmlinger persevered and represented the U.S. at the Paralympic Games just a few years later. In this edition of "Vet ..read more
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Thomas 'Drago' Dzieran, Political Prisoner, U.S. Navy SEAL, Iraq,
Veterans Chronicles
by Radio America
1M ago
Thomas "Drago" Dzieran grew up in Communist Poland. He realized he was being fed lies and propaganda as a boy when he got in big trouble at school for asking simple questions about the government. As a young man, he became actively involved in the Solidarity movement and in spreading anti-Communist messages. His activities landed him in prison and he was eventually expelled from Poland. Poland's loss was America's gain. In 1984, Drago Dzieran came to the U.S. Seven years later he became an American citizen - what he still considers his greatest accomplishment - and soon joined the U.S. Navy ..read more
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SFC Earnie Savage, U.S. Army, Vietnam, Ia Drang
Veterans Chronicles
by Radio America
1M ago
In the early 1960's, the U.S. Army developed a new way of moving troops into and out of strategic locations. It was called Air Cavalry and operated under the theory that moving forces by helicopter was faster and more precise than driving them or having them jump out of airplanes. One of the earliest and best known Air Cavalry engagements was at Landing Zone X-Ray during the Battle of Ia Drang in November 1965. Young Earnie Savage was part of Bravo company in the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry of the 1st Air Cavalry Division. Shortly after landing at X-Ray, his platoon was cut off and the two hig ..read more
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CMSgt Melvin Jenner, USAF, WWII, Berlin Airlift
Veterans Chronicles
by Radio America
2M ago
Melvin Jenner was already in the Michigan Air National Guard when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. After joining the U.S. Army Air Corps and undergoing training for a bomber crew, he was soon flying missions in the European Theater of World War II. The next few years would bring him harrowing bomber missions, a secret flight over Normandy on D-Day, and an unforgettable role in the Berlin Airlift. In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Jenner tells us how he ended up flying missions in the A-20 with the British Royal Air Force before he ever flew with an American crew ..read more
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Cpl. Patrick Finn, USMC, Korea, Chosin Reservoir
Veterans Chronicles
by Radio America
2M ago
Patrick Finn fibbed about his age in order to join the U.S. Marine Corps a bit earlier than he should have. He served honorably and was ready to end his service before the Korean War ever began. But his inability to come up with $92 led him to re-enlist and in the summer of 1950 he was off to fight a war in a place he knew nothing about. The summer of 1950 was chaotic in Korea. The North Koreans invaded the south in late June and nearly conquered the whole peninsula. But U.S. forces arrived just in time, pushing out from the Pusan Perimeter and executing the very successful Inchon Landing. Wi ..read more
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Col. Joe Peterburs, USAF, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, POW Part 2
Veterans Chronicles
by Radio America
2M ago
In our last edition of "Veterans Chronicles," we learned about the World War II service of U.S. Air Force Col. Joe Peterburs (Ret.). He told us all about escorting U.S. bombers into Germany, strafing Luftwaffe airfields, and shooting down a highly decorated German ace before getting shot down himself on the very same mission. Please be sure to listen to Part 1 of his story. But the story of Col. Peterburs goes well beyond World War II. In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Col. Peterburs takes from his quiet desk jobs in the Air Force after World War II to being back in the P-51, providin ..read more
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Col. Joe Peterburs, USAF, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, POW Part 1
Veterans Chronicles
by Radio America
2M ago
Joe Peterburs was on track to become a priest. All of that changed when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The next year, Peterburs joined the U.S. Army Air Corps and trained to be a fighter pilot. He mastered the P-40, but by the time he got to England in late 1944, the P-51 was waiting for him. In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Col. Joe Peterburs takes us through his service in World War II as he began a military career lasting more than 36 years. You'll hear about his first mission and a whole lot more about his last one...including how he shot down a German a ..read more
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