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Thread: BBC Radio in WWII

  1. #1
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Default BBC Radio in WWII

    I'm currently doing some work with BBC radio looking for U.S. GIs that spent time in England during 1942-1944. The BBC wants to record their impressions of life in England. Everyday stuff. How they got along with British soldiers and civilians, their impression of British cities, Red Cross girls, life in a sausage camp, anything and everything. They want to produce a series that will provide their listeners an appreciation for the arrival of millions of American servicemen and the impact it had on British life.

    If you have a relative that served in England during 1942-1944 and is interested in having their oral history recorded by the BBC then let me know and I'll make arrangements for the BBC to contact them. Just PM me.


  2. #2
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    You are a bit late, all the WW2 troopers I knew are gone forever at this point.

    My FIL was a First Division vet, stationed in England before D-day. He was billeted with a local family and remained in contact with them for the remainder of his life. The sharing of their home was a key memory of his war experience, and one of the only "good ones" he ever mentioned.

    That experience was the key to him opening up about his wartime experiences to the family. He had never talked about "the war" until I married into the family and started asking him about the experience in England when I saw a letter from the British family in the mail one day. At first he only talked about mundane things like the severe rationing, the GIs pitching in their military rations to add to the food variety, and minor violations of the rules to insure the families they were living with had enough to get by. Rationing was much more severe in England than here in the States.

    After being stationed in England he went on to survive all five major operations; North Africa, Siciley, Italy, D-day, the Bulge and the final push into Germany. He finished the war in Checzh territory. He had been one of the first GIs to enter a Concentration Camp and after 25 years he still would not talk about that experience.

    I was always shocked when he would make some comment about his wartime activities and his wife of 25 years would say "You never told me that!" Those experiences affected his life in ways no one had discovered until he actually began talking about them. His sleeping habits, eating habits, where he worked for the remainder of his life, who he married and how he related to his family were all results of and shaped by "the War".

    He passed away in 2001. As FIL types go he was a good one. I learned a lot from him, and not all of it was history.
    A person often meets his destiny while walking the path he took to avoid it.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Fortunately, there are a still many of them left. We are currently in the process of putting together a WWII division reunion in Bangor, Maine for June of this year!

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    A noble project. I'll check with some of our WWII Submarine Vets and see if any of them spent time ashore during those times.
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    Senior Member Daniel Nighteyes's Avatar
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    Wish I could help, but unfortunately your request comes much too late. My father was in England from 1943 until 2 days after D-Day, when his unit went ashore in France. He talked a lot about his experiences in England right up until he crossed the Channel, and practically nothing else until he returned to the United States in June of 1945. He left this World on Memorial Day in 1984, at the untimely age of 66, due to a massive heart attack.

    [I turn 66 in almost exactly one month. Anybody care to guess what's on my mind about now?]
    Last edited by Daniel Nighteyes; 05-07-2012 at 07:46 PM.

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