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ODETTE BIER SHANER

Odette Bier Shaner grew up in Dijon France, and participated in the war as a member of the French Resistance. Along the way she met her future husband, a GI named Elmer Shaner…he spoke no French…she spoke no English. But they fell in love during the dark days of World War Two. Read her personal memoirs, transcribed from her own hand, and learn what it was like to be in France during the Nazi occupation.

PAUL “SLIM” SEBACHER

Paul “Slim” Sebacher: This sailor served on six patrols aboard the submarine USS Pacuda. One of the reasons he was assigned to the same submarine for so long was that he was also the ship’s barber, and the officers liked the way he cut their hair! His account of his service as a “too tall” submariner includes some very interesting and surprising details of life aboard a sub during WWII.

HAROLD LEE THOMAS

Harold Lee Thomas: On display is the 3rd Grade Social Studies project of this Air Force veteran, detailing the news of World War Two. This fascinating piece of family history chronicles the growing horrors of the war in Europe and the South Pacific.  What an impression this must have made on Harold and his classmates! Possibly due to his interest in current events, he went on to join the Air Force and serve his country in the Korean War.

JOHN GIZZIE 

John Gizzie: This soldier served in World War One as a member of an Observation Balloon company. Observation balloons played an important, though now all-but-forgotten part in World War I.  It required 180 enlisted men and seven officers to keep a single 35,000-cubic-foot balloon in the air!  He kept very detailed records of each mission. Read excerpts from his account of his service, and the contribution these veterans made to the winning of the war.

BOB RUZENSKY

Bob Ruzensky: “I Almost Shot Ike” is just one of the stories Bob tells of his service in Korea. “Ike” was president-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower. He also tells of a woman, nicknamed Seoul City Sue, who sat in the nose of the plane using a microphone and loudspeaker encouraging the North Koreans and Chinese to surrender and go back to their homeland, assuring them that the Americans would feed them and treat them well. Read this and other stories about service.

EMMETT “BUD” HARTER

Emmett “Bud” Harter: This airman’s life was saved by a German officer! When his plane was shot down, the villagers had captured him and were preparing to hang him in the town square! An SS officer happened to be driving by, and said, “You cannot execute this man. He will be my prisoner.”  Emmett was held captive in Stalag Luft 4 and 6 until the end of the war. Read the harrowing story of his service, captivity, and release.

COLIN KEITH HIPKINS

Colin “Keith” Hipkins: Keith Hipkins was killed in action in Vietnam on 6-SEP 1967, which was the sixteenth birthday of his little sister.  He was just 18 years old. Among the personal items that were returned to the family was a Kodak camera containing undeveloped film. The film was developed and showed Keith and his comrades in the jungles of Vietnam.  Read some of his letters home, and other details of his life as a US Marine.

WARREN BREEHER

Odette Bier Shaner grew up in Dijon France, and participated in the war as a member of the French Resistance. Along the way she met her future husband, a GI named Elmer Shaner…he spoke no French…she spoke no English. But they fell in love during the dark days of World War Two. Read her personal memoirs, transcribed from her own hand, and learn what it was like to be in France during the Nazi occupation.

BILL FISHER

Bill Fisher: This Air Force veteran was a dog handler in Vietnam. Read the harrowing stories of his service “in front of the fence line” on patrol at night, searching for snipers with his dogs, Wolf and Rex, each of whom saved his life.

RUTH HUNTER REECE

Ruth Hunter Reece: Ruth was an Air Evac nurse who served in Operation Desert Storm at the age of 59.  She joined the Air Force in 1989. She remarked, “When they called me, they said, ‘we need a chief nurse in Iraq.  Would you be willing to go?’  I said, ‘do you know how old I am?’  She said, ‘yes ma’am, I know exactly how old you are.  You won’t be 60 for a few more months.’  Read her reflections about her service in the USAF.

PAUL RHOADS

Paul Rhoads served in World War One as a medic. He went to France and took with him his pocket diary. In it, he recorded his impressions of what happened on November 11, 1918, the day the war ended.  Read this touching account, written by his own hand, over 100 years ago.

MATT SIMS

Matt Sims: “Doc” Sims was a medic, and is a three-time Purple Heart recipient for his heroic service to his troops, he is honored and remembered by countless soldiers and their families whose lives he helped to save. He is the author of three books about his time and service to his country.

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PAUL “BUD” HAEDIKE

Paul “Bud” Haedike: Bud was a bombardier on a B-17, serving with the Eighth Air Force. His crew participated in 25 bombing missions over Germany.  Bud tells many stories of his service during the war, including a rewarding humanitarian mission to drop food, instead of bombs, after the German surrender.