Presented in partnership with the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force in Pooler, near Savannah, the free program is the second event in the center’s ongoing veterans series, Stories of Sacrifice.
Audience members will be privy to first-hand accounts of bravery and sacrifice from those who fought the air war over Nazi-occupied Europe as part of the “greatest air armada of all time.” By the end of World War II, more than 350,000 men had served in the Eighth Air Force and 26,000 died — more than the entire U.S. Marine Corps during the war.
Five veterans will share their individual stories of piloting a B-24 Liberator over the skies of Germany, including tales of captivity as a prisoner of war in a Nazi POW camp and battling a jet-propelled German Messerschmitt 262 from a propeller-driven P-51 Mustang.
The free Stories of Sacrifice events are designed to highlight veterans’ personal stories and inform the public about the oral history opportunities available to veterans, their families and the community at large.
These talks are recorded and preserved through the center’s Veterans History Project. The events are produced in collaboration with the Library of Congress as well as the Military Voices Initiative conducted by StoryCorps at the center.
Before the Stories of Sacrifice program, attendees are invited to explore the center’s Veterans Park. Funded by a grant from The Home Depot Foundation, Veterans Park is a billed as a memorial to those whose sacrifices secured “our freedom and offers a unique public gathering place that encourages a personal connection to veterans through reflection, remembrance, and celebration.”
A series of panels in Veterans Park are designed to provide a poignant personal connection to military history through oral history recordings of veterans. Each panel features a QR code compatible with any smart phone that allows visitors to access videos of veterans sharing their individual stories containing memories of tragedies and triumphs in their service to the nation.
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