WWII Mountain Memories: Home Front to the Frontline

Testimonies of WWII Veterans and Civilians from Western North Carolina 


WWII Mountain Memories: Home Front to the Frontline
 

From the Center for Diversity Education,
UNCA, Asheville, NC

 This archive is a work in progress. With over 100 testimonies to display, please visit again while we continue to load more stories and photographs.

In 2002, the Board, Staff and Volunteers of Center for Diversity Education set out on an ambitious task to interview a broad cross section of civilians and veterans who were part of the WWII generation. Over 100 testimonies were recorded. Initially, select portions of the testimonies were used to piece together a 35 panel exhibit named “WWII Mountain Memories: Home Front to the Frontline” that told the story of the impact of WWII on Western North Carolina. The content of the panels were created in line with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study in grades six through twelve. Exhibited at Biltmore Square Mall in the fall of 2003, over 2,000 students and 1,000 adults toured the exhibition and listened to 15 veterans share their own stories. We were also privileged to host an event to honor WWII veterans which included Senator Robert Dole as the guest speaker. Since that time, the exhibit has continued to travel to area schools and community centers.

Once the exhibit was packed up we still had the bulk of the testimonies that called out to be available to the larger community. This archive is the tangible result of that work. Each of the testimonies is summarized, and a few are transcribed, so that students and the general community are able to do their own independent research on subjects that interest them. This method of research is based on the model of Facing History and Ourselves. This national organization educates teachers in building a classroom environment to engage students in independent research using primary source documents and eye witness accounts to derive their own understanding of historical events and their continued repercussions in contemporary society.

In the side bar to the right are the links to the stories of the veterans and civilians. Some interviews are the full transcription while others are only summaries. In some cases the video tape of the interview is available for those who wish to view it on the premises of UNC Asheville Special Collections. Other summaries are taken from unrecorded interviews. In some cases there are also digitized photographs included.

The intention of this exhibit is that students will view the stories of local people and places and become curious about some deeper detail. They will then be able to visit this archive to conduct their own research and build their own critical thinking. This method is employed with all of the Center’s ten other traveling exhibits. Each year over 10,000 students, teachers and general citizens view one of these exhibits which are also available in a PDF format by visiting www.diversityed.org. Several of these exhibits share a complementary archive located at UNCA Special Collections Ramsey Library.

This project is also part of the Veterans History Project with the Library of Congress. The Center is indebted to their assistance in the initial training materials for the volunteers. This resource is also available to any citizen who wishes to record their neighbor or family member’s testimony. You may download the materials by visiting www.loc.gov/veterans. Time is of the essence.

To learn more about other CDE traveling exhibits or to purchase the book Asheville and WNC in WWII by Deborah Miles and Reid Chapman, call 828-232-5024.

Acknowledgements:
The work of archivists is critical to the work of historians. While the bulk of the research was compiled by Deborah Miles and Reid Chapman it would not have been possible without the labors of many others.

Special thanks go to:
Helen Wykle and Jamie Patterson of the Special Collections at UNCA’s Ramsey Library, Jeff and Hyman Dave at Dave Steel, Mark Burdette and Erika Grosser who worked on the Center’s archives, and The Janirve Foundation for funding to complete the archive.

And finally, to the volunteers who helped gather the testimony, including:

Jean Baker, Peter Call, Nancy Coward, Ken Culbreth, Tom DeFrange, Judy Garry, Randee Goodstadt, Lou Harshaw, Phil Kelly, Cynthia Kimmel, Jenny McPherson, Fred Meyer, Allen Shields, and Mary Weber

Finally, and most importantly, we wish to thank, and convey our admiration for all the veterans and civilians who shared their stories with us that are or will be available in this archive.

-- Deborah Miles



 

Andrews

Ashe

Baker

Berdie

Blue

Bolinder

Branson

Buchanan

Bufflap

M.Caccavale

P.Caccavale

Calhoun

Cannon

Carringer

Case

Caylor

Chatfield

Colijn

H.Colton

M.Colton

Crabbe

Crawford

Cress

Culbreth

Dixon

Dunton

Edwinn

Ellis

Ensley

Feldman

Fox

Galbreath

Gaunt

Gennett Jr.

Ginn Jr.

Gray

R.Griffin

W.Griffin

R.H. Griffin

Gudger

Hall

Hamblen

Harshaw

Hendricks

Hicks

Hilbert

JHoyle

Jewitt

Johnson

Katen

King

Kirkpatrick

Kreamer

Lamb

Lamprinakos

Lamy

Ledbetter

Leigon

Leslie

Lewis

Littlejohn

Lloyd

Longcoy

Martin

McAdams

McLewin

Metcalf

Meyers

D.Middleton

W.T. Middleton

Mitchell

Moody

Moore

Morgan

Murphy

Neilson

Norfleet

Ownbey

Parks

Ponder

Popkin

Rathbun

Ray

Reed

Rice  

B.Roberts

L.Roberts

Robinson

Rogers

Rosenthal

Sanders

Sargent

Schaill

Schmidt

Schochet

Sechler

Sher

Smathers

Smith

Smith

Starnes

Straus

Sultan

Sutton

Swaim

Tash

Taylor

Thompson

Tipton

Wellisch

Williams

Wolcott

Wright

Young

Youngdeer

 

Related links:
Center for Diversity Education, Asheville
Choosing to Remember: From the Shoah to the Mountains


 

 

The Center for Diversity Education wishes to thank the generous spirit of the veterans and civilians who shared their stories.

WWII Mountain Memories: From Home Front to Front Line, with over 200 pictures and documents, and 100 interviews is available as a traveling exhibit to area schools and institutions. Contact the Center for Diversity Education at http://eduweb.unca.edu/diversityed/or call 828 232-5024.

Please notify dunn@unca.edu or diversity@main.nc.us of any corrections to these pages.

     

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