Sorry to get so deep and serious here but I just returned from an amazing gathering. It's a WWII focused history class at Regis University here in Denver. I've been meaning to make one of these last year but missed out. But tonight that was not the case.
A radio station 1430am here in Denver hosts this special series at Regis. They get everyone from famous authors like Kershaw who did the Bedford Boys, The Long Winter, and many other WWII books, as well as 4 WWII veterans to speak in front of the class. This class has students but is open to the public. And let me tell you, the place was packed! I barely got there in time to get a seat and that was 30 minutes before the discussion took place.
We heard from 2 8th Air force veterans who served about B-17's to a medic to a 3rd Army vet under Patton. All of their stories so unique and touching at times. Of course there was a alot of humor to be had as well. These guys still know how to cut up every now and then. One of the men, who was a gunner on the B-17 mentioned having difficulty with a B-17 in route from Nebraska to England. They had to touch down in the US(forgot location) and the tower said " Put your God Damn gear down idiots! " cause they were fully loaded with ammo, and fuel and forgot to put down the gear during landing. Funny stuff.
There was even tension as a former B-17 pilot, Joe, mentioned that he went from being an 18 year old to being transformed into a "killer" at which time the other 8th Air Force waist gunner piped up and said " I take offense to that, I'm not a killer! I was sent to do a job but I'm not a killer! " So it was insight to see how these men still felt to this day about their role in the great war.
Overall, it was an experience to be remembered. I am hoping to get to see next Tuesday's discussion of the war in the Pacific which is close to me due to my grandfather's role as a radio man in the Navy in the Pacific Theater. Should be another great listen.
Listed here are the names...
Phil Antonelli - 3rd Army ( Patton's Army )
Mike Quering - 8th Air Force - Waist Gunner
Joe Clarke - 8th Air Force - Pilot
Vinton Guy - Medic for 55th General Hospital - Europe
Also author Alex Kershaw - Bedford Boys, The Longest Winter, The Few, Escape from the Deep (story of the sub USS Tang that sank )
For now here is a link to the class...
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7 months ago