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From the Home Front and the Front Lines
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Brothers Charles Sandler and Lewis Sandler served during World War II in unique ways. Petty Officer Charles Sandler served in the Navy as a chemist in the Defense Department. Sergeant Lewis Sandler served as radio announcer for the United States Army Radio Services (USARS) and is seen here giving New York City natives a chance to reach their hometown from London, England, on March 14, 1945. Rosalind Sandler-Sigman, daughter of Charles Sandler and niece of Lewis Sandler, donated the collection.

Lewis Sandler in uniform Lewis Sandler at USARS Charles Sandler in Navy uniform

[Lewis Sandler in uniform], June 29, 1944; [Lewis Sandler at USARS], March 14, 1945;
[Charles Sandler in Navy uniform], n.d.
Photographs. Charles Sandler Collection, Veterans History Project (1-3)


Radioman Third Class Robert G. Fickle served in the communications section of a Naval Beach Battalion during World War II. Fickle, pictured in 1944 with a friend, took basic training at Camp Pendleton, California. Fickle also served on the USS Clarendon (as pictured) in Tsingtao, China, in 1945. Camaraderie was a vital component on a naval ship. Fickle, far right, poses with his buddies aboard the USS Clarendon in Guam in 1944. The gun crew is pictured aboard ship somewhere in the Pacific. Once the war ended, Robert G. Fickle, left, and his friends held a decommissioning party in Tacoma, Washington, in 1946. Bill Carr of Erie, Pennsylvania, donated the Fickle collection.

War Weary USS Clarendon Robert G. Fickle and friend Decommissioning Party
Robert G. Fickle with buddies aboard USS Clarendon Gun Crew

"War Weary USS Clarendon," 1945; [Robert G. Fickle and friend], 1944; [Decommissioning Party], 1946;
[Robert G. Fickle with buddies aboard USS Clarendon], 1946; [Gun Crew], 1946
Photographs. Robert G. Fickle Collection, Veterans History Project (12-16)


Corporal Erwin R. Steele served in the 91st Bomb Group of the Army Air Corps during World War II and was stationed at Kimbolton Air Base and Bassingburn Air Base in England. The planes shown here were assigned names varying from General "Ike" to names such as Dame Satan II and Extra Special, frequently accompanied by illustrations of pin-up girls. Joseph Harlick, Steele's friend from the 91st Bomb Group, donated the Erwin R. Steele Collection.

Erwin R. Steele standing in front of General "Ike" Extra Special
Wee Willie Dame Satan II

[Erwin R. Steele standing in front of General "Ike"], 1942-1945; [Extra Special], 1942-1945;
[Wee Willie], 1942-1945; [Dame Satan II], 1942-1945
Photographs. Erwin R. Steele Collection, Veterans History Project (4-7)


Second Lieutenant Walter Morris was the first African American assigned to the "Triple Nickles," the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, the first all-black parachute infantry unit activated in World War II. This unique company functioned as smokejumpers fighting forest fires started by Japanese fire bombs dropped on the Pacific Coast. In one of the displayed photographs, Walter Morris, second from left, prepares for a jump at Fort Benning, Georgia, in 1944. In another, a line of smokejumpers at Camp Pendleton, California, wait for an equipment check before battling a fire. Walter Morris, pictured in 2002, now lives in Palm Coast, Florida. The Morris Collection also consists of a compact disc containing memoirs and photographs of the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion. Judith Kent of Flagler County Florida Library donated the Walter Morris Collection along with many other veterans' collections.

Walter Morris [CD-ROM]
555th Smokejumpers Walter Morris preparing to jump

[Walter Morris], November 21, 2002; Compact disc;
[555th Smokejumpers], August 1945; [Walter Morris preparing to jump], February 1944
Photographs and compact disc. Walter Morris Collection, Veterans History Project (8-11)


Staff Sergeant Charles Restifo served in the 161st Photographic Company of the Army Signal Corps from June 1942. He carried official identification displayed here. Also on view are several of the photographs Restifo took during his service. His photos include images of injured soldiers, preparations for landings and battle, and local people and traditions, including the displayed photograph of Fijians performing a Kava Ceremony for American solders in Sava, Fiji, in 1943. His autobiography consists of letters home from August 1942 to September 1945 and thirty-eight photos of life in the Pacific Theater. Beatrice L. Restifo, wife of Charles Restifo, donated his collection.

Troops preparing to Troops preparing to disembark Restifo with camera Charles Restifo ID
Admiral Wilkinson and Major General Oscar Grinwald Combat in Philippines Fijians performing Kava Ceremony
The Autobiography of Charles R. Restifo

[Troops preparing to disembark], November 1945;
[Restifo with camera], Fall 1945 (17);
[Charles Restifo ID], June 1942;
[Admiral Wilkinson and Major General Oscar Grinwald], January 9, 1945;
[Combat in Philippines], October 1944;
[Fijians performing Kava Ceremony], 1943;
" The Autobiography of Charles R. Restifo"
August 1942-September 1945
Photographs and book.
Charles Restifo Collection,
Veterans History Project (17-23)


First Sergeant John Caspar Wister served during World War I. He received his training at Augusta Arsenal Training School, Georgia, the barracks of which can be seen in this photograph. Although he never served on the front lines, Wister was First Sergeant of the Advance Ordnance Depot 4 Jonchery, Haute-Marne, France. In his letters, Wister remarks on military life, the situation in Germany, the signing of the Armistice, and Paris after the Armistice. Ella Wister Haines, the veteran's older sister, had his collection of World War I letters and photographs privately bound during the 1950s. Laura Haines Belman donated her great-uncle's collection.

Bunkhouse, Augusta Arsenal Training School

Bunkhouse, Augusta Arsenal Training School, ca. 1917.
Photo album.
John C. Wister Collection,
Veterans History Project


Sergeant Martin Lorenz served in the 7th Infantry Division of the Army during the Korean War. He is seen here standing in his camp in Korea in 1952 and posing with a South Korean soldier. In 1953, Lorenz and a fellow soldier smile for the camera on the infamous Pork Chop Hill, Korea. Lorenz spent three days without food, water, or ammunition on Pork Chop Hill, a piece of land in Korea that neither the Americans nor the Chinese would surrender. As the veteran wrote on the back of one of his 1953 photographs, "Me and my bunker on Pork Chop Hill before all hell broke loose." Lorenz's company was overwhelmed by the numbers of Chinese attacking from both sides of their outpost, but another company finally relieved them from duty after three hellish days. The battle on Pork Chop Hill resulted in massive casualties on both sides. Martin Lorenz donated his collection.

Martin Lorenz and South Korean soldier Me and my bunker on Pork Chop Hill before all hell broke loose
Martin Lorenz in camp Martin Lorenz and soldier

[Martin Lorenz and South Korean soldier], ca. 1953;
" Me and my bunker on Pork Chop Hill before all hell broke loose,"1953; [Martin Lorenz in camp], 1952;
[Martin Lorenz and soldier], 1953
Photographs. Martin Lorenz Collection, Veterans History Project (24-27)


Corporal Wilbur Brock, Jr., was just seventeen years old when he enlisted in 1950. While serving in the 7th Army Division during the Korean War, Brock captured both the light and dark sides of military life, as shown in these four photographs. One shows Korean prisoners of war in a camp around 1952. Others show a soldier in front of a tent with his buddy, chow time, and a soldier discovering that getting a haircut in the military differs a little from the traditional barbershop. Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana donated this collection in addition to 1600 other veterans' stories.

Korean Prisoners of War Two buddies standing in front of tents
Chow time Getting a haircut

[Korean Prisoners of War], ca. 1952; [Two buddies standing in front of tents], ca. 1952;
[Chow time], ca.1952; [Getting a haircut], ca. 1952.
Photographs. Wilbur Brock, Jr. Collection, Veterans History Project (28-31)


Corporal James Price served as a team leader in the 1st Combined Group, 3rd Marine Amphibious Force during the Vietnam War. He participated in counterinsurgency operations against the Viet Cong, including Operation Citrus, December 15 to December 24, 1967. Because Corporal Price was wounded in action three times during 1968 in the Quang Ngai Province of Vietnam, he received three Purple Hearts. His photographs show a child in a South Vietnamese village sitting by an intimidating Viet Cong guardsman; relief workers visiting the war-weary American soldiers around 1969; and a U.S. Army helicopter landing in Da Nang, Vietnam, in 1968. Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana donated this collection in addition to 1600 other veterans' stories.

Relief workers visit U.S. troops Village infiltrated by Viet Cong U.S. Army helicopter

[Relief workers visit U.S. troops], ca. 1969; [Village infiltrated by Viet Cong], ca.1969; [U.S. Army helicopter], 1968
Photographs. James Price Collection, Veterans History Project (32-34)


Sergeant Patricia Seawalt, Soldier of the Year in 1982, served in the 102nd Quality Management Unit of the Army's 101st Airborne Division during the Persian Gulf War (1991). Before the war, the Army Oil Analysis Program had always contracted out for specialists in this field. The military sent Seawalt to the Persian Gulf because she was the only one qualified to perform oil analysis within the military. Seawalt taught oil analysis to Arab men who initially distrusted her because she was a woman but came to respect her. She was stationed at Guardian City and at King Faad Airbase, Saudi Arabia, during the war. The living quarters were simple at best, as reflected by these photographs of a bed, the showers, and long rows of simple, white tents. Women soldiers are shown in 1990 spending some time in their modest quarters in Guardian City, Saudi Arabia. In another, Seawalt stands next to the 102nd Headquarters sign. Because of exposure to oil fires during the Persian Gulf War, she is a disabled veteran. Patricia Seawalt donated her collection.

Patricia Seawalt with Arab woman Showers Soldiers in quarters
Patricia Seawalt standing by 102nd Headquarters sign Tent city Bed

[Patricia Seawalt with Arab woman], ca. 1991; [Showers], ca. 1991; [Soldiers in quarters], 1990;
[Patricia Seawalt standing by 102nd Headquarters sign], ca. 1991; [Tent city], ca. 1991; [Bed], ca. 1991
Photographs. Patricia Seawalt Collection, Veterans History Project (38-43)


The left photograph shows First Lieutenants Brian and Jeanne Markle, who met in Long Binh, Vietnam. They are shown on their wedding day in August 1966 in Springfield, Ohio, in full military dress. Jeanne Markle donated this collection.

The center photograph shows the wedding of Clare Marie Crane and Lieutenant Herbert G. Johns on May 29, 1943, in Cleveland, Ohio. Only two years after their marriage, Johns died of leukemia while overseas. Elizabeth Henderson donated the Clare Marie Crane collection.

Private First Class Antonio DaCosta met Helen J. Hibbler at a dance in a small town in Pennsylvania while on leave. A few months later, Hibbler's aunt gave her $25 so that they could get married. In the photograph (right) are (left to right) Mrs. Henry F. Samuels, Helen DaCosta, Antonio DaCosta, and Minister Henry F. Samuels. Antonio DaCosta donated the collection.

Brian and Jeanne Markle Clare Marie Crane and Lieutenant Herbert G. Johns Helen DaCosta and Antonio DaCosta
[Brian and Jeanne Markle] August 1966. Jeanne Markle Collection;
[Clare Marie Crane and Lieutenant Herbert G. Johns] May 29, 1943. Clare Marie Crane Collection
[Helen DaCosta and Antonio DaCosta] February 27, 1965. Antonio DaCosta Collection
Photographs. Veterans History Project (35, 99, 147)


Norma Stearns and First Lieutenant Carroll A. Stearns, Jr., are shown on their wedding day, October 8, 1943, in Burlington, North Carolina. They are still happily married after nearly sixty years, as shown in the later photograph. Robert M. Mebane donated the collection.

Corporal Reginald A. Stowe married his bride on May 6, 1941, months before the attack on Pearl Harbor triggered America's military participation in World War II. Reginald A. Stowe donated the collection.

Norma Stearns and Carroll A. Stearns, Jr. Norma Stearns and Carroll A. Stearns, Jr. Corporal Reginald A. Stowe and bride

[Norma Stearns and Carroll A. Stearns, Jr.], October 8, 1943 (left).
[Norma Stearns and Carroll A. Stearns, Jr.], 2001. Carroll A. Stearns, Jr,. Collection (center).
[Corporal Reginald A. Stowe and bride], May 6, 1941. Reginald A. Stowe Collection (right).
Photographs. Veterans History Project (100-102)

  HOME  Exhibition Overview Checklist of Objects Credits  Read More About It Exhibition Sections: Photographs |
 Diaries, Bound Collections, & Albums | Correspondence | Maps & Flags | Military Papers | Special Collections
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