March 3, 2005
Press contacts: Anneliesa Clump Behrend [email protected];
Helen Dalrymple [email protected]
Library of Congress Veterans History Project Highlights More
Stories; Site Tops 1,000 Fully Digitized Collections
"Military Medicine" Goes Online Mar. 3
A new selection of 20 fully digitized collections of materials submitted
by veterans and civilians will be available for the first time
on the Library of Congress Web site on Mar. 3 at http://www.loc.gov/warstories/.
This is the sixth set of individual stories -- comprising interviews,
letters, photographs and written memoirs -- to be featured on the
site, which is titled "Experiencing War: Stories from the Veterans
History Project." Since the launch of this presentation site on
Memorial Day 2003, the Veterans History Project has regularly made
available new stories to illuminate certain themes. Past themes
have included D-Day, prisoners of war and life-altering moments.
The latest addition of stories focuses on military medicine and
highlights personal accounts from doctors, nurses and individuals
providing medical support.
With this new set of fully digitized stories, the Veterans History
Project site offers 1,024 digitized collections online, comprising
more than 48,000 individual items. The digitized materials are
part of the continuing effort by the Library to make its collections
"The Veterans History Project Web site is a multimedia site.
Students, historians and anyone interested in 20th century history
can listen to oral histories from veterans and read first-hand accounts
said Diane Kresh, director of the Veterans History Project.
One of the featured veterans, Glenn Wyler, was that rare soldier
who served tours of duty in both major theaters of World War II,
working as ships physician on a troop transport vessel. His often
colorful, two-volume memoir, which totals more than 250 typed pages,
"The Buzzard's Tale," changes only the names of the men and
the ship. Raised in Utah, Wyler had no desire to go to sea, but the
to the "Buzzard," which sailed the Atlantic, Mediterranean
During Frances M. Liberty's 28 years in the Army Nurse Corps, she
served in three wars and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Her assignments ranged from landing on the beach at Anzio, Italy
in World War II and supplying a hospital train in Korea to caring
for celebrity patients at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington,
DC. When Liberty enlisted in 1943, she recounts in her oral history,
"They weren't really prepared to handle women."
Yeiichi Kelly Kuwayama, the son of Japanese immigrants, was a Princeton
graduate working at the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in New York
in 1940 when he was drafted. The attack on Pearl Harbor dashed any
chance that his stint in the Army would be short-lived, and after
being bounced around in administrative jobs at out-of-the
-way bases, he grabbed an opportunity to join the Japanese American
442nd Regiment, whose motto was "Go for Broke," and trained
as a medic. The 442nd became one of the most decorated units in
American military history.
The Veterans History Project's Web site continues to feature an interactive
guide to "Voices of War," the first book drawn from its collections,
which was published in November 2004 by National Geographic Books.
The companion Web site can be viewed at http://www.loc.gov/voicesofwar/.
Veterans from World War I through the current conflict, and the civilians
who supported them, are coming forward to record their personal
stories and contribute
documents for a growing archives at the American Folklife Center
at the Library of Congress. The goal is to collect, preserve and
share with future generations the stories of all American war veterans.
To date, more than 25,000 individuals have submitted stories to the
Authorized by legislation passed in 2000, the project is being carried
out in the way that Congress envisioned: with grandchildren interviewing
grandparents, veterans interviewing each other and students conducting
interviews as part of classroom assignments.
Those interested in becoming involved in the Veterans History Project
are encouraged to e-mail at [email protected] to
request a project kit. The kit is also available on the Veterans History
Project Web site at http://www.loc.gov/vets/ or
call the toll-free message line at (888) 371-5848.