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Experiencing War: Stories from the Veterans History Project

Eleven months after Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy, the German Army, pushed back to the streets of Berlin, surrendered. The relief that all American soldiers felt was tempered by the realization that the war wasn’t yet won. Some would ship out to the Pacific Theater, though few of them saw any action. Others stayed behind as occupiers or, in a few instances, participants in the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials.

Featured Story: Charles Raymond Remsburg, Jr
Image of Charles Raymond Remsburg, Jr - link to story

"Why Porter? He was one of the best. Why just hours before the war ended?" (Memoir, page 178)

In 1983 Charles Remsburg discovered a cache of 194 letters he'd written to his parents during World War II, when he served in Europe in the infantry and as a public relations officer. He used them to write an excellent memoir. His second assignment, coming in March 1945, seemed to have taken him out of harm's way, but on May 7, one of his best buddies, also a PR man, was killed by a German shell. The next day, the end of the hostilities in Europe was announced, and Remsburg felt a kind of bitter relief, expressed eloquently on pages 177-180 of his memoir.

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Charles Remsburg, Jr's story
Experience more Stories of VE Day more stories

"The Allied Armies, through sacrifice and devotion and with God’s help, have wrung from Germany a final and unconditional surrender." -- Harry S Truman

Image of Paul R. Allen - link to story

"Here we were in the middle of Germany, with the war over--our job done."

Paul R. Allen's story

Image of Isabelle V. Cook - link to story

"We were part of the VE Day Parade. They invited all of the march in full uniform.."

Isabelle V. Cook's story

Image of John Ernest Dolibois - link to story

"...I had driven through Rheims the day that General Jodl was signing the surrender documents..."

John Ernest Dolibois' story

Image of Ed Goodwin - link to story

"We were scared to go out the gate because the women were waiting for us..."

Ed Goodwin's story

Image of  Edward Wallace Hopkins - link to story

"Truman was giving his speech about the war being over and suddenly the German planes came over..."

Edward Wallace Hopkins' story

Image of  Walter Morris - link to story

"We... could see the German and Italian prisoners of war sitting down at the same table with white soldiers..."

Walter Morris' story

Image of  Arthur B. Scattergood - link to story

"There was a combination of solemn gratitude along with jubilant celebration."

Arthur B. Scattergood's story

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  May 3, 2005
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