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WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO DROP INTO NORMANDY ON D-DAY? A PARATROOPER CAN TELL YOU

Phillip A. Russell, a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division, flew across the English Channel and parachuted into France on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
See his video clip:
http://www.loc.gov/folklife/vets/sights-stories.html
Recorded in Endicott, New York, March 2001.

In just the short time since its creation, the Veterans History Project has amassed a remarkable collection of interviews and documentary materials spanning much of the 20th century. Contained in these sources are compelling accounts of wartime service from men and women, civilian and military, representing many ranks, jobs, branches of service and theaters of war. Their stories -- told in their own words through letters, diaries and oral history interviews -- teach, amuse and inspire us. They also sometimes sadden us, with tales of lost lives, lost time and lost innocence, all in service to our country.

Some of the audio- and video-taped interviews donated to the project were recorded by professional folklorists, but most were conducted by family members, friends, neighbors, students and other volunteers whose enthusiasm and respect for their subjects outweigh the technical shortcomings that occasionally surface in the recordings. The interviews have taken place in private homes, retirement communities, VFW halls, schools and libraries. They touch on all aspects of America's war experiences at home and abroad -- from the routine to the extraordinary, from enlistment to discharge. Several clips from the collection are included below as an introduction to the riches that will follow as the Veterans History Project grows and as our resources allow for the collection's selective digitization and placement on the Library's Web site.

Phillip A. Russell, born 1921 U.S. Army, World War II

See more video clips and learn about the Veterans History Project at http://www.loc.gov/folklife/vets/sights-stories.html

A. Credit: Fort Benning paratrooper. Alfred T. Palmer, photographer. 1942 June.

B. B. Phillip A. Russell, paratrooper, ca. 2001. American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

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