Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: World War, 1939-1945
  • Branch of Service: Army Air Forces/Corps
  • Unit of Service: 335th Bomb Squadron, 95th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force
  • Location of Service: Horham, England
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant

View full service history

"I always maintained that no other airman who'd been shot down had a birthday party five minutes after he was on the ground." (Video Interview, 9:24)

Edwin Hays enlisted in the Army Air Force out of high school in the fall of 1942 and next June was assigned to the 8th Air Force, and a B-17 crew of 10 men from 10 different states. On his 14th mission, on February 24, 1944, Hays' plane, "Just Elmer's Tune" (named after the Glenn Miller song), was shot down over Denmark. Sheltered briefly by locals, Hays was captured and spent the rest of the war in a POW camp. On the 51st anniversary of the plane going down, the Dane who as a teenager had first rescued him, called him to invite him to a 50th anniversary celebration of Denmark's liberation from Germany. Hays made several trips to Europe and even met the German pilot who shot down his plane, and they became good friends.

Transcript: XML

More Resources

[ Memoir in the form of an interview, with other documents. ]
[ Letter written to Edwin Hays ' parents by Mr. A Peterson with "special greeting" from the doctor who treated Hays and other members of his crew [September 11, 1945] ]
[ Letter sent to Edwin Hays parent by an anonymous Dane informing them of Edwin's condition [March 1, 1944] ]
[ Poem "dedicated to the heroic crew of the American Flying Fortress 'Elmer's Tune' lost over enmark [February 24, 1944] ]

About this Item

Title

  • Edwin W. Hays Collection

Names

  • VA Healthcare System, New Jersey
  • Healy, Alice
  • Battle, Lillie
  • National Court Reporters Association (NCRA)
  • Karen E. Kleier
  • Claire Honeker
  • Hays, Edwin W.

State of Birth

  • NJ

Home State

  • NJ

Headings

  • -  Hays, Edwin W.
  • -  World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Army Air Forces/Corps.
  • -  Prisoner of War -- United States

Repository

  • Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Gender

  • Male

Status

  • Veteran

Service History

  • World War, 1939-1945

    • Branch of Service: Army Air Forces/Corps
    • Unit of Service: 335th Bomb Squadron, 95th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force
    • Location of Service: Horham, England
    • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
    • Dates of Service: 1942-1945
    • Prisoner of War: Yes
    • Military Status: Veteran

Materials

  • Video: VHS [1 item] -- Oral history interview (collected 04/30/2002)
  • Manuscript: Printed matter [1 item] -- Typewritten document (collected 2000)
  • Audio: CD [1 item] -- Reference copy (collected 10/18/2005)
  • Audio: Audio Cassette [1 item] -- Oral history interview (collected 04/30/2002)
  • Manuscript: Memoirs [1 item] -- (collected unknown)
  • Manuscript: Transcript [1 item] -- Transcription of audio recording (collected 04/05/2006)
  • Computer File: Floppy Disk [1 item] -- Electronic file of manuscript (collected 04/03/2002)
  • Video: Digital Betacam [1 item] -- Oral history interview (collected unknown)

Collection Number

  • AFC/2001/001/1621

Cite as

  • Edwin W. Hays Collection (AFC/2001/001/1621), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Online Format

  • image
  • online text
  • video

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

Using VHP Material in Publication or Exhibition

The Veterans History Project (VHP) at the Library of Congress collects, preserves and makes accessible the firsthand recollections of U.S. military veterans who served from World War I through more recent conflicts and peacekeeping missions, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand what they saw, did and felt during their service. The Veterans History Project Collection includes oral histories along with documentary materials such as original letters, diaries, photographs, and memoirs.

Veterans and interviewers contribute these materials to the Library for scholarly and educational purposes, retaining any copyright they may hold. Therefore, permission must be obtained before using the interview or other materials in exhibition or publication. Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these materials should contact the Veterans History Project for assistance.

As a publicly supported institution, the Library generally does not own rights to material in its collections. Therefore, it does not charge permission fees for use of such material and cannot give or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material in its collections. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item from the Library’s collections and for securing any necessary permissions rests with persons desiring to use the item.

Please contact us with questions.

Obtaining Copies of VHP Materials

In order for VHP materials to be duplicated, we must receive written permission from the interviewee for you to obtain a copy of the recording unless the proposed use is limited to personal use, research, or other uses permissible by copyright law. If the interviewee is deceased, their next-of-kin may grant written permission.

Please contact VHP for assistance if you need to contact a veteran for permission to use their materials in exhibition or publication, or if you have received permission from the veteran and need access to high-resolution copies of VHP collection materials.

Citing VHP Materials

Please use the following formats when citing Veterans History Project materials (substituting the appropriate name and collection ID number).

Materials as a whole:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Manuscript material:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Memoirs (MS02), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Transcript (MS04), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Correspondence (MS01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Recording:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Audio recording (SR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Video recording (MV01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Photograph:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Photographs (PH01), photographer unknown, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Photographs (PH03-PH14), Ralph Williams photographer, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Computer file:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Computer file (CF01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Artifact:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Artifact (AR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Va Healthcare System, New Jersey, Alice Healy, Lillie Battle, National Court Reporters Association, Karen E. Kleier, Claire Honeker, and Edwin W Hays. Edwin W. Hays Collection. 1942. Personal Narrative. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.01621/.

APA citation style:

Va Healthcare System, N. J., Healy, A., Battle, L., National Court Reporters Association, Karen E. Kleier, Claire Honeker & Hays, E. W. (1942) Edwin W. Hays Collection. [Personal Narrative] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.01621/.

MLA citation style:

Va Healthcare System, New Jersey, et al. Edwin W. Hays Collection. 1942. Personal Narrative. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.01621/>.