South Carolina Military & Veterans

NASA image of Hurricane Irma:: A series of massive hurricanes have threatened and impacted parts of the Caribbean.
NASA

As Hurricane Maria continues to move forward, mandatory evacuations have been ordered for parts of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Here in South Carolina, hospitals are receiving patients evacuated from islands decimated by the storm.

WWII B-17 Bomber
Thelisha Eaddy/ SC Public Radio

Between 1935 and 1945, more than 12,000 World War II Boeing B-17 Bombers were produced. The aircraft was dubbed the “Flying Fortress,” as a result of the defensive fire power used during the war. A little more than a third (4,735) were lost in combat and today only 12 still take to the skies.

The Madras Maiden is a B-17 that was built towards the end of the war; it was used as a training aircraft. Today, the bomber is owned by the Liberty Foundation, a nonprofit museum whose mission is to preserve WWII aviation history.

U.S. Army Bell UH-1D helicopters airlift members of the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment from the Filhol Rubber Plantation area to a new staging area, during Operation "Wahiawa", conducted by the 25th Infantry Division, northeast of Cu Chi.
James K. F. Dung, SFC; U.S. National Archives Catalog:530610

Acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns’s new documentary The Vietnam War airs this week on SCETV.  As a companion piece, we talked with Vietnam veterans Wade Fulmer and Jim Knight, as well as historian Fritz Hamer, who pointed out that Vietnam was the most unconventional of wars the U.S.

U.S. Marines with Company G, 2d Battalion, 7th Marines, direct a concentration of fire at the enemy during Operation Allen Brook, 8 May 1968.
Official Marine Corps photo 371490, via Wikimedia Common

Acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns’s new documentary The Vietnam War airs this week on SCETV. In this segment, we continue our talk with historian Fritz Hamer and Palmetto State veterans Jim Knight and Wade Fulmer. Knight recalls many small firefights and one really big one – the TET offensive of February, 1968. Hamer said even though TET was a military disaster for the the North Vietnamese, it was a propaganda bonanza.

Narrative: Ambush in the Vietnam War

Sep 18, 2017
Gary Jackson and Charles Philips, Columbia 2016
StoryCorps

This edition of Narrative features an interview from StoryCorps, an oral history project based on the idea that the stories of everyday people are the most important and interesting of all. When StoryCorps visited Columbia in 2016, Charles Philips interviewed his friend Gary Jackson about his experience in the Vietnam War as tank gunner. Here, Jackson talks about what happened to him in March 1971 when he was involved in Operation Lam Son 719.

Marine Corp HMM-263 (Vietnam) Helicopter Squadron, know as The Peach Bush Book Club
Marine Corp HMM-263 (Vietnam) Helicopter Squadron, know as The Peach Bush Book Club

Note: Coinciding with broadcast on SCETV of The Vietnam War, a film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick,  Walter Edgar's Journal is re-publishing podcasts of some of our earlier programs.

(Originally broadcast 05/27/11) - Walter Edgar talks with Col. Walt Ledbetter and Duncan McCrae, veterans of the 263rd Marine Helicopter Squadron. Their aim is to compile a history of their experiences in the Vietnam War in 1969-70. They share stories from some of the missions they flew. Ledbetter and McCrae are joined by Clint Chalmers, producer.

Orvil Bumpus, Tim Campbell, Butch Gay, Mike Dickerson, James Henderson, Arthur Beaufort, and John Trulock.
Gordon Humphries / University Of South Carolina, School Of Visual Art and Design

 

Note: Coinciding with broadcast on SCETV of The Vietnam War, a film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick,  Walter Edgar's Journal is re-publishing podcasts of some of our earlier programs.

In 1968, the 319th Transportation Company, an Army Reserve unit, was sent to fight in the Vietnam War. The unit drew most of its members from the Augusta, Georgia/Aiken, S.C. area. During their 11 month tour of duty, they drove their trucks over one million miles, delivering ammunition, supplies, and soldiers to bases around South Vietnam. They called themselves “Troxler's Truckers,” after their commanding officer.

Homer Steedly
Tibby Steedly

 Note: Coinciding with broadcast on SCETV of The Vietnam War, a film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick,  Walter Edgar's Journal is re-publishing podcasts of some of our earlier programs.

(Broadcast 11-14-08) - When we talked to Vietnam War veteran Homer Steedly in 2007 the South Carolina native told us of his plans to return to Vietnam. One of his goals has been to, at last, meet face-to-face with the family of Hoang Ngoc Dam, the young North Vietnamese soldier (a medic) whom he'd killed in March of 1969; and to help locate Dam's remains and return them to his family's village for burial.

During Vietnam, Music Spoke to Both Sides of a Divided Nation

Sep 15, 2017
Bob Dylan with Joan Baez during the March on Washington in Washington, D.C., 1963.
Rowland Scherman (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration), via Wikimedia Commons

(THE CONVERSATION) -  Music is central to Ken Burns's new Vietnam War documentary, with an original score accompanied by samples of the era's most popular musicians, from the Rolling Stones to Bob Dylan. According to USA Today, the people interviewed for the film were even asked to provide their 10 favorite songs from the war years.

While it's natural that a historical film would include period-specific songs, music played an outsized role in the Vietnam War era. Whereas during past wars, musicians wrote songs to unite Americans, Vietnam-era music spoke to the growing numbers of disillusioned citizens, and brought attention to the cultural fissures that were beginning to emerge.

Sept. 7 Hurricane Irma Update News Conference
www.scetv.org

South Carolina is planning for a category 4 storm to impact the state starting Saturday. During a press conference Thursday, Gov. McMaster said 800 SC National Guardsmen have been activated. Sunday, September 10th, 2500 Guardsmen will be on duty and by Tuesday, September 11th 5000 guardsmen will be on duty.

McMaster said as of 2pm Thursday, healthcare facilities along the coast in potential impact zones are ordered to evacuate. Those are facilities in the following counties: Jasper, Beaufort, Colleton, Dorchester, Berkeley, Horry, Charleston and Georgetown.

Narrative: Everything Changed Overnight

Aug 29, 2017
Jonathan Jackson and Licia Jackson, Columbia 2016
StoryCorps

This edition of Narrative features an interview from StoryCorps, an oral history project where friends and loved ones interview each other. When StoryCorps visited Columbia in 2016, Licia Jackson talked with her son Jonathan about his time in the military in the early 2000s.

John C. West, South Carolina Governor, 1971 - 1975.
library.sc.edu/p/collections

This French language film shows the Governor of South Carolina, John West, as he signed a petition of support for American Prisoners of War in Vietnam at the state capital. Hundreds of South Carolinians showed their support too, by signing the petition.

Note: Although the narration in this report for French television is not subtitled, the film contains historical footage of the event, and some of West's comments are audible.

S.C. Hall of Fame: Lt. William Farrow (1918-1942)

Aug 4, 2017
Crew 16 of the Doolittle Raiders. Left to right: Lt George Barr, Lt William G. Farrow, Sgt Harold A. Spatz, Lt Robert L. Hite, and Cpl Jacob D. DeShazer.
USAF

William G. Farrow was born in 1918 in Darlington. He trained to be a pilot at the Hawthorne Aviation School where he received his commission and the silver wings of an Army Aviator in 1941 before joining the 17 Bombardment Group.

In January 1942, Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle asked for volunteers from the 17 Bombardment Group for a secret, hazardous mission, and in April, the crew and B-25s were loaded aboard the USS Hornet headed for an unknown destination on a mission now known as the Doolittle Raid story.  

Gen. William Westmoreland
SC Hall of Fame

 General Westmoreland’s rise through the ranks of the army coincided with television coverage of the Vietnam War in the 1960’s, making him one of the most recognized military figures of the 20th century. Born in Spartanburg, South Carolina, he went on to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point and served in 17 battle campaigns during three wars: World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Promoted to the rank of brigadier general at age 38, he later earned a second star, making him at the time the youngest major general in the U.S. Army.

Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden, Jr.
NASA

A native of Columbia, General Bolden graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1968 and became a naval aviator. In 1972 and 1973 he flew more than 100 combat missions in Southeast Asia. He earned a Master of Science degree from the University of Southern California in 1977. In 1980 he was selected by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for training as an astronaut. In 1981 he was qualified as a shuttle pilot, subsequently flying four shuttle missions, including the 1990 mission that launched the Hubble telescope, and logging more than 690 hours in space.

Inspecting the new troops at Fort Jackson.  They learn the rules quickly- or they'll hear about it.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

Fort Jackson has just celebrated its centennial and, as the nation’s largest army training base, new recruits pour in regularly for basic training.  Though they’re met their first day by a pack of screaming drill sergeants, privates Jose Solis and Wallace Castillo don’t mind.  They’ve come for a purpose: to be trained and to learn to be professionals.   They view the sergeants’ yelling as part of the system, and don’t take it personally.  That’s good, says Drill Sergeant Queshawnia Franklin, because that’s how the system is designed, and after the first few weeks have provided the recruits

Corie Hipp and Earnest Parks, Charleston 2012
StoryCorps

This edition of Narrative features an interview from StoryCorps, an oral history project based on the idea that the stories of everyday people are the most important and interesting of all. When the StoryCorps mobile booth visited Charleston in 2012, Corie Hipp interviewed with her friend and colleague Earnest Parks. As a Civil War re-enactor, Earnest has played the role of a soldier in the Massachusetts 54th Regiment, a union infantry made up of African American soldiers.

Narrative: WWII Veteran Remembers the Battle of the Bulge

Jun 30, 2017
Vernon Brantley and friend Shannon Poteat, Columbia 2016.
StoryCorps

This edition of Narrative features an interview from StoryCorps, a unique oral history project that collects the voices of our times. When StoryCorps visited Columbia in 2016, WWII Veteran Vernon Brantley shared his story with his friend Shannon Poteat. As a driver in the Army, Vernon fought in the Battle of the Bulge, Hitler’s last major campaign. Here, Shannon asks Vernon about his memories of the battle, which began on December 16, 1944.

Narrative: Memories of a Childhood in Ansonborough

May 29, 2017
Herb Frazier and Erin Dickey, Charleston 2012
StoryCorps

This edition of Narrative features an interview from StoryCorps, an oral history project based on the idea that the stories of everyday people are the most important and interesting of all. When StoryCorps visited Charleston in 2012, journalist and author Herb Frazier talked with facilitator Erin Dickey about growing up in the Ansonborough neighborhood during the Civil Rights era.

 

"W" is for Westmoreland, William Childs [1914-2005]. Soldier. Westmoreland graduated from West Point as first captain of the cadet corps. During World War II he saw action in North Africa, Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge and the Remagen Bridge. At the end of the war he was a colonel and commanded a brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division. He saw action as a commander during the Korean Conflict and, at the age of 38, was promoted to brigadier general. In 1960 he was named superintendent of West Point.

Narrative: A Real-Life "Meet-Cute" with a WWII Soldier

Mar 27, 2017
Photo of two women, Carol and Helen Antman.
StoryCorps

This edition of Narrative features an interview from StoryCorps, an oral history project where friends and loved ones interview each other. In 2012, Carol Antman came to StoryCorps mobile booth in Charleston with her mother-in-law, Helen Antman, who was 96 at the time of taping. Here, Carol asks Helen about her memories of World War II.

Helen Antman currently lives in the Charleston area, close to her children, grand- and great-grandchildren. She turns 101 this April 18th.

Megan Doty (left), 628th Security Forces Squadron unit program coordinator, files out her travel voucher with Senior Airman James Hauck, 628th Comptroller Squadron financial technician.
Airman 1st Class Thomas T. Charlton

Last October, Hurricane Matthew brought considerable devastation to South Carolina in the form of strong winds and crippling floods. For the military men and women stationed at Joint Base Charleston, this created unique issues. They needed to safely evacuate the military base while also providing help to those in worse conditions. The decision was made to have air force members by-pass emergency shelters and instead find alternative living accommodations, like family, friends, or even hotels.

Light tanks with a crew of only two, these were mass-produced during World War I.
National Archives and Records Administration

 (Originally broadcast 11-11-14) this episode of Walter Edgar's Journal is an encore broadcast of a program that aired in 2014, the 100th year since the start of World War I.

Veterans day, celebrated in the U.S. on November 11, was once known here, as it still is in Europe, as Armistice Day. It marked the end of "The War to End All Wars"  in 1918.

When veterans of the US military leave their branch of service and return to the civilian world, they often find that transition daunting, especially if their military careers have spanned many years.  But there are organizations that work to remedy that situation and our next guest is part of one.

Mike Switzer interviews Jordana Megonigal, publisher of Business Black Box in Greenville, SC, organizers of the upcoming event for transitioning veterans: Recon SC.

Molly Pitcher, long one of the few images an American Woman active in the Revolution, is likely a composite image inspired by the actions of several real women.
Currier & Ives, via Wikimedia Commons

  In her book, Revolutionary Mothers: Women and the Struggle for American Independence (2015, Knopf) Dr. Carol Berkin makes the argument that the American Revolution is a story of both women and men. Women played an active and vital role in the war; although history books have often greatly minimized or completely left out the contributions of women in the creation of our nation, or greatly romanticized their role.

Early American Flag
iStock

(Originally broadcast 04/08/16) -  Doug Bostick, of the South Carolina Battleground Preservation Trust, and Jim Lighthizer, President of the Civil War Trust, talk with Walter Edgar about their ongoing efforts to preserve important Revolutionary War sites in South Carolina. The trusts are currently working to obtain and preserve key portions of sites for the battles of the Battle of Hanging Rock and the Battle of the Waxhaws.

  "L" is for Longstreet, James Peter [1821-1904]. Soldier. Born in Edgefield District, Longstreet spent his formative years in Georgia and Alabama. After graduating from West Point, he had a successful army career, serving with distinction in the Mexican war and achieving the rank of major. In 1861, he resigned his US Army commission and joined the Confederate Army as a brigadier general. He distinguished himself as a superb military tactician and in 1862 Robert E. Lee made him his second in command.

Portrait of Henry Laurens, engraved from a drawing by W. C. Armstrong after the portrait by John Singleton Copley.
The National Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans, 1839

  (Originally broadcast 02/26/16) - Dr. Woody Holton of the University of South Carolina claims that, when it comes to the Revolution, Americans can justifiably claim, "The English made us do it." Dr. Holton talks with Dr. Edgar about what drove Carolina to challenge Imperial authority.

Their talk was part of a series of public conversations, “Conversations on Colonial and Revolutionary South Carolina,” presented by the University Of South Carolina College Of Arts and Sciences’ Institute of Southern Studies.

Palmetto Tree
iStock

  Earlier this year, the University of South Carolina College of Arts and Sciences’ Institute of Southern presented a series of public conversations with Dr. Walter Edgar and guest scholars: “Conversations on Colonial and Revolutionary South Carolina”. In this first conversation, Dr. Larry Rowland, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History for the University of South Carolina Beaufort, talks with Dr. Edgar about “The Colonial Melting Pot.”

All Stations: Fri, Feb 5, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Feb 7, 4 pm


USS Hornet (CV-8) with USS Gwin (DD-433) during Doolittle Raid 1942.
USAF

  In 1945, the Japanese surrendered to end World War II on Sept. 2, officially observed as V-J Day in the United States. But few people realize that the road to victory began with America’s first victory – at least, psychologically – over Japan: the Doolittle Raid, in which 16 B-25 bombers launched from the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Hornet bombed Tokyo in the first strike back at Japan after Pearl Harbor. James Scott, author of the new book “Target Tokyo,” talks about the raid, its affect both on America’s morale and Japan’s sense of invincibility, and how South Carolina played a part in this historic event: the raiders were first assembled and volunteered for this dangerous and daring mission in Columbia.


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