World War II

A picture of the French Legion of Honor medal.
David Monniaux / Wikipedia

France is paying tribute to seven North Carolina veterans of World War II today in Raleigh.  The men will be presented with the French Legion of Honor.  

 Denis Barbet  is the Consul General of France in Atlanta.  He says the medal is his country's highest decoration. 

Reading F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is a rite of passage these days. The novel is mandatory reading for many high schoolers across the country. 

The Memphis Belle is one of 10 B-17s still flying in the U.S.
Eric Mennel / WUNC

The Memphis Belle, one of the last remaining B-17 planes from World War II, is making a stop this weekend in the Triangle.  The bomber was made famous in the movie, The Memphis Belle.  The United States built more than 12,000 B-17s beginning in the 1940s.  There are only 10 left that can still fly. [Click on the photo gallery above to look inside the plane.]

black book cover with neon lighting lettering and Eiffel Tower in background
harpercollins.com

  

It was a photograph of two women at a table, one in a dress and one in a suit, that inspired Francine Prose's latest novel. The suited woman is Violette Morris, a French athlete turned Nazi collaborator. Mixing history with fiction, "Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932" (HarperCollins, 2014), imagines Morris' life through multiple narrators.

Prisoners at Ebensee Concentration Camp in 1945
Creative Commons

With each passing year, we lose more survivors of World War II. And not just the soldiers who fought, but the targeted civilians who survived the Holocaust. In honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, we share a few of their stories.

We begin by talking with speakers from the Chapel Hill-Durham Holocaust Speakers Bureau. It works to preserve the lessons of the Holocaust for future generations. Host Frank Stasio talks with three people from the Bureau: Sharon Halperin, the daughter of two Holocaust survivors; Peter Stein, a survivor from Czechoslovakia; and Renee Fink, a survivor from Holland.

Members of the 1st Naval Constuction Battalion on Bora Bora during World War II.
U.S. Navy Seabee Museum

Durham resident and Navy veteran Jerry Smith turns 100 years old on Tuesday, and he’ll have what is likely to be his biggest birthday bash yet.  The North Carolina Executive Mansion is hosting a party for Mr. Smith to honor his service as a Navy Seabee during World War II. Attendees include Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, Senator Richard Burr, Rear Adm. Douglas Morton, as well as other Naval Commanders and Army Maj. Gen. Greg Lusk.

Cover of the book 'Sounds of War: Music in the United States during World War II'.
Philip E Pascuzzo/National Archives / Oxford University Press

    

World War II was fought not only with guns and bombs but also with strings, brass, and percussion.

The American government used classical music as part of the war effort to demonstrate the cultural dominance of the Allies. The military also used songs to rally American troops.

The Secret Rescue by Cate Lineberry
http://www.catelineberry.com

  

We’re all familiar with the brave soldiers who fought and died during World War II, but the story of a group of medics and nurses, stranded in Nazi-occupied Albania, remained untold until now.

Writer Cate Lineberry chronicles the tale in her new book, “The Secret Rescue: An Untold Story of American Medics and Nurses Behind Nazi Lines” (LBC/2013). Host Frank Stasio talks to writer Cate Lineberry about her new book.

xlibris.com

Ned Arnett was a conscientious objector during World War Two, a position that was rare and not commonly documented.

Bill Manbo’s family was just one of many forcibly relocated into Japanese internment camps during World War II. He recorded his time there on a 35 millimeter camera and eventually passed the photos along to Eric Muller, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The Nazi invasion of Poland launched World War II in Europe and ushered in one of the most destructive periods in world history. A group of freedom fighters called the Polish Underground fought the Nazis throughout the war.

Ten veterans in North Carolina received France’s highest honor in a special ceremony yesterday. The French Consul General in Atlanta awarded the Legion of Honour to a group of World War Two veterans in a ceremony at the old state capitol building. The retired service members say they were lucky to survive a war that changed their lives forever.

battleshipnc.com

A relic of World War II and source of pride for North Carolinians is getting some much-needed repairs. The Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington will have work done on its hull starting in April. But people will be able to tour the ship as the work is taking place.

Spokeswoman Heather Loftin says it's an opportunity for a new generation to experience history in the making:

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