Combat: Over There

Soldiers running during WWII combat in Europe

Soldiers running during WWII combat in Europe
Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG2842-01-02
Warren Miller; Boatswain's Mate First Class, USS Utah, USS Detroit, USS Apprentice, 1941

Warren Miller; Boatswain's Mate First Class, USS Utah, USS Detroit, USS Apprentice, 1941
Courtesy Warren Miller & NET Foundation for Television
Hollis Stabler; Sergeant, Technician 4th Grade, 4th Ranger Battalion, WWII

Hollis Stabler; Sergeant, Technician 4th Grade, 4th Ranger Battalion, WWII
Courtesy Hollis stabler & NET Foundation for Television

"The most important thing on your mind was trying to stay alive."
—Bill Gilgren, Dalton, NE
Third Infantry Division in Europe

"It’s just kind of hard to describe really. You are scared, jumpy, and you prayed. You knew when there was a [kamikaze] raid and the planes were coming in, that somebody was going to get hit because it was just a one-way trip for the pilot."
—John Zimola, Wahoo, NE
Fire Controlman First Class,USS Louisville

What is it like to be under enemy fire or waiting for an attack?

Find out what happened to several Nebraskans during combat, both in the European and Asian Theatres of War.

In the videos, the soldiers sometimes refer to Japanese people as "Japs". This term was as offensive back then as it is today to Japanese and Japanese Americans, but was in fairly common usage by non-Japanese in the first half of the twentieth century. Because we were at war with Japan, government officials, newspapers, and propaganda posters as well as military personnel of that era all used the term to show contempt for the enemy.

Richard Connell modern interview; World War II Staff Sergeant, 3250th Signal Service Company

Richard Connell modern interview; World War II Staff Sergeant, 3250th Signal Service Company
Courtesy NET Foundation for Television
B. Nick Garcia, high school graduation; WWII Staff Sergeant, 1st Marine Division

B. Nick Garcia, high school graduation; WWII Staff Sergeant, 1st Marine Division
Courtesy B. Nick Garcia & NET Foundation for Television
Francis Greenlief; WWII First Lieutenant, Companies G & L, U.S. Army, circa 1945

Francis Greenlief; WWII First Lieutenant, Companies G & L, U.S. Army, circa 1945
Courtesy Francis Greenlief & NET Foundation for Television
Francis Greenlief; Major General, 1972

Francis Greenlief; Major General, 1972
Courtesy Office of Public Affiars, National Guard Bureau
Richard Kaplan modern interview, World War II 2nd Class Petty Officer, USS Bismarck Sea

Richard Kaplan modern interview, World War II 2nd Class Petty Officer, USS Bismarck Sea
Courtesy NET Foundation for Television
Charles Lane, Jr.; Lieutenant Colonel, Tuskegee Airman, 99th Figher Squadron, U.S. Air Force

Charles Lane, Jr.; Lieutenant Colonel, Tuskegee Airman, 99th Figher Squadron, U.S. Air Force
Courtesy Charles Lane, Jr. & NET Foundation for Television
D-Day Invasion

D-Day Invasion
Courtesy NET Foundation for Television & U.S. Government Archives
USS Bismarck Sea

USS Bismarck Sea
Courtesy U.S. Navy, NH78142
USS Bismarck Sea explodes

USS Bismarck Sea explodes
Courtesy U.S. Navy, 80-G-335103