Dr. Eugene Bleil part #2 three and a half years of captivity by the Japanese

In the second interview (all 100 of Larry Martin's WW II interviews are on DVD) Dr. Bleil tells of his starvation diet and the horrible conditions that caused his weight to go from 190 lbs to around 85 lbs.  He also tells about the Hell ships and the 40 and 8 cattle cars that took him from the Philippines to Japan where he was used as slave labor.  Some men lost their minds in these cattle cars and many died from lack of air on these trips. This interview covers from the end of the Bataan Death March in April of 1942 on through the end of WW II in September of 1945.

Eugene Bleil MD #1 Bataan Death March

I have two interviews that were taken in November of 2011 with Dr. Bleil.  On the first interview which covers his history from Dec 7th 1941 (the 8th of Dec. in the Philippines).  Quickly Dr. Bleil who is a airplane mechanic until the attack by the Japanese is given 15 minutes of infantry training and literally fights for his life every day for the next three and a half years.  He finds a 27 caliber machine gun that was buried by  Japanese spies on the Bataan peninsula which he uses for the next four months of savage fighting.  He tells of the surrender by General King to stop a completer slaughter of the 75,000 men on the Bataan peninsula.  He then tells of the 65 mile Bataan Death March.  He has written his account of the Bataan Death March in a book just released last fall titled   "Consigned to death six times".
If any of you are interested in purchasing the book contact me through my website Lmww2.com and I will get you in touch with the person selling his book.

Russell McLogan Army Infantryman Phillipines

Russell talks about being machine gunned at 18 yrs of age in the Philippine Islands.  As well as the 89 days he spent in hospitals.

WW II Marine Woody Brown Peleliu and Okinawa

Woody tells what fighting in the Pacific on Peleliu was like.   It was 115 degrees and the Marines had to drink water from containers that had held gasoline before they were used for their drinking water.  Woody drank out of mud puddles  because the water from the cans tasted so bad.  Woody was wounded at both Pelilue and Okinawa while serving in the 1st Marine Division.

Warren Mills PT boats in the Pacific

Larry Martin's World War II In Their Own Words

Warren Mills, USN  was a motor mechanic on PT boats in the Pacific theater of Operations.  These boats had three 1,500 horse power engines on them.  Warren tells about loosing all power with his PT boat dead in the water and a Kamikaze plane diving right at him.  The boat was hit killing the Capt. and the XO when it hit right where they were standing.  

German Soldiers of WWII

Stories from WWII German Soldiers

Here is some information regarding German soldiers who fought in WWII. Many people have been asking questions on Twitter about the German soldiers so here is a little insight that I hope you find helpful.

German Soldiers of WWII

German Soldiers of WWII - More Stories

Please let us know if there are any other questions you may have about WWII.

Q&A: How Did Hitler Rise to Power?

Question: How did Adolf Hitler get elected and what sort of propoganda did he use? Also, how were the Jews affected? - Via Twitter @aprilrush101
Answer: Much of the reason for Hitler's rise to power in Germany during the 1930's was the terrible economic conditions in the country at that time, largely resulting from the first World War. The German currency had lost virtually all of its value when Hitler captured the spotlight and won over the people with his vision for Germany's return to power. Watch the video for the whole story.
If you have any questions about WWII history please ask! Leave a comment here, connect with us on Twitter or Facebook, or shoot an email our way. Thanks for visiting and remember to thank the veterans you know for their tremendous sacrifices.

Japanese-American 442nd Regiment

Larry Martin talks about the Japanese-American 442nd Regiment.
The Japanese-American 442nd regiment was an amazing batch of fighters who played a very important role in WWII. There were 21 medal of honor recipients in this regiment alone. Not everyone is aware of how important and how brave these soldiers were.

Bill Ingram - WWII Veteran video blog

Here is a video from Larry Martin describing some of WWII veteran Bill Ingram's amazing stories. He was a prisoner of the Japanese for 3 and half years and was forced into labor on the infamous Burma/Thailand Railroad project.
Let us know what you think of this amazing story. More videos will be coming soon. We also welcome any questions about the second world war and/or the veterans Larry has interviewed. They will be answered as a part of our WWII video series and you will find them here.

Two Great WW II movies

Hello Folks,

I am no movie critic but, as some of you know I am a World War II history buff. I would like to tell you about two WW II Hollywood movies that I have watched several times. There is no shooting or violence in either of these great movies. They tell of some of the emotional suffering that many of these returning Veterans went through. This was long before anyone had ever heard of PTSD. We may occasionally think of the physical suffering these men went through, but not the mental anguish of there recovery, both of these films touch on these subjects. If you get a chance to watch either of these 1946 movies let me know what you thought of them. If you have a few minutes you can also tell me what you think about anything else about the war that you find interesting. I also have read extensively for over 50 years about WW II, so if you have questions, though I am not a trained historian I will try to answer any questions that you may have about the war. I have over 65 DVD interviews with WW II combat veterans that I have recorded over the last 10 years, they have shared many very touching as well as many horrific stories about there service during the war.
The first movie is titled, "The Best Years of Our Lives". It stars Myrna Loy, Frederic March, Dana Andrews. It also has Army veteran Harold Russell who won a academy award for his part in the film. While Mr Russell was a Army instructor, a explosive detonated causing him to loose both of his hands. The Best Years of Our Lives was made in 1946, the movie historian Robert Osborne of TCM called the movie "one of the greatest movies of all time."
The movie tells of three returning WW II veterans and what they go thru trying to re-adjust to civilian life after the horrors of four years of war. It is a touching movie that I believe will hold your interest. You will come away with a new respect for what these men and women did for us.
In my ten years of doing WWII interviews of front line combatants I have heard many stories like the ones in this movie from the men that fought to give us our freedoms that some of us take for granted, we must never forget that our freedom did not come free. Some where a Veteran purchased them with his suffering, and he freely gave them to us. I also have interviewed four women, two German soldiers. three Women veterans of WW II and one woman who lived in Java under Japanese rule while her husband was taken prisoner and sent to work as a slave laborer on the Burma/Thailand Railroad. Some of you may remember the movie "Bridge on the River Kwai" in 1957, it was about the Burma/Thailand RR project, it was nothing like what these men went thru on the construction of the many bridges. I have a interview that I did in 2008 with Navy veteran Bill Ingram in Florida who was on the USS Houston that was sunk on 2 March 1942. Bill was taken POW in Java, and sent to the Burma/Thailand RR project. He gives a really telling interview of his three and a half years of horror while working on this project. I have the veterans written permission to sell their interviews. I am doing that to keep the memories of what WW II was really like for these men.
If any of you want to know about the second Hollywood movie made in 1946 about the War, email me at my website, you can get my email address by looking at Lmww2.com I hope to hear from anyone who would like to talk about WW II or may be interested in purchasing any of my interviews, they are fine teaching tools to show young people what price was paid for all of our freedoms.
The Jackson District Library and I are putting on a Free WW II program this Saturday the 6th of Nov. at 10am at the First United Methodist Church at 275 W. Michigan Ave. here in Jackson Michigan, I would like to personally invite all of you to the program. This is our 17th program in the last four years, please invite anyone that you think may enjoy WW II history. I still have veterans at the programs so it is a great way to teach all Americans what these men went thru for all of us. The youngest of these men are about 84 the oldest man I have on DVD is 94. We are loosing about 2,000 of these fine men and women a day, lets all come out to my programs to show the respect to these men while we still can.
I will talk to you next time about the other fine movie about WW II made in 1946.


2009 Programs

We are losing so many of these fine men every day, the youngest that would have been old enough to see much combat is about 83 now and the oldest that I have scheduled to appear is 93. About 400,000 of these men died so that we could continue to have many of the freedoms that all too many of us take for granted. The public needs to know of their sacrifices in battle both in the European and Pacific theaters of operations, as well as the men and women on the home front that worked so hard to keep the fighting men supplied with war material as well as keep their morale up with the horrors that they faced repeatedly for nearly four years, many of them never got back to the US for three and a half years.

All programs are on Saturdays at 10am at the First United Methodist Church at 275 W. Michigan Ave. directly across the street from the Carnegie Branch Library. They are free to the public with coffee and rolls provided.

First Program:

August 1st - Mr. Colin McKinzie was at Pearl Harbor on Dec.7th 1941 aboard the Battleship Pennsylvania (pictured right) manning a gun; he was wounded and hospitalized for four months. He was also at Normandy on the destroyer USS Thompson on June 6th 1944 (D-DAY).

Second Program:

Sept 12th - Dr. Eugene Bleil who was an Army Air Corp mechanic stationed in the Philippine Islands when the Japanese attacked the Philippines on the same day they attacked Pearl Harbor. He was pressed into the Infantry with 15 minutes of Infantry training, given a WW I rifle and fought valiantly until all the men WERE surrendered four months later to stop a total slaughter. He then endured the 60 mile DEATH MARCH OF BAATAN, he was taken as a "Guest of the Emperor of Japan" as a POW for three and a half years, weighing as little as 85 lbs.

Third Program:

Oct. 3rd - Jackson resident Donald Goss was in the 29th Infantry Division and landed at Omaha Beach at 9:30 am on June 6th 1944 (D-DDay) where he fought in the Hedgerow country. Mr. Goss was shot by a sniper about two weeks later.

Fourth Program:

Oct. 17th - Lt. Col. Charles Cooke, 8th Air Force. Col. Cooke flew 30 missions as a B-17 pilot over Germany and Europe. Also Oct. 17th, Ber Seitz, a Ball turret gunner crewman on a B-24 bomber that flew 35 missions over Germany and Europe.

Fifth Program:

Nov. 7th - Jackson resident Mrs. Amy Bakker, lived on Java in Indonesia with two small children while her husband Paul was taken prisoner by the Japanese and forced to work on the Death Railway also called the Burma, Thailand Railroad project or commonly called the "The Bridge on the River Kwai" from a movie with William Holden in 1958. She had to keep her family together under Japanese rule as a 21 year old woman alone for about 5yrs before she and Paul who did survive the Death Camps were able to reunite with each other.

If you have any questions my phone is 783-0761 or my e-mail is batt.chief@yahoo.com or my blog at worldwar2intheirownwords.blogspot.com to view photos and more information on programs or to converse about World War II in general.

Charles Cooke Photographs

Photographs of Charles Cooke
Click on the Pictures for a larger view

Voice of the People- November 11, 2009

World War II program offers amazing stories

By Jackson Citizen Patriot staff

November 04, 2009, 10:38AM
SANDSTONE TOWNSHIP — Thank you Jackson District Library and the World War II program "In Their Own Words," presented by Larry Martin. What a privilege it has been for my wife and I to meet these brave veterans and hear their courageous life stories during the war.

My own father was one of the veterans interviewed, and we gained a whole new appreciation for his service to our country through the excellent interview Mr. Martin did with him. Mr. Martin's love for his country and for those who have served it comes through with his patience and compassion for these brave men and women.

I commend all of those involved and highly recommend that anyone, young or old, that are interested in our country's history and the men and women who preserved our freedom to attend future programs. They are excellent.

Amy Bakker- November 7th program

Here is an article that was recently published in the Jackson Citizen Patriot about Amy Bakker and the November 7th program.

POW's wife to speak at Jackson church about World War II experiences

Robert Paul Photographs

Photographs of Robert Paul During World War II

Click on the Pictures for a Larger View

October 3rd Program Overview ~ Don Goss

Hello my name is Larry Martin, I am the coordinator for the WWII program thru the Jackson District Library and I would like to tell you something about our October 3rd program.  
The veterans name is Mr. Don Goss (Pictured Below), Don was a infantryman in the 29 Div. he went into Omaha Beach at 0930 on 6 June 1944 in Normandy commonly known as D-Day. The troups that had hit Omaha beach at 0630 was the 1st Infantry div. one of the men that landed at 0630 was a actor named Charles Durning who plays a ongoing role on Everybody Loves Ramond, Mr. Durning plays the Catholic Priest on several shows. For those of you who know of the Slaughter at Malmady Mr Durning was one of a handful of soldiers that survived the slaughter.  
Mr Goss broke into sobbing when he related his landing to me in 2007, when he spoke of his landing craft running over the dead soldiers from the first attack at 0630. Omaha beach was a killing field, the Germans under General Irwin Romel (The Desert Fox) had had several years to build up their defenses and they did. Mr. Goss fought thru the Hedgerow country before being shot by a sniper. He was hospitalized for 19 months. 

Larry Martin

Click on the Picture for a Larger View

Pictured above: Don Goss and Robert O'Brian

D-Day - 29th Division Infantryman

Landed in Normandy, France June 6th, 1944

Don Goss and D-Day Overview

I would like to speak a little about the larger picture concerning the D-Day invasion on 6 June 1944 at Normandy. The speaker at this week's program is a man named Mr. Don Goss. He is a Jackson native who landed on Omaha Beach at 0930 on D-Day. But now I wish to speak of what the landing that day meant to the entire war effort.

The war started on 1 Sept. 1939 with the German invasion of Poland, but lets go back one month to August 1939 when Hitler and the dictator of Russia Joseph Stalin signed a non-aggression pact. What that did was give Hitler something that he needed very badly which was a one front war. He knew that he was going to attack France and England as soon as he had finished Poland which was over in about one month. Russia and Germany carved Poland up between the two of them. Hitler then set his sights on England and France, the latter fell in June of 1940 and England was then on her own though the United States had what was called the Lend Lease act which gave England some military hardware and money but we were still ruled by what was then called the isolationist in Congress.

To get back to why the landing on Normandy was so important. Hitler attacked his partner in crime on June 21 1941 because he felt like he had England on the ropes and he could now attack a country that he very much hated: Russia. By the end of World War II the US had lost about 400,000 men and England lost about 300,000 men. In comparison our now ally Russia lost about 20,000,000 people! Stalin had been threatening to sue for a peace with Germany which they did in WW l and they just quit and we did not want Russia to quit fighting the Germans because of the strength that Germany still had in June of 1944. What Stalin wanted was an allied invasion of the European Continent in the West to take some of the pressure off the eastern front where he was losing millions of people.

That is where Mr. Don Goss and several other men from Jackson that I have interviewed came into the picture. The other men that I know that were at Normandy that day are Mr. Fred Bahlau, Mr. Don Brininstool both of the 101st Airborne, as well as Mr Bob Black of Florida who was in the 82nd Airborne. All three of these men parachuted into Normandy at about 0300 in to blackness with thousands and thousands of rounds of hot steel aimed right at them (See picture). Think of the RAW GUTS that it took to take that step out of the C-47 into darkness and seeing all of the tracers coming what must have seemed right at YOU.

Don Goss hit Omaha Beach at 0930. He is still to this day emotionally distraught by what he saw and did on the killing field that day. The German artillery and mortars were pre-registered on that beach. All they had to do was fire and they would more than likely hit an American from the 1st Division at 0630 or the 29th Division which Don Goss was in on that fateful day of June 6th, 1944 D-Day.

12 days later after horrific fighting when all but a couple of dozen of the men in his Company of 250 men had been killed or shot, Don was shot through the jaw by a sniper and hospitalized on and off for 19 months. His buddies got the sniper!!

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