Veterans Chronicles is an hour-long program that tells the stories of America’s greatest heroes in their own words.
Featuring interviews with eyewitnesses to the great, and tragic, moments in military history. From D-Day to Iwo Jima, Khe Sanh to the “Hanoi Hilton”, Baghdad to Fallujah, the liberation of Grenada to the liberation of Afghanistan; Veterans Chronicles is history told from the perspective of those who were there.
Included in each show are archival recordings, which take listeners back to a time when heroes were made. The program also includes short features, including “Heroes of the Air,” “World War II Chronicles,” and “Vox Pop.”
The host of Veteran’s Chronicles, Gene Pell, has spent much of the last half-century as an award winning broadcast journalist. He has been both Moscow Bureau Chief and Pentagon Correspondent for NBC News, and for twenty years was news anchor for the NBC affiliate in Boston. He is also former Director for Voice of America and President of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
Lt. Jim Downing
Lieutenant Jim Downing was aboard USS West Virginia when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Here he shares his incredible story of survival - including a mission he took on to ensure his fallen comrades would not be forgotten.
Captain William Reynolds
U.S. Army Captain William Reynolds' life was forever changed on November 7, 2004, while on a dismounted patrol in Southwest Baghdad. After an IED was remote detonated, the explosion left his arm and left leg seriously wounded. Years later, he would serve as Captain to the U.S. contingent at the 2016 Invictus Games. Guest host Senior Chief Beck talks with Captain Reynolds about his remarkable journey.
Dave Yoho served in the U.S. Maritime served during World War II when he was just 15 years old. Too young to serve, he lied about his age, eager to join the fight. He would serve on a T2 Tanker ship in the South Pacific, profoundly impacted by his experience.
Gareth Hugh "Cy" Tanner
Gareth Hugh "Cy" Tanner was as stationed in Bassingbourne, England from July 1944 to January 1945. He turned 19 just days after arriving in England. Tanner flew 35 bombing missions on B-17s as a waist gunner, primarily over Germany, with the 8th Air Force, 91st Bomb Group, 324th Squadron. He kept a small diary with a flight log of each mission. In this episode, Tanner reflects on how his service impacted his life, and how the Second World War transformed his generation and the world.
Colonel Frank Cohn
Colonel Frank Cohn was born in Breslau, Germany in 1925. Cohn's father owned a store which was boycotted by the Nazis since the family was Jewish. He and his family managed to escape to the United States on October 30, 1938 -- just over one week before Kristallnacht. In 1943, Cohn was drafted into the US Army, where he served in an Intelligence unit.
Katelyn Van Dam
A graduate of the United States Naval Academy and a veteran of the US Marine Corps, Major Katelyn Van Dam served in Operation Enduring Freedom as an attack helicopter pilot. Major Van Dam conducted combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, and later conducted anti-pirate operations in the horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden. She served more than ten years on active duty.
A 25-year highly decorated U.S. Army veteran, Tom Satterly was portrayed in the 2001 film Black Hawk Down along with his teammates. He served in the elite Delta Force, witnessing intense combat at the Battle of Mogadishu and later in the Iraq war. After coping with PTS and other personal struggles following his time in combat, Tom and his wife Jen have started the All Secure Foundation, which provides resources for treatment to retired Special Operation veterans and their families.
Mark Heathco is a retired military veteran who spent ten years inside the demilitarized zone (DMZ) of South Korea. During that time he pulled 385 missions, including a dangerous one in August of 1985. He discusses his harrowing experiences in his memoir, Call Sign Purple Three: Patrolling the US Sector of the Korean DMZ.
Captain Jerry Yellin
Captain Jerry Yellin has the unique distinction of flying the first and last combat missions over Japan during the Second World War. He spent the majority of the war with the 78th Fighter Squadron, flying the P-40, P-47, and P-51. Captain Yellin passed away on December 21, 2017. This video is in memoriam to help ensure his legacy lives on.
A veteran of Afghanistan, Staff Sergeant Ryan Pitts talks about his service and sacrifice during his tours, and specifically during the Battle of Wanat. His acts of valor during the battle would earn him the Medal of Honor. Here he reflects on his experience, those he served beside, and the impact of his service on his life.
In honor of the centennial of America's entrance into World War I - April 6, 2017 - noted author and historian Andrew Carroll discusses his latest book, My Fellow Soldiers: General John Pershing and the Americans Who Helped Win the Great War. The book portarys an intimate portrait of the General, who led the American Expeditionary Forces during the First World War. Using many letters and diares, Carroll pays a touching tribute to General Pershing and the many Americans who fought during the Great War.
Lt. Colonel Alfred Shehab
World War II veteran Lt. Col. Alfred Shehab saw action during the Battle of the Bulge ? Hitler?s month-long final offensive on the Western front. LTC Shehab was assigned to the 38th Cavalry Squadron, a reconnaissance unit tasked with patrolling the forests of the Ardennes region when the battle broke out on December 16, 1944.
Dr. Sudip Bose
Dr. Sudip Bose served in the U.S. Army for 12 years. A veteran of Iraq, Dr. Bose was tasked with caring for Saddam Hussein after his capture. He was awarded the Bronze Star for serving one of the longest tours in combat by a physician since the Second World War.
World War II veteran John Weston joined the U.S. Army in 1941 as part of the 758th Tank Battalion. The 758th was the first all African-American armored unit in U.S. history. Weston reflects on his service and its influence upon his life.In November 2015, AVC had the honor of conducting this interview with Weston at the annual Veterans Day Conference. Two months later, on December 29, 2015, John S. Weston passed away. This film was made in his honor, as well as all veterans of the history-making 758th Tank Battalion.
Emanuel "Manny" Mandel
Emanuel "Manny" Mandel was born in Riga, Latvia in 1936, shortly before Europe was engulfed in war. His family then moved to Budapest, which was an important Jewish center in Europe, where his father was a cantor. As the years progressed, Europe was becoming more dangerous for Jewish families. In 1944, Manny and his family were among a group of Jews who Adolf Eichmann traded for Allied material. Manny and his family were deported to Bergen-Belsen concentration Camp. Here Manny shares his story of survival throughout the Holocaust, and his journey of understanding the tragedy of the event, as he was a young boy at the time.