New veterans’ history exhibit opening in Pugh Hall
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Samuel Proctor Oral History Program will be premiering a new Military Veterans’ History exhibit in display cases on the second floor of Pugh Hall at 1:45 p.m. Nov. 12.
The display will feature first-person narratives of military veterans in Florida who have provided the program with stories of their lives during wartime.
Included in these untold chronicles is the biography of Ned Felder, an African-American soldier in World War I who served in the storied 367th Infantry, also known as the “Buffalo Regiment,” one of the most highly decorated units in American history.
The odysseys of war and remembrance in this exhibit contain tales of triumph as well as tragedy and tremendous sacrifice. Capt. Albert Wilder recalls his World War II experience on the doomed voyage of the PQ 17 convoy, which lost 24 of its 35 vessels on the Murmansk Run to Nazi U-boats and dive bombers. Lt. Marion Gordy bailed out of his flaming B17 over a small town to the south of Berlin only to face the prospect being lynched at the hands of angry German villagers. Herbert Pepper, a survivor of the Bataan Death March, tells his story and this will be highlighted along with the SPOHP documentary film about the Bataan Death March on the website at http://oral.history.ufl.edu/
Frank Towers, whose regiment saved more than 2,000 Jewish children from a Nazi concentration camp, and Philip Spear, who was awarded a Carnegie Medal before his service in World War II, will be showcased. Memorable individuals such as Jack Gamble who served on the USS Intrepid, and Constance Young, female Air Force pilot whose dangerous mission consisted of towing damaged planes back to base, will also be displayed along with memorabilia provided by their families.
The goal of this exhibit is to commemorate the contributions of America’s sailors, soldiers, marines and Air Force personnel in war and in peace recognizing that they served in defense of ideals of freedom.
Much of this material will be available online at the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program website beginning on Nov. 12 and running through the end of 2013.
The Samuel Proctor Oral History Program was founded in 1967 by Samuel Proctor, a World War II veteran. Each of SPOHP’s three directors have served in the United States military.