World War II

Stories with interview subjects from our World War II collection. Browse all stories to see subjects across all Voces collections.

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Table containing information and links for subjects in the site.
Subject Collection Story Interviewed by

Alberto Lara Rojo

Alberto Rojo - Voces Oral History Project  

World War II

Alberto Lara Rojo heard about the bombing of Pearl Harbor the day after it happened.

“We didn’t know about it; we lived on the wrong side of town,” recalled the Mexican-American Navy veteran.

On that Monday, the Sunday attack on the...

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Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez

Tizoc Romero

Tizoc Romero in the Navy in 1943, in San Diego. The name\Tizoc\"was of an  Aztec emperor before Montezuma."  

World War II

By Dennis Robbins

Although he faced criticism from minorities for fighting in the war, Tizoc Romero, a veteran of World War II, feels his involvement in the war opened the doors to a lifetime of achievement.

During the 1930s, or...

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Rene Zambrano

Edward Romero

Edward Romero  

World War II

By Elizabeth Egeland

Private First Class Edward Romero listened as his platoon was briefed on its next mission. He’d already fought with the Marines in the Marshall Islands and Saipan, but was about to embark on an even more dangerous...

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Joe Olague

Jose Elisandro Rosales

Jose Elisandro Rosales  

World War II

By Meredith Margrave

Jose Rosales’ family may not be from this country, but Rosales has always been an American.

Growing up in Campbellton, Texas, nearly an hour away from San Antonio, Texas, Rosales was one of eight children in his...

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Markel Rojas

Felipe T. Roybal

Felipe T. Roybal photographed at his home in El Paso, Texas, May 2008. (Photo By: Valentino Mauricio)  

World War II

By Mary Mejia

Felipe T. Roybal decided in June 1940 to help out his family financially and unwittingly began a military career that spanned more than 30 years.

Roybal's parents, Vicente and Isidra Roybal, were among the founding...

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Raquel C. Garza

John Rubalcava

 

World War II

By Alexandra Ritchie

Frigid nights out in the snow. Soldiers huddled together for warmth, exposed to the elements and at the mercy of German firepower. Mangled bodies of half-dead soldiers screaming, "Medic, medic!" into the dark. For more...

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Rene Zambrano

Rodolfo Saenz

Rodolfo Saenz  

World War II

By Lynn Maguire

Through the experiences of being a sharecropper, sailor, father, and landowner, Rodolfo "Rudolph" Saenz has learned the most about education, even though he never passed the sixth grade.

Saenz, along with his parents...

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Enrique Leon Saenz

Portrait of Enrique Saenz.  

World War II

By Jaime Stockwell

The sun squinted through the leaves, leaving subtle shadows on the cracked concrete sidewalk. There he stood, with a bag slung over his shoulder and a quarter in his pocket, defiant and determined. Success would be hard...

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Jamie Stockwell

Herman Saiz

Herman Saiz  

World War II

By Heather Cuthbertson

In 1944, Herman Saiz wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his life. He’d always tried to help his family, but without a father and clear path to follow, he enlisted to fight in the South Pacific during World War II....

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M. David Gray

Hermenejildo Salas

Hermenejildo Salas - Voces Oral History Project  

World War II

By Shaun L. Swegman

Hermi Salas was an 18-year-old private in the Marine Corps when he boarded the ship that took him from his homeland and into the war. It was Dec. 6, 1943, almost two years to the day from the attack on Pearl Harbor...

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Chris Riley

Jose M. Salas

Jose M. Salas  

World War II

By Cheryl Smith Kemp

On July 25, 1944, with 160 hours of B-24 Liberator tail-gunner training under his belt, but no combat-flying experience, Jose M. Salas was picked to fill in with a crew for a flight from a United States base near...

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Robert Rivas

Mac Ortega Salazar

Mac Ortega Salazar  

World War II

By Christina Rucker

Born Feb. 28, 1925, World War II veteran Mac Salazar grew up the youngest of 13 children in Kansas City, Kan.. He calls himself and his siblings "Depression babies," but says they lived well, always having enough...

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Ascensión Hernandez

Maria Sally Salazar

Maria Sally Salazar  

World War II

By Therese Glenn

When Maria Sally Salazar illegally enlisted into the Army, she dreamed of traveling the world. She didn’t imagine, however, that her service would lead to six months in the hospital recovering from multiple illnesses and...

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Nicole Cruz

Epifanio Salazar

Epifanio Salazar  

World War II

By Nilka Campos

Growing up during the Great Depression was difficult for Epifanio Salazar and his family. Like most others during the era, Salazar was unable to find work.

“We couldn’t make a living, so we would take whatever we could...

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Francisco Cortes

Peter Salcedo

Peter Salcedo in Oahu, Hawaii 1944.  

World War II

By Diana Lee

As a child in southern California, Pete Salcedo hid in embarrassment during lunch to eat homemade tacos.

"At that time you didn't have all these Mexican restaurants," Salcedo said. He thinks their growing popularity...

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Rene Zambrano

Robert Salcído

 

World War II

By J. Myers Vasquez

Robert Salcído recalls vividly his time behind enemy lines. The winter of 1944 saw him and his Army reconnaissance unit temporarily encamped in German-held territory. Wandering off by himself, Salcído came across a bomb...

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Joe Myers Vasquez

Juan Bravo Saldaña

Genaro Cortes (left),Liborio Santiago (middle), Juan Saldana (right).  

World War II

The Other Soldiers

Little-remembered treaty sent 300,000 sons of Mexico to the United States during WWII; their weapons were their labor-hardy bodies

By Violeta Dominguez

The battlefield wasn’t the only place where...

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Violeta Dominguez

George Salmerón

George Salmerón  

World War II

By Rajesh Reddy

George Salmerón grew up hearing how his father was forced to serve in the Mexican Army at age 13 in the early 1900s.

"[My father] saw a bunch of soldiers coming around with a little drum, single-file. All of a sudden...

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Carlos Guerra Samarron

Carlos Samarron in San Diego, 1943.  

World War II

By Cliff Despres

Three weeks after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, Charles "Carlos" Guerra Samarron, of San Antonio, Texas, joined the fight and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, beginning a four-year stint in the military and...

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Rene Zambrano

Bob Sanchez

 

World War II

By Marcel Rodriguez

At age 17, Bob Sanchez volunteered for the U.S. Navy after two close friends were killed in combat. It was 1945, and his choice to enlist would set his life in a bold new direction. From Naval intelligence, to the...

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Sator Sierra Sanchez

Sator Sanchez - Voces Oral History Project  

World War II

By Angela Bonilla

The 66th bombing mission that Sator “Sandy” Sanchez flew during World War II turned out to be his last.

On March 15, 1945, just days before his 24th birthday, Sgt. Sanchez's B-17 was shot down over an oil refinery...

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Juan Medina Sanchez

 

World War II

Tribute provided by Grace Charles; daughter of Mr. Sanchez's cousin, Voces subject Joe Guajardo

Juan Sanchez, an Army soldier, rarely talked about his experiences during World War II. Now, dementia clouds some of the decorated World War II...

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Eddie Sanchez

Portrait of Eddie Sanchez in 1945.  

World War II

By Vicki Lamar

Eddie Sanchez was 17 years old when he saw the reality of war in Utine, Italy, in 1945. Horrified, he left camp without permission -- absent without leave, or AWOL. That act changed his life, as punishment was kitchen patrol...

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Vicki Lamar

Raymond Sanchez

Raymond Sanchez with crew.  

World War II

By Rhonda Miller

World War II veteran Raymond Sanchez went bird hunting once with a Navy buddy in South Texas. The two friends, both Latinos, decided to stop for a beer at a little tavern on Highway 72 between Kennedy and Three Rivers....

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Jose S. Sanchez

Jose S. Sanchez at AC Jones High School in Beeville, Texas on Saturday, January 10, 2009.  

World War II

By Jeff Jurica

Jose Sanchez spent his life working hard in America's trenches. After serving in the Army during World War II, he returned home to start a plumbing business.

"All white people ... out of 500 soldiers I was the only...

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Adolfo Dominguez

Martin C. Sanchez

Martin C. Sanchez  

World War II

By David Muto

Martin Sanchez was told after he returned from the war that he’d be welcome anywhere if he wore his military uniform out of the house.

Sanchez laughs while recalling this advice.

“We don’t serve no Mexicans...

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Alcario Alvarado

Gilbert Paul Sanchez

Gilbert P. Sanchez poses in Roosevelt Park in Albuquerque, N.M., in 1943. Sanchez served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.  

World War II

By Cara Henis

Gilbert Sanchez not only survived the Pacific typhoon of 1944 that capsized three U.S. Navy destroyers and killed 790 people, he also witnessed the largest aircraft carrier skirmish in the Pacific during the Battle of the...

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Beverly Sanchez-Padilla

Noé Sandoval

Noé Sandoval  

World War II

By Amy K. Williams

Down in a foxhole in the midst of World War II Germany, Noé Sandoval, Jr. looked up to see a soldier standing at 6 feet 4 inches staring down at him saying, “Get the hell out of there. This is my foxhole. Go dig your own...

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Julio C. Ovando

Santos Sandoval

Santos Sandoval  

World War II

By Melissa Sellers

Clad in a stiffly starched khaki dress shirt and pants that tent over his thin frame, Santos Sandoval calmly recalls his experiences in the South Pacific Theater during World War II.

Now retired in Los Angeles, the...

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Sandra Murillo

Rose P. Sandoval

 

World War II

By Gabrielle Muñoz

When Germany invaded Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, Rose Sandoval was nearly 5,500 miles away in Torres, Colo., where she grew up on her family’s cattle ranch. But like countless others, Sandoval experienced the war in the...

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Julio Trujillo

Hector Santa Anna

Hector Santa Anna  

World War II

By Scott Allison

Say the name "Santa Anna" to most American military historians -- and just about any Texan -- and it's linked to the Mexican general who opposed the Texas Revolution and conquered the Alamo.

So it’s somewhat ironic...

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Lorena Ruley

Antonia Santana

Antonia Santana - Voces Oral History Project  

World War II

By Cindy Tapia, California State University, Fullerton

When you think about heroes, people that left everything they had to fight a war, you usually think about strong, buff men. But women also have served in the military along side of...

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Manuel Aviles-Santiago

Joaquin Amorós Santiago

Joaquin Amorós Santiago  

World War II

By Jenny Achilles

Fighting alongside his fellow Puerto Ricans in the 65th Infantry Regiment during World War II, Joaquin Amorós Santiago left a heritage that touches the lives of all children and grandchildren of those of the “Greatest...

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Ben Santillan

Ben Santillan  

World War II

By Nicole Chisum

The turmoil of World War II was difficult for everyone who endured it, but perhaps even more so for people who felt left out of mainstream society.

People like Ben Santillan.

Santillan was born on Feb. 13,...

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Mary Gonzales

Richard Savala

Richard Savala  

World War II

By Ismael Martinez

Richard Savala and his family worked hard to live the American dream.

Savala's parents moved to the United States from Mexico to provide a better life for their family. And Savala did enjoy a better life:...

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Anabelle Garay

Frank Segura

Mrs. Alicia Salinas Segura and her husband, Mr. Frank Segura, 1943.  

World War II

By Cheryl Smith Kemp

"I have a letter from my Secretary of War that's saying that I'm a hero," said World War II veteran Frank Segura of an Oct. 31, 1945, statement...

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Brenda Sendejo

Henry Segura

 

World War II

By Michael Broker

Henry Segura grew up during the Great Depression in the area known as the West Bottoms of Kansas City, Kan., in a family of 10 children to parents who were Mexican immigrants.

His father worked for the...

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Thomas Padilla

August R. Segura

August R. Segura  

World War II

By Unity Peterson

Even though August R. Segura spent World War II stationed in Laredo, Texas, working on aircraft, he says he came away from the experience a skilled mechanic and "a better man."

Segura was born Feb. 11, 1922, in San...

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Unity Peterson

Pablo Segura

Pablo Segura  

World War II

By Brandi Grissom

Only one street led into and out of the poor barrio in El Paso, Texas, where Pablo Segura grew up during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Segura was determined to follow that street out of the barrio, and believed...

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Mr. Paul Rodriguez Zepeda

Luis Sena

Luis Sena  

World War II

By Jason McDaniel

Luis Sena was only 6 years old on Black Thursday, the day the stock market crashed and sent the American economy spiraling into the Great Depression. His father had died four years earlier, in 1925, leaving Luis' mother,...

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Violeta Dominguez

Elvira Sena

Elvira & Mr. Luis Sena  

World War II

By Allison Mokry

While many Latinos served their country and fought for survival overseas, Elvira Sena had her own struggle during World War II: helping her family pull through tough economic times while trying to finish her schooling....

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Adriana Lujan

Jose Valentine Sena

Jose Valentine Sena  

World War II

By Brent Wistrom

Jose Sena remembers how his best friends suckered him into enlisting in the U.S. Army at the start of World War II.

As a 17-year-old, Sena was hanging around with his twin brother and some of his friends one day when...

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Brian Daugherty

Ignacio Servín

Ignacio Servín  

World War II

By Miranda Bollinger

When Ignacio Servín volunteered during World War II for a mission so dangerous his commander wouldn’t even assign it to someone, he wasn’t even frightened. He wanted to do it.

"I just kept thinking, 'If I die, it...

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Brenda Sendejo

Flora Alicia Shank

 

World War II

By Maggie Sirakos

To Flora Alicia Shank, the war seemed like what we see in the movies today – a medley of sacrifice, tragedy, celebration, shock, heroes and fright.

Shank was a teenager in El Paso, Texas, when World War II broke out...

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Vanessa R. Torres

Juana Mani Sierra

Juana M. Sierra - Voces Oral History Project  

World War II

By Lindsay Fitzpatrick

Almost 100 years after her parents immigrated from Zacatecas, Juana Maria Mani Moreno Sierra considers her Mexican heritage a gift.

“God gave me my mom and my dad and their Spanish. It is so beautiful to...

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Brenda Sendejo

Henry Sillik

Henry Sillik  

World War II

By Brandon Rawe

It was a time in America's history when communities were racially segregated and shunning minorities was accepted.

But none of that mattered during World War II to Henry Sillik, who served on a naval ship in the middle...

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Violeta Dominguez

Betty Chavez Silva

Betty Chavez Silva  

World War II

By Jenny Murphy

Engulfed by a huge armchair, 78 year-old Betty Chavez Silva reflects on her memories growing up in New Mexico, remembering two older brothers who went off to serve in World War II.

Silva smiles when she talks about...

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Jennifer Sanchez

Mike & Mrs. Betty Silva

Mike & Mrs. Betty Silva  

World War II

By Wanda Lopez

At 80, Mike Silva reflects on his World War II service and how he was foolish to volunteer for a conflict that still moves him to tears decades later.

Silva was wounded during the war and saw many fellow soldiers die....

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Violeta Dominguez

Agapito Encinias Silva

Agapito E. Silva  

World War II

By Helen Peralta

As a World War II prisoner of war, Agapito E. Silva said death often marched beside him while battling in the Phillippines. Having learned the art of survival is what allows him to vividly recount memories of a war that...

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Brian Lucero

Arthur Smith

Arthur Smith  

World War II

By Ashley Clary

The laugh-worn eyes of Arthur B. Smith hide a courageous yet triumphant story. Not only did he face the dangers of the 1942 Bataan Death March and three years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp, he went on to lead a...

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Karleen Boggio-Montgomery