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

Paul Lopez Solis

Paul Lopez Solis  

World War II

By Elizabeth Egeland

Paul Solis and his two brothers all served in World War II. He was in the China- Burma-India Theater; his older brother, Raymond, worked on dry docks in the Pacific; and his younger brother, August, served on the USS...

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Mr. Paul Rodriguez Zepeda

María Isabel Solís Thomas

Maria Isabel Solis Thomas - Voces Oral History Project  

World War II

By Aaan Zukowski

María Isabel Solis Thomas remembers the day as if it were yesterday: She and her sister, Elvia, are standing on a dock at a Richmond, Calif., shipyard, waving goodbye to sailors boarding American ships destined for battle...

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Anna Zukowski

Felipe Soliz

Portrait of  Felipe Soliz.  

Korean Conflict, World War II

By Susan Miller

Felipe and Mary Soliz live in a well-kept, modest house in a quiet neighborhood right at the entrance to town. Their home is filled with flags and war portraits in every corner. Mr. Soliz is a veteran of WWII and the...

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Susan Miller

Elfren Solomon

Portrait of Elfren Solomon in Italy.  

World War II

By Marisela Maddox

At a time when many Mexican Americans were segregated from Anglo Americans by socioeconomic and educational standards, Elfren Solomon confesses he rarely, if ever, witnessed ethnic discrimination in the military: The...

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Rene Zambrano

Robert Soltero

Robert Soltero  

World War II

By Courtney Mahaffey

Robert Soltero can barely remember details of the Depression, but his memories of discrimination during that era remain vivid.

"In those days, you couldn't even go downtown," said Soltero, who grew up in a west-...

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Ascensión Hernandez

Trino J. Soto

Trino J. Soto  

World War II

By Cindy Carcamo

U.S. Navy veteran Trino Soto can't remember the exact date or location, but the image of his ship along with eight other destroyers traveling in the evening along the Pacific Ocean will forever remain in his mind.

"As...

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Cindy Carcamo

Pedro Gomez Soto

Pedro Gomez Soto  

World War II

By Frank Trejo Jr.

Pedro Gomez Soto knew the importance of making the most of what life gives you. He was fond of saying that experiences “grow you up.”

And they certainly did for Soto, who started working as a boy with other...

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Jesus Soto

Jesus Soto  

World War II

By Bernice Chuang

About 14 months before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, Jesus “Joe” Soto, 20 years old, enlisted in the Marines as a private. His ship, the USS New Orleans, deployed for Pearl Harbor in October,...

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Esteban Soto

 

World War II

By Vanessa Adams

Esteban Soto is part of the second generation of veterans in his family. He remembers his father, a World War I veteran, telling stories of mustard gas and other horrors of the war. Little did Soto know, he too would...

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Rea Ann Trotter

Felix R. Soto Jr.

Felix R. Soto Jr.  

World War II

By Tim Garlitz

To see the world, not to mention to avoid getting drafted into the Army, Felix Soto Jr. quickly signed up for the Coast Guard upon graduating from high school in June of 1942.

Three out of Soto’s four brothers soon...

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Cynthia Cueva

Ruben D Suarez

Ruben Suarez in San Diego, CA in July of 1943.  

World War II

By Cameron Reed, California State University, Fullerton

Throughout his service in the U.S. Navy during World War II and for the rest of his life, Ruben Suarez had a strong understanding of diversity and the need to persevere to achieve his...

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Enrique Vega

Arthur Tafoya

Arthur Tafoya  

World War II

By Elizabeth James

As a medic treating the wounded and dying in World War II, Arthur Tafoya says dealing with the blood and gore of battle was in some ways the easy part. The difficult part was dodging the bullets and artillery fire.

...

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Norman L. Martinez

Elena Escobar Tafoya

 

World War II

By Katie Woody

On the side of a mountainous bluff in Grant County, N.M., a nun kneels in prayer every day, wholly vigilant and never wavering. From dawn until dusk, she can be seen with her head bowed, hands clasped in silent meditation....

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Brian Lucero

Andrew Sidona Tamayo

Andrew Sidona Tamayo  

World War II

By Noelle Pareja

Eighty-one-year old Houston resident Andrew Tamayo clearly remembers the day World War II broke out. And the day after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, the 19-year-old Mexican American proudly enlisted in the Army.

...

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Mr. Paul Rodriguez Zepeda

Emma Falcon Tamez

 

World War II

By Karina Valenzuela

The Falcon family's military service extends beyond four brothers' time in World War II.

For one thing, Raúl, José and Alejandro would eventually each have a son who served in the military: Raúl’s oldest son, Raúl...

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Raul Tamez

Arthur Tenorio

Arthur Tenorio  

World War II

By Melissa Watkins

Arthur "Chavalito" Tenorio spent Dec. 6, 1941, at a hotel in Honolulu playing craps with a fellow sailor. He lost the game, but a hotel employee warned the pair it didn't matter, because after tomorrow, they wouldn't be...

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M. David Gray

Pedro Tijerina

portrait of Pete Tijerina.  

World War II

By Raquel C. Garza

Growing up in Laredo, Texas, Pedro "Pete" Tijerina said he "never knew what discrimination was," mainly because the city's population was mostly Mexican. School children spoke Spanish freely, never fearing reproach from...

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Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez

William Henry Todd

 

World War II

By Katie Gibson

For William Henry Todd, enlisting in the National Guard and serving during World War II transformed him from a child to a man.

"The Army was a school for me. It taught me many things," Todd said. "When I joined the...

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Gilberto Torres

Gilberto Torres  

World War II

By Israel Saenz

A long, jagged scar marks Gilberto Roque Torres' right forearm, a permanent reminder of a summer day in France that would be his last in combat. Torres doesn't remember too many dates of events that occurred during his...

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Israel Saenz

Oscar Torres

Oscar Torres  

World War II

By Reid Worth

In June of 2002, 58 years after the battle in which he earned it, Oscar Torres finally received the Purple Heart for wounds received in action during the September 1944 assault on the island of Peleliu. In addition to earning...

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Virgilio Roel

Maria De La Paz Torres

 

World War II

By Maria Torres

Maria Torres was only 12 years old when the war began, yet she was old enough to remember the profound impact it had on her life and family in El Paso, Texas.

“When my brothers left, it just seemed like something that...

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Vanessa Torres-Villescas

Emilio Torres

Emilio Torres  

World War II

By Kristin LaFrate

When Emilio Torres enlisted in the Navy at the age of 18 on Sept. 18, 1942, little did he know he was beginning a more than 30-year military career spanning three wars.

Torres served in World War II and, later, in...

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Rafael Q. Torres

Rafael Q. Torres  

World War II

By Cheryl Smith Kemp

Ninety-year-old Rafael Torres doesn’t have the mind he had back when he was growing up in El Paso, Texas, nor when he began penning his memories of World War II, but he still seems to remember quite clearly the...

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Robert Rivas

Aurelio Antonio Torres Martinez

Aurelio Antonio Torres Martinez  

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

Rudolph S. Tovar

Rudolph S. Tovar  

World War II

By Nathan Beck

On Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, Rudolph Tovar was a halfback marching his football team down a Los Angeles football field toward the goal line. Captain of the Verdugo Knights, Tovar and his teammates were informed during a timeout...

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Henry Mendoza

Roberto Tovar

 

World War II

By Michele Pierini

At the age of 17, fresh from graduating Bowie High School in El Paso, Texas, Roberto Tovar volunteered for military service, something he’d wanted to do since he was 13, after the Pearl Harbor bombing.

“I was very...

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Robert Rivas

David Pineda Towns

 

World War II

By Elaine Mingus

For David Pineda Towns, it was always about the letters. The letters from his wife. The letters from his family and friends. And his letters back to them.

It was always about the news they brought. He lived for their...

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José Concepción Trejo Dominguez

José Concepción Trejo Dominguez  

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

Domingo Trevino

Domingo Trevino  

World War II

By Stephanie Scalco

Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, where Domingo Treviño attended, staged bazaars on a regular basis. At one of them, when he was a young man, Treviño was talking to a couple of pretty girls, and two guys approached...

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Paul Rodriguez Zepeda

Tomas Mata Treviño

Tomas M. Trevino  

World War II

By Brenda Menchaca

Born and raised in the small town of Beeville, Tomas Mata Treviño knew little about the world beyond his South Texas community when he was drafted into...

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Paul Jaure

Felix B. Treviño

Felix B. Treviño  

World War II

By David Zavala

Negotiating a minefield on a snowy day in World War II Germany, 1945, Felix Treviño encountered a young German soldier who looked no older than a teenager; he was leaning against a tree, one leg gone from the thigh down,...

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David Zavala

Gilberto S. Treviño

 

World War II

By Marjon Rostami

Gilbert Treviño was a 19-year old junior at Texas A...

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Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez

Dominick Tripodi

Dominick Tripodi  

World War II

By Jose Araiza

While many were in shock after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Domínick Tripodi unhesitatingly volunteered to fight terrorism abroad. The U.S. Army applauded his initiative and loyalty but denied his petition. Although a...

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Luz Villarreal

Bennie Trujillo

Bennie Trujillo in El Paso, Texas in 1946. First time on Pass from hospital.  

World War II

By Robert Reiss, California State University, Fullerton

"You could hear the tanks coming. You could hear the squeak, the tracks squeaking and the motors running. You could hear them coming. The Americans and the infantry were aware that...

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Joseph Padilla

Charles Trujillo

 

World War II

By Melissa Duran

Charles "Junior" Trujillo remembers clearly the day Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. Hearing the reports on the radio didn’t give him a good understanding of what war was about.

"If you have never been into it [war], you...

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Rea Ann Trotter

Antonio Trujillo

Antonio Trujillo  

World War II

By Elizabeth Robertson

Despite the terror surrounding him on the mountainous Japanese island of Okinawa during World War II, Marine Cpl. Antonio Trujillo always found himself volunteering for missions that no one else wanted.

He’d...

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Iliana Limón

Joseph Unanue

Joseph Unanue  

World War II

By Chris Nay

Heading toward combat in the decisive Battle of the Bulge, a brush with death came early for Joseph Unanue. On his first day in the European Theater, his sergeant lay dead and, as the next in command, Unanue would have to save...

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Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez

Charles Uranga

Charles Uranga  

World War II

By Tony Cantú

Charles Vizcaino Uranga, a self-made millionaire who fought at Normandy during World War II, left little doubt about who his hero was, during his interview in 2001.

Relating anecdotes from his childhood in Alpine, Texas...

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Antonio Cantú

Leova Tellez Urias

 

World War II

By Amy Bauer

By the age of 20, Leova Tellez Urias had already experienced segregation, the affects of the Great Depression, battle at the front lines during World War II and imprisonment by German soldiers. Now, at age 76, he looks back...

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Kevin Bales

José Jesus Urías

José Jesus Urías  

World War II

By Lynn Maguire

José Urías volunteered for tasks other men were loathe to do: combing the beaches of Normandy, littered with human remains; uncovering mines; going door-to-door in France in search of German soldiers hiding in private homes...

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Ismael Martinez

Antonio Uribe

Antonio Uribe  

World War II

A full moon showering light over Mt. Fuji one night while on lookout duty in Japan is the wartime image Antonio Uribe recalls most vividly as he recounts his humble beginnings in Texas and the world of basic training and nautical knowledge that...

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Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez

Joe Moreno Uriegas

Joe Moreno Uriegas  

World War II

By Cody Morris

Joe Moreno Uriegas faced overwhelming enemy fire and unfamiliar surroundings on the front lines in Northern Europe during World War II.

A soldier in the 188th Field Artillery Battalion supporting the 82nd Airborne...

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Cody Morris

Gabriel Valades

Gabriel Valades  

World War II

By Ginny Snyder

Surrounded by news of the war in Europe, and with most of his friends already called to duty, Gabriel Valades enlisted in the Army in March of 1943 despite his parents’ concern. Even though his arrival came in the war's...

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Rea Ann Trotter

Salvador Valades

Salvador Valades  

World War II

By Miguel A. Castro

When it came to his safety, Salvador Valades knew he could always rely on his mother's prayers.

I really don't know what she prayed over us, but I know I felt blessed," Valades said.

As a young man, on the...

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Rea Ann Trotter

Harold Valderas

Harold Valderas  

World War II, Korean Conflict

By Courtney Mahaffey

On Dec. 7, 1941, Harold Valderas, then a senior at George Washington High School in New York City, was doing his homework while listening to the radio when he heard the report about Pearl Harbor.

"Little did I...

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Violeta Dominguez

Sara Frances Garcia Valenzuela

Sara Frances Garcia Valenzuela  

World War II

By Jessica Eaglin

Sara Valenzuela’s strong work ethic has remained a mainstay throughout her life.

On July 31, 1924, Sara Frances Garcia was born in the small town of Edna, Texas – the first child of eight – to Henry Andrew Garcia...

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Raquel C. Garza

Alfred Q. Valenzuela

Alfred Q. Valenzuela  

World War II

By E.J. Urbanczyk

Alfred Valenzuela was an 18-year-old sailor in 1943 when he found his older brother in Hawaii.

Valenzuela recalled looking for Claudio, eight years his senior, at Schofield Barracks, a United States installation...

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Raquel C. Garza

John Valls

John Valls was interviewed on March 6, 2010 at the Laredo Community College library in Laredo, Texas.  

World War II

By Bianca Krause

Dec. 8, 1941, forever changed his life.

Riding in a car on Market Street in Laredo, Texas, 16-year-old John Valls heard a speech that would shape his future. With his “Day of Infamy” speech, President Franklin...

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Liliana Rodriguez

Manuel Castro Vara

Manuel Castro Vara  

World War II

By Guillermo X. García

Manuel C. Vara was a high school senior attending a Sunday movie matinee in his hometown of San Antonio when news broke out on the screen: All soldiers were to report back to base immediately. Japan had launched a...

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Martha Treviño

Joe Vargas

Joe Vargas  

World War II

By Eva Hernandez

The air is rife with the sounds of men preparing for battle on the front lines. This is the real deal, and Private Joe Vargas is ready. He lumbers off the back of the Army truck – just barely – and moves forward.

Two...

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