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

Fidel H. Vasquez

Fidel Vasquez  

World War II

By Ashley Park

At least once in his life, Fidel Vasquez considered himself to be really lucky. His U.S. Army construction unit shipped out ahead of the supply ship carrying the equipment for him and his fellow soldiers. They made it, but...

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Liliana Rodriguez

Wilhelmina Cooremans Vasquez

Wilhelmina Cooremans Vasquez  

World War II

By Kim Loop

Sisters Wilhelmina Cooremans Vasquez, 79, and Delfina Cooremans Baladez, 81, have done nearly everything together throughout their lives, including joining the workforce during World War II.

In early 1942, when the...

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Brenda Sendejo

Refugio Miguel Vasquez

Refugio Miguel Vasquez  

World War II

One Valentine's Day, Mike Vasquez knocked on the door to the Cooremans' house with three boxes of chocolates for the daughters still living at home. Fourteen-year-old Wilhelmina, the youngest, answered the door. She was so shocked to discover the...

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Guy Vasquez

 

World War II

By Laura Barganier

Becoming a doctor and helping others have a better life was Guy Vasquez’s dream growing up after witnessing his father die of a brain tumor.

Life worked out differently for Vasquez, however, as the United States...

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Natasha Samreny

George S. Vasquez

George S. Vasquez  

World War II

By Krystal De los Santos

When George S. Vasquez was separated from his unit during the Battle of the Bulge in Germany, he lived by his wits behind enemy lines for a month

“The whole company had just vanished in the dark,” Vasquez...

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Angela Macias

Edward B. Vasquez

Edward B. Vasquez  

World War II

By Andrea Williams

For Edward Vasquez, the war years represented the ultimate adventure for a boy given to impetuous feats.

A Mexico-born mother and Texas father’s middle child of seven, Vazquez remembers being taunted by his older...

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Andrea Williams

Marshall Gonzales Vasquez

Marshall Gonzales Vasquez  

World War II

By Caprice Padilla

Turned away on his first attempt to join the Army because of a bad eye, Marshall Vasquez’s determination and will were fierce. Sitting next to his serviceman photo and an array of framed medals, Vasquez, who by showing...

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Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez

Anna Torres Vazquez

Anna Torres Vazquez  

World War II

By Callie Jenschke

Unlike many other Latino World War II veterans who often found themselves in a minority during their military service, Roberto Vazquez says he seldom felt the brunt of discrimination as a soldier in his division, where...

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William Luna

Roberto Vazquez

Roberto Vazquez  

World War II

By Callie Jenschke

Unlike many other Latino World War II veterans who often found themselves in a minority during their military service, Roberto Vazquez says he seldom felt the brunt of discrimination as a soldier in his division, where...

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William Luna

Martin Vega

 

World War II

By Natalie England

Martin Vega knows what discrimination is. He saw it in his everyday life.

He even saw that everyday discrimination culminate in murder.

Vega was born in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. His family immigrated to Taylor,...

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William Luna

Lauro Vega

Lauro Vega  

World War II

By Miguel A. Castro

Lauro Vega distinctly remembers being in England and anxiously waiting to receive orders from the 197th AAA Battalion, the company he was in.

"They told us, 'All you fellows will be in an invasion but we don't...

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Rene Zambrano

Francisco Vega

Francisco Vega  

World War II

By Michelle Witters

San Antonio native Francisco Vega survived D-Day on Omaha Beach unscathed. That’s not to say he didn’t suffer acute pain later during the war, however.

When Sergeant Major Vega went to see the medic in Bad...

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Juan Marinez

Raymond Vega

Raymond Vega  

World War II

By Israel Saenz

At the Vega home in East Chicago, Ind., during World War II, there were five blue stars in the window -- one for each of the sons serving in the military. Raymond Vega was one of them, serving aboard a ship as a hospital...

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Violeta Dominguez

Gerard Roland Vela

Gerard Roland Vela  

World War II

By Araceli Jaime and Jasmin Sun

G. Roland Vela was an 11-year-old delivering newspapers when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Suddenly, everyone wanted to learn more about the bombing, and they swarmed Vela as he rode along...

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Raquel Garza

Abel Vela

Abel Vela  

World War II

By Valerie Harris

Most people hope to retire around age 65, but hard-working Abel Vela stayed busy well into his 70s.

After 27 years in the Army and more than 30 years of owning and operating a number of McDonald’s franchises...

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Nora Frost

Angela A. Vela

Angela A. Vela  

World War II

By Veronica Rosalez

Growing up in Austria, Angela Vela had a front-row seat to the effects Hitler and World War II had on Europe. But in a time when fear and turmoil plagued the country, Vela was fortunate enough to find something very...

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Angel Antonio Velazquez

 

World War II

By Ernie Garrido

Before he joined the Army in World War II, Angel Antonio Velázquez taught English at a junior high school in his hometown of Yabucoa, in the southeastern part of Puerto Rico. During the war, in the Panama Canal, his...

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Doralis Perez-Soto

Francisco Venegas

 

World War II

By Erika Rodriguez

Francisco Venegas sits in the kitchen of his house in southeast Austin. That act alone makes him feel lucky.

Venegas has worked and struggled his whole life to be able to relax in his own home at the...

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Erika Martinez

Manuel Vera

Manuel Vera  

World War II

By Eric Latcham

On Jan. 27, 1945, in freezing, blizzard-like conditions,, Sgt. Manuel Vera was wounded in action in Nennig, Germany, when an explosion sent shell fragments into his right leg.

Having grown up in Nebraska during the...

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Raquel C. Garza

Edelmiro T. Vidaurri

Edelmiro T. Vidaurri  

World War II

By Michael Taylor

During the span of a 27-year military career, Edelmiro Vidaurri has worked on the aircraft used to fight three wars. In the course of those conflicts, he saw change both in the technology of aircraft and the attitudes of...

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Michael Taylor

Martha Ortega Vidaurri

Martha Ortega Vidaurri  

World War II

By Tammi Grais

Martha Ortega Vidaurri learned at a young age the hardships that life could serve up: During World War II, all five of her brothers and her husband would serve in the country's defense.

Her brothers; Samuel, Daniel,...

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Tammi Grais

Willie Vila

 

World War II

By Lindsay Stafford

For Marine sniper Willie Vila, the only way to make it through World War II alive was to kill or be killed.

Vila used this advice, which he recalls getting from Lieutenant General Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller, to...

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Dulcinea Cuellar

Ramon Sr. Villa

Ramón Villa at the AT&T Executive and Conference Center, University of Texas at Austin on Saturday, October 3, 2009.(Photo: Marc Hamel)  

World War II

By Frank Trejo

Having grown up in rural South Texas during the Great Depression and having lost his mother when he was only 10, Ramón Villa Sr. knew hardship.

But he was unprepared for the struggles he faced in World War II as...

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Amanda Abrigo

Joe Villa

Joe Villa  

World War II

By Ashley Hord

As an Army veteran, Joe Villa has experienced his ups and down throughout life. From coming close to death as a baby to venturing through Nazi territory, the 83-year old has seen more than what his small Texas town ever...

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Amanda Abrigo

Miguel Villa

Mike Villa was interviewed in Hallettsville, TX on July 20, 2010 by the Voces Oral History Project. [Michelle J Lojewski/Voces Oral History Project]  

World War II

By Veronica Rosalez

With the many hardships that their family faced throughout World War II, military veterans Mike Villa and his brothers, Raymond and Joe, were grateful that they all returned home safely to the United States.

...

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Samantha Salazar

Gonzalo Villanueva

Gonzalo Villanueva  

World War II

By Doralís Perez-Soto

The only time Gonzalo Villanueva has been away for any extended period from his neighborhood in Arecibo, Puerto, Rico, was during World War II, when he served in North Africa, France, Italy and Germany. He even jokes...

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Doralis Perez-Soto

Oscar Villarreal

Oscar Villarreal  

World War II

By Rachel Howell

At 16, Oscar Villarreal was too young to vote in 1943, but he wasn’t too young to serve his country in World War II by joining the Navy.

Villarreal was born March 1, 1927. In order to join the National Youth...

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Juan De la Cruz

Raul Cantu Villarreal

 

World War II

By Robert Inks

When Raul Cantú Villarreal came home to Brownsville, Texas, in 1949 after serving in World War II, he had adjustments to make.

For one thing, Villarreal lost his right leg after stepping on a land mine.

"I thanked...

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Xochitl Salazar

Ignacio Vindiola

Ignacio Vindiola - Voces Oral History Project  

World War II

By Jessica Goetz, St. Bonaventure University

Ignacio Vindiola was 27 years old when he joined the Army Air Forces and was assigned the job of radio operator aboard bomber planes. He was old enough to understand that those bombs being...

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Michelle Lojewski

William Raymond Wood

 

World War II

By Rosa Imelda Flores

William Wood was "born in space," his reference to the little mining town of Santa Rita, which was in the hilly terrain of southwestern New Mexico.

Santa Rita was excavated for the valuable copper ore lying...

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Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez

Vicente Ximenes

Vicente Ximenes  

World War II

By Erika Martinez

Vicente Ximenes still recalls his days as a Mexican American boy growing up in the 1930s in Floresville, Texas, a town where segregation formed part of his everyday life.

Ximenes also remembers that out of the 100...

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Jim Morrison

Paul Ybarra

Paul Ybarra, 2010. (Photo By: Marc Hamel)  

World War II

By Claire Gordon

Paul Ybarra does not see himself as a hero, even though he survived the bloody Normandy Invasion and a mistaken Allied bombing, and he was about to be deployed to the Pacific when World War II ended. All he did, in his...

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Andres Ybarra

 

World War II

By Jennifer Lindgren

"That's a picture of my great-granddaughter," said 81-year-old veteran Andres Ybarra, admiringly pointing out photographs in his home. "That's a picture of my -- all my grandkids and myself over there. And that one over...

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Shamiso Masowsue

Frank Yturralde

Frank Yturralde  

World War II

By Rachel Fleischman

Frank Yturralde’s life is interwoven with the threads of family and education.

At times they clashed, at times they co-existed, but mostly they were symbiotic -- family feeding education, education feeding...

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Joseph Villescas

Esequiel Zamudio

Esequiel Zamudio  

World War II

By Desirée Mata

By the time Esequiel Zamudio was drafted at age 21, he already knew hard work and hardship.

Zamudio started working as a young man for a government project called the National Youth Administration. As part of the NYA...

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Desirée Mata

Jose Robert Zaragoza

Jose Robert Zaragoza  

World War II

When Jose R. Zaragoza returned from World War II, he found an invigorated Los Angeles ripe with opportunities for younger generations of Latinos.

Zaragoza was born in Los Angeles, Calif. in 1920. His parents had emigrated with his two...

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Anica Butler

Domingo Zatarian

Domingo Zatarian  

World War II

By Donetta Nagle

Domingo Zatarian looked on a map and set out to find his brother's division shortly after the Battle of the Bulge had ended in Europe.

And he found him. There was Marty in a ditch, doing the last thing Zatarian would...

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Rene Zambrano

Angel Zavala

Angel Zavala - Voces Oral History Project  

World War II

By Andie Salazar

Between April 1944 and December 1945, Angel Zavala experienced everything from seeing the architecture of England and the islands of the South Pacific to nightly bombings and a searing sun at sea.

What was a 22-...

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Daniel Reyes

Isaac R. Zepeda

 

World War II

By Paul R. Zepeda and Maggie Rivas Rodriguez

Four stars hung in the front window of the house of 1608 Ave. L in Bay City, Texas, during WWII. Each represented a son of Guadalupe Zepeda, who fled from San Luis Potosí¬, Mexico, because he...

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Mr. Paul Rodriguez Zepeda

Elias R. Zepeda

 

World War II

By Paul R. Zepeda and Maggie Rivas Rodriguez

Four stars hung in the front window of the house of 1608 Ave. L in Bay City, Texas, during WWII. Each represented a son of Guadalupe Zepeda, who fled from San Luis Potosí¬, Mexico, because he...

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Mr. Paul Rodriguez Zepeda

Robert Zepeda

 

World War II

By Paul R. Zepeda and Maggie Rivas Rodriguez

Four stars hung in the front window of the house of 1608 Ave. L in Bay City, Texas, during WWII. Each represented a son of Guadalupe Zepeda, who fled from San Luis Potosí¬, Mexico, because he...

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Mr. Paul Rodriguez Zepeda

William Zermeno

William Zermeno  

World War II

By Yiyi Jennifer Yang

It took a war for William Zermeno to leave his hometown, Houston, and his beloved family. The Zermeno family shared a very close bond -- the brothers, particularly, would play and hang out together even as they grew...

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Elizabeth Blancas

Alejandra Rojas Zuniga

Alejandra Rojas Zuniga  

World War II

By Stephanie Babb

Strong family ties and a good work ethic made the difficulties of World War II a learning experience, Alejandra Rojas Zuniga said.

"It was rough for us attending school in Texas because discrimination was bad there...

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Raul Garcia