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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Subject Collection Story Interviewed by

Baldomero Estala

Baldomero Estala  

World War II

By David Muto

Growing up in San Antonio, Texas, Baldomero Estala relied on quiet independence.

In junior high school – from which Estala withdrew for economic reasons before fighting in World War II – he kept to himself, he says....

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Cheryl Smith Kemp

Herlinda Mendoza Buitron Estrada

Herlinda Mendoza Buitron Estrada  

World War II

By Whitney Sterling

On the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, the entire Buitron family, including all nine children, was sitting in church when the pastor...

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Gloria Monita

Enrique Rodriguez Falcon

Enrique Rodriguez Falcon  

World War II

By Jennifer Yee

Like many veterans coming home from World War II, Henry Falcon remembers having a difficult time adjusting to American society. His return to the peace of America was a stark contrast to his three years of fierce air combat...

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Mr. Paul Rodriguez Zepeda

Lorenzo Falcon

Lorenzo Falcon  

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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Tamez Raul

Randel Zepeda Fernández

Randel Zepeda Fernández  

World War II

By Colleen Torma

Randel Zepeda Fernández was only a baby when his family moved from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, to El Paso, Texas, and then to Los Angeles. But later, as a young man, his lack of United States citizenship hampered him.

"I...

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Steven Rosales

John Fernandez

John Fernandez  

World War II

By Spencer Hamilton

A simple announcement for aviation cadet training at a camp in Washburn Island, Mass., piqued John Fernandez’s interest, so he applied.

He just never expected to make it.

But to the El Paso, Texas, native’s...

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Robert Rivas

Estela Fernandez

Estela Fernandez  

World War II

By Jenn Zwillenberg

Estela Fernandez was a young woman in El Paso, Texas, when World War II began, so the battlegrounds seemed distant.

Wartime wasn’t about soldiers and combat. Instead, while her husband Johnny was away, she learned...

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Delia Esparza

Rafael Fíerro

Rafael Fíerro  

World War II

By Lynn Maguire

Rafael Fierro graduated from a small Texas high school in May of 1939, hoping to go to college on a basketball scholarship; but rather than donning a basketball jersey, he put on the uniform of a U.S. soldier.

"I went...

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Elizabeth Flores

Juana D. Flores

 

World War II

By David Muto

Juana Flores holds up a photograph her husband sent her while at war more than 60 years ago.

“For my dear wife, Juana,” script on the back of the picture reads. “The love I have for you is unforgettable.”

...

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Armando Segouia

Olga Delgado Flores

Olga Delgado Flores  

World War II

By Eric Latcham

When her new husband shipped off for the Philippines, Olga Delgado Flores was pregnant back home in El Paso, Texas.

Only 15 years old when she married 18-year-old Ramón Flores, she had dreams of a better life for her...

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Edna Amador

Alfred P. Flores

Alfred P. Flores  

World War II

By Soren Silkenson

When Alfred P. Flores was 16, his brother Robert, was lost in an early guided missile attack that sank his ship, the Rohna, three miles off the coast of Italy.

The sinking in the Mediterranean of the British troop...

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Jenny Achilles

Guadalupe Rodriguez Flores

Guadalupe Rodriguez Flores  

World War II

By Jeffrey McWhorter

Morning broke as the train rolled into Texarkana, Texas.

“Now don’t close your eyes,” the porter admonished a 22-year-old Bertha Flores, “because we’re getting close … and we’ll pass it real fast.”

For...

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Raquel C. Garza

Rafael Flores

Rafael Flores at camp Beale in Marysville, CA north of Sacramento. He had just finished his basic training and was home in Wasco, CA on a 3-day pass.  

World War II

By Victoria Brown

Cal State, Fullerton

Rafael Flores put his life on hold when he was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II at the age of 22. His experiences in the Army not only matured him, but also changed his outlook on...

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Armando D Flores

Armando Flores.  

World War II

By Bettina Luis

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX-On October 21, 2000, through the efforts of former alumni, a historical marker was erected on the south side of the Nueces County courthouse dedicated to the Cheston L. Heath Grammar School. The marker...

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Bettina Luis

Johnnie W. Flores

Johnnie W. Flores and Josephine Adams, Philadelphia, Pa. 1943. Johnnie was killed in action in Germany on Dec. 12, 1944.  

World War II

By Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez

Johnnie W. Flores was the fifth of seven children born to Jose Maria and Teresa (Huizar) Flores, on a farm outside of Somerset, Texas, a community southeast of San Antonio.

In the mid-1930s, Johnnie moved to...

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Raymond J. Flores

Raymond J. Flores  

World War II

By Shelby Tracy

Raymond J. Flores has always been a fighter.

He volunteered for the Army in the midst of World War II, but a defective leg kept him from fighting overseas.

His lifelong battle for freedom would be done on the...

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Violeta Dominguez

Moises Flores

Moises Flores  

World War II

By Deborah Bonn

During a brief trip home from the war in Japan, Moises Flores surprised a whole colony in Mexico that thought he’d been killed in combat.

Among those shocked by Flores' return was the sheriff in Chihuahua, Mexico’s...

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Joe Myers Vasquez

Ramon C. Flores

Ramon C. Flores  

World War II

By Cari Hammerstrom

Ramon C. Flores was 64 years old when the Persian Gulf War began. Struck with pangs of patriotism, the World War II veteran promptly showed up at the recruitment office and tried to enlist, but was turned away because of...

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Andrea Williams

Belisario & Mrs. Flores

Belisario & Mrs. Flores  

World War II, Korean Conflict

By J. Barrett Williams

Brigadier General Belisario Flores, who served his country for more than 40 years during three wars, retired from the Texas Air National Guard and the United States Air Force in the summer of 1986. Upon his...

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Cheryl Smith Kemp

Teodoro Franco

Teodoro Franco  

World War II

By Cheryl Smith

Looking at the elderly man in the brown fedora and navy blue dress coat, preening his snowy mustache with a miniature comb from his shirt pocket, one would never suspect the turbulent road he has followed throughout his life...

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Andrea Shearer

Edward Frazer

 

World War II

By Kathleen Bily

Growing up in San Antonio, Texas, Edward Frazer’s first teacher thought he was mentally disabled because he spoke only Spanish. But during his World War II service in the Philippines, that Spanish became one of his best...

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Raquel C. Garza

Santos Acosta Fuentes

Sandy Fuentes at her home in Austin, Texas, 2000.  

World War II

By Karla González

It was 1944 and 28-year-old Santos (Sandy) Acosta had lost all hopes of meeting the man she would marry and live with for the rest of her life.

But that same year, the fantasy became a reality. Sandy Acosta met a...

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Karla Gonzalez

Toby Fuentes

Toby Fuentes shortly after the war.  

World War II

By Nora Ramirez

For 58 years, the sounds of flying bullets and torpedo explosions have tormented Toby Fuentes.

Sitting outside the porch of his house in a peaceful, almost rural area of East Austin, Fuentes recently recounted the...

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Nora Ramirez

Leonard Vara Fuentes

Leonard Vara Fuentes  

World War II

BY LINDSAY FITZPATRICK

Even after flying several successful missions over Italy during WWII, Leonard Fuentes was prepared to continue serving his country, and remained in the military after the war, serving in Korea.

Fuentes graduated...

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Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez

Guy Gabaldon

 

World War II

By Ruchika Joshi

Guy Gabaldon said he stopped counting how many people he was taking prisoner in Saipan during World War II. But in a 1957 episode of the television program, "This Is Your Life," his fellow Marines credited him with single-...

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Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez

Thomas Galindo

Thomas Galindo  

World War II

By Antonio Gilb

Thomas Galindo was working at an Austin drug store selling sodas for 35 cents when he heard the shocking report on the radio. It was news that would irrevocably change the 19-year-old's life.

The date was Dec. 7, 1941...

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Antonio Gilb

Jose Galindo

 

World War II

By Lisa Cummings

When President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Nationality Act of 1940 on October 14 of that year, Jose Galindo's life would never be the same. The act allowed Mexican-born residents to be drafted or volunteer for the U.S...

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Lisa Cummings

Ramón Galindo

Ramón Galindo  

World War II

By Marta McGonagle

It was May 8, 1945. The war in Europe was over, but not for Ramón G. Galindo. After the death of Adolph Hitler, it was Galindo's 571st Anti-Aircraft Automatic Weapons Battalion that was stationed at Hitler's headquarters...

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Martamaria McGonagle

Hortense Mota Gallardo

Hortense Mota Gallardo  

World War II

By Alicia Downard

When Hortense Mota Gallardo recalls her childhood growing up in Depression-era San Antonio, Texas, she remembers the generosity of her father, Bartollo Mota, and how he not only provided for his own family, but for...

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Drs. Joanne Rao & Mario Sanchez

Reynaldo Perez Gallardo

Reynaldo Perez Gallardo (second from right) poses with other member sof the Mexican Fighter squadron in 1945.  

World War II

By Lucy Guevara

As the son of a Mexican Army general and an aficionado of airplanes since childhood, Reynaldo Perez Gallardo was a perfect candidate to join Mexico's Fighter Squadron 201, the only combat unit from that country to...

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Lucy Guevara

Elena Peña Gallego

Elena Peña Gallego  

World War II

By Lindsay Peyton

While scores of Latinos valiantly served their country amid discrimination during World War II, many -- such as Elena Gallego of Fort Stockton, Texas -- fought social battles on the homefront.

The wife of a WWII...

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Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez

Pete A. Gallego

Pete A. Gallego  

World War II

By Leslie McLain

When Pete A. Gallego returned from World War II after having helped changed the course of history, he found his hometown hadn’t undergone such dramatic transformation. Instead, the population in Alpine, Texas, had...

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Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez

Cipriano Gamez

 

World War II

By Ashley Tompkins

Cipriano Gamez contends he "never did anything outstanding," but many would disagree. His actions speak for themselves and for the thousands of other men who served in World War II.

Born in Belmont, Iowa, in 1922...

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William Luna

Esteban R. Garcia

Esteban R. Garcia  

World War II

By Kristin Stanford

While still a teenager, Esteban R. "Steve" Garcia learned firsthand that destroyers -- unlike nerves or stomachs -- are made of nearly impervious steel.

As waves incessantly pounded the sides of the four-stacker...

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Liza Moreno

Ricardo Garcia

Ricardo Garcia  

World War II

By Caitlynn Taylor

“It was the worst thing to happen,” Ricardo Garcia said of his time in the 5th Marine Division in Okinawa.

Garcia spent 10 days on the front lines, waiting in the daylight and fighting and surviving bombings at...

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Raquel C. Garza

Arnold Feliu Garcia

Arnold Feliu Garcia  

World War II

Arnold Feliu Garcia was born in San German, Puerto Rico, on Oct. 19, 1911, to Andres Garcia Lopez and Celia Feliu Servera. As a boy in Puerto Rico, he met and fell in love with Tomasita “Tommi” Ribas of Ponce. They soon parted, however, as he,...

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Ted Bridis

José Blas García

Jose Blas Garcia  

World War II

By Doralis Perez-Soto

In December 1941, 18-year-old José Blas García traveled from his neighborhood of Trastalleres, an area among the swamps and mangrove trees near Caño de Martín Peña in Santurce, Puerto Rico, with four friends to...

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Doralis Perez-Soto

Saragosa Garcia

Saragosa Garcia  

World War II

By Sierra Brasher

Saragosa A. Garcia always marched to the beat of a different drum.

And his ability to play music, to change the tempo of his life, along with the assurance from carrying a treasured Holy Bible and his mother's...

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Elizabeth Ruiz Garcia

Willie Garcia husband of Elizabeth Garcia was stationed in North Africa before being sent to Italy.May, 1944.  

World War II

By Hannah McIntyre

Elizabeth Garcia, who stayed home and worked while her husband was away serving in World War II, feels that the best career she could have is helping others.

Garcia has spent her life working to take care of other...

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Hannah McIntyre

Narciso Garcia

Portrait of Narciso Garcia.  

World War II

By Scott Reister

To become an Air Cadet in the Army's World War II training program, one had to display physical and mental superiority. Cadets had to be the best of the best, and follow a path of intense training in preparation for...

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Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez

Willie C. Garcia

Willie Garcia in Austin, TX, honored as a vet of WWII in 2000.  

World War II

By Hannah McIntyre

Like many World War II veterans, Willie Garcia married his bride right before shipping out of town to prepare for overseas combat.

In 1944, Marfa, Texas, native Garcia met Elizabeth Ruiz while stationed...

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Katie Woody

Abelardo Garcia

Abelardo Garcia  

World War II

By Nikki Stanko

Rocking back and forth in a squeaky computer chair, hands folded in his lap, Abelardo Garcia chuckled as he relived having played match-maker for his fellow Army soldiers in a quaint beer hall in Czechoslovakia in...

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Raquel C. Garza

Gilbert Garcia

Gilbert Garcia  

World War II

By Meridith Kohut

There were ways to battle tedium in the long stretches at sea: poker games, movie nights and dishes of ice cream. But for Gilbert Garcia of Houston, Texas, it was mostly the poker winnings he relished.

At sea, Garcia...

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Teodoro Garcia

Teodoro Garcia  

World War II

By IRMA GARCIA

Teodoro Garcia grew up poor in Presidio, Texas, a small border town, during the Great Depression. To relieve the family's burden, he left home in Clovis, N.M., to live with his grandmother in Presidio. Garcia only reached...

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Ray Atencio

Carmen García-Rosado

Carmen Garcia-Rosado  

World War II

By Eduardo Miranda, California State University, Fullerton

While World War II was underway thousands of miles away, Carmen García Rosado, a young schoolteacher...

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Manuel Aviles-Santiago

Jose Guadalupe Garza

Jose Guadalupe Garza  

World War II

By Liliana Martinez

When Jose Guadalupe Garza was in the 9th grade in Brownsville, Texas, in 1937, his Anglo teacher asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up.

"I told her I wanted to be a lawyer, but she told me that I wanted to...

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Ms. Vanesa Salinas

Alejandro Paiz Garza

Alejandro Paiz Garza  

World War II

By Cheryl Smith Kemp

When Alejandro P. Garza got called up for the war, he was working in a Houston shipyard as a welder. Garza was 18, and, the year before, had dropped out of A.C. Jones High School in his hometown of Beeville, Texas, to...

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Martin Montez

Guadalupe I. Garza

Guadalupe I. Garza  

World War II

By Melanie Jarrett

By the time World War II ended, Guadalupe Garza had traveled hostile roads through French Morocco, Spanish Morocco, Algiers, Tunisia, Sicily, Italy, Gibraltar, Scotland, England, France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany and...

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Domingo Marquez

Moises Garza

Moises Garza  

World War II

By Joanna Watson

Although Joel Hernandez enlisted in the Army only because he couldn't find a job, he looks back on his military service as a blessing that enabled him to lead a fulfilling life.

The son of Mexican Revolution veteran...

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Yudith Vargas

Luis R. Garza

Luis R. Garza  

World War II

By Hason Halpert

For Air Force Gunner Luis Garza, the worst thing that could have happened to him during World War II occurred before he even got overseas.

“While we were waiting [to go overseas], my mother got a notice that my...

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Raquel C. Garza