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

Estella Zaragoza Hernandez

Estela Hernandez was interviewed by the Voces Oral History Project at the Hazard Park Armory in Los Angeles, CA on June 7, 2010.  

World War II

By Ashley Nelcy Garcia

For Estella Zaragoza Hernandez, working in the fields under the sizzling California sun as a young girl was not much more than a child’s game.

It was part of her life, growing up as the youngest of six children...

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Valerie Martinez

John S Hernandez

John Hernandez (left)  

World War II

By Allison Harris

Even at almost 90 years old, World War II veteran John S. Hernandez can recall the challenges facing him on his first day of kindergarten at Belvedere Elementary School in Los Angeles.

"My mother couldn't speak...

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Nicole Cruz

Agustin Louis Hernandez

Agustin Louis Hernandez  

World War II

By Connor Higgins

Agusti¬n Louis Hernandez's life has been one of service: to his country as an engineer/gunner on a B-24, to his community as a firefighter and lawman for 37 years, and to his family as a husband and father.

And as a...

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Mr. Paul Rodriguez Zepeda

Emma Villareal Hernandez

Emma Villareal Hernandez  

World War II

By Adrienne M. Cody

One needn't go further than Emma Hernandez’s own family, well-known in their community of Pharr, Texas, for their humanitarian efforts, to understand why she has devoted her life to civic service.

Hernandez’s...

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Gary Villereal

Alfred J. Hernandez

Alfred J. Hernandez  

World War II

By Benjamin Smith

After serving his time in the Army and tasting equality in various parts of the country and world, Alfred J. Hernandez wanted nothing more than to leave the city he’d later change.

As a soldier, Hernandez had...

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Ernesto Hernando

Ernesto Hernando  

World War II

By Rachel Vallejo

As the Enola Gay took off from the island of Tinian to drop the first atomic bomb over Hiroshima, Ernesto Hernando waited alongside his fellow servicemen to hear about the destruction.

According to the Navy’s online...

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Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez

Jesus Herrera

Jesus Herrera  

World War II

By Jennifer Lindgren

Jesus Herrera risked his life as a Navy corpsman in Okinawa in May of 1945, assisting wounded soldiers under heavy enemy fire and, twice, rescuing hurt Marines and helping them to safety – while still under fire....

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Jane O’Brien

Tony Holguin

 

World War II

By Jason Weddle

Tony Holguin would rather talk about golf than about the time he spent as a soldier in the Army during World War II. He even says he might very well have been the Tiger Woods of his day.

To Holguin’s credit, there...

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William Luna

Alfred Hurtado

Alfred Hurtado  

World War II

By Cara Seo, California State University, Fullerton

If anyone deserves to be called an American war hero it's Alfred Hurtado.

He survived the Normandy Invasion as well as the Battle of the Bulge and received 11 medals, including the...

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Joseph Padilla

Ed Idar

Portrait of Ed Idar.  

World War II, Political & Civic Engagement

By Liliana Martinez

When Ed Idar was a teenager living in Buenos Aires, a neighborhood in Laredo, Texas, he never thought he’d volunteer as a civilian for Station X in England, and go to India and China while in the Army.

"I came to...

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Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez

Francisco Xavier Jacques

 

World War II

By Hiram Jacques

When he attempted to join the military after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, Francisco “Frank” Xavier Jacques of the West Texas town of Sweetwater was turned away because of his lack of education; he’d only been to the...

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Joe Jaime

Joe Jaime  

World War II

By Ryan Martinez

After a childhood spent dealing with discrimination in a small Kansas City-area community, Joe Jaime figured once drafted in 1942 into the Army, he’d finally get the chance to earn his American citizenship and ease the...

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Mary Sanchez

Joe Ramirez Jasso

Joe Ramirez Jasso - Voces Oral History Project  

World War II

By Tony Cantú

Among his siblings, four of whom would join him in the war effort, Jose Ramirez "Joe" Jasso is remembered as el cabezudo, the hard-headed one of the bunch, always getting into trouble as a youth.

Jasso had grown...

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Mrs. Evelyn Jasso-Garcia

Jesus Jasso

 

World War II

Mexican immigrants Antonio Jasso and Genoveva Ramirez Jasso, who picked cotton in South Texas, would see five of their sons go off to war.

Their granddaughter, Evelyn Jasso Garcia, set out to record their story, and that of her...

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Francisco Jasso

 

World War II

Mexican immigrants Antonio Jasso and Genoveva Ramirez Jasso, who picked cotton in South Texas, would see five of their sons go off to war.

Their granddaughter, Evelyn Jasso Garcia, set out to record their story, and that of her...

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Trinidad Jasso

 

World War II

Mexican immigrants Antonio Jasso and Genoveva Ramirez Jasso, who picked cotton in South Texas, would see five of their sons go off to war.

Their granddaughter, Evelyn Jasso Garcia, set out to record their story, and that of her...

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Tomas Jasso

 

World War II

Mexican immigrants Antonio Jasso and Genoveva Ramirez Jasso, who picked cotton in South Texas, would see five of their sons go off to war.

Their granddaughter, Evelyn Jasso Garcia, set out to record their story, and that of her...

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Antonio R. Jasso

 

World War II

Mexican immigrants Antonio Jasso and Genoveva Ramirez Jasso, who picked cotton in South Texas, would see five of their sons go off to war.

Their granddaughter, Evelyn Jasso Garcia, set out to record their story, and that of her...

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Antonio Jasso

Antonio Jasso  

World War II

By Sarah Culler

Antonio Jasso wanted to make sure no one considered him a war hero.

“I didn’t see no war … I’m not gonna take credit or say that I saw action. I didn’t. I was, thanks to God, a cook in the Navy. I had it made in...

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Mr. John Jasso

Julius V. Joseph

Julius Joesph (left closest to camera)and his unit at Camp Bullas in San Antonio, TX in 1941.  

World War II

By Jacob Collazo

At the onset of the Korean War in 1952, Julius V. Joseph, a veteran of World War I and II called his local recruiting office to volunteer his service. The recruiter asked Joseph if he had ever served in the military,...

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Jacob Collazo

Anastacio Juarez

 

World War II

By Juan de la Cruz

As the only Mexican American in his troop, Anastacio Perez Juarez experienced problems not normally encountered by other soldiers.

Because of his limited English, even the simplest commands -- forward, march, halt,...

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Alicia Perez

Ruperto Soto Juarez

Ruperto S. Juarez, 1950 in San Diego.  

World War II

By Amanda Crane

Ruperto Soto Juarez, of Norwalk, Ca., has not had an easy life: he was orphaned as an adolescent; he quit school as a child, he fibbed about his age in order to join the Navy and serve his country in WWII. He has been a...

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Valerie Talavera-Bustillos

Manuel Juarez

Manuel Juarez  

World War II

By Cheryl Smith Kemp

When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, 14-year-old Manuel Juarez was raring to go.

“I had been keeping up with the war in Europe, so I was more or less aware of what was going on,” recalled Juarez...

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George Dobosh

Rafaela Navarro Juarez

 

World War II

By Rebecca De Leon

At the age of 18, Rafaela Navarro’s faith was tested. In 1942, her soon-to-be husband, Anastacio Juarez, was called to fight in World War II, leaving her and his family to fret about his safety.

Anastacio’s cousin...

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Julio C. Ovando

Beatrice Amado Kissinger

Beatrice Amado Kissinger (left) and Carmen Romero Phillips (right) - Voces Oral History Project  

World War II

By Amanda Traphagan

World War II gave Beatrice Amado Kissinger a ticket out of her small-town life in southern Arizona and into the big city adventure of serving as a Navy nurse in San Francisco.

When the United States entered the...

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Ernesto Portillo

Alfonso Lara

Alfonso Lara  

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

Joe Henry Lazarine

Joe Henry Lazarine  

World War II

By Cheryl Smith Kemp

Joe Henry Lazarine’s interview is more of a conversation between two old friends than a question and answer session. After all, Lazarine was raised in Beeville, and so was interviewer Eloy Rodriguez, the son of one of...

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Eloy Rodriguez

Josephine Kelly Ledesma Walker

Josephine Ledesma teaches a soldier how to repair the fuselage of an airplane at Randolph Field, San Antonio, TX on Jan.1942.  

World War II

By Monica Rivera

When she was being trained as an airplane mechanic in the 1940s, Josephine Ledesma was the only woman in her training group. Later, as an airplane mechanic at Bergstrom Air Field, she was one of three women out of her...

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Monica Rivera

Salvador S Leon

Salvador S Leon  

World War II

By Melanie Boehm

Salvador León had a choice during World War II: either take the automatic deferment provided for a family's last son not in the military, or serve his country.

Salvador went anyway.

"My mom said, 'This country...

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Ismael Martinez

Joe G. Lerma

Portrait of Joe G. Lerma.  

World War II

By Chris Nay

Even before arriving at the European concentration camps in 1945, Joe Lerma of San Diego and his division could smell the dead.

"The sight and smell of human death is terrible," he said.

His division's job was to...

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Rene Zambrano

Leon Leura

Leon\Jack\"Leura after basic training in Sharon, PA in Dec. 1942."  

World War II

By ISMAEL MARTINEZ

In the beginning of 1944, 22-year-old Tech. Pvt. Leon "Jack" Leura was among the American troops able to cross the raging Rapido River, and help gain control of Italy. That summer, a wounded Leura would be taken prisoner...

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Frank O. Sotomayor

Robert Leyva

Robert Leyva  

World War II

By Andrea R. Williams

In the midst of conflict, Robert Leyva sometimes would think the enemy troops killed in World War II could have been among his friends in another time and place. This kind of love of mankind is a mainstay in Leyva's...

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Andrea Williams

Luis Leyva

Luis Leyva  

World War II

By Monica Flores

Feeling like a full-fledged American despite lacking a U.S. birth certificate, Luis Leyva never let his Mexican citizenship status affect his dedication to his adopted homeland.

Born to Mexican parents Guadalupe...

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Mary Alice Carnes

Felix Longoria

Felix Longoria  

World War II

By Ashlyn Shadden

When Felix Longoria enlisted in the Army in October of 1940 as a 20‐year‐old from the South Texas town of Beeville, he had no idea what he was getting into.

Four years later, the United States was in the midst of...

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Oscar Gomez

Quirino Longoria

Quirino Longoria  

World War II

By Laura Carroll

Quirino Longoria recalls joining the long Navy tradition of being initiated – or, according to some, hazed – a “Shellback” upon his virgin crossing of the Equator in 1945. New seamen are designated “Polliwogs” until they...

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Elizabeth Fisanick

Heriberto Longoria

Heriberto Longoria, Sr. at is home in McAllen, TX during his interview with the U.S. Latino and Latina World War II Oral History Project.  

World War II

by Minette Hernandez

MCALLEN, Texas -- Ask Heriberto Longoria, Sr. about the license plate on his 1996 Mercury Grand Marquis, and he will proudly tell you the piece of metal, which displays a Purple Heart, cost him only three dollars. To...

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Minette Hernandez

Erasmo G. Lopez

Erasmo G. Lopez  

World War II

By Cheryl Smith Kemp

Erasmo G. Lopez spent a good chunk of his twenties on the front lines of battle, both in World War II and the Korean War.

Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Lopez was drafted into the Army in 1942 at the...

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Crecencio Lopez

Crecencio Lopez  

World War II

By Nicole Dreyer

As a ranch hand, Cresencio Lopez didn't get much news about what was happening overseas in World War II. Some neighbors and his cousin had been drafted, and it was hard to get information from them. Later, when Lopez was...

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Brian Lucero

Jose M. Lopez

Jose M. Lopez  

World War II

By Ernie Carrido

Jose M. Lopez is one of the 12 Latino World War II veterans to have received the Congressional Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military accolade. He had a difficult childhood, but maintained a fervent belief in the...

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Manuel Medrano

Anthony Duane Lopez

Anthony Duane Lopez  

World War II

By Anjli Mehta

Looking back on his childhood, Anthony D. Lopez chuckled to himself and said, “Yeah, I was a runaround kid.” Maybe it was all that running around that got him through years of combat leading up to the liberation of the...

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Henry Velez

Gilbert Lopez

Gilbert Lopez  

World War II

By Ismael Martinez

Gilbert Lopez was born Sept. 30, 1919, in Azusa, northeast of Los Angeles. His father, Victorio Jose Lopez, worked for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) as a stonemason. Lopez' mother, Dephene Lopez, was a homemaker...

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Jack Steingart

Elvira Orta Pardo Lopez

 

World War II

By Karina Valenzuela

Elvira Orta Pardo Lopez's memories of World War II revolve around her brother, Apolonio “Polo” Pardo, Jr., whom she describes as a quiet and serious man.

Polo got as far as the fifth grade before quitting to work...

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Joe V. Lopez

Joe V. Lopez  

World War II

By Ronnie Zamora

Joe Lopez can recall a time when serving in the military was the furthest thing from his mind. The idea of firing a rifle at an enemy was only a part of the childhood games he used to play with his brothers.

Lopez...

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Steven Rosales

Severo Paul Lopez

Severo Lopez was interviewed by the Voces Oral History Project on Thursday, January 6, 2011 at the Community Settlement Association of Riverside in Riverside, California. (©2011 Voces Oral History Project / Marc Hamel)  

World War II

By Sonia Alvarez and Joe Muller

Due to his father's career as a casting agent and magazine entertainment writer, Severo Lopez always held a special place in his...

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Frank Sotomayor

Eliceo Lopez

Eliseo Lopez (right) and fellow soldier Sortorio stand against the backdrop of the jungle in Bouganville, 1944.  

World War II

By Kimberly Tilley

On the walls of a small, comfortable East Austin residence, family photographs fill the house. A framed photo of a beaming couple sits on the mantle, and an adjacent bedroom contains a small altar with a photo,...

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Kimberly Tilley

Jose Angel Lopez

 

World War II

By Ayesha Mirza

Jose Angel Lopez saw myriad battlegrounds while braving the frontlines across France, Belgium and Germany in World War II.

His tales of loss and heroism are as abundant as the grains of sand on the Normandy coast. He...

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Rea Ann Trotter

Genaro V Lopez

Genaro Lopez  

World War II

By Simon Wagner, St. Bonaventure University

World War II "actually made a man out of me," Genaro V. Lopez told his son, Genaro, during their father-to-son interview for the Voces Oral History Project.

Born April 8, 1925, in...

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Mr. Genaro C. Lopez

Vicenta Sanchez Lopez

Vicenta Sánchez-López  

World War II

By Mary Mejia

In 1938, Vicenta Sanchez Lopez became the first Mexican American woman to graduate from her high school in her predominantly Anglo home town of Sonora, Texas, about 200 miles west of Austin. Just one year earlier, the first...

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Taylor Peterson

Felix Angel Lopez - Santos

Felix Angel Lopez - Santos  

World War II

By Juan de la Cruz

Felix López-Santos's early memories of his native Puerto Rico include watching everything float away from his front porch during the big San Felipe storm of 1928. After his Barrio Ceiba was washed away, his family moved...

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Doralis Perez-Soto

David Loredo

David Loredo  

World War II

By Emma Graves Fitzsimmons

When David Loredo was shot in the stomach in the hills of the Philippines during World War II, his first thought was he’d never see his mother again.

"I remember standing there in a daze," Loredo said. "I...

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