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

Carlos Pena

 

World War II

By Melissa Watkins

Carlos Peña's mother, Natividad, used to say the only time Anglos came around their little farm near San Benito, Texas, was when they needed another...

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Rick Leal

Eduardo Peniche

Eduardo Piniche,75 yrs old.  

World War II

By Fernando Dovalina

Even though he stands only five feet five, Ed Peniche must be one of the tallest men in the world. Every time this son of Mexico has been challenged in life, he has measured up – and then some.

He measured up as...

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Fernando Dovalina

Manuel P. Perez

 

World War II

By Jared Hill

Manuel Perez was one of the hundreds of thousands of Latino citizens forced by way of selective service to join the military after the United States joined World War II following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. And just like many...

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Raquel C. Garza

Pedro Perez

Pedro Perez  

World War II

By Suzanne Hanshaw

It was the afternoon of April 30, 1945, on the Philippine island of Luzon. The first scout of the attacking squad had been shot and Pedro Perez volunteered to rescue him in a hail of machine-gun fire. Even after Perez...

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Robert Hernandez

Manuel Sierra Pérez

Manuel Sierra Pérez  

World War II

By Brenda Menchaca

Manuel Sierra Pérez sits on a chair at a desk cluttered with photographs of his children at a young age and a University of Texas coffee mug, among other items.

“I have everything on the desk. I don’t even have to...

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Ester Arredondo Perez

Ester Arredondo Perez  

World War II

By Whitney Mizer

Eighty-two-year-old San Antonio resident Ester Arredondo Perez always worked hard to accomplish her goals, whether they were traveling the world or becoming the first Latino high school graduate in Fort Bend County, Texas...

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Erika Martinez

Manuel Perez, Jr.

Manuel Perez, Jr.  

World War II

Twenty-two-year-old Manuel Pérez, Jr. was killed in action on March 14, 1945, on the road to Santo Tomas in Southern Luzon in the Philippine Islands.

Private First Class Pérez served as a paratrooper in the 11th Air Borne Infantry Division...

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Carmen Romero Phillips

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

World War II

By Rachel Howell

In late December, 1943, the United States had been fighting in World War II for more than two years, but for one Tucson nurse, the war was a brand new experience: that's when Carmen Romero, now Phillips, joined the Army...

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Delia Esparza

Miguel Pineda

Miguel Pineda  

World War II

By Sandra Ibarra

Miguel Pineda recalls Gen. Douglas MacArthur trying to inspire him and the other inexperienced soldiers upon their arrival in Brisbane, Australia. Pineda, 21 at the time, remembers MacArthur saying: "You kill him or he'll...

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Sandra Ibarra

Albino Pineda

 

World War II

By Claire Carroll

“Pinda!” a corporal yelled.

The young Mexican American soldier stood quietly in line. He did not address the corporal or any of his peers.

“Pinda!” the corporal bellowed out once more.

The young soldier...

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Laura Barberena

Concepcion Pompa

Concepcion Pompa  

World War II

By Mark Lavergne

Donning a green flight jacket and a black hat emblazoned in gold capital letters with the words "Purple Heart," 78-year-old Concepción Pompa looks like a retired man able to indulge in his memories.

But that relaxed...

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Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez

Raul Portales

 

World War II

By Jordan D. Schraeder

Working at Dodson’s Grocery in 1943, Raul “Roy” Portales dreamed of sailing the high seas. That year, the San Antonio native found a way to make that dream a reality: enlistment in the U.S. Navy. After...

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Patricia Portales

Emilio Portales

 

World War II

By Trent Lesikar

“All those bullets and none of them had my name on it,” Emilio Portales said with a laugh. Portales saw action on the front lines of U.S. Army campaigns in North Africa, Sicily, France and Germany during World War II. He...

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Edward Lopez Prado

Bertha and Edward Prado on their Wedding Day, Dec. 9, 1942.  

World War II

By Ruben Ali Flores

The bombing was over, the beach secured. Edward Lopez Prado watched as the waves rolled over the body of a fallen soldier.

It was Sept. 15, 1943, the day after the Salerno invasion on Italy. Salerno was...

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Ruben Ali Flores

Pedro Prado

Portrait of Pedro Prado, 1998.  

World War II

By Gabriel A. Manzano, Jr.

Pete Prado recognizes the brutality and inhumanity of war. But he also knows that because of his experiences during World War II and because of the GI benefits that resulted, his life and the lives of his three...

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Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez

Manuel Provencio

Manuel Provencio  

World War II

By Cheryl Smith

Much like the proverbial elder who trudged long distances to school in the snow, wind and rain, Manuel Provencio trekked a couple of miles a day from school to his uncle Juan Galceran's shoe repair shop, where he pulled in a...

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Robert Rivas

Juan Provencio

Juan Provencio - Voces Oral History Project  

World War II

By Alex Cannon

When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, Juan Provencio knew what he had to do. As the war overseas had worsened, his father, Manuel, an immigrant from Mexico, had told his sons: "...

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Robert Rivas

Bernarda Lazcano Quintana

 

World War II

By Yazmin Lazcano

As a young girl, Bernarda Quintana and her brothers and sister carried heavy buckets of water to their father, who mixed straw and adobe to create their home in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. When Quintana was 12, her father was...

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Carlos Carrillo Quintana

Carlos Carrillo Quintana  

World War II

By Yazmin Lazcano

There was once a possibility that Carlos Quintana would never be able to tell his own story. Wounds suffered in battle on the Pacific island of Saipan during World War II left him hardly able to speak or eat properly for...

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Rene Zambrano

Fortino S Quintana

Fortino S Quintana  

World War II

Fortino S. Quintana's dream was to be a pilot for the Air Force. Quintana's dream was never realized, however, due to ear problems later attributed to a tumor.

Since he couldn't fly, he did the next best thing: repairing and maintained...

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Ernest Quiroga

 

World War II

By Melissa Drosjack

As an Army entertainer, Ernie Quiroga had a very special audience during World War II – people liberated from concentration camps.

"I entertained persons that were in concentration camps and I always wondered why...

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William Luna

Virginia Tellez Ramirez

Virginia Tellez Ramirez  

World War II

By David Vauthrin

In October of 1945, Virginia Tellez Ramirez was at work at Levy's Department Store in downtown Tucson, Ariz., when she got some important news: Her brother Henry, who was captured at Corregidor in the Philippines, was...

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Violeta Dominguez

Jose Ramirez

Jose Ramirez,Jr.  

World War II

By Monica Jean Alaniz

Jose Ramirez, Jr. is a man who holds his friends and family close to heart. One can hear the pride in his voice when he speaks of them; it doesn’t matter if they are part of his past or present. Ramirez looks back on...

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Monica Jean Alaniz

Maria Ramirez

Cora Ramirez with her husband Conrado at their home in El Paso, Texas on January 24, 2008.  

World War II

By Luther Xue

By the time President John F. Kennedy urged his fellow Americans in 1961: “Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country,” Maria “Cora” Ramirez already had been helping for 21 years.

...

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Drs. Joanne Rao & Mario Sanchez

Joseph P. Ramirez

 

World War II

By Cheryl Smith Kemp

Joseph Ramirez turned the Army down when officers tried to keep him on at the end of 1945, asking him to serve six more months in World War II, at the promised rank of Sergeant.

Ramirez wanted to go home.

...

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William Luna

Conrado Ramirez

 

World War II

By Jeff Heimsath

Conrado P. Ramirez said that having served in World War II opened many doors for him and many other Latinos.

"We had the opportunity to go to college," Ramirez said. "We saw other parts of the world than just Alpine...

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Drs. Joanne Rao & Mario Sanchez

Adolfo Roberto Ramirez

Adolfo Roberto Ramirez  

World War II

By David M. Ramirez

On June 6, 1944, Staff Sergeant Adolfo Roberto “Rusty” Ramirez was a member of the largest invasion force in all of recorded history. He was assigned to the 29th Infantry Division, 116th Regimental Combat Team’s 121st...

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David M Ramirez

Ruben Robert Ramos

 

World War II

By Laura Clark

At 5 o’clock on the morning on July 4, 1944, Ruben Ramos stood on the deck of the USS Denver and watched three squadrons of Navy Hellcat fighters take off from a nearby aircraft carrier to attack the airfields on the heavily...

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Jose Figueroa

Ramiro Ramos

Ramiro Ramos  

World War II

By Brandon Fried

Ramiro Ramos has spent much of his life just trying to get by.

Raised near the Texas-Mexico border, in the town of Salineno, Ramos was one of seven children born to Rita and Esteban Ramos in the early 1920s. He...

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Raquel C. Garza

Isidro Ramos

Isidro Ramos  

World War II

By Rachel Vallejo

As his unit hit the beaches of Guadalcanal, a small island in the South Pacific, 18-year-old Isidro Ramos witnessed for the first time the bloody price of war: dump trucks full of Marines’ bodies “stacked up like wood,”...

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Alberto Rede

 

World War II

By Barrett Williams

Flying at full speed above Australia in a C-47 during WWII, radioman Alberto Rede heard bullets ripping through the plane, followed by a sputtering engine.

His mind raced: If power to the engines is lost, the...

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Robert Rivas

Adolfo Vega Reyes

 

World War II

By Zachary Warmbrodt

Around March of 1921, Anita Vega Reyes and her three young boys were on the run. Her husband, Pedro Reyes, had owned a mine in their hometown of Cananea, Sonora, and he was getting too political, his youngest son Adolfo...

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Steven Rosales

Frances Correa Reyes

 

World War II

By Danielle WIlson

Frances Reyes has understood the inherently difficult nature of life since childhood. Raised in the late 1920s, she and her family could only afford to buy beans and rice consistently at the neighborhood store. They...

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María Elisa Reyes Rodríguez

Maria Elisa Reyes Rodriguez - Voces Oral History Project  

World War II

By Cheryl Smith

Seventy-seven-year-old María Elisa Reyes Rodriguez isn’t shy about opening her mouth when something's not right. As a Mexican American woman and former employee of the United States Civil Service, she has developed strong...

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Ryan Bauer

Antonio Rico

Antonio Rico  

World War II

By Brandi Richey

If it wasn't for ice cream, Antonio Rico's experience in the Navy during World War II might have been even more tedious. Stationed in Guam in 1945, Rico remembers the long hours pulling guard duty on the island.

"...

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Reginald Rios

Reginald Rios (second row, first on left) and the 79th Infantry Division, 6th Section Cannon Company.  

World War II

By Chris Nay

Infantryman Reginald Rios watched helplessly in December of 1944 as two fellow Americans fell to enemy fire while U.S. Sherman tanks faced off against German Panzers in northern France.

His only thought: to survive....

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Christopher Nay

José A. Rivera

 

World War II

By Melissa Ayala

A devastating bomb on the other side of the Pacific Ocean and, the war was over for Jose Rivera and the rest of the world.

When the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, destroying that...

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Doralis Perez Soto

Manuel Robles

Manuel Robles  

World War II

By May-Ying Lam

Manuel Robles, an 85-year-old World War II veteran, grasps a gold- and black-edged frame with steady fingers. In the center is a faded black and white photograph with a beaming young soldier frozen in time.

Robles...

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Jose Figueroa

Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez  

World War II

As a little boy, Alex Rodriguez, Jr. never understood why so many people who know his father, Alex Rodriguez, treated him with the utmost respect.

Later in life, while reading his father’s accounts as an infantryman in the European Theater...

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Raul Rios Rodriguez

Raul Rios Rodriguez  

World War II

By D'Arcy Kerschen

Life wasn't easy for Raul Rios-Rodriguez, who grew up on the mean streets of New York City throughout most of World War II. You had to fight for respect to survive, he says, and he learned that lesson at 14 upon...

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Paul Harrigan

Anastacio Tavarez Rodriguez

 

World War II

By Rebecca Fontenot

Anastacio Rodriguez spent four weeks in Cheyenne, Wyo., training with the Army for World War II, but he didn’t need to be taught how to roll with the punches. Rodriguez had been taking hardship in stride since he was a...

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Pedro Reynoso

Cruz M. Rodriguez

Cruz M. Rodriguez  

World War II

By Marjon Rostami

One day Cruz Rodriguez was picking corn and tomatoes on a farm outside of Chicago; the next day, the undocumented Mexican immigrant was preparing to go to war.

"They [the U.S. Army] didn't care if you were legal or...

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William Luna

Eriberto G Rodriguez

Portrait of Eriberto G. Rodriguez who served with the 349th Regiment of the 88th Division in Italy.  

World War II

By Janet Herrgesell

For Eriberto Rodriguez, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor provided ample motivation to fight in World War II.

Rodriguez was a teenager on Dec. 7, 1941 when he heard about the bombing.

"Everybody was talking...

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Liliana Rodriguez

Armando Miguel Rodriguez

Armando Miguel Rodriguez - Voces Oral History Project  

World War II

By Heather Anne Watkins

Dr. Armando Rodriguez knows what it's like to be oppressed, but with a strong will he rose to the top and is living a long, happy life. Immigrating to the U.S. from Mexico when he was six years old, growing up in a...

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Rene Zambrano

Benito L. Rodriguez

Portrait of Benito L. Rodriguez.  

World War II

By Andria Infante

Benito L. Rodriguez served 20 years in the service and doesn't regret a single second.

Rodriguez went in willingly, volunteering to serve his country; in the course of his tour of duty, he risked his life and was...

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Andria Infante

Alfonso Rodriguez

Alfonso Rodriguez  

World War II

By Alyssa Green

After dropping out of high school in 1940, Alfonso Rodriguez found himself doing what he considered menial jobs -- sweeping floors, working in a grocery store, hauling garbage and selling newspapers.

Rodriguez...

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Andres Romero

Henry Rodriguez

Henry Rodriguez  

World War II

By Hope Teel

Out of work with eight mouths to feed, Henry Rodriguez’s family left California in the early 1930s during the beginning of the Great Depression.

For Rodriguez, the family’s youngest member, the trip marked his first...

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Ronald Rodriguez

Julia Rodriguez Aguillon

Julia Rodriguez Aguillon  

World War II

By Yolanda Urrabazo

Julia Rodriguez Aguillon first knew tragedy when she was 10 years old, when her father passed away due to cirrhosis of the liver. Later, as an adult, she’d feel a deeper sorrow when she had a stillborn baby and, much...

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Yolanda Urrabazo

Virgilio G. Roel

Virgilio G. Roel  

World War II

By Stacy Nelson

Post-World War II brought what Virgilio G. Roel termed "The Golden Era" for Mexican Americans.

"With the GI Bill, for the first time in the history of our country, and our ethnic experience, Mexican Americans had...

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Stacy Nelson

Antonio Rojo

Antonio Rojo was interviewed by the Voces Oral History Project at his home in Alpine, TX on August 3, 2010. [Michelle J Lojewski/Voces Oral History Project]  

World War II

By Bryce Pohlmeyer

A trip to Alaska can be conjured from the comfort of a faded brown recliner and the churning of boat propellers almost can be heard from an Alpine, Texas, living room.

Those memories are cherished by Antonio Rojo...

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Liliana Rodriguez