Tag Archives: 389th Bomb Group

Conversations with Strangers – An Oral History Project

In October 2008, a series of interviews were conducted by students from Norwich University College of the Arts (NUCA) with 2nd Air Division, United States Army Air Force veterans who were stationed in Norfolk during World War Two. The interviews were filmed in Dallas, Texas, during the 61st annual convention of the 2nd Air Division Association.

NUCA in Dallas

NUCA students in Dallas, TX (2008)

Recently added to our YouTube Channel, the students recorded interviews with:

Frank and Robert Birmingham (458th Bomb Group) (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3)

William and Betty Berry (Bill served with 389th and 93rd Bomb Groups) (Part 1)

Ray Lemons (445th Bomb Group) (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3)

Robert (Lee) Swofford (445th Bomb Group) (Part 1) (Part 2)

Jack Dyson (445th Bomb Group) (Part 1) (Part 2)

Jack Kingsbery (458th Bomb Group) (Part 1)

Oak Mackey (392nd Bomb Group) (Part 1) (Part 2)

Dale Dyer (458th Bomb Group) (Part 1) (Part 2)

Herb Schwartz (445th Bomb Group) (Part 1) (Part 2)

James H McClain (389th Bomb Group) (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3)

(The above list contains all the links for each portion of the interviews found on YouTube)

This oral history project set out to capture the experiences of both 2nd Air Division (USAAF) veterans and the people of East Anglia during Word War Two, by gathering oral histories from USA veterans and also their “UK friends” attending the 2nd Air Division Association Convention.

The project generated a short 5 minute film ‘Conversations with Strangers’ for use by schools and young people for raising awareness of the contribution made by American airmen (and women) to the 2nd World War and the impact their presence had on the local community while highlighting the continuing “special relationship” between the people of East Anglia, and the people of the United States.

The 2nd Air Division Memorial Library gratefully acknowledge the funding received from the US Embassy in London, which enabled the students to travel to and attend the 2nd Air Division Association Convention in Dallas.

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Killed in Action : The Story of Robert Holly

Come and meet the author on Saturday 11th October, from 12 – 2pm in the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library at the Forum, Norwich.

On Saturday 11th October we’re pleased welcome the author David Kohler to the Memorial Library. David will be signing copies of his new book in the library from 12 to 2pm. Available to purchase at £10.00 per copy.

Killed in Action (small)

Like millions of young men, Robert Holly went away to war and was lost — never to be found…

This book tells the story of a young American airman, Robert Holly, whose life was tragically ended on 20th June 1944 when the B-24 Liberator aircraft of which he was a crew member, collided with another aircraft and crashed into the sea near Kiel in Germany. Staff Sergeant Robert Holly was a tail gunner serving with the 389th Bomb Group, United States 8th Army Air Force, based at Hethel in Norfolk during World War Two.

Only the pilot First Lieutenant William Powers and co-pilot Second Lieutenant Oscar Boudreaux survived the crash. All the remaining 8 crew members, including Robert, were killed in the crash, and are commemorated on the Wall of the Missing at the Cambridge American Cemetery, Madingley.

Robert was born and raised in northwest Indiana. He was a typical American youth and when in time of war his country called, he answered. This is the compelling story of his short life and tragic death as seen through his own eyes, and the eyes of others close to him – told through their letters, and detailed in numerous documents. This book is a memorial, not only to Robert Holly, but to the millions of others, who like him, were killed and disappeared without a trace.

The author: David Kohler is a retired attorney and a former teacher in the public schools. He has been a lifelong student of history with a deep interest in the Second World War, the American Civil War and the people who fought in them.

You can also meet David on Sunday 12th October, at the 389th Bomb Group Memorial Exhibition at Hethel, the last open day of the season, the museum is open from 10am to 4pm.

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Filed under Books, Current Events, Local Interest, World War 2