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tv   Open Phones with Tom Czekanski  CSPAN  November 7, 2015 1:30pm-2:01pm EST

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01 if you live in the mountain or pacific time zones. joining us, tom czekanski, thank you for being with us. what a fascinating job to be able to collect so many artifactfrom so many who have had parents and grandparents who serves in world war ii, or here on the homefront. walk us through some of the interesting things you have come across. mr. czekanski: there are a great things that have been interesting. one piece that comes to mind, there was a gentleman in the supply department after normandy, and he managed to figure out to use to less copies of the requisition form, and was awarded a bronze star for his actions. he received a bronze star for figuring out a better way to file paperwork. we have a copy of the paper that awarded that. that was one that always struck
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me as interesting. host: for those who are watching now, and might have served in world war ii, the 800,000 plus ifill alive since 1945 -- they have materials, artifacts, how can they get that to you, and what are you looking for? mr. czekanski: we look principally at this time for letters, diaries, and correspondences. those things that are unique to the individual. we have all the nazi flags, semi swords that we can use. we have all that we can use of that type of material. we are looking for things that are absolutely unique. individual uniforms, we take a selection of a for the most part , it uniform is the same as a .niform, hence the uniform
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things that recorded their feelings, diaries, letters, individual photographs, these are very important to us. host: i can attest to the letters. in my own doubts situation, -- situation, boxes and boxes of letters. it is a great opportunity for families. if they have multiple people who want them, it is better to not split up the collection. those items could come here to the national world war ii museum and be preserved and posterity, and a way for all the family to share. and, also, in many occasions, there is no one left that is interesting, it is an opportunity for them to be preserved for the public. host: we were watching the vignette on the uss tang, the heroic efforts of those who served on that submarine, and a faithful and for many of them. mr. czekanski: yes, for many of
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them and many other submarine sailors made the ultimate sacrifice and world war ii. we have the presentation on the tang, and is meant to represent the larger story of the submarine service. for: we would love to hear you, especially if you served in world war ii, or had loved ones on the front lines. let's go to norman in michigan. asker: i would just like to twor guest to questions -- questions. the first being, the books written by veterans after the war on the pacific, which would he consider one of the best? second, as we speak about submarines, would you say that the tactics used by the mariners
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-- the american mariners versus the japanese, were they using the same tactics that were used by the german navy in the battle of the atlantic, as far as the olf packs?d wil i will take the answers off the air. so, the japanese, the united states, and the german submarines all had different tactics. the united states and germans both concentrated on sinking merchant vessels. the japanese concentrated their submarine attacks against arm vessels. they would be out to attack aircraft carriers or battleships . the germans major difference was , largeed wolfpack
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numbers of submarines into areas to attack in groups and be able to follow convoys. the united states submarines tended to operate more individually. we also have the advantage of being able to read japanese naval code, and have some idea of where we should go look for japanese ships. bothar as the two books -- excellent. it is hard to recommend one about the other. host: i just want to mention that our viewers can also check us out on facebook, as we look at some of the film from the key battles of world war ii. you can share your comments and thoughts with us, including this from mark, who says, the guys i haded with in vietnam, we our reunion this year near new
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orleans, and weekday trips to the museum, a great day, but to be fair, i would say three days would be about right to see it all. what do you want people to take away from the museum? people toski: i want remember the service and sacrifice of all americans and world war ii. this was a time when the country came together, and gave everything they could to assure we have all the freedoms and democracies that we do now. it is a story that needs to be remembered for all americans. .ost: our guest is tom jasinski he has been with the world war ii museum since it opened back in 2000, 15 years ago. stay marking veterans day, and this year, the 70th year of the end of world war ii. from arizona, you are next. caller: i would like to know if you have anything on the indo
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burma theater of world war ii. my father served. mr. czekanski: yes. we are currently completing the second floor of our campaign pavilion. it is slated to open on december 11, and includes an extensive gallery on the china-burma theater. we have expanded our coverage so we include all theaters and all branches of the american story in world war ii. host: is there a fee to enter the museum? mr. czekanski: there is. not being in the ticketing department, i could not quote it. it is available on a website, and i know there are number of discount available. host: from mobile, alabama, joseph is next. caller: yes. .y father served in the pacific he was a member of the united
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states coast guard. they did serve in the pacific. his ship, one of the ships he racha,, was named la cuca which i understand is spanish for roach. he did serve in the pacific. been unable to go to the museum, but one time, many years ago, after it opened because i .m in poor health at that time i was there, there were no exhibits on the coast guard serving in the pacific. there was one lousy little .oster it was the only thing that represented the coast guard, either in the european campaign or the pacific campaign host.
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host: we will get a response, by want to ask, did your dad talk about his experiences growing up? caller: my dad was a true veteran. he would not talk to civilians. he would meet with world war ii korean veterans, vietnam veterans because they had a common ground. they had people trying to kill them. he did not talk to civilians. i'm a civilian. i was never physically able because of my poor health to join the coast guard, which was my desire from the time i was as small child. host: really a hallmark of a generation, not talking about it. mr. czekanski: yes. that is a hallmark. they often don't discuss it.
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i regret that joseph did not enjoy his experience here. unfortunate, he missed the higgins boat, in the main gallery, one of the first things you see when you walk in, is marked and identified for the coast guard vessel that it served with, uss bayfield. certainly there were many coats hard -- coast guard members that served in all theaters, and we do recognize those. it is unfortunate that he only found one poster. host: brooke is joining us next from minnesota. caller: it is interesting the guy -- someone previously brought up the burma arena. i read a book, not too long ago, the focused on the houston, or actually probably on the prisoners following the houston, a battle to houston was involved
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in. i thought it was one of the most that iing naval battle ever heard of, as it relates to a particular ship. awareed to see if you are of it, what your comments may be. mr. czekanski: it is one of the battles early in the war. by 1945, thewar, united states was rolling across the pacific with its industrial might, and all the men and material we had assembled. early in the war, when the houston was sunk, we were very much on the robespierre the japanese had the upper hand, in many cases. it was a very unfortunate story, of the houston. we do have artifacts from one of these survivors who was a prisoner of war and ended up on the burma railway. their story is included in our new exhibit that opens in december. host: in our last hour, we
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boats, made not far from where you are in new orleans. were they used in the pacific? mr. czekanski: yes, the higgins boat were initially used in the pacific. boat, i higgins boat before it had the classic -- of thealled on it were widely used in the pacific. later in the war, the lvp was often used to make the landing. higgins boats would take the troops to near the reef, and they were transferred to landing vehicle track.
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that could actually climb over the reef and not be limited to entering breaks in the reef. ptt: another vessel, the boats, made famous train the kennedy and administration, you have one on display in the museum, do you not? mr. czekanski: we do. it is in the restoration pavilion. we are nearing completion of a pt 305.storation of there were three squadrons of pt that served in the mediterranean. at the end of the war, it was brought back to the united states. that squadron -- most of the boats that serve today served in that squadron. host: why were they called pt boats? mr. czekanski: navy vessels all
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have designations. pt is patrol torpedo. host: let's go to gel in chicago. -- jill and chicago. caller: i have a question, when you mentioned that you were interested in letters, diaries, and such. my dad served in the european theater at the battle of the bulge. somebody, in his unit, after thin came back, wrote a published, probably self published, book, and send it to the buddies. is that something you would be interested in? mr. czekanski: definitely. you can reach us through our website. we are very interested in personal accounts. histories of the
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war, and the only place you can find them is from unit members. host: another question with .egard to the uss tang it is a facebook question. bear with me. it is from william who says, during the walk-through the tang , a gentleman said some of the survivors saved themselves through the escape hatch, by holding their breath through their ascent, when i went through sub school in new london, we practiced ascent by constantly blowing air from our lungs as we ascended. the air in our lungs expanded enormously. if these survivors in fact held their breath, they would have exploded -- clarification? mr. czekanski: they use the hold
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technique, not the hold your breath techniques. amazingly, because of the pressure, if you start to blow out there as you start to ascend , it works out perfectly. i'm not as i does, it does not make sense to me, but because of pressure, and expanding when you go up, that is the technique that was used by several individuals. host: thank you for the facebook question. join us on facebook. ianca ishe is -- beyon joining us from new hampshire. caller: i would like to know -- i have my husband's world war ii jacket, and eisenhower jacket, with all these ornaments. i don't know if you are interested or if you have enough of those. mr. czekanski: it would depend
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on what unit he served in. in order to be able to represent everyone, we do have a space consideration for storage and exhibits. we take up to four uniforms from every division. we would have to know what division he served in, and check how we arery to see represented in that. i would encourage you to contact the e-mail address on the museum's website for artifact donations. host: are you still with us? caller: i'm not good with the computer. mr. czekanski: there is in a just, you can mail us a letter, or a phone number, you can call. host: i'm assuming your husband has since passed away? caller: pardon me? host: i'm assuming your husband has passed away. caller: he passed away 21 years ago. what did he tell you about
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world war ii? caller: he was in naples, that's where i met him. naples was nothing but a big, antiquep broken buildings. i was just a child. . was 11 years old i went right through, from beginning to end, of the war. then, i married my husband. that's why i'm in this country, and i love it. host: thank you for the call. let's move on to george, joining us from hawaii. loha.r: a lok when i was in the masters program, i could not complete a research topic on segregation, but a few years later, it was
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revealed, the massacre in which there was a race riot with a thousand casualties, and the to ads were distributed pacific unit. are any of your researchers looking at that, or is that still an open mystery? the researcher who started this away. mr. czekanski: we do not have anyone that is currently working on that. i have heard of it. i do not have the details. take manythe u.s. prisoners in the pacific battles? to czekanski: not compared say the number of germans. for the japanese, surrender was not considered an audible and to their service -- honorable end to their
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service. many of the prisoners we did take were taken because they were wounded and incapacitated, so they were captured in that manner. towards the very end of the war, more japanese began to surrender. host: do you gather all of these artifacts and curate the material for the museum, and look at the contrast -- two very different wars in the european theater and the pacific battle lines. how did the u.s. prepare for that? how did the military deal with such divergent complex? -- conflicts? mr. czekanski: what other things they did, troops, especially when we begun to have experience, troops were trained first in basic techniques, and then oriented for the role, either in the pacific, or in europe. there was no switching back and forth from one theater to the not as units,t and not to any great extent.
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many of the units would receive , particularly in the pacific. the nature of the combat was different in that you would attack an island, and the troops would be brought back, and their experiences could be shared with new troops who were preparing for the next assault. in europe, it was very much units went in, more units were added, and the combat was more constant, especially once we made normandie. host: all of this of course on display in at the world war ii museum in new orleans. barry is on the phone from spring, texas. yes.r: hello, great show. i was just curious, on the come theyats, how didn't open on the side? it seems like they would have a lot more protection than just opening in the front, it seems like sitting ducks, leaving the
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boat. was there any research done before they designed it? the front opening allows you to drive vehicles in and out. from the side, the opening would be very large to say, turn a jeep to the side. tt the end of the war, the lv actually opened in the back. higgins boats could not open in the back because of engines, propellers, and things of that nature. , with its tracks, could actually joined onto the beach. that was actually much better than either the side or the front. host: where were the engines for the higgins boats? mr. czekanski: it is located midship in the rear third of the vessel. if you see a photograph, the front of the motor is just about even with the driver.
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host: let's go to rich joining us from illinois. good afternoon. caller: hello? host: you are on the air. caller: my father was in world war ii, in the pacific. him, fromters from iwo jima, to my mother. i have the envelope that it was postmarked and everything. i had some stuff from my dad he brought home, japanese rifles, and samurai swords. after the marines left the airnd, there were a lot of force guys, who would go in some of these caves, and take up some of the stuff. he did talk about the war over
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there. he mostly talked about the because hen they did learned a lot about building things, and stuff like that. he did talk about the b-29s coming in that were crippled from japan, stuff like that. pilots were really fantastic pilots. host: thank you for the call. we will get a response. mr. czekanski: the story of justg an island is really the beginning. once we took an island in the pacific, we turned it into a little american city and airfield. by doing that, we were able to extend our reach all the way across. we took you would you must -- jima so we would have a
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point halfway to japan. it was very important, not only to be able to take the island, but to add infrastructure to them afterwards. alex is joining us, a veteran himself, from florida. .aller: hello i'm a veteran from the second world war. 137 aircrafthundre attack. the island,to la most of it was secure. they put us on patrol to secure what was left of the island. moving most of my time me,o manila, unbeknownst to
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i was waiting to go to the invasion of japan. i was too young to realize what was going on. i thought they were just stalling us until the war was over. little did i know, if the atom , i wouldnot dropped have been one of the million casualties they predicted might have occurred from the invasion of japan. i just want to thank you for your program, and let you know that i'm proud of all the veterans that fought in all the wars we had. thank you. .ost: we want to thank you before we get a response, how old were you when you served? caller: i was exactly 18, 3
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months passed my birthday. i'm now 91, and still ready to go. host: good for you. what were you thinking at the age of 18? caller: not much. i must tell you, i had no idea what was going gone, except to protect myself, being on duty every night, it was a very scary thing. when we first landed, they told ig foxholes, and we thought they were joking. by the time the evening came, -- we wereme dark all scared to death. we were all very young. we did all that we were told.
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anyway, we patrolled the island until the island was very secure . and they kept on i'm very proud of my service, and all the men who were in service, and want to thank you for the program. host: one must question before did you volunteer for the pacific theater or was it the military's choice? caller: no, it was the military's choice. they put me in the army. at first they put me in the navy . i got my way out of the navy. of course, i had taken air navigation in high school. i thought i was a perfect candidate for the air corps. if you are a candidate for the airport, they will put you in -- for the air corps, they will put you in imagery.
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i was just happy i came out alive. host: what a great story. thank you for joining us at the age of 91. we will get a response from our guest. mr. czekanski: i would like to join you as well in thinking this man for his service, and anking all of the veterans for their service. it is their sacrifice that keeps america free for today. host: time for one last call, jack from lafayette. geter: i was privileged to my honorable discharge met years ago, but i had the privilege to have also known to wonderful patriots -- two wonderful patriots and heroes. one was a commander in the eight star,rce who had a silver he showed me one day.
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omack.ame was will the other one, i don't know how he lives through the entire war, but he jumped out of an airplane in the 82nd airborne. yes, we took thee -- the bunker with guns. we found out they were not guns, they had been replaced or the guns it never arrived. he says i lost 50 of my buddies taking those guns. go to thelso had to battle of the voltage -- the battle of the bulge, in the 101st.

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