World War II History Center

World War II History Center The World War II History Center is a museum and research library that has information about the entire War on the European, Pacific and Home Fronts, and how the entire country pulled together to help win the war.
(4)

The World War II History Center is a museum and research library dedicated to World War II. The Center includes information about the entire war on the European, Pacific and Home Fronts, and how the entire country pulled together to help win the war. Not only does the center feature the American perspective, but it also highlights the efforts of the Allies and the Axis alike. The purpose is to provide one of the most comprehensive facilities on the subject of World War II in the United States, and potentially the world.

The World War II History Center is a museum and research library dedicated to World War II. The Center includes information about the entire war on the European, Pacific and Home Fronts, and how the entire country pulled together to help win the war. Not only does the center feature the American perspective, but it also highlights the efforts of the Allies and the Axis alike. The purpose is to provide one of the most comprehensive facilities on the subject of World War II in the United States, and potentially the world.

Mission: The mission of the World War II History Center Foundation is to facilitate a museum and resource facility dedicated to the history of the World War II era. The center will strive to educate all generations about the reasons for the war and the profound impact WWII had on the world.

Operating as usual

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
11/21/2020

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

This is Zadok Parsser with his adoptive sister, Mara Van Enckevort. He was one of 33 children rescued by Jan Bosch, a Dutch teenager, who who helped hide and care for Jewish children during the Holocaust. Jan used his bicycle basket to transport babies in the dark of night to their new homes.

During the war, Jan's parents tried to stop his rescue efforts because they feared he was endangering the entire family. Jan was once interrogated about his rescue efforts but he convinced the Nazi officials there was a case of mistaken identity.

Zadok lived with the Van Enckevorts, a pious Catholic family who treated him as one of their children, for two years before he was reunited with his parents.

After the war, another child rescued by Jan spent 15 years searching for her rescuer. After she found him, she helped reunite Zadok and Jan, who remained in touch until Jan's death in 2010.

On National Adoption Day, we remember those who risked their lives to save others during the Holocaust.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
11/15/2020

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

When she was an infant, Dina Chen's mother persuaded a man to smuggle Dina out of the Loborgrad concentration camp, which was outside Zagreb in what was then the Independent State of Croatia, a Nazi ally.

He brought Dina to the Jewish community headquarters in Zagreb with a note for Dina's cousin, Blanka Ziczer First, who agreed to accept her.

For two and a half years while Blanka was a member of the partisans, Dina was baptized and lived with Djina-Gertruda Beritic, a Christian friend of Blanka's in Zagreb.

At the end of the war, Blanka returned and told Dina she was Jewish and revealed her real name. Blanka and Dina immigrated to Israel in December 1948.

They are pictured together here in 1946. Dina's parents did not survive.

Diorama & Model
11/10/2020

Diorama & Model

Photo from the modeling exhibition
Author unknown

I was saddened to hear of the passing of Freddy Simon, World War II vet and founder of Freddy's Frozen Custard.  He was ...
10/30/2020

I was saddened to hear of the passing of Freddy Simon, World War II vet and founder of Freddy's Frozen Custard. He was a great friend and supporter of our museum. He was one of the Veterans who spoke at the museum and it was a pleasure to hear him tell of his service during the war. It was interesting to hear and see him and other veterans interact with each other. He was a nice guy.
I extend my sympathies to his family and friends. Thank You Freddy for all you did to make this world a better place.

Frederick “Freddy” L. Simon, co-founder and namesake of Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, died on Sunday, October 25, 2020. Along with his sons Bill & Randy, and Bill’s business partner Scott Redler, he opened the first Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers® restaurant in 2002 in Wichita, Ks. The quick service concept not only bears his name, but also includes his family values and patriotic service to his country as the foundation of the brand.

The youngest of nine children, Freddy grew up on a farm near Colwich, Kansas. He joined the U.S. Army infantry in 1943 and was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division. While serving in the Pacific during World War II, Freddy earned the Purple Heart for injuries sustained, as well as a Bronze Star for valor and was awarded other ribbons and medals for his service to his country. After being honorably discharged from duty, he returned home and attended Wichita University under the GI Bill. In 1947, Freddy married Norma Jean Kerschen while earning a degree in Accounting. Together they started a family and raised six children (five sons and one daughter). He spent 55 years with the same company in the hospitality industry before starting Freddy’s. He was a friend and trusted business partner to restaurant owners and operators across the state. In his retirement, Freddy generously gave his time and resources to many military and charitable organizations.

Freddy was an avid hunter and sportsman, but his greatest joy was his family. Every family gathering and all other interactions in Freddy’s life provided him the opportunity to offer an encouraging word, share relatable stories of days gone by and give hugs.

We will truly miss our Freddy and his Freddy’s hugs!

10/27/2020
EAA - The Spirit of Aviation

EAA - The Spirit of Aviation

A very happy 80th birthday to the North American P-51 Mustang, which first flew on October 26, 1940! The Mustang, of course, played a large role in the Allies' World War II victory and is a widely-celebrated aircraft to this day. Enjoy a minute of pure Merlin engine bliss to mark this special anniversary!

AAMUC
10/26/2020

AAMUC

1938 advertisement for the Army's new pattern dress blue uniform

101-year-old WWII B–29 pilot honored with Superfortress flight
10/06/2020
101-year-old WWII B–29 pilot honored with Superfortress flight

101-year-old WWII B–29 pilot honored with Superfortress flight

Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Robert Vaucher, a Boeing B-29 pilot during World War II, was again on the flight deck of a Superfortress as it departed a northern Virginia airfield September 26.

The Greatest Generations Foundation
10/03/2020

The Greatest Generations Foundation

(OCTOBER 03, 2020) - AMERICA REMEMBERS - One of the last Veteran of the famed Band of Brothers, 506th Easy Company Dies, leaving two veterans left.

Bill Wingett, a long-time Salem resident and one of the last remaining members of the World War II "Band of Brothers," died early Thursday morning at an Oregon veterans' home in Lebanon. He was 98.

"He slipped into heaven very comfortably from old age," his nephew, Gregory Wingett, told the Statesman Journal.

In a 2019 interview before the 75th anniversary of D-Day, he reiterated that he was no more a hero than anyone else who put on a uniform, although he earned a Bronze Star and was wounded three times serving with arguably the most famous unit of World War II.

Bill was a machine gunner with Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne, which most Americans know as the Band of Brothers.

The unit was immortalized in Stephen Ambrose’s book and subsequent Emmy-winning television mini-series, and Salem once was home to three members. The others were Don Malarkey, who died in 2017, and Leo Boyle, who died in 1997.

The 506th was involved in some of the most brutal battles of the war and the legend of its soldiers commenced June 6, 1944, when they parachuted into Normandy, France, and helped clear the way for the beach landings.

Bill wasn't one to elaborate on the details of his service. He once described D-Day like this: "We got in an airplane in England, we jumped out of the damn thing in France, and the fight began. There's not much more to say about that."

His nephew said he appreciated how thoughtful and straightforward Bill was when answering questions about the war.

"He never tried to glorify anything," Gregory Wingett said.

Easy Company also fought during Operation Market Garden, the Battle of Bastogne and the Battle of the Bulge. Bill received the Bronze Star for bravery in combat.

Although Bill told the Statesman he never had a close call, he was wounded three times. A Purple Heart with two oak leaf clusters was among 20 medals displayed in a custom frame on the wall of his apartment at the veterans' home.

After the war ended, Bill re-enlisted with the 82nd Airborne and served with his younger brother until 1948. Years later, he joined the Naval Reserve, retiring after 17 years as a petty officer first class.

Bill moved his wife, Peggy, and their family to Salem in the fall of 1961. He worked at a paper mill before opening his own woodworking shop, which he continued to operate into his early 90s. His wife died in 2010.

”Every Day is Memorial Day”
The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation

Around E-Town, aka Emporia, KS
09/28/2020

Around E-Town, aka Emporia, KS

With Veterans Day approaching and potentially lost in the swirl of election season, this plaque which is mounted in the lobby of White Auditorium honors the Company B casualties of WWII. John Cooper in the second column was the inspiration for his uncle, Al King, to suggest changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day.

81 years ago this morning, the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein opened fire on the Polish garrison in Danzig as Germ...
09/01/2020
BBC - History - World Wars: Invasion of Poland

81 years ago this morning, the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein opened fire on the Polish garrison in Danzig as German forces of the Wehrmacht crossed Poland's frontier. This action, a result of years rising fascist aggression and crumbling democracies, would result in Great Britain and France declaring war on Germany in the following days, setting off the second world war.
#OTD #Remember

Discover how Hitler's invasion of Poland during WW2 was miscalculated and led Europe into war.

National Museum of Military Vehicles
09/01/2020

National Museum of Military Vehicles

Hello everyone! Here's a picture of our M18 "Hellcat" Tank Destroyer that fought in the Battle of the Bulge with the 603rd Tank Destroyer Battalion, 6th Armored Division!

#Remember Joachim Kuhn
08/24/2020

#Remember Joachim Kuhn

Having taken part in the invasion of Poland and the Soviet Union, major Joachim Kuhn experienced firsthand the mistreatment of the local population. In 1942, he met Claus von Stauffenberg, who recruited him for the resistance and the two became close friends.

In 1943, Kuhn was promoted to major and in the same year he was in charge of hiding the explosives for a planned attack on Hitler’s life during a uniform presentation. In May 1944, he organized the bomb that Stauffenberg was to use on the 15th of July, the first date when he was designated to carry out the assassination.

On 20 July 1944, Kuhn spent the day at the Eastern front, waiting for news anxiously from Berlin. A day after the plot failed, he accompanied General Tresckow, the leader of the conspiracy in the East, to inspect the frontline. In reality, Tresckow told him that he was about to commit suicide. Kuhn tried to talk him out of it with no success, and it was him who carried Tresckow’s body back in his car. Kuhn later remembered: "When I was about a hundred yards away, I heard the hand grenades exploding. On my official account of his death by a partisan attack, General von Tresckow was buried with full military honors."

The Gestapo issued an order to arrest Kuhn not long after, when they learned about his key role in the coup. When the order reached his commanding officer, General von Ziehlberg, he refused to arrest Kuhn, and told him to go to the front and seek an honorable death. Ziehlberg was later executed in relation to this incident.

Kuhn was captured by the Red Army and remained in Soviet custody for the next 12 years. In 1945, he was sentenced to death by the National Socialists as a traitor (in his absence). In 1951, he was sentenced to 25 years of hard labour by the Soviets as a war criminal. His wrongdoing was assumed on his German uniform.

During his internment he was subjected to repeated torture and kept under such inhumane circumstances that he developed severe schizophrenia. Upon his return to Germany in 1956, his application for financial compensation was not granted because according to the ‘competent’ authority, he was expelled from the German Armed Forces on 4 August 1944, by the then head of state.

Kuhn never publicly spoke about his role in the resistance, never married or had any children. In 1994, he died alone in nursing home near Frankfrurt. Four years later he was rehabilitated by the military court of Moscow, "in the absence of crime in his actions". His honor was also restored in Germany, and he took his rightful place among those who are being remembered today.

Learn more in person: german-resistance-tours.com

Vet story time. This one comes from the owner of www.atthefront.com in his latest email newsletter.Around 2000, I met Sa...
08/09/2020

Vet story time. This one comes from the owner of www.atthefront.com in his latest email newsletter.

Around 2000, I met Sammy Weber (not his real name) at the county fair- he was a brother-in-law of one of our staff (who has since passed away). We were all watching the much anticipated, but utterly disappointing demolition derby- which lasted about 4 minutes. After chatting about the tactics used by the drivers, he mentioned that he was a WWII vet. I asked what he had done- he said "I was a movie star."

Naturally, I pursued this conversation wondering where the hell it's going. It was one of the more unique stories I have ever heard about the War.

First of all, this guy was just about as "country" as one can get- picture Jerry Reed from Smokey and the Bandit and you're 90% of the way there. (Also keep in mind that he was from a small, rural, Kentucky town, grew up on a farm in the 30's with no running water or electricity, and food was scarce at times. The conditions and circumstances that upset many people today, don't even rate mention for him.)

Sammy had enlisted in the Army after Pearl Harbor, and was assigned to the combat engineers, he suspects due to his having listed his occupation as "carpenter". He arrived in Tunisia in mid-November 1942 for what he suspects was one of the shortest combat tours of the War.

When he reached his unit, clashes with the Germans were expected but none had yet occurred. He said that within minutes of arrival, he and another private were detailed to guard a road junction. It was already dark, and they were given zero instructions on what to do in case anything happened- they weren't even oriented as to which way the enemy lines and theirs should be. Just "sit here until relieved". All he had was his rifle, a few clips, and a sack lunch he'd been handed as they left camp.

Within an hour of being dumped on the roadside, his "battle buddy" (name unknown) told him that he had to poop and disappeared into the night. Sammy had just unwrapped his mystery lunch and was fumbling with his sandwich trying to figure out exactly what substance was on it when a tank rolled up. He still could not understand how a tank "snuck up" on him, but it did. One moment it's just him and his lunch, and then the next there's a "big ass tank" idling in front of him.

As he's gaping at the machine, the commander leans over the edge of the turret and said "hop on". He climbed aboard, told the tanker that he had a buddy in the bushes and was told "not to worry, we'll come back for him."

The commander then told him where to sit, warned him to be careful of the exhaust and to hang on. Then the machine turned about in the intersection and headed off- he remembered wondering, despite the moonlit night, with the silhouettes of the ridges being easily distinguished, how the hell the driver could see well enough to stay on the road with no headlights- "the guy probably lived on carrots".

They arrived at a camp, parked the tank and shut down. A small crowd of soldiers gathered as he stood on the engine deck waiting for directions on what to do.

Finally someone asked "are you an American?"
"Well, yeah, what else would I be?"
"Welcome to the Afrika Korps."

The tank commander explained that he was the first GI they had ever met, and to be prepared for lots of attention. Sammy said that from that moment on, he felt more like a movie star on tour being mobbed by fans than a prisoner.

Everyone was polite and friendly, but they wore him out peppering him with questions about any and everything. He spent three days with the unit that had picked him up- he was wined and dined, shown their equipment, compared uniforms, shared family photos, got to "play around" in a tank, and went to church.

The funniest detail is that the Germans didn't take his rifle until later the next day. Then they gave it back to him so he could explain its workings since this was the first M1 Garand they had ever encountered. They fired all his ammunition testing it out.

His impression of the German troops was, "I really liked them- most were Lutherans like me. Too bad their boss started a war."

When he was sent to a POW camp, he was flown across the Mediterranean on an Me 323 Gigant. (He described it and no other aircraft is close.) Once again, he was the first American the crew had met- so, like a kid on an airliner, they offered to let him ride in the cockpit. The crew "talked his ears off" all the way to Italy.

Sammy spent the rest of the War in a POW camp near Munich- the camp was small, and he described it as being an old warehouse- more like a dormitory or barracks than the stereotypical camp with fences. Everyone worked, but they weren't compelled to do so- nobody wanted to sit around bored all day- plus getting out presented "other" opportunities. (He didn't tell me much of anything about his fellow prisoners.)

As a carpenter, his skills were in constant demand and he worked all over the area, mostly on civilian projects, occasionally military ones, plus "personal" jobs for the staff. The Germans he worked for frequently thanked him with gifts of food- which he always shared with his guard.

Most of their guards were old, many lame, who often physically struggled to perform their job. They and the POW's generally got along well and a few became close friends. He laughed that the bit in Hogan's Heroes where the prisoners hold Schultz's rifle all the time was nothing compared to what they (and their guards) did.

The only traumatic events he experienced were the air raids. Although their immediate vicinity wasn't struck, everyone volunteered to help the rescue teams after nearby areas were bombed- he understood it was war, but what he saw in the aftermath of the air strikes really pissed him off.

He said he could have easily have walked away from the camp many times- "but where the hell was I gonna go? Plus- I liked the town, had lots of friends, a job, and the Germans treated me well. I was a poor, 19 year old farm kid on a great adventure. All in all I guess I was pretty content- and lucky. It may sound silly now, but that's how I felt."

In 1945, Sammy came home, got married, had a pack of kids, took over the family farm, and ran a small wood shop in his home town. He passed away about 4 years ago.

He never went back to Europe.

Address

119 W Central Ave
El Dorado, KS
67042

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when World War II History Center posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Museum

Send a message to World War II History Center:

Videos

Nearby museums


Comments

Seeking archives, accounts, photos of the 29th ID 7 to 10 June 44. Can you help ? Tks,
Just saw. wonder what other battles have been photographed and analyzed?
This is the perfect show for anyone who loves the 1940's, old-time radio and comedy - A Tribute to Bob Hope! Be sure to join us at the historic Brown Grand Theatre in Concordia, Kansas for this USO-type show, as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of D-Day. https://www.facebook.com/events/1933213810318001/
Hope to see many of you at the POW Camp Concordia Victory Day Celebration!
Jay LaMont shared a post. Admin · September 12 at 8:36 PM Jay LaMont September 12 at 8:35 PM D DAY - AND THE MENTAL ACTIVITIES OF ROOSEVELT, CHURCHILL, AND HITLER: On June 6, 1944 with the weather still a grave concern, the anxiety of the forces that had gathered on the shores of England couldn't have been more extreme then that which was born by the leaders whose decisions were at hand. Eisenhower, the supreme allied commander, had written a letter accepting full responsibility for the FAILURE of the invasion. That letter was fortunately not necessary and was never delivered. On this occasion, Winston Churchill became unglued, first insisting that the invasion NOT proceed then, and he was desperately afraid of the tremendous loss of life that was about to occur. When he was told to back off, he then insisted that he accompany the forces on board ship, which in his frame of mind could not be allowed. There was a great deal of consternation caused by his actions on that day. In a December 20, 1943 message to Prime Minister Churchill, President Roosevelt discussed the timing of the announcement of General Eisenhower's selection. At the end of the message he added a personal note about Churchill's health. Finally, it took a surprise visit by the king who said: If you go, then I have to go as well. At that, Churchill immediately surrendered to the cause. It isn't as clear what the mental anxiety of Roosevelt was on that day. He addressed the nation that same day with both a message and a prayer for their great undertaking, outlining what was at stake, and praying for God to receive those who would be lost with the gentleness that is the antithesis of the battle field. Out side of that, we have the written comments of his wife Eleanor in a letter to Joseph P Lash she wrote about the way his mind was wandering in a less then coherent way on June 6. [From the Roosevelt archives, this quote by Eleanor to Joe Lash who became her biographer] "The last dispatch F.[Franklin D. Roosevelt] read us says that over a 60 mile front in Normandy we have advanced 10 miles. All has gone according to schedule tho' it was rough at the start and we have lost 1 destroyer, 1 mine sweeper, and 1 LST with how much loss of life we don't know. There is less tension but F.[Franklin D. Roosevelt] keeps us all a bit undecided by saying he doesn't know what he will do and that when he hears Hitler is ready to surrender he will go to England at once and then in the next breath that he may go to Honolulu and the Aleutians." At such a dark moment, rare in history, fear, anxiety, and uncertainty darken every foot step from the most humble soldier to the generals, and leaders as well. What lay on Eisenhower's shoulders was immense. The unwitting hero of the hour, turns out to be none other then Hitler himself. Hitler was told that if they were to win the war, the Allies must never be allowed to land successfully. They had a huge tank force in back up ready to accomplish that end, but on June 6 Hitler took to his bed to sleep, leaving orders not to awaken him. And, the tank force was not to be released except by his direct order. At an earlier time Hitler met his personal physician who was less then orthodox in methodology. He had started to inject Hitler with a new drug that the Nazi's hoped to use to help keep their troops alert for longer periods of time. The drug was none other then Crystal Meth which explains his wild rants, his being awake all night and sleeping in the day time, and as a result the inability of the high command to release those tanks into battle. How strange is the element of chance in the course of history. But, I think about those two intellectuals discussing the likelihood of neighbors in outer space. One asked of the other: Do you think it likely? The other answered affirmatively. Then why haven't they made themselves known, asked the one. And, the other answered: They reached the level of total destruction. Something to think about............................We learn from history, or we are doomed to repeat it. 3 Comments 11 Like Show more reactions Comment Share Comments View 1 more comment Paul Teddy Watts Paul Teddy Watts Good read Jay. You must have read Pat's "Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War." It was great look at WWII unlike most of the other historians. 1 Manage LikeShow more reactions · Reply · 13h Jay LaMont Jay LaMontYou and 3 others manage the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for Pat Buchanan Fan Club. Thank you - an area of interest
We would love to have you all join us at the POW Camp Concordia Museum for the Victory Day celebration in Concordia, Kansas!
Hello! I am looking for history on a German POW camp in St Clair Du Rhone? Thank You!