HAYWOOD COMMUNITY COLLEGE
185 FREEDLANDER DRIVE
CLYDE, NORTH CAROLINA 28721
CONTACT: DEBBIE DAVIS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEMORIAL DAY DEDICATION OF WWII TAPES TO BE HELD AT HCC
A recent humanities class at Haywood Community College spent many hours interviewing and video taping World War II veterans relate their personal stories about the war. The class recorded over 25 personal interviews, usually averaging about one and a half-hours each. The collection of tapes is and will be on display in the HCC library for public viewing. As part of a Memorial Day remembrance of all veterans, HCC will hold a dedication of the WWII living history tapes on Thursday, May 25, 2000 at 2 p.m. All veterans and the general public are invited to attend. For detailed information about the event, please contact the HCC General Education department at (828) 627-4570.
Students interviewed veterans from Penrose to past Murphy. There are fascinating stories of GI’s from the U.S. Army, Marines, and Army Air, Medical, and Nurse Corps who were involved in every theater of the war from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
There are also stories like that of Juanita Webster, a front-line nurse who chased the Japanese off New Guinea, and Mary (Marie Cugini) Necko, a self-described USO Commando who chased dance partners at night but cried every day as she listened to the constant playing of Taps just outside her office beside Arlington National Cemetery.
Also included are the unique perspectives of a German soldier and a member of the German Luftwaffe who both fought on the Russian front as teenagers in the last few years of the War.
Doug Maynard, instructor of the course which was titled "Before We Regret It; Preserving the Human Record of WWII," encourages everyone to record their family WWII stories before it is too late. He relates the following story:
"I never got the chance to know Mr. Earl Whitbeck of Waynesville. It was suggested that I arrange an interview with him concerning his experiences in WWII as a survivor of the famous Bataan Death March. When I called for an interview, his wife asked that I call back later since they were just going out the door to the V-A hospital.
The irony of the "Before We Regret It" became painfully clear to me when Mr. Whitbeck passed away in late February. I’ve regretted it ever since that we didn’t get his story on tape for future generations of historians to consult."