As part of Georgia Public Broadcasting's The War programming, Georgia Traveler presents "Remembering WW II: A Georgia Traveler Special." Co-hosts Keely Muse, Phil Proctor and David Zelski visit museums around the State that preserve the history of the Second World War. Featured sites include the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum in Pooler, the Currahee Military Museum in Toccoa, the National POW Museum in Andersonville, the St. Mary's Submarine Museum, the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning in Columbus, and the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum in Atlanta.
Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum (Pooler) – Watch This Segment Online
Located just outside Savannah in Pooler, the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum chronicles the history of this unit that was founded in Savannah at the start of the Second World War. One of the keys to victory for the Allied Forces was the battle for air supremacy in Europe. The Mighty Eighth was crucial to that success. For our program, we interviewed the following veterans:
- Paul Grassey, B-24 pilot
- Bud Porter, B-17 ball turret gunner
- Betty and Edward Robarts, WAVE and B-17
||Betty and Edward Robarts
Currahee Military Museum (Toccoa) – Watch This Segment Online
The northeast Georgia city of Toccoa is where you'll find the Currahee Military museum, which honors the contributions of U.S. paratroopers. This area was the birthplace of the US paratrooper training program during World War II and the training ground for approximately 17,000 soldiers of the 501st, 506th, 511th, and 517th regiments. For our program, we interviewed Reed Pelfrey, a veteran of the 101st Airborne and paratrooper who landed in Normandy on D-Day.
National POW Museum (Andersonville) – Watch This Segment Online
Andersonville, Georgia is best known as a prisoner of war camp during the Civil War where over 45,000 Union soldiers were kept, and nearly 13,000 died from disease, poor sanitation, malnutrition, overcrowding, or exposure. However, the Andersonville National Historic Site has since become the site of the National Prisoner of War Museum, the only National Park System area that serves as a memorial to all American prisoners of war, including those of World War II. For our program, we interviewed Don Scott, a veteran and POW of the Second World War.
St. Mary's Submarine Museum (St. Mary's) – Watch This Segment Online
Known as the "Silent Service," submarines and submariners remain a mystery to many people. If you are intrigued by the history of submarines, visit the St. Mary's Submarine Museum on the waterfront in beautiful St. Mary's, Georgia. Although submarines have been around since the Civil War, it was not until World War II that they became a powerful part of the Navy's arsenal. For our program, we interviewed WWII subvets Bill Castleberry and George Scheer.
National Infantry Museum (Fort Benning) – Watch This Segment Online
Throughout history, the infantry has been the backbone of the U.S. military. The National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning in Columbus pays tribute to the brave soldiers of World War II and to all infantry, both present and past. You can find out more about the museum on the National Infantry Foundation's website.
William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum (Atlanta) – Watch This Segment Online
No examination of World War II would be complete without addressing the Holocaust. A permanent exhibit at the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum in Atlanta entitled "The Absence of Humanity, the Holocaust Years," tells that difficult story using the pictures, memorabilia, and voices of those who survived and made new lives in Georgia.