Part 5: "UNTOLD STORIES" Transcript
[Dr. Charles Edwards] When I came back from the war and combat, I had no desire at all to relay anything that had happened to me in combat, even though I was in the thick of it for three months. They took no prisoners. We took no prisoners.
[Charles H. Greenwood] I only just the last, about the last four or five years memories start coming back in my mind about what went on and what happened.
[Jimmy Valdez] Well I think you know, years have gone by and I'm not going to be around very long much longer, so... You know you have all this built up in your system, you know, but you got to tell somebody, you know?
[E. Howard Clements] I'm 84 years old now and so I'm telling you things that happened 64 years ago, and there isn't a day goes by that I don't think about it.
[ Narration] There's not just one story of WWII. There are as many stories as there were men and women to fight. More than 3,600 never returned to Utah to tell their stories. These are some of the 67,000 that did. In 2006 KUED broadcast six and a half hours of Utah WWII Stories. This original documentary series provoked an enthusiastic and personal response from our viewers. As our original series unfolded on television, we began to hear from dozens of veterans and their families, through letters, emails, and phone calls recounting more untold stories from WWII. So compelling were these stories, we created a whole new episode to share some of them with you. Tonight you will hear how ordinary Utah men and women, who still walk modestly among us, dared to fight on soil in far off lands. They are our neighbors and often our good friends. They are now our parents, grandparents, and even great grandparents who may have lost a step or two, but their exemplary service still shines. They risked their lives for a cause greater than themselves in one of the most significant events in all of human history. I'm Rick Randle, and once again KUED is proud to present the fifth episode in our series about Utah citizens serving in WWII--the Untold Stories.
[Neil K. Holbrook] I was in the Ensign ward in Salt Lake City on 9th Avenue and D street, and also in that ward was also a man named Heber J. Grant, and the bishop stood up to start the meeting, went to the pulpit, and just as he got to the pulpit somebody was signaling him from out in the lobby, and I suppose it was important, so he left and went out to the lobby. When he came back he stopped by President Grant and whispered, and President Grant broke into tears. Well you've got to remember he was the first, and at that time the only mission president of a Japanese mission. The bishop went back up to the stand and he said, "Brother and sisters I've just learned that Japan has attacked Hawaii and San Francisco," (Incorrect about San Francisco) and you are to go home right now, and we're dismissing the meeting, and turn on your radios and you'll get further instructions. That's what happened when the war started, and that changed my whole life from then on.
[Roger Johnson]We started flying stuff over. We flew bombs and gas and food and ammunition--anything they needed to run an army, and the pressure was on all of the time to keep that army going so we could hold that Japanese army, otherwise they'd be out there in the Pacific.
[Narration] The Himalayas, the tallest mountain range in the world, were called "The Hump" by the GI's fighting there. The incessant storms and Japanese fighter planes littered the route with so many crash planes, the crews called it "The Aluminum Highway."
[Ralph P. Holding] The hump was the south end of the Himalayan range. You could fly over it by about 14, 15,000 elevation, but the Japanese were in there and you were flying an unarmed transports, that's why we were flying over at 18,000. The weather that you could encounter, you could have updrafts or downdrafts where the airplane would go up or down maybe as much as 5,000 feet or ice, and they were hauling gas into us in fifty gallon drums in C-47 airplanes.
[Roger Johnson] If it got so violent it might brake when of those drums loose, and you had to get it out before it banged in to some others, and if that happened too much that's where some of those airplanes blew up.
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