Warren Jones, then an Army Air Force staff sergeant, spent a lot of time in England during the infamous nightly attacks from the Germans.
"We were on the backside of a Royal Air Force Base, and we could hear the v2 rockets coming over every night." he said. "We were never hit, but we were bounced out of bed many nights. That’s how close they were. They never hit the base we were at or a British plane there, but they aimed at it every night."
Willie Turner, an Army cook for the 1954th Ordnance Depot Company, recalled going to Europe aboard a famous ship.
"We were up in New York and we got on board this ship heading over there," he said. "We didn’t even realize until we were out at sea that it was the Queen Mary."
Jones didn’t see action during D-Day, the invasion of Normandy, but was one of many huddled around radios hearing reports from the epic battle.
"We knew it was coming, and we were scared, but I was more worried because my own brother was in-volved," he said. Jones’ brother survived the invasion and returned home safely.
Later in the war, Harold Storey, an Army captain with the Fifth Infantry Division, fought in the Battle of the Bulge.
"We were encouraged at the time because we felt like this was Hitler’s last effort, and we knew that however long it took, that this was the end of it for them," he said. Although the offensive was a last-ditch effort from the Germans, it didn’t make fighting it any easier for the American soldiers.
"That’s one thing I remember about the combat is that for six months we were in almost complete dark-ness for 100 percent of the time," he said. "One major problem was that we lost so many men that were only lightly wounded because we couldn’t evacuate them. That’s one of the bad things about war. Sometimes when you need rescuing, you realize it’s not going to come."
The dark and cold affected all of the troops, Storey said.
"You were sometimes so cold and fatigued that you just couldn’t react the same way," he said. "Some-times a mortar shell would be coming in and you’d be so tired that you told yourself whatever fate will happen because you realized you just couldn’t drop down and have enough energy to get back up again."
Late in the war, Jones was one of many American soldiers to see German atrocities first-hand when he visited the concentration camp at Dachau, Poland.
"I did go to the gas chambers at Dachau, so you will never tell me that the Holocaust didn’t take place. The bones were still on the grounds of the prison camp," he said. "When we got there, there were still bones in the gas chambers and they had stacked so many people in the gas chambers that they had scratched the plastered ceilings with their fingernails. You could see the scratches."
"We had heard stories about the Germans’ cruelty, but we didn’t yet know about the concentration camps," he said. "One German soldier I ran into was all gung ho for the cause, but I’m not real sure he even knew what the cause was."
Thinking about the war, Jones said, it all boils down to one thing for him.
"It made me more determined to see that America stays free and helps the rest of the world," he said. "We’ve been involved in every major war since the Revolution. It’s part of our lives and some generations miss it and others hit it full force."