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Minnesota's Greatest Generation Oral History Project: Part I: Interview with Simon C. Velasquez
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Simon Velasquez was born in 1920 in Texas, one of fourteen children of immigrant Mexican parents. He was drafted into the U.S. Army Air Corps in January 1942. He was made a ball turret gunner on B-17 Flying Fortress bombers, then was posted in England in 1943. His B-17 was shot down over Germany; he was one of two crewmembers to survive. Velasquez was sent to Stalag XVII in Austria, where he remained until the war's final weeks. He was discharged in 1945 with the rank of Staff Sergeant. Velasquez married in 1947 and raised a family. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Deciding to enlist; being Mexican American; Air Force training; being assigned a crew; experiences of a ball turret gunner; being stationed in England and London; the blitz; experiences as an armorer; defusing bombs; post traumatic stress syndrome; missions; flak; enemy territory; fear; being shot down; parachuting; experiences in a POW camp including food, hunger, companions, day-to-day activity, and coping; Stalag XVII; being captured; experiences being interrogated; Red Cross; spies; experiences of being marched; being liberated and being rehabilitated; coming back to the United States; adjusting to life in the United States; returning to family and friends; returning to work; relating experiences.
5 hours sound cassette
129 pages transcript
Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: text
248 minutes length
Interviewee: Velasquez, Simon
Interviewer: Saylor, Thomas
Made in: West Saint Paul, Dakota County, Minnesota, United States
Creation: 05/19/2003 - 05/28/2003 (Interviews conducted 5/19/2003 and 5/28/2003.)
|Holding Type||Oral History - Interview|
OH 112 (Library Call Number)
AV2006.1.28 (Accession Number)
MNHS Library Catalog
Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'Minnesota's Greatest Generation Oral History Project: Part I'