First Person War Stories

Remarkable stories of war told by those who fought for a proud nation. Their words. Their voices. Our first episodes tell riveting stories from World War II, then we move on to the Vietnam War and other dramatic conflicts.

All Episodes

CPT Le Roy Torres: The Burn Pits

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:56
In this special episode, CPT Torres explains how landfill-like “burn pits'' in Iraq gave him a chronic lung injury and a toxic brain injury....
Listen to CPT Le Roy Torres: The Burn Pits

MGen Roger Rowley: Missing D-Day

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:55
MGen Roger Rowley describes his experiences fighting as a ground forces officer in the days following the invasion of Normandy....
Listen to MGen Roger Rowley: Missing D-Day

Navy Corpsman Jack Hessman: The Battle of the Chosin Reservoir

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:52
Navy Corpsman Jack Hessman describes the freezing cold conditions he faced and his near death experiences during the Korean War....
Listen to Navy Corpsman Jack Hessman: The Battle of the Chosin Reservoir

SSG David Bellavia: Medal of Honor in Iraq

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:53
SSG Bellavia served in Iraq, and was awarded the Medal of Honor for clearing a house filled with five insurgents in order to save his squad....
Listen to SSG David Bellavia: Medal of Honor in Iraq

SPC Rocky Bleier: From Vietnam to the Super Bowl

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:52
After a grenade injured both his legs and sent him home from Vietnam, SPC Rocky Bleier made a full recovery and went on to win four Super Bowls wi...
Listen to SPC Rocky Bleier: From Vietnam to the Super Bowl

Specialist Nathan Dowds: Paratrooper in Iraq & Afghanistan

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:51
Dowds discusses his training, the moments when his life was on the line, and the hazy morality of the conflict....
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BGen Sydney Radley-Walters (Part II): A Tank Ace on D-Day

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:49
BGen Radley-Walters was a tank commander in the Canadian Army and was the Western Allies leading tank killer during WWII...
Listen to BGen Sydney Radley-Walters (Part II): A Tank Ace on D-Day

BGen Sydney Radley-Walters (Part I): A Tank Ace on D-Day

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:49
BGen Radley-Walters was a tank commander in the Canadian Army and was the Western Allies leading tank killer during WWII....
Listen to BGen Sydney Radley-Walters (Part I): A Tank Ace on D-Day

Brig. Gen. Robin Olds: WWII & Vietnam Pilot (Part II)

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:49
Olds describes his experiences in Vietnam, his most memorable dogfight, and more....
Listen to Brig. Gen. Robin Olds: WWII & Vietnam Pilot (Part II)

Brig. Gen. Robin Olds: WWII & Vietnam Pilot (Part I)

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:48
Olds talks about his experiences in WWII and about managing fear, and describes the craziest coincidence you’ve ever heard of....
Listen to Brig. Gen. Robin Olds: WWII & Vietnam Pilot (Part I)

MAJ Richard Neece Ojeda II: A Lifetime of Service

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:47
Over 24 years, MAJ Ojeda deployed to Germany, Korea, Iraq, Haiti, and Afghanistan, and was almost killed five times....
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CPT Jason Kander: PTSD After Afghanistan

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:46
Kander served as an Army Intelligence Officer in Afghanistan where he conducted extremely dangerous meetings with traffickers, informants, and loc...
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Capt. Tom Smith: Combat Pararescue in Iraq and Afghanistan

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:45
Capt. Tom Smith served as a combat rescue officer and pararescueman in the Air Force....
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Maj. Gen. Frederick “Boots” Blesse (Part III): His Heroes

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:44
Blesses talk about what inspired him to join the Air Force, and the story behind how he met his childhood hero, Freddie Rickenbacker....
Listen to Maj. Gen. Frederick “Boots” Blesse (Part III): His Heroes

Maj. Gen. Frederick “Boots” Blesse (Part II): “No Guts, No Glory”

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:43
Blesse explains how his motto “No Guts, No Glory” was taught as doctrine throughout the Air force, and how dogfighting has changed over the years....
Listen to Maj. Gen. Frederick “Boots” Blesse (Part II): “No Guts, No Glory”

Maj. Gen. Frederick “Boots” Blesse (Part I): The Korean War

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:42
Blesse describes his second tour in Korea, a couple of intense dogfights, and becoming a fighter Ace....
Listen to Maj. Gen. Frederick “Boots” Blesse (Part I): The Korean War

Col. Bud Anderson: The Highest Scoring Living American Fighter Ace Part II

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:41
Anderson is a triple Ace fighter pilot who flew a P-51 Mustang in WWII....
Listen to Col. Bud Anderson: The Highest Scoring Living American Fighter Ace Part II

Col. Bud Anderson: Triple-Ace Mustang Pilot, Part I

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:40
Anderson is credited with 16 aerial combat victories as a P-51 pilot in WWII....
Listen to Col. Bud Anderson: Triple-Ace Mustang Pilot, Part I

A Memorial Day Message from Ken Harbaugh

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:39
Ken shares his thoughts about how Memorial Day is celebrated....
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Col. Darrell Whitcomb: The Raven Pilots in Laos Part II

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:38
Whitcomb served in the United States Air Force as an OV-10 Forward Air Controller, and joined the Ravens, a classified program that operated durin...
Listen to Col. Darrell Whitcomb: The Raven Pilots in Laos Part II

Col. Darrell Whitcomb: The Raven Pilots in Laos Part I

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:37
Whitcomb served in the United States Air Force as an OV-10 Forward Air Controller, and joined the Ravens, a classified program that operated durin...
Listen to Col. Darrell Whitcomb: The Raven Pilots in Laos Part I

Col. Ché Bolden: Marine Corps F-18 Weapons Systems Officer

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:36
Bolden describes his time at the Naval Academy, flight school, and serving in the Middle East and the Pacific....
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SPC Jan Scruggs: Founder of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:35
Scruggs recounts his time serving in Vietnam, and how he founded the Vietnam Veterans Memorial....
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BONUS: Former CIA Officer David Chasteen

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:34
Former CIA officer David Chasteen provides insight into what part intelligence collection and cyber warfare play in the invasion of Ukraine....
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Sgt. Bill True: The Mark of a True Leader

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:33
WWII Veteran Bill True describes the role of Sergeants in the success of a unit....
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BONUS: A Volunteer Soldier in Ukraine’s Territorial Defense Forces

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:33
A few weeks ago, Nikolay worked in finance. Now, he’s fighting for his life, his family, and his country....
Listen to BONUS: A Volunteer Soldier in Ukraine’s Territorial Defense Forces

Sgt. Bill Taylor: Close Calls in Vietnam

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:32
Sgt. Bill Taylor, a Marine, describes narrowly escaping death in Vietnam...
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BONUS: Aerial Combat, No Fly Zones, and the Skies Over Ukraine

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:33
Ward Carroll, a former F-14 Radar Intercept Officer, discusses aerial combat, no fly zones, the Ghost of Kyiv, and the battle for the skies over U...
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BONUS: Former Navy SEAL Dan Barkhuff Discusses the Russian Invasion

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:32
Dan Barkhuff, a former Navy SEAL, discusses the realities of urban warfare, and what the Russian invasion force is likely to face....
Listen to BONUS: Former Navy SEAL Dan Barkhuff Discusses the Russian Invasion

Sgt. Josh Remillard: A Mortarman in Iraq

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:31
Sgt. Remillard describes how he defied a direct order to protect civilian lives....
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Lt. Col. Darrell Bogan: Air Force Flight Medic

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:30
Lt. Col. Bogan served as a US Air Force flight medic, and credits the military with allowing him to become the first person in the history of his ...
Listen to Lt. Col. Darrell Bogan: Air Force Flight Medic

LCDR Donnelly Wilkes: Battalion Surgeon on the Front Lines in Iraq

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:29
Dr. Wilkes was a battalion surgeon serving with the US Marines during the Battle of Fallujah...
Listen to LCDR Donnelly Wilkes: Battalion Surgeon on the Front Lines in Iraq

Dave Lewis: The Journey of an Apache Helicopter Pilot

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:28
Dave Lewis is an Army veteran who flew helicopters in Iraq and Afghanistan....
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Lt. Col. Fred Wellman: Survivor’s Guilt as a Black Hawk Helicopter Pilot in Iraq

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:27
Lt. Col. Wellman served in the Army as an aviator and public affairs officer during the Gulf War....
Listen to Lt. Col. Fred Wellman: Survivor’s Guilt as a Black Hawk Helicopter Pilot in Iraq

Col. Charles Bussey: Christmas in Korea

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:26
Col. Bussey describes how deadly the conditions were in Korea, how the morality of men changes in war, and how he received the best Christmas pres...
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Sir Ludovic Kennedy: Chasing the Bismarck

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:25
Kennedy tells the story of how the Royal Navy chased the Bismarck, the most powerful German battleship in WWII, through the Atlantic...
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Capt. Joseph K. Taussig Jr: The Attack on Pearl Harbor

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:23
Capt. Taussig lost his leg defending the USS Nevada during the attack on Pearl Harbor....
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Joseph Lockard: The Hours Before the Attack on Pearl Harbor

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:22
Joseph Lockard was a radar operator who saw the incoming Japanese forces an hour before their surprise attack on Pearl Harbor....
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Lt. Col. Thomas D. Ferran III: Sniping in Vietnam, Part II

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:21
Ferran details the psychological impact of sniping, and now he considers it both an art, and a hunt....
Listen to Lt. Col. Thomas D. Ferran III: Sniping in Vietnam, Part II

Lt. Col. Thomas D. Ferran III: Sniping in Vietnam Part I

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:20
Ferran describes the ‘art’ of Sniping, and how it is a very tough and personal business...
Listen to Lt. Col. Thomas D. Ferran III: Sniping in Vietnam Part I

Lt. Col. Amy McGrath: The First Female Marine to Fly a Combat Mission in an F-18

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:19
Lt. Col. Amy McGrath describes her experiences as a woman in the Marine Corps, and her combat tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Pacific....
Listen to Lt. Col. Amy McGrath: The First Female Marine to Fly a Combat Mission in an F-18

James E.T. Hopkins: WWII Combat Surgeon in Merrill’s Marauders

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:18
James E.T. Hopkins shares the stories of the famous Merrill’s Marauders, who served in Burma in WWII...
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Kris Goldsmith: The Horrific Documentation of Death

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:17
Army Vet Kris Goldsmith describes photographing corpses in Iraq and his struggle with PTSD...
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Col. Logan E. Weston: The Fightin’ Preacher and Merrill’s Marauders in WWII

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:16
Weston describes his combat experience as a part of the famous Merrill’s Marauders, who fought in burma in WWII...
Listen to Col. Logan E. Weston: The Fightin’ Preacher and Merrill’s Marauders in WWII

Master Sergeant Michael ‘Top’ Washington: Counterintelligence in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:15
Master Sergeant ‘Top’ Washington describes his journey from desk work to front-line reconnaissance in the Gulf War...
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Lt. Col. Milt Shalinsky: Becoming a POW in Nazi Germany

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:14
Lt. Col. Milt Shalinsky describes his B-17 crashing near Brunswick Germany, and his experiences as a prisoner of war....
Listen to Lt. Col. Milt Shalinsky: Becoming a POW in Nazi Germany

Col. Kent Harbaugh: Phantom Pilot in Vietnam

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:13
In this special Father’s Day episode, Ken interviews his father, Col. Kent Harbaugh, a Phantom pilot in Vietnam....
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Bonus: Lt. Col. Barnard Kemter’s Memorial Day Speech

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:12
Lt. Col. Barnard Kemter speaks about the importance and origins of Memorial Day...
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Sgt. 1st Class Elana Duffy: Counterintelligence in Iraq and Afghanistan, Part II

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:11
Sgt. 1st Class Elana Duffy talks about counterintelligence and about suffering a traumatic brain injury from an IED in Iraq...
Listen to Sgt. 1st Class Elana Duffy: Counterintelligence in Iraq and Afghanistan, Part II

Sgt. 1st Class Elana Duffy: Counterintelligence in Iraq and Afghanistan, Part I

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:10
Sgt. 1st Class Elana Duffy tells stories of serving in counterintelligence in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2004 and 2005....
Listen to Sgt. 1st Class Elana Duffy: Counterintelligence in Iraq and Afghanistan, Part I

Col. Bill Gara: Leading the First Engineer Battalion in World War II, Part II

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:9
In the second of a two-part episode, Col. Bill Gara tells stories of the 1st Engineer Combat Battalion of the 1st Infantry....
Listen to Col. Bill Gara: Leading the First Engineer Battalion in World War II, Part II

Col. Bill Gara: Leading the First Engineer Battalion in World War II, Part I

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:8
Col. Bill Gara tells stories of the 1st Engineer Combat Battalion of the 1st Infantry, which he led from the 1944 Normandy landings through May of...
Listen to Col. Bill Gara: Leading the First Engineer Battalion in World War II, Part I

Dr. Jon Heavey: Battalion Surgeon in Iraq

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:7
Dr. Jon Heavey talks about witnessing the cost of war during his service as a battalion surgeon in Iraq....
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Bill Story: The American-Canadian Devil’s Brigade, Part II

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:6
Lieutenant Bill Story remembers his service in World War II in the joint American-Canadian First Special Service Force known as The Devil’s Brigad...
Listen to Bill Story: The American-Canadian Devil’s Brigade, Part II

Bill Story: The American-Canadian Devil’s Brigade, Part I

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:5
Lieutenant Bill Story remembers his service in World War II in the joint American-Canadian First Special Service Force known as The Devil’s Brigad...
Listen to Bill Story: The American-Canadian Devil’s Brigade, Part I

Mike Howard: Serving From the Shadows

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:4
Mike Howard shares stories from his 22 year career with the CIA....
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Winston Roche: World War I from the Trenches, Part II

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:3
In the second of a two-part episode, Lieutenant Colonel Winston Roche shares stories from the World War I trenches....
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Winston Roche: World War I from the Trenches, Part I

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:2
Lieutenant Colonel Winston Roche shares stories from the World War I trenches....
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Jake Wood: Stories of Service in Iraq and Afghanistan

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:2 E:1
Jake Wood, veteran and CEO of Team Rubicon, tells stories from his service in Iraq and Afghanistan....
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New Episodes Coming Soon

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:New Episodes Coming Soon!
In Warriors in Their Own Words, we’ll dig into the archives to bring you stories from wars that have begun to recede in our collective memory. Wor...
Listen to New Episodes Coming Soon

1st Air Cavalry Helicopter Pilot

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:38
The 1st Air Cavalry Division was the most lethal assault force assembled in Vietnam. The pilots were the first to fully harness the power of helic...
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B-29 Bomber Pilot in WWII

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:37
Charles L. Phillips was a 26-year-old Captain in the U.S. Army Air Corps, piloting B-29 bombers in the Pacific theater during the final years of W...
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German U-Boat Lieutenant

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:36
In this special episode, we feature an interview with a German U-boat veteran from World War II....
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Bob Hoover Legendary Pilot - Part 2

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:35
Bob Hoover learned to fly as a teenager in Tennessee, flew over 50 combat missions in World War II and went on to become a legendary test pilot....
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Bob Hoover Legendary Pilot - Part 1

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:34
Bob Hoover is one of history’s greatest aviators....
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Pacific War Marine in WWII

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:33
John Nicely was a Sergeant in the US Marine Corps during the brutal Pacific island campaigns of WWII....
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Pete Everest Air Force Test Pilot

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:32
General Frank “Pete” Everest was a record-setting US Air Force Test pilot....
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Marine Corps Rifleman in Vietnam

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:31
John C. Muir was a decorated combat veteran of the Vietnam War....
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WWII Fighter Ace Flies in Korea

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:30
Col. Walker “Bud” Mahurin was an American combat fighter pilot....
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Intelligence Officer Fighting in Europe

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:29
Walter Bodlander was a military intelligence officer for the US Army during WWII....
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Fighter Pilot of the Tuskegee Airmen

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:28
Colonel Charles Bussey courageously flew P-51 Mustangs as a fighter pilot in World War II....
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Three War Army Hero

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:27
This episode tells the dramatic story of an Army veteran who served in three wars, World War II, Korea and Vietnam....
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Pacific War Diary

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:26
During World War II, the United States Marines played a central role in the battle for the islands of the Pacific....
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Flying Tigers & Silver Streaks

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:25
This is the tale of two American pilots of World War II. One, R.T. Smith, was a fighter ace in Burma flying P-40s with the legendary Flying Tigers...
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Medal of Honor & Battlefield Recordings

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:24
Medal of Honor recipient Walter Ehlers tells his dramatic stories of combat in North Africa and Europe and details the events surrounding his hero...
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D-Day Diary

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:23
1994 was the 50th anniversary of D-Day. Throughout that year, The Honor Project sat down with dozens of veterans off the Normandy Invasion to hear...
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D-Day The First Hours

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:22
Hours before the Allied Forces hit the beaches of Normandy, courageous British and American soldiers entered France with parachutes and gliders to...
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First Helicopter Combat Rescue Mission

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:21
Today helicopters carry the firepower of an artillery battery and can strike deep behind every lines, flying day or night in any weather....
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Combat Medics in Vietnam

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:20
Combat Medics courageously fought to save lives as the war raged around them in Vietnam....
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Tunnel Rats in Vietnam

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:19
The Tunnel Rats were courageous soldiers who performed underground search and destroy missions during the Vietnam War....
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Snipers in Vietnam

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:18
Military snipers were trained sharpshooters assigned to kill a man with one perfect shot....
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SOG Covert Task Force in Vietnam

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:17
Studies and Observations Group (SOG) was a highly classified, special ops unit that conducted unconventional warfare during the Vietnam War....
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Wild Weasels in Vietnam

Warriors In Their Own Words | E:116
The Wild Weasels of the United States Air Force were some of the most courageous pilots in Vietnam....
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Bat 21 Rescue in Vietnam

Warriors In Their Own Words | E:115
On Easter Sunday, April 2, 1972, two EB-66 aircraft, call signs Bat 21 and Bat 22 were flying pathfinder escort for three B-52s, which were assign...
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Forward Air Controllers in Vietnam

Warriors In Their Own Words | E:114
Forward Air Controllers or FACs choreographed this skies over the battlefield in Vietnam. They courageously flew low, slow and unarmed over enemy ...
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Vietnam Forward Observers

Warriors In Their Own Words | E:113
During the Vietnam War, all too often the chaos of battle found Allied forces trapped and facing annihilation. The situation called for courageous...
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Iwo Jima

Warriors In Their Own Words | E:112
The battle for Iwo Jima in World War II became the bloodiest in U. S. Marine Corps history. But for survivors like Chuck Tatum, it also represents...
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Marine Raiders in the Pacific

Warriors In Their Own Words | E:111
The Marine Raiders were elite units established by the United States Marine Corp during World War II to conduct special amphibious assault mission...
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Amphibious Assault in the Pacific

Warriors In Their Own Words | E:110
By 1943, the war in the Pacific burned in its full fury. On November 20th, the Allies launched the first amphibious assault against heavily defend...
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Guadalcanal

Warriors In Their Own Words | E:109
The unrelenting ferocity of the Pacific War was without a doubt the bloodiest and most savage of the two theaters of World War II....
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Glider Attack On D-Day

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:8
They are known as America's first military stealth aircraft....
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U.S. Rangers On D-Day

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:7
This episode features the dramatic role of the U.S Rangers on D-Day during World War II. Leonard Lomell and Sidney Salomon, from the 2nd Ranger Ba...
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Hitting the Beach On D-Day

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:6
On June 6, 1944, the Allies launched the largest amphibious military assault in history known as D-Day. More than 150,000 American, British and Ca...
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Airborne Assault On D-Day

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:5
June 6th, 1944...D-Day. It was the greatest military assault ever staged....
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Assault on Germany in World War Two

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:4
In 1944, the Allies fought their way from the beaches of Normandy towards German soil....
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Battle of the Bulge

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:3
Toward the end of 1944, it was clear that Germany was losing WWII. Low on fuel, munitions and morale, the ability of the Nazis was slipping away....
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Air War Over Europe in World War Two

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:2
By 1942, the skies over Germany were aflame with German fighters battling Allied bombers for the survival of Europe and the free world....
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Armored Warfare in World War Two

Warriors In Their Own Words | S:1 E:1
In this episode of Warriors In Their Own Words, veterans of the 3rd Armored Division, Belton Cooper and Bertrand Close, transport us to the Race A...
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