The Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress American Folklife Center was created by the United States Congress in 2000 to collect and preserve the firsthand remembrances of U.S. wartime veterans to ensure future generations may hear directly from those who served to better understand the realities of war.

Guided by pamphlets and protocols of the Library of Congress (p/c), the Veterans History Project interviews at Bethune Cookman University began in 2005.

BCU Oral History students engaged with veterans at the Emory L. Bennett (p/c) Veterans’ Home in Daytona Beach Florida to collect and preserve personal stories from WWII (p/c) veterans.

Some of the individuals interviewed include:

Mr. Lonnie Johnson (p/c) who risked his life to drive gasoline trucks to the front lines in Europe as US troops advanced in the Battle of the Bulge. Mr. Mike Fisher (p/c) flew bombing raids from Northern Africa to Occupied France. He was shot down, parachuted and was rescued by French farmers. After months of hiding from Germans, he and other survivors of the crash hiked shoeless across the Pyrenees Mountains (p/c) into Spain. They took off their shoes so their footfalls would not be heard by German patrols.

Mr. Bertram Wallace (p/c) was in the Military Police and served in both WWII and the Korean Conflict (p/c). In Korea, he commanded a Prisoner of War camp.

Featured Biographies

mitMr. Ray Mitchell (p/c) was born October 3, 1924, in St. Clairsville, Ohio in Ohio and passed away April 29, 2018, in Port Orange, FL. Mitchell enlisted into the US Army in the spring of 1943 immediately after graduating as a mechanical engineer in June 1942. In pursuing a military career, he followed the steps of his father and grandfather.



MGGlobal War on Terror and Afghanistan War veteran Major Matthew Gonzalez, (p/c) United States Marine Corps pilot was born on July 23, 1981, in Naples, FL and is a graduate of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. Gonzalez was first deployed on the USS Boxer, a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) in the Mediterranean. He participated in the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips who had been kidnapped by Somali pirates when there was an attempted hijacking the Maersk Alabama in 2010.



VHP Documentary

Project Created By Dr. Jeannette Ford, Associate Professor. Produced & Edited by Maurice Hendricks - Robert Frederick Smith Fund Intern Summer 2019. Narrated by Dr. Clarissa West-White - Robert Frederick Smith Intern Summer 2019.