It was the deadliest conflict in human history.
Worldwide, World War II left 15 million dead from battle, 25 million wounded in battle, and over 45 million civilians dead.
The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that fewer than 500,000 of the 15 million surviving American veterans were living as of September 2018. Over 300 are passing daily.
We are honored to feature 12 of them this season.
Nov 11, 2019
Pat D’Ambrosio, Army
“We Gave Them The Food from Our Mess Kits”
The Great Depression, the draft, and how war immediately affected families.
Nov 11, 2019
Frank Devita, Coast Guard
“Why Am I Alive?”
Surviving D-Day, eating on ship for 3 years, and facing fears in the Pacific.
Nov 11, 2019
For the Mechanically Minded
*An extra-nerdy supporting episode!*
Nov 18, 2019
John Bistrica, Army
“I Came Off in Waist-Deep Water.”
Storming Normandy on D-Day, having no food that night, and a war wound that sent him home.
Nov 25, 2019
George Hardy, Air Corps Pilot
Airmen Flew High
A mind for engineering, racism in the Air Corps, and flying high into Germany and beyond.
Dec 2, 2019
William Walker, Navy
Service Within the Service
Rising the ranks in a segregated Navy, feeding troops and foreigners, and post-war racism.
Dec 9, 2019
Harold Bud Long, Air Corps Engineer
“I Lived on K-Rations and C-Rations…”
How farming affected what men ate on the front lines, and a journey from D-Day through feeding civilians, through concentration camp liberation.
Part 1: Dec 16, 2019
Part 2: Dec 21, 2019
“Dad, I Can’t Talk About It.”
A two-part episode on why some veterans stay quiet, and how civilians can help: battle fatigue in WW2, racial healing, community involvement, and the part food plays in it all.
Coming Jan 27, 2020
Lawson Ichiro Sakai, Army
When You Look Like the Enemy
And extended episode on Japanese farming, Japanese internment, and Japanese sacrifice, through the story of one incredible veteran.
Feb 3, 2020
Bob Hanson, Navy
We Were Treated Like Kings
How much did education and affluence affect Service stories? Our Lieutenant takes us from skiing for the Army through PT Boats in the Pacific.
Feb 24, 2020
Norm Rubin, Marines
100-year old Norm joined up in 1937 as a way to take one mouth away from his family table and so he could see the world. How did that choice change his future when the U.S. joined the war in 1941?
Feb 10, 2020
Ray Boutwell, Navy
Navy Cooking at 110%
Feeding squadrons and officers trained Ray for a life in food service – and helps us better understand how the food actually got made.
Mar 2, 2020
Melanie Kambic, Nurse
98-year old SisterMelanie grew up as one of six children in a Croatian family, and she always wanted to help people. Working as an Army nurse and then taking orders to become a nun? A lifetime of Service, indeed.
Coming Feb 14
A collection of this season’s veterans
All’s Fair in War and Lasting Love
Every veteran we’re heard from this season also has a tale to tell of lifelong love. Today, we share a few stories of the women who kept their hearts pumping.
Mar 9, 2020
Authors Myke Cole and Anastacia Marx de Salcedo
As we close out this first Service season, combat historian Myke Cole and military food history author Anastacia Marx de Salcedo help us understand what we’ve heard our veterans share of this massive period of combat and cuisine.
Extra interview audio
President Roosevelt on civilian farming during wartime.
A one-minute preview from our Veterans.
An Abbreviated WW2 Timeline
- Apr 4, 1940 – Germany invades Poland and Denmark, and the World War officially begins
- Sep 7, 1940 – “The Blitz” begins in London — nightly heavy bombings by the German Luftwaffe
- Jul 10 – Oct 31, 1940 – the Allies win the Battle of Britain, the first major military campaign fought in the air
- Sep 27, 1940 – Germany, Italy, and Japan sign the Axis pact
- Dec 7, 1941 – The bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese
- Dec 8, 1941 – The U.S. declares war on the Japanese. The Axis powers immediately declare war on the U.S. in response.
- May 1942 – Food rationing begins in the U.S. Sugar is the first food rationed, with coffee, canned goods, cheese, and meat following in the fall.
- Jun 6, 1942 – The Allies win the Battle of Midway, another major turning point for the Allies
- June 6, 1944 – Operation Overlord / the D-Day invasion of Normandy begins. It becomes the largest allied invasion of the war, with 425,000 casualties split between Allied and Axis forces upon its completion in August
- Aug 25, 1944 – The Liberation of Paris comes after four years of German occupation
- Dec 1944 – Jan 1945: The Battle of the Bulge rages across Europe
- Feb 1945 – the Allies sustain heavy casualties in the campaign at Iwo Jima and (following) Okinawa
- Apr 30, 1945 – Adolph Hitler commits suicide in Berlin
- May 8, 1945 – V-E Day marks the Allied victory in Europe
- Aug 6, 1945 – the 1st atomic bomb kills between 90,000-146,000 people in Hiroshima
- Aug 9, 1945 – the 2nd atomic bomb kills between 39,000 and 80,000 people in Nagasaki
- Aug 15, 1945 – V-J day – the Japanese surrender to the Allies
(Click photos to enlarge)