Five out of every six men serving in WWII never saw combat, serving instead in the vast support services. But the men who were at the front lived through some of the greatest horrors of the human experience.
Of all the assignments a serviceman might find himself undertaking in WWII, flying seemed to offer the greatest promise of glory. It would also become the most dangerous job of the war.
A WWII infantryman was engaged in combat for an hour each day on average, but he fought the environment around the clock, from the Arctic Circle to desert sands and fetid jungles.
WWII veterans describe their brief interludes of “everyday” life while at the front, with intimate films from archives and personal collections illustrating their treasured wartime memories.
For the sailors who fought in World War II, combat at sea differed radically from any previous conflict. The jobs they performed were more complex than ever before, and the threats they faced were much more lethal.
During WWII, the U.S. military challenged itself to create the most advanced supply system in the history of warfare, and the servicemen who staffed it played a critical role in achieving victory.
The elite submarine sailors of World War II "Silent Service" endured an unique type of battle: With little chance of escape if disaster struck, the submarine itself often became a steel coffin.
The millions of combatants in WWII bore the brunt of the devastation, but civilian populations also bravely shouldered their duties as their homelands were embroiled in "total war."
The fact that so many WWII servicemen lived to tell the tale is a testament to the brave medical personnel who fought daily against death behind the front lines.
For Allied servicemen, the last year of WWII proved the most difficult. These men desperately wanted to return to home and loved ones. If they survived, what would the peace bring?
In the aftermath of the war, U.S. servicemen faced daunting new responsibilities and perhaps a greater challenge than waging war - that of keeping the peace. Examine this monumental undertaking known simply as occupation.