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Now Playing: Jim Paine, 100th Division
Jim Paine recounts being the only survivor after a tragic incident in France (1:27)

Close Encounters

While stationed at a staging base in North Africa, Olin Plunkett experiences the most paralyzing fear of his life on a patrol boat in the Mediterranean. - WWII
Olin Plunkett, 4th Naval Beach Battalion / 3:52

Ed Morrison recalls the USS Chub sinking the high-speed Japanese Minelayer W-34. - WWII
Edward Morrison, USS Chub (SS-329) / 2:24

Ed Morrison remembers the near death of the USS Chub when a stray Japanese bomber sneaks up on the surfaced sub during the early morning hours. - WWII
Edward Morrison, USS Chub (SS-329) / 4:23

Reed Williams remembers the 502nd being taken off the line after Normandy for re-training and re-outfitting before Market Garden, and the tense situation in England at the time. - WWII
Reed Williams, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment (Pathfinders) / 4:16

Robert Walker remembers a surprise attack by a German bomber on his air base in Boxted, England, in 1943. - WWII
Robert Walker, 9th Air Force / :57

A lieutenant who refuses to move into a dangerous situation protects the lives of Luke Huggins and the other men in his battery. - WWII
Luke Huggins, 351st Battalion, A Battery, Cannon Company / 2:36

While serving as a gunner on the USS Stephen Potter in early 1944, Bill Minor remembers a close call with a Japanese torpedo. - WWII
Bill Minor, USS Stephen Potter, Task Force 38/58 / 01:48

Sherman Powell describes a close call with a Japanese bomber while his tanker was refueling warships at the Pacific island of Morotai in late 1944. - WWII
Sherman Powell, USS Elkhorn / 02:31

Mr. LaBonte discusses encountering a Japanese submarine while on the U.S.S. Raymond en route to the Philippine Islands. - WWII
Warren LaBonte, U.S. Navy, U.S.S. Raymond, DE 341 / :57

Frank Pomroy remembers being part of the first wave onto the island of Peleliu and coming face to face with a Japanese soldier during a banzai charge. - WWII
Frank Pomroy, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Division / 12:22

Mr. Gaston describes nearly being hit by M6 rounds from a far distance. - Korea
James Gaston, U.S. Army, 3rd Infantry Div., 3rd Recon Company / :42

Lewis Fern recounts a close call with Germans on a rainy night in Anzio - WWII
Lewis Fern, 82nd Airborne Division / 2:00

Glenn Gooch shares his first close encounter with a German soldier in France - WWII
Glenn Gooch, 4th Infantry / :50

Glenn Gooch's face is burned by machine gun fire in Northern Europe - WWII
Glenn Gooch, 4th Infantry / 1:56

Airborne infantryman Roy Turner shares his face to face experience with a German soldier - WWII
Roy Turner, 82nd Airborne / 1:00

Thomas Fitzgibbons tells of hand to hand fighting in the streets of an Italian town - WWII
Thomas Fitzgibbons, 1st Armored / 1:00

Fred Pounds tells of a close call with artillery fire in Germany - WWII
Fred Pounds, 76th Infantry / :30

Andy Kiddey recounts a close call with Italian soldiers in North Africa - WWII
Andy Kiddey, 1st Armored / 1:47

Weldon Storey has a close call while digging foxholes in Italy - WWII
Weldon Storey, 10th Mountain Division / 1:24

Jim Fletcher faces numerous ambushes from informants while living in the jungles of Burma. - WWII
Jim Fletcher, OSS Detachment 101 / 2:14

Jim Fletcher meets up with a friend from induction and discovers a Japanese trap. - WWII
Jim Fletcher, OSS Detachment 101 / 1:07

Stephen Chick remembers a close call in Austria while trying to stop a German tank with a bazooka. - WWII
Stephen Chick, 65th Infantry Division / 2:23

Leo Griffin remembers the first night and day after the USS Karnes dropped off its troops and set anchor off Okinawa as part of the landings. - WWII
Leo Griffin, USS Karnes / 2:27

Reed Williams and the 502nd move into Carentan on D+5 and have a number of close encounters with German tanks and fighter planes. - WWII
Reed Williams, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment (Pathfinders) / 3:03

After the severe damage to the USS George F. Elliot, Frank Pomroy and a few other men try to survive in the shark infested waters of the South Pacific. - WWII
Frank Pomroy, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines / 1:39

Col. Lee Ellis (ret.) recalls the airbase at Da Nang coming under rocket fire on his first night. - Vietnam
Col. Lee Ellis (ret.), 390th Tactical Fighter Squadron / 2:11

Leo Goldner, while in the Philippines, interrupts an enemy soldier who emerges from the jungles to rape a USO performer. - WWII
Leo Goldner, WESPAC Group / 2:47

Tom Kennedy discusses a tragic recon mission as his jeep hits a mine. - WWII
Tom Kennedy, 101st Airborne Division, 506th PIR, G Co. / 2:22

Sid attempts to rescue a downed pilot in the water as sharks circle him. - WWII
Sid Schneider, US Navy, USS John A. Bole, Destroyer / 4:34

Sid experiences a kamikaze attack on the rear of the USS John A Bole (Destroyer). - WWII
Sid Schneider, US Navy, USS John A. Bole, Destroyer / 1:30

Marvin prepares for the invasion of Japan but is saved at the last minute by the dropping of the two atomic bombs. - WWII
Marvin Newman, US Army, 40th Inf., 160th Reg. / 1:17

Bob Belcher witnesses a V-2 rocket land near his foxhole, creating a hole large enough to fit a house in. - WWII
Bob Belcher, 3rd Army, 99th Inf. Div., 395th Inf., 3rd Battalion, Co. L, 3rd Platoon / .58

Bob Belcher survives a close call when a flare suddenly goes off, revealing his position to a bunch of German soldiers. - WWII
Bob Belcher, 3rd Army, 99th Inf. Div., 395th Inf., 3rd Battalion, Co. L, 3rd Platoon / 3:02

Bob Belcher is fired upon by a German sniper in a church bell tower. As he attempts to escape, he falls in a vegetable cellar as bullets whiz by him. - WWII
Bob Belcher, 3rd Army, 99th Inf. Div., 395th Inf., 3rd Battalion, Co. L, 3rd Platoon / 3:26

Bob Belcher witnesses a fellow soldier shot multiple times and is with him as he says his last words and dies. - WWII
Bob Belcher, 3rd Army, 99th Inf. Div., 395th Inf., 3rd Battalion, Co. L, 3rd Platoon / 1:16

Neil explains how their LST was attacked by Japanese aircraft while the LST crew was trying to unload ammunition crates and drums of gasoline on a pier. - WWII
Neil Ippolito, U.S. Navy, Boatswain's Mate, 7th Fleet, 7th Flotilla, LST 466 & 475 / 4:26

Neil shoots down a Japanese kamikaze plane with a single 40MM anti-aircraft gun. The wing of the plane breaks off and hits the side of Neil's LST. - WWII
Neil Ippolito, U.S. Navy, Boatswain's Mate, 7th Fleet, 7th Flotilla, LST 466 & 475 / 2:08

While in the Philippines, Neil's LST is hit by mortar fire. The LST backs off the beach and narrowly avoids being hit a second time. - WWII
Neil Ippolito, U.S. Navy, Boatswain's Mate, 7th Fleet, 7th Flotilla, LST 466 & 475 / 1:59

Ken Adams has to eject from his plane during a stateside training exercise. - Vietnam
Ken Adams, Capt., U.S. Navy Pilot, VT-23 / 4:32

Hugo Parkman, a submarine officer, describes a close call with an enemy bomb on March 8, 1944. - WWII
Hugo Parkman, USS Finback / 01:38

A 20mm round from a German fighter lodges in Kirk's bomber wing, but is only discovered after the bomber lands in England. - WWII
Kirk Price, 8th Air Force, 303rd Bomb Group, 360th Bomb Squadron, B-17 Tail Gunner / 1:25

While in Germany, Charles is hit by an artillery round in the knee, forcing his evacuation to a Army field hospital, only to be mistaken as a German soldier. - WWII
Charles Wollmer, Captain, U.S. Army, 3rd Armored Div., 83rd Armored Recon Bn. / 4:19

During Robert's 1st combat mission over the DMZ, he experiences a harrowing flight. - Vietnam
Col. Robert Certain, U.S. Air Force, B-52 Navigator, 307th Strategic Air Wing / 2:14

During a scheduled B-52 flight out of Guam, Robert's plane almost does not lift off. - Vietnam
Col. Robert Certain, U.S. Air Force, B-52 Navigator, 307th Strategic Air Wing / 2:46

Robert's B-52, shortly after take off, loses all electrical power. - Vietnam
Col. Robert Certain, U.S. Air Force, B-52 Navigator, 307th Strategic Air Wing / 7:53

Alex Molnar, a B-24 bombardier, remembers a harrowing time his aircraft was hit by flak during a bombing mission in 1944. This footage was provided by the family of Alex Molnar. - WWII
Alex Molnar, U.S. Air Force / 1:47

George Thompson, a tank mechanic, recalls taking fire from German soldiers for the first time in April of 1945. Donated by the Prescott, AZ branch of the Veterans History Project. - WWII
George Thompson, 16th Armored Division / 02:20

George Thompson remembers a close call with German soldiers while his division liberated the city of Plzen, Czechoslovakia, in May of 1945. Donated by the Prescott, AZ branch of the Veterans History Project. - WWII
George Thompson, 16th Armored Division / 03:18

Roger witnesses a large explosion that knocks over a two and a half ton truck full of soldiers. - WWII
Roger Sheridan, U.S. Army, 8th Armored Division, Corp. of Engineers / 1:48

Roger is pinned between two half-tracks, earning him a purple heart. - WWII
Roger Sheridan, U.S. Army, 8th Armored Division, Corp. of Engineers / 1:19

Robert Walker recalls his first combat experience and a valuable lesson learned while stationed in Boxted, England, in 1943. - WWII
Robert Walker, 9th Air Force / 02:34

Bill's ship crosses the Atlantic Ocean as part of a large convoy of ships. Bill sees several Liberty Ships hit and sunk by German subs. - WWII
Bill York, 3rd Class Petty Officer, LCT Flotilla 20, LCT Group 60, USS LSMR 526/527 / 2:40

During a trip across the Atlantic Ocean, Roland's convoy is attacked by German submarines. An Admiral makes a dreadful decision. - WWII
Roland "Knob" Knobel, Jr., Commander, U.S.Navy, U.S.S. Kearsarge & U.S.S. Megara / 3:21

As Pete's B-17 crosses the Atlantic Ocean over to England, it builds up heavy ice on its wings and prop blades, causing the flight to become even more intense as fuel begins to run out. - WWII
Pete M. Ebersole, 1st Lt., B-17 Pilot, Army Air Corps, 8th Air Force, 447th Bomb Group / 6:15

While in formation on a return flight to England, Pete witnesses a fellow B-17 pilot mistakenly turn off two engines. - WWII
Pete M. Ebersole, 1st Lt., B-17 Pilot, Army Air Corps, 8th Air Force, 447th Bomb Group / 2:05

Only a few days before the war with Germany was rumored to end, Arnold Whittaker recalls finding himself in the sights of a German Tiger tank. - WWII
Arnold Whittaker, 5th Infantry Division, 3rd Army / 04:39

Nathan Radin remembers the personal fear that can come when not in combat, and how stressful those moments are. - WWII
Nathan Radin, 939th Petroleum Products Unit / 1:21

Luke Huggins fears for his life when a shell lands in the middle of the chow line. - WWII
Luke Huggins, 351st Battalion, A Battery, Cannon Company / 1:32

Alfred discusses how his ship would fire upon Japanese ships that were out of sight. When the Japanese ships were hit, they lit up the night sky. - WWII
Alfred Jackson, Steward's Mate, U.S. Navy, USS Portland CA-33 / 3:34

Alfred's ship was frequently attacked by Japanese Kamikaze planes, submarines and individual Japanese soldiers swimming up to the ship with explosive devices.. - WWII
Alfred Jackson, Steward's Mate, U.S. Navy, USS Portland CA-33 / 2:13

During Ranger training, Paul is severely injured in his eye. - Vietnam
Paul Noyes, U.S. Army, Lt. Colonel, Military Assistance Command / 2:28

While on patrol, Paul's platoon is ambushed. - Vietnam
Paul Noyes, U.S. Army, Lt. Colonel, Military Assistance Command / 5:07

Nade's B-24 is hit by flak and loses one engine. Things go from bad to worse. - WWII
Nade Habshey, Nose Gunner, Army Air Corps, 15th Air Force, 449th Bomb Group, 717th Squadron / 6:00

While in gunnery school, Nade experiences a portion of the door to his nose gunner turret flying off and lodging in the wing. - WWII
Nade Habshey, Nose Gunner, Army Air Corps, 15th Air Force, 449th Bomb Group, 717th Squadron / 2:33

Ben and his fellow airmen encounter a Pacific typhoon that hits their assigned island. They all survive by hiding in a plane weighted down by sand bags. - WWII
Ben Robertson, Army Air Corps, Air Transport Command / 3:34

Hank shares how the USS Radford was involved in sinking a Japanese submarine. - WWII
Albert "Hank" Sturgess, Jr., Lt. U.S. Navy, USS Radford DD446, Destroyer Div. 21 / 3:26

While escorting ammunition barges, Hank's ship is attacked. - WWII
Albert "Hank" Sturgess, Jr., Lt. U.S. Navy, USS Radford DD446, Destroyer Div. 21 / 6:42

Larry Gardner remembers his closest call while fighting back German troops near the end of World War II. - WWII
Larry Gardner, 44th Division, 71st Regiment, Company B / 01:40

Mr. Cochran describes seeing a young soldier surviving a shot to the head. - WWII
David Cochran, U.S. Army, 81st Chemical Battalion / 1:37

Mr. Couillard describes a close call with a torpedo plane while aboard the flight deck of his ship. - WWII
Ben Couillard, U.S. Navy, U.S.S. Yorktown, V1-T Division / 1:39

Stationed aboard the USS Enterprise, Ivan Booke remembers the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and their attempts to fight back. Provided by Mike Coen, Veterans History Project. - WWII
Ivan Booke, USS Enterprise / 11:49

Izell Clemons recalls a close encounter with Japanese soldiers and being hit by sniper fire while on the island of Peleliu. - WWII
Izell Clemons, U.S. Marine Corps, Regimental Weapons, 1st Marine Div., 5th Marine Reg. / 05:45

Allen Josey describes how his ship, the USS Hornet, was torpedoed by Japanese bombers during the Battle of Santa Cruz. - WWII
Allen Josey, USS Hornet / 03:50

While stationed on the USS Lexington, Allen Josey remembers how the ship inadvertently drew the attention of Japanese aircraft, resulting in a torpedo attack. - WWII
Allen Josey, USS Lexington / 03:33

Mr. Kessler discusses being wounded along with a majority of his unit while serving as a forward observer in Korea. - Korea
Bob Kessler, U.S. Army, 2nd Infantry Division, Forward Observer / 4:18

Mr. Kessler describes being shot in the leg and surviving a grenade blast while serving in Korea. - Korea
Bob Kessler, U.S. Army, 2nd Infantry Division, Forward Observer / 1:22

Mr. Huff explains how a soldier in his platoon stepped on a land mine that miraculously did not detonate. - Vietnam
Bill Huff, 3rd Marine Division, 1st Battalion, 12th Marines / :56

After fighting at Guadalcanal and arriving at Cape Gloucester, Frank Pomroy describes the Battle of Coffin Corner, which resulted in the loss of a close friend. - WWII
Frank Pomroy, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Division / 12:45

Ed Joyeusaz remembers a close call he experienced with a Japanese torpedo aboard the USS Yorktown. - WWII
Ed Joyeusaz, KS Division, USS Yorktown / 04:53

Aboard the USS Essex near the Marianas, Frank Connolly describes a very close call with a Japanese bomb. - WWII
Frank Connolly, USS Essex / 01:37

Mr. Gaston describes mis-firing a flare inside a trench while defending a creek. - Korea
James Gaston, U.S. Army, 3rd Infantry Div., 3rd Recon Company / 1:20

Mr. Powell describes his experiences during a close call with German planes strafing his position. - WWII
Charlie Powell, U.S. Army, 564th Signal Aircraft Warning Battalion / 1:08

Dr. Littlejohn describes his closest encounter with death during a battle within the Ardennes. - WWII
Oliver Littlejohn, U.S. Army, 75th Inf. Division / 1:39

Mr. Trapp shares stories from many close calls he witnessed while stationed in Da Nang. - Vietnam
James Trapp, U.S. Air Force, F-105 D Crew Chief / 2:19

Carl Beck has a close call in the hedgerows of Normandy after his D-Day drop - WWII
Carl Beck, 101st Airborne Division / 1:30

House to house fighting leads to a close encounter in an Italian town - WWII
Bill Savich, 88th Infantry / 1:15

John Souther remembers how the Air Force saved the infantry in the battle for Anzio - WWII
John Souther, 1st Armored / 1:06

Ed Riley recalls being under attack by Junkers in North Africa - WWII
Ed Riley, 81st Recon / 2:46

Brigadier General Clarence Irwin finds himself in a precarious position on a Pacific island - WWII
Clarence Irwin, 25th Infantry Division / :31

Clyde Thrasher's friend Duke engages in hand-to-hand combat with the enemy in Italy - WWII
Clyde Thrasher, 36th Infantry Division / :46

William Beazley recounts his experiences with Japanese borders in the Pacific - WWII
William Beazley, LCI 6 / 1:49

Ken Adams loses a close friend during a night flight. Ken later makes a harrowing landing. - Vietnam
Ken Adams, Capt., U.S. Navy Pilot, AW16 USS Oriskany, VA-163 / 12:48

Ken Adams avoids a close call with a surface to air missile, only to see it have dire consequences for a friend. - Vietnam
Ken Adams, Capt., U.S. Navy Pilot, AW16 USS Oriskany, VA-163 / 2:48

Part 1: While aboard ship, Ken is awakened to a severe fire. The ship quickly fills with smoke, and Ken runs into trouble as he tries to get topside. - Vietnam
Ken Adams, Capt., U.S. Navy Pilot, AW16 USS Oriskany, VA-163 / 10:26

Part 2: While the ship's fire rages, Ken helps a sailor fight the fire, but the consequences are great. - Vietnam
Ken Adams, Capt., U.S. Navy Pilot, AW16 USS Oriskany, VA-163 / 6:26

Stationed aboard the USS West Virginia on December 7, 1941, Richard Fiske recalls in detail the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the chaos that followed. Footage donated by Bill Shea. - WWII
Richard Fiske, USS West Virginia / 09:57

During the battle at Yudam-ni, Roland Marbaugh has a confrontation with 2 Lieutenants who weren't helping bring casualties down from Fox Hill. - Korea
Roland Marbaugh, 3rd Battalion 5th Marines / 0:55

Roland Marbaugh recounts encounters with the one and only Chesty Puller. - Korea
Roland Marbaugh, 3rd Battalion 5th Marines / 2:37

Bill Watson recalls how poor leadership led to the death of most of his unit and his own capture by the German Army. - WWII
Bill Watson, 100th Infantry Division / 1:42

(Part 1) Mr. Mouw describes his fight for survival during the sinking of the USS Bismark. - WWII
Andy Mouw, U.S. Navy, USS Bismark, CVE-95 / 8:01

(Part 2) Mr. Mouw concludes his epic survival story of the sinking of the USS Bismark. - WWII
Andy Mouw, U.S. Navy, USS Bismark, CVE-95 / 8:41

Mr. Whitaker discusses his proclaimed heroic act on the 83rd day of Okinawa. - WWII
Richard Whitaker, U.S. Marine Corps, 6th Marine Division, 29th Regiment, 2nd Battalion / 7:23

Frank Connolly describes in detail his experiences leading up to and during the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor in 1941. - WWII
Frank Connolly, USS St. Louis / 12:01

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