By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A group of Philadelphia-area US military veterans shared their stories today as part of a partnership with the Library of Congress.
“I was a radio operator — it was a two-man crew with a pilot,” said Ward Driscoll, 90, of Bensalem (below), who flew in combat during World War II.
Driscoll says he joined the US Navy after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. He was 18 years old at the time.
“I had 29 combat missions — we lost 24 percent of our crew,” he says, noting that his missions were mostly in the South Pacific. “I was never hit. I was never injured.”
Driscoll, a husband and grandfather, has documented his service by gathering flight logs from his comrades. Now, he says, he feels compelled to share their collective story.
“I love to tell it because my time in the service and combat is not in the history of any of the movies or TV programs,” he tells KYW Newsradio.
“I get goosebumps every time I think about it,” said Julie Wilson, a certified court reporter who transcribed the stories of veterans today at the Orleans Technical Institute, in Northeast Philadelphia.
The effort is part of a partnership between the National Court Reporters Foundation and the Library of Congress to record the stories of US veterans. The “Veterans History Project” was launched by the Library of Congress in 2000.
“Family members and people who are interested in history can go back and read about what happened in various wars,” says Wilson, “but also it gives court reporters a chance to give back to the community and shows we do more than work in courtrooms.”
The National Court Reporters Association has recorded the history of more than 3,000 US military veterans so far.