1946: In the months after Japan’s surrender and the official end of World War II on September 2, 1945, Lieutenant George Tani toured the rubble-strewn land with a public health team, a camera and his Japanese language skills. Was this what he’d trained for at Fort Snelling in St. Paul? Here’s Britt Aamodt.
December 5, 1945: Herman Thelander would soon be home on leave in Kinbrae, Minnesota. But today, he and the other crewmembers of Flight 19, which consisted of five torpedo bombers, took off from a naval air station in Fort Lauderdale—and disappeared. Here’s Britt Aamodt.
November 1945: Larry Tillemans never could have guessed his typing class at his high school in Minneota would land him here. Here was the Palace of Justice for the Nuremberg Trials, where over 20 Nazi officials were being tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Here’s Britt Aamodt.
March 14, 1945: Lieutenant Harold Brown of Minneapolis was a Tuskegee airman with the 332 Fighter Group on his 30th mission. This time he flew over Nazi-occupied Austria. This was also the time he found himself in a dogfight with a Messerschmitt, a superfast German jet plane, that could fly 150 mph faster than his Mustang. Here’s Britt Aamodt.
February 19, 1945: Lieutenant Gene Bierhaus had been a star player on his high school football team in Brainerd, Minnesota. But there were no cheering crowds when he and his fellow Marines waded ashore on Iwo Jima. There was only black volcanic sand and five weeks of hell ahead of them. Here’s Britt Aamodt.
January 1945: Captain Walter “Hutch” Huchthausen, formerly a design professor at the University of Minnesota, was a Monuments Man with the Army. Right now, his job was to make sure the Germans—not to mention the advancing Americans—didn’t destroy the 1200-year-old Aachen Cathedral in Germany. Here’s Britt Aamodt.