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C.V. Starr Center for the

Study of the American Experience

StoryQuest: World War II Veterans

As the numbers of those who remember the World War II era dwindle, it’s increasingly urgent to collect and preserve their stories.

The combined energy and experience of an intergenerational team of collaborators that includes Washington College students and local World War II veterans brings the wartime experience vividly to life. 

Visit the StoryQuest World War II website here!

During the summer of 2014, the Starr Center’s StoryQuest students embarked on an ongoing mission to search out and interview members of the “greatest generation;” local Kent County heroes who served in World War II. Continuing on into the fall semester, students conducted over forty interviews, capturing vivid first-person stories of remarkable men and women, including an eyewitness to the Pearl Harbor attack, a B-24 gunner shot down over the Adriatic Sea, and one of the first female officers in the U.S. Marine Corps. Many interviews recorded the memories of those who did not serve at the front lines, but participated fully in the wartime experience.

Students recorded their experiences in a project blog, curated a traveling exhibition, invited World War II historians to speak on campus, and hosted a film series. The project culminated in an innovative performance piece, “The Real War,” created by students and veterans that combined historic and contemporary images, oral recordings of veterans, spoken word performances by students, and a musical score by the renowned Trio Galilei.