Experience the first-hand accounts of our war Veterans in their struggles to preserve our freedom with these documentaries of Veterans with Idaho connections. Each documentary has interviews with photos, maps, drawings and artifacts.
The first three Series listed below have been released on DVD and VHS, and may be ordered using our printable order form. Get your copy today!
Series 1 (Running time 1:47) – George Vitarelli was born in New York City. In World War II he joined the U.S. Army 30th Infantry Division and served in Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes, and Central Europe. Mr. Vitarelli talks about life in the trenches. He talks about his many close calls as a ground soldier. After the war he worked for Shell Oil Company for 35 years. He retired to live in Idaho.
Mark Caloon was born in Meridian, Idaho and he enlisted into the U.S. Army Air Corp. in September of 1941 at the age of 23. He was assigned to flight school and was sent to Oklahoma for his training, then on to Washington State for B-17 flight school. His crew picked up a brand new B-17 and flew it to England and was assigned to the 384th Bomb Group. In the summer and fall of 1942 the average time for the life of a crew was 6 to 8 missions. Learn what happened when his plane was hit in combat over Germany and set ablaze. After the war Mark spoke to school classes about the war. He retired in Idaho.
Series 2 (Running time 1:35) – Carey (Eldon) Harris was born in Anita, Iowa and enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1939. He served in various squadrons in the Pacific Theater and later in the Korean War. He left the Navy in 1958 as a Chief Petty Officer. His ship, The Enterprise, was at the Battle of Midway. He witnessed his former ship the Yorktown being sunk at Midway. Eldon received numerous awards and medals during his career. After the service he worked in the aircraft and aerospace industry before retiring in Idaho.
John Rovick was born in Dayton, Ohio and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942, and then was accepted into the Army Air Corp. He was trained to be a radio operator and gunner on a B25 Bomber. On one of his missions they had to ditch at night off the coast of Italy. John survived 50 combat missions. After being discharged he got into radio and then television in Los Angeles. He started a children’s program and he was called Sheriff John on the program for 18 years. He retired and moved to Boise.
Orvil Stiles was born in Boise and in 1939 he enlisted in the Idaho National Guard. His General encouraged him to become the base Chaplain, which he did. In World War II he went to France and Germany in Patton’s 3rd Army. Orvil tells about several near disasters that he had during the war. After the war, Orvil returned to Idaho where he was involved with several youth ministries. He started the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast. He served as the Chaplain of the old Idaho State Penitentiary for nine years. He was appointed by Governor Samuelson to be the Warden of the State Penitentiary. Later he was the chaplain at the Veteran’s home for many years. He remained actively involved in Christian work until his death in 2006.
Series 3 (Running time 1:30) – John (Jack) Tomlinson was born in Paoli, Indiana and enlisted in the Army Air Corp in 1942. Jack takes you through his training to be a military pilot. He became a P-51 and P-38 fighter pilot and was sent from a base in Hawaii to the Pacific theater for combat in World War II. He shares the many forced landings and crashes that he was involved in both in training and combat. Jack left the service in 1945, but decided to go back in and was involved in the Berlin Air Lift. Jack earned many medals including a Purple Heart. He retired from the Air Force in 1965 at Mtn. Home and stayed in Idaho.
Claude Willis, Jr. was born in Washington D.C. and earned a Masters degree from Washington D.C. University. Claude was a teacher when the war broke out. In 1942 he joined the U.S. Navy, and was commissioned as an Ensign. He was an officer on merchant marine ships and was in charge of the gun crews. They had to be vigilant for German submarines and enemy aircraft. He was discharged from the Navy and taught for a short time before joining the FBI in 1947 as a special agent. Claude talks about the time he got to interview Admiral William Halsey which was one of the highlights of his career with the FBI. Claude retired after 27 years with the FBI to live in Boise.