(www.BlueCanyonProductions.com)
"Santa Fe's —and therefore the world's—strangest web site.
Fascinating sound clips and soul-nourishing content."

- Bill Hutchison, staff writer, Santa Fe Reporter

IN THEIR OWN WORDS:
12 VETERANS OF WORLD WAR TWO

90-minute video interviewing author Tony Hillerman, a Navajo "Code Talker" ("Wind Talker" / "Windtalker") and others. Nationally acclaimed as "riveting" and "remarkable", for bringing the WWII experience alive. code talkers wind talkers

Producer interview & short documentary excerpt

 

CLICK HERE to hear author
Tony Hillerman

speak of his infantry experience.

CLICK HERE to hear
Dr. Sabine Ulibarri
,
a WWII ball turret gunner.

Billboard Magazine said of all the WWII videotapes they have seen, this one perhaps best captures the human experience of the war. Twelve New Mexico veterans, including a Navajo "Code Talker," a paratrooper, a submariner, a bombardier and a survivor of the Bataan Death March, deliver low-key but riveting narratives that capture this dramatic period for all generations. Includes noted author Tony Hillerman’s first account of his chilling combat experiences. Includes archival war footage.

"Universal stories, vivid images" - Library Journal.

"A wonderful video" -Jonathan Alter, Newsweek



EXCERPTS



 



"...more than any other World War II video...this tape puts a personal face on the historical facts and figures."

-Billboard Magazine

For information on our other
acclaimed videos,
CLICK HERE.

"Rich and riveting...adds dimension beyond words...surprising insights into how we cope with war and its memory...you’ll surely wish you could meet every one of these remarkable people." -Jeff Clark, Director of Media Resources, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

"A magnificent document and a marvelously broadening experience. A fascinating talk with thoughtful, articulate elders, with dignity, honesty and strength." -Dr. Victor LaCerva, author and Bill Moyers interviewee

"Universal stories...special depictions of war and its human involvement. Vivid images...at a violent crossroads in their lives." -Library Journal

"A great public service...a more personal up-close understanding of the war’s impact on its soldiers....most moving." - Former United States UN Ambassador Bill Richardson

Infantrymen, aviators, a paratrooper, a sailor, a submariner, an intelligence officer, a "Navajo Code Talker," a "Tuskegee Airman," a witness to the Dachau concentration camp, a survivor of the Bataan Death March and others, give the fullest picture available on video, of the human experience of war!

"Remarkable subjects...uncanny detail...a full range of emotion...viewers cannot help but feel privileged..." -Billboard Magazine

"This is a bell ringer for helping younger generations appreciate that war has no winners. This tape is a must for every household!" -Randy Peeler, Editor, Purple Heart Magazine

Shattering stories and images of combat, as well as probing questions and candid answers about war itself and "the enemy." Includes the first-ever interview with noted mystery author Tony Hillerman about his WWII combat experiences!

“Vividly described...all the segments are riveting...strongly recommended” -Video Librarian

“This unique treasure...stood out like a volcano in a forest of Ronson lighters.” -Barry Farber, Talk Radio Network



The no-frills program features interviews with 12 veterans who primarily participated in combat surrounding the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the Normandy invasion. Originally created as a local archive for the state of New Mexico for the fiftieth anniversary of D-Day, the video has been gaining national attention based on the merits of the detailed reports provided by its remarkable subjects. In uncanny detail, the interviewees reminisce about their combat experiences with a full range of emotion. By the end of the tape's hour and a half, viewers cannot help but feel privileged to be on the receiving end of these most personal memoirs. (Billboard Magazine October 3,1998)




VIDEO SLEEVE INFORMATION

A New Mexico videographer sets out to document the oral histories of twelve of his state’s veterans, and the resulting videotape is hailed nationally as:

"...more than any other World War II video...this tape puts a personal face on the historical facts and figures." -Billboard Magazine

"Rich and riveting...adds dimension beyond words...surprising insights into how we cope with war and its memory...you’ll surely wish you could meet every one of these remarkable people." -Jeff Clark, Director of Media Resources, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

"A magnificent document and a marvelously broadening experience. A fascinating talk with thoughtful, articulate elders, with dignity, honesty and strength." -Dr. Victor LaCerva, author and Bill Moyers interviewee

"Universal stories...special depictions of war and its human involvement. Vivid images...at a violent crossroads in their lives." -Library Journal

"A great public service...a more personal up-close understanding of the war’s impact on its soldiers....most moving." - Former United States UN Ambassador Bill Richardson

Infantrymen, aviators, a paratrooper, a sailor, a submariner, an intelligence officer, a "Navajo Code Talker," a "Tuskegee Airman," a witness to the Dachau concentration camp, a survivor of the Bataan Death March and others, give the fullest picture available on video, of the human experience of war!

"Remarkable subjects...uncanny detail...a full range of emotion...viewers cannot help but feel privileged..." -Billboard Magazine

"This is a bell ringer for helping younger generations appreciate that war has no winners. This tape is a must for every household!" -Randy Peeler, Editor, Purple Heart Magazine

Shattering stories and images of combat, as well as probing questions and candid answers about war itself and "the enemy." Includes the first-ever interview with noted mystery author Tony Hillerman about his WWII combat experiences!

“Vividly described...all the segments are riveting...strongly recommended” -Video Librarian

“This unique treasure...stood out like a volcano in a forest of Ronson lighters.” -Barry Farber, Talk Radio Network

Produced, shot and narrated by Jim Terr for
Blue Canyon Productions
POB 6622 · Santa Fe, NM 87502 USA

Blue Canyon Video # BCV104 (88 minutes)

Produced with the generous support of The McCune Foundation, Sallie Bingham, In Honor of John A. Dillon, Jr.; Intel Corporation, Lovelace Health Systems, The Tri-State Veterans’ Group, Cooney Productions, The Self Reliance Foundation, The Foundation for Urban Research and many other generous sponsors.
© 1998 All Rights Reserved


Excerpts from video, "IN THEIR OWN WORDS"

© 1998 Blue Canyon Productions. All rights reserved.

Sabine Ulibarri, B-17 ("Flying Fortress") ball turret gunner

I enlisted in the Air Forces...because I was not going to walk in the war, I wasn't going to freeze. I was a ball turret gunner because I was the smallest one in the crew, and it was very cramped in there, even for me.

I flew 35 combat missions. There was a custom in the Air Forces that you could pick your last mission. So for my last mission I waited, and I'd go to orientation in the morning. And if it was a risky one I wouldn't fly. And I kept putting it off and putting it off. But in the meantime I was getting more and more stressed, more and more nervous. So finally I said I'll go tomorrow whatever it is. It turned out to be a wicked one...

We decided to drop the bombs (from our wounded B-17) in a fancy neighborhood. It is something none of us would think of doing now, but it seemed to be the right thing then. We came upon an avenue of trees where a platoon of German soldiers was marching, and we played our machine guns on them, and I remember I was laughing insanely, because I had the feeling that they were puppets, and that they would fall when I'd cut the strings off. I didn't think of them as people. We never thought we'd make it back to the English channel, it just didn't seem possible.

And you know, you think that when the hour of death comes that you get a certain kind of clairvoyance, that maybe you find answers to things, that you're going to think deep, philosophical thoughts. It didn't happen that way at all. I kept thinking of stupid, silly things--a hamburger, a milkshake, a song that was popular--nothing deep, nothing philosophical. Then I heard the most beautiful words in the English language: "Little friend to big friend, don't worry, we'll see you home." And there were six P-47's, our own fighters, and one of them parked itself on one wingtip, the other one on the other wingtip, and a third one right above us. And the other three went on to tangle with the six Germans that were coming. We never saw that fight, but we owe those guys our lives.

But you see I never got to hate the Germans, because I never fought them hand to hand. I never even saw them. I was fighting machines, not people. I abhorred the very idea of human beings killing human beings. I did then and I did now. But there was a wave of patriotism that came upon the American people. It was overwhelming, it absorbed us all. When we came back from the war we were met by parades and banners flying and bands playing, and fireworks. That is an experience that the Viet Nam veterans didn't get, and it was unfair. Because they put their lives on the line just the way we did.

Keith Little, Navajo "Code Talker"

It made all of us very mad, very upset, very frustrated that a great country like Japan would do such a thing (attack Pearl Harbor). Some of our friends enlisted in the Marine Corps. We were told that they were the greatest fighting outfit in the world, and you have to be tough and you have to be mean to be a Marine. And some of us, that's what we wanted to do. It was a great challenge to see if we can become a Marine like some of these great big white men, husky white men that put on a uniform and they look tough. We wanted to be like that.

I was fifteen years old and it took some very anxious, frustrating time to get to my 17th birthday so I can enlist in the Marine Corps. I was really sorry that I entered the Marine Corps because the training was so tough. They shave your hair off and you can't talk to anybody without saying "sir", and you were given orders that you gotta carry out. They made you do certain things that were difficult to do but you did it. You learn to like your weapon, treat it as a real good friend of yours, like your wife, your girlfriend.

During the course of our training my Drill Instructor asked me if I was an American Indian. I told him I was, and then he says by any chance are you a Navajo? I said yes, I'm a Navajo. Well, he says, the Navajos are needed by the United States Marine Corps for special duty...

The commanding officers protected their Code Talkers because they were very important, and they put a guard on them, somebody to stay with this Navajo all the time. And many of them looked like a Japanese, also, could easily be mistaken for an enemy. People made sure that I was in a hole somewhere, guarded, where all possible harm, you try to keep it out of the way because you were needed to send secret messages.

When we left the service, entered back into private life, nobody ever mentioned Code Talkers. It wasn't known, nobody was aware of it. The code was never declassified until when the Fourth Marine Division had one of their annual reunions in Chicago, I believe in 1968, the cloak over the code was never lifted until 20, 24 years after the war ended.

Tony Hillerman, infantryman (France)

I guess I'd have to say from the beginning I was a war lover. When I was a teenager I was fascinated by the war in Spain between the fascists and the communists, and I could name you all the Italian and German aircraft and tell you how many destroyers the Italian navy had and their armament, I was really interested in military affairs, even when I was a kid. And the second thing that roused your interest was being born and raised way out in the boondocks, in a farming community where I think any sensible person's goal was to get away and see the world, and World War Two offered a chance for that.

I was draft-proof because my mother was a widow, I was the only son left to run the farm, my brother being gone. So I had to talk my mother into signing the proper papers to let me go. She did, she was a wise lady and we shut the farm down and auctioned off the horses and the equipment and away I went.

I was scared to death they'd get it over with before I got there. So if you love war where do you get the action? You get the action in the infantry, you know, up close and personal. And what a thrill for a kid like me, 18 years old and never out of Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma hardly. The idea, you know, when you're 18, you're absolutely immortal.

Being in a foreign country, being in France, being in a real war, it was on a wonderful, beautiful autumn day I saw my first guy killed...

I had one clip with four rounds in it left (in my .45) and just as I got to the asphalt, the German coming the other way got to the asphalt. I got there first, I was settled down, I had my pistol out and cocked, and he came scrambling up. It was dark, it was just getting to be good dawn, and there he was with his white stuff on, with a dark background. Some of these things leave absolutely indelible memories. I wasn't a very good pistol shot, but this was almost point-blank, it was about, I'd say, the width of a one-lane asphalt. And I shot low at him, hoping to hit him in the abdomen, and I hit him right in the face, which doesn't say much for my marksmanship, but it knocked him backwards, so one of his feet were on the asphalt. And here I am, how many years later, more than a half century later and I still remember that as vividly as if it happened yesterday. I always regretted it. Probably some kid, 19, 18 like I was, and now he's dead.

Bob Lawrence, "Tuskeegee Airman"

My dad said listen to the news. And the news announcement was that the Air Corps was going to accept colored enlistees for the first time. This whole thing came about from the pressure in the black community and the black press, giving blacks the opportunity to participate in all branches of the military. They took a selected group of 75 to go over to Tuskeegee and form the nucleus there, and I was among that first group...

There was a range of feelings in that area. One was because of being a black unit in the South, the whites didn't appreciate the fact that we were being trained in--at that time--the elite area of the military, the Air Force, and so there was some resentment on that part. There was resentment on the part of the community there, which they projected onto our instructors, resenting the fact that those guys were out there at the base, teaching those niggers how to fly.

But among the group itself there was a different feeling, because we didn't at the time generally feel segregated, but more as a community coming together to do our bit and also to show that we could perform like anyone else. They brought in a group of what we called draftees, and these were the black soldiers, some of them were what we used to call Old Soldiers, who had actually enlisted years ago and had very little or almost no education, and the Army was their life, and they were brought in to do the grunt work while we went to school. They were interspersed in the barracks with us. And we had fellas that would come to you and ask you to read a letter or to read a newspaper or to write a letter for them, and also in many different ways express their pride in the fact that you guys are really going to do something and make history.

I was assigned to a fighter group whose primary mission was to protect bombers as they flew on their missions. The bomber groups would refuse to have us escort them, until the war situation got such that they didn't have a choice, and we were given the assignment. We were the only Air Force unit that never lost a bomber to fighters in the whole war. And then the bomb units would ask to have the 332nd, the Red Tails as we were called because of the airplane marking, would ask for us to escort them.

Which was great. We had a great camaraderie in the air, but it didn't exist on the ground. Many times they were very cordial and we had good interaction socially, but as soon as we came back to the States after the war, things reverted to the racial attitudes of, well, they were so glad because we had protected them and chased the fighters away, and so we had drinks, we had a jeep to use, anything we wanted, but that was it because they had their girlfriends there (at the Officer's Club) and they didn't want to have anything to do socially with us when we got back to the States. But overseas it was a different situation, it was open arms.

 

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