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World War II Collection

Identifier: MF182

Scope and Contents

This is an arbitrary collection of accessions created in June 2014 to bring together interviews that focus on WWII. There are 150 series in NAFOH that relate to WWII, but 18 belong soley to this collection.


  • Event: Majority of material found within 1939-1945

Conditions Governing Access

For digitized items free from access restrictions, we are working to upload this material (pdfs, mp3s, jpgs) for public access, but it is an ongoing project. If you don’t find what you are looking for here, contact Special Collections (

Conditions Governing Use

Rights assessment remains the responsibility of the researcher. No known restrictions on material.


18 items

Language of Materials



NA1819 Henri and Mimi Willcutt interviewed by Wendy (Willcutt) Tomblyn, February 1969, Davis, California. Interview conducted 1969 by Wendy Tomblyn with her parents about their youth in Germany before WWII.

Recording: mfc_na1819_t1891_01, mfc_na1819_t1891_02 45 minutes

NA2039 Alex Sachno and Maria Sachno, interviewed by Joan M. Sakalas, spring 1984, Gardiner, Maine. The Sachnos talk about growing up in the Ukraine after the Russian Revolution; the effects of collectivization on their own families and Ukranian society; Ukrainian culture; the Ukrainian famine of the 1930s; and their experiences in German work camps during WWII.

Text: 60 pp. transcript Recording: C 0519, C 0520, C 0521 2 1/4 hours approx.

NA2460 Lyle Door, Vera Roberts, Harvard Tracy, Olive Coffin, Ira West, Lucy Palmer, Handy Pinkham, Mildred Dinsmore, Pauline Robinson, Marilyn Grant, Wayne Grant, Jeannette Leighton, interviewed by Anne L. Hopper, January 1997, Steuben, Maine. Master’s thesis titled, "Folklore and Oral History in the Middle School Curriculum: A Down East Project." Includes a videotape entitled, The Way Things Were, an Ella Lewis School eighth grade project. A booklet is included with the tape. Booklet contains photocopies of photos.

Recordings: The Way Things Were mfc_na2460_v0147 24 minutes

The Way Things Were contains the interviews of twelve Steuben area residents on their recollections of the period from the Great Depression through the post WWII period ending in 1948. The video was produced by teacher Anne Hooper and the eighth grade class at Ella Lewis School in Steuben, Maine in 1994. Produced by Anne Hooper. Running time: approx. 30 minutes. From the opening of the video, “This is a project to document and preserve memories. In the spring of 1994, a group of students set out to gain understanding of what life was like during the Depression and WWII. Rather than rely on textbooks and newspapers, they tapped an invaluable resource: people. By speaking with neighbors who had lived through the era, the students received first hand accounts. This videotape is a compilation of some of those interviews.”

Interviewees: 1. Lyle Door 2. Vera Roberts 3. Harvard Tracy 4. Olive Coffin 5. Ira West 6. Lucy Palmer 7. Handy Pinkham 8. Mildred Dinsmore 9. Pauline Robinson 10. Marilyn Grant 11. Wayne Grant 12. Jeannette Leighton

NA2465 Elmer Goff, interviewed by Rebecca Leonard for HTY 104, spring 1997, Union, Maine. Goff talks about his experiences as a guard at a German POW Camp in Montana during WWII.

Text: 9 pp. transcript Recording: mfc_na2465_c1547_01 25 minutes

NA2466 Kathleen Nickless, interviewed by John D. Nickless HTY 104, spring 1997, Rockland, Maine. K. Nickless talks about her experiences as a young woman in Bucksport, Maine during WWII.

Text: 36 pp. transcript Recording: mfc_na2466_c1548_01, mfc_na2466_c1548_02 61 minutes

NA2467 Dyson Jameson, interviewed by Stephen Gleason HTY 104, spring 1997, Warren, Maine. Jameson talks about his experiences in the Army Air Force stateside during WWII.

Text: 14 pp. transcript Recording: mfc_na2467_c1549_01, mfc_na2467_c1549_02 63 minutes

NA2473 By Kendall F. Adams, June 1997, South Solon, Maine. Writings by Adams titled, "Happenings on the Old Farm in South Solon." A collection of memories of growing up on a farm in South Solon, Maine during the 1920s and early 1930s; going to school in a one-room school house; going to the Farmington Normal School to be a teacher in 1933-36; stories about his time in the army in WWII; his love and knowledge of gardening; bee keeping; and different animals he has had in his life. The accession includes 2 pp. of commentary (1997) by Assoc. Prof. Richard Hale regarding novelist Holman Day’s character of Abe Skeets who was apparently based on a real life person, Abraham Brown of West Athens, Maine. The comments apply to the treatment of mentally retarded persons in Maine around the turn of the century. Other photocopied pages from John Gould’s book, Yankee Drummer, describe community treatment of paupers and the insane and mention Abe Brown.

Text: 112 pp. total: memoir, commentary

NA2570 By Tom Ledwell, May, 1999, St. Peter’s Bay, Prince Edward Island. Total 192 pages. Three manuscript items as follows:

1) Tom Ledwell, Old Timers and Old Times, 83 pp. A personal memoir of life on Prince Edward Island, written in 1997, includes family history and genealogy charts for Ledwell and Gillis lines; discusses life during the Depression and WWII; covers schooling at Nova Scotia Tech; experiences in the RCAF; and other topics.

2) Marquis Memory Songs, 46 pp. Compilation of several hundred song lyrics ranging from Broadway to folksongs to pop songs of the 1940s. No music.

3) Mrs. Anna Ledwell, collector. St. Peter’s Bay Remembers / St. Peter’s Bay Remembered. 47 pp. Collection of poems, songs, anecdotes from Prince Edward Island.

NA2798 Phil Gilbert, interviewed by Judy Cyr for EDW462-472 taught by Pamela Dean, October 9, 2001. Gilbert talks about his memories growing up in Monson, ME and Providence, RI during WWII.

Text: 8 pp. transcript, 2 pp. index Recording: mfc_na2798_c1993_01, mfc_na2798_c1993_02 74 minutes

NA2799 Viola Lander, interviewed by Judy Cyr for EDW462-472 taught by Pamela Dean, October 31, 2001. Lander talks about growing up during WWII.

Text: 5 pp. transcript Recording: mfc_na2799_c1994_01, mfc_na2799_c1994_02 65 minutes

NA2800 Sylvester Cobbs, interviewed by Jon Millet for EDW462-472 taught by Pamela Dean on October 19, 2001. Cobbs talks about growing up in Philadelphia during WWII.

Text: 25 pp. transcript, 3 pp. biography, 1 pp. release form Recording: mfc_na2800_c1995_01, mfc_na2800_c1995_02 86 minutes

NA2801 Ruth Ferbach, interviewed by Jon Millett for EDW462-472 taught by Pamela Dean. Ferbach talks about life during WWII in Augusta, Maine; Depression; WWII rationing; canning and preserving food; social life; black market; leisure activities; black outs. 2 pp. biographical sketch; 2 pp. tape index.

Text: 4 pp. partial transcript, 2 pp. biographical sketch, 2 pp. index Recording: mfc_na2801_c1996_01, mfc_na2801_c1996_02 10 minutes

NA2813 Alexander Morin and Shirley Morin, interviewed by Donna Miles for HTY 210, taught by Pauleena MacDougal, spring 2002. Paper titled “Life in Old Town, Maine During WWII.” The Morins talk about their experiences living in Old Town, ME during WWII: family life; CCC and WPA work during the Depression; military service in WWII; paratroop training; early education; home-front during WWII; working at Bath Iron Works as a welder.

Text: 11 pp. paper

NA2815 Richard G. Harmon, interviewed by Tyler A. Harmon for HTY 210 taught by Pauleena MacDougall, April 29, 2002, Saco, Maine. Paper titled “My Grandfather’s World War II Experiences.” Topics covered include the beginning of WWII; the draft; joining the Navy’s V12 program and attending Portland Junior College and Bates College; wartime ambiance of San Francisco and Pearl Harbor; Eniwetok, Marshall Islands; service on USS New Orleans; surviving a typhoon; battle at Okinawa; Kamikazes; hearing about the atomic bomb.

Text: 17 pp. paper

NA2817 Murielle Melason, interviewed by Caleb McNaughton for HTY 210 taught by Pauleena MacDougall, spring 2002. Final paper for class, a biographical sketch of Melason, deals with family history; early childhood in Marcottre Orphanage; training as welder and working at Bath Iron Works during WWII; working in hotels in Lewiston, Maine, and in Rhode Island; marriage to Arthur Melanson; raising children on a hardscrabble farm in Leeds, Maine. Includes photocopies of photographs.

Text: 18 pp. paper

NA2819 Cecile Laurette Provencher, interviewed by Alicia L. Carroll for HTY 210 taught by Pauleena MacDougall, spring 2002, Limerick, Maine. Provencher talks about memories of growing up in a French Canadian/American family in rural Maine and Quebec during the 1930s and 1940s: family background; schooling; farming; WWII; working in a shoe factory; courtship and marriage; becoming a cook/caterer.

Text: 10 pp. paper

NA2952 Carlos Lowell Dean (1906-1995), interviewed by Pamela Dean, his daughter, January 2, 1982, December 25, 1990, May 22 & 23, 1991, July 16-17, 1991, and January 3, 1992, at his homes in Ellsworth, ME, and Barefoot Bay, FL. C. Dean talks about his family background and childhood in MI; his parents: Ira Dean, train guard for Western Union, and Nellie Lowell; his brother Lindley Dean; early work selling newspapers on trains; education; attending the Uni. of Michigan during the Depression; serving as a porter and waiter on luxury cruises to China and South America; training as a marine engineer; graduate school at Uni. of MI; marriage to Blanche; children Linda, Sandra, Carla; joining the Navy; service at Bath Iron Works at beginning of WWII; meeting his second wife, Beulah Lunt, there; service at Adak and Kodiak, Alaska; post war career in ship repair at Long Beach, CA, and D. C.; retiring from Navy and moving to CA; heading dry dock facilities at National Steel Co. in San Diego; retiring; living in motor home for 7 years; travel in US, Mexico, and Europe.

Recording: mfc_na2952_c2005_01&02 - mfc_na2952_c2014_01, mfc_na2952_c2750_01&02 648 minutes

NA3640 By Peter Harvey, donated by Jane Harvey Meade. Harvey, from Bucksport Maine, was a professional singer from a very young age who went on to have a music career.Accession is a library of Peter Harvey’s work and includes 10 CDs of music and stories and a book of his life given to folklife center. Book is compilation of news stories, pictures and life stories around Peter Harvey’s life.

Recordings: mfc_na3640_cd2097_01 - mfc_na3640_cd2125_06 514 minutes CD 2097 “Peter Harvey’s Family Favorites.” CD 2098 St. Patricks Day Party 2 cds. Live recording of Peter Harvey in connecticut St. Patricks Day Music and funny stories CD 2099 Broadway Songs 2 cds CD 2100 Litchfield Ct. WWII Concert 2 cds collection of WWII songs and funny stories, CD 2101 WWII Show 2 cds, Worcester MA. with full orchestra and choir includes many unknown funny WWII stories and songs, CD 2102 Family XMAS Gift 1 cd CD 2103 Sacred Songs 1 cd CD 2123 Song Fest CD 2124 Peter Harvey live at the Needham MA. elementary school 1999. CD 2125 Original Song, “Bucksport Outta the Boy” by Peter Harvey

Existence and Location of Originals

Located at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress: AFC 2012/047

Related Materials

NAFOH Collections MF068: Women in Maine Project, MF040: Maine Women During the Depression and World War II, and MF144: Women in the Military.

Materials Specific Details

Audio files are the primary source material. Transcriptions are the transcriber's best effort to convert audio to text, but should be considered secondary to the audio.

Guide to World War II Collection
In Progress
Thomas Libby
May 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History Repository

5729 Raymond H. Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono ME 04469-5729 United States