Voices from the Front

An interactive oral history experience

Voices from the Front is a new interactive experience at The National WWII Museum that helps visitors connect with the WWII generation in a high-tech yet personal way. By using cutting-edge technology to facilitate real-time interactions with more than a dozen veterans, Home Front workers, Holocaust survivors, and other witnesses to the war through interactive video displays, Voices from the Front puts real faces to history. Combining artificial intelligence technology and a repository of prerecorded answers to hundreds of questions, the experience provides visitors with authentic and unaltered answers in each interviewee’s own words and voice.

Voices from the Front offers a new way to carry on the stories of the men and women who served their country—both at home and abroad—in a way that bridges the gap between generations and ensures that their place in history is never forgotten.

Made possible through generous support from Margie and St. Denis J. “Sandy” Villere

Ambassador Theodore R. “Ted” Britton

Ambassador Theodore R. “Ted” Britton served in the US Marine Corps as one of the Montford Point Marines, the Corps’ first African American recruits. He later held numerous government positions, including US Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Barbados and Grenada.

Grace (Janota) Brown

Grace (Janota) Brown was a Consolidated Aircraft factory worker who made parts for Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers. While working for Consolidated, a series of photographs was taken of her and a shop foreman that were published in newspapers around the country.

Romay (Johnson) Davis

Romay (Johnson) Davis served in the US Army as a jeep driver in the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion. The 6888th was an all–African American Women’s Army Corps unit and was the only Black WAC unit to deploy overseas as a unit during World War II.

Tolley W. Fletcher

Tolley W. Fletcher served in the US Navy in Operation Torch in North Africa and in the D-Day landings in Normandy. He later spent time in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico hunting German U-boats.

F. Lincoln Grahlfs

F. Lincoln Grahlfs served in the US Navy aboard a seagoing tug that towed equipment and supplies around the Pacific. After the end of the war, he was sent to participate in the Operation Crossroads nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll, where he suffered radiation poisoning.

George E. Hardy

George E. Hardy trained at Tuskegee Army Air Field and served in the US Army Air Forces piloting P-51 Mustang aircraft with the 99th Fighter Squadron, 332nd Fighter Group. He retired from the US Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel and is one of the last living Tuskegee Airmen.

Paul Hilliard

Paul Hilliard served in the US Marine Corps as a rear seat gunner and radio operator on Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bombers in Marine Scout Bombing Squadrons 241 and 341, flying 45 combat missions in the Pacific during World War II. Hilliard is a member of The National WWII Museum's Board of Trustees and previously served as its Chairman.  

Margaret Kerry

Margaret Kerry danced in USO shows at venues around the United States to entertain American troops when she was a teenager. After the war, she remained in the entertainment business and served the model for Tinkerbell.

Ben Lesser

Ben Lesser survived the Bochnia Ghetto—near his native Kraków, Poland—and four concentration camps before being liberated from the Dachau concentration camp in April 1945 at age 16. After the war, Lesser discovered that his entire immediate family had been murdered in the Holocaust with the exception of himself and his older sister, Lola. The interactive interview of Ben Lesser is presented with the generous support of The Zachor Foundation.

John “Lucky” Luckadoo

John “Lucky” Luckadoo served in the US Army Air Forces piloting B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers with the 100th Bombardment Group. He was the first 100th Bombardment Group copilot to survive 25 missions and go home.

Daniel Luévano

Daniel Luévano served in the US Navy escorting convoys across the Atlantic. He saw many Allied merchant ships sunk and on more than one occasion assisted with pulling oil-covered seamen from the waters of the South Atlantic after their ships had been sunk by German U-boats.

Olin Pickens

Olin Pickens served in the US Army with the 805th Tank Destroyer Battalion at Faïd Pass in Tunisia in 1943. Less than two weeks after joining the unit, the Germans attacked and overran their positions; the entire company was either killed or captured that day, and Pickens would spend the rest of the war in a prisoner-of-war camp.

Lawson Iichiro Sakai

Lawson Iichiro Sakai served in the segregated Japanese American 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which is known for being the most decorated unit for its size and length of service in US Army history. He took part in several major battles, including the 1944 rescue of the Lost Battalion in the Vosges Mountains in France. Sakai passed away on June 16, 2020. The interactive interview of Lawson Sakai is presented with the generous support of Frank and Sachie Kawana.

Florence (Manchester) Smith

Florence (Manchester) Smith served in the US Coast Guard Women's Reserve, or SPARs, working as a baker in Florida and file clerk in Boston. At the time of her enlistment, she had four brothers serving in the Coast Guard. She was discharged after about a year of service when she met and married her husband, a fellow Coast Guard member; married women could not serve in the military. Smith passed away on January 10, 2024.

Vincent Speranza

Vincent Speranza served in the US Army with the 101st Airborne Division, taking part in the Battle of the Bulge, where he became famous for delivering beer to his wounded comrades using his helmet as a pitcher. Speranza passed away on August 2, 2023.

Hershel Woodrow “Woody” Williams

Hershel Woodrow “Woody” Williams served in the US Marine Corps in the Battle of Guam and the Battle of Iwo Jima, during which he earned the Medal of Honor. Williams was the last living Medal of Honor Recipient from World War II when he passed away on June 29, 2022.

Robert “Bob” Wolf

Robert “Bob” Wolf served in the US Army with the 86th Infantry Division in his battalion’s intelligence section, speaking German and often translating for officers in his unit. After the end of the war, he was redeployed to the Pacific for occupation duty, and Wolf was able to briefly attend the war crimes trials in the Philippines.

The National WWII Museum

Museum Campus

Exhibit Location

Louisiana Memorial Pavilion

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