Lieutenant Commander Alfred “Ski” Sokolowski, U.S. Navy (Retired), has experienced much over the last ninety-nine years. He had a front row seat in World War II as his ships plowed the North Atlantic, protecting convoys from German submarines. He fought on a destroyer in the Pacific, helping recapture islands lost to Japan at the start of the war, and then joined the fight again just five years later in the Korean War sailing off the coast of North Korea. As if that wasn’t enough, he took on the dangerous job of explosive ordnance disposal and managed weapons logistics in the western Pacific. He didn’t just watch U.S. history from a distance—he lived it over the course of thirty years. This is his story.
World War II Veteran
Welcome to Episode 29 of the Voices to Veterans podcast. This episode features the story of 1st Lieutenant Henry Lowenstern, U.S. Army.Henry served in the Army during World War II and has a truly amazing story. He and his family escaped from persecution in Nazi Germany in 1937 and came to the United States. Henry […]
Master Chief Petty Officer Donald Gohman, U.S. Navy (Retired) – Keeping the Navy Flying During Three Wars
Master Chief Petty Officer Donald Gohman, U.S. Navy (Retired) is a humble man. When we began to talk, he told me his career was routine and he didn’t think he’d done anything special. Then he told me about how he helped keep planes flying from Henderson Field during the six-month long battle for Guadalcanal during World War II and kept carrier aircraft in fighting shape for missions over Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Needless to say, I was spellbound. Weaving in and out of peacetime and war, Don’s career is a thirty-year American history lesson taught at the individual level. I could not get enough of it, and I think you will share the same view. This is his story.
In the 1965 World War II movie classic In Harm’s Way, the character Commander Paul Eddington, played by Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas, describes the coming war in the Pacific as “a gut bustin’, mother-lovin’ Navy war.” All the men who served on ships in the Pacific theater from the start of the war at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, to the end of the war in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945, know just how true that statement was. One of those men was Seaman First Class Edward Collins, U.S. Navy, who joined the fray in 1943 aboard the USS San Jacinto (CVL-30), a light aircraft carrier that participated in all the major Pacific War Navy campaigns in 1944 and 1945. Manning his station on the USS San Jacinto’s flight deck during everything from hurricanes to kamikaze attacks, he lived and breathed the history that has inspired generations of Americans ever since. This is his story.