Collection: Oral History Interviews

Oral History Interviews
0 Rene Franks

11/02/2006 When Rene joined the army air corp he wanted to learn airplane mechanics.Instead he ended up in the quartermaster corps at an airfield field in Texas and worked as a dispatcher in the motor pool. One of the hardest jobs of the motor pool and one that Rene often had to do was to drive the crash truck When a training plane went down. Later Rene was sent to Hawaii and worked as a dispatcher at Hickham Field. Rene was very active in the American Legion in Ridgefield and was in charge of organizing the Memorial Day parade in…

Oral History Interviews
0 Joseph Belsky

Narrator: Joseph Belsky Date Recorded: 08/15/07 Interviewed by: Betsy Reid Topics:Japan Bibliographical Note: Dr.Joseph Belsky moved to Ridgefield in 1961 and started his medical practice on Catoonah Street. He was active in town politics and served on the School Building Committee and the Board of Education in the1960s. Dr. Belsky and his family moved to Japan in 1969 where he worked for three years on the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission in Hiroshima/Nagasaki, Japan. In this clip Dr Belsky recalls the Board of Education considering a request for a young black man named Prince Chambliss, from Birmingham Alabama, to attend high…

Oral History Interviews
0 Charles Baldwin

Chuck was interested in aviation since he was a young boy. When he joined the Navy he first learned to fly at a civilian flight school. After more flight training in the Navy he learned to fly the PBY sea plane and the modified B-24. Lter he was sent to the Pacific where he was part of a crew that consisted of 3 pilots and 9 enlisted specialists. They flew reconnaisance missions in a combat plane from islands in the Pacific.

Oral History Interviews
0 Gino Baldaserini

Narrator: Gino Baldaserini Occupation: Interview: Topics: Bibliographical Note:Gino Baldaserini 01/17/06 Gino, a Ridgefield native was a truck driver for the Red Ball Express in Europe during WWII. These drivers were responsible for supplying the U.S. Army with food, blankets, boots and other goods- most importantly gasoline. Gino remembers driving a 60 foot tractor trailer on the narrow village roads in France.

Oral History Interviews
0 Paul Baker

Narrator: Paul Baker Occupation: Interview: Topics: Bibliographical Note:Paul Baker 11/04/09 Paul was born in 1929 and attended the Bennett’s Farm schoolhouse with his two brothers and his sister. His father was the dairyman and gardener at the Colonel Conley estate, Outpost Farm. Paul remembers Ridgefield as a closely knit town where people cared for one another especially during the Depression. Paul graduated from Ridgefield High School in 1937 and that class has had reunions ever since. During World War II, Paul served as an air traffic controller for the Army Air Force in Nebraska and in Brazil. Back home Paul…

Oral History Interviews
0 Joseph Arena

Narrator: Joseph Arena Occupation: Interviewer: Betsy Reid Topics: WWII – Europe Biographical Notes: Born: May 3,1925 Died: February 7, 2007 Joe Arena was the son of Italian immigrants. He was born in Stamford, CT, graduated from Stamford High School in June 1943 and immediately enlisted in the U.S. Army. Joe was in the infantry in Patton’s Third Army. He fought in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and into Czechoslovakia. He was also a member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. The allied invasion of Normandy, D-Day, took place on June 6, 1944. Close to three million Allied troops crossed…

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