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Blog « North Carolina's WWII ExperienceNorth Carolina's WWII Experience


UNC-TV’s NORTH CAROLINA’S WWII EXPERIENCE blogs provide an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at many of the North Carolina “war stories” that emerged when making  this UNC-TV documentary production. Read them and share your thoughts and commentary on these uniquely North Carolina experiences.

NC WWII Experience:
Scott and Brenda on the Making of

Sixty-nine years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, UNC-TV premieres NORTH CAROLINA’S WWII EXPERIENCE. Be sure to catch the documentary’s first-hand accounts from North Carolinians about their experience of the second world war.

NC WWII Experience:
Eleanor Kennedy–Gold Star

During the war, families hung stars in their windows on banners called “sons in service” flags. A blue star meant that a family had a son in the service. A gold star represented a family that had lost a son in the war.

NC WWII Experience Capers

Here are a couple humorous moments from two of our interviewees. Falls Price wonders what to do with two German prisoners who surrendered to him when his commanding officer tells him to take no prisoners. And Virginia Russel describes her visit to what she thought was a clean show in London during the war.

NC WWII Experience: The Alda Womack Story

Everything seemed perfectly natural when associate producer Lisa Waldo pre-interviewed Alda Womack on the phone. The phone conversation was lively and cordial, and Lisa was won over by her caller’s personality. They scheduled a formal interview at Womack’s home in Cliffside, where Ms. Womack worked for the Hanes plant during WWII making towels for the Army and Navy.

NC WWII Experience: Jim Hunter

For three weeks in the spring of 2008, a UNC-TV crew travelled the length and breadth of the state, interviewing 27 North Carolina veterans and civilians to bring North Carolina’s World War II Experience to the screen. The work was intense, and the emotional content of the interviews left their mark. Brenda Hughes, the documentary’s producer, writes about how one of the veteran’s stories has stayed with her.

NC WWII Experience: The Crew

Not only is this the story of North Carolina during World War II, it’s the story of a North Carolina road trip, as the UNC-TV crew hit the road over a three-week period in the spring of 2008 to interview 27 North Carolina veterans and home front civilians. So just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a…

NC WWII Experience: Billy Sutton

As a young soldier, Billy Sutton got the kind of assignment that we just don’t associate with World War II. He patrolled Wilmington’s beaches on horseback, keeping watch against German sabotage, which at the time was regarded as a serious threat. While interviewing Sutton, producer Brenda Hughes got a wonderful surprise and insight into her own father’s role during the war.

NC WWII Experience: Carolina Maneuvers

So…where to begin this WWII blog? Starting when the war began seems logical. And naturally, Pearl Harbor marks a clear point of reference for most Americans. But to our surprise, we learned that in North Carolina the army was already practicing for war months before the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Hundreds of thousands of troops, tanks, and military aircraft were carrying out large-scale war maneuvers called the “Carolina Maneuvers,” measuring the preparedness of US forces for real combat.

North Carolina’s World War II Experience

On Dec. 7, UNC-TV will broadcast North Carolina’s World War II Experience, a two-hour original documentary exploring the important role that North Carolina played during World War II. Based on 25 interviews with North Carolina veterans and civilians and illustrated with archival photos and footage, it is the story of how our state and its people served America and fought to preserve freedom in the world.