What were you doing just before you joined the armed
forces? Student? Working? Married? Single? Children?
Under what circumstances did you enter the armed
forces? Were you drafted or did you enlist? How old were you?
Why did you join the armed forces?
What branch of the service were you in? Why did you
choose the branch that you did?
What was the specific unit that you were assigned to?
What kind of training did you receive? What was the
most helpful part of your training?
What was the mission of your unit?
What was your rank and your job?
What are some of the things from your training that
stand out in your memory?
What was a typical day like in the life of a GI during
the war? How much money did a soldier make?
Did you serve overseas during the war? Where were you?
Did your parents approve of you serving in the
How did you feel about leaving home?
How did you communicate with loved ones on the home
What was different when you got back?
Frontline and Battles
Describe your living conditions while on assignment.
Can you describe your feelings during a mission or
How did you cope with the fear of missions or battles?
What was your squadron/division/platoons job during
What was your job during a mission?
What was your happiest (funniest or saddest) memory of
Were you afraid? What was your biggest fear?
What do you think your biggest accomplishment was?
What were you most proud of during your military
What impact did your unit have on the outcome of the
How did your experiences in WWII affect the rest of
How did you hear about Pearl Harbor?
Where were you when it happened?
What was your reaction?
What happened in the days that followed?
D-Day Invasion Only
How were you trained for the invasion?
How did you get to the Normandy beaches?
What was your job on D-Day?
What were your experiences in the first hours of the
How did your unit achieve its objective?
What is your most vivid memory about the invasion?
How did you hear about the bombing of Hiroshima?
How did you react to the news?
How did you find out about the surrender of Japan?
What did you do on V-E (V-J) Day?
What happened on the day you (or a loved one) came
What were the holidays like in 1945?
What were you hopes for the future?
Follow Up Questions
What would you want people to know about this time in
Tell me about any friendships you made during the war.
What would you have changed about your war experience
if you could?
Did you ever doubt that the Allies would succeed in
winning the war?
What mistakes do you think the military made, if any,
during the war?
Do you think the war could have been prevented?
What had changed when you got home from the war?
Did anything happen during the war that affected you
for the rest of your life?
What do you think the biggest misconception about WWII
Do you think the war was worth the price?
Do you think fighting in the war was the moral thing