Twentieth Century Wars on Tape

Twentieth Century Wars on Tape


The Sullivan Brothers at the U.S. Navy yard, 1942.

In this week’s episode of Fugitive Waves we hear the story The Vietnam Tapes of Michael A. Baronowski from Lost & Found Sound produced by Jay Allison and Christina Egloff.

Here’s another story from Lost & Found Sound, Twentieth Century Wars on Tape, also produced by Jay Allison along with Art Silverman.

Jay was the curator of the Lost & Found Sound “Quest for Sound” phone line. He and his team went through more than 1,500 calls. People called in with snippets of sound or stories – often in recordings that had been kept for decades. Many of the voices on the recordings came from American servicemen. Some recorded messages when far from home. Others told stories long after they returned.

Twentieth Century Wars on Tape features highlights of some of those recordings. One is the only known recording of the five Sullivan brothers of Waterloo, Iowa. All of them were posted to the same navy ship – the USS Juneau – and died when the ship was sunk by a torpedo in 1942. (The tragedy led the armed forces to change policies about posting family members to the same ship.) There is a helicopter pilot in Vietnam corresponding with his family by cassette; testimony from a former prisoner during the Korean War; a Gulf War conversation between two brothers that was interrupted by a missile attack; and a veteran of World War I telling how he survived five days spent trapped in “no man’s land” between the German and Allied lines.


Twentieth Century Wars on Tape