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The Silent Generation: From Saipan to Tokyo

From: Helen Borten
Length: 58:57

The final year of World War II in the Pacific, told by men who came back and kept silent about the harrowing ordeal that changed their lives.

Daddatoanthony1_small Eugene "Bud" Clark, a pint-sized scrapper from Macon, GA, mowed down Banzai warriors, watched mass suicide on Saipan, and was severely wounded on Iwo Jima. Howard Terry was traumatized by his accidental killing of an Okinawan boy, returned home angry, belligerent and unable to hold a job. Anthony Daddato lost his best friend to friendly fire,contracted dengue fever,malaria and tuberculosis, and spent three embittered years in hospitals before a feisty nun's advice changed his outlook. Giles McCoy went down with the Indianapolis in one of the worst naval disasters in history. These are just a few of the voices in "The Silent Generation", a one-hour documentary that follows more than a score of men through the definitive year of their lives. Men from all walks of life and all corners of the nation. Men who melted quietly back into civilian life and kept silent for decades. Men who, as time grows short, have been moved to speak with unflinching honesty of events that changed them forever. Their memories are not for the faint-hearted. Here is a view of war from the foxhole. A side of war as relevant today as in 1945. To listen is to understand why they, like tens of thousands of others, could not speak for so long. "The Silent Generation" closes with their unblinking, often wrenching remarks on how combat later affected their attitudes, identity and everyday lives. Producer/Narrator Borten knits their stories into a chronological whole, adding archival newscasts, live reports from the battlefield, and little-known historical details that, together with these unforgettable stories, bring a momentous, searingly brutal chapter in history to life.

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Piece Description

Eugene "Bud" Clark, a pint-sized scrapper from Macon, GA, mowed down Banzai warriors, watched mass suicide on Saipan, and was severely wounded on Iwo Jima. Howard Terry was traumatized by his accidental killing of an Okinawan boy, returned home angry, belligerent and unable to hold a job. Anthony Daddato lost his best friend to friendly fire,contracted dengue fever,malaria and tuberculosis, and spent three embittered years in hospitals before a feisty nun's advice changed his outlook. Giles McCoy went down with the Indianapolis in one of the worst naval disasters in history. These are just a few of the voices in "The Silent Generation", a one-hour documentary that follows more than a score of men through the definitive year of their lives. Men from all walks of life and all corners of the nation. Men who melted quietly back into civilian life and kept silent for decades. Men who, as time grows short, have been moved to speak with unflinching honesty of events that changed them forever. Their memories are not for the faint-hearted. Here is a view of war from the foxhole. A side of war as relevant today as in 1945. To listen is to understand why they, like tens of thousands of others, could not speak for so long. "The Silent Generation" closes with their unblinking, often wrenching remarks on how combat later affected their attitudes, identity and everyday lives. Producer/Narrator Borten knits their stories into a chronological whole, adding archival newscasts, live reports from the battlefield, and little-known historical details that, together with these unforgettable stories, bring a momentous, searingly brutal chapter in history to life.

3 Comments Atom Feed

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Thank You.

Thank you for this program. It so closely replicates my experience, though this is much more brutal, in Viet Nam. I honor these men.

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Review of The Silent Generation: From Saipan to Tokyo

The "Silent Generation" is an apt name for many of those who fought in World War II. I listened to this program over and over as it brought back memories of my father who fought in the Pacific and died this year. The program resonated with the very spirit of those who fought with total dedication to their country in the war that made a difference. For years, I would wake at night to hear my father sitting in the kitchen unable to sleep. Before I heard of post-traumatic stress, I could never understand why he sat for hours reading the newspaper at 2 am and still got up the next day to go to work to support his family. Once, going through boxes in the basement, I found a machete and other momentos of his service on an aircraft carrier twice attacked by kamikazes and as part of the occupying force in Tokyo at the end of war. Though I brought these to his attention, he never spoke about his experiences until only a few years before his death. Again, like the men in this program, he wanted to focus on the "positive." I only hope that this program remains in circulation for a long time so we can remember the strength of these courageous men.

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Review of The Silent Generation: From Saipan to Tokyo

With Memorial Day coming up, this would be a good piece for programmers to check out. This documentary focuses on the generation of soldiers who were the "tough it out" men before the diagnoses of "post-traumatic stress." The "Silent Generation"--the ones who wouldn't, couldn't talk about the horrors they experienced without fear of going mad. Producer Helen Borten skillfully interviews men who admittedly have never shared their memories of the people they did not want to kill, the fellow soldiers who fell beside them, the women and children slaughtered before their eyes. The stories are unforgettable and necessary for us to hear and to remember. It is an important historic document that could and should be aired as long as there is war.

Additional Files

Related Website

http://www.dav.org/news/thesilentgeneration.html