From: St. Louis
Rev, you did an outstanding job of keeping hearsay evidence noted as such. Good job. Distinguishing fact from what might be true is important. Also very important is recording everything without bias. We really need to hear both what really happened, what they experienced (from memory) and the stories they want to tell. I'm not implying anything in this case or any other but if it was true for them, it was true.
A local columnist reported on the plight of a veteran who remembered that float planes from Japanese submarines attacked (he, the veteran, said PH). The columnist (who is a draft GI from Viet Nam and a really good guy) thought the vet was delusional and said as much. I sent him a correction involving the attack in the Pac NW. He replied back to me that many people had written him to correct him on that, but that I was the only one who supplied him with links to the appropriate URLs.
As you may see, it's important for us to record what they saw or think they saw. We can try to sort it out later, but if we have nothing from them, there's nothing to sort out. Those of you who have moved somewhat past GO, may understand that sometimes we conflate separate memories as though they were one. No matter what, if a vet tells you a story, try and write it down without judgement, but if you have reason to qualify the vet's testimony first report it then give your own impressions, realizing that your audience can and should apply a pinch of salt (doubt).
It's not just important to record the recollections of combat veterans, but anyone having any sort of memory of that time including girlfriends and wives from the home front as well as servicemen who were in non-combat positions.
Home front witnesses, ask them 'what's up with oleo?' If you don't know, butter is better for you so stop using that axle grease. Anyways, start a conversation about that, about what they ate and where they acquired it. It's important and usually it will lead you to unexpected places.
All my relatives and friends from that time have passed. I messed up.