South Carolina Military and Veterans

South Carolina has a rich military history, beginning in the Colonial Era. Today, the state has a significant military presence. SC Public Radio and SCETV offers news coverage of South Carolina's active bases, military personnel and veterans, and the economic and cultural impact they have on communities throughout the state and across the nation. We will also offer stories and profiles exploring our state's military history.

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SC Hall of Fame: Gen. Thomas Sumter (1734-1832)

Aug 4, 2017
Gen. Thomas Sumter
SC Hall of Fame

Virginia native Thomas Sumter wound up in debtor’s prison following the French and Indian War, escaped and came to South Carolina. He became a landowner and early advocate for American independence and in 1780 became the state’s first militia brigadier general. For more than a year he harassed the British, earning the name "Gamecock.” He opposed ratification of the United States Constitution, but was still elected to the First Congress. He served in the United States House of Representatives (1789-1793) and the United States Senate (1793-1810), then retired and lived to nearly 100.

Gen. William Westmoreland
SC Hall of Fame

 General Westmoreland’s rise through the ranks of the army coincided with television coverage of the Vietnam War in the 1960’s, making him one of the most recognized military figures of the 20th century. Born in Spartanburg, South Carolina, he went on to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point and served in 17 battle campaigns during three wars: World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Promoted to the rank of brigadier general at age 38, he later earned a second star, making him at the time the youngest major general in the U.S. Army.

SC Hall of Fame: Sgt. William Jasper (1750-1779)

Aug 4, 2017
Sgt. William Jasper
SC Hall of Fame

Sgt. William Jasper distinguished himself as a patriot during the American Revolution. He was probably born in the vicinity of Georgetown, South Carolina. During the bombardment of Sullivan’s Island by a British fleet on June 28, 1776, Jasper recovered the South Carolina flag after it had been shot from its staff and, in the face of deadly fire, attached it to a sponge-staff and remounted it upon the walls of the fort.

Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden, Jr.
NASA

A native of Columbia, General Bolden graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1968 and became a naval aviator. In 1972 and 1973 he flew more than 100 combat missions in Southeast Asia. He earned a Master of Science degree from the University of Southern California in 1977. In 1980 he was selected by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for training as an astronaut. In 1981 he was qualified as a shuttle pilot, subsequently flying four shuttle missions, including the 1990 mission that launched the Hubble telescope, and logging more than 690 hours in space.

 William Moultrie; Engraving; 148-GW-133.
Painting by Alonzo Chappel. / U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Born in Charleston, South Carolina, William Moultrie (1785-1787) is known for his leadership during the American Revolutionary War. He defended the city of Charleston from British attack in 1776, and Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island was named for him. He contributed the element of the crescent to the South Carolina State Flag. Moultrie also served as 35th Governor of South Carolina.

Inspecting the new troops at Fort Jackson.  They learn the rules quickly- or they'll hear about it.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

Fort Jackson has just celebrated its centennial and, as the nation’s largest army training base, new recruits pour in regularly for basic training.  Though they’re met their first day by a pack of screaming drill sergeants, privates Jose Solis and Wallace Castillo don’t mind.  They’ve come for a purpose: to be trained and to learn to be professionals.   They view the sergeants’ yelling as part of the system, and don’t take it personally.  That’s good, says Drill Sergeant Queshawnia Franklin, because that’s how the system is designed, and after the first few weeks have provided the recruits

Corie Hipp and Earnest Parks, Charleston 2012
StoryCorps

This edition of Narrative features an interview from StoryCorps, an oral history project based on the idea that the stories of everyday people are the most important and interesting of all. When the StoryCorps mobile booth visited Charleston in 2012, Corie Hipp interviewed with her friend and colleague Earnest Parks. As a Civil War re-enactor, Earnest has played the role of a soldier in the Massachusetts 54th Regiment, a union infantry made up of African American soldiers.

Narrative: WWII Veteran Remembers the Battle of the Bulge

Jun 30, 2017
Vernon Brantley and friend Shannon Poteat, Columbia 2016.
StoryCorps

This edition of Narrative features an interview from StoryCorps, a unique oral history project that collects the voices of our times. When StoryCorps visited Columbia in 2016, WWII Veteran Vernon Brantley shared his story with his friend Shannon Poteat. As a driver in the Army, Vernon fought in the Battle of the Bulge, Hitler’s last major campaign. Here, Shannon asks Vernon about his memories of the battle, which began on December 16, 1944.

Narrative: Memories of a Childhood in Ansonborough

May 29, 2017
Herb Frazier and Erin Dickey, Charleston 2012
StoryCorps

This edition of Narrative features an interview from StoryCorps, an oral history project based on the idea that the stories of everyday people are the most important and interesting of all. When StoryCorps visited Charleston in 2012, journalist and author Herb Frazier talked with facilitator Erin Dickey about growing up in the Ansonborough neighborhood during the Civil Rights era.

 

"W" is for Westmoreland, William Childs [1914-2005]. Soldier. Westmoreland graduated from West Point as first captain of the cadet corps. During World War II he saw action in North Africa, Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge and the Remagen Bridge. At the end of the war he was a colonel and commanded a brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division. He saw action as a commander during the Korean Conflict and, at the age of 38, was promoted to brigadier general. In 1960 he was named superintendent of West Point.

Narrative: A Real-Life "Meet-Cute" with a WWII Soldier

Mar 27, 2017
Photo of two women, Carol and Helen Antman.
StoryCorps

This edition of Narrative features an interview from StoryCorps, an oral history project where friends and loved ones interview each other. In 2012, Carol Antman came to StoryCorps mobile booth in Charleston with her mother-in-law, Helen Antman, who was 96 at the time of taping. Here, Carol asks Helen about her memories of World War II.

Helen Antman currently lives in the Charleston area, close to her children, grand- and great-grandchildren. She turns 101 this April 18th.

Megan Doty (left), 628th Security Forces Squadron unit program coordinator, files out her travel voucher with Senior Airman James Hauck, 628th Comptroller Squadron financial technician.
Airman 1st Class Thomas T. Charlton

Last October, Hurricane Matthew brought considerable devastation to South Carolina in the form of strong winds and crippling floods. For the military men and women stationed at Joint Base Charleston, this created unique issues. They needed to safely evacuate the military base while also providing help to those in worse conditions. The decision was made to have air force members by-pass emergency shelters and instead find alternative living accommodations, like family, friends, or even hotels.

As recruits train at Fort Jackson, their weapons stand at the ready.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

As the army’s largest basic training post, Fort Jackson is a vital part of the nation’s defense. Today’s story looks at the approaching centennial of the fort, begun in 1917 in response to the need to train soldiers for World War I. Historians Henry Howe and Fritz Hamer comment on the fort’s beginnings as Camp Jackson, how it was built and its impact on the Midlands economy, as well as its prospects for the future.

 (Originally broadcast 11-11-14) this episode of Walter Edgar's Journal is an encore broadcast of a program that aired in 2014, the 100th year since the start of World War I.

Veterans day, celebrated in the U.S. on November 11, was once known here, as it still is in Europe, as Armistice Day. It marked the end of "The War to End All Wars"  in 1918.

When veterans of the US military leave their branch of service and return to the civilian world, they often find that transition daunting, especially if their military careers have spanned many years.  But there are organizations that work to remedy that situation and our next guest is part of one.

Mike Switzer interviews Jordana Megonigal, publisher of Business Black Box in Greenville, SC, organizers of the upcoming event for transitioning veterans: Recon SC.

Molly Pitcher, long one of the few images an American Woman active in the Revolution, is likely a composite image inspired by the actions of several real women.
Currier & Ives, via Wikimedia Commons

  In her book, Revolutionary Mothers: Women and the Struggle for American Independence (2015, Knopf) Dr. Carol Berkin makes the argument that the American Revolution is a story of both women and men. Women played an active and vital role in the war; although history books have often greatly minimized or completely left out the contributions of women in the creation of our nation, or greatly romanticized their role.

Early American Flag
iStock

(Originally broadcast 04/08/16) -  Doug Bostick, of the South Carolina Battleground Preservation Trust, and Jim Lighthizer, President of the Civil War Trust, talk with Walter Edgar about their ongoing efforts to preserve important Revolutionary War sites in South Carolina. The trusts are currently working to obtain and preserve key portions of sites for the battles of the Battle of Hanging Rock and the Battle of the Waxhaws.

  "L" is for Longstreet, James Peter [1821-1904]. Soldier. Born in Edgefield District, Longstreet spent his formative years in Georgia and Alabama. After graduating from West Point, he had a successful army career, serving with distinction in the Mexican war and achieving the rank of major. In 1861, he resigned his US Army commission and joined the Confederate Army as a brigadier general. He distinguished himself as a superb military tactician and in 1862 Robert E. Lee made him his second in command.

Portrait of Henry Laurens, engraved from a drawing by W. C. Armstrong after the portrait by John Singleton Copley.
The National Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans, 1839

  (Originally broadcast 02/26/16) - Dr. Woody Holton of the University of South Carolina claims that, when it comes to the Revolution, Americans can justifiably claim, "The English made us do it." Dr. Holton talks with Dr. Edgar about what drove Carolina to challenge Imperial authority.

Their talk was part of a series of public conversations, “Conversations on Colonial and Revolutionary South Carolina,” presented by the University Of South Carolina College Of Arts and Sciences’ Institute of Southern Studies.

Palmetto Tree
iStock

  Earlier this year, the University of South Carolina College of Arts and Sciences’ Institute of Southern presented a series of public conversations with Dr. Walter Edgar and guest scholars: “Conversations on Colonial and Revolutionary South Carolina”. In this first conversation, Dr. Larry Rowland, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History for the University of South Carolina Beaufort, talks with Dr. Edgar about “The Colonial Melting Pot.”

All Stations: Fri, Feb 5, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Feb 7, 4 pm


USS Hornet (CV-8) with USS Gwin (DD-433) during Doolittle Raid 1942.
USAF

  In 1945, the Japanese surrendered to end World War II on Sept. 2, officially observed as V-J Day in the United States. But few people realize that the road to victory began with America’s first victory – at least, psychologically – over Japan: the Doolittle Raid, in which 16 B-25 bombers launched from the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Hornet bombed Tokyo in the first strike back at Japan after Pearl Harbor. James Scott, author of the new book “Target Tokyo,” talks about the raid, its affect both on America’s morale and Japan’s sense of invincibility, and how South Carolina played a part in this historic event: the raiders were first assembled and volunteered for this dangerous and daring mission in Columbia.


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