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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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.


Last Days in Vietnam

Apr 20, 2015
Photo by Hiroji Kubota

  “Last Days in Vietnam” is a new film documenting the end of the Vietnam War on the 40th anniversary of America’s withdrawal from Saigon.  The film, produced and directed by Rory Kennedy, youngest child of the late U.S. Sen. Robert Kennedy, will air on PBS and ETV April 28 at 9 p.m.


"P" is for Pinckney, Thomas [1750-1828]. Governor, diplomat, congressman, soldier. Pinckney was educated in England at Christ College, Oxford and at the Inns of Court, and in France at the Royal Military Academy. He returned to South Carolina in 1774 and in 1775, he joined the First South Carolina Continental Regiment. He saw active service until 1780 when was wounded and captured at the Battle of Camden. Pinckney was elected governor in 1787 and served two terms. He was the American Minister Plenipotentiary to Great Britain and later to Spain.

Retired Col. Ted Bell, his son, Ted Bell, Jr. and a film crew visited Okinawa, Japan, to revisit the site of a battle Bell lead during World War II. Here, filmmaker Wade Sellers films Bell at a memorial for Ernie Pyle at Peace Memorial.
Coal Powered Filmworks

(Broadcast August 23, 2013) - In April of 2013, an Army veteran from South Carolina returned to Okinawa, Japan, for the first time since he fought there in World War II. Retired Col. Ted Bell, 93, went back to the island after more than 67 years, this time with a film crew for South Carolina ETV, shooting part of the upcoming documentary, Man and Moment: Ted Bell and the Ridge.

Matt Walsh Matt Walsh (mwalsh@thestate.com)

(Broadcast November 02, 2012) - The Emmy-nominated documentary television series (produced in partnership by ETV and The State newspaper), South Carolinians in World War II, returns to ETV November 8th with its latest episode, A World War.  Joining Dr. Edgar to talk about this episode, and the war, are John Rainey, co-creator of the series; Wade Sellers, series director; and The State's Jeff Wilkinson, series producer.

J.C. Falkenberg III

(Broadcast 06/29/12) - Anderson native T. Moffatt Burris is a WWII veteran and concentration camp liberator who also participated in the invasions of Sicily and Italy. During Operation Market Garden in Holland, he led the amphibious assault across the Waal River made famous in the movie, A Bridge Too Far. Burriss is the subject of the upcoming ETV special Man and Moment: T. Moffatt Burriss and the Crossing. He joins Dr.

Matt Walsh Matt Walsh (mwalsh@thestate.com)

(Broadcast November 04, 2011) - About 184,000 South Carolinians served in World War II, and thousands more, who moved here after the war. ETV and The State newspaper partnered together to tell the stories of these veterans in their own words. The result is a new Emmy-nominated documentary series, South Carolinians in World War II.

(Broadcast May 20, 2011) - 184,000 South Carolinians served in World War II. South Carolinians in WWII is ETV's 3-part series that tells the story of some of these veterans. Series co-executive producer John Rainey and producer/director Jeff Wilkinson will join Dr. Edgar to talk tell some of the extraordinary stories of South Carolinians in World War II and talk about the series' second episode. A New Front covers the period from Italy's Monte Cassino to D-Day as well as the buildup in Britain, doctors and nurses, and the Charleston Navy Yard.

(Originally broadcast 03/06/2009) - On November 16th, 2008, a dream came true for Columbia restaurateur Bill Dukes as he and about 90 World War II veterans began a flight to Washington, DC, to see the WWII Memorial. For many of the veterans, a visit to the Memorial, dedicated in 2004, was something they would probably never have dreamed of, much less done. Honor Flight South Carolina is a non-profit organization dedicated to flying South Carolina WWII vets to see “their monument,” free of charge.

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