Website Contact: Kevin Callahan

 
 
This informational website is created and maintained by Kevin L. Callahan, an 8th AFHS-Mn member. My E-mail is call0031@gmail.com
See also my webpage (in the links on the right hand side of this page).
 
Background
My father, James R. Callahan, first worked as an Airframe Riveter in a Curtiss factory after graduating from High School and later became a USAAF Aviation Cadet, training originally at the San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center and then Amarillo Field, Texas in the program to train B-29 Flight Engineer/Cruise Control officers, when the war ended.
 
Website Purpose and Goals
The purpose of the 8th AFHS-Mn is to perpetuate the history and provide opportunities for veterans to get together. Sharing veterans' individual stories and preserving them for the future is important. Writing down first-hand accounts and life experiences forestalls what Herodotus, the "Father of History," called "the decay of remembrance."  With the passage of time these recollections, if written down and preserved, will become increasingly valuable to veterans' families and to later generations. Veterans, who served their country, have certainly "performed exploits worthy to be recorded." They are not only eyewitnesses to history, they made the history. Of the almost 16 million men and women who served in the U.S. armed services during World War II, as of 2012, only a little over a million and a half veterans are left. (Source: The National WWII Memorial-New Orleans website citing the VA)
 
History and biography may overlap, but they are separate subjects. I am interested in archiving first person accounts along with supporting materials of interest to our members, their families, and later scholars. Video provides a permanent way to remember an individual's demeanor, sense of humor, voice inflection, walk, etc. which is much more detailed than the written word alone. As one Native American once put it, "Remember me as I was in life."  
 
Archiving these presentations with DVDs, CDs, Transcripts, Books, You Tube Videos, and Websites, and maximizing digital dispersal to family computers and online search engines, should help ensure preservation of veterans' stories and experiences for future generations. Historiography suggests that many of the events of history were recorded by literate "bystanders," or later authors who were not directly involved: the scribes, poets, monks, saga writers, historians, reporters, and politicians. The veterans often did not write a personal account of what they did or experienced for posterity. What was a common experience for one generation, however, is often quite remarkable to their grandchildren!
 
Descendants need to be proactive to preserve their family history. Often the sole copy of letters home, diaries, discharge papers and other primary source documents are kept in a box in the basement or attic and are thrown in the dumpster when cleaning out the house after a veteran dies or during a move. House fires and the catastrophic fire in the 1970s which destroyed many of the WW I and WWII military personnel records at the National Personnel Records Center are examples of preventable losses where simple duplication and dispersal of information could have been done beforehand.

Unfortunately, at present Google's policy is to delete websites and You Tube videos after 3 months to 1 year of inactivity, (e.g., if I become incapacitated or die), so if there is anything you want to preserve for your descendants, download it now, save it on your own computer, and distribute it to other family members' computers.
 
 
If you need any assistance with digitization and dispersal of documents, VHS tape to DVD conversion, or have corrections, questions, or suggestions please feel free to contact me at:
call0031@gmail.com

We also provide assistance for Veterans Oral History Interviews.
(above) An airplane ride along the Saint Croix River Valley from Lake Elmo Airport to Taylor's Falls, MN in a Grumman Tiger owned by Carl Moser and Kirk Mahlin. Pilot, Kirk Mahlin. Passenger Larry Sagstetter. Videographer, Kevin Callahan, Eighth Air Force Historical Society of Minnesota.
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K Callahan,
Feb 13, 2011, 10:35 AM
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K Callahan,
Feb 13, 2011, 10:35 AM
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K Callahan,
Feb 13, 2011, 10:36 AM
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K Callahan,
Feb 13, 2011, 10:34 AM
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