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Arizona WWII soldiers heard again

November 05, 2012

The voices of 34 Arizona soldiers and nurses who served in the Philippines during the summer of 1945 are heard once again with the release of recently rediscovered J. Howard Pyle radio broadcasts. An NBC radio correspondent, Pyle conducted brief “Hometowner” interviews with Arizona military personnel serving in Manila and Luzon, recording them on large vinyl transcription discs for review by military censors and broadcast on Arizona radio stations.

Military personnel from several outfits including the famous 158th Infantry “Bushmasters” identified themselves and their hometowns, and they spoke briefly about their families and conditions in the Philippines. A list of interviewee names and their hometowns connects individuals to one of the forty audio tracks in the collection.

“We hope the families of these soldiers will take the opportunity to hear their loved ones once again, and all of us will have the chance to remember and appreciate the great sacrifices they made for our country,” said Robert Spindler, curator of the Arizona Collection at the Arizona State University Libraries.

The interviews are part of a larger collection of Howard Pyle audio recordings that are available online. Pyle recounts his arrival at Yokohama with the 11th Airborne Division on Sept. 1, 1945, the first civilian broadcaster to land at Japan after the surrender. Other notable recordings include Pyle’s speech at the 1952 Republican National Convention entitled “What is Right For America,” the address of General Douglas MacArthur at a Special Session of the First Congress of the Philippines, Pyle’s coverage of the 1945 United Nations Conference on International Organization and a 1951 interview with Arizona tribal leaders.
The recordings were recovered from cracking vinyl transcription discs and made accessible by the ASU Libraries with the support of the Luhrs Family Endowment. The J. Howard Pyle Audio Recordings can be heard at the ASU Digital Repository:

For additional information contact: Robert Spindler, curator, Arizona Collection, Arizona State University Libraries at
480-965-9277 or