Veterans History Project

The Veterans History Project is an ongoing effort by the Library of Congress to collect and preserve firsthand stories of wartime service. As part of this project, which serves as a collection of war-related oral histories, I interviewed my father, Harold Thune, about his experience as a World War II fighter pilot.

The Veterans History Project is part of the Library of Congress's American Folklife Center, which is the most extensive oral history project in American history. It features a collection of over 60,000 stories and thousands of photographs of brave men and women who made this country great.

Interviewing my father for the Veterans History Project was a great way to learn more about his experiences during World War II. This interview is a small contribution to an already impressive collection of American history as told by those who made it.

I encourage South Dakotans to consider making their own contributions to the Library of Congress's Veterans History Project by capturing the history of their loved ones who served our great nation. This is a meaningful way to record a loved one's service to our nation, and to ensure their memories become a part of history for generations to come.

For more information on how you can participate in the Veterans History Project, visit the Library of Congress's website at

Harold Thune Interviews

  Senator John Thune makes introductory remarks about the Veterans History Project  | 1:02
  From Pearl Harbor to “one reason we won the war” | 9:37
  Airplanes of World War II including the F-4, F-6, F-8, P-51 and the Japanese Zero | 8:49
  South Dakota’s Cecil Harris; training and combat techniques | 9:50
  Crashing and being left for dead   | 6:27
  Landing on the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid  | 5:23
  Life on the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid | 7:48
  Receiving the Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross | 3:54