Kent State Student Featured in Upcoming WWII Docuseries
A compelling three-episode docuseries, titled "Marauder Men: In Their Own Words," is set to premiere on PBS Western Reserve channels WNEO 45.1 and WEAO 49.1 starting at 7 p.m. on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.
This PBS series, produced by Uniontown resident Steve Mitchell, features Kent State University student Chris Billings, as the on-air host. In the series, Billings wears authentic uniforms reminiscent of the young pilots who flew during World War II.
At the heart of this new locally produced series is the remarkable story of the B-26 Marauder, one of only six in existence today, residing at the MAPS Air Museum near Akron Canton Airport. Exclusively used during WWII, only 5,288 B-26 Marauders were ever built, with most being destroyed at the war's end. A tactical aircraft, the B-26 played a vital role in World War II, flying in support of troops on the ground and used in operations where precision was essential. The courageous men who flew them formed a unique camaraderie, captured in oral histories that were recorded in the 1990s.
The three-episode series draws from those recorded oral histories, bringing to life their experiences, from crash landings and daring attacks on a Japanese aircraft carrier to the challenges of living in deplorable conditions in the Pacific, participating in D-Day bombing runs, and flying during the Battle of the Bulge. Viewers will also hear gripping accounts of planes plummeting from 12,000 feet with all crew members on board.
Visit PBSWesternReserve.org for more air dates and times for “Marauder Men.”
Photos courtesy of PBS Western Reserve.