Now the oldest living World War II veteran in Hays County at the age of 103, Bradley Davis stands at attention during his days in the Air Force. Davis and a number of other Hays County veterans share their stories in the new documentary “Hays County in World War II,” which will be screened at 7 p.m. June 6 at the historic San Marcos Army Air Force Field Hangar at the San Marcos Airport. The premiere is free and open to the public. COURTESY PHOTO
by SHELLEY HENRY
Coinciding with the 68th anniversary of D-Day, the Hays County Historical Commission will premiere its newest film, “Hays County in World War II,” during a free screening at 7 p.m. June 6 at the historic San Marcos Army Air Force Field Hangar at the San Marcos Airport.
Based on interviews with Hays County veterans who served in the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines during World War II, the documentary tells the personal stories of these men as well as the stories of those who remained on the home front in Hays County. Also included is the story of the San Marcos Army Air Base that brought more than 10,000 servicemen to our county to learn navigation in the central Texas skies.
Among those interviewed from San Marcos are veterans Augustin Lucio, Bill Butts and Willie Higgs, as well as Wren Giesen, who was a civilian employee at the San Marcos Army Air Base. Also sharing their stories are veterans Bill Johnson of Wimberley; Travis Garnett and Bradley Davis of Dripping Springs; and J.B. Wilson of Driftwood.
Their reminiscences about leaving the rural life of central Texas to travel thousands of miles to Europe and the South Pacific are mixed with original period photos and documentary footage of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the battle of Iwo Jima, the landing at Normandy, and much more. Music by Johnny Gimble and Glenn Miller highlight the soundtrack.
The film was directed by Richard Kidd and produced by the Hays County Historical Commission, under the leadership of chairwoman Kate Johnson.
Refreshments will be served at the showing, and guests will also be able to view the rare, vintage aircraft, privately owned and maintained by the Centex Wing of the Commemorative Air Force. These relics sit in the hangar as stark reminders of a war fought long ago, but still present in the memories of those who heeded the call to serve their country.
For more information about this event, visit the HCHC website at www.hayshistoricalcommission.com.