By Sue VerHoef
Colonel Robert G. Certain was the navigator on a United States Air Force B-52 bomber that was shot down near Hanoi on December 18, 1972, during the Vietnam War. The crash killed three of the six men aboard. Col. Certain and the other surviving crew members were held as prisoners of war in Hanoi until their release on March 29, 1973. In this clip from his January 16, 2017, interview for the Veterans History Project, Colonel Certain shares his thoughts about surviving wartime trauma and the loss of his friends.
The Veterans History Project oral history collection contains video and audio interviews of those who served in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, post 9-11 conflicts, and civilians who supported them. Atlanta History Center collects, preserves, and shares these accounts so that future generations can hear directly from veterans and better appreciate the realities of war and the sacrifices made by those who serve in uniform.
The interviews preserved at the Kenan Research Center are created in partnership with the Veterans History Project, an initiative of the Library of Congress American Folklife Center. The Atlanta History Center is a founding partner and has collected over 630 interviews of veterans in Metropolitan Atlanta with the invaluable assistance of the Atlanta Vietnam Veterans Business Association.
For more information about Veterans History Project or to participate, please call 404.814.4042 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sue VerHoef is our Director of Oral History and Genealogy. She is the leader for Atlanta History Center's Veterans History Project, and you'll be hard-pressed to find someone more dedicated to collecting, preserving, and honoring the stories of our veterans.