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Mississippi Moments Podcast

After fifty years, we've heard it all. From the horrors of war to the struggle for civil rights, Mississippians have shared their stories with us. The writers, the soldiers, the activists, the musicians, the politicians, the comedians, the teachers, the farmers, the sharecroppers, the survivors, the winners, the losers, the haves, and the have-nots. They've all entrusted us with their memories, by the thousands. You like stories? We've got stories. After fifty years, we've heard it all.
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Now displaying: Page 1
Dec 3, 2018

After Japan attacked the US Navy Base at Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, thousands of American teenagers volunteered to go and fight. In this episode, humorist Jerry Clower of Liberty, Mississippi, explains how growing up on a farm prepared him for life in the Navy. Raised in the rural South, Clower’s perceptions of race were limited to Black or White. He recalls an incident in basic training that opened his eyes to a wider world of ethnicity and prejudice. (caution: uses a racist word that he had never heard prior to joining up.)

Clower served as a radio operator on the aircraft carrier, USS Hornet, in the Pacific Theater. He remembers the battles for Iwo Jima and Okinawa and the lessons they learned from each.

While serving aboard the Hornet, Clower survived several attacks by Kamikazes. He describes feeling conflicted about watching the Japanese pilots die, and discusses suffering from symptoms of PTSD for many years after the war.

PHOTO: courtesy of the Clower family.

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