Walter Schwartz studied chemistry at Carnegie Tech, and then worked in a top industry laboratory making paint. “You can’t win a war without a lot of paint,” he says, seriously. Yet, Walter felt that he’d rather be where the action was during WW II. However, after getting the cold shoulder from Navy recruiters he was welcomed into the US Merchant Marine Service. They needed engineers–any kind of engineer– to man the thousands of cargo ships needed for the war effort.
During June 2-3, 2013, we had the fortunate opportunity to hear and preserve the stories of six Pittsburgh area WWII veterans at century old Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum. As we usually did during our visits to the museum, we set up our mobile recording studio in the venerable “Gettysburg Room,” a stately room paneled in dark wood devoted to the African-American experience during the Civil War.
During this project, our roster included Walter Schwartz (Merchant Marine Service), Joe Zablotny (Navy), Leonard Weitzman (Army), Kathleen Short (Royal Air Force), Jim Scanlon (Army), and Albert Zimmerman (Army).