WRAL News Documentary Tells Harrowing Stories of Local WWII Veterans “Stories of Honor”

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WRAL News Documentary Tells Harrowing Stories of Local WWII Veterans “Stories of Honor”
Airs Thursday, October 14 at 7pm on WRAL-TV

Flight of Honor Derward Copeland, of Raleigh, was piloting a B-17 bomber when the Germans shot it down over France. D.C. Lawson, of Raleigh, was wounded by machine gun fire and survived multiple hand grenades thrown into his foxhole in Okinawa. Hugh Shearin, of Rocky Mount, fought and survived in the Battle of the Bulge.

Three men with harrowing experiences share their “Stories of Honor” in a new WRAL News documentary, airing Thursday, October 14 at 7pm. WRAL News anchor and reporter Kelcey Carlson brings these courageous heroes to television and travels with them on a poignant first-time journey to see the national World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The World War II Memorial was dedicated in 2004, many aging vets have never seen it. The volunteer organization Triangle Flight of Honor is flying World War II veterans to Washington D.C. to see the memorial free of charge. WRAL-TV and its viewers raised $50,481 dollars to help fund the flight.

More than 16 million soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen served in the war and more than 400,000 lost their lives. Nearly 1200 of them pass away every day in our country. Time is running out to capture their stories.  

Battle of the Bulge survivor Hugh Shearin is finally ready to talk about it. “I didn’t like to talk about it for a long time and now I’ve realized that people need to know. People need to know what war is, that’s something awful.”

“Two waist gunners, the ones on either side of the plane, [was] killed and the top ball-turret gunner, he had come up to get more information and so he was killed. The rest of us bailed out,” says Copeland, the B-17 pilot who was shot down and spent nearly two years in German POW camp.

Their stories will move you. Their heroism will inspire you.

  • Watch a video preview of the WRAL News documentary here.
  • After broadcast, all WRAL News documentaries are available for on demand viewing here.
Here’s the broadcast schedule for other Capitol Broadcasting stations across North Carolina:
WRAL-TV Raleigh   Oct 14th 7pm
WILM-TV Wilmington   Oct 14th 7pm
WRAZ-TV Durham   Oct 15th 2pm
      Oct 24th 6:30pm
WMYT-TV Charlotte   Oct 17th 8pm
WJZY-TV Charlotte   Oct 24th 10:35pm


Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Debbie Tullos for this capcom story.

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