Posts Tagged ‘WWII’

Interview with Lorin Myring – Veteran of Iwo Jima battle

October 13, 2014

I really enjoyed interviewing US Marine, Lorin Myring, who served in World War II with the Navajo code talkers at one of America’s toughest war battles, Iwo Jima. Lorin was in the Iwo Jima battle for 36 days and 36 nights.

Photo by Bend Bulletin photographer, Kevin Prieto

Lorin Myring with RJ McHatton

lorin myring with rj


Dale Harlan, quiet hero from WWII

October 12, 2011

Dale Harlan with RJ McHatton

I really enjoyed my interview today with Dale Harlan, a war hero from World War II. Dale served in the Army Air Corp in the Battle of Midway and then as a paratrooper for the 101st Airborne (Screaming Eagles) in Holland and Bastogne and th…e Battle of the Bulge. Dale was injured in battle and earned two Purple Hearts, two Bronze Stars, and other medals. After the war Dale served in the Oregon State Legislature twice and was a practicing attorney for 40 years. Dale is a typical quiet hero living next door.

US Army General Julius Braun

October 12, 2011

US Army Brigadier General Julius Braun (ret) with RJ McHatton
I enjoyed my interview with US Army Brigadier General Julius Braun who served in WW2, Korea, worked with Dr. Von Braun and German scientists on rockets, missiles and Space program.
Julius’ father was a famous US General killed in WWII.  Like father like son, they both became Generals.

US Army General Gustav J. Braun. 
US ARMY Brigadier General Gustav J. Braun, Jr. was the Assistant Division Commander of the 34th Division at the time of his death in 1945 in combat in Italy.
He was the highest ranking US soldier killed in action during WWII.

H. Russell Smith – Businessman, Philanthropist, Friend to Johnny Myers

September 2, 2009


H. Russell Smith with Director RJ McHatton

H. Russell Smith with Director RJ McHatton

It was a little bit smokey over in Pasadena this afternoon.  There was a 120,000 acre fire up in the foothills.  But it was pretty nice down in Pasadena.  I was there to interview H. Russell Smith, former CEO of Avery Dennison and good friend of Johnny Myers for over 75 years.  Russ had agreed to be interviewed for my new documentary “Flying Man: Life and Times of Johnny Myers.”  Russ was originally from Ohio and his family settled into the Whittier area in the 1920s.  Russ had some great stories about his youth and his family history.  His family were Quaker farmers who raised Russ with tremendous values and integrity.  Russ went to high school with Richard Nixon.  Russ always had interest in economics and political science so he won a scholarship to Pomona College where he was the captain of the track team.  After college Russ went to work for Kidder Peabody investment banking in New York City.  This was in the middle of the Great Depression.  He spent a year working in Switzerland during the late 1930s. Upon returning to the US, he worked for a year with Blue Diamond until the war started.  He served in the US Navy during WWII.  After the war he took a leadership role in Avery Adhesives (later Avery Dennison) where he rose to CEO.  He first met John Myers through John’s lovely wife Lucia.  Over the years John Myers and Russ Smith became close friends.  They were in a lot of clubs together including the California Club and the very exclusive Sunset Club.  Russ told me some great stories about his friendship with John Myers, including some of his fun flying adventures together.  Russ talked about Lucia Myers and her terrific personality and wisdom.  Russ did a fantastic interview and I really appreciate having the opportunity to meet him.  Russ talked about how John Myers was a handshake type of man.  I could see that Russ Smith was that type of man, too.  Russ and I talked about family history and biography.  He showed me two books he had written, one about his life and one about the letters he wrote to his mother throughout his life.  Russ signed his autobiography book and gave it to me.  I am grateful for his generosity.  As I started reading his book I learned how many charities and important causes that Russ has helped over the years and the list is long.  Pomona College.  Childrens Hospital. Philharmonic.  Psoriasis Research. The list goes on.  Russ is an inspiring man in many ways.

Cleo & Carroll Shelby – Automotive Racing, Aviation Legend – Friend of Johnny Myers

July 18, 2009
Cleo & Carroll Shelby with Director RJ McHatton

Cleo & Carroll Shelby with Director RJ McHatton

All you need to do is type in the words “Shelby Cobra” into youtube and you will see first hand the incredible Automotive classic cars that Carroll Shelby has designed and built ever since in the 60s.  Cobras and Vipers and more.  Carroll has been an aviator since the 1930s when he paid one dollar to fly in a bi-plane.  During WWII Carroll was a training flight instructor for the US Army Air Corp.  He has been flying all through out his career.

We were there to interview Carroll Shelby and his beautiful wife Cleo for our documentary “The Flying Man:  Life and Times of Johnny Myers.”   Carroll and Cleo have become great friends of Johnny Myers over the last dozen or so years.  They had spent time with John up at his ranch in Merced, California and on several other trips, including one at the giant Oshkosh Aviation Celebration.  Cleo told some great stories about how John Myers was very inspirational for her learning how to fly.  John was a major influence to her.  Carroll talked about his friendship with John Myers and how they really respected each other.  He said that John was so humble, that it took a lot to get John Myers to talk about his legendary flying skills.  He talked about John Myers’ sense of humor and his always being a gentleman.

I really enjoyed meeting and interviewing Carroll Shelby and his wife Cleo.  They both remind me about the importance of appreciation.  Carroll talked about how he has some other man’s heart in his chest.  He had a heart transplant many years ago.  He said he was very appreciative of every moment he has on this earth.  Cleo and Carroll talked about how they met.  They are a great couple.  Carroll told me so awesome stories about his relationship with his father.  How his father had encouraged him to go for his dreams.  The message for me is to try to be a better “encourager” to others and to be more “appreciative” of life.

Thank you Cleo and Carroll Shelby for a fantastic time together.

To learn more about our new documentary “The Flying Man: Life and Times of Johnny Myers” go to

You can learn more about Carroll Shelby at

Here is a great artist rendering of Cleo with Carroll Shelby.

Fumiko Hayashida – 99 years old

June 29, 2009

Fumiko Hayashida – 99 years old

Fumiko Hayashida
I had the great fortune to be able to spend a couple of hours with Fumiko Hayashida, interviewing her for a video project. Fumiko is 99 years old and still full of life, laughter, and great wisdom. She told me great stories about her life living in the Northwest. Fumiko told me the incredible story about how she was pregnant with two small children with her husband when she was told to “evacuate” to the internment camps down in California. I asked Fumiko if she held any animosity to America for what happened to her. She said she always trusted the US Government and just wished the war was over faster. She and her children and husband lived for three years in a camp in the desert. I was deeply moved by my experience interviewing Fumiko. She is a very wonderful person.

Francis Meyers – Seabee from WWII

June 29, 2009

Francis Meyers – Seabee from WW2

Frank Meyers
I really enjoyed shooting my video interview with Frank Meyers for my new documentary “The New Fighting Seabees.”

Frank and his wife Barbara came by the studio. Frank told me stories about his being drafted after Pearl Harbor and about his service in England, France, and in the South Pacific.

I especially appreciated when Frank talked about his adoption of four children.