Jay, veteran participating in IWM's We Were There programme.

9 Questions...

  • Where do you call home?

    Originally New York, but now Manchester.

  • What conflict(s) do you discuss when volunteering for We Were There?

    Vietnam War; Gulf War (Desert Shield/Desert Storm) and Bosnian War (Operation Deliberate Force).

  • How were you involved in that conflict?

    Vietnam War: I served during that time but did not go to Vietnam. Gulf War: I served on the first ship to pull into Kuwait after the hostilities ended, and did some remedial work on the American School. Bosnian War: the ship I served on helped rescue the drowned American Air Force pilot.

  • How long have you been volunteering for WWT?

    About one year.

  • What do you enjoy most about participating in WWT?

    Talking and interacting with children. Also making them understand that the world is a big place with conflicts all over.

  • Tell us your favourite moment so far during the sessions?

    Seeing the different age groups and telling my story, changing the language/tone for the various age groups.

  • What’s your favourite object in IWM’s collections and why?

    For me it would be the AV-8A Harrier Jump Jet – as they flew off the ship I was stationed on. I saw them take off, both on and off land.

  • What do you like to do in your spare time?

    Mostly Facebook – sad I know, but I also look after the house and enjoy ocean cruising.

  • What is your favourite biscuit?

    Biscuits with white sauce gravy – in America biscuits are like scones. 

Volunteers help bring to life the stories of our collections. Find out more. 

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Contemporary conflict

What Was The Gulf War?

On 2 August 1990 Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, a tiny oil-producing state in the Persian Gulf. The response of the international community was swift. The United Nations demanded Iraqi withdrawal and imposed a trade embargo.

Helicopter pilots in full flying kit on board HMS INVINCIBLE during Operation GRAPPLE, the British military deployment in support of the United Nations Peace Keeping Force in Bosnia (UNPROFOR). INVINCIBLE sailed for the Adriatic on 22 July 1993 to relieve HMS ARK ROYAL. She remained in theatre until 20 December, with No 800, 814, 846 and 849A Naval Air Squadrons embarked.
© IWM HU 92566
Cold War

25 Photos From The Bosnian War Of 1992–1995

In October 1992, 2,400 British troops deployed to Bosnia and Croatia under Operation 'Grapple', tasked with providing armed escort to United Nations humanitarian aid convoys as part of the UN Protection Force, UNPROFOR, in Bosnia.


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A Balloon Site, Coventry
© IWM (ART LD 2750)

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An interwar Earl Haig Fund 'Remembrance Day' poppy
© IWM (EPH 2313)

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