Home to the former Chanute Air Force Base for 76 years, Champaign County has a long history of wartime participation and civilian support. 

World War I soldiers marching by Champaign First National Bank.

This Veterans Day, The Urbana Free Library would like to make its patrons aware of the Illinois Veterans’ History Project. The project in conjunction with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project, creates a permanent record of the names and stories of Illinois war veterans and civilians who served during wartime.

Veterans or family members can complete an Illinois Patriot Information Form. Participants will receive an Official Certificate of Appreciation, and the knowledge that their contributions will not be forgotten.

The project is also open to U.S. civilians who were actively involved in supporting war efforts. War industry workers, USO workers, flight instructors, medical volunteers, etc. are invited to share their valuable experiences and memories.

Airmen Learning How to Maintain the “Hound Dog” Missile, 1964

In addition to submitting the Illinois Patriot Information Form, participants may submit an oral recorded history that will be placed in the Illinois Digital Archives and the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. The project has created a field kit that walks you through the process of capturing an oral history and supplies sample interview questions making it a perfect activity for educators, scouting groups, and families to participate in.

If you have any questions about the Illinois Veterans’ History Project or about how to record an oral history Archives staff are happy to help.

Extra links:

Illinois Veterans History Project You Tube Channel
Chanute Postcards
Chanute's Golden Anniversary
Chanute: Open Houses
Chanute: Daily life on the Rantoul AFB
Veterans of Champaing County

Sherrie B.
Archives Librarian