History Connection

Where History Comes Alive

Our Mission

It's estimated we are losing over 350 WWII era veterans each day and only 496,777 of the 16 million Americans who served in WWII were alive in 2018. Our Korean War and Vietnam Veterans are also leaving us in alarming numbers. As these heroes leave us so do thier stories unless we document them. These stories are important to share with a younger generation who may have no idea of the sacrifices made for thier freedom.

             It's up to us to inform them.

Our mission at History Connection is to share and document military history from those who lived it. To share and preserve the where, when, why and how of the most important life stories.   

 Everyone has a story to tell, whether an epic chapter or a footnote. These stories open a window on the past, helping us to understand our heritage and ultimately ourselves. If you know of a military hero with a story to tell, we want to hear about them. We believe these brave men and woman deserve to be honored for their service to our country. 

        Have a story? Email Joe Noriel at


Our services also include providing unique historical presentations to schools, clubs and organizations, exhibit management and artifact identification. The connection begins here.

       Please support us through PayPal 

Your small contribution helps us in our mission to honor veterans and to document and preserve their unique history forever. We can't do it with out you! 


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Petaluma Argus Courier - Military Hero of the Month

The Bull 97.3 Radio - The Bull Military Hero of the Month

February 2020

In a life span that spanned 100 years, Irving Baker has experienced some amazing events and close calls. Includung almost losing his life at age four to a ruptured appendix.He joined the Navy in 1941 and served aboard "YMS 73" which was used as a mine sweeper and escort vessel.His next brush at death was when he came under fire from a japanese fighter plane. As bullets straffed the deck of his ship he was saved by jumping to saftey narrowily getting hit. Baker participated in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle of WWII. His team singlehandedly shot down over three enemy planes saving the lives of his fellow crewman. He also bared witness to the explosion of the USS Mount Hood which took the lives of 350 men. Mr. Baker currently resides in Petaluma.


TBD 2020 - Iraq/Afganistan Memorial

A cannon returned home by a solidier from Afgnistan will be the centerpiece to honor all who served in the Middle East. We are currently in the planning phases - please contact us for more information - historyconnected@gmail.com


Fly Penry Park Flag - Penry Park honors Richard Penry, Medal of Honor Recepient. The flag pole has been standing idle for years. HC is working on ading lights, a lock and flag to the pole for our hometown hero!

---------------------------PRIOR Events-----------------------------------


* Establishment of Korean War Memorial - Walnut Park, Petaluma (2017)

* Establishment of Iraq/Afganistan Memorial - National Armory, Petaluma (2014)

*Repair/Restablish Vietnam Memorial - Walnut Park, Petaluma - (2013)

Establishment of the City of Petaluma As a Purple heart City (2014)

Vietnam Traveling Wall - Petaluma Luccessi Park (2013)

January 23, 2015 - Mr. Takashi Tanemori Day

Petaluma High School Library, 201 Fair Street, Petaluma.

Takashi Tanemori’s life reads like a movie. His early life was forged in the terror and devastation resulting from experiencing the effects of the greatest weapon known by man, the Atomic bomb. Developed by Manhattan project scientists, President Harry Truman authorized use of the bomb to end the battle with the Japanese during WWII. Mr. Tanemori is one of the few living survivors of the August 6, 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan. As a child he stood in terror as the light of the blast filled his eyes, and the heat burned his face. Suddenly he was alone, faced with the death of both of his parents and two sisters due to the effects of the bomb. He found himself searching waste sites and garbage cans for food, just to stay alive in the poverty-stricken rubble of postwar Japan. Takashi eventually moved to the USA where he was met with severe discrimination for being Japanese, then was used as a 'guinea pig,' for the next 6 months to study the effects of radiation on the human body. By the time Takashi was 16 years old, the burden of dishonor and despair from the loss of his homeland was too great, and he attempted suicide. However, through a series of life changing events Mr. Tanemori was able to put aside his anger and mistreatment in his younger years and devote his life helping future generations live in peace, with harmony and equality. 

Mr. Tanemori will be honored at the event by the City of Petaluma for his life’s achievements.

See: http://www.petaluma360.com/news/3412192-181/hiroshima-survivor-recalls-horrors

March 8, 2015 - 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War - Flag Raising Ceremony

The History Connection along with Vietnam Veterans Chapter 563 will be replacing all the torn & tatered flags in the City of Petaluma. A special ceremony will be held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the begininng of the Vietnam War. The missing flags will be rasied again at the East Washington Street River Bridge by Petaluma Blvd at 1pm.

See: http://www.petaluma360.com/gallery/3647250-181/new-flags-for-east-washington

March 19, 2015 - "Dinosaur World"

They are back! A special Dinonsaur presentation to be held at Corona Creek Elementary School. Fossils, Facts and much more.

April 18, 2015 - Commemerative Flight 1955-2015. General Robert "Earthquake" Titus, USAF. Robert Titus, an aviation legend of WWII, Korea and Vietnam will take to the air one last time in a vintage P-51 aircraft. Aviaton Hero Symposium, more information coming soon!

See: http://www.militarybios.com/biography/BrigadierGeneralRobertFTitus.html

Also http://www.petaluma360.com/gallery/3831421-181/commemorative-flight





June 6, 2015 - Sasha Jansen Presentation

Petaluma Public Library, 2pm  Free

During WWII, nearly 14,000 American civilians were interned by the Japanese military and about 1,500 died due to the harsh treatment during their captivity. The majority of them were kept in internment camps in the Philippines. Sasha Jansen was only 8 years old when she was interned with her family, along with 4,000 other civilians – mostly American and British – from early 1942 until the Philippines was liberated in February 1945. Mrs. Jansen will share her amazing story of survival in the most harshest conditions imaginable. Jansen has been involved in the Bay Area Civilian Ex-Prisoners of War and has organized many trips back to the Philippines for former internees and their families.

The City of Petaluma will honor and recognize Mrs. Jansen’s life by City Proclamation.

Not to miss! See: http://www.visitpetaluma.com/events/history-connection-presents-story-survival

August 4, 2015 - National Night Out - Farm Watch Parade

Location: Cinnebar School, Petaluma - 5pm


November 10, 2015 - Veterans Day Presentation - Matthew Jensen, Iraq War Veteran.

Location: Petaluma High School, 11am

A special Veterans Day presentation in cooperation with the ASB. Speaker presentation by Iraq Veteran Matthew Jensen discussing how the effects of PTSD effected his personal life/Art Work by Mike Dowdel, Vietnam Veteran.

see more on Matthew: http://www.petaluma360.com/news/2217545-181/iraq-wars-legacy?related

November 11, 2015 - Korean War Memorial Unveiling

Location: Walnut Park, Petaluma

Immediately following the annual Veterans Day Parade come to Walnut Park to see the new Korean War Memorial dedictated to three Petaluma men who lost their lives in combat. Donations still needed!


also http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/4113356-181/petaluma-monument-to-honor-veterans

November 11 - December 6, 2015 - War Comes Home: "Letters Home" Exhibition

Location: Santa Rosa Junior College, Petaluma Campus

For veterans, returning home from war can be both exhilarating and a challenging experience. Through private correspondence from almost every major conflict in U.S. history. War Comes Home offers insight into the thoughts and emotions of veterans upon thier homecoming. These intimate perspectives - from the Civil War era through wars in Afganistan and Iraq - revel how war can shape a life.

Launching Veterans' Day 2015, this panel exhibition will explore themes of homecoming from wars past and present through letters, journals and an audio tour. Rare letters from all eras will be on display. This exhibition is a partnership with Cal Humanities' and is a part of its' War Comes Home initiative.



________________2014 Events_______________________

November 11, 2014 - Veterans Day! Lou Raffi Day!

 Mr. Raffi is one of the few who survived of two sunken ships by the Japanese in the Pacific during WWII. His vessel was sunk by Japanese torpedo's and the crew left stranded in the shark invested ocean. Mr. Raffi was decorated with the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Medal of Heroism.  Lou Raffe will be leading the 2014 Petaluma Veterans Day Parade. Not to miss!

November 11, 2014 - National Guard Memorial Ceremony

8am - National Guard Armory -  Memorial unvailing.

Thanks to numerous donations from all over Sonoma County a memorial honoring three fallen National Guardsman will be established. A big thanks to Lori Carter from The Press Democrat, Emily Charrier from the Argus Courier, Sonoma County MOMS and many more!

see: http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/2397349-181/petaluma-memorial-planned-for-slain

November 10, 2014 - Iraq Veteran Paul Hoffman Presentation 

Petaluma High School - 11am

Paul Hoffman will share his experiences serving in the National Guard in the Iraq War. The ASB theme of the program is "Unity".

September 20, 2014 - Helen Madamba Mossman Presenation

2pm - Petaluma Public Library - 100 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma - Admission is free!

Come hear the story of Petaluma resident Helen Madamba Mossman. Mrs. Mossman experienced terrifying circumstances at a young age not many could imagine. During WWII, her Philippine-American family camped in jungles and slept in caves for more then two years to evade capture by the Japanese. Helen will share her inspirational story of surival as described in her book "A Letter to My Father".
See: http://www.petaluma360.com/home/2825029-181/making-peace-with-wwii-memories

July 12, 2014 - "NASA KEPLER DAY in Petaluma"

Lydia's Sunflower Center, 1435 North McDowell Blvd. 7:30pm

Are we the only "Earth-like" planet in the galaxy? NASA launched the Kepler Telescope in 2009 to answer that very question. Join scientists from the Kepler program and Jim & Kathy Ocean for an out of this world presentation!

*Dr. Steve Howell, Project Scientist, Nasa Kepler Mission

*Ed Megil, Santa Rosa Junior College Planetarium

See http://kepler.nasa.gov ; www.jimoceanmusic.com

June 6 2014 - Frank Castellucci Day

Petaluma Senior Center - 12pm

Come recognize 90 year old WWII veteran Frank Castellucci. Mr Castellucci recieved the Bronze Arrowhead Medal for being one of the first at the Normandy Invasion. He earned five battle stars for his heroic efforts in WWII for service in England, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. He also ran the Assult Training School in England where he prepared troops daily for combat.

See: http://www.cityofpetaluma.net/parksnrec/pdf/senior-newsletter-july14.pdf

MAY 27 2014 - Astronaut Yvonne Cagle Day, City of Petaluma

Wilson Elementary School, 10:00am - 3775 Bodega Ave. Petaluma

Petaluma High School, 11:00am - 201 Fair Street, Petaluma

A special day that will  honor an incredible woman and inspire the young to reach for the stars!

AWARDS: Outstanding Young Women of America; National Defense Service Medal; Air Force Achievement Medal; United States Air Force (USAF) Air Staff Exceptional Physician Commendation; National Technical Association Distinguished Scientist Award; Commendation Marin County Board of Supervisors.

NASA EXPERIENCE: During May 1989, while a flight surgeon assigned to the 48th Tactical Hospital, United Kingdom, Dr. Cagle volunteered to serve as the Air Force Medical Liaison Officer for the STS-30 Atlantis Shuttle Mission to test the Magellan Spacecraft. She was assigned to the Trans Atlantic (TAL) Landing site at Banjul, West Africa, to provide emergency rescue and evacuation of the shuttle crew should it have been required. Dr. Cagle has contributed on-going data to the Longitudinal Study on Astronaut Health, and served as a consultant for space telemedicine. She was a member of the NASA Working Group and traveled to Russia to establish international medical standards and procedures for astronauts. She also conducted health screenings of Mir-18 consultants from the Russian Federation.


May 23, 2014 - Petaluma, Purple Heart City Dedication/Ceremony

1:30pm Walnut Park, Petaluma

*If you are or know a local Purple Heart Veteran please call 707-776-7534 - all wars/generations! A group photo is being planned by the newly installed "Purple Heart City" signs

See: http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/1863319-181/purple-heart-veterans-saluted-in

MAY 17, 2014 - Astronaut Story Musgrave Visit - 1pm Walnut Park, Petaluma


Story Musgrave is one of NASA's most experienced Astronauts with a 30 year career spanning the Apollo era of the 1960's right through to the Space Shuttle program. Having spent over a thousand hours in space he is the only Astronaut having flown on all five Space Shuttles - a man with truly the right stuff!

MAY 10, 2014 - A Day with Timothy Ferris

Santa Rosa Junior College, Petaluma Campus, Carole L. Ellis Auditorium - 680 Sonoma Mountain Parkway, Petaluma - 2pm Free admisssion.

Timothy Ferris has been called "the best popular science writer in the English language" by the Christian Science Monitor and "the best Science writer of his generation" by the Washington Post. Ferris has made three documentray films, all of which premiered in prime time on PBS - "The Creation of the Universe", "Life Beyond Earth" and "Seeing in the Dark". His work has been nominated for a Pulitzer prize.

Ferris also produced the Voyager phonograph record launched into space containing the message of human civilization now exiting the solar system!

City Proclamation/Jim Ocean Performance - Not to miss! See www.timothyferris.com


City Proclamation - Pacific War Remembrance Day

Location: Goltermann Gardens, 1100 Skillman Lane, Petaluma. 2pm

Featuring Petaluma Veterans:

Jack Krout, Army Air Corp.
Bob Harriot, US Army 1st Calvary 
Irv Giacomini, US Army Corp of Engineers
Owen Fredricks, Navy Pilot...and special guest!

This special series will share the remembrances of heartbreak, frustration, heroism, hope, and triumph experienced by the men who served during the campaign within the Pacific against the Japanese Empire during WW2.

See article: http://srweb.sar.dc.publicus.com/article/20140227/COMMUNITY/140229610?Title=Veterans-recall-the-war-in-the-Pacific

January 25, 2014 - Edmund Dubois - Author, WWII Veteran and retired Brigadier General. 2pm - Valley Orchards Retirement Community - 2100 E. Washington St. Petaluma.

During World War II, the author served in the South Pacific, with time spent in Australia, New Caledonia, and Guadalcanal, and he saw combat action in the Solomon Islands from New Georgia to Bougainville. He has had tours in Paris and Germany, three command positions, and assignments on the Army General Staff, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and with NATO.



SAVE THE VIETNAM MEMORIAL VAN! This rolling memorial has been seen at numerous parades and veterans events around Sonoam County. It is also used to transport veterans to needed appointments. The van has fallen on hard times and is in need of repair. Don't let it be forgotten! Donations can be made to:

VVA 563, RE: Memorial Van. PO Box 951284 Petaluma, CA 94975


Current & Prior Presentations Available on DVD! Please Call Petaluma Community Access 707-773-3190

2014/2013 Presentations on DVD include:

*An Evening with Tony Redhouse - Grammy Nominated Native American Performer, Eagle Dance, Hoop Dance, Healing energy.

*“Pitcairn Island, the Bounty Mutineers and Their Descendants”. A riviting presentation by Dr. Robert Kirk. Dr. Kirk's book is the first “full” written history of Pitcairn Island up to the present time. It tells of the incredible people, the tragedies and ancestral triumphs of the mutineer’s descendents.

* B17 Co-Pilot Phil Arnot Presentation, A veteran B-17 Co-Pilot of 22 missions in WWII and holder of France’s highest honor, The Legion of Honor Medal.  Renowned author Phil Arnot will share his experiences being a part of the crew in the plane that turned the tide of the war in Nazi Germany.

*Space Shuttle Astronaut - REX WALHEIM - A United States Air Force officer and a NASA astronaut. Rex has flown three space shuttle missions, STS-110, STS-122, and STS-135 and has logged over 566 hours in space, including 36 hours and 23 minutes of spacewalk (EVA) time. He was assigned as mission specialist and flight engineer on STS-135, the final space shuttle mission.

*Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall - Opening Ceremonies : http://youtu.be/g2LaK016QSw


*"The Atomic Man" - Remembering the building of THE Bomb, secrets of the Manhattan Project. Presented by Marshall Davis/Donald Hanahan.

Mr. Hanahan, age 94, was part of the project team that isolated pure plutonium used in the construction of the Atom Bomb, being one of the elite group of scientists involved in the Manhattan project.

*Other past presentations also available on DVD: Apollo 14 Astronaut (Moonwalker) Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 9 Astronuat Rusty Schweickart, Space Shuttle Astronaut Jose Hernandez, WWII Ace Jim Morehead, Holocaust Survivors, Korean War Stories, David Morrison - NASA, Amelia Earhart Presentation, Vietnam Veterans Stories, Iraq/Afganistan Veterans...and many more!


Please email your inquires or program ideas to History.Connected@gmail.com or call 707-776-7534