CANTON—Doug Culver normally has “five times more stuff” when he holds his presentations on World War II but since his exhibit at the Canton Historical Society on Thursday was about D-Day, just one day of WW II, he brought much less material than he actually has.

His presentation “What they Carried on D-Day” took place with some assistance from his friend Jerry Lester, who ran the screen projector for Culver and who is a member of the Yankee Air Museum of Michigan and is part of a B25 aircrew that runs air shows and sells rides on B25s around the country.

Culver is a native of Oregon who wound up in Canton when his best friend, a tail-gunner on a B25 during WW II “played cupid,” he said.

While at a national reunion of the Army Air Corp Unit’s 57th Bomb Wing in Reno Nevada in 2002, Culver met Canton resident Julie Martin, the daughter of his tail-gunner best friend’s father, Red Martin, who was the best friend’s pilot.

In 2010, when Culver retired from his career in Criminal Justice, he came to Canton to visit Julie Martin, who is now his significant other.

Culver started collecting his WW II artifacts in high school, over 50 years ago, when a history teacher had some of his own displays of WW II uniforms and helmets.

“And it got me interested because you could actually pick history up. You could look at it and you could figure out where this artifact had been,” Culver said.

“Then for about 35 years I would go around to high schools in my area and put on displays just like this for high school history classes when they were studying about WW II,” he said.

Aside from high school presentations, which he no longer does due to issues with bringing firearms to schools, Carver has also been sharing his historical knowledge at community events and with veterans’ groups. When it comes to explaining why he continues to share his WW II collection and knowledge he says:

“I did it to honor my friends because everybody that I knew as a kid were all veterans. Everybody in my town were veterans; the postman, the policemen, everybody.

“So I got to talk with them and they became friends of mine. And a lot of the uniforms I have in my collection belonged to my friends, and I know their stories and I pass their stories on, is what I do.

“Because there is a lot of them that said, ‘Don’t forget what I did. And so I pass it on,” Culver said.

Doug Culver showcases some of the equipment used by World War II U.S. paratroopers and explains how they used their equipment during his D-Day presentation at the Canton Historical Society on Thursday. (Prudy Adams photo) Prudy Adams photo

Doug Culver begins his “What they Carried on D-Day” presentation at the Canton Historical Society on Thursday. (Prudy Adams photo) Prudy Adams photo

Doug Culver, right, shows the audience with assistance from Canton resident Don Hutchins, how a World War II model M1A1 Bazooka operates during his D-Day presentation at the Canton Historical Society on Thursday. (Prudy Adams photo) Prudy Adams photo

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