Court Reporting Instructor Transcribes Historical Account by Area WWII Veteran

Finished Transcription to be donated to the Library of Congress

A piece of American history was captured at Alfred State last week when court reporting instructor Danielle Green transcribed an oral account of World War II given by area veteran Paul Gerling, 87, of Wayland, NY.

Green transcribed Gerling’s oral account using the state-of-the art tools of court reporting professionals. The account was simultaneously transcribed and videotaped while Gerling was interviewed by his daughter, Professor Sandra Gerling-Yelle (Alfred State Business Department). The finished transcription will be donated to the Library of Congress where it will be preserved as part of American history.

“When something is important enough, it is transcribed,” said Green, noting “…video deteriorates over time, but when you really need a record of something important like this, transcription is the best way to preserve it.”

The transcription project took place during National Court Reporting Week (Feb. 18-23), an annual event coordinated by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) to bring awareness to the profession of court reporting professionals.

Gerling, a native of Dansville, enlisted in the Air Force at the age of 19 and was recruited to serve as a tail gunner for the 100th Bomb Group flying in a B-17 called E-Z Goin’. His plane carried a nine-member crew through flak and air battles 24 times until April 6, 1945 when it was hit by a German ME 109. Miraculously, the plane held together for five hours after the collision and made it back to its home base at Thorpe-Abbots, England, without radio communications.

Alfred State’s online court reporting and captioning programs are the only NCRA-approved programs in Western New York. The transcription will be posted to the Library of Congress website when it is ready and will be viewable at www.loc.gov. To learn more about this project or the court reporting program at Alfred State, contact Danielle Green at greendr@alfredstate.edu.

WWII veteran Paul Gerling with daughter, Professor Sandra Gerling-Yelle (far right) and court reporting instructor Danielle Green (middle)WWII veteran Paul Gerling of Wayland with daughter, Professor Sandra Gerling-Yelle (far right) and court reporting instructor Danielle Green (middle), both of Alfred State.