Oral History Interview with Garvin Kowalke, January 23, 2001

Description:

Interview with Garvin Kowalke, a pilot during World War II. He discusses joining the Army Air Corps, going to Air Cadet training to become a pilot, and training on various aircraft (AT-17, UC-78, P-36, P-33, T-6, BT-13, B-17, B-29) before becoming a B-29 pilot; he shipped out to Guam and flew standard and fire bombing runs over Japan. He discusses having to ditch the plane on the way back to Guam once when the engines failed, seeing another B-29 crew have to bail out over Toyko Bay and get picked up by a U.S. submarine that was in the Bay, getting pulled down to the fires when they were trying to hide in the smoke to avoid Japanese fighter planes, and getting caught in a storm by Mount Fujiyama, as well as collecting data such wind direction, speed, and temperature over Hiroshima for future bombing runs, which turned out to be for the bombers who dropped the atomic bomb. He also talks about flying over Hiroshima two days after the bombing and gauging how high the radiation levels were at different altitudes. He also talks about being in the Korean and Vietnam Wars, becoming a B-57 pilot, and adopting a baby boy from Germany after the war, then a little girl while he was stationed in Hawaii after the Korean War.

Creator(s):
Location(s):
Creation Date: January 23, 2001
Partner(s):
National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
Collection(s):
National Museum of the Pacific War Oral History Collection
Texas Oral History Collection
World War Two Collection
Usage:
Total Uses: 17
Past 30 days: 2
Yesterday: 0
Creator (Interviewer):
Creator (Interviewee):
Date(s):
  • Creation: January 23, 2001
Coverage:
Place
United States - Texas
Place
Japan - Kanto Region - Tōkyō Metropolis - Tokyo
Place
Japan - Chūgoku Region - Hiroshima-ken Prefecture - Hiroshima
Place
Guam
Era
Into Modern Times, 1939-Present
Description:

Interview with Garvin Kowalke, a pilot during World War II. He discusses joining the Army Air Corps, going to Air Cadet training to become a pilot, and training on various aircraft (AT-17, UC-78, P-36, P-33, T-6, BT-13, B-17, B-29) before becoming a B-29 pilot; he shipped out to Guam and flew standard and fire bombing runs over Japan. He discusses having to ditch the plane on the way back to Guam once when the engines failed, seeing another B-29 crew have to bail out over Toyko Bay and get picked up by a U.S. submarine that was in the Bay, getting pulled down to the fires when they were trying to hide in the smoke to avoid Japanese fighter planes, and getting caught in a storm by Mount Fujiyama, as well as collecting data such wind direction, speed, and temperature over Hiroshima for future bombing runs, which turned out to be for the bombers who dropped the atomic bomb. He also talks about flying over Hiroshima two days after the bombing and gauging how high the radiation levels were at different altitudes. He also talks about being in the Korean and Vietnam Wars, becoming a B-57 pilot, and adopting a baby boy from Germany after the war, then a little girl while he was stationed in Hawaii after the Korean War.

Physical Description:

1 sound recording : digital

Language(s):
Subject(s):
Keyword(s): oral histories | biographies | interviews | military training | B-29 bombers | Guam | Tokyo (Japan) -- History -- Bombardment, 1942.
Partner:
National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
Collection:
National Museum of the Pacific War Oral History Collection
Collection:
Texas Oral History Collection
Collection:
World War Two Collection
Identifier:
  • LOCAL-CONT-NO: OH00091
  • ARK: ark:/67531/metapth204472
  • ARK: ark:/67531/metapth204472
Resource Type: Sound
Format: Audio