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 Collection: National Museum of the Pacific War Oral History Collection
Oral History Interview with Willie Higgs, September 21, 2001

Oral History Interview with Willie Higgs, September 21, 2001

Date: September 21, 2001
Creator: Pickard, Kevin & Higgs, Willie
Description: Interview with Willie Higgs, a U. S. Marine during World War II. He joined the Marines in 1944 and trained at Camp Pendleton before being assigned to the 4th Marine Division. Higgs discusses arriving at Iwo Jima, making a grenade attack on a cave there, and subsequently breaking his leg. He then spent time aboard the hospital ship, USS Solace (AH-5). Upon returning home, Higgs finished his degree at Southwest Texas State in San Marcos, where he majored in music.
Contributing Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
Oral History Interview with Mary Steele Leon, April 15, 1997

Oral History Interview with Mary Steele Leon, April 15, 1997

Date: April 15, 1997
Creator: Alexander, Bill & Leon, Mary Steele
Description: Interview with Mary Steele Leon, a secretary for the U. S. Navy during and after World War II. She joined the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) and was trained as a secretary. Her first assignment was in the office of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) during World War II. The CNO at the time was Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King. After the war, she served as personal secretary for Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz while he was CNO. She was discharged in 1946.
Contributing Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
Oral History Interview with Al Flocke, October 22, 2000

Oral History Interview with Al Flocke, October 22, 2000

Date: October 22, 2000
Creator: Nichols, Chuck & Flocke, Al
Description: Interview with Al Flocke, a radio operator during World War II. He discusses his flight training and being the radio operator on a B-24 bomber which did raids on Guam, Turk, Iwo Jima and other islands. He also relates anecdotes about food, rations, and living conditions on the islands.
Contributing Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
Oral History Interview with Glenn E. McDuffie, January 21, 2008

Oral History Interview with Glenn E. McDuffie, January 21, 2008

Date: January 21, 2008
Creator: Misenhimer, Richard & McDuffie, Glenn E.
Description: Interview with Glenn E. McDuffie, an Armed Guard in the U. S. Navy during World War II. He discusses lying about his age in order to join the navy at 15 and his experience in boot camp. He served as an Armed Guard on merchant ships that transported supplies across the Atlantic and remembers being in London while German bombers flew overhead. He transported German prisoners out of Marseilles and Naples shortly after the liberation of those cities. He remembers going to Times Square upon hearing that the Japanese had surrendered. He claims to have been the sailor in the iconic photo of the sailor kissing the nurse in Times Square on V-J Day. He describes how he proved he was the sailor in the photo, what he did after the war, and how he learned that his brother survived the Bataan Death March.
Contributing Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
Oral History Interview with J. Glen Cleckler, November 24, 2006

Oral History Interview with J. Glen Cleckler, November 24, 2006

Date: November 24, 2006
Creator: Misenhimer, Richard & Cleckler, J. Glen
Description: Interview with J. Glen Cleckler, a U. S. Marine during World War II. He discusses his background, including the day he and seven of his friends skipped school to see a movie. In order to provide a believable excuse for their absence to their principal, they went to a recruiting office to get informational forms. The principal then gave them permission to graduate early to join the Marines. He discusses his experiences in boot camp and other training programs and the Battle of Iwo Jima, including hygiene during the battle and the famous flag-raising there. He shares some stories about one of the flag-raisers, Harlan Block, who had been part of the group that enlisted in the Marines with him. He also recalls returning to the United States on a ship full of Section-8 soldiers (PTSD victims), meeting German prisoners of war, and living with Jim Crow laws.
Contributing Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
Oral History Interview with Cleatus A. LeBow, May 2, 2006

Oral History Interview with Cleatus A. LeBow, May 2, 2006

Date: May 2, 2006
Creator: Misenhimer, Richard & Lebow, Cleatus A.
Description: Interview with Cleatus A. LeBow, a serviceman in the U. S. Navy during World War II. LeBow joined the navy in 1943 and went from Lubbock, Texas to San Diego for recruit training. He shipped out to Pearl Harbor aboard an LST from San Francisco. At Pearl Harbor, he was assigned to a work detail aboard the USS Oklahoma, which had just been righted. Shortly thereafter, he boarded the USS Indianapolis to serve as a range finder operator on one of the gun turrets. Upon leaving Hawaii, the Indianapolis went to Tarawa and then the Marshall Islands. LeBow witnessed Japanese civilian suicides on Saipan. He also witnessed the flag-raising on Iwo Jima from his range finder position aboard the ship. LeBow describes being hit by a kamikaze off Okinawa. He also discusses delivering atomic bomb components to Tinian and being torpedoed on the way to the Philippines. He describes abandoning the ship and spending five days in the water, including his faith in God, hallucinations, rescue, and his recovery.
Contributing Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
Oral History Interview with Lloyd C. Fons, October 29, 2008

Oral History Interview with Lloyd C. Fons, October 29, 2008

Date: October 29, 2008
Creator: Misenhimer, Richard & Fons, Lloyd C.
Description: Interview with Lloyd C. Fons, an officer in the U. S. Navy during World War II. After completing midshipman's school and earning a commission, Fons served aboard patrol torpedo (PT) boats in the Philippines. He served in Squadron 17 aboard three different boats - 229, 230 and 231. He eventually became the commanding officer of PT 229 in July, 1945. His primary assignment seemed to be delivering guerrillas to various locations in Mindoro and Luzon. After the war, Fons was transferred to Hong Kong where he was commanding officer aboard a yard patrol boat, YP 641, for 11 months. Here, his primary duty seemed to be delivering frozen and refrigerated food to other ships.
Contributing Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
Oral History Interview with Gilberto S. Trevino, February 18, 2005

Oral History Interview with Gilberto S. Trevino, February 18, 2005

Date: February 18, 2005
Creator: Atkinson, Scott & Trevino, Gilberto S.
Description: Interview with Gilberto S. Trevino, a U. S. Marine during World War II. He attended Texas A&M before serving in the Marine Corps. He was in the 28th Replacement Battalion when he was assigned to the 3d Marine Division and deployed to Iwo Jima. He discusses his first impressions of landing on the island. He describes the constructed Japanese defenses on the island and the use of Japanese Nisei interpreters to convince defenders to surrender. He returned to Texas A&M where he was in the Corps of Cadets (ROTC) and accepted his commission in the Army in time to serve in Korea. He eventually earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Texas A&M and a doctorate degree in pathology from Michigan State University. He retired from service in 1976 with the rank of colonel.
Contributing Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
Oral History Interview with Floyd R. Thomas, February 18, 2009

Oral History Interview with Floyd R. Thomas, February 18, 2009

Date: February 18, 2009
Creator: Misenhimer, Richard & Thomas, Floyd R.
Description: Interview with Floyd R. Thomas, a serviceman in the U. S. Army during World War II. He discusses his childhood and education at Peacock Military Academy. He then joined the army and spent time in Okinawa during and after the war. He recalls being a surgical technician and working with Japanese civilians after the surrender, meeting his wife, and working for saw mills as a salesman and a pilot. He remembers stealing pineapples on Hawaii and getting diarrhea, being treated for jungle rot, selling old Japanese army blankets to civilians, and shipping silk bolts and sabers back home.
Contributing Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
Oral History Interview with Dale R. Walker, October 4, 2007

Oral History Interview with Dale R. Walker, October 4, 2007

Date: October 4, 2007
Creator: Misenhimer, Richard & Walker, Dale R.
Description: Interview with Dale R. Walker, a U. S. Marine during World War II. He joined the Marine Corps in 1944 and was trained in mortars at Camp Pendleton, California. He then went to Camp Tarawa at Hawaii for further training with the Fifth Marine Division. Walker landed with the sixth wave on D-day at Iwo Jima. While working with mortars supporting the infantry, he was called on to be a stretcher-bearer on occasion. Walker spent 36 days on Iwo Jima. After the Japanese surrendered, Walker served in the occupation of Japan.
Contributing Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation