National Museum of the Pacific War Oral History Collection - Browse

ABOUT BROWSE FEED

Oral History Interview with Willie Higgs, September 21, 2001

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.
Date: September 21, 2001
Creator: Pickard, Kevin & Higgs, Willie
Item Type: Sound
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation

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

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.
Date: April 15, 1997
Creator: Alexander, Bill & Leon, Mary Steele
Item Type: Sound
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation

Oral History Interview with Al Flocke, October 22, 2000

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.
Date: October 22, 2000
Creator: Nichols, Chuck & Flocke, Al
Item Type: Sound
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation

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

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.
Date: January 21, 2008
Creator: Misenhimer, Richard & McDuffie, Glenn E.
Item Type: Sound
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation

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

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.
Date: November 24, 2006
Creator: Misenhimer, Richard & Cleckler, J. Glen
Item Type: Sound
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation

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

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.
Date: May 2, 2006
Creator: Misenhimer, Richard & Lebow, Cleatus A.
Item Type: Sound
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation

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

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.
Date: October 29, 2008
Creator: Misenhimer, Richard & Fons, Lloyd C.
Item Type: Sound
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation

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

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.
Date: February 18, 2005
Creator: Atkinson, Scott & Trevino, Gilberto S.
Item Type: Sound
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation

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

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.
Date: February 18, 2009
Creator: Misenhimer, Richard & Thomas, Floyd R.
Item Type: Sound
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation

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

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.
Date: October 4, 2007
Creator: Misenhimer, Richard & Walker, Dale R.
Item Type: Sound
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation

Oral History Interview with Maurice Stamps, March 18, 2009

Description: Interview with Maurice Stamps, a serviceman in the U. S. Army during World War II. Stamps discusses growing up on a farm in Iowa, joining the army, going to Hawaii and staying at Schofield Barracks. He was assigned to the Classification/Assignment section at Fort Shafter without ever having basic training. He was later assigned to the Message Center at Ft. Shafter. He remembers his correspondence with his girlfriend Enid, whom he married upon his discharge in 1946.
Date: March 18, 2009
Creator: Misenhimer, Richard & Stamps, Maurice
Item Type: Sound
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation

Oral History Interview with Paul Jackson, April 10, 2008

Description: Interview with Paul Jackson, a U. S. Marine during World War II. He discusses his time in boot camp at Camp Pendleton and his combat experiences in the Battle of Iwo Jima.
Date: April 10, 2008
Creator: Roberts, Virginia & Jackson, Paul
Item Type: Sound
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation

Oral History Interview with L. B. Blackmon, April 10, 2007

Description: Interview with L. B. Blackmon, a serviceman in the U. S. Navy during World War II. He discusses boot camp in San Diego, his assignment to Pearl Harbor, and his experiences during the attack. He later trained cadets in Corpus Christi.
Date: April 10, 2007
Creator: Misenhimer, Richard & Blackmon, L. B.
Item Type: Sound
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation

Oral History Interview with O. H. King, September 28, 2002

Description: Interview with O. H. "Karl" King of Fort Worth, Texas, who is a World War Two veteran of the United States Marine Corps. In the interview, Mr. King recalls memories of his travels, the Japanese attack on Clark Field, the Battle for Bataan, and when he was a Japanese prisoner-of-war. He also talks about other experiences he had while serving in the Marines and his life before and after the war.
Date: September 28, 2002
Creator: Graham, Eddie & King, O. H.
Item Type: Sound
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation

Oral History Interview with Jessie Clark, June 6, 2002

Description: Interview with Jessie Clark regarding her experiences during World War II. She discusses having to adjust to a lifestyle of rationing for food products and shoes as well as blackouts and scrap metal drives. Her husband worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad and was often absent while she stayed home to raise their children in Houston. She discusses the scarcity of toys during Christmas and hosiery.
Date: June 6, 2002
Creator: Loyd, Ms. & Clark, Jessie
Item Type: Sound
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation

Oral History Interview with Floyd Mumme, April 12, 2002

Description: Interview with Floyd Mumme, a medic during World War II. He discusses boot camp, being deployed to Saipan, Japanese trying to steal food, working in the Army Medical Corps, and treating wounds in combat.
Date: April 12, 2002
Creator: Misenhimer, Richard & Mumme, Floyd C.
Item Type: Sound
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation

Oral History Interview with Buck Gibson, October 19, 2002

Description: Interview with Buck Gibson of Waco, Texas, a veteran from the United States Navy during World War Two. The interview includes some of Mr. Gibson's background before and after the war as well as his personal experiences while in the Navy, including memories of his training, life in the Navy, the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, and what happened after he was rescued.
Date: October 19, 2002
Creator: Cox, Bill & Gibson, Buck
Item Type: Sound
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation

Oral History Interview with John Wilson, January 31, 2002

Description: Interview with John Wilson, an officer in the U. S. Army during World War II. Wilson was born in Illinois but attended high school in the Philippines after his father accepted an engineering position there. He graduated from high school in 1939 and then enrolled in the University of Wisconsin, where he participated in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program. He graduated and took his commission in the Army in 1943. After Officer Candidate School (OCS), he was assigned to an engineering unit slated to participate in the invasion of the Philippines. He eventually landed on Luzon. On Luzon he was assigned temporary duty with a small Philippine Civil Affairs unit that was made up of officers and men who had relatives interned by the Japanese in the Philippines. His small unit made their way to Santo Tomas where he liberated many friends and old school mates. A few weeks later, Wilson liberated his father, a civilian internee at Los Banos. Wilson remained with his unit constructing hospitals in the Philippines in anticipation of the casualties expected from the invasion of the Japanese home islands.
Date: January 31, 2002
Creator: Pratt, Rick & Wilson, John
Item Type: Sound
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation

Oral History Interview with Melvin Harmon, October 21, 2002

Description: Interview with Melvin Harmon, a paratrooper during World War II. He discusses his paratrooper training and his time on Guadalcanal, Bougainville and other battles in the Solomon Islands. He also contracted malaria.
Date: October 21, 2002
Creator: Morris, Cork & Harmon, Melvin
Item Type: Sound
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation

Oral History Interview with Jerell E. Crow, August 24, 2002

Description: Interview with Jerell E. Crow. He entered the Coast Guard in 1940 and trained in Florida and New York City. He served aboard a Landing Ship, Tank (LST) when those ships were first introduced. He traveled to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to the Neville Island Shipyard operated by the Dravo Corporation as part of a crew that brought an LST down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. From there, the crew practiced operations at Biloxi, Mississippi. Eventually, Crow travelled to San Diego aboard the LST through the Panama Canal. From there, he went to Guadalcanal and unloaded tanks. Eventually, his ship was hit at Saipan and he was wounded. He also served aboard an LST during the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Afterwards, Crow's LST was present in Tokyo Bay for the surrender. He visited Hiroshima while on occupation duty after the atomic bomb was dropped. Eventually, his LST made its way back to San Francisco where he was discharged.
Date: August 24, 2002
Creator: Rabalais, Larry & Crow, Jerell E.
Item Type: Sound
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation

Oral History Interview with Boyd K. Miller, January 21, 2003

Description: Interview with Boyd K. Miller, a draftsman and pilot during World War II. He discusses being drafted out of college and working as an artist and draftsman. Since he studied art in college, he worked on diagrams and charts. He then transferred to the Air Corps to become a pilot and trained in Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Alabama, New York, Georgia, Florida and Texas.
Date: January 21, 2003
Creator: Misenhimer, Richard & Miller, Boyd K.
Item Type: Sound
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation

Oral History Interview with Earl Smyth, Jr., October 20, 2003

Description: Interview with Earl Smyth, Jr., a serviceman during World War II. He discusses his time aboard the USS Saratoga at the Battle of Midway and at Guadalcanal, where the ship sustained two torpedo attacks. He saw Pearl Harbor three days after the attack.
Date: October 20, 2003
Creator: Bryk, Clarence & Smyth, Earl, Jr.
Item Type: Sound
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation

Oral History Interview with Robert D. Haines, May 15, 2002

Description: Interview with Robert D. Haines, an American prisoner of war during World War II. He discusses the attack on Clark Field in the Philippines on December 8, 1941, as well as his experiences on the Bataan Death March. He also tells of his time spent as a prisoner of war under the Japanese at Camp O'Donnell, Cabanatuan and Bilibid prison in Manila. He encountered his brother, who was a civilian internee, at Bilibid. From there, he rode on a hell ship for 39 days to a POW camp in Formosa (Taiwan). When the Americans began bombing Formosa, Haines was moved via another hell ship to Tokyo, Japan. Not long after, he was liberated and returned to San Francisco, then Denver.
Date: May 15, 2002
Creator: Graham, Eddie & Haines, Robert D.
Item Type: Sound
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation

Oral History Interview with James Phinney, July 15, 2010

Description: Interview with James (Jim) Phinney, an aircraft electrician for the U. S. Navy during Wold War II. He discusses joining the Navy, going through boot camp and becoming an aircraft electrician. He was assigned to the USS Lexington but abandoned ship after it was hit by a torpedo. He was rescued and was then sent to San Diego to be reassigned to the USS Enterprise. He mentions being at Guadalcanal and later aboard a sub-chaser. The crew crossed the Equator and consequently participated in an initiation ceremony, during which time Admiral Halsey was nearly shot by one of the ship's pilots who forgot to lock his gun. He also recalls some of the food he ate while at sea.
Date: July 15, 2010
Creator: Cox, Floyd; Phinney, James & O'Konski, Susan
Item Type: Sound
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation