National Museum of the Pacific War Oral History Collection - Browse

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Oral History Interview with James F. Sansom, October 8, 2004

Description: Interview with James F. Sansom, an officer in the U. S. Army during World War II. Sansom joined the Army in 1940 and began training on anti-aircraft guns in Florida. He was selected for Officer Candidate School (OCS) and was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1942. He was assigned to the 843rd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Air Warning Battalion, which made its way to India via the Panama Canal and Australia. Shortly after reaching Calcutta, the unit moved to Myitkyina, Burma. After the war, Sansom was assigned to Sagumo Prison outside Tokyo where Japanese war criminals were being held while on trial for war crimes. He describes some of the routines and residents in the prison. Sansom taught Hideki Tojo how to play card games like gin rummy. Sansom also describes the process of executing convicted prisoners as he carried out some sentences. In all, he executed nine convicted war criminals.
Date: October 8, 2004
Creator: Cox, Floyd & Sansom, James F.
Item Type: Sound
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation

Oral History Interview with James Macia, July 21, 2000

Description: Interview with James "Herb" Macia of San Antonio, Texas, who is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces during World War Two. In the interview, Mr. Macia recalls memories about growing up as well as his days as a mining engineer, the Doolittle Raid, North Africa, Normandy, and D-Day.
Date: July 21, 2000
Creator: Cox, Floyd & Macia, James
Item Type: Sound
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation

Oral History Interview with James Macia, July 21, 2000

Description: Interview with James "Herb" Macia of San Antonio, Texas, who is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces during World War Two. In the interview, Mr. Thomas recalls memories about growing up as well as his days as a mining engineer, the Doolittle Raid, North Africa, Normandy, and D-Day.
Date: July 21, 2000
Creator: Cox, Floyd & Macia, James
Item Type: Text
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

Oral History Interview with James William Harrison, January 27, 2005

Description: Interview with James William "Bill" Harrison, a serviceman in the U. S. Navy during World War II. He explains how he joined the navy in San Diego without going to boot camp. He worked on an oil tanker that shipped out to Pearl Harbor a month after the attack there and transported fuel out of San Diego to various ships at sea. He was then transfered to Admiral Nimitz's public relations department. There he and two others wrote stories about the action in the Pacific theater, particularly about the Battle of Midway. They also contributed to a radio show and worked with the national press corps. He then worked at the Naval Air Station in Seattle before traveling to Hilo, Hawaii to meet with soldiers who had returned from Tarawa. In Texas, he attended officer training school and college at Southwestern University. After the war ended, he studied at the University of Texas and University of Oklahoma for law school. He recalls an incident in which his office released a story about a cat that had kittens on board a cruiser; they reported this good news from the Pacific prior to the Battle of Midway. He also met Admirals Nimitz and Byrd, typed up a letter for Elliott Roosevelt to his father (without knowing at the time that he was President Roosevelt's son), and received a ride from shipbuilder and Kaiser Permanente founder Henry J. Kaiser while hitchhiking during leave.
Date: January 27, 2005
Creator: Parish, Brainerd & Harrison, James William
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 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 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 Joseph B. Brown, March 23, 2001

Description: Interview with Joseph B. Brown of Abilene, Texas, who is a World War Two veteran of the United States Marine Corps. In the interview, Mr. Brown recalls memories of growing up and his time in the Marines, particularly from training, being wounded, and working campaigns in the South Pacific.
Date: March 23, 2001
Creator: Cox, William G. & Brown, Joseph B.
Item Type: Text
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation

Oral History Interview with Joseph B. Brown, March 24, 2001

Description: Interview with Joseph Brown, who was in the Marine Corps during World War II. He discusses going to Guadalcanal, various guns and artillery he used, the battle of Tarawa and getting malaria just before it, then going to Hawaii for more training before returning to the South Pacific and fighting on Saipan and Tinian. He also discusses being wounded on Saipan, having a bayonet run through his forearm and keeping the bayonet as a souvenir after the war, and he talks about some of his experiences and travels after the war.
Date: March 24, 2001
Creator: Cox, William G. & Brown, Joseph B.
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 L. B. Blackmon, April 10, 2007

Description: Transcription of a phone interview with L. B. Blackmon of Corpus Christi, Texas, a World War Two veteran of the United States Marine Corps. In the interview, Mr. Brown talks about his time in the Marines as well as life growing up during the Great Depression and other biographical information. He recalls memories of surviving Pearl Harbor, guard duty around naval storage in Hawaii, and the Horse Marines.
Date: April 10, 2007
Creator: Misenhimer, Richard & Blackmon, L. B.
Item Type: Text
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation

Oral History Interview with Lewis R. Hopkins, January 15, 2004

Description: Interview with Lewis R. Hopkins, a pilot during World War II. He describes growing up on a farm in Georgia, going to college at Berry, and working for Sears, Roebuck, and the Royal Typewriter Company before joining the U. S. Navy. He tells an anecdote about joining the navy so he could go to New York to see the World's Fair, since he had heard the Atlanta Reserve would be making a trip to the Fair. He began flight training in Florida in December 1940, finished the next September, then drove cross-country to San Francisco after the Pearl Harbor attack. He eventually joined the USS Enterprise in April 1942 and saw the B-25 bombers in the Doolittle Raid take off. He was part of Bombing Squadron Six and trained under Commander Best to learn how to do scouting flights, navigation, and dive bombing. He then describes his participation in the Battle of Midway, the hours before take-off, his first view of the Japanese fleet, and his bombing mission. He was later assigned to the USS Hornet and had to fly off to a little island so that planes from the USS Wasp could land on the Hornet after their ship had been torpedoed. He contracted malaria while he was on the island. He transferred to the USS Northhampton, then back to the United States to train pilots in dive-bombing at Jacksonville, Florida. He then received post-graduate training in aeronautical engineering at Annapolis and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in order to research and develop aircraft logistics.
Date: January 15, 2004
Creator: Cox, Floyd & Hopkins, Lewis R.
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 Lowell Dean Cox, February 1, 2005

Description: Interview with Lowell Dean Cox, a serviceman in the U. S. Navy during World War II. He discusses joining the Navy and serving aboard the USS Indianapolis (CA-35). He was on board when the cruiser was attacked by a Japanese submarine and survived for five days in the water before being rescued.
Date: February 1, 2005
Creator: Bryk, Clarence & Cox, Lowell Dean
Item Type: Sound
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation

Oral History Interview with Mary Schandua, July 9, 2004

Description: Interview with Mary Schandua, a riveter for the Boeing Company during World War II. Florence Reeves also participates in the interview. She began working for the Boeing Company as a riveter in Seattle after she married her husband John, who was in the service. She assembled wing sections on aircraft.
Date: July 9, 2004
Creator: Nichols, Chuck & Schandua, Mary
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 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 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 Norman Apelt, September 23, 2001

Description: Interview with with Norman Apelt, an airplane mechanic during World War II. He discusses his service in the US Army Air Corps as an airplane mechanic in Pampa, Texas. After the war ended, Apelt was assigned duty in occupied Japan.
Date: September 23, 2001
Creator: Bryk, Clarence & Apelt, Norman
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 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: Text
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