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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.
Date: January 23, 2001
Creator: Cox, Floyd & Kowalke, Garvin