National Museum of the Pacific War - Browse


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

Oral History Interview with Arwin Bowden, March 9, 2000

Description: Interview with Arwin Bowden, a marine during World War II. He begins by discussing his training in San Diego and New Zealand before the Battle of Tarawa. He describes being wounded in the battle, the casualties he saw, and being shipped back to Pearl Harbor for treatment before joining the battle of Saipan. He describes ancedotes about Japanese killing themselves rather than surrendering, eating food from a garden watered from rainwater running down from outhouses, the wages he made, and the time he had leave.
Date: March 9, 2000
Creator: Cox, Floyd & Bowden, Arwin J.

Oral History Interview with Elliott Ross, May 1, 2001

Description: Interview with Elliott Ross who joined the U.S. Navy during World War II. He discusses being a landing craft coxswain carrying troops and supplies from ships to the shore in seven invasions: Guam, Leyte, Luzon, Santacristo, Iwo Jima, Okinawa and as an occupation force in Japan after the surrender. He talks mostly about Guam, Leyte, Luzon, Iwo Jima, Okinawa and Japan, but also mentions burials at sea and on the beachs, seeing his brother's ship get hit by torpedoes, and the emotional toll of the war.
Date: May 1, 2000
Creator: Cox, Floyd; Misenhimer, Richard & Ross, Elliott

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

Oral History Interview with Jack Kleiss, September 29, 2000

Description: Interview with Jack Kleiss, a pilot during World War II. He discusses training for carrier landings on USS Enterprise; the arrival of VMF-211 aboard Enterprise and their delivery to Wake Island; and the attack on Pealr Harbor on 7 December 1941. Kleiss was in a dive bomber and attacked Japanese carriers at the Battle of Midway, where he earned the Navy Cross.
Date: September 29, 2000
Creator: Nichols, Chuck & Kleiss, Jack

Oral History Interview with David Braden, September 30, 2000

Description: Interview with David Braden, a member of the U.S. Air Force during World War II. He discusses his training in the U.S. to become a navigator; his deployment to Saipan with the 870th Squadron, 497th Bomb Group, 73rd Wing; initial attacks on Tokyo in a B-29 bomber at high altitude (during which the jet stream interfered with the bombing raids); a low-altitude fire-bombing mission over Tokyo in March, 1945; living conditions on base at Saipan; a mission in which the B-29 he was on ditched in the ocean and his subsequent rescue; Victory in Europe (V-E) Day on Saipan; completing 35 missions; and going home.
Date: September 30, 2000
Creator: Johnson, Kep & Braden, David

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

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

Oral History Interview with Carl Peltier, March 4, 2001

Description: Interview with Carl Peltier, a U. S Marine during World War II. He begins by discussing his reaction to the attack on Pearl Harbor. He then joined the Marines when he was old enough. He trained in San Diego before shipping out to Hawaii where he joined the 2nd Marine Division. Further training included heavy weapons and mortars. Later, he landed on Saipan and describes his small arms and rations. He witnessed General Simon Buckner getting killed on Okinawa. He was later wounded on Okinawa. After the war ended, Peltier served in the Pentagon during the Korean War.
Date: March 4, 2001
Creator: Nichols, Chuck & Peltier, Carl

Oral History Interview with Annie May Web, March 24, 2001

Description: Interview with Annie (Amy) May Webb discussing her husband's service and her experiences on the homefront during World War II. She describes delivering word of the birth of their daughter to her husband while he was aboard the USS Bennington serving with VMF-112.
Date: March 24, 2001
Creator: Bloomfield, Vivian & Webb, Annie May

Oral History Interview with Ethel Reisberg Schectman, March 24, 2001

Description: Interview with Ethel Reisberg Schectman regarding her experiences during World War II. She begins by discussing her family background: her parents were Jews born in Poland and emigrated to the United States. Ethel's European aunts, uncles and grandparents all likely died in the Holocaust. As a first grade student, she taught her mother, a Polish immigrant, how to read and write English. She recalls, wartime rationing, Victory Gardens, scrap drives, and antisemitism among her school-aged classmates in Dallas, Texas, and the end of the war.
Date: March 24, 2001
Creator: Cox, Floyd & Schectman, Ethel Reisberg

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.

Oral History Interview with William F. Graham, March 24, 2001

Description: Interview with Bill Graham, a Marine during World War II. He begins by discussing joining the Navy and becoming a corpsman, then being transferred to the 2nd Marine Division after the Pearl Harbor attack. He also talks being in the first wave on Guadalcanal and various things that happened during the six months there, as well as contracting a severe strain of malaria, getting shipped back to the States and stationed near his home in Fort Worth, then returning to training in Virginia to prepare for an invasion of Japan.
Date: March 24, 2001
Creator: Smith, Ned A. & Graham, William F.

Oral History Interview with Charles Pase, April 12, 2001

Description: Interview with Charles Pase, a marine during World War II. He discusses joining the Marines and training on New Zealand and other Pacific islands. He describes landing on Tarawa, the battle of Tarawa itself, and locating and burying the dead bodies after the battle. He also talks about going to Hawaii for more training before going to Saipan, various guns and artillery he used, encountering natives on Saipan and being in Nagasaki after the bomb was dropped. He relates ancedotes about having tonsillitis during the Tarawa attack, fights that some Marines got into with local Hawaiians while training there and prejudices against Japanese-Americans, mistaking a land crab that pinched the back of his neck for a bayonet, getting Dengue Fever, and faking a landing on April Fools' Day.
Date: April 12, 2001
Creator: Cox, Floyd & Pase, Charles

Oral History Interview with Albert Bouley, June 27, 2001

Description: Interview with Albert Bouley, a U. S. Marine during World War II. He discusses his enlistment in the Marines just after Pearl Harbor; his assignment to the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Division; the battle of Guadalcanal; malaria and dysentery; the battle of Cape Gloucester; the use of Pavuvu as a base; the battle of Peleliu; his return to the United States; guard duty at the Brooklyn Naval Yard and his service as an instructor in a heavy weapons school before the end of the war. He joined the Air Force 2 1/2 years later to be able to fly and work on planes, then retire to become a teacher in California, and finally settled in Texas.
Date: June 27, 2001
Creator: Cox, Floyd & Bouley, Albert

Oral History Interview with David Straus, September 17, 2001

Description: Interview with David Straus of San Antonio, Texas, a veteran from the United States Marine Corps during World War Two in the Pacific Theater as well as the Korean War. The interview includes some of Straus' background before the war and his personal experiences while in the Marines, including memories of Okinawa, various weapons, what happened at the end of World War Two, and his assignment in Korea.
Date: September 17, 2001
Creator: Cox, Floyd & Straus, David

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

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

Oral History Interview with Richard Bennett, November 15, 2001

Description: Interview with Richard (Dick) Bennett, a pilot during World War II. He discusses his enlistment in the Army Air Corps, basic training and flight school. He then went to a base in South Carolina to learn to fly B-25s. At Fort Myers, Florida he flew B-26 bombers and trained to fly them off of aircraft carriers so they could drop torpedos on the Japanese fleet during naval battles. He traveled across the Pacific to Brisbane only to be told that they didn't have B-26s for the crews; the colonel there knew nothing about the plan to launch B-26s from aircraft carriers, so they were sent to New Guinea to fly B-17s and supplement the crews for those bombers. From there they made bombing runs or "Washing Machine Charlie"-type runs to keep people awake at night on various Japanese targets in the islands, particularly the base at Rabaul. In fall of 1943, the Army grounded the B-17s due to the damage they had incurred and replaced them with B-24s. The men received manuals and were given only a few days to familiarize themselves with the new planes. They were then sent on bombing runs. He finished his tour of duty at the end of 1943, came back to the United States, and went on a War Bond drive throughout New York. He then went to Ohio to become a B-17 instructor, and traveled to various bases and training schools, including Alamogordo, New Mexico, where he visited only a day after the first atomic bomb test.
Date: November 15, 2001
Creator: Cox, Floyd & Bennett, Richard

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

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.

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.

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