National Museum of the Pacific War - Browse

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Oral History Interview with Alan W. Saunders, October 8, 2004
Interview with Alan W. "Buck" Saunders, a pilot during World War II. He discusses joining the Army Air Corps, becoming an airplane mechanic, and going to flight school for pilot training. He was stationed in India and flew supplies into China over the Himalayas (known by pilots as "the Hump"). In China, he traded items such as jewelry or opium for information on Japanese troop placements in Burma. He also discusses his meetings with native Burmese and talks about later experiences he had after the war and during the Vietnam War.
Oral History Interview with Alan W. Saunders, October 8, 2004
Interview with Alan W. "Buck" Saunders of New Braunfels, Texas, a veteran of the Army Air Force during World War Two. The interview includes Saunders' personal experiences while in the Air Force, including the China-Burma-India Theater and memories of flying cargo to China over the Himalayas. Mr. Saunders also talks about life before and after his service.
Oral History Interview with James F. Sansom, October 8, 2004
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.
Oral History Interview with James William Harrison, January 27, 2005
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.
Oral History Interview with Lowell Dean Cox, February 1, 2005
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.
Oral History Interview with Hermi Salas, February 14, 2005
Interview with Oral interview with Hermi Salas, a U. S. Marine during World War II. Salas was assigned to the Third Marine Division and was present for the invasion of Guam in the Mariana Islands. He was wounded on Guam and evacuated to a hospital ship, the USS Solace. He also participated in the Iwo Jima landings. After a few weeks at Iwo Jima, Salas was wounded again and placed aboard the USS Solace. He discusses his experiences in the hospital recovering from the wounds he received in the Battle of Iwo Jima. Eventually, he made his way back to San Antonio. He also discusses a brief leave at home before he reported to prison guard duty in Corpus Christi. Upon being discharged after the war, Salas went to radio school and worked at Kelly Air Force Base in the Civil Service.
Oral History Interview with Glenn G. Morgan, February 17, 2005
Interview with Glenn G. Morgan, a bugler in the U. S. Navy during World War II. He was a bugler aboard the USS Indianapolis and experienced a kamikaze attack during the Okinawa campaign. He also describes transporting the crate that contained the first atomic bomb to Tinian, the ship's sinking, and the four days and five nights he spent in a life raft waiting to be rescued.
Oral History Interview with Glenn G. Morgan, February 17, 2005
Interview with Glenn G. Morgan of Weatherford, Texas, who is a veteran of the United States Navy. In the interview, Mr. Morgan talks about his time before the war as well as his military training, travels, life on and the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, and his survival at sea.
Oral History Interview with Gilberto S. Trevino, February 18, 2005
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.
Oral History Interview with Cleatus A. LeBow, May 2, 2006
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.
Oral History Interview with J. Glen Cleckler, November 24, 2006
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.
Oral History Interview with W. A. Henderson, 2007
Interview with Lieutenant Col. W. A. Bill Henderson of Gatesville, Texas, who is a veteran of the United States Air Force. In the interview, Mr. Henderson answers biographical questions and talks about his military flight training, traveling, and bombing the Kwai River Bridge during World War II.
Oral History Interview with L. B. Blackmon, April 10, 2007
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.
Oral History Interview with L. B. Blackmon, April 10, 2007
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.
Oral History Interview with Dale R. Walker, October 4, 2007
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.
Oral History Interview with Dale R. Walker, October 4, 2007
Interview with Dale R. Walker of Kingsville, Texas, a United States Marine Corps veteran from World War Two. The interview includes Hill's memories about growing up as well as his personal experiences while in the Marines, including details from his involvement in the Iwo Jima attacks, 3rd Battalion, and the occupation of Nagasaki.
Oral History Interview with Glenn E. McDuffie, January 21, 2008
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.
Oral History Interview with Paul Jackson, April 10, 2008
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.
Oral History Interview with Lloyd C. Fons, October 29, 2008
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.
Oral History Interview with Floyd R. Thomas, February 18, 2009
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.
Oral History Interview with Floyd R. Thomas, February 18, 2009
Interview with Floyd R. Thomas of El Paso, Texas, who is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces during World War II. In the interview, Mr. Thomas recalls memories from before the war as well as his time in the military, including his training in Oregon and Hawaii, attacks on Okinawa, and various battle scenes.
Oral History Interview with Maurice Stamps, March 18, 2009
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.
Oral History Interview with James Phinney, July 15, 2010
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.