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Oral History Interview with Willis Gathright, October 31, 2000

Description: The National Museum of the Pacific War presents an oral interview with Willis Gathright. Gathright was born on 3 December 1924 and graduated from high school in 1942. Upon being drafted in June 1943 he went to eight weeks of boot training at the US Naval Training Station in San Diego. This was followed by twelve weeks of sonar training at the West Coast Sound School at Point Loma, California. He describes how a sonar unit works. After graduating from the sonar school and receiving gunnery train… more
Date: October 31, 2000
Duration: 1 hour 37 minutes 22 seconds
Creator: Gathright, Willis
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
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Oral History Interview with Paul Livingston, October 11, 2003

Description: The National Museum of the Pacific War presents an interview with Paul Livingston. Livingston joined the Navy in April of 1943. He served aboard the USS Rathburne (DD-113), a training ship for the West Coast Sound School in San Diego. Livingston helped train prospective Commanding and Executive Officers in anti-submarine warfare using sonar as a guide. In May of 1944 they were converted to a to a high-speed transport, and reclassified as (APD-25). They traveled to Hawaii to complete amphibious … more
Date: October 11, 2003
Duration: 39 minutes 48 seconds
Creator: Livingston, Paul
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
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Oral History Interview with John Roberts, October 10, 2003

Description: The National Museum of the Pacific War presents an interview with John Roberts. Roberts joined the Navy in June of 1943. Beginning in 1944, he served as Signalman Third-Class aboard the USS Drew (APA-162). They transported cargo and troops to and from combat areas traveling to Guam, Ulithi, Leyte and Okinawa.
Date: October 10, 2003
Duration: 13 minutes 51 seconds
Creator: Roberts, John
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
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Oral History Interview with Will Scott, September 23, 2001

Description: The National Museum of the Pacific War presents an interview with Will Scott. Scott joined the Navy in May of 1941. He served as a Gunner’s Mate aboard the USS Utah (BB-31). He shares his experiences living at sea, his work and general life aboard the Utah. Scott also provides details of the attack while berthed in Pearl Harbor. After the Utah was sunk, Scott was assigned to the USS Honolulu (CL-48) for ten months, and then transferred to the USS Denver (CL-58) for two and half years. From ther… more
Date: September 23, 2001
Duration: 51 minutes 11 seconds
Creator: Scott, Will
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
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Oral History Interview with Robert Ellinger, December 8, 2001

Description: The National Museum of the Pacific War presents an interview with Robert Ellinger. Ellinger joined the Navy in August of 1943. He served aboard the USS California (BB-44) beginning in December of that same year. They provided shore bombardment during the Battles of Saipan, Guam and Tinian. In late 1944, they participated in the Leyte operation during the invasion of the Philippines. They were struck by a kamikaze in January of 1945 while providing shore bombardment at Lingayen Gulf. They contin… more
Date: December 8, 2001
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes 52 seconds
Creator: Ellinger, Robert
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
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Oral History Interview with George Overfelt, December 6, 2001

Description: The National Museum of the Pacific War presents an interview with George Overfelt. Overfelt joined the Navy in August of 1938. From January of 1939 through June of 1942, he served on the deck force, and as a mess cook, aboard the USS Conyngham (DD-371). The ship was moored at Pearl Harbor during the attack. Overfelt was aboard the ship when the Japanese attacked. They completed numerous plane-guarding and submarine patrol missions. In February of 1943 they provided bombardment support through t… more
Date: December 6, 2001
Duration: 1 hour 5 minutes 58 seconds
Creator: Overfelt, George
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
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Oral History Interview with Peter Bourgeois, January 18, 2002

Description: The National Museum of the Pacific War presents an interview with Peter Bourgeois. Bourgeois joined the Army in July of 1943 and served with the Medical Corps. In December of 1944 he was assigned to the 96th Infantry Division and participated in the liberation of Leyte and Okinawa. He provides details of working as a Combat Medic with L Company, and caring for wounded soldiers on the battlefield. He also served as a rifleman at Okinawa. He was discharged in January of 1946.
Date: January 18, 2002
Duration: 1 hour 21 minutes 34 seconds
Creator: Bourgeois, Peter
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
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Oral History Interview with George Deer, November 13, 2001

Description: The National Museum of the Pacific War presents an interview with George Deer. Deer joined the Marine Corps in February of 1944, and provides details of his training. He was assigned to communications, working with phones, radios and stringing lines. He was attached to the 11th Gun Battalion at Camp Tarawa, Hawaii and shares his experiences training, living and working on the island, providing a number of anecdotal stories as well. He participated in the Battle of Leyte in October of 1944, wher… more
Date: November 13, 2001
Duration: 2 hours 12 minutes 02 seconds
Creator: Deer, George
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
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Oral History Interview with Joseph Drachnik, June 29, 2000

Description: The National Museum of the Pacific War presents an interview with Joseph Drachnik. Drachnik graduated from the Naval Academy in June of 1942. He served aboard USS Betelgeuse (AKA-11), transporting cargo and troops for the invasion of Guadalcanal. They made several resupply and reinforcement voyages to Guadalcanal and Tulagi in support of the campaign, and returned to the US in January of 1943. Beginning October of 1943 through October of 1945, Drachnik served as Executive Officer aboard USS All… more
Date: June 29, 2000
Duration: 1 hour 17 minutes 41 seconds
Creator: Drachnik, Joseph
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
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Oral History Interview with B. L. Pettit, May 2, 2001

Description: The National Museum of the Pacific War presents an interview with B L Pettit. Pettit joined the Navy in 1942, at the young age of thirteen. From April of 1943 through March of 1944, he served as First-Class Electrician’s Mate aboard USS Tallulah (AO-50), providing support through the Guadalcanal Campaign and invasion of the Gilbert Islands. From June of 1944 through October of 1945, Pettit served aboard the USS LCI(L)-750 participating in the Leyte operation. He was discharged in November of 19… more
Date: May 2, 2001
Duration: 2 hours 56 minutes 19 seconds
Creator: Pettit, B. L.
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
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Oral History Interview with Ben Cater, August 8, 2000

Description: The National Museum of the Pacific War presents an interview with Ben Cater. Cater joined the Navy V-7 Program, graduating in June of 1942. He then completed Midshipman School in the February of 1943. Cater then flew to Kodiak, Alaska, and served aboard USS Long (DMS-12), providing escort and patrol for the occupations of Attu and Kiska, returning to Pearl Harbor in September. Cater recalls participating in the Marshall Islands Campaign. In February of 1944, they traveled to New Guinea, escorti… more
Date: August 8, 2000
Duration: 1 hour 34 minutes 28 seconds
Creator: Cater, Ben
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
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Oral History Interview with Arthur Schott, April 4, 2003

Description: The National Museum of the Pacific War presents an interview with Arthur Schott. Schott joined the Army in January of 1942. He completed Quartermaster training. In mid to late 1942 he traveled to Brisbane, Australia and New Guinea, serving with the Sixth Army Headquarters. In 1944 Schott was stationed in the Philippines, during the Battle of Leyte. His job was graves registration. He remained in the Philippines through early 1945. He returned to the US and was discharged in August.
Date: April 4, 2003
Duration: 31 minutes 02 seconds
Creator: Schott, Arthur
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
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Oral History Interview with Hershel Downing, April 3, 2003

Description: The National Museum of the Pacific War presents an oral interview with Hershel Downing. Downing was drafted into the Army and served as a platoon sergeant with the 81st Infantry Division, 306th Medical Battalion. He was in charge of the motor pool and also dispatched ambulances. Downing describes evacuating and assisting wounded soldiers. He briefly describes his service on Palau, Leyte, and during the occupation of Japan. Downing was discharged from the service when he returned to the US.
Date: April 3, 2003
Duration: 17 minutes 55 seconds
Creator: Downing, Hershel
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
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Oral History Interview with John Skirvin, February 17, 2007

Description: The National Museum of the Pacific War presents an oral interview with John Skirvin. Skirvin was born on a farm in Iowa on 26 January 1922. He dropped out of school after the eighth grade to work on the farm. In 1942 he was drafted into the Army and spent six week of infantry basic training at Camp Robinson, Arkansas. He then went to Fort Bliss, Texas where he was assigned to the Troop G, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. He recalls training as cavalry with horses until early 1943 wh… more
Date: February 17, 2007
Duration: 1 hour 18 minutes 35 seconds
Creator: Skirvin, John
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
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Oral History Interview with David Mackay, April 7, 2003

Description: The National Museum of the Pacific War presents an interview with David Mackay. Mackay joined the Army in June of 1942. Beginning in the spring of 1943, he deployed to Brisbane, Australia and served with the 32nd Infantry Division. He completed patrol work and additional training on Hollandia, New Guinea. From early 1944 through early 1945, Mackay participated in the landing at Saidor, the Battle of Leyte and the Battle of Luzon. He returned to the US and was discharged in October of 1945.
Date: April 7, 2003
Duration: 1 hour 22 minutes 08 seconds
Creator: Mackay, David
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
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Oral History Interview with Malcolm Young, October 8, 2002

Description: The National Museum of the Pacific War presents an oral interview with Malcolm Young. Young joined the Army in March 1941 and received basic training at Fort Sill. He received rifle training at Fort Ord. Upon completion, he was assigned to field artillery in the 7th Infantry Division, where he served as an artillery gunnery corporal. He deployed to the Aleutians. Despite being on combat duty, the highest number of casualties there came from frostbite. At Kwajalein, Young suggested to his sergea… more
Date: October 8, 2002
Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes 05 seconds
Creator: Young, Malcolm
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
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Oral History Interview with J. D. Tanner, August 23, 2007

Description: The National Museum of the Pacific War presents an oral interview with J.D. Tanner. Tanner was born 20 August 1924 in Jasper County, Indiana. He quit school in the seventh grade and worked with his father on a dairy farm. In August 1944, he was drafted into the US Army and had basic training at Camp Wolters, Texas. After four weeks of training he went to San Francisco and departed on a twenty-one day trip to Leyte. There he was assigned as a rifleman in the 37th Infantry Division. He describes … more
Date: August 23, 2007
Duration: 46 minutes 18 seconds
Creator: Tanner, J. D.
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
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Oral History Interview with Chalmers Miller, September 15, 2007

Description: The National Museum of the Pacific War presents an oral interview with Chalmers Miller. Miller attended Rice University for one semester before joining the Navy. He received basic training in San Diego. Upon completion, he was assigned to the motor pool of CASU-9 at Port Hueneme. In November 1944 he was sent to the Philippines, where he drove a dump truck on the Tacloban air strip, which was small, crowded, muddy, and full of bomb craters. He became the engineer of a boat transporting supplies … more
Date: September 15, 2007
Duration: 52 minutes 24 seconds
Creator: Miller, Chalmers
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
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Oral History Interview with Charles Walker, September 16, 2007

Description: The National Museum of the Pacific War presents an oral interview with Charles Walker. After completing his second year of college, Walker was mobilized as a member of the North Dakota Army National Guard in February 1941 and became second lieutenant of a machinegun platoon with the 164th Infantry Regiment. He felt that his training left much to be desired, due to alcoholism among his superiors. The night before they deployed to Guadalcanal, the majority of the officers in his battalion reporte… more
Date: September 16, 2007
Duration: 1 hour 21 minutes 48 seconds
Creator: Walker, Charles
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
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Oral History Interview with Robert L. Hyde, September 21, 2007

Description: The National Museum of the Pacific War presents an oral interview with Robert Hyde. Hyde first attempted to join the Navy when he was 17, but was rejected due to his dental health and low weight. In January 1944 he enlisted. As a seaman, Hyde was appointed as storekeeper aboard the USS Enterprise (CV-6). He made friends with many onboard, including some of the black officers’ stewards, with whom he was not supposed to mingle. Initially sailing off China, moving between Hong Kong and Singapore, … more
Date: September 21, 2007
Duration: 54 minutes 58 seconds
Creator: Hyde, Robert L
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
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Oral History Interview with Joseph F. Malleske, September 27, 2007

Description: The National Museum of the Pacific War presents an oral interview with Joseph Malleske. Malleske enlisted in the Navy in January 1944 at Great Lakes, Illinois and took boot camp there. After boot camp, they sent him down to Norfolk (Camp Bradford) for amphibious training where he got picked up to go to radar school. After that he was formed into a crew for LST duty and sent to Little Creek, Virginia for a two week training cruise on the Chesapeake Bay in a LST. In late May 1944, they sent them … more
Date: September 27, 2007
Duration: 1 hour 17 minutes 24 seconds
Creator: Malleske, Joseph F.
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
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Oral History Interview with H. L. Tyree, January 9, 2008

Description: The National Museum of the Pacific War presents an oral interview with H.L. Tyree. Tyree was born in Cullman County, Alabama on 4 August 1924. Drafted into the Army in 1943 he was sent to Camp Polk, Louisiana for basic training. He then went to Fort Ord, California where he trained as an amphibious tractor driver. After six months training, he was assigned to the 536th Amphibious Tractor Battalion and assigned as a tractor driver. After two months of advanced training, the unit boarded USS LST-… more
Date: January 9, 2008
Duration: 33 minutes 26 seconds
Creator: Tyree, H. L.
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
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Oral History Interview with Archie Norman, January 26, 2009

Description: The National Museum of the Pacific War presents an oral interview with Archie Norman. Norman was drafted into the Army soon after high school. He was sent to the 32nd Infantry Division and traveled to New Guinea. Norman then took part in battle for Leyte and describes surviving a nearby explosion and a time when he shot a Japanese soldier. He also discusses how he was wounded when a rifle was accidently discharged in camp. Norman describes his treatment and evacuation back to the US. He was dis… more
Date: January 26, 2009
Duration: 45 minutes 33 seconds
Creator: Norman, Archie
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
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Oral History Interview with Louis Vilmer, October 23, 2007

Description: The National Museum of the Pacific War presents an interview with Louis Vilmer. Vilmer joined the Navy in April of 1943. He completed aerial gunnery school and trained as an aviation radioman. He traveled to Pearl Harbor around May of 1944 and transferred to the Naval Air Station at Barbers Point in Hawaii. From there he traveled to Majuro and Eniwetok awaiting assignment in a replacement pool. He served aboard the USS Braine (DD-630) before being assigned to the USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73). They … more
Date: October 23, 2007
Duration: 1 hour 9 minutes 26 seconds
Creator: Vilmer, Louis
Partner: National Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation
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