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Wisconsin Veterans Museum

Works: 817 works in 822 publications in 1 language and 826 library holdings
Genres: Personal narratives‡vAmerican  History  Biography  Records and correspondence  Anecdotes  Examinations 
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Oral history interview with Robert E. Clampitt by Robert E Clampitt( )

2 editions published in 2000 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Robert E. Clampitt, a Cross Plains, Wisconsin resident, discusses his career with the Army spanning the Korean, Cold, and Vietnam Wars. Clampitt was born in Terre Haute, Indiana and graduated high school in Madison, Wisconsin in 1946. He states he tried to enlist in the Army when he turned 18, but the military made him wait until he finished high school. He declares that his intention to join the Army was to later qualify for the GI Bill and go to college. He reports that he was sent to Fort McClellan [Alabama] for basic training and then to Fort Riley [Kansas] for Intelligence School. Soon after he describes being deployed to Italy along the Isonzo River with the 88th Division, Company K, 350th Infantry. Clampitt recounts being sent there because of tensions along the border with Yugoslavs. He also describes some of the grim living conditions that Italian civilians faced after World War II. After a year in Italy, Clampitt reports being discharged and coming back to Madison where he joined the Army Reserve as part of the 84th Airborne Division. Before going off to jump school and getting his parachute wings at Fort Benning [Georgia], Clampitt mentions he got married. When the Korean War broke out, Clampitt speaks of his decision to volunteer to active duty with the regular Army. After being sent to Camp Atterbury [Indiana[, Clampitt talks about heading to Korea with the 24th Division where he served as Staff Sergeant and was assigned to guarding prisoners. After his enlistment in Korea was finished, Clampitt reveals that he re-enlisted for the 25th Division, "'cause they were goin' to Hawaii... and that seemed like a better place than South Korea." Clampitt recalls many of his experiences at Schofield Barracks [Hawaii] from 1954 to 1956, including having his second child, training on the side of a volcano, and how his Division was used in the 1956 film "Between Heaven and Hell". Clampitt describes getting a job as an instructor through the non-commissioned officer academy until he went home. From this training, Clampitt states he was able to get a job as a ROTC instructor at the University of Illinois-Chicago. He reflects on how much he enjoyed teaching American military history and how much he felt like a faculty member. He touches upon the differences between that teaching assignment and a later experience at the University of Wisconsin. He briefly touches upon a three-month training through the Mountain Warfare School at Camp Hale [Colorado]. He provides some anecdotes of using mules to carry equipment up the mountain. Clampitt explains that he re-enlisted for six years in 1960 and was sent to Germany with the 24th Division. He describes his recon patrol along the Berlin Wall and recalls his impression of dealing with the East Germans. He recounts one particular experience of spotting a Russian soldier near the Brandenburg Gate. He briefly mentions traveling around Germany during his time there with his wife and family. By the time he left Germany, Clampitt states he had become Sergeant First Class. Clampitt mentions that he had tried several times to volunteer to go to Vietnam while still in Germany, and in 1965 he states he was given orders to attend Special Warfare School to prepare for Vietnam. He talks about the training at Fort Bragg [North Carolina] before heading to Vietnam as a ranger battalion in the 3rd Corps where he called in air strikes via radio. Next, he describes working at the 3rd Corps Tactical Operations Center as a Non-Commissioned Officer-In-Charge (NCOIO). He speaks of keeping track of the situation map along with American and Vietnamese officers. Clampitt talks about how his tour ended short because his wife was involved in a serious auto accident and touches on dealing with the recovery. He states that was re-assigned to the University of Wisconsin as an Operations Center Sergeant, where he states he was treated like a second-class citizen. Clampitt illustrates the atmosphere on campus during the Vietnam protests and riots, especially towards police officers and military personnel. After his wife was able to recover, Clampitt tells of his return to Vietnam in 1968. He states he served as an advisor to the Regional Forces Popular Forces (RFPF) and was sent to the Mekong Delta, which according to Clampitt was a particularly dangerous place. He laughs while remembering what he told his wife before he left: "If I write back and tell you I'm in the Delta, call the insurance man and tell him to start the paperwork and just wait for the date." Clampitt provides a sketch of the region in 1968 and illustrates some of the frustration and difficulties of working with the RFPF. "When they were good, they were very, very good, and when they were bad they were horrid" he says of the RFPF. Clampitt reveals one particularly scary incident of being out with the Popular Force one night and having the feeling that they would turn him and another officer over to the VC before the night was over. He describes how the incident started when one of the PF soldiers stole a captain's pistol. Before things got out of hand, Clampitt says he pretended to be on the radio to a ship that was close by that he describes as "spooky" to the PF soldiers, which prevented them from turning on them. He recounts what happened next: "We went to the colonel the next day... and said 'We recommend that no more Americans go to this, to help with this platoon. And furthermore, we both refuse to go out.' He said 'What if I order you to go out?' I said 'We will both refuse.'" Clampitt goes on to give his opinion on the North Vietnamese Soldiers and recalls some of his observation missions. He points out an incident where he found a 500-pound bomb and describes how the cheap wrist watch to set it off did not work. Clampitt also recalls encounters with the actor Jimmy Stewart and General Abrams. He describes the food and weather in Vietnam. Clampitt finished his tour in 1969, and states he was sent back to Fort Riley [Kansas] and was promoted to 1st Sergeant. He tells that he stayed there for two years before deciding to retire, stating his reason being he did not want to go on for a third tour of Vietnam. He then recounts his life after retiring from the Army, how he came back to civilian life in Sun Prairie, getting a job as the Chief of Police in Cross Plains, and becoming involved in the American Legion
Oral history interview with Donald Collins by Donald E Collins( )

2 editions published in 2002 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Donald E. Collins, a Sunbury, Pennsylvania native, discusses his World War II service in the Pacific theater as a radio striker aboard the USS Finback, a Navy submarine. Collins talks about being too light weight to join the Marines, enlisting in the Navy, boot camp at Sampson Naval Training Center (New York), and practical jokes played during time in an outgoing unit. He discusses assignment to code school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, meeting his future wife at a USO, attending submarine school at Naval Submarine Base New London (Connecticut), and being inspected for possession of liquor by Charles Spritz. Shipped to Hawaii aboard one of the "Kaiser's coffins" (an escort carrier built by Kaiser Shipbuilding Co.), Collins describes uneasy relations with the Seabees, earning extra money cutting meat, and being evacuated due to a fire. Assigned to the USS Finback (SS-230), he mentions crash course training in wolf pack procedure to work with other boats, and he explains their use of radio silence, LORAN (Long Range Navigation), and offensive tactics. He describes the different sounds heard while underwater, including identifying ships by the sound of their screws. Collins describes submarine rest camps and reflects on the privileges submariners had. He relates his first experience being near exploding depth charges, and he talks about duty in the conning tower and daily life. He talks about listening to Tokyo Rose, printing a ship newspaper, staying at the Royal Hawaiian hotel, having fun with gooney birds, and busting their captain, who had gotten in trouble for breaking into the beer hall, out of confined quarters to have a party. While at Midway, Collins details getting into a fight over a bottle of alcohol, being put in the brig, and their captain's lying to the commodore that they would be demoted as punishment. Collins touches on the submariners' relations with Marines and using a slot machine to get money from the relief crews for parties. He addresses diving procedures, attacking a tanker off of Iwo Jima, and avoiding enemy airplanes. While on air-sea rescue patrol, he talks about picking up George Bush and meeting him again after he became president. Collins describes good relationships with the officers aboard his boat and almost getting attacked by an American destroyer. He relates hearing about the atomic bombs and V-J Day celebrations. He portrays the treatment of two Japanese prisoners of war that they picked up from a ship they sank. While operating with Schnabel's Sharks, he relates hunting German submarines and passing through mine fields, and he tells of a buddy's submarine that was sunk by a mine. Collins describes life aboard the ship: constant pressure, food, card games, and qualification tests. He characterizes Admiral Lockwood, some of the men from the Finback, and his executive officer, who was a mustang. Collins analyzes World War II submarine statistics, and he describes going back to Hawaii years later and being invited aboard the USS Queenfish. While on Christmas leave, he recalls a memorable train ride home. He speaks of running grease guns to guerillas in the Philippines, a hot thirty hours underwater, and turning down a job at Cramp Shipyard in Philadelphia. Collins highlights the importance of having a good sense of humor. After his discharge, he talks about getting married, using the GI Bill to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison, his career as a parole officer, and overcoming symptoms of post-traumatic stress. Collins mentions his time in the Reserves, working in a Naval Intelligence Unit that was located in someone's basement, and working with an ROTC unit
The Vietnam Women's Memorial( Visual )

1 edition published in 1993 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Veteran Diane Carlson Evans, a nurse in Vietnam in the late 1960's, visited The Wall, the memorial to Vietnam veterans in Washington, D.C. She felt that the women who served in Vietnam should be honored also. She founded the Vietnam Women's Memorial Project which campaigned to erect a memorial for the women who served in Vietnam. A long, hard fight insued in which many veterans, men and women, participated
Oral history interview with John Sheskey by John Sheskey( )

2 editions published in 2000 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

John Sheskey, a Randolph, Wis. native, discusses his Korean War service with the Navy aboard the USS DeHaven. He touches upon boot camp at San Diego (California), electronic school at Treasure Island (California), and being seasick the entire boat ride to Japan. He recalls being in Japan and learning that the North Korean Army had invaded South Korea. Sheskey talks about being stationed off the southern coast of Korea and firing at the North Korean Army, providing fire support for Marines landing at Inchon, and going absent without leave (AWOL) to visit his mother. He mentions his confinement in a Marine-run brig and talks about the quality of the food, transport to the USS Piedmon, extending his enlistment, and return home
Oral history interview with Susan A. Pranke by Susan A Pranke( )

1 edition published in 2007 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Susan Pranke, a Green Bay, Wisconsin reside nt, discusses her career in the Army and her service as a Supply Officer during the Persian Gulf War. Born in De Pere (Wisconsin), Pranke attended East De Pere High School and fought a court battle to play on the boys baseball team. Pranke calls herself "one of the forerunners" for equality in women's athletics. Pranke remembers being fascinated by the military early on; at age four she would play with her father's old Soldier's Manual from World War II. Pranke also mentions being inspired by the television show "Gomer Pyle." She discusses her parents' negative reaction to her interest in joining the Army and her decision to wait to enlist until she was in college so she would not need their signature. Pranke attended University of Wisconsin-Green Bay for one year before transferring to University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, where she majored in Recreation Leadership. Pranke describes enlisting in the Army Reserve Office Training Corps (ROTC) during her sophomore year. She reveals she only doubted her decision for "about thirty seconds" when she arrived at basic training at Fort Knox (Kentucky) the summer after her sophomore year. Pranke covers her basic and officer training in detail, remarking that the drill sergeants treated everyone in ROTC "just like G.I.s." She outlines the demographics of her classmates who came from diverse regions. Pranke mentions most women she knew in ROTC had relatives in the military or grew up as "Army brats," which made Pranke feel like a "cold fish out of water." Pranke also describes befriending foreign soldiers in her Army classes from Zaire, Botswana, Sudan, Korea, and Egypt. Between her junior and senior year, she attended Advanced Camp at Fort Riley (Kansas) where soldiers creatively battled wood ticks. Later that summer, Pranke did on-the-job training at Fort Campbell (Kentucky) with a Quartermaster Officer. While at Fort Campbell, Pranke attended Air Assault School which involved rigging materials like jeeps to be picked up by helicopters, rappelling out of Chinsook and Huey helicopters, and completing a ten-mile march in two hours. She tells a story of falling off the helicopter skid during training and bravely rappelling to the ground. Pranke states that she was one of the first 100 women to graduate from Air Assault School and that she was one of only two women in her class to finish the road march. She tells of encountering jealousy and condescension from male classmates when she returned to UW- La Crosse wearing her Air Assault Wings. After graduating college, Pranke applied to become a Military Intelligence Officer, but she was given a Quartermaster Officer commission instead, which she feels was ultimately a better fit. Pranke attended General Troop Support training at Fort Lee (Virginia) before she was given her first assignment in Fort Polk (Louisiana) to a Division. Pranke explains she was happy to go to a Division because she would learn what the "Army was really all about." She praises several officers who were strong role models, including a female Company Commander in her Advanced Individual Training, and Major Dowling whom she worked with in the Division Support Command at Fort Polk. After a couple years at Fort Polk, where Pranke states she was the only female officer, she attended Airborne School at Fort Benning (Georgia) and then Parachute Rigging School in Germany. Pranke describes both experiences in detail, addressing the differences between jumping out of airplanes versus helicopters. She explains rigging school involved packing and repacking parachutes and securing equipment to be airdropped. Pranke feels seeing another woman from Wisconsin who had gone through Rigger School inspired her to go too. She states: "I always had to prove to myself that I was capable of what everybody else was." Following parachute training, Pranke, now a Captain, was put in charge of six people, including a few civilians, in the 29th Area Support Command in Kaiserslautern (Germany). After one year, she became Company Commander of a Rigger Detachment in the 705th Maintenance Battalion, putting her in charge of over 80 soldiers. She comments that "Airborne people [are] a different subset." She notes that she sent four or five soldiers working for her to alcohol and drug rehab. Pranke discusses the effective rehabilitation therapy available to soldiers, but also the difficulty of being the officer to send them there. Pranke relates an encounter with an angry "Army wife" whose husband was in alcohol treatment. She also touches upon personal scandals of soldiers in the Rigger unit: her first lieutenant was discharged for cheating on his wife, and another soldier went to prison for attacking his wife, a German citizen, in a drunken rage. After 21 months as a Company Commander, Pranke went to the University of Montana to be an ROTC instructor and serve on the Accessions Board. Pranke appreciated seeing the assignment process from behind the scenes and being a role model for the cadets. In August, 1990, Pranke was called up to Kuwait, the Persian Gulf War having just begun. Pranke portrays herself as reluctant to go. She was stationed in Saudi Arabia as a Staff Officer in the supply wing of the 18th Airborne Corps, 101st Corps Support Command. By now a Captain Promotable, Pranke states her job was to brief and educate commanders in the Persian Gulf about supply logistics and "what we could offer" units in the area. Pranke expresses frustration at the layers of bureaucracy and the two-day delay in communication that made it hard to deliver accurate reports. Pranke tells a story of the Colonel of the 101st ordering the supply staff to travel 200 miles to get chicken and hamburger meat because he was tired of eating "Meals Ready to Eat." Pranke depicts this Colonel as short-sighted, explaining that her objections were ignored and that the soldiers got sick from the fresh food because their bodies were used to eating MREs. Shortly after arriving in Iraq, Pranke recalls hearing on BBC radio that the war was over. Almost as soon as she got to Iraq, Pranke says, she was sent back to Saudi Arabia with the first wave of troops to return. Pranke states Saudi civilians "would come and be all smiles ... and go out of their way to shake our hands and say, 'Thank you, thank you.'" In Saudi Arabia, Pranke explains she was reestablishing operations and setting up camp for an estimated 10,000 troops. Pranke says because they were the first group back to Saudi Arabia, they had to cater food and hire Sri Lankans to serve it. She details the delivery of bottled water and how trucks would come from Mecca and jostle to be the first unloaded at the dock. Pranke also mentions Saudi civilians would sneak over the fence to steal bottled water while the Army looked the other way. Once the U.S. began to pull out of the Middle East, Pranke reveals that the Saudis raided the base for mattresses, cots, cranes, plywood, and supplies the Army left behind. She comments briefly on interacting with Saudi civilians and seeing nomads, camel herds, and women wearing burqas. Pranke was impressed by the "expressive eyes" of the women. After nearly eight months in Saudia Arabia, Pranke was flown home. A single woman at the time, she recalls that the wives' support group had called her parents and arranged for a former cadet Pranke had taught in Montana to meet her at the airport. Pranke continued her career in the Army, attending Petroleum Supply School and later becoming a logistician officer in Japan for the 500th Military Intelligence Brigade. Now a Major, Pranke had a top secret clearance and learned much about military intelligence. In 1996, Pranke left Japan and retired early, at fifteen years instead of twenty, because there was an excess amount of officers in her class year. Pranke comments on the respect and opportunities that come with having a rank and reveals she was often mistaken for a West Point graduate because of her experience. She mentions joining the Madelyn La Canne 539th American Legion Post for female veterans in Green Bay (Wisconsin). Finally, Pranke reflects on her role as a trailblazer, stating: "I opened a lot of doors and got a lot of second looks" and "you really don't realize what path you're creating until later on in life."
Nuestros veteranos from Wisconsin : Latino veterans, a legacy of valor, honor, and duty to country( Book )

1 edition published in 2008 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Oral history interview with Fred A. Risser by Fred A Risser( )

2 editions published between 1996 and 2002 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Risser, a Madison, Wis. native, discusses his military service as a Navy medic immediately following World War II. Discussed is his entry into military service including religious and moral convictions against carrying weapons, eye-strengthening program, and sudden departure to Great Lakes Naval Training Center (Illinois) before high school graduation. He characterizes a lighter basic training program for medical corpsmen and discusses integration of African Americans into his program. His crash course at Medic Corps School in San Diego (California) and travels are described as enjoyable. Depicted are his strategies in getting assignment choices first at the Naval Air Station in Rhode Island and then at Coco Solo Air Station in Panama. Risser addresses Jim Crow segregation in the Panama Canal Zone and tells a story about gold and silver drinking fountains. Additional discussion involves his work assignments with a crash boat in the Canal, closed psychiatric ward, and venereal and sexual disease cases. Risser talks about his recreational activities in the military and characterizes himself as "somewhat of a loner" who did not like regimented military life, but enjoyed the opportunity to travel and see new things. Mentioned is tobacco use in the military, military food, and use of salt peter in the food. Risser addresses differences between freshman veterans and non-veterans at Carleton College which he attended on the GI Bill. As a Wisconsin legislator, Risser feels that his interest in mental health, venereal disease, and birth control legislation can be attributed to his military experiences. He concludes by picturing what he did during the attack on Pearl Harbor and then discusses differences between Pearl Harbor and the September 11th Terrorist Attack
Oral history interview with James H. Blankenheim by James H Blankenheim( )

2 editions published in 2003 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

James Blankenheim, a Middleton, Wisconsin native, discusses his Vietnam War service with the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Marine Regiment as a radioman serving in combat situations in Vietnam
Oral history interview with Roger S. Boeker by Roger S Boeker( )

1 edition published in 2003 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Roger S. Boeker, a Madison, Wisconsin native, discusses his service with the 3rd Marine Division during the Vietnam War in Da Nang and Phu Bai
Oral history interview with John Breske, Jr by John Breske( )

1 edition published in 2004 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

John Breske, Jr., an Eland, Wisconsin native, discusses his Korean War service in the Marine Corps
Oral history interview with James H. Bohstedt by James H Bohstedt( )

1 edition published in 1995 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Bohstedt, a Madison, Wis. native, discusses his World War II and Korean War service with the 4th Signal Company, 4th Marine Division, and service with the Reserves. Bohstedt describes basic training at San Diego (California), radar training in Utah, and field signal school at Camp Elliot (California). He relates repairing radios during the campaigns for Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima. He touches upon daily life, both while the 4th Marines regrouped in Maui, and in the Pacific islands. Bohstedt also comments on the atomic bomb decision, post-war duty in Sasebo (Japan), and the difference between the Japanese people he encountered and the way they were described by the military. He mentions his return home, use of the GI Bill, and veterans on the UW-Madison campus. After college graduation, Bohstedt joined the Meritorious NCO Program and was called into Korean War service as a first lieutenant. He talks about his Korean War service inspecting a Korean Marine Corps unit and opinions Marines held of the Korean War. He remained active in the Marine Corps Reserves for many years
Oral history interview with Julius W. Ptaszynski by Julius W Ptaszynski( )

1 edition published in 2004 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Julius W. Ptaszynski, a Milwaukee, Wisconsin native, discusses his service with the 8th Army's 11th Evacuation Hospital as a medical technician during the Korean War
Oral history interview with Thomas Clark by Thomas Clark( )

1 edition published in 2011 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Thomas Clark, born in 1924, served in World War II in both the Pacific and European Theaters, and states in this interview that he served in the 69th Infantry Division, the 222nd Infantry Regiment, and the 29th Infantry Division as a Communication Chief. Clark was born in Mason City, Iowa but moved to Wisconsin at age ten. Clark discusses his time in high school in Madison, Wisconsin, and the desire to join the Marines. Clark's father refused to let Clark join, and instead paid for flying lessons. Clark was also a chauffeur for the Corps of Engineer before getting drafted in 1943. Clark discusses basic training in Fort Bragg, then waiting to hear whether or not he would go to Fort Sill for an exam. Instead, he was sent to Hawaii to guard Pearl Harbor. Clark details watching for submarines and how his team accidentally shot down a small fishing boat in a restricted area. Clark was sent on furlough in March 1944, and then spent time in Keesler Field, Mississippi. Clark recounts receiving a letter stating that the closure of the air cadets; he was then transferred to ground forces and sent to Europe in late winter of 1944. Clark was in communications as a switchboard operator in the infantry and the regimental headquarters company. Clark talks about being in Remagen when the bridge collapsed, the capture of Leipzig, the Soviet/American link up on the Elbe River in 1945, and the horrors he saw when freeing a concentration camp (possibly Dachau). Clark was sent home with the 29th Division in 1946, and talks about very stormy, dangerous seas. Clark chats about being a civilian electrician, and the various jobs he has completed. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin
Oral history interview with Ernest O. Norquist by Ernest O Norquist( )

1 edition published in 1995 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Ernest Norquist, born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, discusses his experiences as a World War II medic with Army General Hospital No. 2, a Bataan Death March survivor, and a prisoner of war. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1941 with a Bachelors degree in history and enlisted in the Army. He recounts his experiences growing up during the Depression, his religious background and his army career as a medic with General Hospital No. 2. The Depression also inspired Norquist to become a minister after the war because of the compassion and help his family received from their pastors. Norquist reveals his affinity for history and tells that he collected propaganda from Germany, France and other countries for historical value. Norquist kept a diary during his time in the service. He was sent to Fort Snelling (Minnesota) for training and explains that he did not receive much training because the army just wanted bodies overseas and figured they would train them once deployed. He also explains that he was put in charge of eight other men because he had a bit of ROTC training, he had no weapons training other than with a World War I rifle. Norquist remembers arriving at Angel Island in the San Francisco Bay (California) and expresses disdain of the crude army culture of swearing and discipline, although he always obeyed. He recounts that he was first assigned to Hospital No. 2, Fort McKinley, just outside Manila (Philippines), where he changed bedpans, gave baths, took temperatures and reported to nurses. Norquist explains his interest in seeing the country and talks about visiting Guadeloupe, the Pasig River, watching trains, visiting Luneta Park in Manila to attend concerts, and playing trumpet with a radio station band. He describes attending the United Church of Manila, the parishioners, and falling in love with the church organist. Norquist recalls the night before he heard about Pearl Harbor that he was at Tagaytay Ridge outside Manila dancing at a party with local girls, he remembers being called to the parade ground the next morning and being told about Pearl Harbor and that they were next and should expect an attack within twenty hours. Norquist explains that they engaged in a gas mask drill and were told that if the Japanese invaded it would be confined to the coastal area and the war would not last very long. Norquist describes receiving injured servicemen coming from Clark Air Field, including a Japanese aviator who he felt pity for. He describes seeing amputations and other injuries. Norquist reveals that he was sent to a new hospital in Manila, where bombs were falling and there were rumors of tanks getting closer. He relates that he did not feel prepared for war and everyone except the veterans were frightened. Norquist reports that on December 29th he was taken to Corregidor. He explains he was first assigned to a hospital then sent to areas around Corregidor that were beginning to receive the impact of bombings. Norquist reiterates his hatred for the planes and war in general and the pity he felt for those who were hit. He was then sent to Bataan, where they set up a hospital in the jungle to triage. Norquist treated Americans and Filipinos. He states that as time went on they hoped for rescue and heard that planes and ships were coming to help as they began to run out of supplies. Running low on food inspired some creative eating, including monkeys and snakes. Norquist states that he was able to see Japanese prisoners at Hospital No. 1, in Bataan, and they were treated very well. He talks about the line pushing closer and being able to hear the artillery all day, and Japanese with specially cut tennis shoes (for climbing) shooting from trees. Norquist relates that he had to search for a downed American pilot. Norquist talks about the order to surrender and portrays the feelings surrounding the flag of surrender going up. He explains he kept a hidden diary and that he was allowed to keep his trumpet, but that his native flute was taken away. Norquist recounts that he was taken to Mariveles, then marched past Cabcaben, Lamau, Lamay, and San Fernando. He recalls being sent to Bilibid prison in Manila and while in route, seeing corpses of American soldiers on the side of the road. They marched past Cabanatuan prison and into the town where there was a horrible smell. He states that some prisoners started going crazy yelling and screaming and one man, who later died in prison camp was yelling "There is no war!" Norquist expresses the camaraderie and care they felt for each other. He discusses caring for the wounded and sick in prison camp and states that many of the early deaths occurred because the Japanese were not prepared for so many prisoners. Many men were sick with dysentery and malaria. Norquist comments on Red Cross supplies arriving in 1942 and how that increased morale and helped them get healthier. He explains that chaplains and others organized interest groups and taught lessons such as literature, language, craft making and algebra. Norquist goes into detail about being beaten and the Japanese guards being beaten by superiors if they stepped over the line. He recounts other forms of abuse and death. Norquist analyzes the treatment of Japanese-Americans in the United States during and after the war. He reveals rumors, some true, that circulated around the camp about how the war was going. He remembers dreaming and talking about food all the time because they were being fed primarily just rice. Norquist discusses how they smuggled food and other items back into the camp after they were on work detail. He was later taken to Tokyo and the food and sanitation conditions were better there, but there were bombings nearby from American planes and shrapnel would fly through the camp. Norquist describes the living quarters and hiding his diary and trumpet in a chapel and discusses how he put together the diary. He explains that in addition to physical health, mental attitude, prayer and religion played a part in how healthy a prisoner would stay. He illustrates a few amusing stories from the prison camp. He recounts the day he was freed, going into the village and being fed. On September 23rd, 1945 he was brought aboard a hospital ship. Norquist examines people's reaction to the atomic bombs dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the bombs available today. He discusses his adjustment back to the United States, still dreaming of prison camp experiences. He attended seminary at Princeton and spent one year studying in Sweden. Norquist belongs to the American Legion, the VFW and two prisoner of war organizations. He wrote a book, Our paradise: a GI's war diary
Oral history interview with Darrell Krenz by Darrell J Krenz( )

1 edition published in 2005 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Darrell J. Krenz, a McFarland, Wisconsin native, discusses his Korean War service in the Army and his thirty-seven months as a prisoner of war and "Tiger Survivor."
Oral history interview with Kenneth C. Ossmann by Kenneth C Ossmann( )

1 edition published in 2001 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Kenneth Ossmann, a Janesville, Wisconsin native, discusses his World War II service with the Air Corps as a pilot with the 16th Bomb Group, 20th Air Force in the Pacific Theater
Oral history interview with Melvin H. Rickard by Melvin H Rickard( )

1 edition published in 1999 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Melvin Rickard, a Linden, Wisconsin native, discusses his World War II service with the glider unit of the 81st Anti Aircraft Battalion, 101st Airborne Division; he focuses his discussion on the D-Day landing, Operation Market Garden, and his experiences as a prisoner of war. Rickard talks about basic training at Fort Bragg (North Carolina), assignment to a glider unit, the differences between American and English gliders, and training in England in preparation for the invasion of Normandy. He describes the D-Day invasion including Utah Beach landing, taking cover from German aircraft fire, moving inland to take the town of Carentan (France), protecting a bridge under heavy artillery fire, and a close call when a friend was killed. After a furlough in Cornwall (England), Rickard details Operation Market Garden in Holland, including hearing German soldiers talking in the woods, guard duty at night, lack of food because supplies were intercepted by the Germans, hearing the German attack approach, and being unable to communicate with other American and British troops. He tells of surrendering with other American troops, staying with other prisoners of war at a Dutch farm, a visit by German propaganda broadcaster Axis Sally (Mildred Gillars), the packed boxcar ride to Stalag 2B, and interrogation. He touches upon his stay in a German prison including receiving Red Cross packages, exchanging cigarettes for bread and vegetables with the prison guards, having yellow jaundice and an ulcerated tooth, and marching through a blizzard with inadequate shoes as the Russian troops approached. Marching for two and a half months, Rickard recalls the cold, sleeping in barns, becoming familiar with some German civilians, stealing potatoes, and suffering from a bad back and frozen feet. He highlights the importance of Colonel Wallace, a fellow prisoner of war who kept him going. Rickard mentions arriving at Stalag 2A a week before the Russians arrived and the prisoners' decision to stay behind. After liberation, he talks about leaving the camp, scavenging for food and alcohol, and having two Russian soldiers rob him of his wristwatch. After delousing, he remembers being shipped to Camp Lucky Strike (France) and having lunch with General Eisenhower. Rickard mentions playing ping pong at an Army hospital in Macon (Georgia), waiting for enough points to be discharged, and joining the American Legion and Disabled American Veterans. He describes a couple coincidences from his service time, his career afterwards, and his efforts trying to get in touch with his POW friend
Oral history interview with Lawrence Danielson by Lawrence K Danielson( )

1 edition published in 2000 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Lawrence "Larry" Danielson, a La Crosse, Wisconsin native, discusses his Korean War service as a code specialist working with Chinese and Korean languages as part of the 501st Communication Recon Group, 326th Communications Reconnaissance Company. Danielson relates basic and infantry training in Kansas and code school at Fort Devens (Massachusetts). At code school, he touches on learning Morse code and states he had to listen to Morse code while he slept. He details the types of codes used by the Chinese and Koreans. Sent to Korea, Danielson talks about his equipment, monitoring radio traffic, attacks on his detachment, working behind enemy lines, and periodic rest leaves in Japan. He talks about the Korean and Chinese civilian translators working for him in the field and mentions he was not ever allowed to talk about them. He tells of losing a civilian friend because the civilian was driving a brakeless jeep that he hadn't been warned about. Danielson describes the food and mentions getting frostbitten toes. He comments on the secrecy and fear involved with his job. He touches on his work with the National Security Agency in Arlington (Virginia) where he was given tasks "so he would have something to do until I got out." He speaks of his use of the GI Bill, membership in the VFW and American Legion, and career in teaching
Oral history interview with Don Fellows by Don Fellows( )

1 edition published in 1995 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Donald A. Fellows, a Madison, Wis. native, discusses his service with the Merchant Marines during World War II and the effects of this service on his life. Fellows joined the Merchant Marines against his parent's wishes, and describes joining the war as a way to distance himself from his parents. He provides a sketch of basic training at San Mateo (California) including strict discipline, abandon ship exercises, and his efforts to evade obstacle course training. He tells of attempts to sabotage shipping in San Francisco harbor and provides second-hand accounts of other attempted sabotage in New York harbor and abroad. Fellows details the mission of the Merchant Marines and shipboard life. Injured abroad, he spent time recovering in Madison, and describes the attitudes he encountered toward a young man perceived as not in the Armed Forces. He recounts VE-Day and VJ-Days, watch duty, and trade with Italians. He comments on experiences with Nazis in Uruguay, Mozambique, South Africa, and Argentina. Fellows mentions on his homecoming and comments on the unique status of Merchant Marines who were not allowed veterans' benefits. He recounts the recent recognition of Merchant Marines as World War II veterans and remarks upon the effects of his service and his injury on his acting career
Oral history interview with Brian Murray by Brian Murray( )

1 edition published in 1999 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Brian "Doc" Murray, a Waupaca, Wisconsin native, discusses his Navy service as a corpsman with a Marine unit during the Vietnam War. Murray talks about enlisting in the Navy despite being classified 4F for having pins in his hip, boot camp and Corps School at Great Lakes (Illinois), and field medicine training at Camp Lejeune, where they arrived on November 10th without knowing about the Marine Corps' birthday. He discusses flying to Vietnam, assignment to the Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, and going on daytime patrol in the Riviera area near DaNang. Murray speaks of setting up ambushes for gathering NVA troops and characterizes the "professional" method of combat between them. He portrays problems with unexploded friendly rounds in the sand and his platoon sergeant's "crazy" method of detonating them with grenades. Murray talks about the weapons his squadron carried and only carrying a handgun himself. He reflects on tending to wounded under fire as well as their daily health problems in camp, especially diarrhea and infected insect bites. He comments on lack of bathing facilities, the proximity of his small combat base to other medical facilities, and the medical supplies he carried. Murray contrasts the differences between medical operations in the Vietnam and Korean Wars. He illustrates the Marines' loyalty to their wounded with an anecdote about witnessing a helicopter medevac crew being held at gunpoint until all his squadron's casualties were securely loaded. Murray details treatment methods in the field, including using the Marines' belts as tourniquets and marking received treatment. After three months "in the bush," he speaks of having problems with his leg, getting the pins removed in Japan, and returning to Vietnam where he was assigned a rear position in the 1st Medical Battalion. Murray states the life expectancy for corpsmen in Vietnam was three months. He reflects on the adequacy of his training and, when under pressure, always praying to do a good job. In the 1st Med Battalion for three weeks, he talks about assignment to a post-crisis malarial ward and keeping an eye on his patients, who spent a lot of time at the bar. He comments on the use of chloroquine-primaquine to prevent malaria and treating diarrhea in the field with peanut butter. Murray talks about his platoon's recreational use of marijuana and making sure it did not impact their combat capability. He reports on the race relations between Blacks and Whites, saying "in the bush there is no color" but people in the rear occasionally stirred up trouble. Murray portrays the one case he medevaced due to combat fatigue and the current large numbers of veterans with symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He discusses have a wonderful captain and a 2nd lieutenant who made too many mistakes. Murray talks about keeping in touch with some of the men from his unit, attending Battalion Association reunions, and being a member of veterans' organizations such as the Wisconsin Vietnam Veterans
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  Kids General Special  
Audience level: 0.69 (from 0.36 for Oral histo ... to 0.87 for Wisconsin ...)

Alternative Names

controlled identityWisconsin. Department of Veterans Affairs

Wisconsin. Department of Veterans Affairs. Wisconsin Veterans Museum

Wisconsin. Veterans Museum

English (39)