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  Partner: UNT Oral History Program
 Country: Philippines
 Collection: UNT Oral Histories
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Oral History Interview with Jean Balch, October 12, 1996

Oral History Interview with Jean Balch, October 12, 1996

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Date: October 12, 1996
Creator: Alexander, William J. & Balch, Jean
Description: Interview with Navy veteran Jean Balch. The interview includes Balch's personal experiences about the Pacific theater, being a prisoner-of-war of the Japanese during World War II, boot camp, radio, radar, and gunnery school, operations during the Leyte invasion, missions over Luzon, and raids on Japanese installations on Formosa and Saigon, French Indo-China. Additionally, Balch talks about his plane being shot down on a raid to Hong Kong and his capture on January 16, 1945, interrogations and beatings by the Kempei-tai, imprisonment at Ofuna, Honshu, solitary confinement for six months and continued interrogation, beatings by Japanese prison guards, starvation diet, the end of the war and liberation, and his participation in the war crimes trials held by the International Military Tribunal.
Contributing Partner: UNT Oral History Program
Oral History Interview with Frank H. Bigelow, June 13, 2002

Oral History Interview with Frank H. Bigelow, June 13, 2002

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Date: June 13, 2002
Creator: Alexander, William J. & Bigelow, Frank H.
Description: Interview with Navy veteran Frank H. Bigelow, survivor of the siege of Corregidor. The interview includes Bigelow's personal experiences about being a prisoner-of-war of the Japanese during World War II, boyhood in North Dakota, various jobs during the Great Depression, and enlisting in the Navy. Additionally, Bigelow speaks about volunteering for duty in the Philippines and his assignment to the submarine tender USS Canopus, pre-war military life in the Philippines, the Japanese bombing of Cavite Navy Yard and the destruction of the Canopus, retreating to Bataan and to Corregidor, the fall of Corregidor, his confinement in the 92nd Garage area, the forced march down Dewey Boulevard in Manila and confinement at Cabanatuan, hell ship to Japan, coal mining for Mitsui Heavy Industries, the amputation of his leg by fellow prisoners after a mining accident, liberation, and the destruction in Nagasaki due to the atomic bomb. The interview includes an appendix with an article titled "A Soldier's Story."
Contributing Partner: UNT Oral History Program
Oral History Interview with John J. Clemens, May 13, 2003

Oral History Interview with John J. Clemens, May 13, 2003

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Date: May 13, 2003
Creator: Alexander, William J. & Clemens, John J.
Description: Interview with John J. Clemens. The interview includes Clemens' personal experiences about childhood and early adulthood in Houston, Texas, World War II-era service in the U.S. Navy, serving aboard USS Wren in the Pacific Theater, and piloting a ship into Tokyo Bay immediately following the Japanese surrender. Clemens speaks about convoy missions across the Atlantic Ocean, the January 4, 1944 sinking of the USS Turner while moored in New York Harbor and the court of inquiry regarding the sinking, actions in the Aleutian Islands, Attu, Okinawa, and Philippine campaigns and anti-kamikaze warfare while aboard the USS Wren, and the effects that Allied bombing had on Tokyo.
Contributing Partner: UNT Oral History Program
Oral History Interview with Harlan W. Crouse, July 2, 2004

Oral History Interview with Harlan W. Crouse, July 2, 2004

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Date: July 2, 2004
Creator: Alexander, William J. & Crouse, Harlan W.
Description: Interview with Army veteran Harlan W. Crouse. The interview includes Crouse's personal experiences about combat in the Philippines during World War II, the Japanese surrender in Yokohama Harbor, and being present during the post-war U.S. occupation of Japan.
Contributing Partner: UNT Oral History Program
Oral History Interview with Lanson B. Ditto, October 11, 1996

Oral History Interview with Lanson B. Ditto, October 11, 1996

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Date: October 11, 1996
Creator: Alexander, William J. & Ditto, Lanson B.
Description: Interview with Lanson B. Ditto, clothier and Navy veteran. The interview includes Ditto's personal experiences about the Pacific, Atlantic, and Mediterranean Theaters during World War II. Ditto talks about his education, enlistment in the Navy V-7 Program, midshipman training, assignment to the USS Langley, pre-war duty in the Philippines, coming of war and combat around the Philippines and Netherlands East Indies, the sinking of the Langley and his transfer to the USS Pecos, the sinking of the Pecos and his rescue by the USS Whipple, various naval battles and assignments, antisubmarine patrols off the Solomons, various escort duties, and his promotion to captain of the O'Toole.
Contributing Partner: UNT Oral History Program
Oral History Interview with Herb Elfering, December 6, 2001

Oral History Interview with Herb Elfering, December 6, 2001

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Date: December 6, 2001
Creator: Alexander, William J. & Elfering, Herb
Description: Interview with electrical engineer and Army veteran Herb Elfering, The interview includes Elfering's personal experiences with a searchlight/radar battery, 251st Coast Artillery Regiment, at camp Malekole during the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Elfering also gives brief descriptions of his later experiences at Bougainville and Luzon.
Contributing Partner: UNT Oral History Program
Oral History Interview with Melvin R. Baird, 1998

Oral History Interview with Melvin R. Baird, 1998

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Date: August 18, 1998
Creator: Baird, James & Baird, Melvin R.
Description: Interview with Navy veteran Melvin R. "Pancho" Baird. It includes a combination of interviewing and reading from Baird's personal correspondence about his pre-World War II experiences with the U.S. Asiatic Fleet and his later experiences in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Baird talks about his stationing aboard the destroyer USS Alden as a radioman, the grounding of the SS President Hoover off of Hoishito Island, the Sino-Japanese War, liberty ashore various Asian port cities, events on the South China Patrol, civilian activities after his discharge, activities as a radio technician on Blue Beach during the Okinawan Campaign, kamikaze actions on Okinawa, and typical shipboard routine.
Contributing Partner: UNT Oral History Program
Oral History Interview with Dolphus Compere III, June 9, 2009

Oral History Interview with Dolphus Compere III, June 9, 2009

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Date: June 9, 2009
Creator: Hegi, Benjamin P. & Compere, Dolphus E., III
Description: Interview with World War II veteran Dolphus E. Compere III as part of the Tarrant County War Veterans Oral History Project. The interview includes Compere's personal experiences of childhood in Dallas, Texas, medical school at Baylor College of Medicine in Dallas, and interning at the University of Michigan prior to his enlistment in the Army Air Corp as a surgeon with the Third Air Commando Group. Additionally, Compere discusses his experiences in the Philippines providing medical care to military personnel and local civilians, his post-war medical career in Fort Worth, Texas, and his experience of returning a war souvenir, a Japanese ceremonial sword, to its ancestral family. Photographs are included throughout the interview.
Contributing Partner: UNT Oral History Program
Oral History Interview with Charles C. Brabham, Jr., September 9, 2003

Oral History Interview with Charles C. Brabham, Jr., September 9, 2003

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Date: September 9, 2003
Creator: Johnston, Glenn T. & Brabham, Charles C., Jr.
Description: Interview with Army veteran Charles C. Brabham Jr. The interview includes Brabham's personal experiences about the Southwest Pacific Theater during World War II, his youth in Dallas during the Great Depression, joining the 112th Cavalry at age 16, his mobilization and various assignments, and his medical evacuation die to malaria, dysentery, and hookworm.
Contributing Partner: UNT Oral History Program
Oral History Interview with George E. Fortenberry, September 24, 2003

Oral History Interview with George E. Fortenberry, September 24, 2003

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Date: September 24, 2003
Creator: Johnston, Glenn T. & Fortenberry, George E.
Description: Interview with George E. Fortenberry, who is an Army veteran and college professor from Arlington, Texas. In the interview, Fortenberry discusses his experiences in the Southwest Pacific Theatre during his time as a member of the 112th Cavalry of the Texas National Guard during World War II. He also describes what it was like growing up during the Great Depression and attending various different schools in both Texas and Oklahoma. Fortenberry discusses why he decided to join the National Guard, and also his experiences in early basic cavalry training. During much of the interview, Fortenberry reminisces about many of his various assignments and duties while serving in the war. Among these discussed include his assignment as a clerk to the veterinary section, time in Fort Bliss and Fort Clark, his shipment overseas to Noumea in New Caledonia, his transfer to the Medical Detachment as a clerk, and his time in New Britain, New Guinea and the Philippines. Fortenberry also recollects about everyday life in the Southwest Pacific, and includes details on tropical diseases and combat-related psychological problems that many of his comrades suffered through.
Contributing Partner: UNT Oral History Program
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