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Interview on experiences in World War II

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Creator: Arwood, Arnold

Date: December 29, 2006

Level of Description: Item

Material Type: Manuscripts

Call Number: World War II Oral Histories Project

Unit ID: 211294

Biographical sketch: Arnold "Woody" Arwood enlisted in the Navy about two years after the war started and served in the Pacific for three years as a gunners mate, seaman second class. He was at a boot camp in Fairgate, Idaho, and received gunnery training at a camp near Seattle, Washington. Arwood describes shipping out to a base in New Guinea and being stranded for hours in the middle of the Pacific when the ship's engines died. Arwood served as a gunners mate on several ships in the Pacific and was stationed as a gunners mate on a troop transport in the convoy that took General Douglas MacArthur to Leyte Island, Philippines, on October 24, 1944. He was in the Battle of Luzon in 1945 and described the battle, and the actions of the battleship U.S.S. Missouri, which was carrying MacArthur. He said they received word, from a Tokyo Rose broadcast, of an impending Japanese air attack on the fleet, and he spoke of that air-sea battle, in which he shot down one of the twelve out of fifteen Japanese airplanes that were destroyed. He described a suicide dive bomber attack of a nearby ship. He served about a year on a submarine destroyer and described dropping depth charges. He finished his tour of duty working as a volunteer truck driver for the Army in the Philippines. He described the killing and postmortem mistreatment of a Japanese solder. He described getting out of the service, coming into San Francisco Bay through very rough water, and riding the troop train across the country to St. Louis, Missouri. He spoke of his great pride in having served in the Navy and that he never sought disability payments for service-related damages to his hearing and eyesight. In the interview, Arwood also described his children, and meeting his beloved second wife, who'd been a welder engaged in building Navy ships during the war. He spoke of his work in bridge and road construction after WWII, how he came to be living in a rest home in Sterling, Kansas, and how he was learning to live with diabetes.

Summary: Arwood enlisted in the Navy in 1941 and served until 1944. Interviewed by Marian Poe on Dec 29, 2006, Arwood talked about military experiences in the Second World War. He was born in Lakin, Kansas, on September 10, 1916. The interview took place in Sterling, Kansas. The 2005 Kansas Legislature passed a bill funding the WWII Veterans Oral History grant program. This transcript is from one of the community institutions receiving grants. The transcript of the interview is presented here; the original video copy of the interview is available through the Rice County Historical Society (Lyons) and through the Kansas State Historical Society.

Space Required/Quantity: Video

Title (Main title): Interview on experiences in World War II

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019-14-03-02  DVD 

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