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Interview on experiences in World War II

View at Kansas Memory

Creator: Clark, Marvin

Date: June 20, 2006

Level of Description: Item

Material Type: Manuscripts

Call Number: World War II Oral Histories Project

Unit ID: 211314

Biographical sketch: Marvin Clark was married and working on a farm near Kalvesta, Kansas when he was drafted at nineteen. After induction in Arkansas, he was sent to Texas and then to California. He was assigned as a fuse setter in an anti-aircraft 90 millimeter gun crew that was trained first at Fort Hahn in the Mohave Desert and later in amphibious landings at Camp Pickett, Virginia. In 1943 he was sent to England, where he trained for eight months in Weston-Super-Mare in Somerset on the Bristol Channel before landing in Europe as part of the June 9, 1944 D-Day invasion. His battery came ashore right after the infantry landed and was the first unit to make an amphibious landing with 90 millimeter guns, which had twenty-one foot barrels and required crews of eight to nine men. His unit stayed on the beaches in Normandy for four days and then moved forward to provide anti-aircraft support for the infantry. They were called up at St. Lo, where U.S. bombers dropped bombs short that landed on American troops, and the battalion received a commendation for marking the bomb release line, which was a smoke screen indicating when bombers should drop their loads, for a bombing raid on Cologne. His battery was attached to different units, as they were needed, and were attached to the 3rd Army for a short time when General Patton came in from southern France. They were knocking down German buzz bombs with the 1st Division when the Battle of the Bulge started. They were able to get out with a lot of their equipment and were pulled back to Belgium to be reequipped. He was outside of Berlin, with a convoy of trucks hauling prisoners, when the war in Europe ended. He had been in five major battles by this time, for which he received five Bronze Star medals, so had enough points to be among the first who were sent back to the States and discharged from the service in Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. In January 1946, he and his young family moved back to Kalvesta, Kansas.

Summary: Corporal/Specialist Clark was drafted into the Army in 1942 and served until 1945 in the Anti-aircraft and anti-personnel battalion. Interviewed by Joyce Sullentrop on Jun 20, 2006, Clark talked about military experiences in the Second World War. The 2005 Kansas Legislature passed a bill funding the WWII Veterans Oral History grant program. This transcript is from one of the nine community institutions that received these grants. The transcript from the interview is presented here; the original audio copy of the interview is available through the Gray County Veterans Memorial & Archives and through the Kansas State Historical Society.

Space Required/Quantity: Audio

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

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019-14-04-04  Cassette Audio Tape (2) 

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