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Interview on experiences in World War II

View at Kansas Memory

Creator: Crockett, Walter Hobson

Date: April 30, 2006

Level of Description: Item

Material Type: Manuscripts

Call Number: World War II Oral Histories Project

Unit ID: 211319

Biographical sketch: Walter Crockett joined the National Guard in Topeka, Kansas when he was sixteen as a way of earning money. He was called up for active duty on December 23, 1940 and sent to Camp Robinson, Arkansas for basic training, and to Louisiana for maneuvers. He was stationed at Fort Ord, California, at the Presidio in San Francisco, and at Benicia, California. In February 1942 he transferred out of Company B to Army Air Force pilot training and was given a thirty-day furlough. The furlough was extended until June (because of the volume of people requesting Air Force training) when he was directed to Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas for pre-flight training. He went to Muskogee, Oklahoma, for thirteen weeks of primary school, to Winfield, Kansas, for basic flying training, and then to Altus, Oklahoma, for advanced twin-engine training. He graduated in May 1943 and went to Randolph Field near San Antonio, Texas, for instructor training. He was stationed as an instructor in Altus, Oklahoma, until September 1943 and then transferred into the Air Transport Command. He was sent to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for a month of additional training and then sent to Love Field in Dallas, Texas, to begin work ferrying airplanes (C-47s, P-51s, trainers, etc.) across country. In June 1944, he was sent to India where he flew C-46s and C-47s from Calcutta to Karachi, Assam, Bombay, and Burma. When the war ended in Europe in May 1945, he had enough points to be discharged in July 1945. He was home when the atom bombs were dropped and the war ended with Japan's surrender.

Dr. Crockett's interview is of special interest for his extended discussion and analysis of his service with Emporia's Company B, 137th Infantry, from peacetime activities until his transfer to the Army Air Corps in February 1942. The interview is also of interest for Dr. Crockett's description of his military service in India and his reactions to Indian society. The transcript's cover sheet provides detailed information about the interview's content. Also enclosed in the folder is a copy of a presentation, titled "Was it 1890 or 1980?," Dr. Crockett made about his relationships with many of the members of Company B.

Summary: First Lieutenant Crockett enlisted in the Army (Infantry) in 1937 and served until 1945 in the Company B, 137th Army Infantry, Air Transport Command. Interviewed by Loren Pennington on Apr 30, 2006, Crockett 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 Emporia State University (Flint Hills) 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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