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Interview on experiences in World War II

View at Kansas Memory

Creator: Gomez, Bennie Mike

Date: April 25, 2006

Level of Description: Item

Material Type: Manuscripts

Call Number: World War II Oral Histories Project

Unit ID: 211353

Biographical sketch: Bennie Gomez, 1919-2007, enlisted in the Navy in June 1944. He was sent to Great Lakes Naval Training Station in Chicago, Illinois for basic training and was sent to San Francisco, California where he was assigned to destroyer DD577 U.S.S. Sproston. He was a machinist mate in the aft number 2 engine room and his battle station was the ship's number 5 5-inch gun. From Pearl Harbor, the U.S.S. Sproston was sent to Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands, and then to Manus in the Admiralty Islands. A fleet of 800 ships was created to invade the Philippines, and Gomez describes being aboard the U.S.S. Sproston in the Surigayo Strait during the Leyte Gulf battle and of landing troops for the Battle of Luzon. The U.S.S. Sproston was sent to San Francisco for refit and repairs in July 1945, where it was reassigned to Destroyer Squadron 55. It was still in dry dock when Japan surrendered and the war ended. Gomez stayed aboard the U.S.S. Sproston and helped decommission it in San Diego. His highest service rank was Machinist Mate, Third Class. He was discharged from the service in March 1946 and returned to work for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway in Emporia, Kansas. Mr. Gomez's interview is especially interesting for his account of destroyer warfare, particularly in regard to American invasions of the Philippines and Okinawa.

Summary: Gomez enlisted in the Navy in 1944 and served until 1946 in the U.S.S. Sproston DD577, Destroyer Squadrons 49 and 55. Interviewed by Loren Pennington on Apr 25, 2006, Gomez 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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019-14-04-06  Cassette Audio Tape 

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