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Interview on experiences in World War II

View at Kansas Memory

Creator: Lacy, James Kyle

Date: March 6, 2006

Level of Description: Item

Material Type: Manuscripts

Call Number: World War II Oral Histories Project

Unit ID: 211393

Biographical sketch: James Lacy was employed as a truck driver when he was drafted at the age of 24 or 25 in 1941. He was completing his basic training in Little Rock, Arkansas when Pearl Harbor was bombed and they immediately were sent to guard the West Coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles. In 1943 he was in the Mediterranean, then his whole division was sent to Duncan, Alabama for more infantry training. They were sent as replacements for Marauders to Burma, but they never got there because his ship was sunk by a guided missile. Along with about thirty of the gun crew they threw a line over the back and went into the water about dark and it was the next morning that he got picked up by a seagoing tugboat. Most of the men on the boat lost their lives because the water was cold and you had to swim to stay alive, because of the danger of dying from exposure. He was injured by shrapnel in his face and legs and was in the hospital in Buji, North Africa for a month. That time has "screwed me up for the rest of my life," because the Army has no record of him being in the hospital, the paperwork going down with the ship. Senator Moran's office has tried to solve the problem for him but they get him to North Africa and then pick him up again in Bombay, India with no record of the missing month. Because of his truck driving experience he was placed with the 145th Quartermaster Truck Company while in India and transported supplies to troops. He served as a sergeant in motor pools throughout his career and was discharged in 1945 in Bombay, India. It took another month before the Army could decide that he belonged in the United States
and he was sent home. In 1950, as a member of the reserves, he was told to report to the 10th Infantry headquarters and sent to Korea with a National Guard outfit from Vicksburg, Mississippi. The outfit had not been trained for anything but waterways along the Mississippi and he says that he never got along with them, so he stayed out where the jobs were and not at the camp. He was in Korea for 2 years and got out of the Army in 1952. For over 40 years he operated his own shop in Cimarron, Kansas, retiring in 1980.

Summary: Sergeant Lacy was drafted into the Army (Infantry) in 1941 and served until 1945 in the 35th Division, 8th Company, 137th Infantry. Interviewed by Joyce Suellentrop on Mar 6, 2006, Lacy 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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019-14-04-08  Cassette Audio Tape (2)  

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