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Interview on experiences in World War II

View at Kansas Memory

Creator: Shank, Harry Edward

Date: September 27, 2007

Level of Description: Item

Material Type: Manuscripts

Call Number: World War II Oral Histories Project

Unit ID: 211462

Biographical sketch: Harry Shank enlisted in the Naval Reserve in December 1942 and was called to active duty in April 1943 when he was in the second semester of his junior year at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. He was sent to Farragut, Idaho for basic training. He'd requested assignment to the Medical Corps and was accepted into that program. He went through further training (pharmacy, nursing, surgical support, etc.) and was working as a corpsman for a contingent of medical personnel assigned to process German prisoners of war when someone noticed him typing a letter home. He was reassigned to maintain officers' records as a clerk/typist and remained in that job for quite awhile until he received FFT notice ('for further transfer) in early 1944 to report to the Marine base near San Francisco for overseas assignment. He was shipped to Samar Island, Philippines by way of Hawaii, the Marshall Islands and New Guinea, aboard the USS General W. C. Langfitt (AP-151) troop transport ship. Shank describes the trip and transporting 500 disgruntled Marines who hadn't been wounded seriously enough to be sent back to the States. The U.S.S. Langfitt was bringing the recovered Marines from hospitals in Hawaii back into combat in New Guinea. Shank was on Samar Island when the war ended with Japan's surrender. He was reassigned to Fleet Hospital 114 and worked in officer records there until he'd accumulated enough points to be sent back to the States. He returned on a hospital ship and was discharged from the service in March 1946.

Summary: Shank enlisted in the Navy in 1942 and served until 1946 in the Hospital Corps. Interviewed by Ben Henning on Sep 27, 2007, Shank 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 video copy of the interview is available through the Frank Stull American Legion #152 (Ness City) 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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019-14-04-01  DVD 

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