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John Batchelder audio interview on experiences in World War II (transcript)

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Creator: Batchelder, John

Date: March 30, 2007

Level of Description: Item

Material Type: Manuscripts

Call Number: World War II Oral Histories Project

Unit ID: 212187

Biographical sketch: John Batchelder enlisted in the Army in March 1946 and was sent to Camp Robinson in Little Rock, Arkansas for basic training. Upon graduation, he was assigned to the 5250th Technical Intelligence Company, and sent to Camp Pendleton, California for overseas processing and embarkation to Toyko, Japan. He served as the motor sergeant in charge of the 5250th General Headquarters Company?s large motor pool and was also in charge of training and licensing military personnel to drive the Company?s jeeps, automobiles, and trucks. He describes that practically everything in Tokyo (theaters, restaurants, street cars, etc.) was off limits to soldiers and that the Japanese people were both cordial and a little afraid of the American servicemen stationed there. The motor pool staff, which included some Japanese mechanics, performed routine maintenance of the GH Company?s vehicles. Replacement parts were scarce, and Batchelder describes bribing the regional parts depot manager with bottles of whiskey (donated by GH Company officers) to receive the parts they needed for vehicle maintenance. Batchelder was returned to the States and discharged from the Army in 1947. He returned to farming on his parent?s farm near Denton, Kansas.

Summary: John Batchelder enlisted in the Army in March 1946 and was sent to Camp Robinson in Little Rock, Arkansas, for basic training. Upon graduation, he was assigned to the 5250th Technical Intelligence Company and sent to Camp Pendleton, California, before being sent to Toyko, Japan. He served as the motor sergeant in charge of the motor pool for the 5250th General Headquarters Company and was also in charge of training and licensing military personnel to drive the Company's jeeps, automobiles, and trucks. The motor pool staff performed maintenance on General Headquarters Company vehicles but replacement parts were scarce. He was discharged from the Army in 1947. He was interviewed by Suzette McCord-Rogers on Mar 30, 2007. He was born on a farm south of Hiawatha on January 27, 1921. He graduated from Hiawatha High School and from Highland Junior College in 1941. He returned to farming near Denton, Kansas, after the 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 Doniphan County Historical Society (Troy) and through the Kansas State Historical Society.

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Title (Main title): John Batchelder audio interview on experiences in World War II (transcript)

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019-14-03-02  DVD 
019-14-04-03  Cassette Audio Tape 

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