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Harold Cross video interview on experiences in World War II

View at Kansas Memory

Creator: Cross, Harold Dwayne

Date: February 3, 2007

Level of Description: Item

Material Type: Manuscripts

Call Number: World War II Oral Histories Project

Unit ID: 212193

Biographical sketch: Harold Cross enlisted in the Navy on June 6, 1944 (D-Day) and was sent by train to the Naval Station Great Lakes in North Chicago, Illinois for training. Cross was sent to San Diego, California for embarkation on October 3, 1944 aboard the S.S. Honeycut bound for Hawaii. He was sent to Enewetak, Marshall Islands and assigned to the U.S.S. Skylark minesweeper there. It delivered mail to different ships in the area and then headed back to California, by way of Pearl Harbor, in late October, 1944 for a general overhaul in Stockton and Alameda, California. Repairs were completed by mid-February 1945, and the U.S.S. Skylark returned to Enewetak, Marshall Islands to resume minesweeping. Cross describes mines and minesweeping, and his duties on board (haul 40-millimeter ammunition up to the upper deck, and operate the seawater distillation equipment). On April 28, 1945, the flag ship U.S.S. Skylark struck two mines while sweeping a minefield off the Hagushi beaches of Okinawa and sank about half an hour after the first mine was struck. Cross describes sitting ?on the reels? at his battle station during this time, being injured by the first explosion?s blast, and of removing his lifejacket to swim underwater to avoid the burning oil on the water around the sinking ship. Two of the five men killed by the mine explosions were from Kansas. The Skylark?s survivors were picked up by the U.S.S. Tolman destroyer and eventually returned to San Diego, California. Cross remained stationed at San Diego until his discharge from the Navy in July 1946. He subsequently joined the National Guard in May 1968 and served a tour of duty with the U.S. Army?s 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry, 1st Division in Vietnam (1968-1969). He was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam. He resumed his service in the National Guard and served from December 1969 to December 1985.

Summary: Chief Warrant Officer Cross enlisted in the Navy in 1944 and served until 1946 on the U.S.S. Skylark. Interviewed by Suzette McCord-Rogers on Feb 3, 2007, Cross talked about military experiences in the Second World War. Cross was born December 16, 1925, in Troy, Kansas. He joined the Navy June 6, 1944, and was discharged in Juy, 1946. He served in the National Guard from 1968 through 1985. 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 Doniphan County Historical Society (Troy) and through the Kansas State Historical Society.

Space Required/Quantity: Video

Title (Main title): Harold Cross video interview on experiences in World War II

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019-14-03-03  DVD (2) 
019-14-04-04  Cassette Audio Tape 

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