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Doyle Derrick audio interview on experiences in World War II

View at Kansas Memory

Creator: Derrick, Doyle Earl

Date: February 1, 2008

Level of Description: Item

Material Type: Manuscripts

Call Number: World War II Oral Histories Project

Unit ID: 212196

Biographical sketch: Born in 1910 and raised on a farm close to White Cloud, Kansas, Doyle Derrick describes leaving Emporia State College after his sophomore year and riding the rails looking for work during the Great Depression. He weeded sweet corn in Colorado, was a prizefighter and hotel bellhop in Seattle, an oiler on gold dredger rigs in Nome, and a salmon fisherman in the Aleutian Islands. When the war buildup began, Derrick got a job building 50-caliber machine guns in Detroit, Michigan. In 1939, at age twenty-nine, he joined the Marines and was sent to boot camp in San Diego, California. The Marines assigned him to a camp in Norman, Oklahoma where he spent most of the next two years teaching classes of new recruits how to maintain their guns. In late 1941 he was sent to the Pacific for six months of training and reassigned as a bomb crew chief for a dive bomb squadron?s attacks on Japanese forces during the battles for the Philippine Islands and Guadalcanal. Derrick was discharged from the service in 1943 (?they let me go, see, I was getting pretty old for a Marine?) and returned to Alaska to work on the gold dredgers and the oil pipeline.

Summary: Technical Sergeant Derrick enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1939 and served until 1943. He was 29 years old when he enlisted. After basic training, he served as an instructor in Norman, Oklahoma and was then assigned to a bomber squadron in the Pacific as a technical sergeant. The were involved in the fighting at Guadacanal and the Philippines. He used the G. I. Bill for farming training at Highland Community College. He was interviewed by Suzette McCord-Rogers on Feb 1, 2008. Derrick was born in Rogersville, Tennessee, on January 29, 1910. His family moved to Kansas when he was 7 or 8 years old. His father had a brother in Kansas who encouraged them to move here to go into farming. Derrick graduated from Highland High School and completed 2 years at Emporia State Teachers College. After two year of college, Derrick and a friend Vern Frisky "hoboed" for a year, ending up on the West Coast. He spent most of the 1930s in Alaska working on an oil pipeline. At some point after the war, he returned to Alaska. He was living in Wathena, Kansas at the time of this interview. 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.

Space Required/Quantity: Audio

Title (Main title): Doyle Derrick audio interview on experiences in World War II

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019-14-03-03  DVD (2) 
019-14-04-05  Cassette Audio Tape 

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