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Interview on experiences in World War II

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The World War II Years:

An Oral History Interview with Alfred (“Al”) Gallup

 

 

Note: Ellipsis (…) indicates a fragmentary or introductory utterance. Square brackets enclose information such as [unintelligible], the transcriber’s best guess as to what was said, or editorial notes from the transcriber.

 

Interviewer:  Okay, today is May 17th, 2006. My name is Brian Grubbs, and I am interviewing Mr. Al Gallup.  I was wondering, Mr. Gallup, if you could start off today by telling me your birthday and talk about where you were born.

 

Al Gallup:  Okay.  My birthday is November the fifth, 1915, and I was born in Marysville, Kansas. 

 

I:  Tell me a little bit about growing up and what your dad did for work.

 

AG:  Well, we lived in Marysville until I was about age seven.  My father was a civil engineer. He was the county engineer there in Marshall County, Kansas. We left there to come to Topeka, where he was a bridge engineer. We lived there for two years.  That is before we moved to Hannibal, [Missouri] for six months, and then to Kansas City.

 

I:  So you…. It sounds like you moved around a lot.

 

AG:  Quite a bit.  He was an employee…a leader at Black and Veatch.  And they had a program…had projects all over the Midwest at that time.  Of course, all over the world now.

 

I:  So, how did, how did that moving around affect your childhood?

 

AG:  Well, I had second and third grade in Topeka at Central Park School, and then we moved to Hannibal.  I was there in the third and part of the fourth grade, and from there [I went] back to Kansas City, at which time I was age ten.  I had a sister, and she didn’t get along with my mother.  And so then I went through grade school in Kansas City, Missouri at the Sanford B. Ladd Elementary School, and following that the Central Junior High School in Kansas City, and then following that to Central High School.  I graduated there in 1932.  Following that, I took a semester at junior college at Kansas City. 

 

Then I was employed by the chief national bank examiner at Tenth and Grand Avenue, on the eighth floor. My job was to assemble the banking reports of the Tenth Federal Reserve District, which I won’t bother with.  The job was to assemble the reports and mail out materials to the bank examiners.  At that time in 1933, the country was on the ropes in the Depression.  They had a National Bank Holiday.  All the banks were closed for a week.  Then the FDIC—the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation—was established, and so that was….  I was at that job for a little over a year, then I went back to junior college. [I] finished there, and took a semester at Kansas City University.  That was the first semester that it was open.  Now it is the University of Missouri—Kansas City.  Then [I] came to KU in 1936 and entered the School of Business here, and graduated here in 1938.

 

I:  How did the Depression affect your dad’s work?

 

AG:  Well, he was very fortunate. He was only out of work two weeks. My mother told him that she could bake cookies. and he could sell them, but he had a job within two weeks.  Then he went to work with the PWA, which was set up by President Roosevelt’s regime during the Depression to get people employed. to give them work to do.  That was the Project…Project Works Administration.  There was also the WPA, which was the Works Progress Administration, and the CCC, which was the Civilian Conservation Corps.  He worked at two of those jobs with the CCC. [He] managed a CCC Camp not far from Kirksville.  Later on [he worked] in St. Louis on the sewer project there, for the PWA. 

 

I: So you said that you were at KU, going to school in the late ’30s.  Could you see the development in Europe happening, or did you discuss it in your classes at all?

 

AG:  Not until about…well we did.  Talked with an exchange student we had from Germany at the fraternity that I had gone to, who was talking about the military situation in Germany.  So, that was in 1937, we’ll say.  And then after working…after graduation, I had a job with an oil company, the Mid Continent Petroleum Corporation of Tulsa, Oklahoma, selling oil and gasoline, and grease in Oklahoma, and Missouri and Kansas.  And after doing that for about a year, I re…decided to return to KU for further study. 

 

And at that time, in 1939, it became quite obvious that Hitler was on the move with the Nazis.  And I decided I had better do something about it, because I had a draft number here in Douglas County.  I believe it was 1025, but I am not sure [laughter].  But in any event, after about a year or so working here in the utility company, Kansas Electric Power Company, I volunteered to take flight training.  And I was accepted for that.  And before that however, I was still working for the power company in Parsons, Kansas.

 

Winnifred Gallup (wife):  But the pipeline was full, you might say, when he signed on to get flight training.  They couldn’t quite get them quite in. They weren’t getting them in very fast.  There weren’t enough airfields for training, yet, but then the crisis happened.

 

AG:  So…when Pearl Harbor came, on December 7th of 1941, I was employed by Kansas Electric Power Company, selling florescent lighting.  It was just coming in, in Parsons, Kansas.  And the day after Pearl Harbor, I had a telegram to report to Leavenworth, Kansas for flight training.  [laughter].  So, that took place following that.

 

I:  Where did you go for your flight training?

 

AG:  Went to Bonham, Texas.  First it was a re-distribution center in San Antonio, but Bonham was primary flight training.  And then went to Basic Flight Training in San Angelo, Texas.  And then finally advanced training in San Antonio at Brooks Field, Texas.

 

I:  Were you nervous about going up in the air on your first time?

 

AG:  Well, not particularly.  I was not really an aviation enthusiast at all.  But this was in a situation with the war coming, and so rather than carrying a rifle and walking through it, I thought maybe it might be better flying through it.  So, it was very, very new to me to learn about airplanes and aircraft engines and, and about the flying maneuvers and all of that.

 

I:  So, after your training, where did you go after there in Texas?

 

AG:  After my training, I graduated and got my wings.  I was a Second Lieutenant.  And Winnie and I were married at that point.  And then for about a month we were flying around escaped Dutch people from Java that the Japanese had taken over.  We were taking them up and showing them about bombing and about navigation.  And so we did that for about a month or so.  And then I was transferred out to California to fly around looking for Japanese submarines in the Pacific.  Following that we went to Mississippi and there we were working with Artillery Registration again, and reconnaissance because I was in a reconnaissance group. 

 

I:  At that point, did you know you…if you were going overseas or had you envisioned like…?

 

AG:  Not at that point, no.  At that point, we were transferred to Louisiana and our job there was to support the ground troops and also to let them know that airplanes had guns on them and that they’d better get out of the way, if planes were coming along to strafe the roads and that sort of thing.

 

I:  Is that during their basic training that you did that?

 

AG:  That was during their Basic Training yes.  The Infantry Divisions had the Keystone Division, the 28th Infantry Division down there at Camp Livingston.  And there was a Camp Beauregard and then there was a Camp Claiborne all around Alexandria, Louisiana.  And Camp Polk about sixty miles southwest of Alexandria where there was a lot of different maneuvers that were going on.

 

I:  So, did you fire actual live ammunition in these…in these, or did they…blanks?

 

AG:  No, I never fired live ammunition, except in training.  We had skeet and trap shooting in order to qualify you to be a fighter pilot.  And…so that was live ammunition.  But that was in shotgun shells.  But actually one of the planes, the planes that we had were equipped.  They could have used live ammunition, but we didn’t at that point in Tennessee, or no [correcting himself] Louisiana.

 

I:  Did you…did you want to go into a single engine versus a…a dual engine, or did it matter to you?

 

AG:…I…I went where I was assigned.  Upon graduation, my friend who went into the service the same day I did, went to the 8th Air Force in Germany.  And I…by later on…circumstances, went the other way to the Pacific.  To the China, Burma, India area. But I didn’t really…because I was in the service, let’s say, from ’42 until ’44 as a reconnaissance [pilot] rather than in transport and combat cargo.  Which later on I went to because I had had an intensive course in instrument flying and aviation at Bryan, Texas.  And as a result of that, I was transferred into a transport troop carrier organization.  A group which was being formed in order to support the Chinese in their war against the Japanese.  And so our job at that point, was….We had one hundred airplanes in our group.  C-46 type airplanes.  Carried about a five-ton load in each plane.  Personnel and matériel.  Supplies.

 

WG:  Or ammunition or chickens, or whatever…

 

AG:  Ammunition, chickens, or gasoline, mules, trucks for Kunming too, [we’d  take them out on the truck], and twenty five pounder artillery pieces that the British had, because our job was to support the 14th British Army before we got into the Hump Operation.  We were flying from the north part of, to the southern part of Burma.  As the ground troops would take over the territory, we would keep in touch with them to bring them all their supplies that they needed to use. 

 

WG:  That is the squadron insignia…not the squadron insignia, but for the whole, the entire association of all these Hump Pilots.

 

I:  The CBI.  You want to hold that up for the camera?

 

TA:  Yeah, I can, I can put that on the camera if you want.

 

WG:  Oh, actually, we’d better, we’ll send you another one to put in the file because this has…this was a special meeting for one of the reunions that was in 1994.  But all the rest of this is not relevant to his at all, to his at all.  Its…its only that part.

 

TA:  Okay.

 

WG:  It is just that little part.

 

TA:  Okay, I will zoom in on that…on that little seal there.

 

WG:  Zoom in on that.

 

TA:  There we go, perfect.

 

WG:  Alright.

 

TA:  Okay, thanks a lot, I appreciate it.

 

I:  So, at what point did you know that you were going overseas?

 

AG:  …Let me see, I guess that was… Winnie, wasn’t that in…let’s see it was in the summer.  We were training up in Syracuse.

 

WG:  Syracuse, yes that was when you were…

 

AG:  That was in the summer of 1944.

 

WG:  ’44, summer of ’44.  But, they had…sort of…been, been trying to…you know…this reconnaissance group almost, sort of got stuck.  They said they were fighting…fighting the Battle of the Mississippi, you know.  From Louisiana and over, east and west across the Mississippi River.  That was just a joke but it…it got to be sort of a non-joke with them, because they were….  So when, when you heard about that…that…that they needed the people with this special instrument training to form this new group of com…that eventually became Combat Cargo.  It was Troop Carrier first, and then it became Combat Cargo.

 

AG:  Right.

 

WG:  And…and that was the squadron to which he was assigned.  But…so that is when the training started.

 

AG:  And a lot of what was [backing that] was that the Japanese had cut off the road between Burma and China, so the only way to supply the Chinese then was by air.   So that is what, later on we did.  But our first job was to get the Japanese out of Burma.  And so that was our first assignment.  And then after that, we were kind of conscripted by the ATC, the Air Transport Command to fly supplies from northern India and Burma, over into China, which we did a lot. 

 

I:  So from ’42 to ’44 you were in the States during reconnaissance missions, right?

 

AG:  ’42 to ‘4…in the States doing maneuvers.

 

I:  Doing just maneuvers.

 

WG:  Recon.

 

AG:  Recons, in a Reconnaissance group.

 

I:  And that is when you…?

 

AG:  We had single type planes, but we also had twin engine planes.  We had a lot of different kinds of planes, naturally. 

 

I:  Your wife mentioned that you kind of joked about the…the Battle of the….

 

WG:  Mississippi River.

 

I:  Battle of the Mississippi River.  Were you getting anxious to actually go out and do something to…beyond?

 

AG:  Not really, we were just trying to follow instructions and stay out of trouble. 

 

WG:  Well, they talked about it a lot though.  Because a lot of people in their flying class…and…and a lot of their acquaintances were already in the middle of…of battles all over the…you know various places around the world.  And rel…some of our relatives too.  My…my brother and his cousins and all kinds of people and classmates and all kinds of people whom we have known were already…some of them had been to…maybe to Britain as pilots and were back home already.  So it was…but it eventually worked out to get in this specialized unit.

 

I:  I am sure you were happy to have him in the states.

 

WG:  Oh yes! Oh, yes!  I should say so!  I wasn’t complaining a bit.  Not a bit.

 

I:  Were you guys able to live together?

 

Wife:  Oh, yes.

 

AG:  Yes, yes we were.  Lived off base at the….

 

WG:  Oh, they never did have quarters.  There were too many people, unlike the regular Army which…or regular Navy, which would have had base housing.  But…but and sometimes it was pretty hard to find…find a place to live.

 

AG:  So, when we were first married, we had a room in San Antonio.  And then we…later on I think in Ontario, California.

 

WG:  We lived with an elderly couple.  It was al…impos…almost impossible to find a place like an apartment or a house to rent.  And…but this elderly couple had an extra bedroom and they…they rented it…rented to us.  And I think I ate out…ate most…a lot of meals at the base.  But I think maybe I ate breakfast at their house and then just walked into the little…it wasn’t very far into the main part of town, to…sometimes he would be back and we’d have supper out in…in the town. 

 

AG:  [Unintelligible] [Olsen/Olson?], what was her name?

 

WG:  What?

 

AG:  [Unintelligible] [Olsen/Olson?] was his name.

 

WG.  Yes.  I’ll forget it in a minute, in a minute.  But they, these families, you see they…when…when an airfield was built, and all of a sudden, all of these people descended on a town, it was…quite…quite something.  This was Ontario, and Ontario was not a very big town at that time.

 

AG:  We didn’t have a car, so we had to get back and forth to the base with…how did we do that?

 

WG:  Well, you rode with somebody else, some of the other flyers, pilots.

 

AG:  That is the way I went. I went with them.  Yeah, one of the fellows…

 

WG:  Came by and picked…

 

AG:  In a Chevrolet convertible I guess.

 

I:  Oh, wow.

 

WG:  And so he rode, he got to ride back and forth to the base…

 

AG:  It was a 1941, I think, Oldsmobile, he called it.  1941 Twin Engine Oldsmobile.  [laughter].  So we rode with…we got to ride with him.  So we didn’t have a car of our own until when?

 

WG:  Quite a while, for quite a while.  …You couldn’t get the gasoline anyway.

 

I:  Sure, or the tires.

 

WG:  But we did…we’d take the train into L.A.  Interurban train into L.A. Because they gave…anyone who was in the service could go to the…what was that called…the Ambassador Hotel, big hotel in L.A.  Big fancy hotel, for a dirt cheap price.

 

AG:  Nine dollars.

 

WG:  For the weekend.

 

I:  [laughing]  Nine dollars.

 

WG:  For the weekend!  And so we have danced many a dance at the Coconut…

 

AG:  Coconut Grove.

 

WG:  Coconut Grove at the Ambassador Hotel because we could…you could rent a room for nine bucks at…go in and stay a couple of nights and then get back to the base in time for Monday morning.  Or, we would…we would walk up…sometimes we would walk up to the next town north of Ontario where they had a ridding stable.  And we’d go up there and…and hire a couple of horses and ride around in the foothills.

 

AG:  [It was]  Peppertree.

 

WG:  Yeah, it was pretty…pretty country.  But we weren’t in…in…in California very long.  We moved around the country quite…quite a lot.

 

AG:  And then we were transferred to Laurel, Mississippi.  And the planes that we were flying then were L-1s.  L is a fifty foot wingspread plane with a 285 horse, I think, motor.  And it was really…[laughing] it’d stay aloft forever.  You almost had to fly it into the ground to get it to stay down!  [laughter].

 

WG:  The wingspread was so huge!

 

AG:  Yeah, one time I landed that thing, it was showing ten miles an hour on the [laughter] on the…on this indicator.  It was….aerometer. So we went to Laurel, Mississippi.  We were there, and those people just took us in as…wonderful folks there.

 

WG:  Well, this…this…your group was the first group.  The airfield was brand new, and this was the first units assigned there, I think.  And this was a highly southern town.  But those southerners were very hospitable, even to the Yankees!  [laughter].

 

AG:  Yeah, they were nice.  They, invited us into their homes for dinner.  They even, gave an organ concert there.

 

WG:  They used to say in this little, little town, that if you didn’t want to eat Sunday dinner at the airbase, all you had to do was show up in church.  And I don’t think anybody in the uniform was ever…had to go to a restaurant for Sunday dinner because somebody in that church would walk over to this young soldier or…or airman and…and the wife too, see, and say, “well, you come to our house for dinner today.”

 

AG:  One of our benefactors was Mr. Rogers.  And his first…his son had died in World War I, and he had built a library.

 

WG:  Beautiful library, in memory…in his son’s memory.

 

AG:  In his memory…which was right across…and then the people in Laurel, Mississippi loved to have a flower show in February on camellias.  Camellias and Azaleas, but mostly camellias.  And [coughs], what is the name of the people, Winnie, that, she had to have…

 

WG:  Oh, well, the big, the big…big factory that makes Masonite…

 

AG:  Masonite.

 

WG:  Was invented in Laurel, Mississippi. 

 

AG:  Mrs. Mason, and Mr. Mason were there.

 

WG:  And, and the Masons were benefactors of the town.  And so it was…it was…there were a lot of…rather distinguished people there…people with beautiful homes.  And they enjoyed having these young…young couples or young soldiers, airmen there.  They were…they were very hospitable.  And the…the one family were very…the…I think that was the Rogers who…who had the…beautiful home and they had a beautiful big grand piano.  And I had no place to practice, so they…they said, “well, no one is using our grand piano, and it hasn’t been…”  And they’d love to have somebody playing on it.  So, anytime I wanted to practice, I could go over to their beautiful home which was just, you know, four or five blocks from us, and play on their beautiful grand piano.  So they were, they were very hospitable to…but I think that was very, very typical.  During all the war years, the towns where these people landed were…well they had their own…see, their own sons were fighting or flying somewhere.  So, it was very important to them to be very, very loving and very hospitable to all…all these people who were fighting.  About…about to go someplace to fight, so…

 

I:  Sure, in the hopes someone would take care of their…exactly the same way.

 

WG:  …their own, exactly, exactly, yes.

 

AG:  Yeah, we stayed at a home of the organist of the Presbyterian Church.  Miss [Ruby Malloy].  And one night at choir practice, which I went to, went to [when I heard something flying around].  What is that out there?  It turned out to be a flying squirrel.  And so we picked that thing up and took it home and gave it a name…[laughter].

 

WG:  Had a pet.

 

AG:  And just kept it around as a pet.  It would go up through the chimney and we’d find him out in the garden, you know.  And he finally took off.  But those things would spread out their arms, you know, just fly.

 

I:  Wow.

 

AG:  Yeah, fly from one…

 

WG:  You don’t usually have a dog when you are in the service, and moving around, but we had a flying squirrel.  [laughter]

 

WG:  Well, a lot of things about being in the military, it is a lot of hum-drum to it, and a lot of boredom to it.

 

I:  Sure, hurry up and wait.

 

WG:  So, you were always looking for other things to do that would kind of pique your interest and kind of keep you from going bananas.

 

I:  So, between this time, when you were doing these reconnaissance missions, were you getting any really specialty training or any training that stuck out in your mind, or any one mission that stuck out in your mind?

 

WG:  Oh yeah, we got different kids of planes that we would fly and we were always on the Link Trainer, which was instrument training.  Like, we’d have, oh starting out for example, I can’t name them all, but we had an AT-6 which was a single engine plane.  Made over here in Kansas City by the North American Aviation Company.  And then they’d have P-40s.  That was a pursuit plane used a lot in North Africa, and also in the China-Burma Theater.  We’d have B-25s, also made over here in Kansas City, by North American Aviation.  Then we had some planes made by Lockheed.  And so we got a lot of different planes instruction, and then to fly around.  And a lot of ground experience too.  Because they were always giving you communications instructions and this and that and the other thing.  But it was interesting.

 

I:  Now did you ever…go ahead.

 

WG:  But the reconnaissance people didn’t ever…that…those units didn’t ever go overseas as a unit.

 

AG:  Until later on.  The 31st Squadron did, in Europe.  After we were gone.

 

WG:  After you were gone?

 

AG:  Yeah, they went over there and we were in the 115th Squadron to start out with.  It was a National Guard outfit in Griffith Park, Los Angeles.  And then it became another…31st Squadron and 102nd Squadron.  And we had a plane, it was a P-39 that was…the motor was in the back end instead of in the front.  And it had a screw all through it, with a 37 millimeter cannon in the front end of that thing.  And the problem with it was the guys were cracking up in it, and they thought it was going into a tailspin at different times.  So, we got some of the commercial pilots from Bell Aircraft that made it to come down.  They said, well, they couldn’t produce that but they got, tum…tumbling planes, but they were losing that way.  And then the planes [squadron?] right north of us [had] B-26s.  They were a bombing outfit.  They’d lose a, lose a plane a week just about.  Because they didn’t have enough flying speed on their approach probably, coming in.  So, there were a lot of different things about that, heads up stuff.

 

I:  So, it sounds like you flew quite a variety of planes.

 

AG:  Yeah, we did.

 

I:  What was your favorite?

 

AG:  There was an A-20, built by Douglas.  The British called it a DB-7, because they had the controls kind of reversed in it.  But the A-20 Douglas was a nice plane.  It was so easy to fly.  And it was a tricycle landing gear.  And you had an observer in the front and a radio operator in the back, and then you the pilot were up there in the cockpit.  That would be my favorite. 

 

I:  What about your least favorite plane?

 

AG:  Least favorite plane?  I guess the B-25 because it was so noisy.  It was really hard on your ears. One that we had to take, called an F-5, was a trimetrogon that…We mapped in that plane from about 25,000 feet, most of the state of Louisiana.  Because we were in photo mapping a lot, as well as in reconnaissance.  And, we’d have to get…really have to crank it up to get it to hold its altitude up there.

 

I:  So, how did…how did the photo mapping process work?

 

AG:  Well, we had a guy in the back end.  He used to take pictures for Life Magazine.  But he was in our outfit.  And you had a…in about half way between the…half way back in the plane, there was an aperture here, and you had your camera right there.  And then up in front, you had a camera out the nose.  What they call trimetrogon.  So you could get pictures out that way, pictures ahead, and then pictures straight down.  And we used to have these Fairchild cameras.  It was quite interesting.   The [Folmer] K-20 that you could carry with you.  Carry it to get the pictures on it.  So, it was, it was quite a…quite a photography outfit too.

 

I:  Was there a rapid shutter speed to get…’cause it seems like you would be moving at such a fast rate with your plane that it would…the images would come out very blurred?

 

AG:  Well, of course you are so high up at…we’ll say 20,000 feet…most of the…that you covered quite a bit of territory.  Yeah, they would…they would have rapid, but most of them were still…still pictures.  Not motion pictures.  That is true.  Looked at a lot of pictures from a lot of places.  Europe, Asia….

 

I:  And then after you landed, would the film be processed?  And how would that…how would you…?

 

AG:  They’d process it right there.  And then they’d use it for maneuvers and, let’s see, what…learn…learn what was there.  Camouflage, you could distinguish which was camouflage or not, and if…where the gun placements were.  And if it was a submarine pen if you could determine that from the photography.  So, a lot of the reconnaissance was to check out the enemy and to know what…what is going on, [there from…].

 

I:  Did this training of actually flying the…the photography missions…did you use that?  Did you study these types of pictures whenever you were going over into China?

 

AG:  Oh, yes.  Very much so.  We had a…I had a silk map that I carried, that took in to most of the area that we were flying over.  In fact, it all.  And I wish I still had it.  But it had all of the features in it; mountains, and elevations, and rivers, and.

 

I:  You want to explain why it was silk?  Why the map was silk?

 

AG:  Well, you carried it with you so that if you had to bail out, or crashed, you could get back to where you wanted to go.  You…you followed a stream down in the jungle there if had…had to jump out.

 

I:  And silk was stronger than paper in case you had to…?

 

AG:  Yeah.

 

WG:  And lighter.

 

AG:  You carried…carried that with you.  And you also had some money to pay.  Japanese money.  And you had a little compass so you could tell what direction to go, and….

 

I:  What kind of weather changes did you encounter when you were flying over the hump?

 

AG:  Well, the weather was not very good.  It depended on the time of the year, but a lot of head winds through which you’d run…run out of gas if you weren’t careful.  And we had a lot of turbulence, big thunderstorms.  And we had icing conditions if we were…up…if we were…if we were flying up around sixteen to twenty thousand feet.  And one of the routes was taller than that, twenty four thousand feet going across the mountains.

 

WG:  I think you still have some of those maps that we brought home from China, last year, when we were over there for a reunion, and then…that showed the various routes that they were having to fly.  But also, part of it was…was monsoon weather in India and Burma which was when the rains…it rains and rains and rains.  And so that contributed to the…to their…of course…their flying.

 

AG:  Yeah, that monsoon was something else.  Hang you clothes outside whenever the sun would shine, which wasn’t very often because there was so much humidity, molding, that type of thing.  So some of your enemies there were disease, and climate change.  And then you’d…you could get water in your gasoline.  You’d have to drain that out, be careful it was out or your motors would quit on you.

 

I:  Yeah.

 

WG:   I thought it was interesting…you might be interested in the way that he sent home a photographic record.  Because he has lots of color slides.  And from the time he left…well let’s see, I think you first sent some home from…from Miami, from Florida.  They…I guess you…he told you about the route that they took to get to India and Burma.

 

I:  No, he….

 

AG:  Yeah, we left Morrison Field down there, and the first stop was Puerto Rico, [Rincon Field].  And the next stop was British Guiana, Atkinson Field.  And then from that we stopped on…down at the…what’s the big river?

 

WG:  Brazil.  Oh, on the Amazon.  Flew across the mouth…the mouth of the Amazon.

 

AG:  Amazon, yeah on the Amazon.  Yeah, stopped there and the we…we flew on from there to Natal, which is where the…the tip of South America where it comes out into the Atlantic waters.

 

WG:  The point.  You could get…

 

AG:  And then there was an island between Natal and Africa, called Ascension Island, so our job was to hit that island.

 

WG:  They hoped they would.  It looked like a pimple [laughter] in…in the ocean!

 

AG:  You hoped you were going to get there.  And then after that, we landed at a place in Africa in the Gold Coast, at that time.  It is called Ghana now.  And the first mosquito net that we encountered, because malaria was bad.  So we were there a couple nights I guess.  And then we flew on from there up into Nigeria, into Maiduguri, a place up from there, and from Maiduguri on to El-Fasher, and south of Lake Chad, and over to Sudan to Khartoum, and then from Khartoum we went on over to Aden.  Aden, Arabia.  And Aden up to Masirah Island in the Indian Ocean, and Masirah Island up to Karachi, India, which is in Pakistan now.  And [coughs] in Pakistan, in addition to twenty passengers on our plane, we picked up a glider.  And so we pulled that glider for fourteen hundred miles across India to get to the place we were going.  And then they didn’t use them because the gliders weren’t successful. [laughter]  There were too many of them crashing.  They would lose too many of them. 

So, when you tow a glider, you have got a rope about that big around.  The CG-4A, which was made by Curtis.  And you don’t get over about a hundred miles an hour or you’ll blow the windshield out of them.  [laughter].  So, you have to stay pretty low as you are pulling, coming along.  When you come over the field, the glider cuts himself loose first.  Then he makes the 360…

 

WG:  And floats in...

 

AG…degree turn, comes in to land.  And you come around and drop your cable and then you come around again and land.  [laughter]  Drop your…your passengers off.

 

I:  On your trip over to…to India…you mentioned all these places that you stopped at.  Now were these just refueling stations or did you spend a couple nights at these various places?

 

AG:  We stayed…stayed nights at them.  They were refueling places.

 

I:  Oh, excuse me…

 

AG:  That’s alright.  And that was…they’d been in effect since about 1942, I think it was, started out.  So, that is what they were.

 

WG:  But the planes…but, see, there were no lights on any of these airfields, so they had to fly in the daylight, and then find the place to land, on…or assigned a place to land that had the…had the fuel supply.  So it was that hippity-hoppity had to go on just…well a day at a time or two days maybe….  Maybe you might stay over, depending on the weather. 

 

I:  You mentioned the slides that you sent back home.  Was it pretty easy for you to stay in contact with your wife?

 

AG:  We had…

 

WG:  E-mail letters of course…

 

AG:  E-mail letters…

 

WG:  But…

 

AG:  Not e-mail…

 

I:  V.

 

TA:  V-mail.

 

WG:  V-mail.

 

WG:  Excuse me, V-mail.

 

TA :  No problem.

 

WG :  Not E-mail, V-mail. [laughter]

 

AG:  And they had special kinds of letters for that, for V-mail.

 

WG: Oh, yeah, little fellows.

 

AG:  On of the things I didn’t like to have to do, I was a flight commander, and my job was to censor the mail of the men in our outfit.  And I hated to do that.  But that was a job they wanted [us?] to do.  So anyway, we stayed in contact.

 

WG: Well, but from the time that he left Florida, and…you might have even mailed one box over, or one film.  The way they were permitted to do it, and req…more or less required to do it…from the very start they told all of these guys not to have the film developed in India, and keep it there because it was…the weather was so terrible, it was so humid that your film is going to mildew within, what, a week or so it would be…it would ruin the prints.  So he, beginning from Florida, and then, you mailed home maybe even some from…from South America.  After, as soon as the event was over…if…after the…well the fighting had passed in any one area, if there were any slides…any pictures that were of that area, then…then you were permitted to send them on back.  But the…the pattern was to send them to the Eastman Kodak Company in New York.  In, Syracuse, not Syracuse, but, well…

 

AG:  Rochester.

 

WG:  Rochester, New York.  And they would, they had a censor there, and then those would be developed into little…little boxes of slides.  Hold that for me.  And so I would get a roll of…this little box of slides in the mail, of where he had been.  And I…I would get a box of…of color slides almost, oh, every other week maybe, every third week.  And then after the event had taken place or they had left the area, then he was permitted to send, on his little V-mail letter where the pictures were taken.  So in…in a way I had sort of a travel log coming back, which was interesting, oh every a couple of weeks, two or three weeks with all sorts of color slides of where he had been, but was not going to go back to.  So, it…so we have quite…quite a few of those still.  And the luck…by the luck of the draw, they were taken…a good many of them were taken on…on one kind of film…

 

AG:  Kodachrome

 

WG:  The Kodachrome, the experts say stands up better through the years. 

 

AG:  Kodak.  Kodak company.

 

WG:  Because, you see, all of this stuff you are talking about is sixty…sixty years…sixty two years ago almost now.  Or longer than that, sixty three.  So, as a…some of the other varieties of film did not keep their color as well, so….

 

AG:  I think the best one that I ever took…we got the camera when we were stationed in Syracuse, New York from a retired postman, I think.  It was an Argus.  And anyway, it was of the Taj Mahal.  And it is just a beautiful place. 

 

WG…But how much do you want him to go into what…the day to day things?

 

I:  Oh it is all…

 

WG:  Oh, it is…all open conversation?

 

I: It is all open for conversation.

 

WG:  It is all open conversation.

 

I:  I am very interested in your day to day affairs from…on your average day over in China.  What you would do in your flight trips and your cycles of on and off flying and all this.  And interesting flying stories you have and anything you want to tell me.

 

AG:…All of the missions we were…we were flying supplies.  But when we weren’t, I had a co-pilot that liked to go with me, we’d go out, and we’d sit down and have tea with some of the natives there in Burma.  And we used to…we’d go around and see the pagodas and the…

 

WG:  You borrowed a jeep.  That was from somebody, one of the British officers.

 

AG:  Yeah, we, we had a jeep.  A Canadian gave us a jeep.  And so we’d take the wheels off of it and put it on a railroad, [laughter] and drive the jeep down the railroad.  But you wanted to be sure you could get off of there if there was something coming the other way.  So, we would do that and we’d go…we’d go deer hunting at times.

 

WG:  On their day off.  One day…one day a week.

 

AG:  One day off yeah.  And we just…we’d try to get over into places we had never been before and see what was going on. 

 

I:  What was your relationship with the British like?  Did you get along with the British soldiers?

 

AG:  We got along with them pretty well, but there was kind of an antipathy because we thought that the British were taking advantage of us.  We thought we were [a pain], they…they were sticking it too us.  But anyway, there was a guy in our outfit that wanted to fight with the British all the time.  [laughter] We’d go to the…we’d go to the British Officers Club and eat with them and invariably get into a fight.  [laughter]. …He couldn’t…couldn’t keep from it and they couldn’t keep from it. 

So, but other than that I got along with the British real well.  I was a C.O. of a strip down there and they used to…the British would invite me to have dinner with them.  And the…because we had the better food, and we had the gasoline and stoves that you could cook you food on.  And they had to have square cans over brush that they could heat.  And so, the Coleman stove that we were equipped with on our plane.  We also would have a load of beef from Chicago, would come in, and we’d share it with them.  And so they would have meat in the dinner.  We’d have Jungle Fowl, which is the ancestor of the chicken, and things like that, but we got along fine with the British.

 

I:  What about the…?

 

AG:  We were helping them, you know.  We were…we were bringing their supplies into them and helping them fight of the Japanese.  Of course there were only two…two divisions of British in the 14th Army.  The rest were from Madras, and from Bombay, and from the Northwest Frontier where a lot of the Afghanistan trouble is now.  They were the North…Northwest Bhatans.  They are some of the toughest fighters.  But the toughest of all were the Gurkhas from Nepal.  And they didn’t like the Japanese.  And they were really tough to deal with.

 

WG:  But the one…the one officer left…when he left for England, he…he left that Jeep…

 

AG:  Canadian.

 

WG: Oh, he was a Canadian? 

 

AG:  Yeah.

 

WG:  But he left the Jeep there for Al and the co-pilot, and Al…but Al was lucky that the co-pilot was the…liked to do this.  And the other guys usually stayed on their…they didn’t have Sunday off, they had a day.  It could be Sunday.  They had one day a week.  But the other guys would stay home in…in their tents or their quarters or whatever and play poker and…and just goof off and…and rest…

 

I:  And relax…

 

WG:…but Larry and Al would take off someplace…

 

I:  Quite the adventurist.

 

WG:  So the squadron, when his…squadron now gets together, which is almost every year, the ones who were remaining, and so they…the story is “well Larry [Seek] and Al Gallup, they weren’t over there to fight…fight the war, they went over as tourists.  [laughter].  Because they…they…but they enjoyed…

 

AG:  We thought it was an opportunity to find out how people lived. We tried to learn their language, whether it was Hindi or Burmese or whatever, so we could talk with them in their language if possible—which wasn’t possible because we don’t really learn that much.

 

WG:  But the…the fellows still laugh…kind of laugh about that…they thought, “well, why not.”  And then the other thing that I think was interesting about this fellow…about the co-pilot was that he was…he was an engineer and got out his slide rule.  Tell about how…how you got prepared to go over…over on your missions.  Some people just stuffed the things in the plane and pulled back on the stick and took off.  But Larry [Seek] was…

 

AG:  Well, I…I acquired him as…as a co-pilot, because he was a pilot in a plane, and his co-pilot, one night, while he was running up the engines on the C-47 which is called the Bloody [Little] Dakota.  And this guy, you know, when you are sitting down…co-pilot reaches down.  There is a handle down there in the [unintelligible] you have to pull that over…pull that.  That takes the pins out of the gear.  And then you reach down here and you grab this thing and pull it up, and that pulls the gear up.  The only thing is you don’t want to do that when you are running up your engine on the ground.  [laughter].

 

WG:  Not so good!  Not so good!

 

AG:  You’ll ruin two engines.  So anyway, that is how I happened to get the co-pilot.  They assigned him to me.

 

WG:  But, it was not Al…Captain [Seek’s] fault though. 

 

AG:  Oh, no it wasn’t his fault.

 

WG:  It was his…it was the other guy in the other seat who did this to him, but they…punished, in a sense punished both of them. 

 

AG:  They punished them both, because they assigned [Seek] to me as my co-pilot and I was lucky that it turned out that way because we were…we were copacetic and we had great times together.

 

WG:  But, before…before the plane took of, he was, [Seek] was the one who managed the load.

 

AG:…so he was the one to take up the weighting, because you don’t want your plane out of trim. We’d have steel planes on there some day, or we’d have a load of canned milk or we’d have a load of chickens, and bamboo baskets or anything that the…that the….  Or we’d have these fifty…I don’t know if they were fifty pounds but they were pretty heavy.  Atta which is…

 

WG:  Flour.

 

AG:  Which is a kind of an Indian wheat.  Or Daul, that’s a kind of peas.  Indians live off of Atta and Daul, so we were hauling sack and sacks and sacks of that stuff.

 

WG:  But…the engineer…while Al was working on the flight plan, in the…whatever…the ready room, studying the maps or whatever it was, [Seek] was busy with his slide rule to make sure that…that the load was balanced and it didn’t….  Is that not right?

 

AG:  Yep, that is right.

 

WG:  …The plane didn’t take off until his co-pilot said that the balance was…was alright.

 

I:  It sounds like you guys made quite a team.

 

AG:  We were lucky to have a Crew Chief who was really good.  He was almost a pilot.  We’d go back and lie down and sleep and let him fly the plane sometimes.  [laughter] 

I’ll have to tell you a little story.  One night, we had flown a bunch of Chi…Chinese under General Stillwell.  The 22nd and the 38th Division of Chinese.  I remember, we had flown them back over into China.  Well, anyway, they carried lots of different things with them, like cats.  They’d have these cats along with them and I don’t know, I guess they ate them, I don’t know what they did.  But anyway, coming back, the Crew Chief was checking out our plane the next morning and reached up in the…in the engine to do something and [imitates a cat’s meow], there was this cat up in there.  [laughter].  It had gotten up into the…into the motor.

 

WG:  Where it was warm.

 

AG:  Where it was warm.

 

WG:  And flew with them back from China.  [laughter]

 

AG:  Pretty well educated cat [to think of that]!

 

I:  Wow, that is amazing!  So, how long was the flight?

 

AG:  Well, let’s see, I guess about five to six hours going over there. 

 

WG:  But, then see they didn’t stay long, see in China, in Kunming or…or [Munying] or wherever they were flying into.  Or…or into Burma…initially even though you were flying into Burma, and then Burma into China.  But…but they didn’t stay on the airfield very long.  They would…you’d get…fueled up and fly back to base and then do another….

 

AG:  And they’d want to take some of the gas out of your plane and just let you barely have enough to get back on, because they needed the gas over there.  And, not so good, because you get back, the weather would be socked in, you couldn’t land there.  You’d have to go somewhere else.

 

I:  Yeah, exactly.

 

AG:  And so, T.S. you know.  So anyway, it was…it was quite an operation.

 

WG:  But then they’d fly more than one mission per day, you see.  They kept flying….

 

AG:  Oh, yeah.  We were flying around the clock.

 

I:  Yeah, tell me about the stair-stepping flight pattern that…that happened.

 

AG:  That is what we would do.  They would have you up at different times and bring you in like that.  And….  There is a place over there in Burma where you always got socked in.  If you could get them in there at about ten in the morning it would be cleared off.  But it was kind of touch and go. 

And then the other thing was, the Burmese kept Water Buffalo around.  And those darned Water Buffalo would get on to the runways [laughter] and you had to get them off of there.  So, I’d get in my Jeep.  And I had a 45 that was loaded with birdshot.  So you get in there in you Jeep and follow behind those things and shoot them in the rump.  And then you get out of there.  Those things would…but you had to hit them because, you know, that would mess up a plane.  [They would try to hit one of these things]. 

 

I:  So, you’d wake up in the morning.  What time would you…would the first plane leave for China?

 

AG:  Oh, real early, gosh….  And then later on when we were in the Hump Operation, we were flying around the clock, day and night.

 

WG:  In shifts…or shifts.

 

AG:  But our takeoffs…usually, we were…we’d be up early like four-thirty or five.  And we’d get down to the flight line up there at breakfast.  Take off after that. 

 

WG:  But the interesting thing about the…about the trip to China, which was a celebration that the Chinese people were putting on to honor all these Hump activities…because it, well they…they were celebrating the fact that the Japanese were defeated after many, many years, but also that Fascism was…was also defeated.  But the interesting thing, that I thought, was that…see Al had, we got back to the…he got back to the place where he had been flying into in southwestern China and so he had gone over across the Atlantic Ocean, and this time we flew across the Pacific Ocean, but he, he made it all the way around the world at that point, which was kind of interesting.  But there…and there is a beautiful memorial up on a…on a mountainside up above Kunming.  It wasn’t much of a town when you flew there.

 

AG:  Not really, just a small village.  Now there are over three-million people there.

 

WG:  Big beautiful city.

 

AG:  Kunming.

 

WG:  Kunming.

 

AG:  Yeah, sometime if you go to China, you should go there.

 

WG:  Beautiful city.

 

I:  Yeah, I am fascinated by Chinese and Japanese culture, I just haven’t had the opportunity to go over quite yet.  So, were you able to keep up with the news of the progressions of the war in both the Pacific and the European Theater?

 

AG:  Not much, we were too busy doing what we were doing.  We weren’t thinking much about it.  Except one day, on the way back.  I had been over on a mission.  And this was in April of ’45.  We were flying up the Arakan Coast, which is where the…where the Japanese had the British pinned down, originally.  And the co…[correcting himself] and the radio operator came on, “hey, just heard, Roosevelt just died.”  Oh, that means we are going to have Truman as the President!  Ugh!  We had known Truman because my dad had surveyed his farm.

 

I:  Really?

 

AG:  We called on him back in Washington as a senator.  My dad knew him pretty well.  And I thought, “oh, brother, we have had it now, well gee”.  It turns out Truman is one of the better Presidents, I guess, we have ever had.  He called a spade a spade.  In not very nice words sometimes.  [laughter].  So, that was one where we got…so the radio, yeah, so we were tuned in.  And we heard Tokyo Rose.  She would be broadcasting out at us that we weren’t doing very well, and the squadron was going to be defeated and all that.  But I don’t remember reading a lot of papers and all.  I got to play a little golf once in Karachi.

 

I:  Really?

 

AG:  There was not a blade of grass on the golf course.  Just playing on the dirt.  Almost like the course in Baldwin [City, Kansas] used to be!   

 

WG:  But this was when you were in Karachi.  Was that after…was that after the war?

 

AG:  That was after the war.  We were on our way home.  We had two weeks waiting, or longer.  You know, and what do you do in that length of time?

 

WG:  There weren’t enough ships to get them all home.

 

I:  Sure.

 

AG:  Well, you drink beer, you go fishing, you go into town and you dicker with the people there and…in Rupees and this and that.  And whatever you can do.  And read books.  And at one point, we started taking a course at the University of Calcutta.

 

I:  Really?

 

AG:  Yeah…probably because we wanted to keep [this in] mind going, you know and all.  So, we…we signed up for courses there at the University of Calcutta.

 

I:  What…what did you…what courses did you take?

 

AG:  I don’t remember, maybe Urdu or Hindi or….What courses did we take?

 

WG:  It was probably…it could have been Urdu because….

 

AG:  Because I know Larry [Seek] was…was teaching some of them too.  Extension courses.

 

WG:  Well, because you…we still have…we still have the…the little textbook in the Urdu Language at home.

 

I:  Interesting.

 

AG:  It is very much like Hindi.

 

I:  Sounds like you have had quite a wide variety of exciting experiences and encounters.  What was one of the funniest stories…or situations that you were in?

 

AG:  Well, on the way over to India, I was told to land at Kano, K-A-N-O, in Nigeria and pick up a prisoner.  So I landed. Who is this prisoner?  Well, it is a guy named [Steely B. Bennett] from eastern Kentucky.  Why am I picking him up?  Because the executive officer is fed up with him.  He wants the next plane over to carry him, take him. 

 

WG: Dumping the guy!

 

AG:  I said, “What did he do?  What is the matter?”  Well, the guy was always late for formation.  He didn’t get…You know, he didn’t want to be in this war in the first place.  So, we put him on board there and [Steely B.].  And said, “you will confine him every night to the guard house.”  I said, “well, okay.”  So, we landed in Maiduguri, Nigeria and I talked to the Base Operations Officer.  And I said, “Do you have a Guard House?”    “Well, yeah, I guess we do.  Just kind of a mud hut.  We haven’t used it for a year.”  I said, “I have orders to confine this man every night to the Guard House.”

 

WG:  [laughing]  The Guard House.

 

AG:  Okay, so we go that night to watch a film somewhere.  And here is [Steely B. Bennett], with a guard watching a film.  Well, that is fine.  That is good.  So, then we go on to…the same thing happens [coughs] at Khartoum.  He…he gets in there, [he is coming], he is watching…

 

WG:  In the Guard House, sure!

 

AG:  And so, we put him back in the Guard House, see.  He goes out to pee.  I said. “Well, when you get into Karachi, you have to bring charges against him.”  I didn’t have any charges against him.  So….but you got to turn him loose then after twenty four hours, okay.  So, he goes into town out of uniform.  The base operator said, “well, get him out of here.”

 

WG:  He was more trouble….

 

AG:  “Get him out of here”, he said.  I said, “[Bennett].”  And it was hot.  It was one hundred degrees or so, or more.  He had on his winter coat!  And I said, “[Bennett], have you ever ridden in a glider?”  He said, “no.” I said, “Well, we are pretty overloaded right now. [laughter]  So, it looks like you…it looks like you are going to get a ride in the glider p…the British glider plane.”  So we hauled him all the way over to India, but he never worked out too well.  The Base Commander…the Base…the Aerodrome Commander, Major or whatever…finally sent him back to the States.  Gave him a Class 6 or whatever.

 

WG:  But he wasn’t going to work out.  He wasn’t going to….

 

AG:  But he wasn’t going to work out.  He didn’t want any part of the war.  I must say, he was religious you know, he was reading his Bible.

 

WG:  [Steely B. Bennett].

 

AG:  [Steely B. Bennett].  Private Bennett.

 

WG:  I wish we’d had some pictures of the guy.  I get…I get hysterical just thinking about it…getting into the glider.  I think that would have made a wonderful….

 

AG:  I always wonder what he did after the war.  What kind of business he was in, in eastern Kentucky. 

 

WG:  Probably went back to the hills of Kentucky to his Papa’s farm.

 

AG:  Yeah.  We had an interesting experience on one of our reunions….Just what, two years ago we went to Tennessee?

 

WG:  A year and a half ago, about a year…oh…oh, in Tennessee yes.

 

AG:  Yeah, and one of the side trips, we went over to….

 

[End of tape 1]

 

AG:…To Tennessee.  Two years ago?

 

WG:  Yeah, but what did you see at the brewery, besides the way to make whiskey?  You started telling about going to the Jack Daniels thing.

 

AG:   Yeah, I was going to say, because it is a dry county where they make this booze.    

 

WG:  You can’t buy it at the distillery!

 

AG:  You can’t buy whiskey in Moore County in Tennessee.

 

WG:  And they don’t offer samples!

 

I:  Oh, that is cheap!

 

AG:  But they have a wonderful creek there that runs, which they use for the water to make the whiskey.  But they will open up the vats, and you can get a whiff of it as you…as you go through the distillery.

 

WG:  Smell the stuff.

 

AG:  Well worth…It is a trip worth taking if you are nearby there.

 

WG:  But nothing to do with the CBI though.

 

AG:  Except that the Hump Pilots were there.

 

WG:  That it was…was one of the reunions, you see.

 

AG:  We try to do interesting things.  We don’t do like the American Legion, and go out and get boozed up.  We don’t do that.  We have learned a little better, I hope.

 

I:  Did you have something you wanted to add?

 

WG:  Well, you…you have heard…this one, so you don’t have to photograph this one because I told him that…that, Al, when these old guys get together, with the group getting smaller, but…it is a pretty…because they all…the squadron, they all flew over at the same time.  And they…lived together…flew…flew missions together.  And so when they…when they get together, they have…they have you know, a really good time at the…at the reunions, but the stories get better!  [laughter].  And…and…and the guns get closer, and the…the mountains get higher, and the battles get more fierce and….

 

AG:  Sure!  So, we were kind of different from the ordinary run of the Hump Pilots.  They didn’t have an organization.  They were mostly civilians and they just…they didn’t…they didn’t have an organization because they were just there individually, flying this Hump stuff, doing a heck of a job.  And they had a lot tougher missions then we did.  Because they were, early on….

 

WG:  Oh, you mean the ATC, the ATC.

 

AG:  The ATC.  And they didn’t have good navigation controls.  You didn’t…your…your radio…radios didn’t work, and you didn’t know where you were and you were on instruments and…and all that.  But in our case, we had lived together for a year…for a year and a half.  And we knew each other.  And we ate together and we lived together and we had Esprit de Corps, and some of our buddies had been killed in the service while we were doing this, all that.

 

WG:  I might point out one other significant thing you might want to bring down and leave in the archives with your paper would be…Al’s uncle was a well known Chemistry professor at KU many years ago, and he was the fellow who discovered the presence of Helium in natural gas.  And there are one hundred, let’s see, it would…it was ’05 I think that he made the discovery, it was…

 

I:  In Bailey Hall, right?

 

WG:  It was a hundred years ago.  And…H. P. Cady [Hamilton Perkins Cady].  He was quite a scientist.  Before Al left for overseas, knowing that…I think knowing that you were…maybe you didn’t know you were heading for India yet.  But he…but his uncle knew that he flew around mountains a lot.  But he was concerned about the reliability of some of the instruments that you were flying with—the altimeters. He cautioned him;  he wrote him like a two or three page typed letter about the things that he, that as a pilot, he needed to watch out for, to allow for a discrepancy in what…don’t always believe [the instruments].  Because Dr. Cady knew that a lot of pilots had met their death by an unreliable instrument, and had flown into the mountain or hadn’t made it over the pass to get over…through the mountains.  So, he wrote this very detailed letter.  I think it would be interesting to bring a photocopy of that down here and put that….

 

I:  Absolutely.

 

AG:  It is well worth reading.

 

WG:  Because there is a lot of…or course there is a lot of stuff in the KU archives about Dr. Cady and all about this Helium business.  Because during World War I, they were using Helium for observation balloons. 

 

I:  Sure, in Zeppelins and things.

 

WG:  But in order to keep the Germans from finding out that they had this special gas that was not flammable, they changed the name to some….  They made up a name for…for Helium and called it…called this by some other name on all the official documents so that the enemy wouldn’t find out what they were flying…flying with.  And…but there were a lot of interesting things…but I think that that particular document might be interesting to put in the files, because it…Al was amazed when he got this letter from his Uncle detailing all this stuff…but…but from then on….

 

AG:  He cared about you.

 

TA:  Good.

 

WG:  I mean well…

 

AG:  He cared about his students.  And he….

 

WG:  But he was very, very…always was a scientist.  The story was that he had a barometer. 

 

AG:  Yeah, out here on Kentucky Street.  [1630].

 

WG:  He wanted to test the barometer, so he put one in…in bed, in his pajamas and then the other one was on the bedside table to make sure…to find out what difference the body heat was going to make in the way the barometer registered.  It was a….

 

I:  That is so interesting.

 

WG:  And sometimes he even wore two wristwatches.  Did he do that once in a while?

 

AG:  Yeah.

 

WG:  To make…to make sure that one or the other was running properly.  So he was…in addition to the Helium discovery, he was quite…quite a well known scientist.  And his children, two…well one was a well known Chemist in…at the University of Washington.  And a son, and a son-in-law was a chemist with the Rockefeller Institute and….

 

AG:  New York.

 

WG:  And the…his daughter turned out to be a Lab Technician.  So they all…all of his children turned out to be scientists.  But it was interesting that he…that he zeroed in when he was in pilot training to, you know, tell him to do it right.

 

I:  Give him a heads up, yeah.

 

WG:  Heads…heads up with the instruments. 

 

I:  That’s right.

 

WG:  So we…we’ll

 

AG:  Allowed us…allowed for some margin…extra margin of error.

 

WG:  Margin of error.

 

I:   How many missions did you fly?

 

AG:  How many missions?  Oh, gosh I don’t know.

 

WG:  We’d have to look back at the…try to find the records.

 

AG:  Many missions.  Lots of them.  I should look at it.  Yeah, I was over…I was there one year, from November of ’44 to November of ’45.

 

I:  At what point did you know that the war was over and you were going home?

 

AG:  Well, I tell you, that was really a nice thing to have happen.  Because we figured once we were over there, we would be there for five or six years.  Because it didn’t look like the Japanese were going to be defeated.  So, when the atomic bomb was dropped, thank you President Truman.  When the atomic bomb was dropped, it wasn’t long until we…the war was over.  The Japanese had given in.  And so, we were really pleased that was…we were going to be getting the heck out of there.  And I think that we saved a lot of lives in the process.  Because if we had ever tried to go in and take over Japan, I don’t think we’d have…it think [wouldn’t have been there].

 

I:  Well, flying the Hump…the Hump was…extremely important because it kept the Japanese preoccupied with the Chinese border.  Without that, they would have thousands and thousands of other troops that they could have devoted to the United States or to the Soviet Union or…you guys played a very big….

 

AG:  That is right.

 

WG:  Which is what they intended.

 

I:  Yeah.  And  you guys played a very key role in the survival of the free world.

 

AG:  And now they just do it by outsourcing jobs.  We have a son-in law that is with Ford, and we are hoping he will keep his job.  He has done thirty-some years, I think, now with Ford.  And you know the situation there, I mean.  Here is this Cerberus that has just bought Chrysler and all.  We have a Granddaughter that is working for a firm that Cerberus owned.  And it is about to go south.  GDK.  So….

 

WG:  Well, but we still have a good time with the Chinese.  A year and a half ago they put on quite a…quite a celebration for all of these….  There were dancing girls, and brass bands, and television interviews, and newspaper articles.

 

AG:  Nice nine course dinner in Beijing when we got there and one of the…up in the upstate places.

 

WG:  This was in…in August of ’05 that…that we went to that…that celebration, but they put on quite…quite a big show.

 

I:  So you…you mentioned, that it took quite a long time for you to get back to the United States.   Tell me how long, and tell me about the process….

 

AG:  We came back by ship.  We were…we flew to Karachi again to go back.  And then later for, what used to be the [whole end], it is called the [whole end shipper].  I think maximize on the….  And so we came back, it must have taken us what, a couple of weeks. 

 

WG:…Oh, a long time, at least that long.

 

AG:  Came up, down through the Indian Ocean, up through the Red Sea, up through the Panama or….

 

WG:  Suez.

 

AG:  Suez Canal, into the Mediterranean.  And boy when you got out into the Atlantic, and this is in November, about….

 

WG:  Oh, that is a bad time to be going across.

 

AG:…Those other fellows flew…flew back, but of course there is….  I am wondering how to get them out of Iraq.  How to get them back here.

 

WG:  But there weren’t enough…it wasn’t feasible to fly all those airplanes home.  What were they to do with them anyway if they got all those cargo planes home? 

 

AG:  Oh, you can not believe, when you looked down, and you saw the trucks and the planes…

 

WG:  And the tanks and the…material.

 

AG:  Everything.  And you thought, “oh, what a waste war is!”  But somehow, we haven’t figured out yet how to avoid it.

 

WG:  I wonder where all of those airplanes are.  All those little C-46s.

 

AG:  Yeah, there are just a few of them still flying around.

 

I:  What about all the supplies and the gasoline and all the food and everything that you were flying over?  Did you just abandon that, like the…the tanks and jeeps and things, or what…what would you do with those?

 

AG:  Yeah, yeah, abandon them.  Sure.

 

WG:  Well, all the stuff that went to China was used, you see.  Oh, very quickly.

 

AG:  Oh, yeah, they will use anything you get over there for something.  Figure something out to do with it.

 

I:  Right.  After…did you have to fly any mission after the Japanese surrendered or were you pretty much done right away.

 

AG:  No, no we really didn’t.  Yes, we did.  Yeah we did.  Because we were transferred from Myitkyina which was a town in Burma, down to Ledo, in northern India.  No, we still kept flying there until golly, I got out of there in October, I guess.  So, yeah, we still kept flying missions. 

 

WG:  Because they still needed things, not for military reasons, but for civilians.

 

AG:  And different things in India, we did a lot of missions picking things up and…doing that thing.  Yeah.

 

TA:  There was one thing I wanted to ask you about.  Your…about the number of missions.  Did they have a limit on the number of missions you could fly?  Because one of my friends flew 35 missions, but they capped everybody off in his unit at thirty five.  Was there some limit for you?

 

AG:  Yeah, they had it like that.  In our case we didn’t run into that.  We just…we finished our…I don’t know.  You know, I don’t remember figures very well. But I know that there were limits that….  And you had battle fatigue with people and that is why you had rest camps and you’d send people up to regroup.   And kind of get squared away, rest for a bit.

 

I:  Did you…did you see…did you encounter that quite a bit with some of your fellow soldiers?

 

AG:  Yeah, yeah we did.  We had to bring in fighter pilots, to fly with us as cargo pilots because we were short on people.  But they did the job.  Yeah. 

 

WG:  But they didn’t…from the time…at the time you went over, they didn’t rotate them home, because it wasn’t like….

 

AG:  No, in fact they brought in replacements and all.  Well, we lost several planes you knew.

 

WG:  Oh, yes, then they had to bring in replacements.

 

AG:  Like [Gosse] and like [Rasmussen].

 

WG:...[Rassmussen], uh huh.

 

AG:  And like operations, General Operations Officer.   And when we’d mess up our planes, see your motors would wear out flying those things.  And you’d have to take them down to Bangalore to get them fixed up again.  I had a plane that did that.  The guy brought it…he had dropped it into a shell hole.  And so it wrecked the motor.  So I was out of a job to fly.  They gave me ground duty for a while over in Burma.  That is how I got acquainted with the British.  I got to walk around.  I had a flight surgeon over there, and he and I used to take our British MPOs and go out and have target practice.  One day, we went into a Jap ammunition dump, where the Japs had been.  We had a bunch of troops in there: sappers and miners from Bombay.  And they were detonating the 75 Millimeter Shells.  This one guy…you have a crick on it, and you’d…here is your firing pin, and you’d hit it with a hammer.  Well he forgot to take the powder out!  Didn’t amputate it, but it made it bad so we took him to the field hospital and things like that.

 

WG:  The stories get better!

 

AG:  Crazy, crazy things.  Ridiculous. 

 

I:  Yeah, that could be said about war.

 

AG:  Absolutely ridiculous.  But we had it to do.

 

I:  Had a job to do.

 

AG:  That is it.

 

I:  So, did you get seasick on your way home?  You said how the Atlantic was….

 

AG:  No, it was nice.  I was able not to…not to get sick.  Boy, the States sure looked great!  Looked good to see trees with no leaves on them.  Yeah, it sure did.  Pulled into New York…or Weehawken.  Getting off there and then getting on a train, and then the first thing I…it was an apple.  A baked apple at Saint Louis.  Oh, that was good.

 

WG:  It tasted so good.

 

I:  Did you let your wife know that you were coming home, or did you just surprise her?

 

AG:  Did I call you from…?

 

WG:  Oh, yeah, he called when they went…when they landed there.

 

AG:  From Camp Kilmer.

 

WG:  But then they have to go through a…sort of a processing.

 

AG:  And then, following that, and following being here in Lawrence for a while we went…I was reassigned to San Antonio.

 

WG:  And so he stayed in the service for a while.

 

AG:  We went down there and stayed in and we went out to California.  And about that time they had an opportunity, if you wanted to get a master’s degree, you could sign up for Harvard or Yale or Columbia, etc.  [You know], fund us….Harvard, Yale, and Harvard.  So, I went to Columbia free.  Winnie and I went there for a year.  I got a masters in business there, but I had to give in three years of service after that.  So, I was assigned to KU to teach ROTC.  But before I got here, they changed my orders and sent me to K-State because they were short of personnel.  But then the Chancellor here was nice, and he got me transferred back here, to Jayhawk country.  I finished my two years of tour there.  So, following that, I went in the insurance business down the street here for 47 years, in the same office, above where you have Starbucks now.  It was a bank at the time, Lawrence National Bank. 

 

I:  Well, do you have any concluding remarks, or anything you want to say? 

 

AG:  Stay well, do good, and keep in touch. 

 

I:  Well, Mr. Gallup, I thank you so much for doing this interview today.  I really appreciate it.  It was very enlightening and entertaining. 

 

AG:  Well, I got to get acquainted with you two guys. 

 

[The tape ends with social chatter between AG and the technical assistant.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item Description

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