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Interview on experiences in World War II

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RICE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY  
V

WORLD WAR H VETERANS ORAL HISTORY PROJECT

INTERVIEWEE: Walter P. Vincent

INTERVIEWER: Marian Poe

DATE: May 13, 2006

LOCATION: Sterling, Kansas

(Mr. Vincent's daughter, Karen Barker, is also present for the interview)

POE: Okay. Now we're on the air. Okay. Now we're recording.

VINCENT: You ready?

POE: Hope the light's right.

VINCENT: You want my full name and address?

POE: Yeah,just...


VINCENT: Walter P. Vincent. [Looking at some kind of document] Date of birth is... according to my Birth Certificate, I was born at Sterling Hospital. Sixth month - wait a minute... 6th month. 10th day. 1919. Family information. Now you want my brothers and sisters or...?


POE: How many did you have?

VINCENT: I didn't hear.

POE: How many did you have, brothers and sisters?

VINCENT: I had - there's seven of us all told. Three boys and three girls and... myself and the rest of us. I was right in the middle of the bunch. Okay. What else you want there?

POE: What were you - in high school, were you working when you went into service?

VINCENT: I was married and about 25 years old when I went into service.

POE: How many children did you have?

VINCENT: Well, at that time we had three. And now we've got five.

POE: Okay.

VINCENT: Rank, did you say, what you're wanting next?

POE: Yeah and you might - whenever you went into service, you were married with three children, what kind of work were you doing?

VINCENT: What kind of work was I doing? Well, I was raised on a farm. Then I went in the oil field, worked for a contractor servicing wells...

VINCENT: And after service, I worked for City Service Oil Company. POE: Okay.

VINCENT: As a lease operator. Twenty-seven years - wait a minute... yeah, thirty. Went to work in '51 and retired in '81. Worked Sublet for - started to Chase for about 10, 11 years, then went to Sublet to finish it. I don't remember just how many years I was at Chase. Do you Karen?

BARKER: Well, from '51 to - you went to Sublet in '63

VINCENT: I went to Sublet in '63, yeah. Left there in '90 and worked mainly in the gas field. Natural gas and there's a lot of it. What else do you want on that?

POE: Just anything that you might want to - you were 25 and you decided to join the service? Or were you drafted?

VINCENT: I was drafted.

POE: Okay. Just-talk about it [chuckling].

VTNCENT: Six of us left from Rice County here, thinking we was going into the Navy. Went to the Kansas City Federal Court House. Standing in the hallway, a Marine Sergeant came out and said they wanted two volunteers from the Rice County group for the Marine Corp. Raymond Monroe from Genesseo and myself was the two volunteers. "You and you." And took my boot camp in San Diego, California, a Marine Corps base there, and took my basic training at Camp Elliot. That's probably fifteen miles outside of San Diego. And went overseas, seen the action against the enemy on Guam and Iwo Jima. Got wounded on Iwo Jima, if I remember right, the 23rd day of '45. That would be in February. They was gonna put us in the hospital in Okinawa and it was full - no room for us. Sent us to the Hawaiian Islands, but the hospital there was full - no room for us. So they sent us back to the States. Prettiest site I ever seen in my life was the bottom side of that Golden Gate Bridge. Sent us from the naval hospital in San Francisco to a new hospital in Corvallis, Oregon - Naval hospital. And that, oh, I don't know, I suppose I was up there maybe two or three weeks and I got a 30-day sick leave to come home. That was the first leave I'd had. And I went back to San Diego, California, after I healed up. And at San Diego, California, worked in the warehouse till the war was over. And if


you want to see a party, you ought to've seen the party they had in San Diego, California. That was quite a party.


POE: When the war ended?

VINCENT: The whole city, I think, was celebrating. And liquor stores was closed so they just took their liquor out and set it out on the sidewalk and people come along and put their money in the box and take their liquor. And I think I was probably the only sober one in town. I got my discharge - what? First day of October '45. Wasn't it Karen?

BARKER: It was in October. I don't know when.

VINCENT: I believe it was the first day of October '45. That's been a long time ago. That takes care of that part of it.

POE: Where -1 know your family knows - but, I mean, where were you wounded? VINCENT: On the right forearm. POE: Okay.


VINCENT: That's the rifle right over there, like I carried in World War II. Only that's a new one there. And I went aboard a hospital ship, my rifle went overboard. No weapons on hospital ships.


KAREN: Tell what happened when you got wounded.

VINCENT: The shrapnel went through, stuck my rifle into my arm. It was lying right up against the bone and they'd done surgery and tied all that stuff back together. It didn't hurt there. It hurt up here [pointing to his right shoulder], where they was pulling them tendons.

POE: And where did this take place?

VINCENT: Huh?

POE: Where was this?

VINCENT: A troop transport ship off of San Diego, er, I mean Iwo Jima.

POE: Okay.


BARKER: But where abouts on Iwo Jima were you wounded? Where on Iwo Jima were you wounded?


VINCENT: Second air field. Just got up to the edge of it. BARKER: And how many days had you been on the island? VINCENT: I was there three days. POE: Is that all? I guess that was enough [chuckling]. BARKER: Yeah.

VINCENT: That's about enough. And, you know, the first 24 hours, the 4th and 5th Divisions -1 was in the 3rd - the 4th and 5* Divisions lost 600 men, killed. And that was a training campaign for the 4th and 5th - supposed to be. We weren't supposed to go in, we was supposed to float in reserves and then go on to take Okinawa. But they got tied down and needed help, so we had to go in. And we floated on to them landing barges, 12-man landing barges, 24 hours before we could get in, to find a place for them to drop the front of it down and let us out, but they was tied down on the beach.

POE: That's quite an experience.

VINCENT: Huh?

POE: Quite an experience.

VINCENT: Yeah. A lot of 'em got seasick. I was lucky and didn't, but a lot of 'em did. Cause they wasn't very big barges and they rode pretty rough. And course, there was a lot of waves with all that artillery and ships firing and everything. It was a lot of waves.

POE: Were the ships that you were on under attack? BARKER: Were the ships you were on, were they under attack? VINCENT: No... BARKER: The barges. Were they under attack?


VINCENT: We never seen a Japanese the whole time we was on the island. They was underground. They was shooting them mortars and what have you at us and I'm sure it was a piece of shrapnel, some kind of shell. I don't know what.


POE: So they were hidden the whole time?

VINCENT: Yeah. They was underground the whole time. See, that island was bombed and shelled for 48 straight days before we ever set foot on it.

POE: 48 days?

VINCENT: They was underground. It didn't hurt 'em a bit.

BARKER: How'd you seal the caves dad?

VINCENT: Huh?

BARKER: How'd they seal the caves? [Louder] How did they seal the caves?

VINCENT: We come to a cave, we did not go in it. That's committing suicide. We used an interpreter and a loud speaker and we'd give 'em a certain period of time to come out. If they come out with their hands up, we took 'em prisoner. And, course they didn't. They was trained to kill them Americans and die for their country, so they stayed in the caves. If they didn't come out, we'd hit it with a flamethrower, so it'd be safe, and then we got up there and set up our dynamite or nitroglycerin or something and seal that cave shut. You can't have 'em behind you. You got to have'em in front of you. Gerald [inaudible], you may know Gerald, was over there probably twenty years after we was. He said they opened some of them caves up and bodies was laying there just, the sulfa in them caves, I guess it kept the bodies just like they was. They looked like if you'd just go up and shake 'em, they'd wake up.

POE: Amazing.

VINCENT: And everything it was - most of that island was volcano ash. Our chow was C-rations. They come in a small can and shove 'em down, up far as your elbow, in that ash and leave 'em for 25, 30 minutes, you had steaming hot chow.

POE: Hum...

VINCENT: You could not dig a hole in that ash. It'd just keep falling in. And course, where the big shells hit it, it was craters. And I never seen a Japanese the whole time I was there. That's the difference in that and Guam. Guam was mostly jungle and the Japanese was in the jungle. We had to go in and dig 'em out.

BARKER: How long were you at Guam?

VINCENT: I got there in June and left in December.

BARKER: June of'44?

VINCENT: Yeah. Mosquitoes was pretty good on Guam, too [chuckling].

BARKER: And what was the story about hearing something at night?

VINCENT: Huh?

BARKER: What about the story of hearing something at night? Was that the one you told?

VINCENT: [Chuckling] Guard duty at night? BARKER: Yeah. Tell that.

VINCENT: We set up, after we secured Guam, we set up a company area in the middle of the jungle. Course, they cleaned that underbrush and stuff out and left us a few shade trees. We ran a - around the edge of it — we bulldozed a place out, probably as wide as this street out here, maybe a little wider, set up a barbed-wire entanglement. Course, it had cans and everything else, anything that would rattle, hanging on it. And they picked this country boy to stand guard at night. You didn't stand guard - well, you could or you could sit guard. You didn't walk it. And every so often you had another man and you put the city boys, like kids out of New York City, out there in the dark and they was scared to death. They never seen dark. Other than, say the darkest they had ever seen was inside of the theatre [chuckling]. And I was out there one night, oh, probably two o'clock, right in front of me I could see an outline, but I couldn't tell what it was. Cans started rattling. So I challenged it and it stopped. Never moved, never said nothing, never grunted or anything. Kept the safety off my rifle, challenged it again, same thing. So I shot it. Here come the Officer of the Day and the Corporal guard and the whole bunch, "What in the world are you shooting Vince?" Everybody went by nickname or last name. I said, "I don't know. But whatever it is, it's laying out there." We had about a 250 or 260 pound hog.

POE: [Laughing] Oh!

VINCENT: [Chuckling] I guess you know we had fresh pork for breakfast. And I had to help butcher it.

POE: [Chuckling] Country boys again, huh?

VINCENT: That butcher and I - the cook and I who had fresh ham for breakfast. The rest of'em got ground hog [chuckling].

POE: How was the food in the service? You were on a ship going over, how was the food?

VINCENT: I didn't hear that, Karen.

BARKER: How was the food when you were aboard ship? Going...

VINCENT: Aboard ship? Fair. No fresh food. They couldn't keep it fresh. What we got was canned food, powdered eggs and that kind of stuff. It wasn't - it was edible. And it'd keep you going. It was very filling.

POE: Were you able to write to or call your wife or...?

VINCENT: No. Course, there was no telephones or nothing back in them days, not where we was at. In fact, she didn't have a telephone anyway - couldn't afford one. If I called anyone, it had to've been my folks. As far as writing, this arm was in a, kinda a cast-like deal, it wouldn't take much [inaudible], but it had a harness that held it up near my chest. And if you tried to sit on the floor, hold a piece of paper on your knees and write left-handed - see how far you'd get.

BARKER: But before you were wounded you wrote.

VINCENT: Huh?

BARKER: Before you got wounded, you wrote to mom.

VINCENT: Oh yeah. I tried to write everyday, if I could. And she almost wrote me every day.

POE: Were you able to get the letters on a regular basis? Or did they come all at once?

VINCENT: Sometimes we'd get 'em pretty regular and sometimes we'd get maybe a weeks' supply at a time. Just depends on how everything was going, you know. Now aboard ship, you could write but it was not dispatched. And I've often wondered, I thought maybe they threw 'em away.

BARKER: I don't think so, because I think mom - mom had a stack of letters she got from him.

VINCENT: I don't know if she did or didn't.

POE: So how old were your children when - the children that you had at home - when you left?

VINCENT: Let's see. Bill was born in'39, wasn't he?

BARKER: Yes.

VINCENT: And I went in'44. That'd make him - what? Five?

BARKER: Five.

VINCENT: Approximately. You was born in'41?

BARKER: Yes. And I wasn't quite three.

VINCENT: And Mary Jane was born in '42?

BARKER: November of '42. So she was just a little over a year old. POE: So you left a lot of little ones at home.

VINCENT: Yeah. They lived in an old, little two-room house, had a pitcher-pump in the kitchen. And I think you burnt coal for heat, didn't you Karen?

BARKER: Now Dad, I don't remember.

VINCENT: I think it had a stove that burnt coal for heat.

BARKER: I don't remember that.

VINCENT: I'm sure that you didn't try to get wood.

BARKER: Oh, no. But I don't remember what we...

VINCENT: She got $120 total a month. I got $30 [chuckling].

POE: Did you have any R&R while you were overseas?

VINCENT: Did I what?

POE: Did you have any R&R? Any...?

VINCENT: No.

BARKER: No.

VINCENT: No.'

POE: No. You were in it all the time?

VINCENT: From the time I left home till I got back on sick leave, that's the first leave I had of any kind. And course, World War n is different than what it is now. We didn't draw any money overseas. You'd buy cigarettes, a nickel a package. And we didn't buy 'em by the package; we bought a big box of 'em at a time and set 'em in the tent. Anybody'd want a pack of cigarettes would go get 'em. I don't remember what them, how many cartons was in those boxes anymore. Quite a few. So, most we ever drawn on our paycheck at any one time was $5. I don't know, it's -1 wouldn't take a million dollars for my experience and I wouldn't give you three pence anymore [chuckling].

POE: So when you got home, when you got discharged, where did you get discharged out of?

VINCENT: Did I what?

POE: Where did you get discharged from?

VINCENT: San Diego - no. Camp Pendleton, California. It's off of Ocean Side.

POE: And then you came home...

VINCENT: And then I came home.

POE: How did you get back home?

VINCENT: Train.

POE: Train?

VINCENT: It's about all the way we had to travel in them days. Train or bus. And it was - military personnel got on first - and it was pretty well full with just military personnel. And Billie, my wife - well, let's see... when I went back to duty in San Diego, she went to California with me. And she was out there and I got my discharge. And you kids stayed with... ?

BARKER: With Grandma and Granddad. VINCENT: ...folks. BARKER: Uhhuh.

VINCENT: And we brought a train back. And I worked for Taber and Coleman Contractors before I went in the service. Jack Foley was operator for 'em. You might know him. When I got back, he was building cable tools. I worked for him, oh, I don't know, quite a while. I didn't like that cause we might be traveling 75 or 80 miles oneway, seven days a week, 12-hour shifts. Didn't give me any time at home. So I told him, I said, "I'm gonna find me something else to do where I can have some time with my family." I went to work for a man by the name of J.H. [inaudible], an independent oil producer, and worked for him for, oh, I don't know, several years. And then I went to work for Bob Stephens at Ellinwood - contractor, oil service and contractor. Worked for him a couple years and got a chance to go work at City Service and that's where I ended up. Good company.

POE: You're very active in veteran's affairs organizations, aren't you?

VINCENT: I didn't hear that.

POE: You're in the American Legion?


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VINCENT: Oh yes. I'm an American Legion man. And course, you was up here Saturday night, you know what that is.

POE: Yeah. You hosted the Iwo Jima veteran's dinner.

VINCENT: Yeah.

BARKER: Okay. You might tell how that got started.

VINCENT: Huh?

BARKER: Tell how that got started.

VINCENT: I got my Purple Heart in '95. I should've got it in '45, but there was so many of 'em wounded and killed, they couldn't keep up. Ed Howell owned the Bulletin here at that time and David - what was his last name, Karen?

BARKER: I don't remember dad.

VINCENT: [Chuckling] I don't either. A young reporter, he was going to school in Hutchinson, and helping Howell and he found out that I'd been wounded on Iwo Jima, so he come down to interview me. And they always told him, back then, I never got my Purple Heart and he jumped on that with both feet and got that through. Had a big blowout at the high school for me and the north side of that new gymnasium was full. No, not north side. South side. High school and seventh and eighth-graders -1 think they call it 'Junior High' now, but seventh and eighth-graders as far as I'm concerned -was there. And open to the public. That was in '95, wasn't it?

BARKER: Yes. VINCENT: March of'95? BARKER: I think so.

VINCENT: Yeah. So, the veterans said something to Ed Howell about, they'd like to have a reunion. And Ed come down and we got one put together and that's when it got started. If I remember right, we've had eleven of 'em.

BARKER: Yes.

VINCENT: If I remember right, that first one, I think there's fifteen veterans and their wives there. Something like that. This last time, I think somebody said 72. I never did count 'em, the people there. Course, they wasn't all veterans, but... Anyway, it was quite a party. And I got that deal [pointing to something off camera]. What else? Can you think of anything else, Karen?


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BARKER: No.

POE: How about, did you happen to use the GI Bill at all?

VINCENT: Did I what?

POE: The GI Bill. Did you use it at all?

BARKER: Did you ever make use of the GI Bill? To buy a home or go to school?

VINCENT: No. When I first bought a home, I thought I'd go through the GI Bill, but it was just almost impossible to get it. You went through a federal loan company to get your GI Bill at that time. And them loan companies, they'd rather loan you with a little higher interest.

POE: Oh... Friendships? - did you make any friends when you were in the service that you've continued?

VINCENT: Did I what?

POE: Did you make friends that you...

VINCENT: Yes. Yes.

POE: ... that you might have still...

VINCENT: Floyd Burk. At that time, he lived in California and his wife came down and seen us leave and she asked me, said, "You're married, aren't you?" And I said, "Yes." And she said, "You give me your last name and address and I'll write to her." My wife and Floyd's wife kept in contact. Floyd and I didn't. And they wrote one another two or three times a year. And then they moved to Phoenix, Arizona. First time Billie and Mildred ever met was 1981,1 think it was, or '82. We got together, the four of us, and went to San Diego, California, to the 3rd Marine Division reunion. And then, course, Raymond Monroe over at Genesseo, him and I went through boot camp together and basic together, and we kind of kept in touch. He was quite a bit younger than I was. He was just out of high school when he went in. He got quite homesick. You'd be surprised, five or six years difference in age, how much easier it was for younger guys than it was for us older...

POE: Easier for younger guys?

i

VINCENT: When we go through boot camp. Basically, boot camp will put you in top physical condition in the least possible time. And I mean top condition. You was up at five o'clock in the morning and you was in bed at ten o'clock in the evening. You'd get up in the morning and they'd call you up for roll call. As soon as roll call's over, they'd run you anywhere from one to five miles. And I don't mean jog. I mean you'd get out


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and run. You'd come back in across the parade field and you'd do about an hour of calisthenics. And pretty rough calisthenics. Then you'd come in and wash up, get your mess kit and go to breakfast. They called it 'chow'. Go back to your barracks and clean your mess kit up, you'd have about an hour there, and you'd go to the parade field and you'd march till 11:00 or 11:30. Come in, wash up again, go to your noon meal. They called it 'chow' again. Same thing in the afternoon. Come in, oh, 5:30 or 6:00 for your evening meal. After that you was more or less on your own. You could polish shoes. You could wash clothes. You could scrub your floor. Or whatever there was to be done. As well as write home. And make sure that your rifle was clean and your clothes was clean. And I mean them rifles better be clean, cause they inspected 'em with white gloves on. After they got through inspecting 'em, they'd better be white. That's just basically what - and course, three weeks of that boot camp is at Rifle range. First week on the rifle range, you pull targets for people been there two weeks ahead of you. The second week, you're learning your rifle. You're learning to sight your rifle. You're learning to fieldstrip it, tear it down completely, put it back together in the dark, so many minutes. You learn how to sight your rifle and all that kind of stuff. Then the third week, you fire for the record. First two or three days you just go out and practice. Then you fire for the record. You fire from 200 yards, 300 yards, and 500 yards on a 10-inch bullseye. You fire from off-hand, or standing, sitting, kneeling, and prone. And you have to shoot, I believe it was 85% or you have to stay there till you do.

POE: [Chuckling] Oh my!

VINCENT: And mine came out pretty good.

POE: You come out pretty good?

VINCENT: Okay. I came out shooting 95%.

POE: Very good. I'm gonna stop this for a moment.

[Marian changes the mini-disc in the digital camcorder]

POE: We're back on the air. You were talking about your rifle range and getting 95%.

VINCENT: Well, let's see... After you graduated the eighth week from boot camp, you'd go back to camp and you'd just review what you had, the first part of it. Then you have what they call graduation. You'd go out on the parade field and you'd march and the Commanding Officer stands up there and gives you a big speal while you're standing at attention, rifle and pack. And that's it. There's no leaving boot camp whatsoever. Every place you go, you march as a group. Your whole platoon goes together. If you go to church, you go as a group - your platoon. And, of course, your drill instructor walks right along side of you -1 mean, platoon - and he counts cadence for you. And there's no leave whatsoever. And after that, you go to what they call basic camp, er, training. And we took that from Camp Elliott. That was, oh, probably, 12 or 15 miles outside of San Diego. It's not even there anymore, I don't think. Then you learn to take a hill, town,


13


building a pillbox, them kinds of things — you learn how to do that and you'd do it in teams of three with crosswire. That's when you take a hill or building, whatever. Say you come up to the building like the school out here and somebody fires on you, at you. You're not gonna stop to see who's in that building. You're gonna blow it off the map, if you can. And usually you can. Course, we didn't see too many buildings that size on Guam or Iwo Jima. That's the type of training you get in basic training. Plus they keep you in shape. You go on 20-mile dirt hikes, full pack, bedroll, rifle, canteen of water. And I suppose your canteens hold, oh, maybe half a gallon, not over that. And that's -you learn to ration that out cause it might be a long time before you get any more. That's basically what basic training is. Course, I can't - they send you out in basic training on what they call 'Bivouac'. It's out in the boondocks. And the headquarters company is supposed to guard your camp, you know, make sure your camp - they tell you where an orange orchard's at and it's ripe and ready to pick, on government property. And they tell you where the grocery's store's at, where a good water well's at - but don't go to it, cause they catch you going through the line, they'll punish you. You watch them guards and they walk military manner and if they walk by you, you just walk out behind 'em and go on [chuckling]. We lived better, hell, on bivouacbwak than we did at home, at camp. You're supposed to live on a canteen of water a day out there and C-rations. Course, we had oranges. We had about anything you could get to eat without having to cook. And here, I don't think they ever did catch us. They knew we was going, but... they tried to do roll call, would catch us, and we'd head back where we belong. The Commanding Officer said, "You can't do that." You got to catch 'em going out, er, coming back in. And after basic, you head overseas. That's all there is to it. That's where you're going. Course, you can't - you write home, your letters are all censored, every one of 'em. All the incoming letters are censored. You can't tell 'em where you're at, what you're doing, or anything like that. When we hit Iwo Jima, my brother Richard was in the Navy, he's passed away now, he would write home cause he knew where I was at, and they was afraid he'd say something that would upset people. And course, I couldn't write home cause we didn't have nothing to write with there. So they didn't hear from either one of us for quite a while. And I imagine that caused a little... made people think. And I can't think of much else. Can you Karen?

BARKER: No.

VINCENT: Yeah, this Iwo Jima veteran's reunion, we haven't changed it, very little, in the last eleven years. It's basically the same thing it's been all the way through.

POE: New visitors every year.

VINCENT: But some of them veteran's show up every year. Part of 'em, course, get sick and can't make it. You just as well face it, none of us are young any more [chuckling].

POE: No.


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VINCENT: Course, when I retired in '81, we lived in Sublet till '90. Then my wife got pretty sick and we moved back to Sterling to be around, closer to family.

POE: So, when you went into service - to help refresh my memory - you went into service, you were living where?

VINCENT: I didn't get that.

BARKER: Where were you living when you went into the service?

VINCENT: What?

BARKER: Where were you living when you went into the service?

VINCENT: When I went into service, I was making 85 cents an hour working dereck in an oil field.

BARKER: Where were you living?

VINCENT: Huh?

BARKER: Where were we living?

VINCENT: Living?

BARKER: Yes.

VINCENT: We lived two miles north of Alden.

POE: Alden. Okay.

VINCENT: On the farm.

POE: So you were right here in Rice County?

VINCENT: Yeah. Then I moved the family into Alden, on my Grandmother Vincent's place, two miles north of Alden. I don't know whether you remember it or not, Karen.

BARKER: Not too much.

VINCENT: Just to give you a sample of the way we lived out there, we got a big snow storm one time and couldn't get to town; the roads was all blocked. I took a dog and an old ball bat and went out to the brash pile and we got a bunch of cottontail rabbits and we cleaned 'em and that's the meat we had. We had other kinds of food; flour and milk and that. She fried rabbits and made gravy and what have you. Pretty good eating.


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POE: Is there anything else you'd like to add?

VINCENT: Well, I don't know what it'd be really. I was trying to think -1 told you a minute ago, if I had to do it over again, at that age, I'd do the same thing. The United States is the best country in the world. She's darn sure worth fighting for. I believe the last six years, Bob Patterson - maybe you knew Bob - got us started going up to the high school and talking to the history class. There's three of us went up there the first time. Wilford... oh, darn it. Can't recall his last name. NotWilford... What's his name Karen?

POE: WillardDuft? BARKER: WillardDuft?

VINCENT: Huh? Willard Duft and myself and Bob went up there. It was the three of us went up there. Then a couple years later, Bob moved to Seattle. So we still go up there. I think this year there was five of us up there. Some years we'd get five or six or seven. Other years we don't get quite that many. And they divide the class up and put each one in a different location and you talk to your group. This year we was up there two days. First day we was up there, oh, probably an hour and a half in the morning. The second day we was up there an hour and half in the morning and, I don't know, probably 45 minutes in the afternoon. Apparently the school wants us to keep it up. They don't want it to stop. And I tell the kids the difference between their generation and my generation. And there's a lot of difference there. We hauled wheat to town for 25 cents a bushel. [Chuckling] And that ain't very much. And that's... what else you want to hear or need to know?

POE: Well, just whatever you want to say. Do you belong to the VFW or any other veteran's organizations? VFW?

VINCENT: Sorry?

POE: VFW. Do you belong to the VFW?

VINCENT: No. I don't belong to the VFW or ever have. I don't know why, I just never did. I'm eligible.

POE: I think that covers everything, all the general questions. And whatever, you know, you want to share, any other experiences. It was interesting to learn about boot camp in detail like that.

VINCENT: Course, we had three before we went in the service and two afterwards -three Queens and a pair of Jacks [chuckling].

POE: [Chuckling] Full House.


16


BARKER: [Laughing] Yeah.

VINCENT: That's the family hanging up there on the wall [pointing to a picture off camera].

POE: Okay.

VINCENT: Course, I think you seem 'em all Saturday night, too. POE: [Chuckling] Yeah. Well, thank you very much for participating. VINCENT: You're welcome.

POE: And I'd like to take some still pictures with your trophy and - cause the one I took the other night didn't come out.

VINCENT: Okay.

POE: We'll take some still pictures and I'll just turn all this stuff off.

[Marian turns the digital camcorder off and the interview is concluded at this time]



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