5:06 | After growing up in and near Hollywood and Portland, Oregon, Stuart McIntyre decided to sign up for the Army's Specialized Training Program back before World War II. He was accepted into Stanford University for a brief while until he was called to action following the US involvement in the ongoing war. He was immediately sent to Fort Benning for infantry training. (This interview made possible with the support of MS. KETURAH THUNDER-HAAB.)
Keywords : Stuart McIntyre Hollywood California Stanford University Fort Benning infantry training Portland OR drafted Navy army Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP) Normandy France Georgia engineer Boy Scout Sergeant Bunch
After his infantry training at Fort Benning, McIntyre went to Fort Bragg and learned to be a jeep driver for his company. Whenever someone needed transport he was the guy they would call. One day while at training the unexpected happened; after being given a chance to fire a machine gun, he ranked expert on the amount of targets he hit. (This interview made possible with the support of MS. KETURAH THUNDER-HAAB.)
When his mortar company was finally needed overseas, McIntyre was sent aboard the George Washington; arriving in France. McIntyre had his first combat in Baccarat, France, and faced a heavy German counterattack on New Year's Eve during Operation Nordwind (Northwind). (This interview made possible with the support of MS. KETURAH THUNDER-HAAB.)
The battle of Baccarat took many lives with it, but it left McIntyre unharmed. From there he describes what his company had to do next, one significant event being the battle of Bitche, France. At one point, his hand was wounded during combat, and he was up for a purple heart because of it. When asked by the medic if he wanted to be put down for one, he declined not knowing it would get him points to go home sooner. However, he did manage to receive a bronze star later on down the line. (This interview made possible with the support of MS. KETURAH THUNDER-HAAB.)
McIntyre explains how a mortar is fired and the repercussions of firing one over and over for years. To this day, he still has problems with a ringing in his ears because every time he loaded the mortar it was extremely loud. He also remembers handling a bazooka and attempting to use it to shoot down a German aircraft. (This interview made possible with the support of MS. KETURAH THUNDER-HAAB.)
McIntyre remembers that it wasn't all the time that the US Army was very coordinated from one company to another, and so while in his foxhole he noticed a tank parked next to him. It was quite a hazard because it was drawing enemy fire right to their exact location. The conditions of war were of course unhealthy, but nonetheless he and his company succeeded in crossing the Rhine River and survived in Kassel till the end of the war. From there, he was tasked with postwar guard duty. (This interview made possible with the support of MS. KETURAH THUNDER-HAAB.)
After the war was over, McIntyre recalls many civilian interactions with the German people. Many of them were pleasant since they wanted to get on the US Army's good side, but some of them were still loyal to the Hitler youth program. Although he did eventually get to come back home to the states, McIntyre says that World War II has changed his life forever. He went back to Europe as soon as he could to be involved with the Foreign Service. (This interview made possible with the support of MS. KETURAH THUNDER-HAAB.)
Bill Garrison was standing in a chow line when a man up the line suddenly dropped, shot dead by a sniper. That was only one hazard at the air fields in China; the others being Japanese air raids and infiltrators. (This interview made possible with the support of COL ROBERT W. RUST, USMCR (ret.) in honor of LtGen Lawrence Snowden & LtGen George Christmas.)
The first operation for the 4th Division was the landing on Roi-Namur. Lawrence Snowden remembers that, though it was an easy victory, valuable combat experience and important lessons were imparted on the Marines.
After a nerve-wracking mission to bomb Tokyo and a typhoon, B.E. Vaughan and the destroyer O'Brien suffered a second kamikaze attack which killed all three of his hometown pals who served with him on board. Then, began the grim task of collecting the personal belongings of the dead and preparing them for burial at sea.
Two engines were out, a third smoking, and they were were losing airspeed and altitude, but they were flying level and pointed home. Then time ran out for the B-17 and Don Scott had to slip down the hatch into the slipstream. Part 2 of 3.
It was their third mission over Berlin and they were heading home. Four German fighters pounced on the B-24 and it was engulfed in flame and going down. Clyde Burnette fought for consciousness as the other crew in the back of the plane bailed out. He woke in free fall with no idea how he had made it out, and soon he was in German custody. Everyone made it out of the plane except George "Danny" Daneau, the nose turret gunner, who went down with the aircraft.
He was trained in the Army Air Corps as an aircraft mechanic, specializing in hydraulics. Ralph Way would put his training to work in Karachi, which was in India at the time. He serviced cargo planes flying over the Himalayas to supply the war effort against the Japanese in China.
Stationed in Japan after the war, Curtis James had the opportunity to see the devastation at both atomic bomb sites. It was hard to believe. Marines went into occupation duty with a lot of animosity for the Japanese people, but were surprised to find out how friendly they were.
James Parish volunteered for the US Army on November 17th, 1942. He went to Camp Adair in Oregon for his training, and also endured desert training. At one point during training, he became a cook for the rest of the men.
Jack McBrayer was born in Birmingham, Georgia, and wanted to be a sailor all his life. When he joined the Navy, he had to use dummy guns during basic training because they were underfunded at the time. He talks about his shakedown cruise to Bermuda, and how it felt being right at the heart of a hurricane.
While in training for the US Merchant Marine, Roy Walker had to be pushed into the water. He couldn't swim, but when he was at sea, he didn't even think about it. The ships he sailed on kept the war effort supplied with fuel and ammunition.
McBrayer was able to make it safely to North Africa. From there he escorted tanks to Aruba. His typical missions consisted of making trips to North Africa, the Caribbean, and sometimes he would go back to the ship's home base located in Northern Virginia.
It took four days to send him to war by plane, but when the time came to return from India, Ralph Way spent a month on a ship. At home, he got married and went to college, thanks to the educational benefits from Uncle Sam.
The men at the air base in India were due for some badly needed R&R, so they were shipped off to a rest camp. Ralph Way remembers watching the monkeys in the trees and thinking how nice it would be to have one of those monkeys. How, exactly, could you make that happen?
Ralph Way was an aircraft mechanic in India, maintaining cargo planes. He recalls one incident in which a pilot couldn't tell if the landing gear was up or down. That was resolved successfully, but there was another incident regarding propellers which did not end so well.
Roy Walker had a pretty good set up on one trip. The Merchant Marine steward had cornered the market on decks of cards and Coca-Colas, plus he got tips out of the kitty because he ran the officers mess. He also had an identical twin brother on the crew, which could lead to some confusion.
On a visit to Miami, Clyde Milam saw Navy personnel training and immediately sought out a recruiter. He was very young, but he was ready. It was 1943 and he was eager to contribute. (This interview made possible with the support of COL ROBERT W. RUST, USMCR (ret.) in honor of LtGen Lawrence Snowden & LtGen George Christmas.)
Newly minted Marine Ralph Dunlap was sent from Camp Lejeune to Hawaii, where he volunteered for the Amphibious Reconnaissance Battalion, a highly specialized force that approached beachheads ahead of landings to assess the obstacles and dangers. This required some Olympic class swimming. (This interview made possible with the support of COL ROBERT W. RUST, USMCR (ret.) in honor of LtGen Lawrence Snowden & LtGen George Christmas.)