Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Charles Robert Crockett, April 12, 2003

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries


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00:00:04 - Entrance into the service

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Partial Transcript: Today is April 12, 2003.

Segment Synopsis: Talks about being drafted into the seabees. Talks about duties, what the food was like, and sending letters back home.

Keywords: 20th Special Battalion; Camp Pendleton; Camp Perry, Virginia; Marines; Navy Seabees; San Diego; Seaman First Class; South Pacific Theatre; Special Naval Construction Battalion; Stevedores; draft; winch driver

Subjects: Camp Pendleton (Calif.); Draft.; San Diego (Calif.); Stevedores.; United States. Marine Corps.; United States. Navy. Seabees.

00:05:44 - Returning home

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Partial Transcript: Now when you went out on the point system when you were discharged.

Segment Synopsis: Talks about when he was discharged and what it was like returning to LaGrange, KY.

Keywords: Great Lakes, Illinois; LaGrange, KY; discharge; point system

Subjects: Great Lakes (North America); La Grange (Ky.); Military discharge.

00:07:56 - Overseas deployment

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Partial Transcript: Let me go back to your overseas service.

Segment Synopsis: Talks about traveling overseas to Aberdeen Island. Talks about what it was like living on Aberdeen Island.

Keywords: Aberdeen Island; Fort Wayne, California; USS Hancock; USS Sea Flasher; atabrine pills; barracks; troop ship

Subjects: Barracks.; Hancock (Transport)

00:13:18 - End of service

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Partial Transcript: Now do you recall the day your service ended?

Segment Synopsis: Talks about the day his service ended.

Keywords: Louisville, KY; overseas service bar; veterans's organization; victory medal

Subjects: Louisville (Ky.); Military decorations.; Veterans' organizations.

00:15:32 - Aberdeen Island

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Partial Transcript: Do you remember when you first arrived on Aberdeen Island?

Segment Synopsis: Talks about going hunting for souvenirs on Aberdeen Island.

Keywords: Fort Wayne; discharged; sniper; souvenir; stevedores

Subjects: Military discharge.; Sniper rifles.; Souvenir.; Stevedores.

00:19:34 - Segregation in the service / Pearl Harbor

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Partial Transcript: Now in the 1940's the service was still segregated.

Segment Synopsis: Talks about his experience with segregation in the service, what kind of work he did after the service and where he was when Pearl Harbor was attacked.

Keywords: Kentucky; Pearl Harbor

Subjects: Kentucky.; Pearl Harbor (Hawaii), Attack on, 1941.

00:22:27 - Germany and Japan surrender / Unloading ships

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Partial Transcript: Do you remember where you were when Germany surrendered?

Segment Synopsis: Talks about where he was Germany and Japan surrendered. Talks about unloading supplies off the ships.

Keywords: Iwo Jima; LST

Subjects: Iwo Jima (Volcano Islands, Japan); Landing craft

00:27:06 - Life on the island

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Partial Transcript: Did you always have the same crew assigned to you?

Segment Synopsis: Talks about how much he worked, eating on the island, his friend getting killed, his son joining the Navy, and what he thought of his commanding officers. Talks about unloading Australian ships, going souvenir hunting, weather in the South Pacific, and Japanese hand grenades.

Keywords: Atlanta, Georgia.; Australia; Dutch New Guinea; Navy; South Pacific; barracks; battalion; bulldozer; hand grenades; souvenir hunting; stevedores

Subjects: Atlanta (Ga.); Australia.; Barracks.; Bulldozers.; Grenades.; New Guinea.; Stevedores.; United States. Navy.

00:40:57 - Military training

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Partial Transcript: What stands out in your memory better than anything else in your WWII service?

Segment Synopsis: Talks about being assigned to the Navy, reporting in Louisville to be examined, K-rations, his brother in the Army, and basic training.

Keywords: Army; K-ration; Navy Louisville, KY; Stevedore; Williamsburg, Virginia; dynamite; jungle rash; picture shows; veterans hospital; winch

Subjects: Dynamite.; Louisville (Ky.); Stevedores.; United States. Army.; United States. Navy.; Veterans' hospitals.

00:50:34 - Reflections

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Partial Transcript: Now you brought with you today a certificate when you crossed the Equator.

Segment Synopsis: Talks about getting a certificate for crossing the Equator and how he feels about being part of the war.

Keywords: Equator; Oldham County Historical Society; Ra Ra

Subjects: Equator.; Oldham County Historical Society (Oldham County, Ky.)