Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Joseph Willis Ward, May 20, 2003

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


Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Search this Index
00:00:03 - Entrance into the service

Play segment

Partial Transcript: We're here at the Oldham County Historical Society in La Grange, Kentucky and my name is Patrice Blanchard.

Segment Synopsis: Talks about being recruited into the Air Force and going for his physical.

Keywords: Air Force; Butte, Montana; Darby, Montana; Korean War; Missoula; Oldham County Historical Society; Victor, Montana; Vietnam War; chipper truck; college; hitchhike; military recruiter; paper mill; physicals; poker

Subjects: Butte (Mont.); College.; Darby (Mont.); Hitchhiking.; Korean War, 1950-1953.; Missoula (Mont.); Oldham County (Ky.); Oldham County Historical Society (Oldham County, Ky.); Paper mills.; Physical Examination.; Poker.; Recruiting and enlistment.; United States. Air Force.; Victor (Mont.); Vietnam War, 1961-1975.

00:09:51 - Military training and instruction

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So then we uh that afternoon, after we took our physicals they put us on a C-47.

Segment Synopsis: Talks about his basic training experience and going to Indiana University to learn Russian.

Keywords: Beetle Bailey comics; Bloomington, Indiana; C-47 Skytrain; Indiana University; Lackland Air Force Base; Mississippi; Russian language; San Antonio, Texas; Voice Intercept Processing School; advanced training; basic training; drill; hunting; latrine; marched; melting pot; quonset hut; smoke; uniform

Subjects: Bailey, Beetle (Fictitious character); Bloomington (Ind.); Douglas DC-3 (Transport plane); Hunting.; Indiana University.; Lackland Air Force Base (Tex.); Marching drills.; Marching.; Military education.; Military uniforms.; Mississippi.; Quonset huts.; Russian language.; San Antonio (Tex.); Toilets.

00:31:34 - Overseas deployment

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So even though you dated you left Indiana University and you went to Japan?

Segment Synopsis: Talks about being deployed overseas to Tokyo, Japan.

Keywords: CIA; Courier-Journal; Goodfellow Air Force Base; Moldova; NSA; Russian Revolution; Russian language; San Angelo, Texas; Tokyo, Japan; Wakkanai Air Station, Japan

Subjects: Courier-journal (Louisville, Ky.); Goodfellow Air Force Base (Tex.); Moldova.; Russian language.; San Angelo (Tex.); Soviet Union--History--Revolution, 1917-1921.; Tokyo (Japan); United States. Central Intelligence Agency.; United States. National Security Agency.

00:43:06 - Cuban Missile Crisis

Play segment

Partial Transcript: You had mentioned in our pre-interview, about what made me think of it you just said terrified, they were terrified but you said that you really had only been afraid afraid at one point in your military career and that was around the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Segment Synopsis: Talks about being in the military during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Keywords: Cuban Missile Crisis; M-1 Carbine; President Kennedy; Sakhalin Island; Wakkanai; duty station

Subjects: Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962.; Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963.; Sakhalin (Sakhalinskai︠a︡ oblastʹ, Russia); Wakkanai-shi (Japan)

00:49:30 - End of service / Post war education

Play segment

Partial Transcript: You, um, towards the end of your service, the Vietnam War was just beginning to get started.

Segment Synopsis: Talks about leaving the service and protesting the Vietnam War.

Keywords: Indiana University; Montana; Viet Cong; Vietnam; Wakkanai; draft

Subjects: Draft.; Indiana University.; Montana.; Mặt trận dân tộc giải phóng miền nam Việt Nam.; Vietnam.; Wakkanai-shi (Japan)

00:54:22 - Civilian entertainment / Death of President John F. Kennedy

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Was there anything else you would like to tell me about your military service that you haven't touched on yet?

Segment Synopsis: Talks about his interactions with civilians in Japan and when President John F. Kennedy was shot.

Keywords: Air Force Command; Fort Meade, Maryland; Johnny Cash; June Carter; Kelly Air Force Base; National Security Agency; President Kennedy; USO show; Wakkanai

Subjects: Cash, Johnny.; Cash, June Carter, 1929-2003.; Fort George G. Meade (Md.); Kelly Air Force Base (Tex.); Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963.; United Service Organizations (U.S.); United States. National Security Agency.; Wakkanai-shi (Japan)

01:00:49 - Life on the base

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Joe, tell me a little bit more about when you were in Japan as a voice intercept processor.

Segment Synopsis: Talks about what he did as a voice intercept in Japan.

Keywords: Bar Alley; Fort Knox, Kentucky; Japanese; Lafayette, Louisiana; Louisville, Kentucky; kimono; voice intercept

Subjects: Fort Knox (Ky.); Japanese.; Kimonos.; Lafayette (La.); Louisville (Ky.)

01:08:03 - Roommates on base

Play segment

Partial Transcript: One of the other memorable characters you told me about was Monty Montgomery.

Segment Synopsis: Talks about his roommate Monty Montgomery.

Keywords: African American; Catholic; Chicago, Illinois; Christian; Mississippi; chess; drunk; homesteader; honyoker

Subjects: African American.; Catholic.; Chess.; Chicago (Illinois); Christianity.; Frontier and pioneer life.; Mississippi.

01:15:34 - Reflections

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Anything else you want to tell me about your experiences?

Segment Synopsis: Talks about not wanting to have a military career and how the being in the military made him a different person.

Keywords: Christmas; Courier-Journal; Seattle, Washington; Western Montana; Wyoming; Yen; anti-war; journalism; military career

Subjects: Christmas.; Courier-journal (Louisville, Ky.); Journalism.; Montana, Western.; Peace movements.; Seattle (Wash.); Wyoming.; Yen, Japanese.