Interview with Coleman L. McGuire, September 16, 2003

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

 

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00:00:03 - Introduction / enlisting in the Navy / Midshipmen's School

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Partial Transcript: --here at the Oldham County History Center.

Segment Synopsis: Coleman McGuire is introduced. He discusses enlisting with the Navy after his graduation from the University of Notre Dame. He talks about his experiences in Midshipmen's School, his job in the Navy, and the ship he was assigned to.

Keywords: Boat officers; Bougainville Island (Papua New Guinea); Chesapeake Bay (Md. and Va.); Commissioned ensigns; Landings; Letter of Commendation; Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek (Va.); Officers training programs; Recruiting; San Francisco (Calif.); Solomon Islands; Tactical officers; Training; USS Henderson (AP-1); USS President ; University of Notre Dame

Subjects: Louisville (Ky.); Pearl Harbor (Hawaii); United States. Navy.; World War, 1939-1945--Naval operations, American

00:07:12 - Landing at Bougainville

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Partial Transcript: And then after, uh, three months--three and a half months on board, we made a, uh, landing on Bougainville.

Segment Synopsis: McGuire talks about landing at Bougainville Island in the Solomon Islands and the various military groups he worked with while there.

Keywords: 1st Marine Amphibious Corps; 37th Army Division; 3rd Marine Division; 4th Australian Infantry Division; Army Division Americal; Boat Pool 11; Bougainville Island (Papua New Guinea); Fighter strips; Heat; Japanese soldiers; Landings; Rabaul (Papua New Guinea); Shooting; Troops

Subjects: United States. Navy.; World War, 1939-1945--Naval operations, American

00:13:49 - Landing on D-Day at Bougainville

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Partial Transcript: So we had a couple months where we worked with the Australians, uh, on this--taking the troops in on D-Day, taking our guys in after we had taken the marines in.

Segment Synopsis: McGuire discusses his experience taking troops ashore on D-Day at Bougainville Island including getting lost and his swollen feet.

Keywords: Attacking; Boat Pools; Bougainville Island (Papua New Guinea); D-Day; Gunfire; Japanese soldiers; Landings; Marines; Patrols; Swollen feet; Tactical officers

Subjects: Death Marches.; United States. Navy.; World War, 1939-1945--Naval operations, American

00:20:40 - Boats / food

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Partial Transcript: And we had no, no equipment, you know, no, uh, just the boats.

Segment Synopsis: McGuire describes the various boats he was in charge of and the lack of equipment available. He talks about the food the Navy was given during their deployment.

Keywords: Boats; Bougainville Island (Papua New Guinea); Equipment; Food; Landing craft, mechanized (LCM); Landing crafts; Landings; Moon; Tactical officers

Subjects: United States. Navy.; World War, 1939-1945--Naval operations, American

00:30:04 - Photographs

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Partial Transcript: --on the--I showed you some, uh, pictures, some small, individual pictures and the way we got those was there was an aerial reconnaissance photo group on the island after things got set up pretty well.

Segment Synopsis: McGuire talks about how he took photos during his time on Bougainville Island. He talks about how they repaired their ships.

Keywords: Boats; Bombers; Bougainville Island (Papua New Guinea); Fighter strips; Foxholes; Japanese rifles; Photographs; Trading

Subjects: United States. Navy.; World War, 1939-1945--Naval operations, American

00:34:38 - Captain / commendation

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Partial Transcript: As I say, it was a lot of guys doing some worthwhile work without much training, without much supervision, and without much equipment.

Segment Synopsis: McGuire discusses a captain he worked with. He talks about a commendation he received for his service.

Keywords: Captain; Commendations; Landings; Philadelphia (Pa.); Proud; Transport Division II

Subjects: United States. Navy.; World War, 1939-1945--Naval operations, American

00:40:19 - Rescuing a beached boat

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Partial Transcript: Well let, let me ask you a couple of questions and then we'll look at some of those pictures.

Segment Synopsis: McGuire discusses an experience he had rescuing a boat that became beached on an island.

Keywords: Beached; Boats; Broached-to; Propaganda; Radios

Subjects: United States. Navy.; World War, 1939-1945--Naval operations, American

00:45:34 - Natives on Bougainville Island

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Partial Transcript: Well, uh, one thing--another thing about this island, Bougainville, what was there before the war?

Segment Synopsis: McGuire talks about the people who lived on Bougainville Island before the war. He describes the island geography.

Keywords: Bougainville Island (Papua New Guinea); Coconut plantations; Japanese bases; Natives

Subjects: United States. Navy.; World War, 1939-1945--Naval operations, American

00:48:52 - R&R in Australia

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Partial Transcript: But I did, uh, we got transferred from Halsey's fleet to McArthur's fleet.

Segment Synopsis: McGuire discusses his ten day leave in Australia including meeting girls and going to horse races.

Keywords: Girls; Horse racing; Hotels; Red Cross; Rest and rehabilitation; Sydney (Australia); Women

Subjects: United States. Navy.; World War, 1939-1945--Naval operations, American

00:54:23 - Leaving Bougainville on the USS Houston

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Partial Transcript: We, we worked with the Australian Army.

Segment Synopsis: McGuire talks about leaving Bougainville on the USS Houston and his lack of experience on ships due to being part of the Amphibious Force.

Keywords: 37th Division Reconaissance Company; German prisoners; Philadelphia Naval Yard; Receiving station; Ships; Terminal leave; USS Houston (CL-81); United States Navy Amphibious Force; VE Day; Victory in Europe Day; Watch stations

Subjects: United States. Navy.; World War, 1939-1945--Naval operations, American

01:00:03 - Travelling through the Panama Canal / assignments

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Partial Transcript: We're back, uh, the second tape with Coleman McGuire.

Segment Synopsis: McGuire talks more about his journey to New York on the USS Houston, focusing on his experience travelling through the Panama Canal. He talks about arriving in New York and his efforts to be able to choose his next assignment.

Keywords: Assignments; Clubs; Girls; Naval District Commandant; New York (N.Y.); Panama Canal; Pearl Harbor (Hawaii); Philadelphia (Pa.); Receiving stations; USS Indianapolis (CA-35); Washington (D.C.); Watch; Women

Subjects: United States. Navy.; World War, 1939-1945--Naval operations, American

01:07:51 - Working in the Detail Office

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Partial Transcript: So I reported and this, there's a tremendous, you know, th, at this point the Navy had more people than they ever had had.

Segment Synopsis: McGuire describes his job at the Detail Office being in charge of the prisoners at large and the restricted men.

Keywords: Absent Over Leave (AOL); Absent Without Leave (AWL); Battle fatigue; Bureau of Personnel; Court marshal; Lost persons; Mustering units; Prisoners at large

Subjects: United States. Navy.

01:12:31 - Getting a job as a Welfare and Education Officer

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Partial Transcript: So I was on a summary court marshal board.

Segment Synopsis: McGuire talks about getting a job as a Welfare and Education Officer and his new job duties.

Keywords: Basketball; Fraternizing with the enemy; German prisoners; Movies; Welfare & Education Officers

Subjects: United States. Navy.

01:15:52 - Photographs of the USS President Hayes and maps of Bougainville

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Partial Transcript: Well, let's look at some of those photographs now that--they're in that--

Segment Synopsis: McGuire displays pictures taken of Bougainville Island and the USS President Hayes. He shows maps of the geography of Bougainville and the nearby islands.

Keywords: Bougainville Island (Papua New Guinea); Maps; Photos; Pictures; USS President Hayes (APA-20)

Subjects: United States. Navy.; World War, 1939-1945--Naval operations, American

01:22:34 - Photographs of boats and Bougainville

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Partial Transcript: This is a picture of--this is two pictures.

Segment Synopsis: McGuire displays photographs of various boats and the island of Bougainville.

Keywords: Boats; Bougainville Island (Papua New Guinea); Broaching; LCDP; PT Units; Ships

Subjects: United States. Navy.; World War, 1939-1945--Naval operations, American

01:27:02 - Photographs of himself, bombings, and Quonset huts

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Partial Transcript: There's a photograph or two of you at that period. Find one of those--

Segment Synopsis: McGuire displays photographs of himself as well as photos of bombings, boats, and the Quonset huts the men worked in on the island.

Keywords: (Landing ship, tanks (LSTs); 23rd Infantry Division (Americal Division); Basketball courts; Boats; Bombers; Bombing; Cranes; Marines; Photos; Pictures; Puruata Island, Bougainville (Papua New Guinea); Quonset huts

Subjects: United States. Navy.; World War, 1939-1945--Naval operations, American

01:31:29 - Water on Bougainville Island

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Partial Transcript: This, this, uh, island where you were, was it, it rained a lot there, I gather?

Segment Synopsis: McGuire talks about the amount of rain they recieved on Bourgainville Island and the quality of the water they had to drink.

Keywords: Bougainville Island (Papua New Guinea); Distilling; Rain; Stills; Water; Water tanks; Water towers; Wells; Worms

Subjects: United States. Navy.

01:34:59 - Opinion of the Navy

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Partial Transcript: Well, I want you to tell us now how you feel about the, the experience of having been there and the war, fighting.

Segment Synopsis: McGuire talks about how he feels about his service and his opinion on the Navy today.

Keywords: Amphibious Force; Casualties; Death; Full lieutenants; Killed; Military service; Promotions; Vietnam War

Subjects: United States. Navy.

01:40:05 - Life after the Navy

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Partial Transcript: What, what did you do for a living after you got out of the service?

Segment Synopsis: McGuire talks about his life after being in the military including his job and his health. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Businesses; Chicago (Ill.); Entrepreneurs; Health; Jobs; Louisville (Ky.); Manufacturer's representatives; Paint manufacturing; Retirement; Salesmen; Working

Subjects: World War, 1939-1945--Veterans