Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Billie H. Engler, October 21, 2011

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:06 - Life before enlisting in the Navy

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Partial Transcript: Today is October 21, 2011.

Segment Synopsis: Engler discusses what his life was like growing up in rural Kentucky before he enlisted in the Navy. Engler talks about he and his brothers working on the farm, in coal mines, and taking care of his parents. He also mentions where he went to school and church, and the people he grew up with.

Keywords: Agriculture; Birthplace; Brothers; Enlistment; Farm; Farming; Owensboro (Ky.); Rockport (Ky.); Rural life

Subjects: Agriculture; Childhood; Church.; Coal mines and mining; Military.; Rural schools; Small cities; World War, 1939-1945

GPS: Rockport (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.333, 86.996
00:04:33 - Bootcamp and travel in the United States Navy

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Partial Transcript: When you, uh, signed up, tell me what was, uh, what was boot camp like? Where did you go?

Segment Synopsis: Engler talks about his enlistment into the Navy and his experience with military boot camp. He talks about his time on the USS Helena flagship and USS Iowa battleship, among other ships. He lists the many locations he traveled to during his service.

Keywords: China; Enlistment; Gunners; Maryland; Soldiers; Susquehanna River; Training; Travel; USS Helena (Gunboat); USS Iowa (Battleship); United States Naval Training Center Bainbridge (USNTC Bainbridge); Yangtze River

Subjects: Basic training (Military education); Countries; Military life.; Military.; United States. Navy.; War stories.; World War, 1939-1945

00:08:46 - Missions in the United States Navy

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Partial Transcript: During this time what was going on?

Segment Synopsis: Engler talks about his goodwill tours overseas, what he saw in the cities and villages that he visited, and how the people who lived in those places perceived the U.S. soldiers. He talks about his discharge from the military.

Keywords: Aftermath; Americans; Ammunition; Bodyguards; China; Civilians; Communists; Destruction; France; Goodwill tours; Guarding; M1 (Weapon); Marines; Reception; Scared; Show of force; Soldiers; Tanks; Towns; Treatment; USS Helena (Gunboat); USS Iowa (Battleship); Unarmed

Subjects: Civilians in war.; Countries; Military discharge; Military life.; Military.; Missions.; United States. Navy.; War stories.; World War, 1939-1945

00:15:33 - Marriage and family lineage

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Partial Transcript: Were you married?

Segment Synopsis: This brief section discusses how Engler met his wife Mildred, when they married, and their family lineage including children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

Keywords: Children; Family lineage; Grandchildren; Great-grandchildren; Marital status; Marriage

Subjects: Families.; Family histories.; Family history.; Family life.; Marriage & family review

00:16:44 - Life after military service

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Partial Transcript: When you came out of the service, what's, uh--for the first few weeks or more what'd you do?

Segment Synopsis: Engler talks about what he did after being discharged from the military. He says that he and his brothers helped his father work in coal mines and farm. Engler then explains that he moved to Louisville, Kentucky and finished his career at Ford Motor Company.

Keywords: Agriculture; Bank farms; Coal mines and mining; Farming; Ford Motor Company; High schools; Jobs; Louisville (Ky.); Managers; Truck driving

Subjects: Military discharge.; Occupations; War stories, American; World War, 1939-1945--Veterans

00:18:18 - Memories from his military service and interview conclusion

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Partial Transcript: What did--is memorable? Are there some incidents that happened on this flagship that, uh, you could, tell us about? Something fun interesting, memorable, historic?

Segment Synopsis: Engler talks about memories from his military service, whether he would recommend serving in the military to young people, and what happened to the military ships that he was on during his military service.

Keywords: Hughes Flying-boat (Seaplane); Learning discipline; Memories; Recommendation; Reunion; USS Helena (Gunboat); USS Iowa (Battleship); War friends

Subjects: War memorials.; War stories.; World War, 1939-1945--Veterans