Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Harry "Pat" Hofferbert, September 25, 2017

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:01 - His family history

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Partial Transcript: The following interview was recorded on September 25th, 2017 in the studio of the Scott County Public Library.

Segment Synopsis: Hofferbert discusses his family's background and how his family moved west across the United States after his great-grandparents immigrated from Germany to settle in Loogootee, Indiana.

Keywords: "German hillbillies"; '"Tapping the till"; Accountants; Air Transport Command Pacific; Amish community; Anecdotes; Battle of Saipan; C-54 Sky Master; Cabinet makers; Church of Christ; Dr. Day; Family reunions; Farms; Fathers; Germany; Graduates; Grandparents; Gravel roads; Great grandfathers; Greenfield High School; Jobs; Junior high schools; Loogootee High School; Majors; Methodist hospitals; Mothers; Names; Officers; Offices; Overall company; Pastors; Pictorial history; Pilot training; Ruptured eardrums; Schools; Sharecropping; Standard Grocery Company; Store managers; Stores; Students; The Great Depression; Uncles; Wood carvers; Wounded soldiers

Subjects: California.; Family histories.; Greenfield (Ind.); Indianapolis (Ind.); Loogootee (Ind.); United States. Army. Air Corps.; World War, 1939-1945

00:10:29 - Moving to California

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Partial Transcript: But in 1938, my dad, who was in, uh, California at that time living with his mother, uh, told me that he would like for me to come out for the summer and visit California.

Segment Synopsis: Hofferbert talks about falling in love with California and convincing his mother to move him and his two brothers, Bob and Jimmy Hofferbert, across the country to Los Angeles, California. He tells stories of their troubles making their way west once they saved enough money to pack up and move, as well as how his mother kept doubting the decision and insisting they return to Greenfield, Indiana.

Keywords: "Green Hornet"; 1936 Plymouth Sedan; Apartments; Articles; Billboards; Board of health; Bob Hofferbert; Breakfast; Brothers; Casinos; Community colleges; Credit; Dentists; Division point; Dr. Sylvester Schmidt; Enlisted; Estate sales; Flooding; Government; Greyhound buses; Highway 34; Houses; Jimmy Hofferbert; Local papers; Los Angeles Times; Money; Motels; Mothers; Mountains; Newspapers; Oil tank farms; Omens; Panic; Plumbers; Presidents; Racks; Restaurants; Saving; Spiders; Submarines; Tennis; Tires; Uncles

Subjects: California.; Family histories.; Greenfield (Ind.); Las Vegas (Nev.); Los Angeles (Calif.); Steamboat Springs (Colo.); Travel.; War.

00:18:23 - Basic training for the United States Army Air Corps

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Partial Transcript: And I was called up in, uh, in the spring, then, of '43.

Segment Synopsis: Hofferbert discusses the basic training program he went through to become a pilot for the United States Army Air Corps. He also tells the story of how he was not allowed to finish his training because of rupturing his eardrum during a training exercise.

Keywords: Airports; Altitude; Basic training; Beaches; Cadet programs; Cadets; Damage; Eardrums; Eastern Oregon University; Eyesight; Family reunions; Flight sergeants; Flying; Hammerhead stalls; Hearing; High schools; Instructors; Measure; Mud; Orientation; PT-17; Pearl Harbor; Pilot training; Planes; Pre-flight school; Sacajawea Hotel; Solo; Taylor craft; Testing; Training; Union Pacific Railroad; Wings

Subjects: Air bases--United States.; Disappointment.; Enlisted men; Fresno (Calif.); La Grande (Or.); Lemoore (Calif.); Military bases.; United States. Army. Air Corps.

00:25:47 - His flight routes

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Partial Transcript: But, anyhow, I, uh--at that point, they, they didn't know what they were gonna--you know, they would, they would--you were still a good, a good body to them.

Segment Synopsis: Hofferbert discusses the routes of the aircraft carriers he flew on as a flight traffic clerk during World War II.

Keywords: 105 Howitzers; Air; Air Transport Command; Attendants; Barges; Base units; Battles; Bermuda; C-47s; C-54 Sky Masters; Cabin masters; Christmas Island; Clark Field; Confidential materials; Coral; Corps of Engineers; Eastern routes; Emergencies; Fighting; Fiji; Flight times; Flight traffic clerks; Flights; Fuel; Guadalcanal; Guam; Islands; Johnston Island; Kanton Island; Kwajalein Island; Load masters; Material; Military Air Transport Service; Naval Air Transport Service; Navigation; New Caledonia; New Guinea; Nichols Field; Palmyra Island; Passengers; Personnel; Pickett ships; Planes; Provisions; Runways; Saipan; Service; Shells; Tarawa; The Azores; Training; Troop Carrier Command; Troops; Wounded

Subjects: Air bases.; Aircraft carriers.; Brisbane (Australia); Hamilton Field (Calif.); Hickam Air Force Base (Hawaii); Japan.; Japanese.; Pacific Ocean.; Philippines.; United States. Army. Air Corps.; West Palm Beach (Fla.); World War, 1939-1945

00:33:41 - His wartime experiences on the ground

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Partial Transcript: But you were--y, y, your plane was involved in evacuating wounded from, from those--

Segment Synopsis: Hofferbert discusses the horrible treatment of handicapped and wounded people that he witnessed during his time on the ground in Japan and China. He compares that treatment to the way the Americans treated their wounded.

Keywords: Adolf Hitler; Airplanes; Bamboo; Baths; Beggars; Bricks; Cars; Central Bank of China; China Burma India Theater; Crews; Districts; Families; Flight nurses; Flights; Ghettos; Guam; Handicap; Homes; Humane; Military hospitals; Money; Occupation; Recovery; Resources; Rest; Rickshaws; Routes; Spa; Stabilized; Stub; Tiles; Tripler General Hospital; White Russians; Won; Wood; Wounded

Subjects: Atsugi (Japan); Civilians in war.; Hiroshima (Japan); Iwakuni (Japan); Nagasaki (Japan); Shanghai (China); United States. Army. Air Corps.

00:43:58 - Resuming life after World War II

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Partial Transcript: Well, let's go, let's go back a little bit--

Segment Synopsis: Hofferbert discusses his feelings towards the end of the war and what he did once he was able to return home to California.

Keywords: Administration; Bombs; Chemistry; Company stores; Cowboy Joe Forbes; Elementary credentials; Football; GI Bill; Girls; Groceries; Guam; Halloween; Hamilton Field; Houses; Humboldt State University; Logging; Logging company; Lumber company towns; Manilla; Masters degrees; Naval housing; Navy Day; Occidental College; Orders; P-39 pilots; Redwoods; Registrars; School buses; Secondary credentials; Ships; Students; Tests; Trucks; Veteran Village; Wash houses; Wife; Wood

Subjects: Education; Marriage; Teachers; United States. Army. Air Corps.; United States. Navy.; World War, 1939-1945

00:52:21 - Why he went into the field of education

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Partial Transcript: Wha--so, what, what, uh, uh, influenced you to go into education rather than saying, you know, just cause I know some people when they get out, they wanted to stay in and fly?

Segment Synopsis: Hofferbert discusses the reasons he went into education rather than staying in the service. He also talks about his younger brothers and the roles they played as members of the United States Army Air Corps and the United States Navy. He then goes on to elaborate on the different positions that he held during his career in education.

Keywords: "German hillbillies"; Administration; Apartments; Aptitude tests; Assistant principals; Basements; Beggars; Bodies; Careers; Classrooms; Colleges; Continents; Crews; Family; Fellow; Graveyards; High schools; Humanitarians; Hydraulic engineers; Junior colleges; Languages; Money; Morticians; Pre-flight school; Principals; Records; Roof; Sabbatical leave; States; Superintendents; Workmen

Subjects: Atsugi (Japan); California.; Careers; Education; Europe; Germany.; Modesto (Calif.); Shanghai (China); Teachers; Travel.; United States. Army. Air Corps.; United States. Navy.

01:00:25 - Traveling through education

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Partial Transcript: We had the money to go to, uh, the, uh, the sabbatical in, in Germany.

Segment Synopsis: Hofferbert tells stories of his traveling experiences that he got to be part of because of his career in education. He also talks about retiring from administration and the career that he picked up after his retirement from teaching.

Keywords: Asian studies; Athletic pictures; Atlantic; Cars; Channel; City; Class pictures; Closed circuit television; Cold War; Company cars; Conference; Couples; Credit cards; Damages; Daughters; Days; Dinners; Districts; Experiences; Ferry; Fulbright scholarships; Gasoline; Golf courses; Housing; Information; International conventions; International meetings; Keys; Nephews; Notes; Observers; Orphans; Paint; Parents; Photographs; Religious context; Retirement; Roof; SOS Children's Village; Salary; Sales meetings; Sales representatives; Sand; School picture company; Schools; Scratch; Scripting; Senior pictures; Special needs teachers; Summer; Tours; Towns; Training; University of Southern California; Volkswagen; Water; Wind; World Vision

Subjects: China; Education; England.; Families.; France.; Germany.; India.; Italy.; Norway.; Remarriage; South America.; Switzerland.; Teachers; Travel.

01:16:01 - His personal relationships

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Partial Transcript: But, anyhow, and then, uh, my, uh, my second wife passed away after forty-two years of marriage to, uh--in, uh, eight years ago in April.

Segment Synopsis: Hofferbert discusses his second wife passing away, and meeting Wynona Suit as well as his connections with Rose Pond.

Keywords: Attorneys; Brothers; Brown bags; Churches; Deans; Dinners; Family; Hockaday Girls School; Marvin Suit; Single; String; University of Kentucky; Wife; Wynona Suit

Subjects: Death.; Families.; Flemingsburg (Ky.); Iceland.; Lexington (Ky.); Norway.; Travel.

01:18:40 - Honor Flights

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Partial Transcript: But, that's kind of it.

Segment Synopsis: Hofferbert discusses the different Veteran Honor Flights that he has been a part of, as well as the ones he will be part of in the future.

Keywords: Accounts; B-17; B-24; B-25; Bill Lyons; Bombers; Boxes; C-54; Collings Foundation; Commemorative Air Force; Connections; Demetrius Caracas; Discs; Experiences; Flights; Freedom Fighter; Gary Sinise; Honor Flights; Lunches; Memorials; Museums; National War Museum; Parts; Photographs; Pilots; Restaurants; Steak dinners

Subjects: Aircraft carriers.; United States. Army. Air Corps.; Veterans.; Washington (D.C.); World War, 1939-1945

01:24:12 - How the military affected his life

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Partial Transcript: I, I want to ask you and then, we'll, and then, we'll close this down.

Segment Synopsis: Hofferbert discusses the impact that serving in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II had on his life and the choices that he made during it. He also talks about being a member of the Kiwanis Club and what he has contributed to the club as a dedicated member.

Keywords: Cancer; Comparative education; Cruises; Debate club; Districts; Doctorates; Drama; Film industry; Foundation; Handicap; Harry "Pat" Hofferbert Debate Society; High schools; Ideas; Kiwanis Club; Kiwanis meetings; Library; Lieutenant governors; Morticians; National winners; Perfect attendance; Presidents; Rotary clubs; Scholarships; Schools; Service clubs; Signatures; Speech; Teaching

Subjects: Careers; Clubs.; United States. Army. Air Corps.