Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Barry Amole, April 11, 2022

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


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00:00:05 - Introduction 00:00:16 - Amole's family background

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Partial Transcript: Okay. Where did I grow up? Spring City, Pennsylvania.

Segment Synopsis: Amole discusses his family members, who are all deceased. Amole's family was made up of various professionals; his mother worked at Pennhurst Asylum and one of his brothers worked as a mechanic.

Keywords: Baker Equipment Engineering Company; Pennhurst Asylum

Subjects: Family; Spring City (Pa.)

GPS: Spring City, Pennsylvania is Amole's hometown.
Map Coordinates: 40.17675, -75.54785
GPS: Pennhurst Asylum (Spring City, PA), Amole's Mother employed here
Map Coordinates: 40.19341045650063, -75.56098912957054
GPS: Baker Equipment Engineering Company (Pottstown, PA), Amole's Employer after Military Service
Map Coordinates: 40.241619, -75.549438
00:02:13 - Amole's educational background

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Partial Transcript: Um, what can you tell me about your schooling?

Segment Synopsis: Amole says he was not very good at school, and thinks he might have had ADHD. Amole mentions that after completing his service, he completed his bachelor's degree in business at 59.

Keywords: ADHD; Bachelor’s degrees

Subjects: Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.; Education

00:03:38 - Military history within the family.

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Partial Transcript: Yes. In terms of joining the military, did you have any other family who served in the military?

Segment Synopsis: Amole had various relatives that served in the military, including an uncle that served in World War II. His oldest brother was his inspiration to go into aviation when enlisting.

Keywords: Army aviation (United States Army); Aviation Units; P.O.Ws; WW2; WWII; World War 2; World War Two

Subjects: Draft; Military families; United States. Army--Aviation; World War II

00:04:48 - Experience as aviation military occupational specialist

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Partial Transcript: Um, OK, so I guess leading up to, um, your service in Vietnam, when and how did you first hear about the Vietnam War?

Segment Synopsis: Amore says that prior to going to Vietnam he studied hard and became a specialist in his division. He mentions that he went to Canada for a thirteen-week course on the CV2 Caribou aircraft.

Keywords: CV2 Caribou (aircraft); Company 540; Lyndon B Johnson; M.O.S.; Military occupation specialty

Subjects: Aircraft; Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973; Vietnam; Vietnam War, 1961-1975

00:08:28 - Experiences sailing to Vietnam

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Partial Transcript: What was that like for you, when you got that news?

Segment Synopsis: Amore describes his experiences on the ship to Vietnam as a dull time. He says pinochle and chess were some of the activities that helped to pass the time.

Keywords: 1st cavalry; General Leroy Eltinge; Saltwater showers; deployment

Subjects: Vietnam; Vietnam War, 1961-1975

00:12:16 - Newsletter distributed aboard the ship to Vietnam

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Partial Transcript: And when we talked before you mentioned, um the newsletter for your ship, right? Could you talk about, expand on that a little more?

Segment Synopsis: Amole describes the Eltinge Rag, a newsletter distributed aboard the General Leroy Eltinge on the way to Vietnam. One of these newsletters included a pamphlet that the soldiers airdrop from planes.

Keywords: Airdrops; Eltinge Rag; General Leroy Eltinge; Media

Subjects: Newsletters; Pamphlets; Vietnam War, 1961-1975

00:14:23 - Experiences in Vietnam

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Partial Transcript: Yes, that's wonderful. Um, so what was your experience when you first arrived in Vietnam?

Segment Synopsis: Amole describes his experiences in Vietnam, including his arrival in Vietnam, as well as his experiences picking up wounded soldiers from the battle field. Amole recalls the importance of relationships with other soldiers as they were there to help take care of you.

Keywords: Nga Trang; Quin Yon

Subjects: Combat; Ia Drang Valley (Vietnam); Ia Drang Valley, Battle of, Vietnam, 1965; Vietnam; Vietnam War, 1961-1975

GPS: Nga Trang (Vietnam), Amole camped out here for ten days
Map Coordinates: 12.2450700° , 109.1943200°
GPS: Ia Drang Valley (Vietnam), Amole air lifted wounded from this location
Map Coordinates: 13.583000, 107.717000
00:27:08 - Relationships with other veterans after Vietnam

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Partial Transcript: And how did, um, what was like, I guess relationships with your fellow service members, like what was that like when you know you weren't on duty, like. Did you make any lasting relationships there?

Segment Synopsis: Amole talks about the veterans reunions he has been to since coming home. He says the individuals he Interacted with while serving have left a lasting impression.

Keywords: Reunions; Vietnam Veterans of America Groups

Subjects: Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc.; Vietnam War, 1961-1975

00:32:12 - Wife's experience as nurse in Vietnam

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Partial Transcript: You, um, your wife, you had a wife who was a nurse in Vietnam, correct?

Segment Synopsis: Amole discusses how his wife's experiences as a nurse were a significant part of her life that she did not speak about often. Some of her experiences included the Tet Offensive and helping to treat a classmate that had been shot in the field. field.

Keywords: Bronze Stars; Field hospitals; Vietnam nurses

Subjects: Military families; Military hospitals; My Lai Massacre, Vietnam, 1968.; Nurses; Spouses; Tet Offensive, 1968; Vietnam War, 1961-1975

00:40:30 - Negative homecoming at Oakland Airport

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Partial Transcript: What was it like when you got home?

Segment Synopsis: Amole describes his homecoming experiences. Amole recalls the military men returning home receiving orders to "take off their uniforms." He notes that individuals his age were spat at and were called names.

Keywords: Homecoming; military police (MP)

Subjects: Oakland (Calif.); Veterans; Vietnam War, 1961-1975

00:42:39 - Homecoming in Spring City, Pennsylvania

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Partial Transcript: Did you experience any of that firsthand?

Segment Synopsis: Amole's experience arriving home in Spring City was different from the one in Oakland. He felt comfortable returning to his small town and he became active in a local organization for veterans.

Keywords: Homecoming; Legion; Southeast Veterans Center; VFW; Veteran's social clubs

Subjects: Spring City (Pa.); Veterans; Veterans of Future Wars (U.S.)

00:44:44 - Work life after returning from Vietnam

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Partial Transcript: Did you have any plans for your life after the military when you got home--

Segment Synopsis: Amole talks about working in a factory job that he did not care for after returning home. Amole says he returned to working with aircrafts for a period of time before beginning his career at Baker's Equipment. Amole notes that he never cared for being a part of the Union because he preferred taking care of things himself.

Keywords: Baker Equipment; Career Development (CDCs); Union strikes

Subjects: Careers; Labor unions.; Vietnam; Vietnam War, 1961-1975

00:49:08 - Volunteering at Coatesville Veterans Association

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Partial Transcript: So you, you definitely still keep in contact with other Vietnam veterans, of course, with all the work you do.

Segment Synopsis: Amole talks about the experiences that he has had helping plan events for the Coatesville Veterans Association. He feels that he has had a positive impact on the veterans.

Keywords: Coatesville Veterans Association; Coatesville, Pennsylvania; Hospices; VFW

Subjects: Coatesville (Pa.); Veterans; Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States

00:53:55 - Relationships with veterans versus relationships with civilians

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Partial Transcript: How would you say that your relationships with other Vietnam veterans, um, are different from your other relationships with just people who did not serve or have no military experience?

Segment Synopsis: Amole talks about how his relationships and interactions with other veterans is different than with those who have not served. He observes that the similar experiences veterans have had change the relationship.

Keywords: CV2 Caribou (aircraft); Ravens; Relationships

Subjects: Fort Rucker (Ala.); Veterans

00:57:34 - Amole's opinion on war

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Partial Transcript: And how do you think your service changed, if it did, it all changed your views on the war or, or not the war, but war in general and military service in general?

Segment Synopsis: Amole tells Campese that "violence should be the last resort." He references Desert Storm, Afghanistan, and Ukraine. Amole references the ages of the soldiers in Desert Storm calling them "kids". Additionally, he highlights the role of the government in Afghanistan, as well as their lack of involvement in Ukraine.

Keywords: Afghanistan War; Operation Desert Storm, 1991; Russia; Ukraine; War in the Ukraine (2022)

Subjects: Afghanistan; Persian Gulf War, 1991.; Ukraine

01:06:42 - Racism in America during Military Service

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Partial Transcript: Really, it just really set me up for life. But it wasn't in Vietnam, but it was in the army.

Segment Synopsis: Amole talks about his experiences in the Jim Crow South in 1965. Amole was heavily impacted when he came face-to-face with segregation in Alabama.

Keywords: Albert Dennis Price; BLM; Black Lives Matter; Jim Crow laws; Prejudices; Racial discrimination

Subjects: Alabama; Black lives matter movement.; Race discrimination.; Racism; Segregation.; United States. Army.

01:11:41 - Views on race with Amole's division

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Partial Transcript: No, that's really interesting. So when you were, you know, obviously in America, you know, it's segregated, very tense race relations, but not, none of that in the military or, was there any of that in the military?

Segment Synopsis: Amole observes that his views on race and those of his sergeant during the war were similar. Both men noted that regardless of skin color all soldiers are equal.

Keywords: Black First Sergeant; Military trials; Military tribunals; Racial discrimination

Subjects: Atlanta (Ga.); Military courts.; Race discrimination.; Racism; Vietnam War, 1961-1975