Abbott, Robert 2000-01-27

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Robert Abbott talks about what Lubbock, Texas was like from 1915 to the early 1920’s. He also talks about the dedication and ground breaking for Texas Tech University, jobs he held as a teenager, and his military service – including his time as a prisoner of war during World War II.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Robert Abbott

Additional Parties Recorded: n/a

Date: January 27, 2000

Location: Lubbock, Texas

Interviewer: David Marshall

Length: 126 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Born in Cisco, Texas, Memories of Lubbock around the time of World War I, Search lights scanning the sky at night, Old Bi-planes around Lubbock, Texas, Move to Lubbock, Texas, Grandfather already lived in Lubbock, Father and Grandfather were in the feed business, Aunt and Uncle made candy, Candy Kitchen, Lubbock, Texas – 1915 – early 1920’s, Began paving the street with concrete and bricks, Water sources, Heating the house, No basements in the houses, Coal delivered in a pile in the yards, Starting a coal fire, Lighting the houses, They got electricity around 1930, Education, Started school in 1921 in the White Building, Stories about teacher and superintendent, Dedication and ground breaking for Texas Tech University, School children were marched to the dedication, Military service, Joined in June, 1934 during the depression, Uncle T.T. Brooks, Ex-railroad section gang foreman for the Santa Fe in Pampa, Texas, Moved to Lubbock, Texas, Owned a service station and tourist camp in Lubbock, Texas, Owned rental houses, Jobs as a teenager, Picking cotton he was paid $.37 for 100 pounds, Sold newspapers on the streets of downtown Lubbock for $.05 a paper, The two newspapers in Lubbock, Texas: The Lubbock Avalanche and The Lubbock, Evening Journal, Story about getting hit by a car while selling newspapers, Military service (again), In the Air Force for 31 years – 1934-1965

Tape 1, Side 2: Military Service (again, Recruiting station at the courthouse in Lubbock, Recruiting process, Train ride to Fort Bliss, Boot Training, Ground training, Target practice on horseback, Care of the horse, Description of the saddle, Weapons used and descriptions, Artillery battalion at Fort Bliss, Description of a regiment, Description of the barracks, Description of a regiment (again), Types of machine guns, Types of air craft, Length of time at Fort Bliss, Transferred to the Army Air Corp in 1939, Reenlistment bonus, Reason for re-enlisting in the Army Air Corp, Expansion of the Army Air Corp, Military service (again), Training in the Air Corp, Stationed at Langley, Transferred to Oklahoma City, OK – 1940 or 1941, Types of aircraft, Flying status pay increase, Qualification for being a pilot, Newspaper and magazine articles about the Japanese,

Tape 2, Side 1: Will Rogers Air Field in Oklahoma City, OK A refueling stop for many planes, Military service (again), Transferred to Albuquerque, New Mexico, Experiences during World War II, Being aboard an unarmed ship headed for Pearl Harbor, Reaching Pearl Harbor the day after it was bombed, Reaction of the crew to the Pearl Harbor bombing, Capture of the ship and crew by the Japanese – 1942,

Tape 2, Side 2: Experiences during World War II (again), Location of prison camp in China and the nationalities of the prisoners, Transferred to a prison camp in Japan in 1943, Liberation by the hospital ship Rescue, Bomb shelters at the Kiwasaki (?) prison camp, Awareness of U.S. bombing in Japan, Treatment of prisoners, Meals in the prison camps, Liberation (again), Being hospitalized upon return to the U.S., Stayed in the military another 20 years,

Range Dates: 1914-1945

Bulk Dates: 1935-1945

Age of Informant: 85

Gender: male

Ethnicity: anglo

Access Information

Original Recording Format: cassette

Recording Format Notes: patron use CD available

Transcript: no

External Links

Worldcat entry for this oral history interview

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