Brookshire, Ray 1998-10-02

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Lubbock, Texas resident Ray Brookshire talks about fighting in the South Pacific during World War II and being a prisoner of war.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Ray Brookshire

Additional Parties Recorded:

Date: October 2 and 7, 1998

Location: Lubbock, Texas

Interviewer: David Marshall

Length: 4 hours


Tape 1: Born on May 5, 1914 in Bula, Missouri, World War I, Remembrances, Uncle, Parents, Father: Brookshire, Ernest, Mother: Rowlan, Evelyn, Great Grandfather’s family killed by Indians, Didn’t know real last name, Story of the attack, Bula, Missouri, Father (again), Ranching and Farming, Open range, Cattle, Hogs, Working on the farm while growing up, Chickens, Garden, Siblings, Moved to St. Louis at 9 years old, Working on the farm while growing up (again), Childhood in Bula, Missouri, Family, Encounter with wolves, Family (again), Split sides during the Civil War, Grandmother, Union side, James, Jesse, Book by Aunt Becky Brookshire, James posse captured uncle, St. Louis, Missouri, Reasons for moving there, Selling livestock, Father (again), Buying livestock in Arkansas, Hogs dying of disease, Fell down and lost use of one of his arms , Had to quite school to work, Kroger Grocery, Structural steel company, Father (again), Had help with his arm from a chiropractor, Started attending night school at 17, Public speaking, Politics, War Healers, Roosevelt, Franklin D., Wilson, Woodrow, Debates in school, Jobs after finishing school, Shop foreman for a sheet metal company, Brookshire, Ray (continued), Shop foreman for a sheet metal company (continued), Hiring a man who was in the infantry, Deacon of the church became the shop foreman, Lost position as shop foreman, Health was getting bad because of paint fumes, Enlisted in the military, 1939, Military, Basic training, Sacramento, California, Flooding, Experiences in California, Eating new kinds of food, Army Air Corp, Reasons for joining, Little Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, California, Sailed to Philippines on April 27, 1940, U.S.S. Grant, World War I German troop ship, U.S. anticipation of war, Amount of troops in the U.S. and Japanese militaries, Philippine Islands, Number of troops stationed there, Clark Field, B-10 planes, B-17 planes, Building fortifications, Texas and New Mexico National Guards, Japanese attack, Philippine Soldiers, Roosevelt, Franklin D. (again), Ordering the Navy into one location at Hawaii, Easy target for Japan, Effort to unify the nation for war, World War II, Pearl Harbor bombing, Brookshire, Ray (again), Feelings on the outbreak of war, Opinion of news reporters at the time, Philippine Islands (again), Japanese attack, December 9, Had to sleep outside the barracks

Tape 2: Philippine Islands (continued), Had to sleep outside the barracks (continued), Waiting for the Japanese paratroopers to attack, Paratroopers never attacked, Japanese attack, By land, Japanese plane sunk a U.S. troop ship, Trying to stop the Japanese advance toward Clark Field, Philippine Scouts, Philippians’ view of the Japanese, Japanese brutality against Philippians Reaching Manila, U.S. troops evacuating Clark Field, December 1942 U.S., troops retreating toward a rail head on Bataan, Combat on Bataan Peninsula, Japanese forces building on Philippines, Volunteering to go to the front line, Front line, Digging in, Getting Shelled, Building a dugout for a machine gun, Description of dugout, Invulnerable to enemy shelling, Food, Japanese assault on position with tanks, Retreating south down the peninsula, Retreating south down the peninsula (continued), Japanese fighter planes, Fooling the pilots not to fire on U.S. troops, Front line (again), Soldier sleeping on guard duty, Catching him in the act, Turning him into the CP, Danger to the other soldiers, 1000 men, Length of 2 to 3 miles, Retreating south down the peninsula (again), Getting lost, Ran into the Japanese, Surrendered, April 10, Treatment by Japanese, Troops with no ammunition, Finding a road, Finding Philippine and U.S. troops, Told to surrender by a general, Enemy snipers, Stories , Told to surrender by a general, Surrendered, April 10 (again), Bataan Death March, Treatment by the Japanese soldiers (again), Lack of food and water, Sneaking water, Taking corn from a garden, Statistics on U.S. soldier deaths, 30 to 33% died, Lack of food and water (again)

Tape 3: [The interview at this point is continued on October 7, 1999.] Brookshire, Ray (continued), World War II, Bataan Peninsula, Fighting the Japanese to get food, Led battalion through mountains, Advanced to far, Held off the Japanese soldiers, Retreating, Search of food, Pig, Pony, Confrontation with other U.S. troops for food, Retreating (again), Japanese air control of the Philippine Islands, U.S. tank on Bataan Peninsula, Effectiveness against the Japanese, Retreating (again), Bataan Death March (again), Treatment by the Japanese soldiers (again), Lack of food and water (again), Sneaking water, Bataan Death March (continued), Lack of food and water (again), Japanese soldiers, Killing POWs, Cruelty, Prisoners escaping, Japanese killed 10 men for every escape, Philippine natives, Giving food to soldiers, Japanese soldiers (again), Treatment of U.S. POWs, Torture, Bataan Death March (again), Reasons for U.S. soldiers dying, Malnutrition, Diseases, Prison camps, Japan, U.S. officers, Getting paid by the Japanese, Working, Farming, Coal mining, Japanese guards, Speaking English, Treatment of prisoners, Prisoner breaking his arm to get off work detail, Watching the atomic bomb being dropped on Nagasaki

Tape 4: Atomic bomb on Nagasaki (continued), English language newspaper, Made available to prisoners, Stories in the newspaper about the war, Paying tribute to U.S. ships and planes, Opinions on the atomic bomb, Prison camps (again), U.S. planes dropping food into the prison camp, Finding out that the war is over, Japanese left the camp to the soldiers, U.S. camp commanders wouldn’t let anyone leave the camp, Troops would sneak out , Traveling across Japan to reach a U.S. held airfield, Paid a Japanese boat captain to take them there, Flew to Manila, Philippines on September 13, 1945, Got back to the United States on November 20, 1945, Prison camp (again), U.S. camp commanders, Mistreating U.S. troops, Murdered, U.S. camp commanders (continued), Murdered (continued), O’Donald Prison Camp, six months, Japanese confiscated blankets and coats, Work detail, Description, Diseases, Tabana Tawon Prison Camp (?), Moving from O’Donald, Work detail (again), Farming, Digging foxholes, Description, Japanese brutality, Prisoners dying, Reasons, Statistics, Staying in shape, Determination to stay alive, Articles about Brookshire’s experience in newspapers, World War II, Sea battles, Manila, Philippines (again), U.S. sinking Japanese boats, Japanese using U.S. POWs on their ships as shields, Brookshire, Ray (again), Prison camps (again), Camp 17 in Japan, New prisoners arriving, Mix of nationalities, English, Australian, American, Dutch, Kept separated, English language newspaper (again)

Range Dates: 1849-1945

Bulk Dates: 1939-1945

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


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