Browse Items (10 total)

World War II: The African American Experience begins to document the experiences of African American World War II veterans through audio recorded interviews. These oral histories are part of the collecting program established by the Kenneth Spencer Research Library’s Kansas Collection in 1986 to enhance the region’s permanent historical record of the African American experience. The collection includes donated materials that provide information about families, churches, organizations and businesses, especially during the 20th century.

This World War II oral history project is sponsored in part by the Sandra Gautt KU Endowment Fund, which Professor Emerita Gautt established to honor her father, Sgt. Thaddeus A. Whayne, a member of the Tuskegee Airmen unit. It is part of the ongoing efforts of the African American Experience Collections to document life in the Kansas region.

Interview with Charles S. Ellington thumbnail
Born in Sabetha, Kansas, Mr. Ellington moved with his family to Topeka where he completed his high school education. When he began his college education at Washburn University he recalls calling the draft board to find out why his name had not yet…

Date: 2011-12-13

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Interview with Harry Gumby thumbnail
Mr. Gumby grew up in Mount Holly Springs, Pennsylvania, a rural area where his family owned a farm house with three and a half acres. Initially exempt from the draft, he describes the circumstances surrounding his requirement to serve in 1943. When…

Date: 2011-12-06

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Interview with Leroy Rolfe thumbnail
Mr. Rolfe grew up on a farm in Arkansas, with his parents and 11 siblings. Beginning with his bus trip to the induction center in Shreveport, Louisiana, to basic training at Camp Robinson, Arkansas and advanced combat training at Fort Huachuca,…

Date: 2011-09-13

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Interview with Robert Reed thumbnail
A long-time resident of Topeka and Lawrence, Kansas, Mr. Reed received his draft notice in 1943 while working in Seattle, Washington's shipyards. After completing his basic training at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, he was deployed to the European theatre…

Date: 2011-07-12

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Interview with Harvey Bayless thumbnail
After completing a two-year program in radio technology at Wilberforce University and passing a civil service exam, Major Bayless, a native of Ohio, began his career in radio communications, at the age of 18, as a civilian employee of the U.S. Army…

Date: 2011-06-23

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Interview with U.L. Gooch thumbnail
Before his induction into the United States Army, Mr. Gooch had already left his home in rural Lauderdale County, Tennessee to attend high school in Ripley, Tennessee and began earning a living at the Millington Naval Air Base during the summers as…

Date: 2011-06-21

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Interview with Merrill Ross thumbnail
The only son of Mr. & Mrs. Richard Ross from Flat Lick and Pineville, Kentucky, Mr. Ross moved to Topeka, Kansas to accept a teaching position in the public schools when he received his call to serve in the summer of 1944. Having already earned a…

Date: 2011-06-14

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Interview with John H. Adams thumbnail
Born in Hiawatha, Kansas, Mr. Adams grew up in Kansas City, Kansas where he was working as a motion picture projectionist when he was called to service in 1942. He gives a detailed account of what he experienced during his induction at Fort…

Date: 2011-03-26

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Interview with Frederick C. Temple thumbnail
As an undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin, Mr. Temple joined the Army Enlisted Corps before returning to his home in Topeka, Kansas in 1942. Drafted in 1943, he served in the Army's 743rd Military Police Battalion in North Africa and…

Date: 2010-10-03

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Interview with William Tarlton thumbnail
A life-long resident of Topeka, Kansas, Mr. Tarlton served in the United States Army’s 92nd Division, 371st Infantry. Wounded twice during the Italian campaign, he was awarded the Bronze Star medal for “… his outstanding performance of duty in…

Date: 2010-08-12

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