Interview with William Tarlton


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Interview transcript, William Tarlton
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Interview with William Tarlton


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 action against the enemy.” He describes family and community experiences before he was drafted in 1943 and after returning to civilian life. In Italy, he recalls witnessing death and massive destruction and taking German prisoners down from the mountains to stockades. During his stay in Italy, he re-enlisted and left Naples on a ship that was heading toward the Pacific. But, before reaching the Philippines, his ship turned around after the United States dropped the Atomic Bomb on Japan and sailed back to the United States where he ended up at Fort Francis E. Warren, Wyoming, the place where he experienced the U.S. military’s new policy of racial integration. Mr. Tarlton concludes his military service in 1948 as a corporal in Squadron “F” of the 463rd Army Air Force Base Unit.


Tarlton, William, interviewee
Dandridge, Deborah, interviewer




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Tarlton, William, interviewee and Dandridge, Deborah, interviewer, “Interview with William Tarlton,” World War II: The African American Experience, accessed July 20, 2024,