Emery "Swede" Lundquist

The USS Monaghan at Sea

The USS Monaghan Enemy Operations Credits

A Beached Two-Man Submarine


Interview with Emery “Swede” Lundquist    (back to WWII Project)

EL:  I put in forty years all together.

LO:  In service?

EL:  Yes, seven in the regulars and thirty-three years in the reserves.

LO:  Forty years in the Navy?

EL:  Forty all together.

O:  Okay. So seven in regular?

EL:  Yeah.

LO:  And then thirty-three in the reserves?

CB:  Navy Reserve.

EL:  Navy Reserve, and I retired.

LO:  Then you worked at the post office?

EL:  Yeah.

LO:  And you retired from there?

EL:  Yes.

LO:  You were a mail carrier?

EL:  Yes.

CB:  How long were you a mail carrier?

EL:  Thirty-two years. That's why I was able to complete the Naval Reserve, because if you worked for the government, they encourage you, and I'd already had seven years in.

CB:  My cousin was a mailman and retired from there. Billy Orham?

EL:  Oh, I know Bill. He's a clerk. I coached his son.

CB:  Danny was a good ball player, wasn't he?

EL:  Yeah.

LO:  How old were you when you went in the Navy?

EL:  I was eighteen.

LO:  Eighteen?

EL:  Pearl Harbor, I was nineteen.

LO:  You enlisted?

EL:  Yes, right out of school in 1940.

LO:  You graduated from high school here in Fort Smith?

EL:  I went to Darby and then the old Fort Smith Senior High. I graduated in '40. When I got out, I went to WestArk for awhile.

LO:  We'll ask you to state your name and birthday and birthplace first. Mr. Lundquist, where were you born and what was your Birthdate?

EL:  Born in Geneva, Illinois

LO:  Is that Geneva?

EL:  Geneva, Illinois.

CB:  What were the dates?


CB:  What were your parents' names?

EL:  Mr. and Mrs. Gustaf Lundquist.

CB:  G-u-s-t-a-f?

EL:  Yes.

CB:  What was your mother's first name?

EL:  Katherine, with a K.

CB:  Now, at six weeks, you said you went into the

EL:  Six months.

CB:  Six months?

EL:  Uh-huh.

CB:  Into the --

EL:  Norwegian Lutheran Children's Home, right.

CB:  Norwegian Lutheran Children's Home.

EL:  And that was at Park Ridge, Illinois, which is just outside of Chicago.

CB:  And you stayed there until you were --

EL:  Fourteen years.

CB:  Until fourteen years old. And where did you go after you got out?

EL:  Fort Smith.

CB:  What brought you to Fort Smith?


EL:  My aunt and uncle lived down here. And they thought that it would be better for me to get out of the home and help them with their farm. Now, where Denny's is, that's where we had five acres, and we had all animals; but they needed a little help, so they sent for me.

LO:  What about your sister? Did she come with you?

EL:  She had already been down here, and then she got married later on.

CB:  What was your uncle's name?

EL:  Nils Muhr. And he had a welding business called Twin City Welding in Fort Smith.

CB:  And they lived where?

EL:  On Highway 22.

CB:  East of Fort Smith?

EL:  Yeah.

CB:  I remember that farm down there.

EL:  That was wild country back then.

CB:  There was a little house on this side of Denny's, a little white house?

EL:  Yes.

CB:  That was there? Was that their home?

EL:  No, no. When the interstate came in, the government bought that five acres. That house you're talking about belonged to Hollands and they only just got rid of it here about four, five years ago. That was Hollands.

CB:  Where did you go to school?

EL:  I went here in Fort Smith.

CB:  To Darby?

EL:  Darby, yeah. And then the old Fort Smith Senior High.

CB:  And graduated in --

EL:  1940.

CB:  And what did you do after you graduated?

EL:  I joined the Navy.

CB:  In 1940?

EL:  Yes.

CB:  Do you know the dates?

EL:  The official date in the Navy was October 14th, but then it took six months to call you back, to call you. So I joined, I signed up the first week out but then they didn't call me until October. They had a list, they had a quota to fill and it was already filled so I had to wait six months.

CB:  Where did you go when they called you?

EL:  San Diego, California, boot camp.

CB:  And what did you do after boot camp?

EL:  After boot camp, I was sent to the USS MONAGHAN, that was in Pearl Harbor.


EL:  Yes, and that was in December of 1940.

LO:  Were you anticipating that we would get involved in the war?

EL:  Oh, yes, yes. Lot of people don't know it, but in April of 1941, we had a scare with the same thing that happened December 7, except the diplomatic relations in Washington were resolved. But they told us in April, 1941, one morning they called all the captains to a meeting. And then the captains came and called all the crew together and said we may be in war in twenty-four hours, and it was relations with Japan. Well, they were having diplomatic relations in Washington and they resolved it there. So from then on, we were prepared. Now, you know, I like to bring this in. There's always stories about we slept, you know, we were sleeping?

CB:  Uh-huh.

EL:  It wasn't that at all. If you were on a warship, we spent at least seventy percent of the time at sea from April to December, because we knew we were going to be in war, we didn't know when. But what happened in Pearl Harbor is we had three warnings and they didn't take heed of the warnings. Six o'clock in the morning, there was a periscope sighted.

LO:  That was on --

EL:  That was on December 7th. And if we had just had thirty-five or forty-five minutes prepared, there wouldn't have been a torpedo plane alive, because they just came in from here to the street (indicating). You could see the cockpit in the plane, that's how close they were; but it was such a surprise. Later on, you know, we had the ammunition, but we didn't at that time.

CB:  Where were you?

EL:  I was a gunpointer, five inch gun. See that picture there of me on the gun? That's what I did. That's what my battle station was.

LO:  Were you at your battle station when that plane came in or after they --

EL:  Well, I just got through eating breakfast and we were the only ship with the whole crew aboard, and that was because on that Saturday, we had what they call the Ready Duty. And if there was a plane crash or a fishing boat in trouble, they had to have a warship ready to go out and help them. So everybody was aboard ship, we could not leave the ship. Well, we were to be relieved at eight o'clock Sunday. Well, we all ate breakfast. And two-thirds of the ship had liberty, so we were getting ready to go. I always went to Wakiki Beach because I liked to swim. And getting up, I got through with breakfast and went back into the back compartment to get my clothes on and I heard some machine gun rattling. Well, being as I went to the machine gun school, I know what a machine gun sounds like, and I couldn't imagine what in the world that sound was. And about that time, the ship's battle alarm sounded. And I had my pants on, no shoes and I had a T-shirt. And my battle station was a gunpointer on the five inch gun. You want me to go ahead and continue?

CB:  Yes, do.

EL:  Okay. So I heard the machine gun rattling, so I ran up the ladder and I heard some more machine gun going and this was real early. So I ran to my gun, and while I was on the way, I felt a real blast of heat, and that was when the ARIZONA blew up. We didn't know then that that's what it was. Then I also heard something hit our stack and it was a piece of the ARIZONA, a piece of shrapnel. So anyway I got up to gun number two and the rest of the crew was there. And we had been out, like I say, we were practicing war so much. We had some what we call dummy ammunition still in the ammunition locker. When you come in port, you take all your live ammunition and you store it down below for safety, but we had two dummy ammunition left in the ammunition locker. Well, we opened theammunition locker and we saw the dummy shell, and so we ordered a powder keg. It takes two things to shoot it off, and the projectile is just like the bullet and then it takes a powder can to boost it out of the barrel. So while I was waiting for the powder can to come up, that was when we saw three Japanese torpedo planes headed right for us. It came right over the mountain and they were coming maybe twenty feet from the surface. They were headed right for us because we were the outboard destroyer. And they got about from here to about a block away, I have to make it in civilian terms and it made a forty-five degree turn. And when they did that, I could see the Japanese pilot, his cockpit, everything in the inside of his plane, because he made a turn like this, and they saw the USS UTAH.  When they saw a bigger target, they went after it instead of us. They were all three in formation. And I'll never forget all three of them dropped three torpedoes and hit the UTAH, and it seemed to me like in thirty seconds it was upside down. But anyway, we were trying to get the ammuniton back up. Like I say, we finally got the powder can up there. And there was a submarine contact, two man sub, Japanese sub had entered the harbor and the conning tower was sticking up. And so we loaded the gun and put the dummy ammunition in there, we were going to shoot anything. A pointer elevates and he pulls the trigger. The trainer does this, so we both coordinate. And I mean I saw that conning tower, it just filled that whole gun sight up. But there's two ways, the fire control pulled the trigger and I pulled the trigger. We do it in case one or the other doesn't work. So we both claimed we pulled the trigger. Well, to make a long story short, on that particular thing, we sank the sub. After we couldn't shoot it because we were too close to it, it fired two torpedoes at us and it missed us from here to the alley, two of them. But anyway, when we hit the sub, we rammed it, turned it under us and we could hear it scraping on the bottom of the ship. And we wonder uh-oh, if it's going to hit our propellers and then we're dead; but it didn't. So anyway, ten years later, they raised the sub up and they found a dummy projectile.

LO:  So it was the dummy ammunition that got the sub?

EL:  It had to be ours, it had to be ours, yeah.

LO:  Isn't that amazing.

EL:  I had that conning tower right in my scope.

CB:  When did they raise it?

EL:  Ten years later.

CB:  Is that right?

LO:  So if it had been live ammunition, there would have been an explosion?

EL:  Yeah.

LO:  But because it was dummy, it was just the impact?

EL:  The impact. We just fired everything we had.

LO:  Sure, sure.

EL:  So anyway, after we rammed the sub, course, we saw the Japanese plane fighters strafing this and strafing that. And what really scared me the most of whatever happened, was those high altitude bombers. They are so high and they can be off just one degree and be off five miles. And when we saw them, we just couldn't see nothing. Anyway, that really frightened me seeing those, because we didn't know whether or not if they were going to miss their target or what. But anyway, we got out of the harbor. And course, the fighters and bombers were all over the place. And when the ARIZONA blew up, the whole harbor looked like midnight. And then of course, all the battleships were on fire. And with all the fuel that was in it, the whole harbor just turned absolutely like midnight, it was eerie. But because we had the full crew, we were the first one out of the harbor. And there was only eight ships that were able to come out of the harbor without being damaged, and we went out looking for the Japs. Course we were looking for the Japs with two heavy cruisers and five destroyers, and that was all that was available. We spent three days, and then we were ordered to come back. And the Pearl Harbor attack itself does not bother me so much as what happened when we came in three days later. I'm a lifeguard, too, so I know. People that drown, it takes two to three days for bodies to come up. Well, had two or three days since Pearl Harbor, so when we came in, there were bodies all over the place.

LO:  How many days was that?

EL:  Three days.

LO:  Three days that you came in?

EL:  When we came in, yeah. And these guys, you know, these sailors were in their white uniforms, and there were so many that they had what they call a motor launch. They had about a hundred and fifty yard rope on it. They would come to a body and throw a half hitch on it, go ten feet, put another in. There were some of them at least had fifty bodies. Now that impresses me or left a lasting impression more than the Harbor itself, than the attack. Tell you the truth, my son can confirm this, I couldn't talk about Pearl Harbor for ten years. There was something, you just say Pearl Harbor and my stomach --there's nothing -- you can't control it, and just would crawl. And then my wife would say I had nightmares and everything. But those bodies floating –

CB:  Oh, yeah. That's awful.

LO:  I had one Navy veteran that said that he had to help clean those bodies up. You couldn't pull them out because if you tried to pull them out, the flesh was cooked and it would just come off.

EL:  Yeah, yeah. Some of them were burnt, you know, a lot of them were burnt.

LO:  And they roped them and put them in the boat?

EL:  Yeah, yeah. That was the best thing they could do, quickest thing.

LO:  What kind of boat was it they put them in?

EL:  No, they didn't put them in a boat. They dragged them, they put the rope around them and then they dragged them to the pier, and then that's when the hospital people took care of them. But you know, some of those guys in the white, we probably played ball against them two days before. But we were the first ship out. And you know, it could have been different if they would just have taken the warning. We had enough warning, we could've had the ammunition up, we could've had our machine guns operating. Those two torpedo planes would've never made it.

CB:  What was the explanation for not taking the warnings?

EL:  Well, the soldiers that -- See, we had radar. They contacted a group of airplanes. There was a new 2nd Lieutenant on duty. And he said, oh, it's just part of our practice run. See, before December 7, when the carriers were out for practice and maneuvering, they would come in and make mock attacks. So that's what –

CB:  What he thought it was?

EL:  Well, they had a group of planes that they thought were some of ours because we were going to replenish Wake Island, but they were going to have a stop at Pearl Harbor.

LO:  So they didn't recognize that they were Japanese planes?

EL:  No, not on radar. Nowadays, yes. So you know, they came through. And then also, the Destroyer WARD was on guard duty out there in the harbor. We did that, too, while we were in port; but this time, it was the WARD's duty. And they spotted a periscope. And then later on, they spotted the conning tower. And on TV, it's taken what, sixty years? They found that submarine.

CB:  I saw that.

EL:  And that was the WARD. But no, they let the headquarters know, but nothing was done.

LO:  So if they let headquarters know, was it because the message was not given to the –

EL:  It wasn't sent, it wasn't sent. Or it wasn't take heed, that's what it is. And some of the fellows that, course, they're passed away now, but some of the signalmen that tried to get headquarters said there was nothing done.

CB:  Well, this little submarine that they found, they figured that it had been trapped in the harbor, didn't they?

EL:  Well, it came in behind an oiler. See, we had gates -- I mean from April the 7th, I mean April of '41, they don't tell you about we took all precautions. The ships had, the big ships had torpedo nets. They weren't there December 7.

CB:  Where were they?

EL:  We don't know. Now, we had been told that it takes fifteen torpedoes to sink a battleship, if it were just left standing and just fired fifteen. They were supposed to have an Admiral's Inspection Sunday, which means when an Admiral's staff comes aboard ship, they go from the bridge down to the keel, everything is open, all the compartments are open. And they were open Sunday morning, so it only took three or four. Now, if it'd been what we call water tight integrity, they would've never been sunk.

CB:  Isn't that interesting. I've never heard that before.

EL:  All of them, all the battleships. And we had torpedo nets for frogmen, you know, keep the enemy frogmen from coming in. They were not in use. So when somebody says we were sleeping, the fleet wasn't, the warships weren't, but you know, it's just the warnings.

LO:  Well, it's almost like they had information that y'all were vulnerable at that time, that your nets weren't up.

EL:  Well, the field artillery, they used to have ammunition on the beach and it was all stored up in the mountains.

CB:  Oh, really?

EL:  Uh-huh. So, you know, you just never know. We lost three thousand sailors. Eleven hundred of them are still in the -- I don't know if you've been to Pearl Harbor or not, but the ARIZONA is still there. And what's really weird is it's dripping oil, every oil comes up. They had over a million gallons when it was sunk.

LO:  Was it because of the inspection that they moved the ammunition from the beach to the mountains?

EL:  I don't know. No, I don't think -- No, the Army didn't have this inspection that I know of.

LO:  Do you know, when I was young, just a kid, I guess in junior high and high school, I heard my grandparents' friends and my grandparents talking. And you know, the talk was that Truman knew Japan was going to attack, that he –

EL:  Roosevelt.

LO:  Roosevelt knew that Japan was going to attack and wanted to be attacked so that the people would want to go –

EL:  There's a saying Churchill knew.

LO:  Yeah, I've heard that, too.

EL:  So there's just a lot of speculation there, you know. But we knew we were going to be in war, those in the fleet. We were out constantly. In fact, training and practicing is worse, it's worse than being in active battles. Battles don't last thirty minutes; but you practice for forty-eight hours, you're up forty-eight hours. That's just the difference. Battles, Navy battle is just thirty minutes and that's it.

CB:  What happened with your ship after Pearl Harbor, after you came back in after three days?

EL:  Well, course, we were, you know, all these battles, we were in the Coral Sea, Battle of Midway.

CB:  First you went to the Coral Sea?

EL:  Yes. Well, the first one, three days after when we came in, wewere in three days and we loaded up with ammunition and everything,we were going to go with the carriers to Wake Island. We were stillon Wake Island. And we got about halfway and decided to turn back, sowe turned back to Pearl. And then we made another run and we didn'tget there, came right back. So that was getting to be --

CB:  Why did you come back?

EL:  I don't know. We don't know.

LO:  It was wiped out?

EL:  Well, the Japs, well, the Japs, they weren't quite establishedon there yet.

CB:  When would this have been?

EL:  That was in February. Then of course after that, they werehaving problems down in south, by Australia. The Japanese were downthere getting ready to take over New Guinea, and then land onAustralia, and so they had what they call the Coral Sea. And we hadwhat ships that were left, we operated with the LEXINGTON and theENTERPRISE. And we went down there and that was the first reallycontact we had with Japanese. We sunk one of them carriers, CoralSea, and we kept them from coming then at that time. Course, theycame later on.

CB:  What carrier did you sink? Do you remember?

EL:  The Japanese carrier? I don't know. But I remember over theintercom on the ship, said "Scratch one flat-top." That word's beenprinted everywhere.

CB:  Scratch one flat-top?

EL:  Yeah.

LO:  When you pulled out of Pearl as a group and y'all pulled out ofPearl and actually got word about how much of the Navy had beendestroyed --

EL:  We didn't know how much.

LO:  They didn't tell you how much?

EL:  Battleships were on the other side. And course, we knew it wasbad because of the smoke and everything. But it was when we came inwhen we saw, well, when we were going out, we looked down the channeland the OKLAHOMA was doing this (indicating), just turning over, justturning over on its side.

LO:  When you realized how much of the Navy had been destroyed, wasthe feeling generally one of hopelessness or --

EL:  No, no, never felt that way.

LO:  Never felt it?

EL:  Never felt. See, we were just lucky we had the two carriers outon maneuvers. They were after the carriers. And up until then, youknow, if you were a Navy strategist, you'd know what I'm talkingabout, but it was battleship against battleship. That's all we didwas line up with battleships and do that kind of maneuvering. TheJapanese, in one day, changed Naval warfare.

CB:  Right. They did, didn't they?

EL:  Yes. And so all we had was battleships to fight carriers. But wehad the two carriers and they just happened to be out south of Hawaiiand they escaped that. But anyway, those two, we went down to CoralSea and kept them, the Japanese, from invading New Guinea at thetime. And the LEXINGTON, we lost the LEXINGTON down there. And here'sanother, I was headed for the Academy and they had my records on theLEXINGTON, got sunk. But they told me later they wouldn't release meanyway because I'd been to gun school and machine gun school and allthat.

CB:  They needed you?

EL:  But I was ready to be Academy. I took the fleet exam. But thenwe got to Coral Sea, and then course after that was the Midway. Andwe were with the ENTERPRISE, ended up with the YORKTOWN turningupside down from a Japanese submarine. And the torpedoes, theJapanese submarine fired four torpedoes. One hit the YORKTOWN, onewent under us, and two hit another destroyer in the battle, but onewent under us. And because I'm a torpedo man, that's my trade in theNavy, different ships, you set the depth. A destroyer only drawseight feet; a carrier, thirty-five. So you set the torpedo down.That's why it went under us.

CB:  Right. Fortunately?

EL:  But I had a rude awakening. I was down below when that happened.And if it'd hit us, I would've never known. Back then you're afraidto go to sleep, really, you know, during war you're out at sea, theyhad mines floating and submarines and all that. It's kind of in theback of your mind; but when that torpedo went under us and didn't hitus, I slept like a baby. I said if it happens, it's going to happen.That's my theory today.

CB:  You bet.

EL:  But our ship, there were thirteen battles and we were in twelve.

LO:  There were thirteen battles total?

EL:  Total. We were in twelve, yeah. They needed a student to go totorpedo school in San Diego, and I hadn't been to torpedo school. Sothey sent me off the ship, gave me thirty days leave and then wentback to school. And the first day at school, I picked up the paper,the USS MONAGHAN had sunk with all hands. They got sunk with atyphoon. See, when I left the ship in Seattle, they gave me thirtydays leave. And then I went to San Diego, that's where my torpedoschool was. And while I was in school, I picked up a newspaper, andthe first thing I saw was the MONAGHAN. Well, when I left Seattle,the ship, two days later, left for the Philippines because that wasour next invasion. Well, they hit a typhoon and was sunk, along withthree other destroyers. And these fellows on the MONAGHAN were twohundred and fifty Pearl Harbor survivors that had survived that.

CB:  And where was that?

EL:  That was in Philippines.

CB:  It was in the Philippines?

EL:  Philippine Sea, yeah. There was a lot of damage on there. I wentto school and I got orders to go to Key West, they were opening asubmarine base. So that's where I was sent, it was a new submarinebase. We had an Italian sub, we had a Dutch sub, we had a German subdown there, we were kind of experimenting; but this was in 1944.

CB:  What were you experimenting with?

EL:  Experimenting like the snorkel, the air breathing thing theGermans had. And we were looking at their torpedoes and things likethat. We had them in, you know, we captured them; so we had them downat Key West. But anyway, my job down there was we overhauled alltypes of torpedoes. Now, you've heard of the six planes that werelost in the Bermuda Triangle? They had our torpedoes on there. Theywere out for practice. And they told us in the morning to have thetorpedoes ready and then we shipped them out, and then we weresupposed to reload them that afternoon, and we never heard anything.And it was ten years later I found out why because they kept itsecret. All those planes were lost in the Bermuda Triangle. They'restill looking for them, and they're going to find them one of thesedays.

CB:  Yeah, they'll find them with your torpedoes.

EL:  All the torpedo planes, the pilots that were trained inPensacola, would stop in Key West and get loaded with our torpedoesthat we worked on. And when the torpedo left the shop, I was a seniorman. I signed it and that means it better work, you know, I meanbefore it went to the fleet, I signed. And then the submarinesstarted coming down there, so we started working on the submarines.And then I went out on different trial runs with them and everything,worked on their torpedoes. And we had a captured Italian submarinedown there, and had six volunteers that stayed with the sub.

CB:  Italians?

EL:  Italian subs. Every one of them wore Germany's highest medal,the Iron Cross.

LO:  The Italians on the sub?

EL:  Yes. Well, they were fighting for Germany, see. We had theItalian sub there. And now, this was in 1944. They had alreadysurrendered, see; so they came over with the crew. And every one ofthem had earned that Iron Cross with a suicide torpedo. And I gotinto it. What it was, was a regular torpedo, except where the warheadis, which weighs nine hundred pounds and is twenty-two inches around,instead of the warhead, they built the little cockpit in there.

CB:  Oh, they got in the torpedo?

EL:  Yeah, with the bubble, yeah, they got into it. But see, now,there was two torpedoes. The real torpedo, I mean the one thatmaneuvered them in position, had a torpedo strapped under it, asmaller torpedo. And when you got into this human torpedo, you had alittle glass bubble and that's all you saw. And nothing could pickup, even sonar couldn't pick up this little glass bubble. Enough forthem to steer to see where he was going, and you had your pedals, youhad your steerer and everything right here. All five of them had sunkour Allied ships in the harbor. The mother sub, which was the onesthat carried them, would launch them about five miles from shore atnight.

CB:  From over the side?

EL:  Yeah, uh-huh, and they would launch them. And then when it wastime, these guys, because it only had enough fuel for maybe three orfour hours.

CB:  What kind of fuel was it, diesel fuel?

EL:  It was alcohol, yeah, some of them were different, some of themwere battery.

CB:  How did they get back? Was it truly a suicide mission?

EL:  Well, they had enough fuel to get in there and get out. Course,they lost a lot of them that never made it, but these five guys madeit.

LO:  So the ship launched them like --

EL:  Launched the submarine --

LO:  Just like they would a torpedo?

EL:  Well, they had hydraulics and everything, and it rode on themother sub. These were small and they rode on the decks of the bigGerman sub. And then they would release them four, five miles fromthe beach. And they would have enough fuel to go in, launch theirtorpedoes and then come back out. And five of them made it, and theywore that red cross, I mean that Iron Cross. I had to give them amessage one day and I went in and they were all taking showers, theynever take that Iron Cross off.

CB:  Even when they bathed?

EL:  That's right.

LO:  But they had been captured so they were --

EL:  They surrendered.

LO:  They surrendered, but they were prisoners of war while y'all hadthem?

EL:  No, they volunteered, they came on our side. When Italysurrendered, they came to our side.

LO:  But yet, they still wore those --

EL:  Oh, yeah. Oh, sure.

LO:  Was it a matter of pride?

EL:  Well, to get the Iron Cross was like us getting theCongressional Medal of Honor.

LO:  But I mean were they still --

EL:  They were on our side, helping us, but they earned an IronCross, so that's what they wore.

CB:  Isn't that interesting. You said you had three subs. What canyou tell us about these three subs that you captured?

EL:  Well, we didn't capture, they --

CB:  Surrendered?


EL:  They surrendered, yeah.

CB:  What did you discover after you looked at these subs?

EL:  Well, we had the more scientific people doing that. We just --Now, here's the funny part. The Italians brought their torpedo in ourtorpedo shop, and we have a torpedo cart, we set it on there. And wecouldn't speak English with each other, but you know, let's start it,let's see what it runs like. When their torpedo was running, it wentlike this (indicating up and down), and how in the world could theyhit a target with the thing. So we had one of ours alongside of it. Ihad a cup of coffee. I set it on ours and I run it, and it just --

CB:  Just purred?

EL:  Didn't do nothing, that's the difference. To this day, I don'tknow how, how in the world that torpedo ever sunk ships.

CB:  Where did they build those torpedoes, the Italians?

EL:  In their own country. Germany probably supplied most of them.

LO:  I need to get straight in my own mind here now. These men, theywere in a bubble, they had a bubble over their heads?

EL:  Yeah, it was a one man deal.

LO:  And it was actually a torpedo that was --

EL:  It was the head of the torpedo, yeah. The tail part of it hadthe fuel and everything. And they wouldn't let me in the harbor to doit, to get in there; but I got in in the shop, I sat in there. It hadpedals for the up and down, and you know.

CB:  That is amazing. Have you ever seen a picture of one?

EL:  No, no.

CB:  I never have. I'd love to see what it looked like.

EL:  But they were suicide people, and they all lived. This is thething about volunteer. I don't care what nationality you have, wehave them, they were a volunteer suicide missions.

LO:  And in your opinion, is it because they don't fear death,because they don't believe they'll die or they're just so --

EL:  You don't feel you're going to die. You don't think you're goingto die. That's what carries you through the war. You see guys killedall around you. It's not going to happen to me. After you see somany, here, there, dying, getting their head blown off, it's just notgoing to happen to me.

CB:  I guess you get numb. You can't think about it.

EL:  Well, you just, you know, really do. I get numb at funerals.

CB:  Oh, I do, too. When you were in Key West, there were a lot ofNazi submarines around down there?

EL:  Down in the Caribbean, yeah.

CB:  In the Caribbean.

EL: That's what our subs were doing, too.

CB:  Right. How were they looking for these, what kind ofreconnaissance would they do?

EL:  Well, we had our subs. See, the Germans, they had thesemake-believe freighters and they were gun laden freighters. And theywould haul a Norweigan flag, a Puerto Rico flag or whatever if someairplane flew over them. And what they were, a lot of them were downthere in the Caribbean because we were shipping things from SouthAmerica and Australia. Australia was shipping a lot of troops, thingsfor the United Kingdom. And so, we had subs down there looking forthem, and they got a few of them.

CB:  There was a fellow here in Fort Smith, Red Ross, who took hisairplane down there, and it was used as a reconnaissance plane.

EL:  They were there quite a bit.

LO:  How did y'all feel, as servicemen that fought against theItalians, the Germans, how did you feel about them when theysurrendered and came --

EL:  We're glad they did.

LO:  Okay. But there were no -- there was no animosity or --

EL:  The only animosity I have is the Japanese.

LO:  The Japanese. The rest of them, you didn't?

EL:  Yeah. You know, I took a reserve training, I was on my way toKey West on my training, and I was on an airplane. And a Japaneseyoung businessman was sitting alongside of me. I figured with hisage, this was in the '60s, I figured he had parents or somethingabout Pearl, and I just got nosy enough. I was in a Navy uniform, Igot nosy enough to ask him where he was from, he says Japan. And Iasked him do you know anything about Pearl Harbor? You know what hesaid? "I can't believe we surrendered." That's exactly what he said,and he was twenty-five, twenty-six.

CB:  Unbelievable.

EL:  Yeah, 1960.

CB:  Seriously uninformed, wasn't he?

EL:  Well, they don't know that.

LO:  They get another story, I'm sure, through history.

EL:  I'm telling you, the Japs were cruel, they were vicious. There'sa story of when the Marines landed at Guadalcanal. They painted abuilding down there, the Japs, with a Red Cross sign, you know,hospitalization, and the Marines were within sight of it. TheJapanese sent the nurses out there, the Marines thinking they weregoing to surrender. The Japanese opened fire on the Marines, used thenurses to entice them. Japanese pilots would be shot down, we wouldsend boats out there to rescue them. They would wait until you got tothem and then they'd pull out a .45 and kill them. We didn't foolaround anymore. That's the way they were, to surrender was the worstthing they could do.

LO:  Wonder what their hatred was?

EL:  They're born and raised. From the time they are born, they arewar-like.

LO:  Well, knowing what you knew, being in the war against theJapanese, how did you feel about the internment of the Japanese, theAmerican-born Japanese that were here?

EL:  Well, at that time, I hated all of them.

LO:  You hated them all.

EL:  I mean every one of them was as sly and sneaky as they were. ButI mean there were some true American Japanese, you know; but at thetime --

CB:  During the war, the propaganda would make you hate them if youever dealt with them.

EL:  Yeah. Well, see I've been back since the Japanese almost ownedHawaii, all the businesses, hotels. San Francisco, you go into SanFrancisco, the year I went, everybody was talking Japanese, therewere so many. In fact, some of the Pearl Harbor survivors that wentto some of the reunions there in Pearl Harbor, they said if theJapanese knew you were a survivor in a restaurant, they wouldn'tserve you.

LO:  Really?

EL:  Yeah, that's how they became over there. But they're not thereanymore, they overextended themself. Now they need some help. But SanFrancisco, they own San Francisco. They really got into business. Wehelped them, of course.

LO:  Well, they got into business in the United States, too.

EL:  That's what I mean.

LO:  Banks and all the farmlands.

EL:  But anyway, that's --

CB:  Well then, you ended up your active service in Key West?

EL:  Yes, uh-huh.

CB:  When was that? When did you come home?

EL:  It was January of '47. I played baseball, too, you know, fromthe orphanage, that's all we did was play ball. Chicago Cubs wouldcome and we went to several Chicago Cub games. And so while I wasthere, there was a Norweigan ship that pulled in Lake Michigan. I wasabout eight or nine years old. When I saw them, I wanted to be asailor. Then later on, I wanted to be a ballplayer.  This is what I'm getting to: I was in the Navy, I mean I'vehad all this baseball growing up. And in fact, I was here in FortSmith living with my aunt and uncle. Pittsburg Pirates wanted to signme. At the time, you had to be twenty-one. Well, they wouldn't signme up, they wanted me to take over their welding shop. So I got inthe Navy anyway. But when I was in Key West, they have all thesesports things for the troops. If you were a professional ballplayer,they drafted them and sent them to these bases for the entertainmentof the troops.Well, I was in the torpedo shop down there, and there was aNew York Giant coach that was a Triple A coach, they sent him down toKey West. And when he got down there, he said anybody on the basethat wants to try out is welcome. I tried out, and I beat aprofessional ballplayer. I mean I played ball since I was three yearsold; but anyway, I got my wish. I wanted to be a sailor and playball. But I played ball down there, course, I still had my torpedoduties. The war was over. The coach was being discharged and he saidthat he wanted me to play for them Triple A, which is the next stepin the Majors. He said he was going to recommend me to the New YorkGiants. Well, that's even better than the draft, so I depended onthat. I got out of the Navy. I was a chief torpedo man, which is apretty good paying rate and all. And I got out just so I could playprofessional ball. I got out, it was in January. And two monthslater, I was supposed to report to Sarasota with the New York Giantstraining camp. I get a letter, I'm too old.

LO:  No? You're too young one time --

EL:  At twenty-five.

CB:  At twenty-five?

EL:  But not nowadays.

LO:  First, you're too young, and then you're too old?

EL:  Here's the story about that. They had to take all the playersback, the ones that they drafted, they had to take, and they wereflooded. And I don't care if I hit a hundred home runs, they lookedat my age. But you know what? I've got a grandson that's just quitprofessional baseball. Every one of those Cubans, Puerto Ricans, lieabout their age. They can be thirty years old and tell their parentclub they're twenty-one. And so all I had to do was lie.

CB:  That's interesting.

EL:  But anyway, I came home, I played semi-pro. We had a semi-proteam here in Fort Smith. I played five years carrying mail andplaying ball, too. I loved baseball.

CB:  What team did you play for?

EL:  This was a semi-pro team, South Fort Smith Smokers.

CB:  Is that right?

EL:  Yeah. We won the State every year we played. I carried mail,it'd be a hundred and five. I'd get home at four o'clock, put on aball uniform, we'd go to Heavener. They'd pay us to go around toplay. I just loved it. Come in at two o'clock in the morning, go backthe next day.

CB:  Isn't that interesting.

EL:  But my kids liked it.

LO:  When did you marry?

EL:  In 1947.

LO:  Right after you came back?

EL:  Yeah. I met my wife, yeah.

LO:  Where did you meet your wife at?

EL:  Right here, on the skating rink, yeah.

LO:  In Fort Smith skating rink?

EL:  Yeah. In fact, I've been to every skating rink from the WestCoast to the Philippines, Hawaii, Figi Islands. I love torollerskate.

CB:  You're a real sport.

LO:  He does everything, Carole, it's just amazing. You met her in1947 and married her that year?

EL:  Yes. I got home on leave in '46 and went to the rollerskatingrink out here on Midland. They had a portable roller rink out there,and she happened to be there. Never took her address, nothing. Thenwhen I got discharged, I was at a football game at Grizzly Stadium,and I looked over there and there she was, and so we got togetherskating and all that from then on.

CB:  You said there was a portable skating rink?

EL:  Yeah, on Midland Boulevard.

CB:  Where was that?

EL:  Over by Kelly, corner of Kelly and Midland. And I lived on, likeI say, where Denny's was, I took a bicycle from there to go to theskating rink.

CB:  That's a good ride.

EL:  A good ride. And night, too, back and forth.

LO:  And what was your wife's name?

EL:  Katherine, with a K. Yeah, she's part of the Judge Parker deal.

LO:  And how many children did y'all have?

EL:  We had three.

LO:  Three?

EL:  Three sons, yeah.

LO:  Three boys?

EL:  Uh-huh, I got ten grandchildren and expecting another one. Gotone great.

CB:  Now, your sons are Dennis, Tim and Ryan?

EL:  No, that's my grandson.

CB:  Ryan's a grandson?

EL:  David.

CB:  David is your son?

EL:  My three sons, yeah.

CB:  Okay.

EL:  Ryan is a grandson.

CB:  All right.

EL:  He was a professional ballplayer.

LO:  You've had a fascinating life.

EL:  Well, I keep busy.

LO:  I can see you do.

EL:  We go dancing, we go dancing every week. I'm going with a nurse,retired nurse, that's the ones we been competing with, she and I. Wedon't do that anymore.

CB:  When did you start playing the accordion and the guitar?

EL:  When I got aboard in 1940, there was a fellow that was gettingtransferred. And I never played the accordion, but I had a guitar. Iplayed the guitar, I learned it, self taught. And he wanted to getrid of this accordion for twenty bucks. It cost three hundred dollars,it was Italian made. So I said, sure, I'll take it. So I learned iton the ship. And we happened to have two guys that were two sailorsthat were drafted that sang on the radio in Wisconsin, so they helpedme along. So we got a combo there, and the Captain said we'd go nutsif it wasn't for you guys. But I learned some scratch with them guys.

LO:  Do you play by ear or read music?

EL:  Well, I played the violin in the orchestra here.

LO:  Violin?

EL:  Yeah.

CB:  When did you play in the symphony?

EL:  No, the high school. When I came here, I came here in June of1936. My aunt had a violin and she took two lessons. And she told methat by Christmas time, she said you are going to play a solo at ourLutheran church. By golly, I did, she made me. But I thank her for itbecause she gave me the background. And so when I got in the Navy, Ipicked up the accordion. I brought the guitar along and the accordionwith with me the whole war. I took it everywhere. It was part of mysea bag. And then when I got out I wanted to play with somebody. Iguess I worked for the school there and they was talking about havinga musical deal at WestArk night school, for night folks. So I'd seenthe autoharp. I was clearing the mail for the school. See, I retiredfrom the post office. I had arthritis so bad that catching mail two,three, thousand times a day, got to where if I took thirty days off,I was all right. So eventually I retired. Well, I carried mail for the school around here, the center. And I told them I wasn't ready toretire, but I had to do something else. They'd say, well, I tell youwhat, when you retire, you let us know, we want you to work for theschool, you're going to be our mail dispatcher.

CB:  Down at the service center?

EL:  Down at the service center. So I found this music, thisautoharp, and I looked at it. Well, it's got strings on it, I knowwhat chords are, so I took a night school course.

CB:  At WestArk?

EL:  And then joined this combo in Van Buren every Sunday. And then

one thing led to next, next thing you know the three of us, we weregoing to nursing homes.

LO:  Now, did your children inherit your musical ability?

EL:  I'm hoping to have a grandchild. He started playing the guitarwhen he was in the 7th grade and was doing good, but they're all insports. All year sports, every one of them.

LO:  That's okay. That keeps them out of trouble.

EL:  Well, I will say it paid for their college. I had a baseballscholarship in the school up north. And also, the post office waswanting a vacancy, and I took exams for both. The one I had thebaseball scholarship was an exclusive eastern college that when yougraduated, you got a job from the Senators or what, it was a veryexclusive. Well, the reason I was recommended for that, one of theassistant coaches graduated from this school. And he saw me playingball, and he had a baseball team, one of the best in the country atthe time. You don't hear of them anymore, but at the time. So I waseither going to go there. But then when I got home and my baseballdeal fell through, then I said, well, I could go to Stockholm if Iwanted to. If you had four or more years, four years was the limit;but I had over six, almost seven. And I could've gone to anyuniversity in the country, including Stockholm.

CB:  On the GI Bill?

EL:  On the GI Bill. But anyway, I decided to go to that school. Iwent to Little Rock, took that exam, passed it. But then the postoffice came through, and course, I was going steady then withKatherine. So the post office, so I took exam two. And so I was oneof the highest ones there, so I could go to work right away. Wellthen, the post office, once you went to work, you had a job for life.It was steady and that's what I liked, something secure. So I went towork in '48 in the post office, and stayed there until I retired in'79.

LO:  What year did you marry?

EL:  '48.

LO:  '48?

EL:  Uh-huh.

CB:  What month did you marry?

EL:  May.

CB:  May of 1948?

EL:  Yes. We were married forty-eight years when she died. She diedin a nursing home. She had complications.

CB:  Have you ever been back to go to Sweden to --

EL:  No.

CB:  To look for family? 

EL:  family, my great-great-great-grandfather lived to be a hundred andfive, he played the violin for King Gustaf. Most of my grandfatherswere musicians.

LO:  That's where you got --

EL:  My mother was a musician.

LO:  In your genes?

EL:  Yeah, it must be because all down -- I've got a tree, you know,the family, and most of them were musicians.

LO:  Did your parents stay in the States or did they --

EL:  Oh, yeah, they came here. Yeah, they come to the States here.

CB:  Have you been in contact with your sister?

EL:  She died about six years ago. She lived in North Little Rock.

JW:  Did you reconnect with your parents after --

EL:  Oh, yeah, yeah. Yeah, I mean, you know, everything I found out.They wouldn't still tell me a lot of things. I had to read recordsafter they died as to why they got a divorce, and I could not believeit. It was he deserted us. And then this has only been five yearsago, I found out, they never could, they never. And whenever I'd askthem about things, they just wouldn't say things.

CB:  Well, they were ashamed I guess?

EL:  Well, I think that's the main thing.

CB:  How did you get access to those records?

EL:  Which records?

CB:  To the adoption records, or the divorce records.

EL:  Oh, I had it from when he died.

CB:  Is that right?

EL:  And I looked at them, and it's only been two years ago. I gotthem stacked up in there. I thought it was all his past debts andthings. And after we run into it --

CB:  Isn't that interesting.

EL:  Yeah, that's strange. My sister, see, now we had two differentfactions here. My sister hated the home.

LO:  Oh, really.

EL:  She was three years older. They taught her to play music. In thelong run, she made her life, made a living out of music. When she wastwelve, she played for the home, the organ. And the superintendent'swife of the home taught taught her to play the piano and the organ,so she was also a musician. But she, somehow or another, it was thewhole story of her life there was bitter. See, I didn't see my folksfor twenty years, and all they heard was the side of my sister. Sowhen I get out of the Navy and rejuvenate, they tell me what -- Iloved it. I wished I had never left because I came down here and Iwas a servant to everything. They treated me like slaves down here.

CB:  I could imagine how that went.

EL:  But up until then, the whole family heard nothing but her side.And I'm truly saying that's my home, I loved it, I wished I had neverleft. It was a well organized home. It was educated people. It wasjust messed up homes.

CB:  Yeah. Well, they had the sports available. That gave you --

EL:  We had everything. We went to a public school. During theDepression, we raised our own food. When you're seven years old, theygave you a job. My job happened to be taking care of five thousandchickens, and when you get a job, you stay there until you leave. SoI spent seven years raising chickens.

LO:  It's a wonder you didn't become a chicken farmer in Arkansas.

EL:  Well, I still kind of cater to them. See now, the girls, nowthey did the laundry, they did the cooking. The boys did the lawn.And we had horses, and we had cows, milk. We raised all ourvegetables, we all had to go out --

CB:  Well, you ate better than anyone --

EL:  It was during the Depression, I don't know what it is, in the'30s. And the home allowed my parents to take us for a vacation oneweek every year during the summer. And I remember going in breadlines, but I didn't know what it was then. But my mother, you know,people were so broke, they didn't have any money. We were in a breadline getting bread. See, we didn't do that at home, we hadeverything. We didn't know nothing about it. People asked me my age.Well, you know, you were at that age in the Depression, what kind oflife did you have. I said I don't know about a Depression.

CB:  Isn't that amazing.

JW:  For the record, what was the name of the home again?

EL:  Norwegian Lutheran Children's Home. That was our symbol up there(indicating). There were about two hundred; it was even split, twohundred girls, two hundred boys.

LO:  That's a big home.

EL:  Yeah, it is, yeah.

LO:  Now, did you keep in touch with the people you were raised within the home, the other people?

EL:  No, no, no. I went to a reunion when I got back out in 1980something, yeah. And come to find out, I was the youngest ever put inthe home, and I was the last youngest. I was six months, and you hadto be two years or older.

LO:  Now when did the home close?

EL:  Well, it was sold. Park Ridge is one of the richest per acre inthe country, homes, million dollars, nothing less. They sold thatproperty, thirty-eight acres, to the rich society. And that's what'son there now. They tore all the buildings down and put on thesemillion dollars homes to this day.

CB:  And that was run then by the Lutheran Church?

EL:  Lutheran Church, right. We had to tow the line, I'll tell you.They had no restrictions on us. We behaved. Now, we weren't a dumpingground for wayward kids. We were really divorced people. Course, wegot some rough people come in then. And this is another thing,people, you know, boys are arrested just anywhere in the country.They find out he's raised in an orphanage, he's got to be bad, he'sexpected, that's what happens. I got a write up here, that made mewrite this orphanage deal because there was a write up in Fort Smithabout, you know, somebody was in trouble, two or three people in arow. They had been raised in orphanages. I wrote that orphanage dealright there because of that because they taught us everything, torespect, you know, respect elders. You do your responsibility. You doeverything that you're supposed to. We had religion, we were raisedlike Lutherans, we went to church every Wednesday and every Sundayand we had to do our chores.

LO:  Did you stay with the Lutheran Church?

EL:  Oh, yeah. Until the kids started growing, getting up. And I wascoaching a Catholic team here. And I saw the respect that they hadfor everybody. I saw the difference, the way they were raised. And sothis is a joke, I became a Luthic, then I became a Catholic.

LO:  So you changed to the Catholic church?

EL:  Yes, ma'am, yeah.

CB:  And your children were raised --

EL:  Yeah, raised Catholic.

LO:  Did they go to public school?

EL:  No, all Catholic school. That was at St. Anne's. Course, the St.Anne's, we had Catholic schools here now. St. Anne's quit, but thenthey got the Trinity now. They're stricter. When I worked with publicschool, I know a little different. The Catholic school, when they goto first grade, that first night, they got homework. Public schools,maybe.

CB:  It's more disciplined.

EL:  Yeah, more controlled.

CB:  You learned?

EL:  Yeah.

LO:  Do you think your going into service at age eighteen, do youthink that helped you or hindered you, as far as your future life?

EL:  Well, you know, breaking out in war and stuff, you grew up fast.You know, I never saw a dead man in my life until Pearl Harbor. Inever had parents or anything that had died or anybody at the home,so I wouldn't trade my life, except you don't like to kill people;but if you have to, you do it.

CB:  What do you think about the current situation with the war inIraq?

EL:  Frightening, it's frightening over there. In the normal war, yougot a front, you've got a front. Here, it's all around you. It'sfrightening over there. And the biggest thing over there now is thecivil war. Here we're trying to get them, the whole country,straightened out, and now they're fighting each other. How can westraighten out that country when they're fighting each other? TheSunnis against the Shiites, Shiites against the Kurds. To be aserviceman is frightening, I'll guarantee, because you don't knowwhere they are, when they are.

CB:  Not a discernible enemy there.

EL:  But when I was in the reserve, if they called me, I'd go, I'dgo, my duty. I signed up, I'm ready to go. I didn't get called in theKorean War, I didn't get called to Viet Nam War because I was in thesubmarine reserve. They didn't use submarines. But if I had beenanything but a torpedoman, a radioman, a sonar man, anything, they'dhave called me. We had two hundred fifty out here at the NavalReserve that were called to active duty. Because I was in thesubmarine reserve, they did not need us. But they said go, I'd go, Iwas ready to go.

JW:  Let me ask you to clear something up. You said that your ship,the MONAGHAN, was in twelve of thirteen battles?

EL:  Yeah.

JW:  Were you on the ship for those twelve battles?

EL:  Yes, yes.

JW:  And can you name them offhand?

EL:  I've got them, I've got them in my book. I've got a diary, too.

LO:  Oh, you do?

EL:  Yes, ma'am. There's copies and I'll give it to the library, ifthey want it, too.

LO:  Look at that.

CB:  Oh, how wonderful.

LO:  Oh, that is wonderful.

CB:  And a good picture.

JW:  Let me ask you this. You fired your five inch guns?

EL:  Uh-huh.

JW:  Do you think you ever killed anybody?

EL:  Did we ever kill?

JW:  Do you think you ever killed anybody?

EL:  I killed, killed them in the water with machine guns. Our ship,alone, killed five thousand Japs up in the Aleutian Islands. We sunkfive submarines. We knocked down fourteen planes.

CB:  When were you in the Aleutians?

EL:  '43, '42 and '43.

JW:  That was when the big clearing out --

EL:  We were there right after Battle of Midway. They sent us rightup north to the Aleutians. Oh, you talk about misery. We had peoplegoing insane up there. In one hour, you could have sleet, rain,sunshine, winds and freezing, and the ship's like this (indicating).

CB:  How many Japs did you kill?

EL:  Oh, I wouldn't want to say.

CB:  I mean how many were killed up there?

EL:  Well, I'm talking about --

CB:  In general.

EL:  Combination, yeah.

CB:  Five thousand?

EL:  Army, Navy, yes. I wouldn't want to, I don't want to admitkilling people, but we had to.

CB:  No, I just mean in the battle, how many were killed?

EL:  Oh, yeah. Aleutian Islands up there, yeah, we were up theretwice. But now you've seen how tall these trees are, forty footwaves. We are on a destroyer in the gully. When you see this wave,you're looking up like this (indicating). The ship goes up. Then whenit gets on top, it comes down just like an elevator.

CB:  Right.

EL:  You can't sleep, you can't eat, you can't sit down. We hadpeople going insane up there. We had them commit suicide.

CB:  I'm interested in knowing about 1942-43, what the situation wasin the Aleutians, in Alaska, as far as the Japanese. What washappening there?

EL:  Okay. Well, see, after the Battle of Midway, the Japanese sentan invasion force up there. We had nothing but a lookout thing, and afew natives. And they decided that was good, they thought they weregoing to beat us, whip us, and take over the United States at thattime in '43. This is '43. So they invaded Kiska, Attu. Anyway,there's four islands that they invaded. Well, after a while, we had

enough forces to go up and run them off.

CB:  You know we've talked to several people who were sent to Alaskaand were in Nome.

EL:  That's mainland, yeah.

CB:  Dutch Harbor?

EL:  That's where the headquarters were, yeah,.

CB:  And we've heard there were attacks there in Dutch Harbor. Wereyou aware of that?

EL:  Yeah. We got there two days after that happened. And they bombeda freighter that was there, yeah. We were there two days later. Let'ssee, this is the Navy book (indicating).

CB:  Let's sit over here and look at that.

EL:  There was our ship there (indicating).

CB:  Oh, great pictures.

EL:  Okay. Here, here is all the battles that we were in. The goldstars are the main battles. These are our minor battles. So we werein something like fifty minor, altogether. We were on a destroyer.And whenever there was invasion, we came within three or four milesand watched the Marines pass us landing, because we bombarded infront of them, machine guns and everything. We used to wave at them,at the Marines. And in Tarawa, the first group, not a one of themsurvived, not a one of them. And we bombed, the carriers bombed thatlittle atoll. An atoll is only about four feet high with land, andonly five miles, maybe five miles by two miles. It's just what it is,it's an island, but they call it an atoll. And the Japanese were onTarawa, and of course everything is coral, like cement. They dugcaves and then they put coconut trees on top of it. And we bombedthis island three days in a row with carriers. We bombed it, weshelled it and carriers hit it. And still, the first wave of Marineswere killed, not a one of them reached because they were hidden, theywere hidden in these coral places. And so these gold stars are themain, main battles. You can look at that, if you've got time.

CB:  Well, I do. This is the neatest thing I've ever seen. You havereally done a good job. And here are the Aleutians. This isexcellent.

LO:  We would have been in a bad way if they'd made it through Canadainto the States.

EL:  Oh, definitely, yeah, sure would. They would've taken Alaskabecause we didn't have any force up at the time, but we built it up,then we took it back.

LO:  Took that to make us see the importance of it.

CB:  What a good looking boy.

EL:  Thank you. I've got a movie company from California went around,and they said it was going to be on CNN, this has been five yearsago. And they had the film completed until they found out that I wasin the harbor and we sunk a sub. They had never had anybody that didanything like that. So they called me on the phone and said that theywere going to put this part in. But they've got my picture, and thenwhat I said over the phone, and I've got a video of it. They madefive volumes, gave me the whole set. They interviewed Army, Marines,and this was the Navy part.

CB:  Here's a picture of this sub, this Japanese midget sub. Is thisthe MONAGHAN here? No, this is somebody pulling this sub up, isn't it?

JW:  That's ten years later?

EL:  No, that's a torpedo. Yeah, yeah, yeah. The Japanese sub, yeah.The one we had, a little more damage, I thought. But anyway, yeah.But when they said they found a dummy projectile in there, well, Iknow that had to be ours.

CB:  Yeah, that was you.

EL:  What I don't tell too many people, but told you we had twoshells, one was a dummy and one was a star shell that you shoot atnight. We shot it, too.

LO:  I probably would've thrown rocks.

EL:  They were close enough, if we just had had anything.

CB:  And here's all of your medals. This is a marvelous scrap book,what a good job.

EL:  Well, the kids kind of --

CB:  And here's the MONAGHAN.

EL:  Yeah. There was over three hundred, well, at least two hundred

Pearl Harbor survivors that went down with that ship. I'm justfortunate to be transferred.

CB:  Goodness, you've got a lot of photographs.

LO:  You were meant to do other things. Certainly wasn't your time.

EL:  That's my history. Now, you can have that diary. That's a copyof it, if you want it.

CB:  I'd like to scan this.

EL:  Whenever you're ready.

CB:  I'd like to take it and scan it, if you don't mind.

LO:  This is not your original, this is your copy?

EL:  Copy. I've got a copy, I blew it up because you couldn't see. Ican, but I blew it up a little bit. But every page is in there. I'vegot it in a safety deposit.

LO:  You going to donate that to a historical museum or --

EL:  Yes, ma'am, if they want it.

CB:  You know, the U.S. Library of Congress has a project, World WarII Veteran's story, and they are collecting those things along withyour stories. They have to be pretty carefully documented, but thatwould be a good place for them because it would certainly be wellcared for. You can go into the Internet and check on the U.S. Libraryof Congress for their project, World War II.

EL:  Now, you're doing all local, more or less local people?

CB:  This is the Fort Smith Historical Society. And we're attemptingto archive this material. And it will be in our files and will bekept, as well as making the videos from the DVD camera that we've gothere. Plus we will transcribe some of these stories and run some ofthem in our journal. This journal that came out in April, the firstof April, we had Dr. Art Martin's story. He was in Germany, in theArmy, he was a medical officer, soldier. But our primary purpose isto archive these stories.

EL:  Okay.

CB:  For future generations.

EL:  You know, I told you I was from Sweden. There's people fromSweden heard about me being in Pearl Harbor. I've got a newspaperclipping that they said that's hanging on the board, in Swedish.

CB:  I saw that.

LO:  The Library of Congress, I would think would be the place foryou to put your journal and this or anything like that because peoplego from all over the United States there to look at what they havegot from World War II. You know, we don't know, it's not taught inschool about World War II.

EL:  I was just telling her, unless you take history now, you don't.You know when we went to school, we had to take history.

LO:  Well, I did, too. But we didn't get much on World War II, and Ididn't get much in college.

EL:  Oh, okay. Well, right. Unless you take history now, you don'tknow nothing about it. I question these kids nowadays. They couldcare less, they could care less. Course, the Viet Nam killed it.Really, really hurt us as far as the way we fought it.

LO:  Well, it didn't just -- it didn't just -- I think it -- mypersonal belief is I think it killed the --

EL:  Patriotism.

LO:  Right.

EL:  Absolutely.

LO:  And the young men, like when I went to school, young men wantedto go serve, they wanted to put in two to three years in the service.And today, they want to run from it. So the Viet Nam War did --

EL:  That did it. And you know, it was revised on 9/11, patriotism.See cars flying American flags for about two or three years. Youdon't ever see that. Course, the Iraqi War has really --

CB:  I think that's damaged us quite a bit.

EL:  It's damaged, it sure has.

CB:  Our reputation worldwide is seriously damaged; but we've learnedmore history about World War II from these interviews than we everhad.

LO:  It's been a wonderful learning experience.

EL:  Everybody's got a different story.

CB:  Everybody's got a different story. And the stories provide a lotof information than I've never seen.

LO:  Well, I didn't know about the invasion of Alaska by theJapanese, I did not know about it. And I ask people today, I say didyou know Japanese invaded Alaska during World War II? They have noidea what I'm talking about, so I wasn't the only one.

CB:  Well, I think that news was blacked out. I don't think thepublic got that news at the time or there would have been generalpanic.

EL:  They were here. I was on a destroyer and they only had threehours darkness, when you get that far north. We snuck in the harborwhen it was dark. I mean it could get so foggy, I'm literally tellingyou, you can't see your hand. The fog is so thick. We go in withradar. We can go without seeing. We went in the harbor one night, andin thirty minutes, you can have sunshine, moonlight, fog or you nameit, sleet. We got in there and we started shelling them. Every nightwe would go in, we'd fire one hundred five inch shells just to harassthem. Course, we found out later we killed a bunch of them.

CB:  What harbor was this?

EL:  Kiska Harbor. And anyway, we were in there doing our thing. Andall of a sudden, everything lifted and the moon shined. Boy, we werecaught right there in the middle of the harbor. And course,reflection from the water, they started opening up on us. And beforewe got out, we could see four machine gun tracers about from here tothe ceiling (indicating). If they had just come down because we weregetting out of there, and course, we had to be at our gun stations.And so when we got out of there, we're exposed. We could count fourtracers. See, every tenth bullet, even in our Army, has a tracer atnight so you can see where you're going, where you're shooting. Wecould count four tracers there over our heads.

CB:  That's every tenth bullet?

EL:  Usually every tenth, yeah. I'd like to have a picture of youthree.

JW:  August 14th, 15th, 1945, depending on where you were on theglobe, how did you first learn that the Japanese had surrendered?

EL:  I was playing baseball. I was at bat, by the way. I was in KeyWest. Yeah, I was on a ball team, we were playing baseball down thereand we heard these whistles. All the ships in the harbor were tootingtheir horn. We never finished the game.

LO:  Did you support Truman's decision to bomb them with the atomic --

EL:  We didn't know it.

LO:  You didn't know it?

EL:  No. We would have lost maybe two million, because when the warwas over, when MacArthur went there, every yard had a hole withgrenades. And kids were taught to throw grenades. Every home had adug-out where they could get in and hide. It would have beenmurderous.

CB:  You'd have had to kill everybody there, wouldn't you?

EL:  You'd have to kill everybody because that's the way they'reborn, that's the way they're raised. Yeah, that atom bomb was really-- you know, they say it's our fault. But we wouldn't have done itif we didn't have to, because we knew there were casualties.

LO:  I'm just glad he had the nerve to do it.

EL:  That's right, uh-huh.    (Short break taken at this time.)

EL:  That is written by the only Japanese submarine commander andhe's the one that sunk the YORKTOWN, the torpedo that went under us,and he tells us the battle that we had with them.

CB:  May I borrow these?

EL:  Sure, you bet.

CB:  I'll get them back to you.

EL:  Use it wherever you need.    (Took pictures of interviewers.)

CB:  Now, this is your handwriting here, isn't it?

EL:  Right. That's all mine. You know what? They said don't do that,don't keep a diary. But you know what? When the war was over,officers, all of them had it.

LO:  Well, don't you think it helped you to do that, to sort of sortyour mind out?

EL:  I did it for some reason. Because from the first day, I nevereven thought about it until the first day when it was over with, whenwe were out in the harbor for three days, I just said, you know, Imay forget this some day. And that's what I did.

LO:  It was such an honor to spend time with you.

EL:  Nice meeting you. I rather appreciate this, it's the only way itcan get out.

CB:  That's right and it needs to be.

LO:  Now, for so many years, people didn't want to talk about it. Mygrandfather, he went to his death and never would talk about it.

EL:  Well, this is my last interview, I'll tell you. I mean really.But I think, you know, for history --

CB:  Well, I'm so glad that you wanted to do this interview.

EL:  Well, come to find out, I'm really seeing, even the Pearl Harborveterans, a lot of them never fired a gun. Bill McGrew, he was downbelow, he never saw nothing, but he was there.

JW:  He was there.

EL:  Actually shoot a gun, and actually see what was going on, notmany, some of them were there, you know, and saw it; but we were, you know, I saw everything. They just happened to be in that situation.