Interview with Allen Green

Alexander Heaton, Interviewer | 1294
|

0:37 - Green's early life

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Partial Transcript: Um, so, do you think just kind of you could give me uh a little bit...

Segment Synopsis: Question: Can you give some background about your life before you joined the military? Answer: Dropped out of school after the third grade, Worked for a company called lights transfer, then joined the CCC as a carpenter. Initially attempted to volunteer but was denied because of lack of schooling, and was drafted three months later anyways. Trained/worked in Milwaukee for six months, working in construction of the base area. Became a demolition man in the combat engineers.

Keywords: CCC; Civilian Conservation Corps; combat engineers; demolition man; draft

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4:02 - Normandy and lack of conversation about World War Two

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Partial Transcript: Uh, which beach in Normandy did you land on?

Segment Synopsis: Question: Which beach in Normandy did you land on? Unsure, but it’s the beach with the 294th combat engineers, directly next to Omaha Beach. Question: Why do you think you hear less about the World War Two veterans now. Answer: You hear all about the Vietnam vets, and nothing before that.

Keywords: 294th combat engineers; Battle of the Bulge; Omaha Beach

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8:34 - Green's time in Europe

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Partial Transcript: Were you the only Oneida in your unit?

Segment Synopsis: Question: Were you the only Oneida in your unit? Answer: Yes, the rest went to other units in later waves.

Keywords: fighter planes; France; jeep

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13:04 - Keeping contacts after the war

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Partial Transcript: So you've kept in, kept in contact all these years?

Segment Synopsis: Question: So you've kept in contact all these years? Answer: Green keeps in contact with other World War 2 vets that he was with in Europe.

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16:17 - Being an Oneida in the unit

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Partial Transcript: Being um an Oneida in the unit, were you treated any different...

Segment Synopsis: Question: Were you treated any different in your unit because you were an Oneida Indian? Answer: No I had rank, I was up for promotion past first sergeant, but never got paid for a rank higher then PFC. Although they took all of the rank when I got home.

Keywords: first sergeant; PFC; Private first class; promotion; rank

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18:17 - Oneida military tradition

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Partial Transcript: Do you think you could explain what the uh eagle feathers are..

Segment Synopsis: Question: (in reference to eagle feathers hanging on the wall) could you explain what the eagle feathers are? Answer: When he was awarded his ribbons (military decorations) the Oneida nation gave him the feather as well. Question: Are the feathers worn as part of a uniform? Answer: They could be worn in the head cover of a uniform.

Keywords: eagle feathers; military decorations; Oneida nation; ribbons

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19:43 - Green's French award

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Partial Transcript: And, you all said you got a French award as well?

Segment Synopsis: Question: Did you also get a French award? Answer: It was an award for bravery, but came 65 years late. All of his companions agreed. Allen’s award actually broke before they got home.

Keywords: bravery; funerals; parades; Veterans of Foreign Wars; VFW

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23:36 - Homecoming

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Partial Transcript: When, when you came home with the five fifty third tanks, how was...

Segment Synopsis: Question: How was your homecoming (from Germany) Answer: There was nobody there. They didn’t do anything for the dead of the units of those returned.

Keywords: veterans

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24:56 - Oneida Homecoming

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Partial Transcript: What, so what about um here when you came back to the...

Segment Synopsis: Question: Did the Oneida Nation throw a homecoming celebration? Answer: They held a group celebration on the 4th of July once all of the Oneida Veterans had come home, sometime around 1947 or 48.

Keywords: 4 of July; 4th of July; Fourth of July; July 4; July fourth

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25:45 - Green's home is Oneida

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Partial Transcript: Did you, you grew up in this area that you're in now?

Segment Synopsis: Question: Did you grow up in this area (of the reservation)? Answer: 88 years he has spent in Oneida. Question: After the war did you come home? Answer: He worked for the lights company again. Then moved to Milwaukee to work in the warehouse. He returned because he didn’t like living there and drove a dump truck in Oneida.

Keywords: dump truck; Hanson's Storage; Milwaukee; reservation; work

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29:57 - When Green left Milwaukee

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Partial Transcript: When, what made you decide to move back here from Milwaukee?

Segment Synopsis: Question: What made you decide to move back to Oneida from Milwaukee? Answer: He worked there for eight years, but kept getting in trouble with the police for his tendency to drink. So he woke up one morning and drove to Oneida.

Keywords: drink; dump truck; police

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33:56 - Korea and Vietnam draft

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Partial Transcript: When the other wars, when Korea happened and Vietnam...

Segment Synopsis: Question: Did you worry about the draft in Korea or Vietnam? Answer: No, he didn’t even remember the draft being called for

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34:31 - Green's training

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Partial Transcript: So tell me or can you tell me about some of your training...

Segment Synopsis: Question: Can you describe your training in the CC camp? Answer: It was just like being in the Army, you were assigned clothes, spent the time cutting wood in the summer. Someone came into town to sign people up, a lot of people went because there weren’t many job prospects in town. Salary was $12 a month, but room and board was covered.

Keywords: CC camp; job opportunity

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35:50 - Time spent in England before D-Day

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Partial Transcript: And then you were recruited out of the CC camp into your drafted...

Segment Synopsis: Question: How long did you spend in England prior to D-Day, where were you stationed? Answer: He was stationed in Cherbourg, England, and was there about two months prior to D-Day. He was close enough to see the rockets going over his head from France.

Keywords: Cherbourg; engineer corp; France; German; landing craft; ship

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38:48 - Clearing the beach

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Partial Transcript: So, and then, is your responsibility on the beach for blowing the obstacles...

Segment Synopsis: Question: Was it your responsibility to clear the beach? Answer: They actually had to come back later to clear the railroad ties from the beach so that the tanks could get through. He would attach the demolitions and cut them clean away.

Keywords: demolitions; railroad ties; tanks

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39:42 - Green's role as an engineer in France

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Partial Transcript: Once you got into France, once you got into the country, what...

Segment Synopsis: Question: Once you got into France what was your role as an engineer? Answer: Once they got into the country they had to build/fix the roads before the tanks and infantry came through. They would rebuild blown bridges. Built the pontoon bridge over the Rhine River. Used cannon to fire cable across the river, then anchored it to a tree to stretch the pontoon bridge across.

Keywords: bridge; cannon; infantry; pontoon; rebuild; Rhine River; road; tank

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44:11 - How people treated Green as they went through their towns

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Partial Transcript: How were the, how were the French people when you were going...

Segment Synopsis: Question: How were the French people when you were going through the towns? Answer: They were great, they would tell you where the German snipers were in the town, they would bring out wine and food. Once the Nazis had surrendered, the people in the German towns were nice as well, although they wouldn’t trust them.

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Subjects: children French German rifles snipers wine

46:59 - Occupation force in Germany

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Partial Transcript: Uh, how long were you in the occupation force for inside of Germany...

Segment Synopsis: Question: How long did you spend in the occupation force in Germany? Answer: Three months, he wanted to stay behind and work cleanup, but when the names were called to go home everyone went instead

Keywords: cleanup; home

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47:43 - Medical facilities and discharge

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Partial Transcript: What about for medical once you got home did you have to...

Segment Synopsis: Question: What was the medical facilities/discharge process like when you got home? Answer: You got shots, then left. There really wasn’t any VA presence for three years. He was cut off after four years of care because they said there was nothing wrong with him. He was given a pension when he got out, but that was taken away. When the veterans service officer position came about, they found all of the old paperwork and restarted pension as well as got back pay for all the veterans who had their pensions taken away. Question: Are you the oldest Oneida veteran? Answer: The oldest one still outside of a veterans home, the rest have died.

Keywords: Oneida; pension; veteran

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52:31 - Green's role at the VFW

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Partial Transcript: So, you said, you said that you went to the VFW when you...

Segment Synopsis: Question: Tell me about the VFW? Answer: Green was at the post from 1977-1984, he was a full time member.

Keywords: member; post; Veterans of Foreign Wars

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