War World II Interview

Me: What is your name?

Andrew: Andrew Rutherford

Me: How old were you when you got drafted?

Andrew: I was drafted at the age of 20

Me: Where did you live at the time?

Andrew: I lived in Shreveport, Louisiana at the time.

Me: Were you married at the time?

Andrew: No, I lived with my mother and she wanted me to get married soon, but then the war came.

Me: Did you have any family in the war?

Andrew: Yes my brother was in the war with me, but he was not stationed with me.

Me: Were is he now?

Andrew: He died in the war. When the Japanese attacked the Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines, the soldiers retreated because they were outnumbered. However they were captured and had to march through the jungle on their ways to the camps. I think he died on the way there but I am not sure.

Me: I am sorry.

Andrew: Itís ok, it isnít your fault he died sunny.

Me: Where did your basic training take place?

Andrew: I trained both in Louisiana and Texas.

Me: Was the training hard?

Andrew: It was very hard, especially in Louisiana, where the guns where hard to keep straight in the very wet ground.

Me: How long was it before you were sent into war?

Andrew: About 4 months and we were sent to Virginia, and sailed to England.

Me: How was the boat ride over?

Andrew: Terrible, the water was rough and everyone was getting sick, I lived off water and apples, I was lucky to get a top bunk for bed, the people with the lower bunks got thrown up and down a lot due to the swaying of the boat.

Me: What was your rank when you got to Europe?

Andrew: I was the Sergeant of four "Howitzer"

Me: What was your first feeling of the war?

Andrew: I was very nervous, especially after one of my captains went crazy, and was sent back home.

Me: Thatís always a nice first experience to calm your nerves.

Andrew: (laughs) Sure was, I was already nervous and scared and just a little after we reached England my captain went crazy and was sent back. Seeing that made me and everyone with me even more nervous.

Me: What was one of the hardest missions you had?

Andrew: The battle of Rhine, we were firing the guns for over 24 hours straight. It was one of the biggest battles of the war because we were finally trying to penetrate into Germanyís heart. The battle was long and tough, but it was worth it when we found out that Hitler was dead.

Me: Did you ever have a break in the war?

Andrew: Very rarely, sometimes if we had a long week or two of straight fighting we would get two or three days off. However, usually we just kept on fighting unless we were sick. Then they would give us some sort of a break.

Me: Did you ever get a chance to go home for a little while?

Andrew: Yes, there was once when I went home and surprised my mother, we were like heroes. I remember having people tell me to go into a show or ball game for free. It felt nice to be treated specially, but that was not the reason we were fighting. We fought for our families, friends, and loved ones back home. We were trying to protect them and that was our major goal, not being able to get into a ball game for free. Though it was nice.

Me: Where you ever wounded?

Andrew: Yes, I once was exposed to mustard gas on my arms, and I still have a problem with my hands today. Also it may have caused some damage to my lungs. I was also hit in the eye with apiece of shrapnel; which has made me almost blind in my left eye.

Me: Was any of your close buddies killed?

Andrew: Only one, in my whole group I was in charge of, only one man was killed, it was the worst things I ever seen in life, his whole middle part of his body was gone.

Me: Do you ever regret killing the others?

Andrew: What I thought when I was fighting back then, I