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Collection Robert Lankow
WVM ID Number OH 1090
Object Name Oral History
Title Oral History Interview with Robert Lankow
Date 2007
Event World War II
Narrator's Name Robert Lankow
Interviewer's Name John Driscoll
Description In this oral history interview, Robert "Bob" F. Lankow, a Milwaukee, Wisconsin native, discusses his experiences in the Navy during World War II, including his participation in the invasion of Normandy.

Lankow recalls hearing the news about the attack on Pearl Harbor, entering the Navy at age 18, and boot camp at Great Lakes (Illinois). Assigned to storekeeper's school at Burdett College (Massachusetts), he touches on having leave alone in Boston, guard duty at the Fargo Building, and reassignment to Norfolk (Virginia). After volunteering for duty in New Orleans, Lankow talks about joining the deck crew of LST-500 and going on its shakedown cruise. He describes heading for Europe with a convoy, which got attacked by enemy submarines. After arriving in Scotland, he tells of going to Southampton (England) for maneuvers, being loaded with medical gear the day before D-Day, landing with the second wave on Omaha Beach, and returning with prisoners of war. Lankow describes the huge number of Allied airplanes and ships he witnessed, the overcrowded conditions on the ships, and making a total of forty-three crossings during the invasion. He recalls his reaction to the news of President Eisenhower's death. Lankow speaks of transporting the army of occupation from Frankfurt to Oslo (Norway), and he portrays the holiday atmosphere of V-E Day.

After his discharge, he talks about having a variety of jobs, having his tubercular pleurisy treated at a VA Hospital, receiving disability payment, and making another claim after getting cancer of the esophagus. He portrays the enemy fire during the Normandy Invasion and transporting gasoline for Patton. Lankow talks about a few other family members' service histories in World War II.
Extent and Medium of Description Analog audio recording: 1 audio cassette (approx. 45 minutes)
Transcript: 16 pgs.
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Biographical Record Lankow, Robert F.