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Collection Robert W. Winner
WVM ID Number OH 102
Object Name Oral History
Title Oral History Interview with Robert W. Winner
Date 2001
Event World War II
Narrator's Name Robert W. Winner
Interviewer's Name James McIntosh
Description In this oral history interview, Robert Winner, a Marshfield, Wisconsin native, discusses his World War II service as a paratrooper and mortarman with the 2nd and 5th Marine Divisions in the Pacific Theater.

Winner relates selling extras of the Wisconsin State Journal on the day of the Pearl Harbor attack, enlisting in 1942, boot camp in San Diego, and doing paratrooper training at the same time as his brother, who broke a bone in his heel during a jump. He describes joining the Marine Raiders of the 2nd Regiment, 2nd Division and staging for Guadalcanal and Vella Lavella. He details preparation for the Bougainville Campaign and his unit's raid on Choiseul Island. During combat at Choiseul he describes swimming out to rescue a sergeant who had narrowly escaped capture by the Japanese and, while in the water, being saved from shelling by a sudden squall. The PT boat that picked them up was run by Jack Kennedy. During the rescue Winner cut his feet on coral reefs, and he mentions being unable to walk for days after. After Bougainville, the paratroops were reformed into the 5th Marine Division, and he describes his reassignment to the mortar section including training in Hawaii and Saipan. He speaks of preparing for the Iwo Jima campaign, the rough landing on Iwo Jima, and attacking the middle airstrip on Mount Suribachi with the 27th Regiment. He details his combat efforts and the difficulty of getting the Japanese out of the tunnels. He describes a couple near-misses: having a dud rocket land right next to his foxhole, and having shrapnel rip up the equipment in his backpack. He describes being hit in the leg by mortar shrapnel and getting flown to a hospital in Guam. He touches upon his hospitalization in Hawaii and occupation duty at Sasebo (Japan).

He comments on his return home, using the GI Bill for vocational school, his involvement with the active Army Reserves at Camp McCoy (Wisconsin), and switching to the Navy Reserves. He mentions being a member of VFW post 1318 in Madison (Wisconsin) and attending a Marine parachute regiment reunion.
Extent and Medium of Description Analog video recording: 1 VHS tape (approx. 55 minutes)
Transcript: 22 pgs.
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Biographical Record Winner, Robert W.