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Collection Donald L. Witte
WVM ID Number OH 11
Object Name Oral History
Title Oral History Interview with Donald L. Witte
Date 2002
Event World War II / Korean War
Narrator's Name Donald L. Witte
Interviewer's Name James McIntosh
Description Don Witte, a native of Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin left the farm at the age of 28 to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. In this oral history interview Witte discusses boot camp in San Diego (California) and his assignment as a supply sergeant (he attained tech sergeant rank) at North Island and Miramar naval air station. In November 1944 Witte was sent to the big Army and Navy supply base on the island of Guam in the Pacific but he first spent three stifling weeks aboard ship off Parry Island waiting for Guam to be cleared of main Japanese resistance. On Guam he dealt in "everything from shoes and clothing to aircraft engines." Witte describes living conditions there, how they lived in fuel oil-slicked Quonset huts and took shelter from the infrequent high-altitude enemy bomber. With war's end, Witte returned to the States, was discharged December 12, 1945, and resumed his job as assistant manager at the Singer Machine Company in Madison. Witte explains how his desire to utilize the GI bill led to his involvement in the Korean War. A member of the all-Reservist 7th Marines, he cites his presence at Inchon, Wosan, and the Chosin Reservoir. Witte covers the burial detail duty he pulled, and the frozen and perilous march from Koto-ri back to Hagaru-ri. Witte reflects that his Korean War experience made him aware of what he was capable. Granted release from active service by the commanding general, Witte returned to finish his chiropractic education in Iowa and opened a practice in Freeport (Illinois) upon graduation. His enlistment in the Marine Reserves expired in May 1953. Witte later practiced in Brodhead (Wisconsin).
Extent and Medium of Description Analog video recording: 1 VHS tape (approx. 40 minutes)
Transcript: 18 pgs.

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Biographical Record Witte, Donald L.