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Interview with Philip Pollock, Jr., March 5, 2015

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:58 - Basic training

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Partial Transcript: I was born in Joliet, Illinois...

Segment Synopsis: Pollock talks about his upbringing in Joliet, Illinois and his only year at Macalester College before he was drafted into WWII in 1943. Pollock describes being sent to Louisiana for basic training and his subsequent technical training at Louisiana State University before he was deployed to Europe.

Keywords: 87th infantry division; Fort Jackson; Louisiana State University; Macalester College; WWII; draft

00:05:07 - Experience on the battlefront / The end of WWII

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Partial Transcript: What was your most memorable moment...

Segment Synopsis: Pollock describes the fear he felt on the first day of combat with the Germans in WWII. He recalls his feelings on the battlefront and talks about a stalemate that occurred on opposite sides of the Rhine River between the Germans and US soldiers. Pollock recalls being sent home for rest and relaxation and the surrender of the Germans.

Keywords: 4.2-inch mortar; Brownwood, Texas; General Patton's 3rd Army; Rhine River; WWII

00:10:32 - Returning home (cont.)

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Partial Transcript: We had three weeks of training...

Segment Synopsis: Pollock talks about the surrender of the Japanese in 1943. He describes the announcement of Germany's surrender (also known as VE-day) which coincided with the same day he returned home for a forty-five day period of rest and relaxation. He shares that he was eventually officially discharged on Thanksgiving Day of 1945, after which he was sent back to Iowa city.

Keywords: Brownwood, Texas; Edgewood Arsenal; Victory in Europe (VE) Day

00:16:06 - Attending University

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Partial Transcript: Were there any parades when you...

Segment Synopsis: Pollock shares the details of his return home. Pollock explains that he went back to school with the assistance of the G.I Bill and he describes his education experience following WWII.

Keywords: G.I Bill; University of Idaho; WWII

00:21:13 - Basic training

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Partial Transcript: Have you celebrated or honored V-E Day...

Segment Synopsis: Pollock talks about his respect for V-E Day and shares his relief in having not to fight in Japan. He then talks about the "traumatic" experience of leaving home for basic training in 1943. Pollock describes the basic training camp of New Orleans.

Keywords: Japan; M1-Rifle; V-E Day; Victory in Europe Day; infantry

00:26:48 - Combat experience

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Partial Transcript: My combat experience in Europe was...

Segment Synopsis: Pollock describes the horrific nature of WWII and summarizes the stalemate at the Rhine River between US and German troops. He talks about his and other soldiers' ignorance of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Keywords: Limburg, Germany; WWII; atomic warfare; war

00:30:51 - Reflections on US safety following WWII

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Partial Transcript: How did you feel after you found...

Segment Synopsis: Pollock explains his position regarding the atomic bombs dropped on Japan by the US. He then talks about the end of WWII, and the occupation of Germany and Japan. Pollock describes his feelings of security regarding the safety of the United States after the allies won WWII.

Keywords: Cold War; Soviet Union; WWII; safety

00:35:26 - International security and the Cold War

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Partial Transcript: We seem to be pretty friendly with Putin...

Segment Synopsis: Pollock shares his outlook on the relationship between Russia and the United States. He then discusses the need for leadership in the United States and reflects on the benefit of America's international actions for American citizens. Pollock talks about his son's accomplishments and how he believes the Cold War has changed America.

Keywords: Cold War; Korean War; Vietnam War; education

00:40:13 - US's national defense / Opinions on nuclear warfare

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Partial Transcript: It was necessary for us to continue...

Segment Synopsis: Pollock talks about the need for a strong national defense system following the end of WWII. Pollock explains his opinion on the Cold War and the potential for nuclear warfare following WWII.

Keywords: Cold War; WWI; WWII; defense; security

00:45:49 - Discrimination in WWII / Ballistic missile safety

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Partial Transcript: Our essential government seems to be...

Segment Synopsis: Pollock talks about his work in the Air Force and his opinion on the aerial defenses of the United States. He then describes racism in the military during WWII. Pollock shares his opinion of German soldiers and the history of the United State's ballistic missile program following WWII.

Keywords: Air Force; Germany; V-1 Rocket; V-2 Rocket; WWII; Wernher von Braun; ballistic missles; discrimination; national security; race

00:49:55 - US ballistic missile program / Race relations in the military

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Partial Transcript: Von Braun, who was the leading rocketeer...

Segment Synopsis: Pollock talks about the development of the US's ballistic missile program and the extreme dedication of the Japanese soldiers to the war effort. Pollock talks about his lack of interaction with minority soldiers due to the segregation of the military. Pollock reflects on his naivety concerning race relations in the south.

Keywords: Wernher von Braun; ballistic missiles; honor; race

00:55:11 - Reflections on war

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Partial Transcript: Did you notice any of the other positions...

Segment Synopsis: Pollock reflects on the lack of quality duties given to Black soldiers during WWII and instances of segregation during the war effort. Pollock describes the unpredictability of war and talks about the importance of international organizations for preventing future wars. He ends the interview with a reflection on his luck in surviving WWII.

Keywords: United Nations; WWII; discrimination; duties; segregation