• Interviewee: Bodner, Edward J.
  • PDF Interview: bodner_edward.pdf
  • Date: March 30, 2007
  • Place: Oradell, New Jersey
  • Interviewers:
    • Shaun Illingworth
    • Michael Perez
  • Transcript Production Team:
    • Domingo Duarte
    • Michael Perez
    • Jessica Ding
    • Edward J. Bodner
    • Sandra Stewart Holyoak
  • Recommended Citation: Bodner, Edward J. Oral History Interview, March 30, 2007, by Shaun Illingworth and Michael Perez, Page #, Rutgers Oral History Archives. Online: Insert URL (Last Accessed: Insert Date).
  • Permission:

    Permission to quote from this transcript must be obtained from the Rutgers Oral History Archives. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Michael Perez: This begins an interview with Mr. Edward Bodner on March 30, 2007, in Oradell, New Jersey. Mr. Bodner, first of all I'd like to thank you for giving us your time and inviting us over to your house. The other person doing this interview with us today is Shaun Illingworth. We will begin by asking you some questions about your family.

Edward Bodner: Okay.

MP: When and where was your father born?

EB: Both my parents were born in Austria ... Vienna, Austria I think.

MP: Mother and father?

EB: Yes.

MP: Did any of your mother or father's family come to the United States before them?

EB: No.

MP: They were the first to immigrate here?

EB: As far as I know.

Shaun Illingworth: Do you know why they came to the United States?

EB: I guess, for a better life.

MP: Did your father have any brothers or sisters back in Austria? Did they leave family behind?

EB: I don't know ... I don't know.

SI: So, when your father settled in Pennsylvania, he went into coal mining?

EB: He, actually they first went up to Connecticut, Willimantic, Connecticut, and were farmers, but they decided the ground up there wasn't too fruitful, so they migrated down here in Pennsylvania, into the anthracite coal regions.

MP: Do you know how long your father was in the coal mines?

EB: ... He worked as an electrician in the coal mines, I would say, for about thirty years.

SI: Do you know how your parents met?

EB: No, I don't know anything about their individual lives. ... All I know is, they got married over here and, I forget really, I'd have to go back in time as far as the actual date. But, they were married over here and I don't know anything about their prior experiences.

MP: When and where were you born?

EB: I was born in Duryea, Pennsylvania, [a] small town in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Duryea, yes. And, go ahead.

MP: How many siblings do you have?

EB: Well, that's where I was born and I was raised there, until I came to Rutgers.

MP: Do you have any siblings?

EB: Oh, yes. ... I was the youngest of eleven children, five brothers and five sisters, and they're all dead now. I'm the youngest and I'm still alive.

SI: What was the age difference between you and your oldest sibling?

EB: Well, I'd say about thirty years, because as I recall, you know, going back in time, the age differences between me and my older siblings ran from four years to my next oldest brother to then two years, two years, two years, until, I'd say, about twenty, twenty-five years from my oldest brother.

MP: Did any of your brothers serve in the military as well?

EB: Yes ... I had two brothers that served in the military besides myself. One was with the Seventh Infantry Division, and he had extensive military service from the beginning up in the Aleutian Islands, and then he went into the Marshall Islands. He was wounded at Kwajalein, which is one of the Marshall Islands. ... Then, after, you know, becoming whole again, he was sent into the action, and he was actually killed in Leyte Gulf, the Battle of Leyte Gulf. My other brother was, I'm not too sure, he was in the Navy for a while and then he was in the Army, but I'm not sure about his activities.

SI: Could any of your brothers have served in World War I?

EB: Yes, my oldest brother served in World War I. He was actually wounded in France, but luckily that's all. It was a wound that healed, and he was a survivor. ... He served, I forget the outfit that he was with, but he served in France and was wounded, came back, resumed his normal life.

MP: How did your mother feel having three sons going into the service?

EB: She was a patriotic emigrant. She was a dyed-in-the-wool Republican, and that flowed through our family. She was a very, very, capable woman, my mother. She had to be with all; my dad died when I was nine years old. ... She held the family together, and was able to do a multitude of tasks to see that we're all well taken care of.

SI: Did your older brothers and sisters live in the same area, or did they spread out?

EB: They lived here for the early part of their lives, but then they gravitated. My sisters went to New York City, where they were employed. My brothers went to New Jersey, and one brother stayed there and continued to work in the mines for a while. ... He finally moved to Shamokin. Anyhow, he died in Pennsylvania.

MP: Did you go to high school in Pennsylvania?

EB: Oh, yes, yes, I was first in my class in Duryea High School.

MP: You were valedictorian?

EB: Yes, there were 115 students in the class, so it wasn't a big class, but that's where I was educated. ... Actually, as a result of my scholastic ability, Rutgers granted me a small scholarship.

MP: Do you remember what year you enrolled at Rutgers?

EB: Yes, I started in the Class of '44; we were "the class that won the war," that was our slogan.

SI: Going back to your time in Duryea, what was it like to grow up in that town?

EB: Well, again, it was a small town. There's two thousand inhabitants in that town, and there were the coal mines, the silk mills, and some plastic factories; that was the source of employment for the people that lived there. ... When I graduated high school, I could see that there was no future in that town, and I knew I had to go to school. I didn't have ... much money, but I was able to accumulate enough to support me while I was at Rutgers.

SI: Were you self-motivated to go to college, or did your family encourage you?

EB: Well, my mother encouraged me all the time to do what I wanted. I was completely free. I mean, I was a loner for most of my youth. My brother, four years, my youngest brother that was nearest me [was] four years older than I was. He was involved with his friends but I was, I kept my group of people and I had a good childhood.

SI: Were you involved in any activities like Boy Scouts or sports?

EB: I played third base on the baseball [team]. I was too light for football, but I played third base on the baseball team. I was a good field, no hit. I couldn't hit a left hander, and that was where I was supposed to be able to hit. ... I didn't play basketball. That was my sport, baseball. But ... when I was at Rutgers, I was a wrestler. I wrestled 136 pounds, and I never was too great, but I got my letter. I know one time, Wilfred Cann, I think, was the coach, and one weekend, one match we were playing, [we were] wrestling in Columbia, and he asked me to come down to 128 pounds. ... I did nothing but chew gum and spit all that time, and I made the weight, 128 pounds. ... I went to Columbia, I wrestled a Japanese, he pinned me in thirty-eight seconds. [I was] not too successful, but I was weak. That was a mistake, that's it.

MP: Were you involved in extra curricular activities at Rutgers?

EB: I was, yes. I was on the debating team as a freshman, and, as I say, I wrestled. I joined the, at that time, it was a local fraternity, the Raritan Club, the Raritan Club, [begins singing] The Raritan, the Raritan; anyhow, that was the fraternity that I joined. ... [I] was instrumental in converting it to a national fraternity, the Sigma Phi Epsilon, and I was the president of that fraternity, and the first president of the fraternity as a national fraternity.

SI: Why did you want to make it a national fraternity?

EB: Well, I guess, because we were impressed with the power of a national franchise. We were, otherwise we were just a local bunch of guys, who lived together, and we call ourselves, "The Raritan Club." It was a local fraternity, and it did not have the affiliation of a national concern, so we felt we wanted to enlarge our environment.

MP: So, in actuality, you were the first national president of your organization?

EB: Yes, the first president of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity at Rutgers University.

MP: There was none in any other university?

SI: I think you contacted the national fraternity, and they accepted your charter as a chapter.

EB: Yes, they came in, to establish the chapter at Rutgers.

MP: Sigma Phi Epsilon already existed?

EB: Yes, they established a chapter when I was there and ... since I was the president of my local fraternity, I evolved into the president of the first Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.

MP: So, the Raritan Club basically became a chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon.

EB: That's right.

SI: I've always seen the Raritan Club in the yearbook, and I wondered, did you have fraternity-type activities?

EB: Yes, we had fraternity parties, and the university had the counselors that would visit when we had it to make sure we weren't drinking too much booze. You know, we were well regulated and supervised by the university officials. We were recognized as a local fraternity.

MP: Where did you live while at Rutgers?

EB: Well, initially, when I first went down there, I got there late so the dorms were all filled. So, ... they had approved rooming houses on Hamilton Street, and 140 Hamilton Street was one rooming house that I applied for. The university recommended these places, and I applied for room there and I was accepted. The house mother was a, there were about fourteen or fifteen students living in the house, and she gave me a room there. ... That's where I had stayed my freshman year, and then the sophomore year I went into Winants Hall. We, two other guys and I, who lived together as freshmen, we went into Winants Hall. ... Then, we joined, one of the guys and myself, joined the Raritan Club, so then we moved into the fraternity house ... on George Street. Then we were, I was in the ROTC, and, the advanced ROTC, and then we were called to active duty at the end of the junior year.

MP: When did you begin ROTC? Was it during your freshman year?

EB: Yes, freshman year we took ROTC. ... Then, you took two years compulsory ROTC, and then that was it, unless you got into the advanced ROTC. ... You were selected, and I was selected, in the advanced ROTC, and if you completed two more years, you got a commission, second lieutenant. But, we were called to active duty at the end of the junior year, and we went down to basic. We were inducted down at Fort Dix, and then we were sent out to Camp Crowder, the Signal Corps. I was in the Signal Corps ROTC. They were the infantry and the Signal Corps, and I was in the Signal Corps. ... There were twenty of us in the Signal Corps, all engineers or chemistry majors, science guys, and we were [sent] out to Camp Crowder for basic training.

SI: When you were at Rutgers in the ROTC, you were already classified as being Signal Corps?

EB: Yes, we had two units, one infantry and one Signal Corps.

SI: What kinds of things would you do in the Signal Corps ROTC unit that were different from the infantry?

EB: Well, you had infantry drill, but Signal Corps, we simulated signal problems. In other words, we were considered part of a signal company. ... The organization for a signal company, you had long lines, you had radio, you had messenger service, and we simulated all of those activities in the Signal Corps.

SI: They actually had the materials at Rutgers that were required to teach you how to fix and use a radio?

EB: Yes, yes, yes and troubleshoot radios, SCR, forget the name. They all had designations, you know, Signal Corps Radio, SCR, such and such a name. But that's where we learned the rudiments of Signal Corps operation.

MP: Were you placed in the Signal Corps or did you choose to be there?

EB: We were selected, we were placed in that; we had no choice. At that point, you know, in basic, it was all infantry. You learned close order drill, all that stuff. ... Then, when we got into the advanced ROTC, we were selected to go into the Signal Corps because we were all engineers, except for just a ceramics major and there's one, he was a Cook College, but it wasn't Cook College. [He was] an Ag field, an Ag major, he was in there, too, a couple of those guys but that's about it.

SI: Why did you choose engineering as a major and a course of study?

EB: Well, I'll tell you. When I was in high school, I was able to take some commercial credits where I learned how to type and take dictation. ... At that time, I could type a hundred words a minute, and I could take dictation at a hundred words a minute. So, as I say, I had no money. Initially, I worked as a secretary for Public Service and I knew, I worked there for a year and a half before I went away to school. ... The people who ran the company were engineers, and we had commercial operations there, too, bookkeeping, payroll, stuff like that. But I knew that if I was ever going to get anywhere, I better ... be an engineer with that company. That's why I became an engineer. Does that answer your question?

SI: Yes, that's good.

MP: Where were you when the bombing of Pearl Harbor occurred? I know you were at Rutgers already at that time.

EB: Yes. When [was] what, when [was] Pearl Harbor? I was a sophomore at Rutgers when they bombed Pearl Harbor, 1941, December 1941. I was a sophomore here at Rutgers.

SI: What do you remember about that day and how you heard the news?

EB: Well, I'll tell you. Being of meager means, I worked as a waiter over in Highland Park, [at] a little restaurant called the (Buff and Blue?). I don't know if it still exists or not, but it was a restaurant that a friend of mine, he was a dishwasher, I was the waiter, and we used to walk over to Highland Park at noontime. We'd get served a nice lunch, and then at night, at five o'clock, we'd go over, and I would serve as a waiter, he would serve as a dishwasher. ... When we got our dinner and we got tips, we didn't get any salary, but we got tips, and with the tips I got, and the two meals a day, I've been able to ... make out pretty well. ... We were walking home on a Sunday, and we were at Winants Hall, and a guy came in and said they bombed Pearl Harbor. That was the first notice that I got. Of course, we didn't know what the hell happened, but that was the first notice that we heard that Sunday.

MP: While you were in college, what made you join the ROTC?

EB: Well, you had to do it the first two years, it was compulsory. It was compulsory the first, everybody had to do it because it was a land grant college, and we had to have taken ROTC as part of our curriculum. But then afterwards, I wanted to be an officer, and the way to do it is get into the advanced ROTC, so I applied for the advanced ROTC.

SI: What made you decide to stick with the Army as opposed to looking at the Navy or the Air Force?

EB: Oh, I never thought that much. ... It was the Army; I never considered any other service. That's where I would, I had all of the basics in the ROTC, you know. ... There was no navy there. It was ... just the one service, the Army, so I ... didn't give any thought to joining any other service.

MP: Were you surprised to be put on active duty after your junior year?

EB: Yes, we were called to active duty at the end of the junior year.

MP: Did it come as a shock to you?

EB: No, we were expecting it. We were expecting it because the casualty list was rising, you know, so we knew we were going to be called to active duty. ... You got the impression that you weren't going to finish out your senior year there.

SI: Before you went into the service, did you notice changes around Rutgers and New Brunswick related to the war?

EB: Not really. No, there was, it was a great time in my life, and the school was everything that I wanted. ... There was no [changes] after the bombing. Then we began to suspect that [there would be] because I was in the Enlisted Reserve Corps. In order to go to college we, you didn't, weren't drafted; you got into the Enlisted Reserve Corps, which I was in, and so you know you were eventually, you're going to go into the Army. But there was no, as the '41, I guess it was '42, you knew there was something happening, but ... there was no feeling that you were going to get drafted. It was just [the] timing was there because the war, you know, didn't start really until Guadalcanal. [That]was the first actual, first fighting that took place, except in the Aleutian Islands, and that part that was in the South Pacific. Europe was like the false war over there. There was nothing happening. After Germany invaded Poland, there was a hiatus, the war just stood still there, and they called it the phony war at that time. ... There was nothing happening, and that was I guess, when did Germany invade Poland? I guess, they invaded Poland in September '42, I guess, wasn't it?

SI: '39.

EB: '39, yes, but after that, there was no action for a long time, until '41 or so. That's when Germany invaded the Low Lands, Belgium and Netherlands, and that's when they beat France, I guess, in 1941, didn't they?

SI: 1940, possibly. I think it's a little earlier, in 1940.

EB: The impact of that war in '40 didn't hit us until after '41, when we were bombed [at] Pearl Harbor.

SI: Did you still have family in Europe at that time? Was your mother still communicating with anyone?

EB: No, we had no connections, no connections whatsoever. It was like [a] distant past that didn't exist, really.

SI: What was the engineering curriculum like? I've heard it was very challenging.

EB: It was a tough course. Yes, you had mathematics, algebra, mechanics, thermo dynamics, dynamics, metallurgy. ... You know, it was all chemistry, physics, all of the normal subjects that you get in an engineering curriculum.

SI: Did you find it difficult?

EB: Oh, it was tough. I was tough, I was smart. I know I was smart, I thought I was the smartest guy in the world when I got out of high school, because I was but, I learned at Rutgers, there were a lot of guys smarter than I was. ... But, I applied myself, and I was successful, and passing all the grades.

SI: Did you also have Saturday classes?

EB: Oh, yes. We had heat power lab, we had metal, mechanical drawing on Saturday morning from nine to twelve, every Saturday, mechanical drawing. ... We had heat power labs in the afternoon, chemistry labs, physics labs. I mean, we had a tough curriculum, but it was fun. I, you know, I always considered my time at Rutgers as, I don't like to have my wife hear when I say this, but she won't hear this,will she?

SI: Well, she might ...

EB: [laughter] My time at Rutgers was probably one of the most enjoyable periods of my life. I really had a good time, lots of fun. I had some girls, you know, there were a thousand girls over at NJC [New Jersey College for Women, now Douglass], and they were all available. So, all in all, I can't complain. I really was able to do what I wanted to do. I had no responsibilities, other than myself, and no commitments, other than myself, and I did what I was supposed to do, and I had fun on the way.

SI: Do any of your professors or classes stand out in your memory as being either very good or very bad?

EB: No, I, we had a, several professors. My algebra teacher, Professor Stark, he was a tough, tough guy. He was a good professor, but he was tough, and we had Professor Fish, who I liked very much. He taught me several courses. Professor Cejka was aerodynamics and mechanics. ... The guys that I felt less friendly toward were the physics teachers. They were aloof. They were in a world other than myself, a little bit too advanced for me. But, all in all, the professors at Rutgers, I thought, were capable and were pleasant to have as teachers. I forget the name of the dean who also taught thermodynamics (his name was Professor Anthony), and he was a little guy, and we used to, you know, mimic him. He'd sit on his desk, and he'd kick his feet up; he had little feet. ... A friend of mine, a guy [named] Lou Angelilli, was a football player, he was about 220 pounds, and he'd sit next to me and he'd draw a little foot. I couldn't help but laugh, you know, and the professor is wondering what the hell I was laughing at, but we had some fun. (Carmichael?), no, it wasn't Carmichael, but he, the dean, he replaced the dean of engineering. ... He also taught this one class, thermodynamics. [I] forget his [name] (Anthony). ...

SI: Was it Dagget? (Anthony)

EB: He replaced Dagget. He replaced Dagget, now who was the, I can't just think of his name.

SI: You can put it in later.

EB: I can't think of his name, okay. Anyhow, he was okay.

SI: What other Rutgers' traditions, like going to chapel, do you remember?

EB: Well, yes, I used to go to chapel regularly, but I'm a Catholic so I go to my, St. Peter's, I think was just around the block. I'd go to St. Peter's, and I'd do my duty at mass, and then I'd go to chapel and be inspired by some of the speakers that they had there, and they had some good ones. (Billy Phelps?) I remember from Yale would come down there, and the candidate for the Socialist Party spoke there [Norman Thomas]. They always had somebody who inspired you, which is something I didn't get from my own religion, but I enjoyed chapel very much.

SI: Do you remember the blackouts or the civil defense drills?

EB: There wasn't, we didn't have it when I was there.

SI: Did rationing affect the campus at all?

EB: Not to me, no. I never had a car, so I didn't, I wasn't involved with any gasoline shortages, or anything. This thing came afterwards. I was out of there. While I was there, I had a little, or no, didn't have any blackouts or any war associated activities. We were sort of [an] isolated, small little college, and it's good.

SI: Did you have any other jobs besides being a waiter?

EB: Well, I think that was the one job that really, you know, had an impact on me.

SI: Can you tell us what it was like to go from Rutgers into the Army?

EB: Well, we were, we had some experience in the ROTC, as I say, but then at the end of junior year, we had a year [of] simulated warfare. ... You had to plan a defense against an attack, you know, this was part of the junior year. ... Then, when we went to basic training, well, we had marches, ten mile hikes, full packs. We went in the [chamber], used masks, gas masks under, they didn't use regular gas. ... What do you do when you have a; it was a gas, tear gas. It was [a] tear gas operation. You had to get into an area where, and put your gas mask on, and go through all of the rituals of basic training. ... We had fire, rifle fire on the firing range; all of the basic subjects that we had in the Army. Then, when we came back to Rutgers, our group, and we were under the ROTC, ASTP [Army Specialized Training Program], and for about five months we were back there, and then we went to OCS [Officer Candidate School]. ... In the meantime, there were additional courses, and I had had some additional courses before that. I was given my degree when I was OCS. I was one of two people; I think Howie Fohrhaltz and myself were able to get degrees without going back after the war.

SI: Most of your classmates had to come back for a year or so.

EB: They had to go back for one year.

MP: Where did you have basic training, and how long did it last?

EB: I think about eight weeks. I think, it was eight weeks. [In] Camp Crowder, it's in Missouri, Joplin, Missouri, Joplin, MO, see, I remember that.

SI: How many of your classmates were you with?

EB: Oh, twenty of us; we were all together.

SI: Then the fifty others went to McClellan?

EB: They went to McClellan, right, Fort McClellan.

SI: I've heard a lot about the McClellan guys. What was Camp Crowder like? How was it set up?

EB: Well, it was, you know, a[n] army base out in the nowhere, in Missouri. ... They had, as I say, you could go, we had weekend privileges. We'd go into Joplin, where we'd go through [to] a swimming place where you could go swimming, and that part was pretty good. Joplin was a Midwestern town, nothing great but you could get some booze there if you wanted it, and, but it was an army base.

SI: Did it have any USO [United Service Organizations]?

EB: There was USO in Joplin. So, we'd go there, you know, but nothing much. I can't remember we had too much of that. We really stuck together as a group, and we'd go to the PX, or whatever. But we had a couple of good tactical officers that taught us, who had been in service, you know, they were regular army and they weren't officers, they were ...

SI: They were NCOs?

EB: They were like tech sergeants, you know, sergeants. They weren't officers; they were non-commissioned officers, that's what they were. They were good, and we used to go take ten-mile hikes, and then the last mile coming back we had to jog into, they'd [make us] put our gas masks on, you know, so we had good training, I tell you, we had good training. We were equipped to, if we had to we could do some damage, but then after we got back, as I say, we were back for five months and then we're sent to OCS.

SI: What was it like to come back to Rutgers during the war? Did you see any changes?

EB: Oh, yes, it was crowded. They had ASTP people there, and we were just [a] small group of twenty guys, and we were billeted in the Joyce Kilmer House. You know where that is? It's right near, used to be across from the gymnasium, Joyce Kilmer House. You know who Joyce Kilmer was? Well, he was a poet, and he wrote a poem, "Trees," "Trees" by Joyce Kilmer, "A tree is something," you know, [a] very, very good poem.

MP: We have a library named after him on one of the campuses.

EB: Do they? Well, they should, because, I think, he went to Rutgers.

SI: Yes, he was a Rutgers alumnus.

EB: Anyhow, where are we?

SI: We were talking about when you returned to Rutgers. You were all packed into the Joyce Kilmer House ...

EB: That's where we were billeted, and then we took our courses, machine design and all, I took, and a few other courses that built my credits. So, when I went to OCS I was able, [I] had accumulated enough credits to get my degree, and I got the degree while there in an OCS. As they say, just two of us were able to do that, [myself and] a guy by the name of Howard Fohrhaultz. He's dead now. There's about eight of our guys are dead.

SI: When you were in the ASTP at Rutgers, did you have to march to and from class?

EB: Yes, we marched, we marched. We didn't do any field, no field, you know, field training, or what do you call it? I forget what you call it now.

SI: Drill?

EB: Drill, yes, drill, no drilling of that kind; we were just doing academic work.

SI: So, after you left Rutgers where was your next ...

EB: We went to OCS, our group went to OCS; the other guys went to McClellan. I don't know where I don't know if they ever came back to the infantry. I don't know if they ever did come back. I think, they went right to McClellan; I'm not sure about that. You might be able to tell me, they might have told you that.

SI: I think they came back to Rutgers also, and then they went to Fort Benning, possibly.

EB: Oh, Fort Benning, yup.

SI: Yes, for infantry.

EB: Oh, I see, well, anyhow.

SI: Where was your OCS?

EB: Down at Fort Monmouth, down here in New Jersey, and we had four months. We had a month in the field, and when we got out we were second lieutenants.

SI: Was it an intense course?

EB: Oh, I thought it was very, especially the field training. You were billeted out in tents, and you had a canvas pack that you carried for your bunk, and the drills there were good, they'd shake you up at two o'clock in the morning and say, you know, the radio officer, certain people were having trouble with radio, and you had to go and fix it. Or, they'd wake you up and said, "You're the long lines officer," and you had to assemble your brains, and do whatever you're supposed to do. So, I thought it was excellent training.

--------------------------------------END OF TAPE ONE, SIDE ONE--------------------------------------

SI: You were talking about the training at Fort Monmouth.

EB: Yes, it was an extensive training, and I felt when I was out of there I could do my job. I could be a radio officer in the Signal Corps, Signal Company. Well, that was it. ... After a leave, we had a leave, I forget how long, but then we were sent back to Monmouth for radio officer training, which we did for, I don't know how long, three months or so. ... Then, we were sent, another guy and I, they separated everybody into different units. We were sent down to Warrington, Virginia, Vint Hill Farms, where we were trained in Kata-Kuna, which was a Japanese code, Morse code, but they had different additives to the regular Morse numerals, Morse figures, letters. ... I was there for, I'd say, two, or about three months. I took several courses, and then I was sent up to Arlington Hall, which is the Signal Corps headquarters, where I took what we called traffic analysis, where you analyzed Japanese radio traffic and through analysis, determine units, the name of the unit. If you had traffic patterns, [it] would indicate you're going to have activity in certain areas, stuff of that nature.

SI: Like signals intelligence?

EB: It was intelligence, radio intelligence, well, it was Signal Corps intelligence. ... Then, after that, I was sent out to go overseas. I was sent out to California, Camp Beale, and then from there I went into the Philippine Islands.

SI: So, when you were learning the Japanese code at Vint Hill, would they start you early in the morning and go all day teaching this one code or ...

EB: They had rhombic antennas; they were beamed on every two degrees of the world's surface. They had a lot of WACs there. They'd copy this code, they didn't know, they would just copy the code. ... We learned how to copy that code, but the analysis took place, at Arlington Hall, of that traffic. ... In the morning, we'd spend about four hours. In the afternoon, we had [a] slight exercise area where we'd get some exercise, calisthenics, and then we went to bed. So, it wasn't an arduous assignment, but it was taxing from the standpoint of concentrating and learning this jargon. But the Arlington Hall time, we spent a lot of time in class learning the art of traffic analysis, so that's where we spent most of the time.

SI: What kind of things would they teach you to look for?

EB: Well, usually the volume of traffic and where it came from. ... You learn the headquarters that was sending this traffic, and you found out where it was going, and what it meant, or, could you tell what it meant? I know the traffic itself will tell you sometimes the importance of different military figures that were traveling from here to there. As a matter-of-fact, they did shoot down a plane that [carried] one of the generals, Japanese generals, they had tracked him down and they knew he was flying from here to there, and they shot him down. ... One indication, you know, as a sign, one of the instructors there was been in the field, [who] said the Marines were out on patrol, and the Japanese could not pronounce "L", so the password was Lilliputian. So, this one Marine scout was out there and he forgot the password. So, every time he came close to camp, they'd say, "Who's there?", and "boom", they'd shoot over in there and he'd go back into the jungle. So, as he was struggling along, he bumped into a big, huge, Japanese sumo wrestler, and the Japanese said, "You think all Japs (riripushon?)" and he swung his Samurai sword. Well, the Marine gave him the shaft, with a bayonet, that's how he remembered the password; Japanese say, "(Riripushon?)" but he knew it was Lilliputian. That's it.

SI: So, was the training you were doing at Vint Hill and Arlington Hall secret, or you did you have to be cleared for a certain number ...

EB: Oh, yes, I was cleared. It was definitely classified material, everything was classified, and you weren't supposed to talk about anything of what transpired there.

MP: What were your duties once you left California and went to the Philippines?

EB: I was the radio officer of the Twenty-fourth Signal Company, Twenty-fourth Infantry Division. I replaced the existing officer there. I was a replacement.

MP: What did you do in the Philippines?

EB: Well, what we did was maintained radio communication with Corps Headquarters. Our division, we'd made sure we were in complete radio contact with Corps Headquarters, and we had to ensure that the equipment was always in good shape. We had to. I know when you get into the jungle, sometimes your signal, radio signal, is attenuated, that means you lose part of this volume. So, in order to clear some of that foliage, we had to erect long line antennas. We'd set a pole, fifty-foot pole, and string antenna out to there, then tie into that, so that far output from our radios reached Corps. So, those were some of the things we did. Actually, the war was over when I got there. They had been planning to invade Japan. The division was preparing to invade Japan, and that's where I came in, at that part of the time period.

MP: So, where you around that area when the atomic bomb [was] dropped at Hiroshima?

EB: I was in California when they dropped the bomb. I came over there after the bomb was dropped, and we went into the Philippines, Davao, on the island of Mindanao. That's where I met my unit, that's where I, finally, was indoctrinated into the Twenty-fourth Infantry Division as a radio officer of the Signal Company.

SI: How did you feel about the atomic bomb and the ending of the war?

EB: I think President Truman was the greatest guy that ever lived, because I don't think I'd be here if he hadn't dropped the bomb. I think I would have been in that invading army that they were waiting for up in the islands, and I know it would have been a tough job to root out all those Japs from their homeland, when they showed such tenacity in many of the islands that we invaded. So, I was a hundred percent in favor.

SI: How did you feel about having to go overseas after the war had ended?

EB: Well, I was over there.

SI: Okay, so you're already en route.

EB: I was over, en route, you know, after the war had ended. Then, we were scheduled to go in [as] the occupational force in Japan, so there was nothing, you know, you had no feeling. You know, "You're going over in Japan," and I was in Japan about six months.

SI: You went from the Philippines to Japan?

EB: Yes.

SI: How long were you in the Philippines for?

EB: I'd say about six months, I'm not sure. I'd say about six months in the Philippines, from the time I got there until we left.

MP: How did the Filipinos treat you, Americans, coming in?

EB: In Japan?

MP: No, in the Philippines.

EB: Oh, the Philippines, they welcomed us with open arms. We were the saviors, and, of course, I, as a replacement, did not do much for that freedom, but the Twenty-fourth Division was involved in that, and the Army. Other units, too, you know, they did the dirty work. Seventh Division, as I told you, my brother was killed at Leyte Beach, so they were actually the people that [General] MacArthur said, "I shall return." They were the ones that returned and did the job.

SI: Did you know that your brother had been killed in action before you went overseas?

EB: Yes, I knew he was dead.

MP: From the Philippines, you went to Japan?

EB: Yes.

MP: How was that environment in Japan?

EB: [In] Japan, they were very subservient, very, they, you've got no problems. Our job in Japan was to pack up inoperative Japanese radio stations, military establishments, and I would go out there with about five enlisted men, staff sergeants. ... We would use the map coordinates to locate them, we had that information, and when we got into these locations, the first thing we went to was the Kempei, the military police. ... We had [an] interpreter with us, and we told them what we wanted to do, and they provided us with carpenters, who dismantled the radio operational facilities, packed them up and sent them to Kobe base. That's what our job was.

MP: Was there a specific area in Japan that you were assigned to, or did you travel throughout Japan?

EB: Well, initially, we were in, we went into initially the island of Shikoku, which is the smallest island, and then we went into Kyushu, which is another island. ... Then, the main island is Honshu, and Honshu was where most of the radio stations were. Those were the three main islands that we were in.

SI: You said the Japanese were very subservient.

EB: Subservient, they were not military or arrogant, or they were all very, the ones that we came in contact with. I know I used to go to the radio station, local radio station and I met the manager, and he invited me to his house for dinner. ... I was a little reluctant to do this, but I did go, and I know he served me soup with fish head in it, fish soup. They were living very meagerly, but they wanted to be friends, at least some of them. The ones that we came in contact with, they were not military at all.

MP: When you were in Japan, were there any signs of mass destruction in any of the areas you went to?

EB: Well, in Honshu, for one weekend we went into part of Tokyo, and part of Tokyo was damaged, let me tell you, what I saw. But I didn't go to the Hiroshima or the Nagasaki; I didn't see any of that. But Honshu, I mean, Tokyo had been subjected to very severe fire bombing, and there was definite destruction and damage from what I saw. But I didn't go into Tokyo, as I said, just a part of it.

SI: Did you hear anything about Japanese rule through American news and war reports by the time you got to Japan and came face-to-face with the people who had been your enemy? Did anything surprise you or stand out about that?

EB: We didn't have too much contact with the Japanese people. We had our own bivouac area. We lived in our camp, and other than a few times that we, when we went around on these excursions to dismantle [radio stations], then the people that we met were very cooperative, and very subservient. They were always bowing to you, you know, and they had no weapons. We had factories full of Samurai Swords, thousands and thousands of them, and you could get, actually I brought back a couple of Japanese lugers. They were replicas of the German Luger. I had brought two back with me, I since got rid of them, but those were my war mementos.

MP: Did you feel threatened at any point?

EB: Threatened? No, at that time the word had gotten to them. I guess, there might have been some people in different islands that were still fighting, that never knew the war was over, but in Japan they had gotten the word from the Emperor that MacArthur was king, you know, and he wouldn't tolerate any obstructions. So, I would say they were very cooperative.

SI: Did most of the GIs that you came in contact with just want to get home?

EB: Yes, everybody was anxious to get home. ... They had a point system, and, I guess, that worked out pretty good. I know that I couldn't wait to get home when I got over there, but, I guess, they all had their desires, especially the people that we replaced, because most of the group were replacements in their companies when I got there, too. The original guys were all gone.

MP: What do you think was your most memorable experience?

EB: My most memorable experience? Well, I think one of the things that impressed me most was when we first landed in the Philippines, when I got into the Philippines and joined my outfit. At that time, even then, we had Japanese prisoners of war [that] were transported by railroad, by train, and I saw them as they passed me, and I often felt, you know I had lost a brother, and I just felt that I had a lot of enmity in my heart. But as far as the landscape, I always felt that the Japanese, with their small islands, were able to combat a world power like ourselves was amazing. I mean, for a small island with, they're living [on] terraced land, where they're growing vegetables, onterraces all the way up to the top; the energy of that group of people amazed me. I mean, I couldn't understand how they could have been so powerful, and they were a very powerful army. But I don't know, I can't understand the leadership, how they even thought they could conquer us.

SI: When you were in the Philippines, you were only in Mindanao?

EB: No, we went into Manila. We went in [and], Manila was shattered, busted, but at that time we were, you could see in the Manila Bay hundreds and hundreds of ships. I mean, hundreds of war ships and other kinds of ships showing the strength of our country, of our Navy. ... Certain parts of Manila were battered, but, for the most part, a lot of it was intact. I don't know what the Bataan Peninsula looks like, or Corregidor. I mean that they must have taken a beating there, but other than that the little time that I was in Manila, we [were] just like passing through, but I was mostly in the island of Mindanao, in the City of Davao. Clark Field was in Mindanao [Clark Field is in the Province of Pampanga in North Luzon.]

SI: You mentioned that you had to run a long cable to operate in the jungle. Were there other ways that the jungle environment affected your equipment and your job?

EB: Well, we were there only a short time, you know. I don't know how the jungle effect could have on [me]. The condensation, and the rain, and the humidity, ... all that might have affected some of the equipment, but, you know, that was all gone by the time, I didn't spend that much time in that environment. I guess that's it.

SI: You lived in the town?

EB: We lived in tents. We lived in tents; we constructed [a] platform and then we had tents. We lived in tents in our bivouac area in Japan. Initially, we stayed, before we got equipped, before we got set up, we lived in some hotels. We had a little block, like [a] rice block for a pillow, and laid on the floors. And we had Japanese girls that took care of our needs, our needs like tea, that's, no other needs.

SI: Like house help?

EB: Yes, they were attendants in the hotel. ... We were, I guess, [there] maybe a week or so; we were in there until our bivouac area was constructed.

MP: Did you have any interactions with any African Americans?

EB: I had no association with them. We didn't have any. There might have been in the division, but we were, our company was all white; we had no African Americans. There might have been in the division units, but not in our unit, Signals Company. No, we did not, and, frankly, I didn't ever see any.

SI: You talked about the work you did with the Japanese. Did you do any work with the Filipinos? Did they help you in any way?

EB: Well, no, we were separate. We were intact, we were self-sufficient. Maybe some higher level might have had some need, or had some relationship, but we had none. We were self- sufficient. We cooked our own food, we billeted ourselves, we had nobody other than our unit.

MP: I looked up the Twenty-Fourth Infantry Division, and I found out that it's known as the Victory Division. Do you know anything about that?

EB: The Victory Division, the Twenty-fourth? It might have been afterwards, in the Korean Conflict. You know, the Twenty-fourth Infantry Division was one of the divisions involved in the Korean War, but the patch was like a green patch. But, no, we were never designated as a Victory Division while I was there. [But] that division was involved in the Korean War, I know that.

SI: Did you have men serving under you or did you have any enlisted men?

EB: Yes, we had a radio section and a repair and maintenance section that I had those guys under me. They were mostly qualified technicians and operators, and then we had to repair a maintenance district section and they did maintenance on the equipment. ... I'm just thinking, it must have been about sixty men in the two districts, two sections, about twenty-seven, and [so] maybe about sixty men. They were all bona fide good guys. I treated them well; they treated me well.

SI: What was it like to be in charge of a group of sixty men as a new lieutenant?

EB: Well, as an officer you had to have a certain psyche about you. You know, you're in charge and they respected it; they respected you. I thought they respected me, and I respected them. But, there was no, some older guys might have felt a little resentment, I don't know, but I didn't care. I was there to do a job, I wasn't there to win a popularity contest, so we did, we got the job done. I had no disciplinary problems in all of my relationships in the Army, had a cordial relation, maybe not loving relations, but at least we were civil.

SI: So, when you were not doing your duty, did you have other rest and relaxation type of activities?

EB: Well, in Japan we used to play poker, our officer group, we played for Yens, Japanese Yen, fifteen Yen to a dollar. So, when you lost fifteen Yen, it didn't mean anything. That was one of the after hour occupations. You had your schedule, when you're officer of the day, you did your rounds, and other than that you were free; you could read, and, you know, you were free in your little cubicle.

SI: Did you feel like you were always well supplied with what you needed?

EB: Oh yes, I had no complaints about anything [as] far as supply or equipment. I always felt we had the best, maybe it wasn't, but I thought it was.

SI: Did you ever run into anybody you knew, anyone from Rutgers?

EB: The only guy that I had some association with was in Vint Hill Farms when Ralph Buratti, he was one of our guys, and he was assigned there for a while with me. ... Then, he took off, I don't know where he went, but he was the only guy that I ever met from Rutgers in the Army. After the war, I get back to civil life; I bumped into one of the officers who used to be in the Signal Corps. He was a guy that we replaced, and I saw him driving along, he was in a car, and I was in a car and I recognized him. ... I blew the horn, and we got together for dinner, and he wasn't a Rutgers man. But it's funny, that was really the only time that I saw anybody that I was with in the Army.

SI: You didn't stay in contact with anybody?

EB: No, when I got out of the Army, I got out of the Army. I really wasn't too unhappy to get out of the Army. I felt I had done my bit, and I wanted to get started building a life of my own. I wanted to get married, I wanted to have children, I wanted to build something. I figured I'd given four years of my life, and there was nothing to show for it. Everybody did that. I wasn't unusual.

SI: When did you leave Japan and come back?

EB: It was 1946. 1946 because I was in, went into Camp Bullen; was discharged from Camp Meade in Maryland. I think we got some of that somewhere.

MP: Did you receive any medals?

EB: I had four, I got four medals. I never got them, but, I mean, I was entitled to it. [The] American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal, those are four of my four citations.

SI: Is that your discharge papers?

EB: Date, the certificate of service, but I have discharge papers, you want to see those?

SI: No, it's okay.

EB: That's certificate of service, Separation Center, Fort Meade, 23rd of August '46.

MP: Were you involved in any other type of military service after you came back from Japan?

EB: Yes, I was in the Reserves for a while. I decided, I thought I might get some credit for my service, and then I'd get a pension, you know? But after, maybe, half a year at the most, I was with a unit, ... we used to meet once every week down at Kearny Shipyards or something, wherever it was, I don't think we did very much. I thought it was a little bit unproductive, and I decided I wanted out, so I resigned from the service.

SI: Were you worried that you might be recalled during the Korean War?

EB: I thought I might be, but at that time I was married and I had a child. As a matter-of-fact, one time I was working in New Brunswick, at the time, and I was eating lunch and two of the guys that were in my Signal company came in. They were all in uniform, they came in to have lunch there, and I couldn't believe my eyes. But I went over, you know, forgot their names now, but they were called back. But I never was called back. I'm glad I never was, but, anyhow, I thought it might have been a possibility, but, [as] I said, I was married and I had a child by then, one child.

MP: Where did you meet your wife?

EB: Down at Rutgers.


EB: Well, her brother was in my group as a Signal Corps officer, but ... he left, ... he got into the veterinary school. But, he used to carry a picture around in his wallet of his sister, and after the war I used to go back to Rutgers. I had friends in the DKE House, and they have a party. I'd go to the DKE fraternity house, and who do I see but Mary, Bobby's sister. She was there with some guy, I don't know who it was, but I went over. I introduced myself, "I'm a friend of your brother's and he used to tell me about you, and I liked what I saw." ... So, that's how it started, that's where I met her, and she was out of school then, or shortly afterwards, and she lived in Jersey City and I was assigned to Jersey City. So, I figured, "Who do I know in Jersey City?" and that's how it evolved. ... I'm very lucky, she's a great gal. She's a wonderful wife, as smart as a whip, and she is a great gal. I'm lucky.

SI: You have had a very, long marriage.

MP: Fifty years, this year, right?

EB: Well, we were married in '48.

SI: Sixty, next year. Congratulations.

EB: Yes, so it lasted. We, I'm very lucky, I'm telling you. ... She is a great gal, and, well, we just lucked out, you know. We've had some, as everybody had some problems, physical problems, but, fortunately, we're able to overcome them.

SI: So, you joined PSE&G in 1946, right after you got back?

EB: Yes, when I get out in, what did I say, in August? Well, I started in PSE&G in September as a cadet engineer, and I spent almost thirty-five years with them. I didn't move out of that company; that's the only job I ever had after I got out of school, and I was able to progress, pull my oar in the boat, and I retired in '84. So, I've been married, I've been retired twenty-three years.

MP: Did you go back to school after you came out of the ...

EB: No, I didn't have to go back.

MP: For graduate school?

EB: Well, oh, yes. Well, when I got out of school, I was working in Public Service, and I took business manager courses at Fairleigh Dickinson. I accumulated thirty-two credits, so I was on the verge of getting a master's degree in business management. But we got a third child, and my wife didn't appreciate being alone. ... I decided that it was better that I discontinue that.

MP: Did you take advantage of the GI Bill to go back to school?

EB: No, I didn't have to; I was already out. I didn't have to go back after the war, see, I was finished, I had my degree, I had my job, so I didn't go back under the GI Bill. ... The work I did in management that was, I didn't include that in the GI Bill because the company paid; if I passed the course they paid about fifty percent of the cost, so it was not a significant amount of money that I was involved with, so I never used the GI Bill. I could have gone to graduate school, you know, at that time, but I was sick; I wanted to get married and build a life, and that's what I did.

MP: I was surprised that you didn't use the GI Bill when you went to Fairleigh Dickinson.

EB: Yes, no. That was at night, and I took two or three courses a week, or whatever it was, went to school two or three times, a night, a week. ... It was an effort, but I was successful and I studied business management courses. But statistics, that's what I wanted to get involved with, and that was the course. As I said, I completed thirty-two credits, and that would be enough today to get a master's degree, but it wasn't then, and I needed about eight more credits to get a master's degree, but I didn't. There's no regrets.

SI: Is there anything about your career that you want to mention?

EB: Well, I, again, I was lucky in getting a job that I liked. ... I had great bosses, good supervisors, and, as I said, I pulled my oar and they treated me fairly, and I treated, I did my all for the company, and I did a lot of trouble shooting. I didn't make any friends on the way. As far as that, I had, we had union problems in the beginning, and I had to deal with AFL and the IBEW. ... Sometimes they weren't too pleasant, but unions being unions, and management being management, you always had a conflict, or at least it appeared to be. But, you could always resolve problems if you discuss them right. So, I started out in New Brunswick, frankly, as a cadet engineer, and I was promoted to assistant down there. ... Then, I made a district manager up in West New York, and then, after three years there, I was, went up to Englewood in Passaic Division, and then I went to Orange and Montclair, and then I went to Hudson Division. Then, I went to Passaic Division. Then, I went to the Essex Division and that's where I retired from.

MP: So, you did all of North Jersey.

EB: I did my share of traveling, but that was the job.

MP: Did your wife pursue any other careers?

EB: Well, she graduated from Douglass, and when she graduated from Douglass, she worked for the Bell Telephone, AT&T in New Jersey, for about three years. She's a journalist major. But then, after three years we had our first child and she didn't work anymore.

MP: She became a housewife.

EB: Yes, she became a housewife.

SI: How many children did you have?

EB: Three, I have three children, and my eldest daughter is a very successful gal. She went to Lafayette.

SI: Excuse me; I have to put in a new tape.

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EB: She went to Lafayette, and she came out with total nonmarketable skills. She was an English major, but she went, [and] she got involved in the cosmetic business. She worked for Revlon, she worked for Estée Lauder. Then, she went to Columbia Pictures. Then she went to an outfit called JPM, it was a utility with water as their main constituent, but her outfit was an offshoot of that and it went kaput. ... Then, she went to an outfit called Dennison; she worked for them. Then she, finally, ended up with Disney. She's a senior vice president of Disney. She's a powerhouse. She's my oldest child. She went on her own; there was no parental direction or parental assistance. She did it all on her own. But, she was ambitious, she was smart, and she knew what she wanted and she went out to get it. I'm very proud of her. Then my son, Bruce, he was a bright kid. He was a Merit Scholar, and he went to Colgate and then went to the New Jersey Medical School and he went to the New York, took a residency in ... Jesus Christ, isn't that awful? It's one of the big hospitals in New York, but, anyhow ...

SI: Columbia Presbyterian?

EB: No, no. What's the next big one over there? Anyhow, that's where he took his residency. (It was Mount Sinai.) ... Then he's working up in, he's got a consortium of three doctors now, up in Massachusetts, where he's got three kids and he's very happy. He's a good surgeon, I guess.

SI: Was it Beth Israel?

EB: No, what's the other Jewish hospital?

SI: Maybe it will come to me later.

MP: Your third child?

EB: She went to Villanova. For a while she worked in New York in the financial aspects area. That's where she met her husband, and they got married and she's been a housewife since. They got three beautiful kids, and she's a great mother, and she's a very good daughter, I'll tell you that. They live in Allendale so we're very close to them. ... She talks with my wife on a daily basis, multi-times, you know, and her husband's a successful guy. They're happy, everybody's happy. I'm very happy, fortunate, fortunate in my life, and I had a hip replacement as I told you, but other than that I have nothing wrong with me. I go to the doctor and I like him. ... I like it [when] he said, "Nothing wrong with you."

MP: As a war veteran, how do you feel about the circumstances right now surrounding the country with the Iraq War?

EB: Well, I'm a believer in that, the reason we went into Iraq was valid. It wasn't exactly for weapons of mass destruction; that was part of it. The real reason is that we had a very (--?) tyrant over there, a vicious tyrant, who was cruel to his people, who was dangerous to the world, who could possibly create a war that would be disastrous to many of the countries of the world. I felt that that was one of the main reasons why we went in there, to get rid of him, to allow his people to live peacefully, and that's what we did. Unfortunately, the results of his leaving and the schism that exists there between the Sunnis and Shiites. Up north where the Kurds are, you got a different society. It's a good country up there, there's no violence out there, but these two vicious people, this is something I guess you couldn't foresee. ... Hopefully, they will come to their senses and realize that they could live together, and, if they do they'd have a great country, a beautiful country where they could live peacefully and that would [be], what I think Bush wanted to do. So, I'm (more/all?) in favor of Bush as a leader. I think, he could have done [it] a little bit differently, but nobody else wanted to take the risk. Nobody else wanted to do anything, and he felt he had to do it, maybe right or wrong, and that's why we're in there. But right now, I feel that eventually Iraq will be a good country, eventually; maybe some more people are going to get killed, but, unfortunately, that's the way it is.

SI: How do you think your experience in WWII affected your life afterwards?

EB: I think it gave me a lot of experience in dealing with other people. I would never have had the experience. I can remember those twenty guys that I lived with, in the war, and the people that I met in the group, in the circle of friends that I met in the army; they had to have some effect on my psyche, my ability to deal with people. Now I can, as I said, there were twenty of us in the Signal Corps, and at night I can go, I can name everyone of them, which is a sign of retentivity, you know, it means I haven't lost my marbles yet. But they were great guys, all of them, and without the war, I'm not saying that you need a war for all that, but without the war, I would not have known these guys. So, I remember them all, and they all have a place in my history, in my recollection, and I think I would have missed that if the war hadn't come, and, you know, during the war when, before I went overseas and I was still here in New York, in Fort Monmouth, taking courses, it was a part of [it], it was a time that you can't, you couldn't invent that, you'd have to be there. You had, there was a freedom that you felt. The time was of the essence; you didn't have too much time. You felt you wanted to do whatever you were doing, and it was an experience that I wouldn't want to go through again, but I'm glad I did.

MP: Do you want any of your children to pursue a life in the military service?

EB: No, no. I, frankly when the Vietnam War was going on, and there was a possibility that my son might be called, I wouldn't want him [to be called]. The Vietnam War, to me, was a terrible miscarriage of effort on the part of the United States. That war I was not in favor of. I felt that we were doing something that we didn't have to do, and the people that we were fighting for were not respectful of us, the Vietnamese. Even though they were supposed to be our friends, I don't think they were, and we have 54,000 [Editor's Note: 58,226] guys [that] got killed there. That was a crime to me, that was unnecessary. We should have known that [when] the French got kicked out of South Vietnam, Dien Bien Phu, you know, I thought that should have alerted us, and then we got involved with corrupt politicians. So, in my opinion it was a mistake and I would not have sent my [son], I would not have allowed my son to, I'd send him up to Canada. That, I felt very much against that war. Luckily, it's all over now, but when I go down to Washington, do you ever go down to Washington and see that Wall? That to me was one of the most horrifying pictures, when I looked at that Wall and realized what it symbolized. You know, in World War II, we were attacked. We were fighting as a unified country, and I remember guys in the DKE house, there were battalion commanders in the ROTC, brilliant, beautiful, young men; they were killed in D-Day, both of them, three of them. Potzer was a football player, and they were beautiful guys, and that was, you had to do that. There was no question. We had to do that, but when you think of Vietnam, that was a horrifying experience. So, I dreaded if my son would have had to [have] gone to that thing.

SI: Is there anything else you'd like to put on record?

EB: I'm done. I'm exhausted.

SI: Thank you very much for your time.

EB: Well, I'm sure you guys, it's no fun for you either, but I felt that I don't know if anybody is going to read this, it's going to be in the Archives, right? You're going to put that on the computer?

SI: Yes, if you agree to that, yes. Your brother-in-law is in there now.

EB: Byram? Well, I have no objection to it.

SI: We will send you a copy of the transcript to get it approved.

EB: Okay, then I can cross out anything I don't want there, right? Okay.

SI: Thank you very much.

EB: Thank you, you were very gracious, not too inquisitive, not too obnoxious.

SI: Thank you very much.

EB: Good luck to you, both of your jobs, you're still looking for a job I guess.

---------------------------------------------END OF INTERVIEW-------------------------------------------

Reviewed by Edward Bodner 2/12/08