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An Interview with Grandpa about his experience in WWII

Veteran name – Charles Linck Service – Navy Interviewer Name – Glenn Gainer Date of Interview – April 25, 2007 Location of Interview – Texas A&M University ...

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Charles Linck was born at home on June 6, 1923, near Potter, Kansas. His parents ran a farm that they inherited from Charles’s grandfather. After four years on the farm, it was foreclosed upon and the family was forced to move to Oregon and Washington. There, Charles’s parents picked crops and did ranch work. Later, Linck’s family moved to Phoenix, Arizona where his family bought a plot of land in the desert six miles outside of town. In Phoenix, his father did some labor and carpentry until he became a cement contractor. Unfortunately, his father’s cement contracting business went under due to the poor economy, so the family traveled back to Kansas and stayed with Charles’s grandparents until they bought another farm near Heron, Kansas. The farm was hit hard by drought, so Linck’s father bought a Baldwin Combine and for two years went around cutting wheat for hire. Next, the family moved to Wamego, Kansas where his parents opened up a grocery store, but they were forced to sell the store due to the poor economy and the lack of experience his parents had in running a store. Soon after, the family moved to Linck’s grandfather’s farm that his Uncle Leo had taken over. Charles’ father and Leo became partners in running the farm, but they did not get along very well. This caused the family to move once again to Oregon. Charles’s father bought a little herb farm in Salem, Oregon. While Charles farmed and sold vegetables, his father worked as a carpenter in town. Eventually, the family moved back to Kansas where Charles and his father repaired houses, shucked corn, and cut wheat. On December 7, 1941, Charles heard the news of Pearl Harbor from his parents after they returned to the farm from town. He and his family received more details the next day when they read about the attack in the Atchison Daily Globe. After Pearl Harbor, Charles went to work at a foundry for two years. Upon turning twenty, he quit his job at the foundry and received a draft notice the next day. Linck reported to Leavenworth, Kansas and joined the Navy. After two weeks of boot camp at Treasure Island, he was transferred to the Harbor Entrance Control Post at Fort Scott, San Francisco, where he worked in the underground radio station. He remained there for about a year while he learned to translate Morse code. He was then transferred to Terminal Island near Los Angeles County. Finally, Charles sailed to Hollandia, New Guinea with his ship where he copied radio messages from Australia as the boat radioman. Charles and his convoy then traveled up to Okinawa, Japan. Linck described how kamikazes came out of nowhere and hit ships in the convoy. Once, Charles and his ship traveled to Kerama Retto to supply power to a Red Cross ship that had been hit by a kamikaze. Linck’s ship traveled back and forth from the states to Japan. After being discharged, Charles traveled back home to Kansas. He enrolled at St. Benedict’s College in Atchison, Kansas. Linck struggled in school, and he intended to reenlist into the navy, but after a series of events, Linck decided not to reenlist and instead he went on to earn his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude, his master’s, and his Ph. D. Charles married Ernestine in 1970. Together, Ernestine and Charles owned and operated Cow Hill Press in Commerce, Texas. They also thoroughly enjoyed studying Southwest Indian culture, and together spent time on Indian reservations studying. Linck was an English professor at East Texas State College* where he taught for thirty one years and retired in 1991. Summary contributed by: Kaylin Taylor
Veteran name – Charles Linck Service – Navy Interviewer Name – Glenn Gainer Date of Interview – April 25, 2007 Location of Interview – Texas A&M University Commerce Date of Birth – June 6, 1923 Place of Birth – Potter, Kansas Length of Interview – 59 min 58 sec Time Mark Notes 1:55 Family: Parents were farmers/lived on a farm 2:34 Moved to Oregon/Did ranch work and picked crops 3:06 Early memories 3:34 Moved to Phoenix/Living in Phoenix 5:16 Moved again to Kansas and took another mortgaged farm 6:17 1932 last good farm year; drought started 8:25 Ran a grocery store in the Depression 9:00 Went to Atchison, Kansas and experienced an ice storm 9:22 Went to a nun school 9:27 Moved to his Granddad’s farm and worked on the farm 10:35 Moved to Oregon/Bought a vegetable farm in Oregon 11:07 Graduating from school 11:56 Saw Pres. Roosevelt 12:23 Dad got sick and wouldn’t let family take him to hospital 12:52 Moved back to Kansas and did odd jobs 13:17 Shucking corn 13:43 Started farming on island in Missouri River 14:21 Him and dad apprenticed themselves as welders 16:00 20 years old, got draft notice 17:06 Went into the Navy 18:18 Beginning of navy career/ Became a member of radio station 18:55 Had to learn to type 19:37 Learned to collect Morse code 20:31 Sent to Terminal Island/Stand guard on ship 21:27 Went to New Guinea but they stopped along the way because the RADAR wasn’t working. 22:45 He was a boat radioman. 25:29 Crew got sick because it was so hot 26:55 Kamikazes on the way Okinawa 27:38 The scene in Okinawa 28:38 Kamikazes 29:34 Best Morse Code typer 30:23 They supplied power to a hospital ship that a Japanese airplane and bomb. Had to defuse the bomb 33:05 Atomic bomb 38:09 German pocket battleship 39:10 Got discharged 40:21 Signed up for college; had got his GED on ship 41:34 Talking about a mean Captain he had 43:33 Was going to reenlist because school wasn’t going so good, but didn’t 44:25 Was very academically accomplished/Working on PhD 45:25 Took job at Commerce, TX 46:45 Retired in 1991 47:39 Hearing about Pearl Harbor 49:15 Did that signal that young men would be going to war? 50:56 Hearing about the war in Japan and Europe before Pearl Harbor 52:55 Where were you when atomic bomb dropped? 56:07 Earning a doctoral degree 57:28 Worked in English department at then East Texas State College
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