1ST PERIOD WWII INTERVIEW
The purpose of this report – interview was to better understand, from the view someone that was present, World War II and the interview’s personal experience. The interview took place at Carrollton Senior Center at the intersection of Josey & Keller Springs Road. I interviewed “Chief Brooks” Horris Brooks.
Chief Brooks was in the Navy and served as a Chief Petty Officer and Chief Gunners Mate. He was in the Navy from September 1942 to October, 1963. He is currently 84 years old, he was stationed in the South Pacific for 3 years during the war and he was stationed in Europe after the war. Brooks served on the USS Missouri and 8 other ships, he served in the Korean was as well as World War II.
The mission of his group was to locate and destroy enemy ships and escort larger ships. To Brooks, the battle that was the turning point in the war was the Battle of Midway. He was in Japan while it was occupied by the US and ended up marring a Japanese woman, who is has been married to for 55 years. He believes that Roosevelt and Churchill had the largest impact on the events during1939 and 1945, for unexplained reasons.
Brooks believed that Truman made the right decision when he dropped the
Atomic bomb. He was in Pearl Harbor when the atomic bombs were dropped. His initial reaction was happiness because everyone knows that the war was coming to an end when we dropped the atomic bomb. Not only did the atomic bomb save one million US soldiers and 3 million Japanese soldiers. Yamamoto admitted that he made a bad decision when bombing Pearl Harbor, “I fear all we have done is awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve”.
When asked if he felt that Winston Churchill’s famous quote was fulfilled, Brooks said yes. Brooks was in the South Pacific when he heard that the war was over in Europe. Brooks being a “Chief Gunner’s Mate” was familiar with all types of weapons and thought that the most effective weapon was the aircraft. When asked about the leadership abilities of Eisenhower and Churchill, he said “Eisenhower did a bang-up job” and “Macarthur was a great general”. When I asked what similarities he saw between the World War II war effort and the War in Iraq now, he replied that he saw no similarities between Iraq and then because in World War II you knew who the enemy was and in Iraq, we don’t know who the enemy is.
The feelings and thought I felt were those of realization, because I know it was a terrible time but hearing from someone that experienced it first hand was enthralling. Chief Brooks was always making us laugh and put smiles on our faces even when he was trying to be serious.