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Walter L. Mess [detail from video]

Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: World War, 1939-1945
  • Branch of Service: Other
  • Service Unit/Ship: Office of Strategic Services (OSS)
  • Location of Service: China-Burma-India (CBI) Theater
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Collection Number: AFC/2001/001/7955

View full service history

"It gets to be you're really living on the edge. It's a time of your life when you're really \\nalive." (Video Interview, Part 1, 20:46)

Sailor Walter Mess was recruited by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) to run power boats out of Trincomalee Harbor, Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Mess and his team navigated the Indian Ocean in secret, installing operational groups on the beaches of Burma and Thailand, picking up downed Allied fliers, and running intelligence for their section of Southeast Asia, which also included ground operations. With only two hundred some OSS men in the theater and limited resources, Mess learned to make do and think on his feet.

Interview / Recording

About this Item

Title

  • Walter L. Mess Collection

Names

  • Library of Congress
  • Veterans History Project
  • Mess, Walter L.
  • Sorkin, Virginia

Home State

  • Virginia

Headings

  • -  Mess, Walter L.
  • -  World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Other.

Repository

  • Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Gender

  • Male

Status

  • veteran

Service History

  • World War, 1939-1945

    • Branch of Service: Other
    • Service Unit/Ship: Office of Strategic Services (OSS)
    • Location of Service: China-Burma-India (CBI) Theater
    • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
    • Dates of Service: 1941-1946
    • Military Status: veteran

Materials

  • Video: MiniDV [2 items] -- Oral history interview (collected unknown)
  • Video: DVD [1 item] -- Reference copy (collected 2007-01-19; 2007-01-19)

Collection Number

  • AFC/2001/001/7955

Cite as

  • Walter L. Mess Collection (AFC/2001/001/7955), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Online Format

  • image
  • video

Additional Metadata Formats

Wars & Conflicts

Service Branch

Location of Service

Service Unit/Ship

Highest Rank

Discharge Status

Gender

Home State

Interviewee

Interviewer

Organization/Affiliation

Rights & Access

Using VHP Material in Publication or Exhibition

The Veterans History Project (VHP) at the Library of Congress collects, preserves and makes accessible the firsthand recollections of U.S. military veterans who served from World War I through more recent conflicts and peacekeeping missions, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand what they saw, did and felt during their service. The Veterans History Project Collection includes oral histories along with documentary materials such as original letters, diaries, photographs, and memoirs.

Veterans and interviewers contribute these materials to the Library for scholarly and educational purposes, retaining any copyright they may hold. Therefore, permission must be obtained before using the interview or other materials in exhibition or publication. Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these materials should contact the Veterans History Project for assistance.

As a publicly supported institution, the Library generally does not own rights to material in its collections. Therefore, it does not charge permission fees for use of such material and cannot give or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material in its collections. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item from the Library’s collections and for securing any necessary permissions rests with persons desiring to use the item.

Please contact us with questions.

Obtaining Copies of VHP Materials

In order for VHP materials to be duplicated, we must receive written permission from the interviewee for you to obtain a copy of the recording unless the proposed use is limited to personal use, research, or other uses permissible by copyright law. If the interviewee is deceased, their next-of-kin may grant written permission.

Please contact VHP for assistance if you need to contact a veteran for permission to use their materials in exhibition or publication, or if you have received permission from the veteran and need access to high-resolution copies of VHP collection materials.

Citing VHP Materials

Please use the following formats when citing Veterans History Project materials (substituting the appropriate name and collection ID number).

Materials as a whole:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Manuscript material:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Memoirs (MS02), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Transcript (MS04), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Correspondence (MS01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Recording:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Audio recording (SR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Video recording (MV01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Photograph:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Photographs (PH01), photographer unknown, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Photographs (PH03-PH14), Ralph Williams photographer, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Computer file:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Computer file (CF01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Artifact:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Artifact (AR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Library Of Congress, Veterans History Project, Walter L Mess, and Virginia Sorkin. Walter L. Mess Collection. 1941. Personal Narrative. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.07955/.

APA citation style:

Library Of Congress, Veterans History Project, Mess, W. L. & Sorkin, V. (1941) Walter L. Mess Collection. [Personal Narrative] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.07955/.

MLA citation style:

Library Of Congress, et al. Walter L. Mess Collection. 1941. Personal Narrative. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.07955/>.