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Collection Veterans History Project Collection

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Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: World War, 1939-1945; Korean War, 1950-1953
  • Branch of Service: Marine Corps
  • Service Unit/Ship: 1st Marine Division; 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment
  • Location of Service: New Zealand; Parris Island, South Carolina
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant Major
  • Collection Number: AFC/2001/001/94577

View full service history

"All of us had malaria. And there was jungle rot and coral poisoning and just about every kind of disease and vermin. If you could find it in the jungle, Guadalcanal had it." (Audio interview, 29:50)

As a young, brash Marine heading to the Pacific Theater in the summer of 1942, William S. Parks "didn't think much about surviving--that was a given." Taking part in the Guadalcanal campaign quickly proved him wrong. He lost his best friend, a member of his machine gun squad, in August 1942, and found that life on the island posed threats beyond enemy bullets. He spent the six-month campaign subsisting on minimal provisions--including food he could forage, such as taro roots, and captured Japanese rations--and weathered two bouts of malaria. He was one of the lucky ones: of the 44 men in his platoon, roughly a dozen survived. When he finally made it to New Zealand for rest and relaxation, he and his comrades spent several weeks gorging themselves on the fresh milk and produce at "milk bars," as the local soda fountains were called. He would go on to see combat on Tarawa, a battle he describes as a "barroom brawl."

William S. Parks Collection
Interview / Recording

Transcript

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About this Item

Title

  • William S. Parks Collection

Names

  • Sellers, Robin Jeanne
  • Parks, William S.
  • Florida State University, Reichelt Oral History Program
  • Tanner, Stacy

Home State

  • North Carolina

Headings

  • -  Parks, William S.
  • -  World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Marine Corps.
  • -  Korean War, 1950-1953 -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Marine Corps.

Repository

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

Gender

  • Male

Status

  • veteran

Service History

  • World War, 1939-1945

    • Branch of Service: Marine Corps
    • Service Unit/Ship: 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment
    • Location of Service: New Zealand
    • Dates of Service: 1941-1961
    • Entrance into Service: Enlisted
    • Military Status: veteran
    • Service History Note: The veteran served as a machine gun section leader and rifle company gunnery sergeant.
  • Korean War, 1950-1953

    • Branch of Service: Marine Corps
    • Service Unit/Ship: 1st Marine Division
    • Location of Service: Parris Island, South Carolina
    • Highest Rank: Sergeant Major
    • Entrance into Service: Enlisted
    • Military Status: veteran

Materials

  • Audio: CD [1 item] -- Oral history interview (collected 2012-12; 2014-08-07)
  • Computer File: DVD [1 item] -- Multiple types of electronic files (collected 2012-2013)
  • Manuscript: Transcript [1 item] -- Transcription of audio recording (collected 2013)

Collection Number

  • AFC/2001/001/94577

Cite as

  • William S. Parks Collection (AFC/2001/001/94577), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Online Format

  • audio
  • online text

Additional Metadata Formats

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:

Sellers, Robin Jeanne, William S Parks, Reichelt Oral History Program Florida State University, and Stacy Tanner. William S. Parks Collection. 1941. Personal Narrative. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.94577/.

APA citation style:

Sellers, R. J., Parks, W. S., Florida State University, R. O. H. P. & Tanner, S. (1941) William S. Parks Collection. [Personal Narrative] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.94577/.

MLA citation style:

Sellers, Robin Jeanne, et al. William S. Parks Collection. 1941. Personal Narrative. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.94577/>.