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Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: World War, 1939-1945
  • Branch of Service: Army
  • Service Unit/Ship: 96th Division, 383rd Regiment, I Company
  • Location of Service: Leyte Island (Philippines); Okinawa Island (Ryukyu Islands)
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Collection Number: AFC/2001/001/20719

View full service history

"We lost more to sickness than Japanese bullets on Leyte." (Audio Interview, 15:44)

Enemy soldiers were not the only cause for concern on the battlefield. Disease, adverse conditions, and lack of supplies took vast tolls on American servicemen fighting in the Philippines. After landing on Leyte on October 20, 1944, Army Staff Sergeant Ralph Wendell Johnson and his company became isolated from the supply ships. They existed on coconuts, wild corn, and sugarcane; he lost thirty pounds in two weeks. Such conditions also led to ingenious survival strategies: his squad used small explosives to boil corn and C-rations in the wet and muddy foxholes. For his twenty-first birthday, his buddies treated him to a feast of roasted wild pig.

Richard Wendell Johnson Collection
Interview / Recording

Transcript

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Richard Wendell Johnson Collection
Interview / Recording

Transcript

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About this Item

Title

  • Richard Wendell Johnson Collection

Names

  • Legacies: Stories from the Second World War
  • Johnson, Richard Wendell
  • Swope, Thomas A.

Home State

  • Ohio

Headings

  • -  Johnson, Richard Wendell
  • -  World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Army.

Repository

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

Gender

  • Male

Status

  • veteran

Service History

  • World War, 1939-1945

    • Branch of Service: Army
    • Service Unit/Ship: 96th Division, 383rd Regiment, I Company
    • Location of Service: Leyte Island (Philippines); Okinawa Island (Ryukyu Islands)
    • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
    • Dates of Service: 1943-1945
    • Military Status: veteran

Materials

  • Manuscript: Transcript [1 item] -- Transcription of audio recording (collected 2009-02-15)
  • Computer File: CD [1 item] -- Electronic file of manuscript (collected 2004-07-19; 2009-03-07)
  • Audio: Audio Cassette [1 item] -- Oral history interview (collected 2004-07-19)
  • Audio: CD [1 item] -- Reference copy (collected 2007-11-07; 2007-11-07)

Collection Number

  • AFC/2001/001/20719

Cite as

  • Richard Wendell Johnson Collection (AFC/2001/001/20719), 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:

Legacies: Stories From The Second World War, Richard Wendell Johnson, and Thomas A Swope. Richard Wendell Johnson Collection. 1943. Personal Narrative. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.20719/.

APA citation style:

Legacies: Stories From The Second World War, Johnson, R. W. & Swope, T. A. (1943) Richard Wendell Johnson Collection. [Personal Narrative] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.20719/.

MLA citation style:

Legacies: Stories From The Second World War, Richard Wendell Johnson, and Thomas A Swope. Richard Wendell Johnson Collection. 1943. Personal Narrative. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.20719/>.