Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: World War, 1939-1945
  • Branch of Service: Navy
  • Unit of Service: USS Rutilicus (AK 113)
  • Location of Service: San Diego, California; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Tarawa Atoll, Makin Atoll and Abemama (Gilbert Islands); Majuro, Roi Island, Kwajalein Island and Enewetak Atoll (Marshall Islands); Baker Island; Tinian (Northern Mariana Islands); Manus Island (Bismarck Archipelago); Funafuti Island (Tuvalu); Hollandia (New Guinea); Samar and Leyte Gulf (Philippines); Guam (Mariana Islands); Noumea, New Caledonia; Espiritu Santo Island (New Hebrides Islands); Ulithi (Carolina Islands); Okinawa Island (Ryukyu Islands); Nagasaki, Japan; Panama Canal Zone; Norfolk, Virginia
  • Highest Rank: Boatswain's Mate Second Class

View full service history

"Everyone seemed to have a quart of whiskey [to toast the end of the war]." (Video interview, 31:20)

Though he hailed from the land-locked state of Iowa, Boatswain’s Mate Second Class Merle Korte was drawn to serve in the Navy, and enlisted in 1943. In his oral history interview, he recounts some of his most memorable times aboard the USS Rutilicus, a cargo ship that provided support for the island invasions of the Pacific Theater—including the day the war ended, and the entire ship celebrated (many with forbidden caches of alcohol!). His return to his tiny hometown on Christmas Day, 1945, was also cause for jubilation: after he was delivered home by train and snowplow, his entire town rejoiced. The photographs in his collection provide a visual narrative of what he experienced during his service--from the camaraderie of life aboard ship to the destruction of Nagasaki.

About this Item

Title

  • Merle Korte Collection

Names

  • VA Medical Center, Denver, Colorado
  • Langer, Ron
  • Korte, Merle
  • Wayne Williams

State of Birth

  • IA

Home State

  • CO

Headings

  • -  Korte, Merle
  • -  World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Navy.

Notes

  • -  Veteran's biographical form lists race/ethnicity as German-American.

Repository

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

Gender

  • Male

Race

  • Other

Status

  • Veteran

Service History

  • World War, 1939-1945

    • Branch of Service: Navy
    • Unit of Service: USS Rutilicus (AK 113)
    • Location of Service: San Diego, California; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Tarawa Atoll, Makin Atoll and Abemama (Gilbert Islands); Majuro, Roi Island, Kwajalein Island and Enewetak Atoll (Marshall Islands); Baker Island; Tinian (Northern Mariana Islands); Manus Island (Bismarck Archipelago); Funafuti Island (Tuvalu); Hollandia (New Guinea); Samar and Leyte Gulf (Philippines); Guam (Mariana Islands); Noumea, New Caledonia; Espiritu Santo Island (New Hebrides Islands); Ulithi (Carolina Islands); Okinawa Island (Ryukyu Islands); Nagasaki, Japan; Panama Canal Zone; Norfolk, Virginia
    • Highest Rank: Boatswain's Mate Second Class
    • Dates of Service: 1943-1946
    • Entrance into Service: Enlisted
    • Military Status: Veteran

Materials

  • Photograph: Original photographic print [132 items] -- Photograph (collected unknown)
  • Manuscript: Regimental/unit histories [1 item] -- Typewritten document (collected 2005)
  • Manuscript: Diaries and journals [1 item] -- Typewritten document (collected unknown)
  • Computer File: CD [1 item] -- Multiple types of electronic files (collected unknown)
  • Video: DVD [1 item] -- Oral history interview (collected 09/09/2005)

Collection Number

  • AFC/2001/001/47044

Cite as

  • Merle Korte Collection (AFC/2001/001/47044), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Online Format

  • image
  • video

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

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/xxxx), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Manuscript material:

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

Recording:

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

Photograph:

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

Computer file:

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

Artifact:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), 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:

Va Medical Center, Denver, Colorado, Ron Langer, Merle Korte, and Wayne Williams. Merle Korte Collection. 1943. Personal Narrative. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.47044/.

APA citation style:

Va Medical Center, D., Langer, R., Korte, M. & Wayne Williams. (1943) Merle Korte Collection. [Personal Narrative] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.47044/.

MLA citation style:

Va Medical Center, Denver, Colorado, et al. Merle Korte Collection. 1943. Personal Narrative. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.47044/>.