Oral History Interview: Jesse Dowell of Champaign

March 14, 2008

Jesse Dowell volunteered to join the U.S. Navy Air Corps, serving from August 1944 to August 1947. He trained for the invasion of Japan, going to school double time to be prepared as soon as possible. He completed bombing practice with a new secret radar bombsite, which could bomb for the first time at night in total darkness. The surrender of Japan made the invasion unnecessary.

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Transcript for file: jessedowell2008-03-14.mp3


you’re saying that Air Force flying b-29
2904 ground and I forgot that you were flying off the water you are a sucker

flying boat but that’s alright PB flying boat PBM
it was a big bomber almost to big is a 29 min aqua lite 29 was the biggest bomb and bomber hat
how long have these boats flying boats been in service how long have they been


Alexis a 1930 s oh so they have been available throughout the war
how to ward off throughout the war and before that the one before the flu in
when was a PBY Catalina real picture ask your friend in
movies in Pearl Harbor will see when im blown up
klonopin on fire has a real highway metal when I take off the water dandruff
has twins and a single tail and back
in the back of the P by other two bubbles on each side and underneath bubble


members are playing replace that one is larger engines could fly I fly faster
faster wifi longer and harder to get more bombs L
the soul they were very valuable because I didn’t have to have a Land Raider
very much weight could not a dude have not be that we are
what we actually fluently call him in 5 years on the side
Legoland Orlando or water on the P by
I think some of the PBS out of mind I never heard they did


uses that they had been made for during the war up until what time you run
what other things are they doing on there very versatile they used
use them for all the invasions that fly off out of gun range
tumblr Air Force pilots get shot down then they would fly into fire
fire and try to rescue the Panther shot down
president senior President Bush shot down in a torpedo bomber


and1 invasions his assignment at Dania thats a small plane
playing just had a gun is right behind him in the morning and amazing
and then I drop torpedoes only get rid of razor bumps head going in tamale Islands
tableau download radio let’s medications
station and them and got hit on the way out and then
and he went down unfortunately both both of his gunners
drowned but he got out somehow we send a bbm pin by that time


m to go get him and they got him I’m going back to the carrier and Ives
and I’ve seen the pictures of him getting on the car walkaround
el atlakat do air sea rescue they call them and they did all kinds of things delivered mail
hold a system of the submarine controls off the Atlantic coast
I guess they flew off the coast
ghost River all over the world play on off of work
Buffalo water all over the world show coming back to collage


July August of 1945 so were you aware of that
big inflation was going to be so many weeks away is that or was it
we were told that they didnt Ellis lot of things because the number to word lookup
what he did as a synonym to less than summer 45
reyli Ronin training for just getting organized to leave
SMS I’m a mess in their room Brinker announces
what the word leak out the invasion November 1st but when was going to be


you’re not going to be told they are we doing your order says I don’t want the word licking out on
so you find out when you get the sky so after the second
the current atom bomb was dropped on Nagasaki what was happening on but I want to be how did the info
does the information get back to you and what was the reaction
all I know when we have left the states that we weren’t Corpus Christi
crystal and I know we partied all night long
nowhere safe all the bars are open everything with white open toe


sunrise how many had a good time
I wish I was hoping you to fly one mission and lives in the war ended
call me Mom I’m and I was totally secret this
totally circus Soleil say so they were giving you the plans are we going to go to San
go to San Diego on the older Plains and then to the island
missed the last very interesting we’re going to play the older planes
24mm to San Diego in the Navy Air pilot tonight


send some of those ever going to fly new ones with bigger engines from the
from the director from the factory to San Diego and then we’re going to fly the new ones
Honolulu little 5 year old ones I didn’t flying combat boot into love
did lot of work in the country club New Orleans back Corpus Christi
poem what the hell Amazon bluray to go
hello call me back if not recovered from the celebrations in its heyday
what happens now what do they do with the cruise ship a train so well


what did you do will did nothing what you do with Obama do in the snow
the bump I’m for some reason I dislike made to be on the public
public address system for the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi
black and white b so I was on the PA system public addresses
best system from the time I could fly
until I received orders to go to Great Lakes
removing people out to some base closest to their home to be discharged


the promises we all be discharged within a year so we can start college the following year
when September ends with M
hurricane approached Corpus
Corpus Christi and them from the Atlantic Ocean
and we were flying her new Big Time PB forward to that sell navy version
version of the b-24 into the eyes of a lever tracking
when the relay the message back to the commanding officer of a base


when he was sending memos and I was reading the memos to the personnel on the
on the base and them forever 21
leptospirosis all of us he said that it said that if the heart
hurricane stays on a current path the Iowa hit us about midnight
this was the middle after noon picking up a little
the little bit he said everybody go eat like I said supper and then there
give you something for breakfast and then you’re going to go back and stay in your barracks


they’re built to withstand hurricanes Loma coach lines mmm pizza
50 IDUs it is it’s going to be real quiet for 15 or 20 minutes
30 minutes then all the sudden the window hit you coming the opposite direction
no one laughs as loud as left side of a power lines down in Louisiana
Millis telephone to lose everything that’s exactly what happened
did hit in the head about midnight the idea
and then he said it will sound the siren when they all clear when I had a break


will have liquid have personnel on getting electric lines picked up and then
you can go to breakfast or lunch but that stay in the barracks to hear the sirens
now it my all if you were there planes of the bases what is a good place to eat
we had them with the flying boats
when I was in Will Smith land planes and I guess it sounds
son forcefully with all the land planes flew the Schnitt failed and I was hoping to get a ride home
I want to have to get lonely I am flying boots with


what’s meant to be a big lake in the northern part of Texas someone I don’t remember name and city
wake up before they can be taken out of danger and they were here they were the Beatles
Bertolli destroy jelly roll taking out the base survive without any three centuries
not a single engine turned off yeah I don’t know what buildings were as promised is a word
have they been bad was the best one built for World War 2 arrested
longer life based on think of Moceanu buildings
brother replace tall buildings in Arbutus well as having very very very very start in


they was there ever designed for that
good job tell you were a training room
where you also affiliated with some of the veterans who have gone through some of these
missions and give you some experiences all of our instructors had been to combat
and so we believe them and then
Titleist lot of details special training
depending on what to do if it will force that looks like a 25000


thousand feet on a different kind of omission
when you get shot down don’t know me a parachute to your dad about 10,000 feet
if you open your shoot it 25000 N Dale can freeze your lungs and
Avant also some of my been shot down
cut down a few of them and put in prison escape what will your name them
bottom out like they did the presence of some of them in the Philippines
Elysium Japanese or treating the Flyers Rashad


shut down tablet all we had to give them as are now
name alright alright in an Enercell number
what the first question they said they’ll ask you why you came from where
did you come off an aircraft carrier off of land we want to go to Troy
and if you don’t tell us we’re going to cut off your hearing
yeah that’ll be your breakfast these are the stories they told us
in the end we were told him tell him that you want to tell him just so what is the truth


the sword if not I came off of their 60’s located 3000 miles
southwestern North Pole or whatever you want to tell him
maybe a little more feasible now but still not the truth in something diners leave them
try not to get beat up too much like
syndrome Arizona dead in Vietnam
were there some tactics with a visor the reserve suprising you would’ve thought
what’s older wiser terms of the flying in combat


combat missions in the like Noah Gibson

complains if your over Japan gets shot down
don’t open your shoe to get out about 550 when was after menstration
animal I have no idea harboring
Japan we have no idea where will Soto is how to tell if you got shot
shut down at high altitude which is the Highet admissions


Manuel Neuer shooting ten thousand feet I have no idea what you’re going to
China or Japan or some other iPhones around
itonis how to tell a difference in the Chinese and Japanese by other weather sandals I forgot the detail
the details but one of my foot this must read between the big toe next to him
the other countries that dont think like you
where were we will train where were we’re ready for combat
so part of the training included the survivor if you were actually parachute


how to survive on your own and then we had extensive training in that
if you go if you get shot in the water
zeros in the air go down and stay down long as you can
can a man get some air then go back down and though
so you didn’t Fletcher by fast until after they went away
I never have complete mind but the
hard to go I guess I guess what they said was when you first hit the water go down


go down under and then come up and look around and see if you
can see any planes in the sky and if I don’t know right now that are some don’t know by now
that’s what I was thinking make sense right exactly
how tall is Howie and white Otis this but if I if there’s all
oiled up on top of you and it’s on fire how to make a hole
breath of air in a swimming on a Nissan
longboard Shifta I wasn’t part of a training


short acting scripts her like that it might occur I suppose huh
so you are you couldn’t get a ride to Rantoul
still in Florida
guaranteed you to be out with a year and a day long with it actually how long it actually take
I took a year to get all of us out and I would I got the civil ball beeg
home by August 20th August 20th to 17th
how do you get overseas ahead about 0.5 12 12.10


what’s one month and that was that will they send me the Great Lakes
Panda being there is the nearest naval base to be discharged
there’s a mouse in on the bulletin board one day we need 33
Aviation ordnanceman for the volunteer to go to the beginning
adult test of the atomic bomb Tyga
Sao Paulo Lima somebody go to Woodbury outlet near Seattle first Thursday


does aviation ordnanceman help with ships
how does a primitive Sargon I was on board the ship that dick in Michigan

Great Lakes they’re asking for people to volunteer to be part of this and you will you
you wish you were there shipped out to Washington to do this when I went to Washington first
intel4u is the oldest person nothing
nothing I just I just had the rating of the front of a sergeant number to me Wiley Road Commission


what jobs are there signs your husband is hot
ships there everybody Commission they would pull them into storage summer on the west coast
and my job with it take from the decommissioning also the ring of keys
men get a boy to be commissioned ship with no power no nothing and they would toi
what toy in the storage room when I get to receiving officer he would come on board
bored take the keys going to KMC what’s leaking in love with my job
the one that one day a week that’s all I work hard so you don’t have to do at disarming or other things


other things that orbits people might 20k know somebody else is done that and then they have
Matt Smith I want a baby snorts when to go to Bikini Atoll but you
but you have it extend for hearing you get promoted to lunch
experiment putting that took over an island took the people off of it
does a lot of the oldest ship still want to get rid of and place them one mile 2 miles 5 miles outside
submarines to see what effect atomic bomb went ham on chips
and then but I don’t want to spend 4 years so I decided to get discharge


discharge come back to University of Illinois maybe that was a big city
big savings cuz I see some of the people at their tall were exposed to the radio
radiation from the bottom by have heard that the time of my life problems
problems in the world ever I don’t have the details but I like to do whatever
maybe didn’t somebody observers want me to close by
faraway so you’re in Washington in your discharge
did they fire back the Great Lakes for now I got discharged in Washington


filibuster came home do they pay for the bus I pay this far mileage is OK

Mercedes 300 how we came home and I shape
how did your classmates fare from most of them coming home at the same time
all of them what we have won all about 1 in hell
the head of the state in which amount going to law school and then went back to become a lawyer
oil service alarm came home from a non with no injuries with laptop


No No Kill on Android how do you say cure
is a cure generation of the high school class look back on this experience and how it affected
will we have a class reunion actually I’m not disgusted
thing one was a paratrooper I got wounded land on d-day the longest day
longest in Europe when was an invasion of a island in the Pacific
civic and Haven Florida holding on so much about it I just
you’re the lifter of Memphis on main thing how


it is surprising to me though I’ve asked him
high school kids grandchildren
so much about World War 2 ended in a great job here I want him said to me well then rejoin
region of Italy to fight the Russians
I need to have an art class sum sum up World War 2
Libya Harrisonville some hurt when were Chevrolet Irwin death
summer 4300 Oliveira


making plans take it to the head on a Japanese house
how tall is the Civic west of Hawaiian Islands
northern New Zealand part of China and they had actually invited
Islands in Alaska I’m here for that amount
so what’s all of the vagina penis for exactly
so we were trying to win that thing but then it sunny
workout one other thing that you might


Trader Joes Ranchos is the impact of this on the GI Bill on your classmate
if you say went back to the class of 33 and Mohammed high school
how many of them went on to the University of Illinois versus the glasses 40
43 MB affect the war had on them get a feel for that I do I don’t think any of them
College what I know of well no one
but after that I know several people that came back
Ambac University of Illinois Joe and Ernie’s


we had people in NR pledge class 16 hours from 8:15 to 3
the 30th to say 31 and not something I got Craigslist 33
K&N 57 said they would never have been able to go to college
I got nothing for the GI Bill Roosevelt design that I guess
yes and hysteria was that Miller not much more money
more money and pay more income taxes and more than offset the cost of going to college Western Auto
classic 33 menu


many of them have no way of travelling whereas your classmates have been to Europe
the girl from Japan to give yourself and so I gave him a different
different horizon at this how we came back home the service
loyal Americans have always thought and I know it
financially probably impossible but if you can send them
all the boys I finish high school in the service for 6 weeks or 8 weeks
infinite money when the world will come back home


much more loyal citizens are there no more than a boy that I love him even though
singing alone Ireland Scotland Germany and others
have a great experience Franklin I was a wonderful experience do you have any other thoughts
do you like to share with us as we conclude your interview well
well I’m not really I think you don’t a wonderful thing and I hope they
hope they can pull it down to save 1 hour TV pro
reprogrammer programming schooling in the summer in high school


show about ww2 about and I think you alone
what’s up everybody’s been in the service centers country star has done
that’s done for them and that that’s not a good country to great country
I think that’s what up what I say thank you for your services if I was a member of that generation
price of talk to you yes sir thank you
don’t get up until we get unhooked ok