From WILL - World War II Central Illinois Stories -

Oral History Interview: Jesse Dowell of Champaign

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(Duration: 22:33)

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.

Categories: History, Military

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    Pop Up Archive Item: “Oral History Interview: Jesse Dowell of Champaign” : https://www.popuparchive.com/collections/3496/items/24993
    Transcript for file: jessedowell2008-03-14.mp3

    00:00:00

    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

    00:00:30

    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

    00:01:05

    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

    00:01:40


    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

    00:02:15

    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

    00:02:50

    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

    00:03:25

    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

    00:04:00

    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

    00:04:35

    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

    00:05:10

    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

    00:05:45

    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

    00:06:20

    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

    00:06:55

    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

    00:07:30

    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

    00:08:05

    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

    00:08:40

    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

    00:09:15

    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

    00:09:50

    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

    00:10:25

    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

    00:11:00

    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

    00:11:35

    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

    00:12:10

    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

    00:12:45

    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

    00:13:20

    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

    00:13:55

    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

    00:14:30

    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
    random
    Sao Paulo Lima somebody go to Woodbury outlet near Seattle first Thursday

    00:15:05

    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

    00:15:40

    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

    00:16:15

    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

    00:16:50

    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

    00:17:25

    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

    00:18:00

    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

    00:18:35

    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

    00:19:10

    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

    00:19:45

    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

    00:20:20

    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

    00:20:55

    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

    00:21:30

    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

    00:22:05

    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