World War II Central Illinois Stories

Oral History Interview: Jim Hull of Urbana


Pop Up Archive Item: “Oral History Interview: Jim Hull of Urbana” :
Transcript for file: jimhull2008-02-20.mp3


this is an interview with Jim Hall February 20th two
2008 were in the studio active will in Urbana
savanna Illinois my name is Nancy Russell and videographer is henna
Henry Radcliffe okay tell me
tell me where you were when World War II started Pearl Harbor how did you hear about
here about it well I was in Galion Ohio Lana


was very distracting couldn’t pleases
anybody had that much power in the guts to text you
United States what the f*** did the course that was
that was the beginning of World War II how old were you are 21
what were you doing I was working at a industrial fire
making meth dump bodies for cut galeano
how you know when a PC mall over the world I did this


did the simple life work different things
enough I was drafted I did volunteer
tear and September 1942
I was inducted into the the service at Cleveland Ohio
they give me a two weeks leave at what BAC together in the straight up my
that my prayers and I had to report back to Cleveland at all the people that W
that was inducted at that time in September return


had to put us on a train a Wii with the El Paso Texas
Adele El Paso Texas where we go to basic training in AR
25 mile hikes and we became the
Coast Guard archery after
two weeks at Fort Bliss Texas I was made up PF
PFC private first class and I trained a lot of men down there
are there because they didn’t know their left hand for the right and I had to put stone sinner


left and sticks or whatever I could find Panda
I get a lot of drilling left like right place
play crib artridol is good commands
Atwood that a great job at 12weeks I may be a corporal
corporal well but that time we was ready to boo from
from Fort Bliss Texas to Fort Knox Kentucky and at Fort Knox Kentucky
he would became a 4 53rd automatic


weapons battalion had their weak humilated are two and a half ton
how to attract the full 40 millimeter guns
we accumulated I was in the battery that is the battalion
what is consisted of a headquarters ABCD batteries at
add that I was a big battery
what picked up a half track the T stand for
450 calorie machine guns on it Big Dipper


small rifles carbine ball pistols what sake and other
had I forget hello
we were at Fort Knox
when did they move the S from there to the 2x
Music Camp Stewart Georgia Hannah we was in the swamps down there
where had the with leopard pup tents where the snakes like
like the crawling under our bed rolls when they was at night I had the


the alligators in awhile hugs and all that good stuff down there
down there had we did course MA
more training for training and then from there we went on
we want on Tennessee maneuvers well at that time they made me acne
excited over a c*** cruel and that’s 15 min
event Ohio if I forgot to say in the Fort Knox Kentucky we picked up
electronic equipment to guide the gun


with a 800 pound generator
who had the horse’s head to generate electricity from the director
does a gun adequately train with that are all true
Tennessee 12 verse what are the little dancer the today
remembering the Tennessee band overs was it we had to dig a hole
the set the the 40 millimeter gun in my hand
guy with the name of Larry carpet in Grants Pass Oregon


he said I did get a hole well he died had a little talk attic
I think he dug a hole and then from there
they moved us to North Carolina at where we are
we fired over the Atlantic by gun crew
I had thought the guys you know what you got a leisure lane
blade quite a bit and the vertical have to be online
white course I had what day we were fired on there in a year


the guy on the lakes on the other side of this director
I turn around the lieutenant the Fez
shut up cut the cord on that target headset the next
exit cut that target off of that playing so but we’ve course guide
got a great name for meth episode and the wedding boot
Buddhist love their up to Fort Dix New Jersey to go to England
we pull the gunnery on the ship IBMA


artillery mechanic I was allowed on dick on the chip
tip and I spend a lot of times up there at the deck and
at times I can see the rotors on the back of the boat that rocked up so high
Sola liquid got in the Hat real
get real bad storm and the boat tipped way over
Tipton under 2 degrees we would have sunk but anyway
arrived in Liverpool England how long was that after you head


been inducted that was 1945 February 1940
244 and uh
we had duh incurred a Buddhist
Buddhist down to a place that called Black Sea more at: was a
outfitted with quartz is Hertz in the round buildings
Hyundai we practice
samba gun repair


ad the invasion was June 6th
sex and they had moved us from there down to Yeovil nerve
Southampton in England are we had to a waterproofer
roofer guns and everything get ready for the day anda
we did go in on D Day because
because we’re artillery we have to go in the head of a sleep get some
landfill we can move in there


just before we left England
I have a letter here from President Eisenhower
Eisenhower as his to these soldiers sailors and airmen
Ellie Allen Allied expeditionary force you are about to
how to embark upon the Great Crusade toward which we have
have striven these many months the eyes of the world are upon you
the hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere bark


Bart with you in company with our brave allies
brothers in arms on other fronts you will bring about the
the destruction of the German war machine the elimination of the Nazi
tired radio over the oppressed people of the Europe and security
security for ourselves in a free world your task will not be an easy one
your enemy is well trained well equipped and battle hardened
Martin he will fight savagely this is here


the year 1944 much has happened
since the dogs eat rye up with 40 41 United Nations
since I have inflicted upon the Germans Great defeats an open battle
man to man are Arabs 50 paise seriously reduce their s
their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground
our home fronts have given us an overwhelming
superiority weapons in the nations of war at place at our disposal


look great reserves of trained fighting men the title
tight hipster the free men of the world are marching together the victory
I have full coverage in your courage devotion to duty as
add skill in battle will will accept nothing less than full victory
victory good luck and let us all the seats the blessing of Almighty God
upon this great head double undertaking president white
lightning iknow hour and no but whatever I read this about


Tapout cry at that time
how did they get off with labor just got cold and go get Hitler
add a Medela breat that that means a lot
understand that every man receive a copyright letter America copy that
what was the reaction what
what what was the reaction well we didn’t think you think about it ride it
the time you know I was just so build up with the


all the training I have been through I had one goal that was
it was a good hit her sew a butt dial
something when you win when you win in the city
did the infantry win in ahead of you didn’t hit it was so you knew what it
what would happen to the infantry when I hit the beaches yeah we lost
thousand men there now those boats in English
is there in the English Channel air they had


book balloons like a football that was up above it ships
tips for 3400 feet to keep the German planes from
I get to write down orders this favors so you know we got
we got straight then fill their heads they was way up on a mountain
they were head concrete bunkers and the head
dropped a lot of bumps on him but he was still able to
sub shooter this down there on the hips


anda I was fortunate enough to get off of the ship
Japan get into a boat and they took me to shore at night
eyewitness no. Omaha Beach it was two b****** for the United States what I was
what I was home on the other old Idaho
utorrent huh anyway
tips to be dry when it Utah Omaha and
you heard about the hedgerows


the hedgerows was a lot of deep rooted trees and conquer
concrete bunkers build nm what day they took over
hooker at milk 40 millimeter guns up there and uh
we shot drink firearm gun
carry the Bissell was about 17 inches long with a three quarter pound
shell in the end of it but take down a plane Easley
is late but we fart direct fire in the Little Fockers


I had the Africa 70 of Germans they want to know what kind of a country have
had after the break through there at the same
steelo we were tested at 30
Bedford I deleted a tweak card 205 howitzer outfit
hello we went out at Liberty liberated
a big seaport at the end of the Normandy Peninsula
nature burn and oh my


the manor of a clip at the Ford food at seaport that we had been there gun safe
everything all around tremendous boobs Handa
we were in the first Army the Third Army the night
3250 time we went were all the battles were at
cleavage in the first Army there everybody’s heard about Patton
patent for the blood guts and we were texting him
and Loire River


which is about the middle of France the manor
Germans had been driven out Africa back to Italy in southern France
France what a bunch of them Germans came up there on the Loire River
and 20,000 dubs rims or dare at from there
what we went with Pat does the Rhine River the keep on going but they would
let it so I don’t know what was on the other side anyway
we left him at night we went north and airtex bad


battle was arclin force field in order to hurt before s
the blood was knee deep in the cut
cut down pine trees does to make us a roadrunner rose
2&a half ton trucks over puller quipment
rumba after that by
they pull it on North and we had a
we had a rest. In there had it wasn’t long


feel baby move is salted or again and where we had
head then they move the green European air well
well the Germans had some help build up of Realtors
terminus force that goes for east of us
what the Battle of bulge started they run right over that green
Green unit and was headed for the English Channel well they took us
us ladies are different diseases around and we hit them in the nose at stop


stop them and then in the Battle of the Bulge
bulls at was 7up of cereal man it was cold
had what day I fix my banned episodes
German sitting behind the tree with his rifle
I love you know I just squatted down and ready to shoot and I Walker
walk around the tree he was moving it was frost death knight
just kick it over Alliant was cold enough


another thing that happened there was one of the Buddy Guy
got killed Anna I was cold and I took his blanket
hello I that carries with them
well from there we went on
artis driving the Jermy her back into Germany and
and the at the Elbe river
83rd Division Boise Olney division that held the bridge over


the Elbe river and we name the Truman bridge Anegada
how to get a picture picture of adhere
the sign of the foot art
well after that then
we went into the army of occupation
where a
we just what did the German houses and try to conversate


locate their guns and equipment suburb did
did understand what they wanted to still open the door and I kicked in a lot of
a lot of beautiful doors they get their equipment what up
what up my picked up of Classica flag that I have with me
with me and uh it’s pretty easy
easy because I took a flag and send it to my mother
father dad to live in California Bob voice to put it on the line


well I had more airplanes David Ellison
what to do what to do crip talk to you what blogs get the flag down
hello well after they a
arm the occupation of a cooking stone in the
southern France and they had these great big tits when he was consolidated
bacon all of us to you had to have so many units to go back
go back to United States I had the iPhone doubt that I was down the line


the little ways and I asked him if I could
I could go back to the Aryan
Banggood Hadley where we were at Lexi amor
ad one night I was in line to get some fish and chips
and was 2 girls Academy and what ahead of the girl
Academy turn around look at me and she looked I looked up
I looked at her and leave with gutter fish and chips in


disappeared so I went to a pub and she got with her
that was your girlfriend then they will look me up and down
which starred going together
theatres that start course bonded and
our neighbors door blade Etsy try to get me to go to England
I said no you want to come to United States of Ameria Handa
she came to United States and then we had


that was January 1st 1940
47 and uh four brother took me to
New York to meters over the Queen Elizabeth
and we just married January 11th
Mansfield Ohio by the name of doctor
doctor share that we had
for children Julian blender


Brian a Danny and the
now got the dike grandkids its empty grave
the great grandkids of two great great grandkids
that’s about to hola
how tall I went back to anchor wood back to love France
where I was shipped home and I was discharged at Indiantown Gap Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania December 15th 1845


I know you brought something along to show you how to show people
show people how different the food was that you had when you were in the service is compared to what your
why was willing to cook when you get home do you want to shut the have nots
krace in here
this was our evening meal
it was
chopped pork and eggs


at times when he didn’t have a
everything I eat this c** in pretty handy how many
many of those could you carry at a time how many days worth
well the thing used to keep fleas at the headquarters
send a text about the
toy wind up with the time game


this is our breakfast breakfast food
what field you put water with it
that was for lunch I know that was for supper L
we had paper you know what that was for
have we had the coffee
and above what else
a package of cigarettes


no its been so long since I had them out here is it there stuck
are stuck fast in there but that’s alright there in there
hello see you so when you were at the Battle of the Bulge
carrying a gun in addition to your health
healthcare in the big guns at gun packages sale
mood yeah have you talked to your
grandkids about no all your experience no


noticeably news 4 when you came back did you talk
you talk about it I know why was that I know I just never did
never did who are great for your talking about it now
Yaddo after the war
the war was over we received a letter from
President Harry Truman Anna
read here to you who answered the call your country that served in the US Armed


forces to bring about the total defeat of the enemy extender
send a heartfelt thanks of a grateful nation has one of the nation’s finest
who undertook the most severe test blunt
what can be called born to perform because you didn’t
demonstration 242 D resourcefulness
call plug but necessary to carry out that test when I look to you
review for leadership and the example and father exotic car


country in peace President Harry Truman
looking back on it what do you remember
remember most well I think
I think the most thing was being shot at straight I was
in the middle of France one day and the
somebody was shooting at me in I can feel it there
the bullet hear it what it go by my left ear Medical Arts Building


lesbian straight thin shelled a very very poor
reported to be here I know there were alot of men
lost we are probably miss when you came back
came back I know you did something for this this soldiers in Illinois the
recognition yeah 6 years to
how to get a Purple Heart Memorial Highway
on route 72 from Champaign to Quincy Illinois


Illinois I started out with the representative
Jim Johnson and Rick way: copper
top burns Gilbert Jacobson Chevrolet Representatives
that’s 6 years and I find a death
succeeded in getting a Purple Heart Memorial Highway for all live
the man to have purple hearts in the state of Illinois
how many medals did you win I have seven metals


I have 14
Normandy Brittany
Guardian force the Battle of bulge and a Gorger
Germany worried with back to look back into Germany
Adeleke patient Hannah I have another one
from the people of Normandy for
the guys that liberated Normandy and I have another one


what the hell was a water does Certificate of Merit for
for outstanding performance of take care of a the
all the guns and equipment
working order
everytime I would have a gun that might need repair
the captain said there’s my drivers there’s my Jeep is a map
so I would very fortunate enough now if you got off the road


how to get the orders will gets shot
and I tried to pick out a lot of landmarks when I went by so what
what I come back I know I was on the right road and I was very fortunate
got the ordinance got back with all equipment celebrate
alright when the war was declared that it was over I live by the gun if you jump
yeah was pretty happy how’s your family feel when you got home
you got home oh how wonderful


did you call them to tell them you were coming
yeah we wrote letters back and forth
mybama broken all the time no phone calls
No did you do you feel
do you feel satisfied at the end of it oh yes very much so
that’s a great accomplishment anything you like to say
say to people who are seeing this about your experience


well I think I’m very grateful to will
are having me in for the interview and not telling people
people of my experiences and
its a are standards for educational purposes to let the
baby alot of people
relate to what I went through
thank you


Jim Hull served all over Europe in many of the major campaigns. He was in the Army for about three years, serving with the artillery in places like the Argonne Forest and Normandy. His artillery group followed the troops in on the beaches on D Day and went with Patton through France. Hull was in the Battle of the Bulge and talks about the bitterness of the cold 7 degree temperatures. He shows samples of the K rations that soldiers ate—small boxes containing a canned dinner or a breakfast/lunch combination, and cigarettes. Hull shares the letter all soldiers received from Gen. Dwight Eisenhower before they hit the beaches. At the time, he said, he and his buddies were so ready to go that he didn’t think much of it, but reading it after surviving the war and looking back, he realizes how much that letter meant. His group was the only one to hold a bridge over the Elbe River, a bridge they called the Truman Bridge. His group served as part of the Army of Occupation when the battles ended.