Library of Congress Veteran’s History Project
Questionnaire for OSI War Veterans
The following questionnaire can be completed in one of two ways: 1) You can use it as a template for a formal interview and have someone ask you the questions and record your responses on audio or videotape, or 2) You can simply write your responses on the questionnaire. If you choose to record your interview, please label any audio or videotape accordingly. This method is probably easier than writing your responses, since some of them may be quite lengthy. If you choose to write your responses on the questionnaire, please try to write them in as much detail as possible. You may include photographs (see photograph log) or copies of official documents pertaining to your wartime experiences. If you served in more than one war (ex. WWII and Korea), please fill out a separate questionnaire (or conduct a separate interview) for each one. These records will be maintained in the History Office, Headquarters Air Force Office of Special Investigations, a partner organization with the Library of Congress Veteran’s History Project.
Part I: Background Information
Date of Birth: ________________________________
Place of Birth: _______________________________
Hometown (if not the same place as place of birth): ______________________
Date you joined the service: ____________________
Branch of service: ____________________________
Were you drafted or did you enlist: _______________
Rank (at the beginning and end of the war): ___________________________
Where were you living at the time you entered the military? __________________________
War(s) served (one per questionnaire): WWII Korea Vietnam Persian Gulf
Part II: Entering the Military
Why did you enter the service?
Why did you choose the branch of service that you joined?
To what location did you first report to begin in-processing for service (physical, haircut, etc)? What things did you have to do prior to leaving for basic training?
Where did you go for basic training? When did you arrive there? What were your thoughts during the first few days?
Summarize your basic training experience. Do you remember any of your instructors or classmates? If so, what do you remember about them? How did you get through the training and how did you feel when it was over? Did you feel prepared to go to war?
Part III: Combat Chronology
In the space provided, please reconstruct, in chronological order (as much as you can remember) exactly where you went during the war and the amount of time you spent in each location.
Part IV: War Experiences
Do you remember what it was like when you first arrived in theater? Were you afraid? Excited? Anxious?
What was the name of your unit and what was your assignment?
Did you see combat? If so, were there many casualties in your unit? Were you injured? If you were injured, describe the circumstances surrounding that/those injury(ies)(i.e. what were you doing when you sustained the injury/injuries and how did you deal with the situation(s)?)
Who was/were your commanding officer(s)? Did you feel a strong sense of leadership in your commanding officer? Was there a sense of camaraderie among the members of your unit? Describe those relationships - how did you help one another throughout the war?
Were you a prisoner of war? If so, please describe your experiences in captivity and when freed.
Were you awarded any medals or citations? If so, which ones? What did you do to earn the medal(s) and/or citation(s)? When did you receive them?
Part V: Life in the service/on the front/under fire
How did you stay in touch with family/friends? How often did you communicate with them?
What was the food like? Did you ever go without food for any extended period of time? If so, explain why.
Did you have plenty of supplies? If not, what things did you do to “get by with what you had?” What items were typically issued to you by your branch of service?
Describe the climate/weather in the area where you served. How did you adapt?
What things did you do to deal with the pressure or stress of combat?
How did you and your comrades entertain yourselves? Did you ever have entertainers (such as Bob Hope) come into your area? If so, who was it and what do you remember about it?
What did you when you were on leave?
Where did you travel while in service?
Do you recall any particularly humorous or unusual event(s) that took place while you were in service?
Do you recall what you were doing the day your service ended? Was it the end of the war? Did you serve after the war was over? If so, did you retire from the service? If so, when?
Part VI: After Service
Where did you go after you left the service? Did you work? If so, where, and what were doing at that job?
Did you go to school? If so, was it supported by the G. I. Bill?
Did you remain in contact with any close friends that you made during your time in service? If so, who were those individuals and how close did you remain?
Did you join a veterans organization? If so, which one, and how active are/were you in that organization?
Did you have a second career after the military? If so, what is/was it?
Did your military experience influence your thoughts about war or about the military in general? If so, how?
Do you regularly attend veterans organization functions or reunions?
How did your experience in the service/in war affect your life?
Please provide any additional information or comments that you did not include in the questions above.