VAN ELLS: Okay. Today's date is September 21, 1995. This is Mark Van Ells,Archivist, Wisconsin Veterans Museum doing an oral history interview this morning with Mr. Dorwin Lamkin, originally from Hudson, Wisconsin, now a resident of Mission, Kansas, a veteran of the U.S. Navy in World War II. Good morning and thanks for agreeing to do an interview.
LAMKIN: I'm happy to do it.
VAN ELLS: I appreciate it. I suppose we should start at the beginning as they sayand have you tell me a little bit about where you were born and raised and what you were doing prior to your entry into the Navy in 1940.
LAMKIN: Okay. Like a lot of kids in, I was born in 1922 in Hudson, Wisconsin.Hudson is right on the banks of the St. Croix River, just a stone-throw from Minnesota. I grew up in a small town and, oh, the population was about 1600 00:01:00people, predominately a Scandinavian community. It was kind of a, it was mixed, it was a railroad town. I went to high school there, graduated in June of 1940. I had the intention of going on to school and going directly to school didn't seem particularly feasible at the time and the Navy, I got some literature saying that if you went in the Navy and went aboard ship for a year, you could sit for an examination for the Naval Academy and that prompted me to enlist.
VAN ELLS: I see. Now, you know, 1940 there was already, World War II had begun in Europe.
VAN ELLS: Did you think when you decided to enlist that you might end up in a war somewhere?
LAMKIN: No, no. Furthest thing from my mind.
VAN ELLS: I see. So, if you would describe your entry into the military. You had to00:02:00go to a recruiter somewhere and you had to go off and get inducted, off to basic training. If you would, just walk me through those steps.
LAMKIN: Yeah. I went to St. Paul. Went to the post office building inSt. Paul--now that's 18 miles from Hudson--and there was examined by a chief boatswains mate who was on recruiting duty and by a young doctor who they had on a contract for examination and he was must exhaustive. They were being very, very critical about who they would let in. I, being of Norwegian heritage, I had some parts of my body that were thicker than others and he didn't know whether the thickened panicula in my leg was going to exclude me or not. For awhile I had some panic about that but in any event it turns out he was being super cautious. I went from, I took an examination, I took a general qualification, GCT I believe they call it, and the boatswain mate told me to do as well on this as I could and thank God I did because that score on that followed me my entire 00:03:00career in the Navy and made a lot of things possible that wouldn't have been otherwise. I went from St. Paul, a few days later I went home and they called me and they said, "Come over. We've got a ticket for you." I went on a train and went to Great Lakes Naval Training Station. I'm 18 years old, 19 years old, 18, and the furthest away from home I'd ever been was 40 miles. So going to Chicago and Great Lakes Naval Training Station I stood around with my mouth open 00:04:00wondering about a whole lot of things I was seeing. I wouldn't say that I was a naive country boy just off the grass, but I sure was not a world traveler.
VAN ELLS: Yeah. You were amazed at some of the other enlistees? Or did you get intotown? What were some of the things that amazed you?
LAMKIN: I was amazed at the size of it.
VAN ELLS: Of Chicago.
LAMKIN: And the size of Great Lakes Naval Training Station.
VAN ELLS: I see.
LAMKIN: And the size and the number of people there, and the organization, andthe mess hall, and--I was just flabbergasted by it all.
VAN ELLS: Do you think you were alone in that? Do you think there were others?
LAMKIN: Oh, no. Everybody I ran into, oh, there were some, pardon the choice ofwords, there were some smart asses from New Jersey and so forth that nothing in the world was a surprise to them, but for the most past these recruits were from Illinois and Wisconsin and Minnesota and Michigan. They were all pretty much in awe.
VAN ELLS: I went to basic training myself although it was 40 years later. So I have00:05:00some distinct recollections of that and I want to go into some of the training that you did. One of the things I remember was a lot of four-letter words and all that sort of screaming and yelling. Was that your experience? Sort of military discipline.
LAMKIN: No. There wasn't a lot of screaming and yelling. As a matter of fact, itwas pretty quiet and orderly. We had an Irish chief boatswain mate as a company commander and he was required to take his meals with us to be sure that we were savages being trained to have some degree of civility. I remember him saying that we had to learn to live together in pretty crowded quarters because that's the way the Navy was. So they spent some time, but I was appalled by the language of some of the people because it hadn't been my real exposure. But as far as general noise, no it wasn't like what I've come to understand is the 00:06:00Marine training or, no.
VAN ELLS: And what sort of training did you do? How long did it last? What did itconsist of in terms of classroom and marching?
LAMKIN: We were there for two months and it was military drill, classes on Navalform, code, semaphores, rules of the road, Naval discipline, rocks and shoals they called it, what misdeeds were punishable by so what and so forth; a general indoctrination. We marched quite a bit and tied some knots and slept in 00:07:00hammocks. I remember, one of the predominant memories I have is that in that quiet dormitory at night, 2:00, 3:00 in the morning you'd hear plop! Some guy fell out of a hammock that was tied eight feet off the ground. It seems funny now but I'm sure, it took a little while for him to learn how to sleep in that hammock, you know. It wasn't a double-wide bed.
VAN ELLS: Did you have any weapons training at all? Did you learn how to fire a gun?Or did you know how to already?
LAMKIN: No, no. We didn't have any rifle, we carried rifles that were those oldWorld War I rifles I guess.
VAN ELLS: The old Springfields?
LAMKIN: Yeah. But as far as going to a firing range and firing, no, we didn't do that.
VAN ELLS: And so this lasted two months, you said?
LAMKIN: Yes, two months.
VAN ELLS: And where'd you go from there?
LAMKIN: Well, when I got out of Naval training, I went to a battleship in00:08:00Seattle, Washington.
VAN ELLS: Which one was that?
LAMKIN: The USS Nevada, BB-36.
VAN ELLS: And what did you think of the ship?
LAMKIN: Oh, God.
VAN ELLS: I mean, were you bugged by this as well?
LAMKIN: Oh, my God. The Nevada was in dry-dock being fitting, or the hull wasscraped or being something, so the first shot I got of the Nevada was in dry-dock where you could see the ship all the way down to the keel. And, you know, there's more ship under water than there is above water and when you figure that the masts on that thing were 85 feet tall, it was absolutely humongous. I remember that sight to this day. When I was assigned to a division, 00:09:00a deck division, and the next day they told me that I was going to go over the side and scrape the hull, I had visions of myself falling 400 feet to the bottom of that.
VAN ELLS: Now, this is not an Iowa class battleship.
LAMKIN: Uh-uh. This is an old-timer. This goes back to ...
VAN ELLS: This is the Teddy Roosevelt-type of battleship.
LAMKIN: Right, right. This is one that was, oh, cripes ...
VAN ELLS: I forget myself. I can't think of the name. I know there's a particularclass of battleship that is. I just can't think of it.
LAMKIN: The Oklahoma, the California, the Tennessee, the West Virginia,Pennsylvania--these were all this type of tripod mast, or cage mast, battleships that go back to, they were kept pretty much updated but I think they predated World War I.
VAN ELLS: Yeah. After you got with the ship, how long was it until you got out tosea and resumed your general duties? Did you stay in Seattle long? 00:10:00
LAMKIN: No. I got there in January and they finished up what they were doing andwe went to sea in February. February we went down, the Nevada's home port was Long Beach, California, and we went to Long Beach and we were there for three or four weeks and then we departed for Hawaii--for Oahu, for Pearl Harbor. I don't remember that, I think we were about eight, nine days en route because there were training exercises and maneuvers that we went through on the way.
VAN ELLS: Now, this ship has how many people on it?
LAMKIN: Thirteen hundred.
VAN ELLS: Thirteen hundred people.
LAMKIN: Thirteen hundred people. And that had been, it originally was fitted outfor 1100 and now they're starting to increase the numbers of aboard ship 00:11:00thinking that possibly there's going to be some problems.
VAN ELLS: And did you get a sense of, of the people on the ship, did you get a senseof what sort of backgrounds they came from?
LAMKIN: Yes. It was like everybody you met seemed to be something different. Imet Southerners for the very first time. People from Arkansas, and Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, Georgia and I was intrigued by these people 'cause I had never been, my exposure to know anybody that came from that part of the country. I was surprised at the number of professional Navy people that were from the South. That is, people who had 12, 15 years in the service and had made a career out of it. 00:12:00
VAN ELLS: Yeah. And these people of these different backgrounds, did they get along?
LAMKIN: Uh hum, uh hum.
VAN ELLS: Intercultural problems or anything?
VAN ELLS: Everything just sort of seemed to flow smoothly.
LAMKIN: You know, they had 40 or 50 people sleeping in a space about the size ofpossibly of your office. Fifteen deep and 20 wide. It's pretty important that people get along together. There were several obstreperous characters but generally they were handled by the boatswains mates; they were the disciplinarians comparable to a sergeant in the Army I guess. There was remarkably little conflict but almost all of these people were 19, 18, 19, 20 years old so remarkably pliable.
VAN ELLS: Yeah. Now, on this ship, where was your duty station exactly?
LAMKIN: Well, when I first went aboard I was assigned to the 5th Division whichis a deck division. Deck division was responsible for firing the starboard side 00:13:00of the secondary battery. These are guns, 5 inch, 51 secondary armament. Because of by GTC score I was assigned as a fire control man and stand up on top of the cage mast to run a dummy gun director. That is, you know, every foot you go up the mast you can see further to the horizon and this was a vantage point. I was assigned that because I could figure out the trigonometry of the angles involved. I drilled in that responsibility for awhile. I suddenly decided that the deck force was not particularly my, where I wanted as a career.
VAN ELLS: Why was that?
LAMKIN: Well, I'd always had an inkling to get involved in medical matters so I00:14:00went down and talked to Dr. Goodbody, the senior medical officer, and told him that I would like to transfer from the deck division into the hospital corps if he'd have me. They decided that my attitude was alright and I put in for a transfer and division officer okayed it and I went, then I became a member of the H Division as they called, the Hospital Corps.
VAN ELLS: Hospital Division. Now, was this before Pearl Harbor?
LAMKIN: Yeah, yeah. As a matter of fact, this may have been in July, August of'41, prior to Pearl Harbor.
VAN ELLS: Now, you went to Hawaii in the spring of '41. And did you stay therethrough the whole year? Or did you go out to sea?
LAMKIN: Yeah, yeah. We went out to sea. We went particularly out to Lahaina00:15:00Roads which was where the Naval gunnery range was and we fired at airplane-towed targets with the aircraft battery on the top deck and then we fired at rafts with targets with the secondary battery. They had training exercises of various natures and then a couple of times while at sea we had, we all went to our battle stations because they had picked up some echoes or some strange sounds in the adjacent waters.
VAN ELLS: And this, apparently at least, was not a drill.
LAMKIN: Apparently not. No. The guy who was my division officer on the Nevada isnow, lives here in Mission, Kansas, the same as I do, and we're good friends because we're both Pearl Harbor survivors. But it was a curious re-meeting.
VAN ELLS: It is a small world sometimes isn't it.00:16:00
LAMKIN: Yeah, really.
VAN ELLS: Gee, I just had a question. I lost it. Oh, yeah, I remember what it wasnow. As you're training, as you get these sort of drills and these alerts, did you start to realize that perhaps you might end up in a war?
LAMKIN: Yes. By now, with the frequency of the drills, the frequency of sort ofa feeling of, well, like we went to battle stations when we were out firing off Lahaina and there was a report of a submarine. Who's submarine? Well, the Japs. Well, what the hell would the Japs be doing here? And then it gradually was, gradually there was a sort of a background hum that was building then. Something's going on.
VAN ELLS: So, the actual attack on Pearl Harbor, I suppose we're at that point right now.00:17:00
VAN ELLS: Why don't you tell me a little bit about where you were in the days beforethe attack. Leading up to the actual attack.
LAMKIN: In the time prior to the attack, I had, my duty station was in thesickbay. That was a sort of a duty thing where you worked from 8:00 in the morning until 5:00 at night and then we rotated with other people as to whether you had a watch from say 8:00 to midnight, or midnight to 4:00 in the morning. So that rotated on a regular basis. We were all divided up into four watches. Mostly the war consisted of taking care of the day-to-day ills and symptoms of a crew of 1300 men. And mostly it wasn't severe because these were young, healthy kids. We had a guy aboard ship that was a proctologist by profession. 00:18:00
VAN ELLS: He was the ship's doctor?
LAMKIN: Yeah. And if anybody came in with hemorrhoids or pilonidal cysts oranything in that area, you knew Dr. Zobell was going to keep his hand in so we'd get a lot, we did a lot of rectal surgery with hemorrhoids and so forth. But it was, you know, all well intentioned. The morning that the attack occurred, I'd been up the night before, I had the watch, and some signal man came back aboard about 2:30 or 3:00 with a big gash in his head. He'd got in an argument with a Marine over a girl of questionable character in Honolulu so we were up suturing this guy's head up about 3:30 in the morning. So I went back to 00:19:00my "sack"as they called it and as a consequence I had late bunk, I didn't have to be up at 7:00 or 6:30. I slept in. And I heard this noise. We were in port to have our annual material inspections of the voids, that is the blister vents on the outside of the ship were open for inspection and I thought it was ship fitters working on Sunday morning. So I muttered and incredibly foul epithet and just about that time some kid, messenger of the deck, stuck his head through the hatch and said, "The Japs are attacking." The pharmacists mate closest to the door through a pillow or something at him and said, "Get the hell out of here. Leave us alone." About that time the general quarters alarm went on--and it's an ominous, ominous bell. It must be the same sound that the gates of hell have 00:20:00'cause it goes bong!, bong!, bong! Well then we knew it was--about this time the crump, crump, crump of the bomb--so I headed for my battle station which was on the after part of the ship, the chief's quarters. My dressing station, my battle station was with the senior medical officer in what they call the after battle dressing station. So I headed back there. I didn't run but I passed a couple of guys that were. All I remembered to take was my shoes. I got back there. I was standing around in my skivvies and Dr. Goodbody said, "You're going to have to get some kind of clothes on."so I took some clothes out of a locker that was open. And, you know, in the Navy that's absolutely forbidden. You never, ever go in anybody else's locker. But I did. Then we started having all sorts of 00:21:00problems. We received four or five wounded sailors from topside in the battle dressing station. I could hear the main drive, I could hear the shaft alley of our turbines going whomp, whomp, whomp, whomp, whomp, whomp ... and I couldn't imagine what the hell we were doing. Well, during this time they had diverted auxiliary steam into the main turbines and the chief boatswain had left the hawser attached to the rear deck at back of the bow of the Nevada out in the stream and now he flew her into lunge and we're heading down the channel on auxiliary steam power. That's what I was hearing, that's what we were hearing. As we headed down the channel, of course, we wanted to get to sea to maneuver. 00:22:00That was their intention. To get to their normal element and the minute we got out in the channel they concentrated all of the Japanese aircraft on us because they would have loved to have sunk us right in the channel. We took a big aerial torpedo in the port bow and it blew a hole in the port bow about the size of a house and we started taking water, oily water and so forth. Remember our voids are open, we have a very limited water-tight integrity. Water started to flow into the after battle dressing station where I was and Dr. Goodbody said, 00:23:00"We've got to get out of here."and we couldn't get the hatch open through the armor deck. There were seven or eight of us in that area, five wounded and two medical personnel, and we were certain that this was the end. I remember saying to Dr. Goodbody, "Well, I've enjoyed working with you."and he said, "Me too." That was the extent of our surrender to the circumstances. They got, there was a manhole through the armor deck--we were beneath the armor deck. They got this manhole finally open and they had a rig, a shoulder harness sort of thing that they lowered down in the sickbay and we got the wounded patients out and we got 00:24:00out ourselves. Then when this, after this then I went up on the bow, the front end of the ship to take care of the wounded personnel. When we started to sink by the bow the captain of the harbor saw our condition and he sent four harbor tugs over to push us and they pushed us over on the starboard side of the harbor, going out, and there we sank. We sank in what they call a "Murphy reef." It's sort of a, it's a coral atoll that's been eroded by wave action and the depth of that reef was just about the same depth as our main deck so at high tide we were just barely out of the water. Then there was all sort of confusion and chaos and we were firing at our own planes and our secondary battery, five inch, were firing guns at airplanes. Bob Rowlands, my old division officer and I 00:25:00have laughed about this 100 times. They said that the Japs bombed Honolulu. Bullshit; that was our armor piercing shells out there, on the secondary battery that was bombing downtown Honolulu as we were shooting armor-piercing shells out of those five inchers. Whatever. There was a lot of confusion. We, particularly as night started to fall. Everybody was absolutely certain that these slant-eyed bastards would invade and everybody was on the razor edge in anticipation. But they didn't.
VAN ELLS: Yeah. The actual attack lasted how long in recollection? Or could you tell?
LAMKIN: Fifty-five to, I don't know. It's like saying, "When did the pain quit?"I don't know. I've read it was 11:30 or 12:00 or something like that. But we 00:26:00were all in a state of mindless confusion for, oh, I think somebody brought some food aboard the ship about 6:30 or 7:00 and realized we were hungry.
VAN ELLS: So, the aftermath. How did you get reorganized, re-outfitted?
LAMKIN: We were close enough to the beach. As a matter of fact, we were within,oh, I'll say 50 feet of the beach so we're sitting in there in the water and the fires are out. The deck force built a gangway over to the beach. So we, the Marine detachment had tents and they moved over there in this cane field and we 00:27:00moved a hospital tent over there so the sickbay was over there. And they used that cane field as their, to satisfy their sanitary needs. And anybody who went in the cane field was supposed to clap their hands when they came out and shout something or other. "Don't shoot. I'm not a Jap."or something. But somebody that went into the cane field after dark really had to go. It was nothing to take ... well, so then they fabricated a patch, like a great big Band-Aid, they 00:28:00fabricated a patch and floated it over and attached it to the bow of the Nevada and then they started pumping her out. And then everybody who could put their hand in a bucket got a rag and cleaner and as the ship got pumped out we followed in down cleaning up oil and crap and throwing out all of our personal effects that had been submerged. It takes us about, this took about four-and-a-half weeks.
VAN ELLS: Yeah, I'll bet it did. Now, was that ship ever sea-worthy again?
LAMKIN: Yes. My gosh, yes. The greatest story of ship reconstruction--they towedthat Nevada back to the States. They had about 200, 300 people aboard-- 00:29:00everybody else got sent to different places--but they towed her back to the States, they put her in dry dock up in Bremerton and they completely rebuilt that ship, they worked night and day, seven days a week, and in nine months that ship--completely refitted--went to sea to fire shots at the invasion of the Aleutian Islands. And you know, of course, Nevada's role in Normandy.
VAN ELLS: No, I'm afraid I don't.
LAMKIN: Oh, my gosh.
VAN ELLS: I'm an Air Force guy.
LAMKIN: Oh, I see. Okay. Well, that ship went back, my old deck officer, who wasa gunnery officer, got recalled to the ship. They sailed through the canal zone and they went over and they anchored off of Omaha Beach and they would train those 14 inch main battery guns, they trained them all to starboard and they'd 00:30:00march those shells, those 1300 to 1800 pound shells, they'd march them up the beach and made an alley for that invasion. And the force of that broadside would make that huge ship jump 500--500 that sounds too--well, make it jump so sideways in the water, they'd have to readjust the sights.
VAN ELLS: No, I didn't know that. That's interesting.
LAMKIN: Yeah, it had a glorious climax and then eventually they took it down to,oh, where did they have the A-bomb test down in ...
VAN ELLS: Bikini?
LAMKIN: Yeah, Bikini. Sits on the bottom of Bikini now.
VAN ELLS: Interesting. I'm surprised I haven't ever heard that before. Now, you weretransferred to another ship then? You didn't stay with the Nevada.
LAMKIN: Yeah, yeah. They sent me back to the States, went to corps school, andthen I went and got some lab training, then I went aboard the San Francisco.
VAN ELLS: What kind of ship was that?
LAMKIN: It's a heavy cruiser. When all the battleships got put out of commission00:31:00then the duties of protection and bombardment fell from the battleships onto the heavy cruiser. That's the next ...
VAN ELLS: Next level down?
LAMKIN: Yeah. Next level of not heavy-weights but not welter-weights either, butsemi-heavy-weight. So they filled a tremendous gap. And the history of the cruisers in World War II, the Naval history, is really something because they were involved in so many difference places. You know about the Indianapolis I suppose.
VAN ELLS: Yeah.
LAMKIN: And the Chicago, and all of the, my God, you know when I went aboard theSan Francisco and we got back out in the Pacific we sailed one time for 13 00:32:00months without touching shore. Thirteen months. You know, that's a long time.
VAN ELLS: I can imagine.
LAMKIN: We refueled at sea, we re-provisioned at sea and surprisingly therewasn't much pissing and moaning about it because we had a chaplain, Dean Francis Hare, who kept the crew informed about what was going on and the urgency of us being out there, that we weren't just there to make the captain turn into admiral. Every once in awhile they'd put us ashore at some sandy atoll and they'd give us a softball and a couple cans of warm beer and they called that "rest and recreation."
VAN ELLS: I suppose it's dry land though.
LAMKIN: Yeah. Sandy beaches that had, if they had a bay that you could dropanchor in and swing on the hook for awhile and lay sufficiently out of the sea lanes that were dangerous at all. One day one of the Marines that had been put 00:33:00ashore was brought back in a semi-comatose condition and Dr. Goodbody said to me, "Dorwin,"he said, "smell that Marine will you?" I smelled him and he said, "What do you think?" I said, "He's drunk, doctor." He said, "How the hell can he get drunk on two cans of beer?" Well, the Marines had pooled all their two cans of beer, everybody put a buck in the pot and they drew a number and the guy that drew the lucky number got 6, 8, 10, 12, 15 cans of beer, whichever was in the pot; enough to make one of them dead drunk. They said, well, two beers isn't worth shooting at. Dr. Goodbody thought that this ought to be entered in the log that this was a unique accomplishment. 00:34:00
VAN ELLS: A great story anyway. So, when you got hooked up with the San Francisco,that was on the west coast somewhere I would imagine.
LAMKIN: In San Francisco.
VAN ELLS: In San Francisco. Well, what do you know.
LAMKIN: Yeah. It had been up in Vallejo, it had been up at Mare Island atVallejo in the Navy yard up there.
VAN ELLS: And where'd you go and what did you do after that?
LAMKIN: Well, we went ...
VAN ELLS: You went to the Aleutians if I'm not mistaken.
LAMKIN: Yes. We went to, well, first off we went to, oh, Truk, Kwajalein, IwoJima, Coral Sea, Okinawa, Attu, Kiska, Adak. I would say that the San Francisco, fulfilling it's role as heavy-weight on these invasions, was represented in every major battle in the Pacific after 1942.
VAN ELLS: Yeah, it sounds like it. If you would, describe what the ship did in00:35:00combat, exactly, and were there any campaigns in your mind that stick out, or do they all kind of blend together?
LAMKIN: Well, with the exception of the night action in Coral Sea, they allpretty much blend together because we're fulfilling the role of battleships now, we are laying off a mile or two and directing gunfire into the beach to make the way for Marines who are going to land or are going to invade this piece of coral property. In the Coral Sea we got involved in a night action with Japanese forces and we were attempting to execute a classic maneuver called "crossing the T"and we got caught on the back side of it and we suffered the same magnitude of 00:36:00casualties that we had on the Nevada on Pearl Harbor on December 7.
VAN ELLS: Was this naval gunfire or was it aerial?
LAMKIN: Naval gunfire.
VAN ELLS: Naval gunfire.
LAMKIN: Yeah, from battleships and cruisers. The Akagi, the names of theJapanese ships leave me. We had, the flag, the admiral, Admiral Daniel Scott was aboard the, he was the flag officer, and he was aboard the San Francisco and he was killed in that night action. That was so much confusion that my memories of 00:37:00it are very inaccurate. I am very muddled.
VAN ELLS: Yeah. So, after the Coral Sea you had to go get patched up again I would imagine.
VAN ELLS: Did you have to go back to Hawaii?
LAMKIN: Yes. Went back to Pearl and they put her in dry dock. Most of the damagewas to the super structure. We'd never been in danger of sinking. Most of the harm that had been done could have been repaired. And our armament was remarkably good shape. It was the personnel who, see the cruiser was not as heavily armored topside as the battleship was.
VAN ELLS: Yeah. And so it's more vulnerable too.
LAMKIN: Yes. Personnel are more vulnerable.
VAN ELLS: Yeah. And so as you mentioned the other campaigns sort of all blend00:38:00together, huh?
LAMKIN: Yeah. I can sit down and say that, well, yeah, we were at Kwajalein, wewere at Iwo, we were at Truk, we participated. But rather than be an exchange of naval gunfire, these campaigns are all designed to pave the way for Rangers and Marines and Army people that are going to invade by ground.
VAN ELLS: Right. I was going to ask if you got any fire from on shore.
LAMKIN: Yeah. But usually it was short, ineffective, and if they thought therewas any danger to our guns, they didn't say our people but they said our guns, why they moved further out to get outside the range because our primary assignment was to prepare a beach, disarm a beach or to neutralize certain positions. 00:39:00
VAN ELLS: Uh huh. So, in terms of casualties in your work as a medic or corpsman,these other campaigns didn't come near the sort of scope of Pearl Harbor and Coral Sea.
LAMKIN: No. Coral Sea was the same magnitude but you've probably heard of "ironbottom sound"but the rest of the adventures, the rest of the circumstances were, well, I wouldn't say ho-hum but they were, they didn't cause any of the problems we had at Pearl or at the Coral Sea.
VAN ELLS: Yeah. So, in your day-to-day duties during '43, '44, and into '45, what00:40:00sort of things were you doing? Just basic shipboard medical care?
LAMKIN: Yeah. We were in the tropical, well, you know near the equator or in thetropical area and the skin problems that we had among sailors was--we were kept busy doing Dobell solution and Burrows solution and skin soaks and silver nitrate irrigations and taking care of the routine problems. And we had to inspect food handlers on a regular basis. And also there was spare time.
VAN ELLS: Yeah. And what did you do during that?
LAMKIN: I read. I've been a reader all my life and we had a pretty good libraryon the San Francisco and I believe I read that sucker from A-Z. We had 00:41:00textbooks that I didn't do much reading but ... some people did handicraft, some people played cards, there wasn't a lot of gambling going on because there wasn't a lot of cash. They didn't have paydays when we were at sea 'cause there was
VAN ELLS: Yeah, where are you going to spend it?
LAMKIN: Yeah, you know. Cigarettes, a flat 50 of cigarettes was a dime. Otherthan that. They had a "gedunk"stand they called it.
VAN ELLS: What's that?
LAMKIN: Uh, soda. They made ice cream out of "clem"--clem"is dried milk--and Idiscovered later that "clem"was named after Clem, Iowa where they developed it. 00:42:00But they made ice cream out of dry milk solids and in the Navy that was called the gedunk. You couldn't spend a lot of money at the gedunk stand so they didn't pay. And when they did pay they paid in even money. They paid in $2 bills. They never kept any $10s, or $20s, or $50s. The paymaster just kept $2 bills.
VAN ELLS: Oh. That's an awful long time to be at sea.
LAMKIN: Yes, it is.
VAN ELLS: Were there discipline problems or psychological or emotional problems oranything like that?
LAMKIN: Remarkably few.
VAN ELLS: Remarkably few, yeah.
LAMKIN: Remarkably few.
VAN ELLS: Like some guys getting in fights, something like that.
LAMKIN: Yeah, there would be that. But you know that that was usually dealt withat the division level and didn't surface as something that was obvious ship-wise.
VAN ELLS: So as a medical corpsman you didn't see that sort of thing.
LAMKIN: Oh, people would show up every once in awhile they "fell down the ladder."
VAN ELLS: Quote, unquote?
LAMKIN: Yeah, right. And almost always the bruises that they had were about thehead and neck, you know. Dr. Goodbody said a time or two, he said, "It's always 00:43:00funny how they fall down on their head. They never fall on their back or their rear or on the leg. It's always on the head." But this never got to a point where it was a matter of any
VAN ELLS: Major concern.
LAMKIN: major concern, no. Again, now, we're talking about 18, 19 year old, 20year old kids, highly motivated, aware of the danger, wanting to, you know, these are all, well ...
VAN ELLS: It was purposeful.
LAMKIN: Yeah, right. This wasn't just drills. They were doing what they weresupposed to be doing.
VAN ELLS: Now, you mentioned getting of at some atoll and having a couple of beers.00:44:00Did you get to go to any other more exotic or larger
LAMKIN: Yeah, we went to some exotic places. Went to New Zealand.
VAN ELLS: How much time did you get to spend there?
LAMKIN: Well, we were there a total of three weeks.
VAN ELLS: That's a good vacation.
LAMKIN: Yeah, it was. Half the ship got off one week and half got off the nextweek and then the last part of it was, that was marvelous. Everybody just the New Zealanders welcomed us with open arms. Their men were all off fighting in ANZAC (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps) corps and we were regarded as, I suppose you'd say, heroes. And the women were very warm and they didn't have a 00:45:00lot of hang-ups that Midwestern Lutheran girls did. And they had different ways, you know. I remember going to their equivalent of a USO and the girl I was dancing with told me to "go jazz her sister; she was all knocked up"and to me, well, a Midwestern kid, that meant something entirely different. What she meant was "I'm tired. Go dance with my sister."
VAN ELLS: I see.
LAMKIN: I had, but she invited me to their home. Her father was the director ofthe zoo and museum in Auckland and I had dinner in their home and I have warm memories of that.
VAN ELLS: Yeah, it sounds nice. Now, as far as the Navy, now you were in beforePearl Harbor and then, of course, you served long after that. I'm wondering if you noticed any sort of changes in the Navy as the war effort increased. The Navy must have gotten larger, it must have gotten a new influx of people. Did it 00:46:00change at all? Or did stay pretty much the same as you had known it before Pearl Harbor?
LAMKIN: Well, I have to reflect back on it because I was involved in that and,you know, sometimes when you're in the bathtub it's hard to tell how deep the water is. As I've reflected and as we, being a member of the Pearl Harbor Association, we get back together on a regular basis. We have dinner every 60 days here locally. And we talk about some of these things and we we've said many times how surprised we were by the orderly way in which this expansion was handled. There were, it was controlled in part by the fact that there were, they didn't have 1000 ships available tomorrow. The ships that they were going to use came in piecemeal and, therefore, the filling of them and the training of them 00:47:00happened at a pretty gradual rate.
VAN ELLS: Right.
LAMKIN: But there was, rarely do you hear any complaints about quality of itdiminishing. Sometimes the food situation got a little grim. We used to joke about it. All the flour we had got nits in it, flour nits. And people who just came aboard ship, they wouldn't eat it. People that had been there a short time would pick the nits out. People who had been there a long time just never paid any attention to it, regarded it as extra protein.
VAN ELLS: Yeah.
LAMKIN: But those things are understandable and nobody really made a big thingabout it.
VAN ELLS: Now, what about the quality of personnel. Did you get the impression thatthe Navy was recruiting or drafting quality people or were they starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel?
LAMKIN: No, no, on the contrary, on the contrary.
VAN ELLS: They remained quite high.
LAMKIN: The quality of the people that we got as a result of this patriotic00:48:00movement was, the quality and the training was substantially higher than, substantially higher. We got a better educated group of people, highly motivated group of people, people who knew that when this thing was over they were going to be out and go home. Their attitude was real good.
VAN ELLS: Yeah, a lot of good people. Now, there are some who say that PresidentRoosevelt took a shine to the Navy. Is this something that you noticed?
VAN ELLS: 'Cause he was the Secretary of the Navy or something in World War I.
LAMKIN: Yeah. I've heard it said 100 times that FDR was a Navy man. And while Ididn't see any direct rewards as a result of that, there was a common feeling 00:49:00that we weren't going to be put in any harms way because of budget because FDR was a Navy man.
VAN ELLS: Yeah.
LAMKIN: One of the things that they talked about was that FDR knew ahead of timethat Pearl was going to happen. A lot of people at that time said, "No, no. Roosevelt is a Navy man. He wouldn't have put the fleet in that kind of jeopardy." And I sort of buy that. At least it's an argument I've put to bed that I don't have to, I think they knew that the Philippines were going to be 00:50:00invaded. They'd had no idea that it was going to be, get extend all the way to the battleships.
VAN ELLS: Yeah, yeah. A long reach at the time. Quite an operation.
LAMKIN: Yeah, really.
VAN ELLS: Now, in terms of the Japanese, did you get a sense of their fightingcapabilities and their--I mean, you were on ship. You perhaps didn't get a handle on this as much as a ground soldier on the islands somewhere. But were you surprised at how long it took the war in the Pacific to take?
LAMKIN: Yeah, yeah. The only Japanese I saw in all six years that I was in theNavy, the only Japs I ever saw was at Attu. A Ranger battalion went ashore at Attu to invade and they were short of medical personnel so they took a corpsman off each one of the ships lying, who would be participate in the bombardment. I went ashore with this Ranger battalion. Well, as it turned out, there was practically no resistance. At least that did involve the main battery on the 00:51:00San Francisco. And the Army warrant officer, Ranger warrant officer, showed me a revetment on top of the hill that had been a lookout post and a gun emplacement and there were 12 or 15 Japanese soldiers, remains of them, where they sat around in a circle and pulled a grenade pin. Those are the only Japs I saw. We were all utterly convinced that they would die rather than surrender. Never was any question about, well, speaking from my own perspective, there was never any question about their almost maniacal devotion to the emperor.
VAN ELLS: And so the fact that the war lasted that long, I mean, 'cause initiallyafter Pearl Harbor many people thought that, you know, we could finish them off in a couple of months and that would be it.
VAN ELLS: Was that your impression at first?
LAMKIN: No. No, because I thought, I didn't know if we'd ever recover. I saw allthat devastation at Pearl. All of those magnificent, magnificent battleships 00:52:00sunk, turned over, in, you know. My God, we sat there at night on the Nevada and we could hear those poor bastards in the hull of the Oklahoma pounding on the bottom of the ship so that somebody would come and cut their way into the hull and release them, and they'd cut their way in and the minute they cut the hole why the air pressure would escape and they'd all drown immediately. I just wondered if we would ever be able to recoup because that was so, the devastation 00:53:00was so apparent. They brought the, one of the carriers they brought into the harbor, oh, while we were still there working on the Nevada. Jesus, that was a shot in the arm. Everybody's spirits soared when they saw it. We had something still going for us.
VAN ELLS: But the Navy did eventually recover.
LAMKIN: Oh, God, yes.
VAN ELLS: And we won.
LAMKIN: You betcha. And as you look at it now from the perspective of 50 years,why it was a very short time then that the Japs were, well, after the Battle of Midway, weren't they?
VAN ELLS: Uh hum. Now, in terms of the end of the war, when the war in Europe ended,do you have any recollections of that?
VAN ELLS: None at all?
LAMKIN: None at all.
VAN ELLS: You must have been off Okinawa or something.
LAMKIN: When, in 1944, January, February 1944, is that right, yes, I sat for an00:54:00examination. The Navy announced that they had a university training program for future Naval officers and they had an examination fleet-wide for anybody that was interested and I sat down and I took the examination and I was successful and the Navy sent me to the University of Kansas. So from January, February, March--April of 1944 until August of '45 I went to the University of Kansas as a Navy student.
VAN ELLS: This was like a V-12 program or something?
LAMKIN: Yeah, exactly, exactly, exactly, exactly.
VAN ELLS: And what sort of studies did you do?
LAMKIN: I took science courses. I was interested in getting into medical school.There were certain courses that you were required to take as part of the Navy curriculum.
VAN ELLS: Yeah.
LAMKIN: Lots of math. But chemistry, physics, and biological sciences. So, as it00:55:00turned out for me, my intention originally was to try to get in the Academy to get an education. Turns out, why, that's the way it worked out. I was pretty lucky.
VAN ELLS: So you were stateside then when the war ended.
LAMKIN: Yeah, yeah.
VAN ELLS: Now, when the war in the Pacific ended, the whole thing was eventuallyover. Do you recall hearing that news?
LAMKIN: Yeah, I sure do because, where the hell was I, I was at Lawrence,Kansas. When the war was over I was in Lawrence, Kansas and the next day I got orders to report to the Naval recruiting, or Naval receiving station in San Francisco. 'Cause I was USN. If I'd been USNR, I'd have been out the next 00:56:00day, but I was USN; I had a six year contract.
VAN ELLS: Yeah. So, as for the end of the war, in this 50th anniversary year there'sbeen a lot of controversy about the bomb.
VAN ELLS: In these interviews I like to ask the World War II veterans I've talked totheir impressions at the time and their reflections upon it as time goes on.
LAMKIN: Yeah. At the time I felt Harry Truman should have been raised tosainthood. Nothing has ever changed my mind. I go, on the regular basis, I go to Harry Truman's birthplace and his graveyard in Independence, Missouri just for the purpose of saying, "Thank you much, Harry Truman."
VAN ELLS: And it's not far from where you are, is it?
LAMKIN: No, no, uh-uh. Twenty-five or thirty miles. A man I play golf with, BillHamilton, who spent three-and-a-half years in a Japanese prison camp and his 00:57:00feelings about Harry Truman match mine. Harry Truman saved his life.
VAN ELLS: Yeah, I was going to ask, do you feel like some veterans do? That theatomic bomb actually saved their lives?
LAMKIN: Millions, millions of lives.
VAN ELLS: Including your own perhaps.
LAMKIN: Including my own.
VAN ELLS: Okay. So you went back to San Francisco then? Your still active duty Navy.
LAMKIN: Yeah. Now I'm really pissed because I'm a second semester junior at theUniversity of Kansas, and a successful student, and I went to school five days a week 8:00 in the morning to 5:00 at night. And you can, you know, taking 20-22 hours a semester, you can pile up hours in a pretty good hurry.
VAN ELLS: Oh yeah.
LAMKIN: And here I am at 92 to 94 hours after I've been there a year and I'mqualified to apply to medical school. Shit, I've got all of the requirements and there are vacancies in the medical school. 00:58:00
VAN ELLS: Uh hum, and Uncle Sam comes a'calling.
LAMKIN: Yeah. The U.S. Navy says, "Hey buddy, you're not done yet."
VAN ELLS: What did you have to do there?
LAMKIN: So they sent me back to San Francisco, they send me back to thereceiving station.
VAN ELLS: And what sort of duties did you have?
LAMKIN: Well, they sent me to thePhilippines. Can you imagine?
VAN ELLS: How much time did you have to spend there?
LAMKIN: About three weeks.
VAN ELLS: Three weeks, that's it.
LAMKIN: Yeah, yeah. Then they sent me out to the Philippines, "Philippines seafrontier"they called it. And they flew me, or I flew with some other kids, in one of those PBYs and I had blue uniform, Navy blues on, sat in that aluminum 00:59:00seat on that PBY and by the time we got to Manila the back-end of those Navy blues had, were just like they were aluminum plated. All had worn off on the back of those, sliding back and forth. Geez, that was a long trip. I went out there to help them decommission fleet hospital 114 in Manicany which is south, and southern Semar, around Leyte and south of there. They still had Naval installations there and they needed, I was a lab technician for the most part in the Navy, and they needed a lab technician at this fleet hospital on Manicany Island. So I went there until my time was up. And in September of '46 they sent me back to the States and I immediately came back to Lawrence, Kansas and enrolled in KU as a civilian.
VAN ELLS: Yeah. This was your free and clear discharge from the Navy.
VAN ELLS: Did you have any thoughts of re-enlisting or anything?
LAMKIN: No, absolutely none.
VAN ELLS: Why was that? You sound pretty adamant about that.
LAMKIN: Well, because my goal was to get an education. And having glimpsed,having satisfied myself that I could successfully compete at a university level 01:00:00without a whole lot of kids my age made me certain that I wanted to go back and do whatever I could to finish my education.
VAN ELLS: Did you go right to Kansas? Or did you stop back in Hudson at all?
LAMKIN: Well, by God, I went right back to Kansas. I made intermittent trips toHudson as, like when I went to Seattle to get the Nevada I was allowed to spend two or three days en route and I spent that with the folks in Hudson. And then I would get, on the odd opportunity I'd get an eight or ten day leave and I'd head for home.
VAN ELLS: Go back ...01:01:00
LAMKIN: But when I came out of the Navy and came right to Lawrence I was late ingetting out, in terms of the semester.
VAN ELLS: Right.
LAMKIN: They started, I think they started the semester September 6 maybe, andit wasn't until the middle of October. But I called them and they said they could enroll me late so I hot-footed back here to get enrolled as I planned.
VAN ELLS: And you did.
VAN ELLS: And you were successful in that.
VAN ELLS: Okay. I've got a couple questions about some post war experiences. This isthe point where a lot of these types of interviews end. But we're part of the Veterans Affairs here so we're interested in some of the post war experiences as well. One of the most important legacies to come out of World War II was the GI Bill. And you used the GI Bill to finance your education.
LAMKIN: Oh, boy, GI Bill saved, I started to say "save my life"as aplatitude--the GI Bill opened up an entirely new level of livelihood and whole new economic sphere. My family were all working people, railroad people. My 01:02:00mother is a first generation American. She went to business college and she's regarded as the most highly educated one in the entire family. So this was, this opportunity for a university education was ...
LAMKIN: ... but that money that I received and the tuition deal because see Iwas technically classed an out-of-state student ...
VAN ELLS: Right.
LAMKIN: ... when I first got back. But then I was there in Lawrence long enoughso that I became a Kansas resident.
VAN ELLS: Yeah.
LAMKIN: But, no, for the most part we didn't suffer. We ate well and I liked tofish and hunt so we augmented it with squirrel and rabbit, you know, and 01:03:00crappie, and etcetera.
VAN ELLS: Uh hum. Now, I've spoken to a lot of vets who went to school here inWisconsin, especially at the UW campus, and they describe a campus filled with veterans. I mean, their classes are filled with ex-servicemen, their social lives are filled with ex-servicemen. Was that the experience at Kansas as well?
LAMKIN: Yes, absolutely, absolutely. Just flooded, they just flooded in thecampus. Oh, my God, they had, you know, like they had courses in algebra that was taught at 8:00 at night to take care of the crush of entering freshmen and so forth. It was so, there was an ordinance plant called Sunflower close to 01:04:00Lawrence and when the war was over they shut it down but they had built a huge housing addition to that Lawrence, or to that ordinance plant, and after the war, after '46 when all the students came back, it was all filled up with GIs, ex-GIs.
VAN ELLS: Yeah. There was a very similar thing here in Madison, too. There was anordinance plant nearby that was converted into housing for students. Now, in terms of, were the veterans good students do you think?
LAMKIN: Oh, yeah, yeah. There were no, there was the occasional dude who thoughtthat this was a free ride for whatever but the University of Kansas administered their scholastic requirements to the point that, I think everybody there had to maintain a minimum of a C average to stay in school. And if they didn't, why 01:05:00then I think their GI benefits, especially education, went out the window.
VAN ELLS: Yeah.
LAMKIN: Yeah, the competition was fierce. Geez. I had a course in entomology, alittle old gal, Swedish gal, Mary Larson, graded on the curve. God dang the curve was high! Of course, I was shooting for grade point.
VAN ELLS: Yeah.
LAMKIN: Really shooting for grade point.
VAN ELLS: Um, so after the war then, I mean after college now, you completed yourdegree there and it comes time to find work.
LAMKIN: Yeah. Well, I was trying to get into medical school and I was a littlenaive. I thought that if you did your, you know, did the courses and got good marks that it was automatic. Well, I met the reality of politics in the medical field. I didn't have anybody in my family that was a doctor, I didn't have 01:06:00anybody who was a doctor that would sponsor me so I didn't make it. So I went up to Wisconsin and I said that down in Kansas I'm a non-resident and I talked to the dean at the University of Wisconsin and he said, "I'm sorry. We have a responsibility to our own undergraduates." So that closed the door on that avenue. Then I went to work for, I got a good job with a drug company.
VAN ELLS: Now, did you have difficulty finding work after the war?
VAN ELLS: There were a lot of veterans floating back into the country now. Did youhave problems finding something to do?
LAMKIN: No, no, I didn't. Having spent six years in the medical field, havingbeen a good student in pre-medical sciences, and a trained lab technician, my academic background fell very much in line with the work with the drug company. 01:07:00And there weren't too many candidates for that. It was a bit, I wouldn't say it was exclusive but everybody wasn't equipped to talk intelligently about the chemistry involved.
VAN ELLS: Right. And so you had skills you had gotten in your education.
LAMKIN: Yes, yes, yes.
VAN ELLS: I see. Uhm, there are various housing programs for veterans. Did you useany loans to pay for ...
LAMKIN: Yes, I did.
VAN ELLS: Okay. I'm not trying to pry into your finances. I'm just trying to get atthe use of veteran's benefits.
LAMKIN: Oh, yeah. I used that in Roswell, New Mexico to buy a little old house.
VAN ELLS: Was it the federal home loan program that you used?
LAMKIN: Yes, yes. If I could dig around, I still have the entitlement paper. AndI used, then it happened that I had opportunity later in life and I used it again. Gave me a better rate and some sort of a loan guarantee. I forgot the 01:08:00mechanics of it now. Yes I did use that.
VAN ELLS: Okay. I've got two last areas I want to cover. The first involves sort ofemotional and psychological and emotional readjustments back into civilian society. The problems that some Vietnam veterans have had, they've been in the news the past few decades or so, and sometimes World War II veterans experienced similar problems but it hasn't been so widely publicized. So when you came back, did you have any sort of troubles readjusting back to society or did you just fit right in?
LAMKIN: I didn't have any problems. I didn't think I was any different than01:09:00anybody else because there were so many of them ...
VAN ELLS: Right.
LAMKIN: ... around. And the last part of my Naval service was so benign that itwas almost like being on a, had I been home or close to it, it would have been like being on a vacation. My time I spent in the Philippines was just marvelous in terms of the experience.
VAN ELLS: Right.
LAMKIN: And it wasn't life-threatening at all. Plus I was directed, I was careerdirected. I knew what I wanted to do and all I had to do was get on and do it. I didn't have, and I didn't feel that I had been put upon. I didn't feel like I 01:10:00had been victimized because I volunteered to begin with, for one thing. I felt a little shitty about being sent back to the Philippines after the war was over and that may have closed a window or a door for me as far as medical school was concerned because by the time I got back, of course, everybody else was back and vacancies were non-existent.
VAN ELLS: Now, in terms of your reception from civilian society, you apparently feltthat you were brought back into society fairly well.
VAN ELLS: Some veterans will talk about how people back home didn't understand thesacrifices we went through and sometimes feel a little resentful about that. Apparently that's not the case with you.
LAMKIN: No, no, not at all, not at all. Plus the fact it's not my nature to pissand moan. I've attempted to make the best out of a given situation and that 01:11:00doesn't mean that I'm free of negative thoughts but ...
VAN ELLS: It's a matter of how you look at it.
LAMKIN: Yeah, yeah. I thought I was, for the most part, well treated and welltaken care of.
VAN ELLS: Okay.
LAMKIN: I had a little difficulty empathizing with the Vietnampeople. As a matter of fact, I have a real difficulty with that. But that's a different bag of worms. I don't know anything about it.
VAN ELLS: Yeah. Okay. I've got one last area I want to cover and that involvesveteran's organizations and reunions and that sort of thing. Now, you've already mentioned that you're a member of the Pearl Harbor Survivor's Association, is that right?
VAN ELLS: I'd like to step back to the time when you first got out of the service.01:12:00When you first got out of the service did you join any sort of organizations?
VAN ELLS: Nothing like the Legion or the VFW or anything like that.
LAMKIN: No, nothing, nothing. No.
VAN ELLS: Why was that? I mean, was there a reason for that?
LAMKIN: No. Just too much else going on. Too much, I didn't have any disdain orscorn or anything for those organizations. I just, there was just too much going on for me to have time to be involved in any of them. And then Naval service was too fresh in my memory to want to be reinforcing it. Enough was enough. I felt I've done it, I'm through, let's get on with this other deal.
VAN ELLS: Uh huh. Now, as you went later in life, did you eventually join any of thebigger organizations?
LAMKIN: Yeah I did, yeah I did. Especially this Pearl Harbor thing that I'vementioned and my wife and I have developed a circle of friends in this. One a 01:13:00Marine, another one an old machinist mate off the San Francisco, and my old division officer off the Nevada. Well, we go places. We're going to go to Canyon City, Colorado in a week or ten days and meet up with a bunch of old Navy farts and some Army people, too, and have a two or three day reunion in Colorado.
VAN ELLS: Uh hum. Sounds like a lot of fun.
LAMKIN: They usually, like we'll go to the Royal Gorge and see the local sitesand get taken to the world's largest trinket shop, you know how that goes. Tours.
VAN ELLS: Yeah. And so for you it's mostly a social outlet, social activity, theveteran's organization.
LAMKIN: Yes, yes, absolutely. I became a member of theVFW but that was because I was a Pearl Harbor Association and we were trying to get something done and it became politically expedient for me. 01:14:00
VAN ELLS: I see. Now, when did you start getting involved in these veteran'sactivities. I mean, were you into your 30s and 40s or even 50s?
LAMKIN: Oh, much later than that, much later than that.
VAN ELLS: Really?
LAMKIN: I didn't, I was a member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association for along time before .. I saw something in the paper one time and I wrote off and joined it. But that was the extent of my participation. I traveled extensively the last eight or ten years of my working career and as a result I didn't have much time at home for veteran's deals or anything like that. I would say that my real active participation in this is when I retired.
VAN ELLS: Which was in the 1980s sometime I would imagine.
LAMKIN: Yeah, yeah. Like maybe '80, oh, poop, yeah maybe like '82.01:15:00
VAN ELLS: Yeah.
LAMKIN: '82 or '83. And it's been a rewarding, I enjoy the people. We're allapproximately the same age. Somebody who's 72 1/2, we call them kids. You know, we're so stratified.
VAN ELLS: Uhm, those are all the questions I have. Is there anything you'd like toadd? Something you think we've quashed over a little?
LAMKIN: No. I think, I want to say that one of the most concrete feelings, oneof the most positive feelings I have about this time we're talking about throughout my entire life, as a result of this six years experience, I've had the feeling that I've done my part. I have the confidence that I've done my part 01:16:00and I have, I think it, I have enriched my sense of gratitude about the privilege of being and living in a country like I do. It's immeasurably enriched my life.
VAN ELLS: That's a good note on which to end this I think.
LAMKIN: All right.
VAN ELLS: Well, thank you for taking the time to talk with me today.
LAMKIN: Thank you for the opportunity.
VAN ELLS: I appreciate it.