BROWSE BY:     Title Number Subject Creator Digital Content

Interview with J.H. Mann, September 26, 2006 | UNCW Archives and Special Collections Online Database

pdf icon Get PDF Version
Interview with J.H. Mann, September 26, 2006
September 26, 2006
J.H. Mann was drafted into the U.S. Armed Forces in July of 1941. He completed his basic training at Fort Bragg. He entered signal corps officer candidate school in December of 1942 and, after graduation, was commissioned a second lieutenant in the signal corps, after which he worked in the War Department signal center in the Pentagon building. He was then stationed at Vint Hill Farm in Virginia, a cryptographic training school, after which he was sent to London to set up headquarters for the 6813 Signal Detachment. He remained in London until the end of World War II, by which time he was a first lieutenant. After the war, he was assigned to Russelheim, Germany, as an executive officer in a cryptography unit.
Phys. Desc:

Interviewee:  Mann, J.H. Interviewer:  Zarbock, Paul Date of Interview:  9/26/2006 Series:  Veterans' Heritage Length  48 minutes


Zarbock: Good morning. My name is Paul Zarbock, a staff person with the University of North Carolina at Wilmington's Randall Library. This videotape is part of the contribution made to the World War II oral history project of the University. Today is the 26th of September in the year 2006. And I am at the home of Mr. Harry Mann. Good morning, sir.

J.H. Mann: Good morning.

Zarbock: How are you this morning?

J.H. Mann: Fine.

Zarbock: It's a beautiful day in Wilmington.

J.H. Mann: It certainly is.

Zarbock: Well, I am going to start off by asking a somewhat rude question. What year were you born?

J.H. Mann: 1916.

Zarbock: That makes you how old now?

J.H. Mann: Ninety years old on 9/11.

Zarbock: I'll be darned. While we were chatting off camera, you said after high school you held a series of jobs, but when it got to be 1940, I believe you said, you got a letter from the United States government. And what did the letter say?

J.H. Mann: Well, actually it was 1941.

Zarbock: '41.

J.H. Mann: Yeah. July of '41.

Zarbock: And what did the letter?

J.H. Mann: Said I had been chosen to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States.

Zarbock: Greetings. And how old were you then, sir?

J.H. Mann: I think I was 24 probably.

Zarbock: Now, this is before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

J.H. Mann: Yeah. But Pearl Harbor, of course, was December. Yeah, this was before that.

Zarbock: And at the time that you were drafted, you were working for the Southern Bell Corporation. Well, off you had to go. Where did you take your basic training?

J.H. Mann: I took it at Fort Bragg. Although it was not a very extensive training, it was. Yeah, I guess it was. We went to the rifle range and we did a lot of close order drill and stuff like that.

Zarbock: How long was your draft period supposed to serve? How long were you supposed to serve in the...?

J.H. Mann: One year.

Zarbock: Ah ha. Well, the events took over from there, didn't it?

J.H. Mann: You're right. It did.

Zarbock: But that was basic training. So you fired, it was probably the 03 rifle?

J.H. Mann: Yes. Springfield 03.

Zarbock: And again, we mentioned off camera uniforms that you wore at that time changed during the war. The fatigue uniform, the work uniform that you wore when you were first drafted, tell me about it.

J.H. Mann: Well, it consisted of a pair of trousers in a blue denim and a jacket that came down, button up jacket. It came down to about oh, above the hips, and sort of a pork pie hat. That was it.

Zarbock: And what about the Class A uniform?

J.H. Mann: The Class A were khakis. Very nice. I don't think that changed a great deal, tell you the truth, far as the Class A.

Zarbock: And what about your winter uniform?

J.H. Mann: Well, we had an overcoat. Yeah. In the summertime we did have khakis, but the Class A for the winter was wool, worsted wool, and an overcoat, which we needed it.

Zarbock: Now, the so called Ike Jacket came in later.

J.H. Mann: Well, that wasn't an overcoat. Hm?

Zarbock: The so called Ike Jacket came in later.

J.H. Mann: Yes.

Zarbock: Yours was a blouse, wasn't it?

J.H. Mann: Yeah. I don't think I ever wore an Ike Jacket.

Zarbock: So how long was basic training?

J.H. Mann: It was probably a couple of weeks, maybe.

Zarbock: And then where were you shipped?

J.H. Mann: I was not shipped. I had been in the reception center. In the reception center they issue your uniform, run you through classification, interview you in depth to see what your past has been so they can decide where you need to go, where they want to ship you. And while I was out there being drilled one day in the hot summertime, a lieutenant called me out from the squad and came over to me and says, "Private Mann", said, "I understand that you play the saxophone." And I said, "Yes, that's true." And he said, I'll never forget what he said. He said, "Do you read by ear?" I said, "Well, no. I read music if that's what you're talking about." He says, "Well, the colonel wants to start a dance band here in the reception center. We'd like for you to stay and join that band. Would you be willing to do that?" And I said, "Well, yeah, that'd be great, you know." In the Army for a year 90 miles from home, and he said, "We'll get you a job, a day job as a clerk or something like that, a day job so you can play in this band." And so that's the way it happened. I stayed in the reception center until December '42 when I left to go to officer candidate school.

Zarbock: Did you apply to officer candidate school or were you selected?

J.H. Mann: No. I had to apply. I applied and since I'd been with the telephone company, I felt it might be a good idea to apply for the signal corps. And you go before a board. They interview you and try to decide if they think you're qualified to go to OCS. And I was really concerned about it, you know, nervous and all that, but I knew I had it made when the board got into a mild disagreement with each other on whether or not you had to be an electrical engineer to go to the signal corps OCS. Make a long story short, I was accepted. In December of '42 I headed out on a train for Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. Got there I think Christmas Eve, and I was in. I was in OCS.

Zarbock: You arrived at your new station on Christmas Eve. Who welcomed you? What did you do?

J.H. Mann: I don't remember that. I was probably so uptight it didn't make a whole lot of difference.

Zarbock: So what was OCS like?

J.H. Mann: Well, it was pretty rough. It was three months of intensive school work, classroom work, in addition to right much marching and drill and close order drill, and things like that. They were trying to find out, you know, if you had the academic ability to be an officer. They were also trying to find out if you had the physical attributes. And I guess they were trying to find out if you had any leadership qualities, because after about a month I was made a platoon lieutenant. I mean, not the rank of lieutenant, but designated lieutenant where I would be able to issue some commands and things like that. But we got up, you know, quite early and took a morning march. This was cool weather, because we were there starting December, and I think the course ran through the middle of March in New Jersey with ice and snow and so forth.

Zarbock: What was the class work like?

J.H. Mann: Well, trying to remember what the classroom was like, but we were studying, among the things that we studied, of course, was one of the things, Army organization. We studied history, military history. It was pretty intense. We used to say in the OCS that anybody could do what they threw at you if you had time, but you never had time.

Zarbock: Well, but you got through OCS and you were commissioned what?

J.H. Mann: A second lieutenant.

Zarbock: In the signal corps.

J.H. Mann: Um hm. Well, I guess about close to 50% of the candidates were wiped out. They didn't make it.

Zarbock: For a variety of reasons. Academic might have been one.

J.H. Mann: Yes.

Zarbock: Physical another.

J.H. Mann: Yeah. That's right. Yeah.

Zarbock: When you were wiped out, what happened? You were reassigned to?

J.H. Mann: Yeah. They were put back in some unit as an enlisted man, but I don't know.

Zarbock: Yeah.

J.H. Mann: Yeah. Yeah.

Zarbock: Well, that must have been a proud moment when you got officially designated as an officer and a gentleman.

J.H. Mann: It really was, because I got to buy me the uniform, the dress grey trousers and the dark Class A jacket, and all that stuff. Yeah. It was a proud moment.

Zarbock: Were you given any leave at that time?

J.H. Mann: I think I was given maybe seven days.

Zarbock: And you went home to?

J.H. Mann: Yeah. My parents lived in Greensboro, and I had a, yeah. Parents were living in Greensboro and I had a younger sister who was still living with my parents.

Zarbock: And this is really middle of the war years.

J.H. Mann: Yeah. In '43 things were going on pretty hot and heavy.

Zarbock: Well, after your leave at home, what were you ordered to do?

J.H. Mann: Well, one of the things that we did, I may have the sequence wrong, but we were entered into a six weeks course called Combat Training, Officer Combat Training, which was six weeks of very physical activities.

Zarbock: And where was this? Where was this?

J.H. Mann: At Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. This included a lot of obstacle courses. It required a lot of physical endurance, a very exacting course. That lasted about six weeks. And then, you know, I kept saying when are they going to send me to Africa? I figured that's where I'd end up. The next thing they did, they sent me to Asbury Park, New Jersey, to take a course in electronics. I think that was about six weeks. Of course, that was a tough course, very tough, and a lot of homework. But I was single and the girls came down from New York on the weekends. Train loads of girls came down from New York to Asbury Park. And it was a beautiful place, and it was, you know, like April or May and good weather, and so that part of it was very good. But it was tough work, very tough. Then, if I've got the sequence right, the next thing I still wondered when they were going to send me to Africa.

Zarbock: Let me interrupt and ask why did you think you were going to go to Africa?

J.H. Mann: Well, that's where we were. Most of the fighting was going on in Africa.

Zarbock: Okay. Okay. The African campaign.

J.H. Mann: We had invaded Africa.

Zarbock: Okay.

J.H. Mann: Yeah. Then they sent me to the Pentagon Building to work in the War Department Signal Center in the Pentagon Building, which was the center, the hub center for all of the War Department communication. High speed teletype machines were the primary medium used for communication. And messages were coming in from all over the world on these teletype machines and being rerouted to the designated location. I'll never forget that one of the teletype machines we had was a teletype beamed to the White House. 'Course you kept a man on that just full time day and night manning that teletype for anything that might happen. That was a very interesting assignment, to say the least. But we still had to get out in the parking lot and drill.

Zarbock: Where did you?

J.H. Mann: And it was hot. I'll tell you it was hot.

Zarbock: Where did you live?

J.H. Mann: I had a private room. You had to get your own. You had to find your own living quarters. It was in Arlington. And I would catch a bus to go to work.

Zarbock: You lived in a private home?

J.H. Mann: Um hm.

Zarbock: Rented a room.

J.H. Mann: Um hm. Yes.

Zarbock: Got on the bus and went to work in the morning.

J.H. Mann: Right. I'll never forget one of the incidents going to work on the bus, we'd gotten off the highway and headed into all the ramps going into the Pentagon, and the bus driver got lost. He finally said, "Well, is anybody on here that can help me do this?" Well, you know, couple of passengers had done this so many times they knew it by heart, so they had to straighten him out and he finally got there.

Zarbock: Are you still a second lieutenant, sir?

J.H. Mann: Yes. Oh, yes. This is like July or August of 1943, and I got out of OCS in March of '43.

Zarbock: So how long was your Pentagon assignment?

J.H. Mann: I don't think it was over a couple of months. Then the next place I went to was a place outside of Culpepper, Virginia, called.

Zarbock: Vint Hill Farms.

J.H. Mann: Right. How did you know that?

Zarbock: I'd been stationed there.

J.H. Mann: Oh, you were?

Zarbock: Yes.

J.H. Mann: Okay. So you know what goes on there, then.

Zarbock: Well, when I was there it was an intercept station.

J.H. Mann: Oh.

Zarbock: For telecommunications. Now, when I was there it was 1947.

J.H. Mann: Oh.

Zarbock: And we were monitoring telecommunications from the various embassies in Washington, D.C., both outgoing and incoming traffic.

J.H. Mann: Well, when I went there, of course, it was a cryptographic training center.

Zarbock: Yes.

J.H. Mann: I stayed there maybe, I don't know, maybe two or three weeks.

Zarbock: That was not luxury living, was it?

J.H. Mann: No, it was not. It was not luxury living, but it was comfortable.

Zarbock: Did you live on base?

J.H. Mann: We lived on base, yeah.

Zarbock: Okay. For the record, Vint Hill Farm Station was located near a town called Warrenton, Virginia, and its original mission was to be a secret hiding place for the president, the vice president, the members of the Supreme Court, and certain dignitaries from the Senate and the Congress when or if Germans bombed Washington, D.C. Later it was discovered the obvious that the Germans only had one four engine aircraft, and it was a seaplane. The probability of leaving Germany, coming to Washington, D.C., bombing Washington, D.C., and returning to Germany was zero. It didn't have enough fuel capacity to do that. But it was a very, very secretive place. And what was it like when you were there?

J.H. Mann: I don't remember. It was alright. We were kept busy, but we weren't there very long. I'd say two or three weeks.

Zarbock: Were you in class?

J.H. Mann: Yeah, in class.

Zarbock: And the class work had to do with cryptography.

J.H. Mann: Right, yes, absolutely. Yep.

Zarbock: So you worked in the barn?

J.H. Mann: I don't remember the barn necessarily. The main thing that I can remember was it was just class work, mostly class work, working with different machines and different devices that had to do with cryptography, because cryptography primarily is just a matter of transposition, transposing the clear text into a jumbled up mess.

Zarbock: Which you would hope could be unjumbled at the other end.

J.H. Mann: Yeah. That's right, if you had the key. The key was somewhere in the message. The message had the key in there.

Zarbock: Well, what happened to you after Vint Hill Farm Station?

J.H. Mann: Then I was shipped to London. I was shipped to London with the idea of setting up a headquarters for the 6813 Signal Detachment, which consisted of about 15 officers and 45 or 50 enlisted men. And this place was at a little town called Little Brick Hill, Buckinghamshire, which was eight or ten miles from Bletchley Park.

Zarbock: Bletchley Park. That's the name I was trying to remember.

J.H. Mann: Yep. And so we were to set up the living quarters for our men who were going to be transported daily into Bletchley Park to work. And this was a manor house. I guess it was where the lord of the manor lived years ago. It consisted of numerous rooms, and my job was to go out there and get it started, get it opened up. And initially I took, I think, two men with me. We went out there and sort of got it started, tried to get it organized so that the rest of the cadre could join.

Zarbock: What problems were you faced with in those early days? There you are. You're still a second lieutenant.

J.H. Mann: Um hm.

Zarbock: And you've got two enlisted men with you. And you're going to go and establish a site for the Signal Detachment. Well, how did you do it?

J.H. Mann: Well, we took some C-rations with us, because there was no place to cook anything at that point. And we took some C-rations with us, and we subsisted on that for two or three days. One interesting thing happened. We decided we wanted to heat up some pork and beans. We had a fireplace. All three of us, all of us, I think, were sleeping in one room, and decided to put these pork and beans in the fireplace to heat them. Of course, that turned out to be a mistake. They exploded and we had pork and beans dripping from the walls all over the place.

Zarbock: What was the building you were in?

J.H. Mann: The manor house. We were in the manor house.

Zarbock: Oh, you were.

J.H. Mann: We were in the manor house. Yes. That's right. Yeah. We were in.

Zarbock: Now, the other personnel there were British, weren't they?

J.H. Mann: At Bletchley Park.

Zarbock: Yes.

J.H. Mann: Yes. I think the majority of them were British. 'Course there were a lot, I think, they were from other countries, too. But it was primarily British. It was a British operation from the word go.

Zarbock: And their mission at that manor house was to do what?

J.H. Mann: To decode intercepted messages from Germany and translate them. We had I don't know how many, two or three what we call radio intercept stations near the coast. We had radio operators that intercepted these messages. Then they fed them to Bletchley Park, where they were hopefully decoded, deciphered and translated. Some of the men that we had in our unit were translators, German translators.

Zarbock: Security must have been. Let me recast that question. What was security like?

J.H. Mann: Security at the manor house where we lived was not a problem at all, because there was nothing there that could be compromised. We were even on the mail. We sent out a letter home. We could put our address, 6813 Signal Detachment, where it was. But where the security was, of course, was Bletchley Park.

Zarbock: What was the nature of the security?

J.H. Mann: At Bletchley Park?

Zarbock: Yes.

J.H. Mann: Well, the only part that I am familiar with is that, you know, you had to be cleared and double cleared to get into the Park. I never got into the Park myself because I had no need to. It wasn't my job. I was strictly an administrative officer running the manor house camp, I guess you would say. We had vehicle and mess sergeants and cooks and supply sergeants and things like that.

Zarbock: Was there a fence around the manor house?

J.H. Mann: Oh, no. It was wide open. And we intermingled with vintage people. We were there two years.

Zarbock: And this is supposed to be a super secret place.

J.H. Mann: Bletchley Park.

Zarbock: Yes.

J.H. Mann: But not the manor house. Manor house was just a place to live.

Zarbock: Ah.

J.H. Mann: And, you know, there were 5,000 people at Bletchley Park, and a lot of them, most of them females. And the females were billeted in manor houses or estates all around in the 10 or 15 mile radius of Bletchley Park, a lot of females, WRENS maybe, Army. They had to keep those girls happy so they had a lot of dances, a lot of parties. And of course, we got invited to all that. And I was single, so it's a pretty good duty, pretty good duty. Yeah. We intermingled with the little village called Little Brick Hill right much. In fact, we put on two or three big parties where we invited all the people in the village to come, and we fed them and had some beer and we formed a little band while I was there. We formed a band, dance band, small one. And we did that two or three times probably.

Zarbock: Were there ever any incidents of bad behavior?

J.H. Mann: No. There was not. I was reading through some of the reports the other day, and in the Army, of course, running a unit where you had a lot of people, one of the things, one of the criteria is not to have any venereal disease. And we never did, and so that made us, that was a real accomplishment supposedly. But the enlisted men and the officers that went to Bletchley Park to do their duty were all, you know, very above average people. Some of them were college professors. It was a very high type of people. Incidentally, off to the side, my wife and I went to England many, many years ago and visited Little Brick Hill to see where I had been, which was a very interesting thing to do.

Zarbock: How changed that had become over these years. Had the village changed?

J.H. Mann: Yeah. Right. The manor house was no longer there. I guess they tore it down, but the place that I think they called the stables, a pretty big place, had been converted to condos. And we drove in there and there was two or three people sitting out in chairs outside their condo, and I told them why we were there. Boy, they were overjoyed. They just thought that was wonderful. Said, "Well, we got to have some Scotch." So we said, "Okay." And then we went up to somebody else's house. I guess we spent two hours there with those people. It was wonderful.

Zarbock: Hm. Well, did you spend your overseas military career there or did you end up on the mainland or Europe?

J.H. Mann: Well, we stayed there, and I stayed there until the war ended. And, of course, the day the war ended, there was nothing for the cryptographers to do, you know. So we started reducing the force and getting rid of people. One of the interesting things that happened after the war was over, we had some pretty high priority electronic equipment, teletypes and signal equipment that we wanted to move from Bletchley Park to England and over to Germany. And the commanding officer asked me to oversee the movement of that shipment of equipment, and accompany it and go with it across the Channel to Rouen. We were supposed to land at Rouen, and then up the river to Paris, just to sort of shepherd that equipment to see that it go there. It was a very interesting experience. I was on a little, small coastal steamer, a coastal steamer with a crew of about 10 people, and I was the only passenger on it. And we ran into a storm after we got across, which meant we had to stay out for an extra day for it to calm down so we could get the river pilot on board, but ended up in Paris and got rid of the equipment. When we got to Rouen, all the equipment was put on a convoy, a truck convoy called the Red Ball Express. And that was a harrowing experience. On these little narrow roads they were going 60 miles an hour. And I was riding in a Jeep with the convoy commander. But after I got rid of the equipment, then I hung around Paris for two or three days and caught a plane back to Little Brick Hill. And that was that. But that was about the end of my experience at Little Brick Hill. And then the next move was, well, they sent me back to Paris and I thought that's where I was going to be stationed, but I was there. They put me up. Found me a place to live. And I thought that's where I was going to spend the rest of my career, but got me a room in a private home, and boy, after about 10 days they said, "Well, you're going to Germany." So then they shipped me to Russelsheim, Germany.

Zarbock: Where is that located?

J.H. Mann: Not far from Wiesbaden.

Zarbock: Now, this is 1945 probably.

J.H. Mann: Yes, probably '45, yeah.

Zarbock: And are you a first lieutenant by now?

J.H. Mann: Yeah.

Zarbock: Okay. And what was your duty assignment?

J.H. Mann: In Germany I was an executive officer for the unit. We had much bigger unit there, and our officers were in a school building, big, big school building. And the officers stayed in a small hotel. That's where we stayed, very, very nice quarters. Good food. And there we formed another dance band over there, too, because I think in cryptography you find a lot of the cryptographers were musical.

Zarbock: But you were sort of the Pied Piper of dance bands. Wherever you went you sort of, maybe a Johnny Appleseed more than the Pied Piper. I mean, you made a deposit.

J.H. Mann: I always had a job to do. That was just extra.

Zarbock: Well, when you were in Germany, what was the responsibility of your organization? The war is over.

J.H. Mann: I think they were listening to Russia.

Zarbock: Yeah.

J.H. Mann: Yeah. I believe that's what. Many of the people from Bletchley, who worked in Bletchley, were in this new German unit, but not all of them by any means.

Zarbock: Were they all civilians, or were they all military, or what's the mixture?

J.H. Mann: Military.

Zarbock: Everyone was military?

J.H. Mann: Yeah. Everyone was military in this German unit for sure.

Zarbock: And were you brought back from Germany for discharge out of this outfit?

J.H. Mann: Yes. That was my last assignment, and I had come up for leave. It was my chance to have a leave, and I had planned to go to Switzerland on leave. But then before that came up, I was offered the opportunity to come home, and that's the one I opted for.

Zarbock: And when was that? Do you remember the date?

J.H. Mann: I think it was late November or early December, because I got home in December to Greensboro.

Zarbock: Of what year?

J.H. Mann: 1945. Yeah, 1945. Yeah.

Zarbock: So you had been a great distance and saw many things.

J.H. Mann: I really had. I had a real variety of experiences.

Zarbock: Have you maintained any friends and associates from those days, or have you all scattered to the wind?

J.H. Mann: Couple of years after I went back with Southern Bell, I was transferred to Asheville, and one of the officers from the Little Brick Hill 6813 Signal was in the area, and I saw right much of him, and we palled around some.

Zarbock: And where was that, sir?

J.H. Mann: Asheville, North Carolina.

Zarbock: Asheville.

J.H. Mann: Yeah. And that's the only one. But there was sort of a group. So many of the guys ended up after the war, so many of those cryptographers ended up in Washington, or either Arlington, Virginia, at...

Zarbock: Arlington Hall.

J.H. Mann: Arlington Hall. But they formed a group and put out a newsletter for awhile, but I did not keep up with that. It was all in all a very interesting assignment, and I never did get shot at. In fact, I thought it was interesting that at one point they put on the personnel records, on the personnel records of all these people that worked at the 6813, this person is not to be exposed to the enemy.

Zarbock: Well, you were a super secret group.

J.H. Mann: It was.

Zarbock: Would you do it again?

J.H. Mann: Would I do it again?

Zarbock: Yeah.

J.H. Mann: Yes. I'd do it again. Well, the Bletchley operation was an interesting operation. They had a wide variety of people, and a lot of the people in Bletchley had a lot of talent, musicians, actors. And they put on, Bletchley Park put on several plays, excellent plays. And, of course, they had a lot of dances, and we were invited to all of that.

Zarbock: Bletchley Park, is a building. Is that correct?

J.H. Mann: Well, it's a park. It was in a place, in the town of Bletchley. Bletchley Park is where all the cryptographic translation work happened inside that park. Yeah.

Zarbock: But in the Park was a building, correct?

J.H. Mann: Oh, yes.

Zarbock: And you could walk up and peek through the window?

J.H. Mann: No, no. Could not get near it.

Zarbock: There was a wall around it.

J.H. Mann: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. Our commanding officer of this unit was called Major Bill Bundy, B U N D Y, one of the high type, educated man, just a real fine person. His brother was George Bundy, who was, I think, later on, was a bit. But Bill Bundy was a terrific man. It was really a privilege to serve under him.

Zarbock: And he was your commanding?

J.H. Mann: He was the commanding officer of this 85-man unit. Yeah.

Zarbock: What an interesting life.

J.H. Mann: It was.

Zarbock: Did you have any feeling about the importance of this group of people that were doing cryptographic work? Did you know it was cryptographic work?

J.H. Mann: Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Yeah. I knew that.

Zarbock: What was your sense of the importance of that activity?

J.H. Mann: I had a great sense of its importance, and I felt privileged to be associated with these guys. They were all high type people. Yeah. I really did.

Zarbock: Well.

J.H. Mann: Give you an idea about Major Bundy, our men in this unit had to go to Bletchley Park from the manor house, and so we would truck them, send them up there in these eight by ten trucks and pick them up after the shift was over. But Bundy, I remember one time, he had to stay late. We had picked up everybody and brought them back maybe midnight whenever it was, the 8:00 to 12:00 shift. And he did not come with the truck because he had to stay late. Anybody else would have called us and said, "Send the Jeep to come get me" when he got ready to come home. He didn't. He walked. It was about seven miles.

Zarbock: Wow.

J.H. Mann: Yeah. I had a lot of respect for him.

Zarbock: Yeah. Do you remember any other incidents like that, human vignettes.

J.H. Mann: Well, I asked you earlier if you were familiar with this two-hour tape called "Code Breakers."

Zarbock: Yes.

J.H. Mann: And as I recall on that tape among the other things that they discussed was the fact that we broke the enigma code of the German code breaking machine. Fellow in our unit did that, Art Levinson. I was looking at the- we have a group picture. I have some group pictures of our unit, and I never had noticed this until the other day when I was looking at it. This Art Levinson was a character. And here we all, we're all dressed up in our uniforms and ties and everything else, spic and span. And this Art Levinson had this bushy hair. He was the only one didn't have on his hat.

Zarbock: An individual to the last.

J.H. Mann: Yeah. That's right. Yeah.

Zarbock: Well, really it's been a privilege to meet you. Do you have anything else that you would like to add before we conclude?

J.H. Mann: Oh, I don't think so. I think we've pretty well covered it. I think we have. I appreciate your doing this.

Zarbock: Then I have reserved one last question for you. Glancing over your shoulder in your life, does anybody ever win a war?

J.H. Mann: No, absolutely not. No way. No way anybody to win a war.

Zarbock: Everybody loses?

J.H. Mann: You have somebody that is designated as a winner, but they have also lost so much being a winner.

Zarbock: Thank you very much, sir.

J.H. Mann: Thank you.

UNCW Archives and Special Collections Online Database
Found in:
Randall Library | UNCW Archives and Special Collections | Online Database | Contact Us | Admin Login
Powered by Archon Version 3.21 rev-1
Copyright ©2012 The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign