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McCauslin, Kelly (Interviewer)

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Ramsey, Laurin

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Bob Hartman was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1919. He graduated high school in 1937 and joined the Michigan Army National Guard in 1938, assigned to the 126th Infantry Regiment, Service Company. His company’s task was to transport troops and provide them with ammunition, food, and clothing. He began as a truck driver and later became a Supply Sergeant. His regiment went on maneuvers that lasted up to two months, traveling to places such as Texas, Louisiana, and Alabama. When Pearl Harbor was bombed, Hartman was in Jackson, Mississippi to see a football game and was ordered to go back to camp immediately. He was then shipped to Fort Devens, Massachusetts for about a month before taking a train back to Frisco, Texas. After that, he was shipped to Angel Island and boarded the Lurline to head for Australia. He landed in Adelaide and then took a train to Brisbane. Later, he flew to Port Moresby where he marched across the Owen Stanley Mountains and saw jungle combat as a platoon sergeant. Hartman suffered from malaria during battle, and the sickness continued to recur every month for about five years. Hartman later was flown to Papua New Guinea. He made a beach landing in Saidor, where he experienced a few skirmishes before arriving at Aitape a month or two later. At Aitape, he was shot in the stomach presumably by a sniper. He was hospitalized on base before being shipped back to Australia and eventually the United States, where he spent time at several hospitals in San Antonio, Illinois, and finally back home in Battle Creek, Michigan.

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Veterans History Project collection, (RHC-27)

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