Interview with Robert F. Houlihan, March 23, 1990

Project: American Veterans: World War Two Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

Robert Houlihan talks about his participation in Junior ROTC in high school and both basic and advanced ROTC while attending the University of Kentucky. He talks about deferring his military service in order to finish law school. He talks about the public opinion of ROTC and military service at the time. Houlihan talks about public reaction as well as his own to the news they were hearing about World War II. He talks about incidents like the invasion of Poland and the Battle of Britain. He talks about American's opinions on the U.S. joining the war and which enemy was most dangerous. Houlihan talks about where he was when he heard the news of the attack on Pearl Harbor. He talks about his reaction to knowing he would soon receive his orders.

Houlihan talks about being sent to Fort Benning for training on weapons, tactics, and other skills. He discusses the difficulty of the training and how it prepared him. Houlihan talks about receiving his first assignment, to the Infantry Replacement Training Center at Camp Croft. He talks about his duties there training recruits. He talks about his connection with the Colonel there through the ROTC at UK. Houlihan talks about how he came to be assigned to the 26th Infantry Division at Fort Adams. He talks about their primary assignment as a coastal patrol. He talks about using his leave time to visit a friend at Harvard. Houlihan talks about his disappointment at being assigned to a coastal patrol division. He talks about his reception into the "Yankee Division" as a Kentuckian.

Houlihan talks about his high school education in classical Greek which led to his assignment to a special Greek battalion. He talks about his initial reaction to this assignment, and how this incident altered the course of his life. Houlihan talks about training with the Greek battalion under Major Peter D. Clainos. He talks about their predictions regarding their future duties based on what was happening in the war at the time, and the intensive training they did in preparation. Houlihan describes the purpose of the O.S.S. (Office of Strategic Services) and their recruiting teams. He talks about the Greek battalion's recruitment for an operational group unit to be sent into enemy occupied territory in Europe. He talks about why he chose to volunteer for this assignment. Houlihan discusses the O.S.S.'s reputation within the regular army.

[This is the first in a series of interviews with Robert Houlihan regarding his military service. To hear the rest of his story please see interviews 1990oh100_ww147 and 1990oh101_ww148.]

Interview Accession

1990oh035_ww143

Interviewee Name

Robert F. Houlihan

Interviewer Name

William J. Marshall

Interview Date

1990-03-23

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Interview Usage

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Houlihan, Robert F. Interview by William J. Marshall. 23 Mar. 1990. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Houlihan, R.F. (1990, March 23). Interview by W. J. Marshall. American Veterans: World War Two Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Houlihan, Robert F., interview by William J. Marshall. March 23, 1990, American Veterans: World War Two Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt7bvq2s7b31