Interview with Robert F. Houlihan, May 21, 1990

Project: American Veterans: World War Two Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

[This is the third in a series of interviews with Robert Houlihan regarding his military service. To hear the beginning of his story please see interviews 1990oh035_ww143 and 1990oh100_ww147.]

Houlihan discusses his battalion being an Operational Group after joining the O.S.S. He talks about the specialized training they underwent once they joined up with the British commandos, and admits that his group was less experienced than the British. Houlihan talks about his battalion's predictions that they would be sent into Greece due to their majority Greek ethnic background. He talks about how those plans were changed when Colonel West decided to send them to Yugoslavia. Houlihan talks about how the American soldiers were perceived by the British commandos already stationed on Vis when they arrived. He talks about how the British soldiers were impressed by the Americans' equipment and tells a story about the capabilities of their radios. Houlihan tells a story about arriving into the harbor on Vis and being shot at by a sentry, but then being welcomed by a band. He talks about working with some of the British commandos stationed on Vis, including a raid on Solta. Houlihan discusses his impressions of the local Yugoslav Partisans and tells a story he heard about them negotiating weapons away from the Italian army. Houlihan talks about the Yugoslav Partisans' political beliefs, focusing on communism. He tells a story about being on Vis on May Day when the locals began shooting guns in the air in celebration. Houlihan talks about meeting Lieutenant Commander Morgan Giles. He talks about a reconnaissance mission he was sent on with both British commandos and local Yugoslav Partisans to Biokovo Mountain to demolish a railroad bridge. He talks about why his first three attempts failed. Houlihan talks more about the reconnaissance mission he was sent on with both British commandos and local Yugoslav Partisans to Biokovo Mountain to demolish a railroad bridge. He talks about the local female porters who assisted their group. He talks about his fourth attempt and discusses why the local Partisans did not want the Americans and British to succeed in their mission.

Interview Accession

1990oh101_ww148

Interviewee Name

Robert F. Houlihan

Interviewer Name

William J. Marshall

Interview Date

1990-05-21

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.

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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. 21 May. 1990. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Houlihan, R.F. (1990, May 21). 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. May 21, 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/xt7n2z12rb90