Interview With Dominic J. Caruso

From the interview with Dominic J. Caruso of Toccoa, GA conducted by Wendy Los by telephone from the Fort Worden History Center on June 15, 2004.  Mr. Caruso served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1952 as a radio operator.  He died in September 2005. Here he describes some events that occurred during World War II when he served in the Pacific Theater:

“In the Philippines we were stationed next to an ammunition depot and a Japanese airplane dropped a bomb there.  We lost four men that time.  We landed in Okinawa April 1st 1945.  We could stand on the beach and watch the Kamikaze planes hit the ship.  There were quite a few of those, quite a lot going on.  They were more interested in sinking the ships than they were with people on the beach.”

Describing his experience  in the Korean War:

“We started out in Pusan.  We went up to the north.  That’s when the North Koreans had pushed us back and back and back and back.  They were almost to Pusan where we started out.  Then we went up to Uijeonbu and numerous small villages, until we crossed the 38th parallel into North Korea and then we went into Pyonyang, then  to a town right up on the Yalu river where we could sit and during the day watch the Chinese across the river play volleyball.”

When asked about the Bronze Star he earned while serving in Korea:

“We were on a jeep and the jeep was hit by a landmine and I carried my buddies off into safety.  There were four of us in the jeep.  My buddy was injured but he wasn’t killed.”

About USO entertainment:

“I saw Bob Hope once in Hawaii, and I saw Grandpa Jones, he was a hillbilly country western singer. I saw him in World War II and I saw him in the Korean War.  (Louis Marshall Jones, 1913-1998)   Bob Hope had a bunch of entertainers, I saw all those people. Saw Mr. Hope in Korea also.  He came to Pyonyang, which was the North Korean capital, to entertain the troops that were occupying Pyonyang at that time.  We were on our way further north, we had stopped there for whatever reason the brass had and we stayed there about three weeks.  It was during those three weeks that Mr. Hope came and entertained.”

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