Interview With Clinton M. Hanks

From the interview with Clinton M. Hanks of St. Pete Beach, FL conducted by phone from the Fort Worden History Center on December 16, 2003 by Rick Martinez.  Colonel Hanks served in the US Army from 1943 to 1976, he was a veteran of World War II, Korea, and Viet Nam.  He was stationed at Fort Worden from 1946 to 1948 with the Second Engineers Special Brigade, later the 567th Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment.                Here he describes an incident that occurred while living at the Fort:

“We (he and his wife were married in the Fort Worden Chapel) lived in the old billets that were built around  1917.  They were so old they still had the electric wiring on the outside of the walls.  Anytime there was a fire on the base, the siren would sound off.  One day it sounded off, I said ‘Oh, boy, somebody has a fire,’ and the phone rang—it was the house I was living in.  The house had tall ceilings and one Sunday morning, I went into the kitchen and flipped the switch.  It was one of those turn things.  When I did, the wires started to catch on fire so I turned them off quick.  The engineers came and cut the wires and left them dangling.  They didn’t tape them or anything, and apparently I’d left the windows open in the kitchen.  The wind was blowing and the wires blew together and hardened, set the house on fire. When they redid it, they gave us black linoleum to put back in the kitchen.  Every time you walked across it, you left tracks.”

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