Kent Yrchik-Shoemaker, Assistant Dean of the College. Oral history interview for the Dartmouth Vietnam Project. Yrchik-Shoemaker describes his experience growing up in Minnesota, Washington D.C., and London, England. He discusses his experience attending Michigan State University as an undergraduate student and participating in the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). He describes racial tensions on campus and why he chose to participate in the ROTC. Yrchik-Shoemaker describes his internal conflict with not believing in the Vietnam War and his sense of duty to serve his country. He shares why his friends called him the “ROTC Hippie” and his involvement with anti-war protests. Yrchik-Shoemaker discusses race relations in the military, his feelings of paranoia, and decision to leave flight training school through a process called self-initiated elimination. He explains why and how he had a mental health note in his military file. He describes his transfer to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California where he was trained as a satellite operations controller and his job as crew chief. Yrchik-Shoemaker discusses how he stayed an extra two years in the service and attended classes for counseling. He describes how the Vietnam War was coming to a close and how it impacted his time in the Air Force. He shares his growing mistrust of the military the longer he worked for them. Yrchik-Shoemaker discusses his role as an Assistant Dean at Dartmouth and his involvement with the undergraduate veterans and the challenges returning to school presented for them. He shares his feelings on the current challenges veterans face when they were active military.
Gary M. Rubus. Class of 1967. Oral history interview with the Dartmouth Vietnam Project. Rubus describes his childhood and family connections to the military. He describes spending his summers in high school working on a farm in Nebraska. Rubus describes joining the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, participating in the Psi Upsilon fraternity, playing lacrosse, and studying Russian language and literature while a student at Dartmouth. Rubus discusses his pilot training at Webb Air Force Base in Big Spring, Texas and his F-4 qualification program at George Air Force Base in Victorville, California. Rubus discusses his desire to become to best fighter pilot he possibly could during his time in training and during the Vietnam War. He describes his arrival to Thailand at the Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base in February of 1969. He shares how his first tour was focused on attacking ground targets in Laos, southern North Vietnam, and occasionally South Vietnam and Cambodia. Rubus describes the psychological difference between a ground combat fighter versus an aerial combat fighter. He shares that the closest he got to hand to hand combat was when he was the last U.S. Air Force pilot to have an aerial fighter-on-fighter victory of with a cannon. Rubus describes a time when he was shot down on a combat mission. He describes returning to Dartmouth while on rest and recovery and feeling very unwelcome. He details what it was like to attend the Fighter Weapons Instructor Course and his experience becoming a flight instructor. He describes being deployed to Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base. He shares his experience during the Vietnam War as being highly focused on the work rather than why or how the country was involved in the war. He explains how this focus had an impact on his personal life, and began questioning his involvement in the Air Force. Rubus describes how he ended up working as the Air Force attaché for four years at the Embassy of the United States, Moscow. He shares his role in establishing relations between the US Air Force and the Russian Air Force. Rubus discusses his retirement from the Air Force in 1998 and his work with Lockheed Martin.
James M. Rini. Class of 1964 and Geisel School of Medicine Class of 1966. Oral history interview for the Dartmouth Vietnam Project. Rini describes his experience as a student at Dartmouth. He describes himself as very focused on academics and was called a “dirty booker.” Rini describes participating in crew, the Newman Club, and the ROTC [Reserve Officers’ Training Corps] Mountain Winter Warfare Unit. Rini discusses his transition as a Dartmouth undergrad to the medical school. Rini shares that he graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1968, completed his residency at Cornell University Medical Center in New York City, and his internship was at the University of Minnesota. He discusses his transition to the Air Force in 1972 after he completed his medical training. He describes being sent to Langley Air Force Base and then to Udorn Royal Air Force Base in Thailand. Rini describes his time in Thailand as being boring with little to do. He describes a few medical emergencies he managed while in Thailand. Rini describes his return to Andrews Air Force base. Rini discusses in detail a few incidents that occurred with another officer stationed in Thailand with him named Ferguson. He discusses his experience traveling to Vietnam years later with fellow classmates from the Class of 1964.
C. James Martel, resident of the Upper Valley. Oral history interview documenting his military service during the Vietnam War. Martel discusses his early life and his undergraduate education at the University of Detroit, where he was a member of the class of 1965, studied aeronautical engineering, and joined the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). Martel recounts his military experience, including pilot training at Moody Air Force Base, service at Castle Air Force Base in California, service in the 337th Bombardment Squadron and 96th Strategic Aerospace Wing, and missions flown to Vietnam between 1968 and 1971. Martel describes his graduate studies in environmental engineering at the University of Massachusetts, his work for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and at the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL), and his doctoral studies at Colorado State University.
Hindman, Ward Interview Abstract
1. Early Childhood
2. Time at Dartmouth and Air Force ROTC
3. Post-Grad Air Force Training
4. Service in Vietnam
5. Post-War Military Life
6. Civilian Career and Retirement
Robert M. Cox Jr. Class of 1965. Oral history interview for the Dartmouth Vietnam Project. Cox discusses growing up in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. He describes how he discovered and decided to attend Dartmouth College. While a student at Dartmouth, Cox participated in Rugby and the Freshman Rowing team, joined Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and learned to fly. He joined the Navy Reserves prior to attending graduate school at Kent State. After one year of graduate school Cox joined the Air Force and began his training at Lackland Airforce Base in Texas where he became a Lieutenant. He was sent to power plant school at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Cox describes his time on assignment at the Yokota Air Base in Japan. He was the social chairmen for the squadron and was head of maintenance for the aircrafts. Cox was promoted to a captain and spent three years in Japan. When Cox returned home from Japan he worked for his father in his retail stores. Cox describes his experience working with his father and later his career in the fashion and shopping center development industry.