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Interview with Marvin Haywood

Haywood, Marvin
Lineberry, Kim
Date of Interview: 
Overcoming Obstacles; Relationships with People and Places; Stories and Storytellers
Marvin Haywood talks about farming and his stint during WWII.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Kim Lineberry interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
KL (Kim Lineberry): Why don't you start, um-.
MH (Marvin Haywood): I tell you. Let me tell you something, I tell what I, what I was doing and then I went into service, and when I went into service, and before I went into service and how many battles, and then tell what I done when I come out of service.
KL: All right.
MH: I'll try that.
MH: You want me to start.
KL: Yeah, you can go. You don't have to hold it if you don't want to.
MH: Where's the, where's the hole at?
KL: Right there. You don't have to talk into it. It'll, it will pick up.
MH: Ok, I was drafted in the Army and I got in to the Army, I went trough basic training at Fort Willard, Georgia and went from there, I went overseas to the Philippines, when, had a battle started there, went to New Guinea, had a battle started, went to Okinawa. When I got to Okinawa, a while, they dropped that atomic bomb, the war ended. When the war ended, they pulled our company back out and went to Tokyo and we was there two days ?fore MacArthurcame in, after MacArthur come in, we honor guard on down to the ship where we stand honor guard. Then I stood honor guard then I went back to northern part of Japan, I stayed over there a while, then I got to come home, I got discharged. Then I got discharged, then I we-, I went to farm a little bit. I farmed for about two years, met my wife, got married and we ended up with two girls and two boys. And then I, there, then went to the Boken Mills, I worked, worked there for 18 year. Then got through there and went to Hill Oil Company, after I got through with Hill Oil Company, I, well, I retired there. Then I got, I farming now, got a few cows, and hogs, and calves, and chickens, and now I'm just taking it easy.
KL: What kinds of things do you like grow?
MH: What?
KL: What kinds of things do you grow?
MH: What kinds of things I grow?
KL: Yeah, like on the farm, like all the kind of vegetables and stuff that's out in the field.
MH: Oh I, I took farm, I rose cantaloupes, and watermelons, and okra, and beans. And I pettled on okra a whole lot, that's my best seller. It sells a whole lot better than anything else. And I enjoy feeding my cows, and feeding them and watering them.
KL: Tell them, um, what do we do with our cows?
MH: Have to do with the calves.
KL: Yeah, you should, what do we do with our meat?
MH: We have to keep them watered and have a lot of hay to make for them. And I just enjoy watching them grow.
KL: How do we get our meat?
MH: Uh-.
KL: What do we do to the cows, and the pigs?
MH: I put the cows, I get, take about three of them to the market every year and go up to Wilkesboro where I sell them. And the hogs, I butcher them about November and I make ham, and shoulders, and middlins. How'd I do on that?
KL: That was fine. Um, I have, I want, I have questions that I want to ask you, though, like as far as the war. What do you remember, about it? Oh, you don't have to worry about it.
MH: I, ah, I was in the 11th Airborne, that's were I, were I went through, all through the-, through there, but I never made a combat jump, we just-.
KL: How young were you?
MH: What?
KL: How young were you when you started?
MH: I was 18, when I first went in.
KL: How was boot camp?
MH: It was rough [laugh].
KL: Do you think it's rougher now?
MH: Yeah
KL: As far as boot camp and training and everything, do you think it's rougher now?
MH: It's about the same thing
KL: You think?
MH: Yeah, I suppose it was pretty rougher back then, it, boot camp, you got through it you had it made [laugh].
KL: [Laugh] Did you want to go?
MH: No I didn't want to go. I was drafted.
KL: Oh, I didn't know that.
MH: Yeah, yeah I was drafted [laugh].
KL: Were your friends, were your friends drafted too?
MH: Yeah, all my friends were, they were drafted. Wasn't any boy 18 years old left around here. They all had to go. They took us all.
KL: Really? Were y'all like all in the same infantry and that?
MH: No, some went into the Navy, some went into the Army, and some went in the Paratroopers. I was in the Paratroopers.
KL: Did you get to pick, what you wanted?
MH: Nah, I was drafted for, I volunteered for the draft, Paratroopers.
KL: What do you do when you're a Paratrooper? [Pause] What do you do when you are a Paratrooper?
MH: Oh, you jump out of a airplane.
KL: How do you practice for it?
MH: You jump in Georgia, they have a training field down there. You got six weeks of training to go through, and this and you got so many jumps out of the airplane before you, before you qualified.
KL: Were you sacred?
MH: I was scared to death [laugh]. I'd a, I was, when you go to jump, you line up and hook up, and the one in front of you pushes you out, and the one behind push you out. You don't, you don't jump on your own [laugh].
KL: Well, what about the last person? Who pushes them?
MH: The yellow, they, they usually have someone in the airplane that pushes that sees that everybody gets out. And he gets the last one off too.
KL: When you, when you went over to the war, is that how you got over there? You flew and then you jumped out of the plane?
MH: Yeah, I didn't jump over there, we went, we went all through ground, all through, didn't have to jump, wasn't no, we were going to jump in New Guinea up there then, I was in air weapons, and we push the air weapons out the plane, and went into rice patties, buried, couldn't even get them out. So we just come around and come back, I moved, I went on into Okinawa then.
KL: How was y'all's camp? Did you all have to set them up?
MH: Yeah.
KL: Like in tents, did you sleep in tents?
MH: Yeah, I slept on the ground.
KL: How big, how big were the tents?
MH: I slept on the ground, I didn't know what a tent was. We had tents, but they didn't, we didn't, we couldn't carry tents because we was, we was fighting then, it was combat then, hand-to-hand fighting.
KL: Did you, you experienced that didn't you?
MH: When I was going through the banilar there, it was, it was bad, I seen boys, just drop, just one after another, the Japs. You see, MacArthur, they run him out of the Philippines, and he's, that's the big general, he said, "I shall return." And when he went back I was with him when he went back, there was 18 ships of us, when we went back.
KL: Oh, wow, I didn't even know that.
MH: You got that thing on yet?