Interview with William Breckinridge, May 15, 1991
Project: American Veterans: World War Two Oral History Project
Interview SummaryL.D. Breckinridge (father) and family's military background; father's participation in Spanish-American War in Puerto Rico and Philippines; General Henry W. Lawton's death in Philippines; United States Army 10th Infantry Regiment; living in Panama during construction of Panama Canal; father's death due to tuberculosis; educational background, Ridgefield (Connecticut) Private School (1918-1922); attending University of Virginia (1923) and studying French; attending Cavanaugh School in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky in preparation for West Point; attending West Point, Class of 1928 (1924-1928); learning fencing at West Point; classmates at West Point; three months' graduation leave in France; assignment to Fort Benning and 29th Infantry Regiment; selection of Garand rifle (M-1) for U.S. Army; developing the "column of threes" triangular division concept of World War Two; duty in Panama with the 14th Infantry Regiment; serving under General Preston Brown; jungle training in Panama; use of mules in the Army; duty as boarding officer at Fort Amador, Panama; "Beer and Burp Club"; problems with tropical skin diseases; assignment to Paris, France in 1934; teaching French at West Point (1935-1938); reassignment to 10th Infantry Regiment in 1938; horse-trading with the regimental executive officer; Louisiana Maneuvers in 1940; re-assignment to Panama in 1940; General Benjamin Lear; Task Force Indigo and duty in Iceland with the 10th Infantry Regiment; purchasing liquor for the trip to Iceland; awareness of the war in Europe and the United States' eventual involvment; impact of blitzkrieg warfare; George C. Marshall's attempts to reform Army before World War Two; lack of knowledge of and training with tanks; encounter with German U-boat; temporary duty as dock executive in Reykjavik, Iceland; landscape and climate in Iceland; hot springs at Alafoss, Iceland; duty at Hvalfjordur, Iceland; relationship with Icelanders; General Charles Bonesteel; Nazi sympathizers among Icelanders.
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Interview UsageInterviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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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Breckinridge, William Interview by William J. Marshall. 15 May. 1991. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Breckinridge, W. (1991, May 15). 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.
Breckinridge, William, interview by William J. Marshall. May 15, 1991, American Veterans: World War Two Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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