Interview with William R. Black, Jr., June 24, 1985
Project: American Veterans: Vietnam War Oral History Project
Interview SummaryWilliam Black describes education and early attitudes toward Vietnam. He describes his entrance into the Marine Corps and his training as a commissioned officer. He describes his first impressions upon arriving in Vietnam, his early combat experiences, and a serious bullet wound he received and the recovery process. He discusses his honesty in his correspondence with his parents. He describes his year of duty on board an aircraft carrier, and he explains his decision to then return to action in Vietnam as a Marines infantryman after a short visit to his home in Paducah, Kentucky. He tells of how he was assigned to an elite Force Reconnaissance unit and shortly thereafter was relieved of duty because he called in an Army unit as backup in a dangerous firefight. He describes how he was given another chance in the field, this time leading a Combined Action company that, despite being the least respected of Marine units, was more effective than any other unit he had seen in Vietnam because of its use of guerrilla tactics. He discusses the reasons for the American defeat, and he concludes with his observations on the treatment of Vietnam veterans and with his belief in the importance of historical preservation.
Interview RightsAll 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.
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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Black, William R., Jr. Interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. 24 Jun. 1985. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Black, W.R., Jr. (1985, June 24). Interview by T. L. Birdwhistell. American Veterans: Vietnam War Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Black, William R., Jr., interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. June 24, 1985, American Veterans: Vietnam War Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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