Ed Carrington, US Marine Corps, 1945-1946
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Well, my name is Ed Carrington. And I’m … originally from Miller, Missouri, but right now Mount Vernon. I was in the Marine Corps, ‘45 and ‘46. Well, I did several different things. One of the main things I did was drove a truck hauling troops. When they come through town the other day that convoy, I liked to see it but I didn’t get to. But I’ve been on a lot of those convoys. And then I was brig warden overseas. That was the three main things. I mean the two main things.
Was in Hawaii for a while, and at Camp Pendleton, and Camp LeJeune, and I was … several different places just briefly. I didn’t want to be drafted in the Army. I had an uncle who was a marine from 1924 to 28, and I thought he was the top of class, so I wanted to be what he was.
Well, I don’t want to offend anybody but I think the Marine Corps is the best organization we have. I thought so on account of my uncle, and then after I was in I found out I was right. Oh, there’s several different things, I can’t think of any particular one. When me and another boy, we captured … well, of course they couldn’t speak English, and we couldn’t speak Japanese, but we finally got him herded back to where we were supposed to take him. It was kind of an interesting way of doing. There was signs and signals and stuff. They was afraid of us. We found him in a little … a little building on the place that he hid out in, and I guess they thought we was going to shoot them. That’s what they’d done to us. They got in line pretty quick, but that’s about the only encounter I had with the Japanese.
I guess you can read that I didn’t like them. Well, we were just young persons, foolish ideas. I thought that … at the time I thought I could whip them all. But I don’t guess I could. Yeah, you get that pounded in your head. That’s one of the good things about being in the Marines, you take on a situation and you stay with it till you get it accomplished. And you don’t have to worry about the officers backing you up or anything. They would. And I say I was young. Just a kid. And the prestige. You had a lot of prestige. You know, I mean, someone sees a Marine and say, “Oh, there goes a Marine,” or something like that. That appealed to me. That’s kind of a bad way of doing things, but that’s what-
Well, I think that my training and everything taught me to hold on to a situation until I was done with it. In other words, I didn’t give up easy. And I found out in civilian life a lot that you’ve got to stick with it, if you get it to going. The Army and the Navy maybe is just as good, I don’t know. I wasn’t in them. I was in the Marines. I was considered to be the best. If it was a do over I’d go back in. I’m glad it’s not to do over.
In civilian life you can’t imagine some of the things that the captain … I mean the Marines. Not the Marines, but the Japanese condoned, like I said a while ago, the escapees were afraid we were going to shoot them and that’s what they’d have done. That or cut their head off or some fool thing they could figure to do. They had a lot of atrocities, and some of our boys didn’t approve of them. It taught you respect. But much more than that. I mean, that was enough … you had respect for the various things, all the way from the officers down through the people.
Well, I’ll tell you what, I hear now of disrespect being showed the flag and the national anthem, by some our high powered athletes and I don’t approve of it, and we never did have anything like that come up. If you acted like that, they had ways of making you wish you hadn’t. But yeah, I’d go back in.