20th Century Montana Military Veterans Oral History Project—Bibliography

This bibliography includes oral histories from the Montana Historical Society’s 20th Century Montana Military Veterans Oral History Project. From World War I through the Persian Gulf War, Montana has ranked in the highest percentile nationally in the number of its citizens serving as military personnel. These numbers include nearly 5,000 women since 1940 and a majority of male Montanan tribal members. Montana played a significant role in American military strategies during the Cold War, due to the presence of Malmstrom Air Force Base and its numerous missile silos. This project records the experiences of Montana’s veterans, with discussions of families, precombat training, service on the home front and overseas, returning to civilian life, career military life, and feelings about military conflicts. Where possible, audio format is noted. The collection is divided between oral histories that have been transcribed and those that have not. Where possible, length of typed transcription is noted.

Return to Oral History Bibliography Page 

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Transcribed:

Dorothy Anne Davis Forrester interview, 1992 April 15. 20th Century Military Veterans Oral History Project (OH 1271). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (1 hr., 10 min.) 47-page transcript. Topics include her family; growing up in Dillon; her education; her home front work with the American Red Cross during World War II; and women and war.

Helen Dawson interview, 1992 June 11. 20th Century Military Veterans Oral History Project (OH 1277). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (1 hr.) 32-page transcript. Topics include her experiences with the U.S. Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) during World War II; serving as a U.S. Navy storekeeper; her duty at Naval Air Station Alameda, California, and in Honolulu; women and war; and post-military life.

Juanita Cooke interview, 1991 March 27. 20th Century Military Veterans Oral History Project (OH 1252). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (1 hr.) 21-page transcript. Topics include her early flying experiences in California; her acquisition of a pilot’s license in the late 1930s; the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941; government restrictions placed on nonmilitary flights after Pearl Harbor; her service in the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) in the U.S. Army Air Forces, from 1942 to 1944; primary, basic, and advanced flight training at Avenger Field, in Sweetwater, Texas; living conditions at Avenger; various aircraft that she flew; and women air pilots’ experiences ferrying fighter aircraft to various bases in the United States, including Great Falls.

Juanita W. Cooke interview, 1991 May 8. 20th Century Military Veterans Oral History Project (OH 1473). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (45 min.) 19-page transcript. Topics include her early flying lessons; landing a malfunctioning P-40 fighter plane at the Billings airport; the rules and regulations for military ferry flights; her experiences as a Women’s Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) squadron commander; difficulties she encountered while flying a B-25 medium bomber and while instrument-flying a C-47 transport plane; aircraft instrument panels; WASP uniforms; deactivation of the WASPs in December 1944; and her post-World War II life.

Kareene Ostermiller interview, 1990 December 9. 20th Century Military Veterans Oral History Project (OH 1222). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (35 min.) 21-page transcript. Topics include the U.S. Army; the mobilization of the Montana Army National Guard 103rd Public Affairs Detachment for Operation Desert Shield/Storm (the Persian Gulf War); the unit’s mission; the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq; her experiences with the Montana Air National Guard; her position as the first female aide-de-camp in the Montana Army National Guard’s state headquarters; sexual discrimination against women in the military; her concerns about her family and the different environment; and her perceptions of an unfamiliar culture, particularly its treatment of women.

Kareene Ostermiller interview, 1992 August 4. 20th Century Military Veterans Oral History Project (OH 1463). Montana Historical Society Archives. 5 tapes (4 hr., 30 min.) 120-page transcript. Topics include her experiences as the only female member of the Montana Army National Guard’s 103rd Public Affairs Detachment in Operation Desert Shield/Storm (the Persian Gulf War); women in military service; the different roles played by women in American and Arabian cultures; females as leaders; gender issues; racial and sexual harassment; desert life; daily activities; and her return to Montana.

Mary Felder interview, 1991 March 3. 20th Century Military Veterans Oral History Project (OH 1250). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (1 hr., 45 min.) 60-page transcript. Topics include her early life in Savannah, Georgia, and in Butte; her uncle, Pat Felder, who began the Postal Telegraph in Helena at the turn of the 20th century; her nurse’s education and training; her work as a private-duty nurse in Townsend and in Helena in soldiers’ homes; her experiences as one of the first stewardesses employed by Western Airlines during the late 1930s; her service aboard the hospital ship USS Bountiful during World War II; her employment with the Navy Relief Society; and her work as a real-estate agent in Helena during the 1970s. [See also 20th Century Montana Military Veterans OH 1472.]

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Not Transcribed (may include a typed summary):

Christine Stops Hill interview, 1991 March 26. 20th Century Military Veterans Oral History Project (OH 1534). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2-page summary. Topics include her reasons for enlisting in the U.S. Air Force; her basic training; special training; her duties with the 321st Security Police Squadron as a security specialist; her military discharge; her subsequent work in law enforcement; and difficulties working with men.

Collena L. Caplett interview, 1990 June 27. 20th Century Military Veterans Oral History Project (OH 1533). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (1 hr.) 2-page summary. Topics include her service in the U.S. Army; basic training; file clerk training; her duty assignments; and life after her military discharge.

Doris Brander interview, 1992 June 11. 20th Century Military Veterans Oral History Project (OH 1276). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (1 hr., 20 min.) 3-page summary. Topics include her service in the U.S. Navy’s Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) program during World War II; her reasons for joining the WAVES; her wartime duties; life on the home front in Montana and in Washington State; United Service Organizations (USO) shows; Eleanor Roosevelt; minority women in military service; the 1930s Depression; women and war; the women’s military memorial in Washington, DC; and her post-military life.

Eldora McBride interview, 1992 May 28. 20th Century Military Veterans Oral History Project (OH 1279). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (1 hr.) 3-page summary. Topics include her childhood; her education at Northern Montana College in Havre; medical-secretary training; her enlistment in the U.S. Navy in 1944; military training at Hunter College in New York City; racial discrimination; women and promotions in the military; uniforms; living conditions; her transfer to the Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland; her subsequent move to the naval facility at Corvallis, Oregon; the nature of war; her transfer to the Naval Air Base in Seattle, Washington; the educational benefits of the GI Bill (Veterans Benefit Act, 1944); and her post-military life.

Genevieve Aquires Adair interview, 1992 July 29. 20th Century Military Veterans Oral History Project (OH 1278). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (50 min.) 3-page summary. Topics include her family; her earliest years in Plainview, Nebraska; relocating to Butte in 1916; attending the Normal School (later Western Montana College) in Dillon; her enlistment in the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC); officers training; her work classifying female recruits at the Fort Des Moines WAAC training center in Iowa; her transfer to Fort Meade, Maryland; African-American military personnel; the military pay scales; nursing; and her post-military life.

Jeanne LeClair Robinette interview, 1991 December 6. 20th Century Military Veterans Oral History Project (OH 1381). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (30 min.) 3-page summary. Topics include her family; growing up in Delphia; her education; her work at the Boeing aircraft plant in Seattle during World War II; her return to Montana after the war; her nursing career; and her retirement.

Jess Stovall interview, 1988 July 9. 20th Century Military Veterans Oral History Project (OH 1117). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1audio tape (1 hr.) 7-page summary. Topics include Depression conditions; camp life; social activities; and men in the camps. Female employee of the Civilian Conservation Corps in Yellowstone National Park during the 1930s.

Mabel Haynes interview, 1991 December 1. 20th Century Military Veterans Oral History Project (OH 1376). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (45 min.) 6-page summary. Topics include her family; her early life in Judith Gap; her father’s ownership and operation with C. R. Stone of the First National Bank in Judith Gap; the Haynes Store; the Stone Gaugler Ranch; her education; her enlistment and service in the U.S. Marine Corps as an aircraft control-tower operator during World War II; and women in the military.

Mary Felder interview, 1990 May 23. 20th Century Military Veterans Oral History Project (OH 1472). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (20 min.) 1-page summary. Topics include her service in the U.S. Navy Hospital Corps during World War II and her life at the Montana Veterans’ Home in Columbia Falls.

Neelian Nelson and Margaret Nelson interview, 1993 February 2. 20th Century Military Veterans Oral History Project (OH 1198). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (1 hr., 25 min.) 4-page summary. Topics include his early life in Wisconsin; his experiences as a U.S. Army officer assigned to the Camp Rimini Dog Reception and Training Center in Rimini during World War II; and his other military assignments. Margaret Nelson discusses her family; growing up in Wisconsin; and her experiences as an army officer’s wife at Camp Rimini.

Susan Gibb interview, 1993 April 20. 20th Century Military Veterans Oral History Project (OH 1455). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (40 min.) 2-page summary. Topics include personal theories and philosophies of military leadership, and returning home to Hysham following her retirement from the military. Resident of Missoula.

Susan Gibb interview, 1993 February 2. 20th Century Military Veterans Oral History Project (OH 1199). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (1 hr., 25 min.) 4-page summary. Topics include her family; growing up in Hysham; her education; her employment as a schoolteacher in Washington State; and her enlistment and career in the U.S. Air Force.

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