The NYC Veterans Oral History Project: Stanley Smolik, Veteran Interview
Stanley Smolik was in the United States Marines during World War II. He worked in Intelligence, and served in three campaigns in Roi Namur, Saipan, and Tinian. During these campaigns, he ruptured his tympanic membrane, and injury that resulted in his discharge, despite his desire to stay in the Marines. Most notably, Mr. Smolik recounts the very romantic story of how he met his wife while he was in the service. Very serendipitously, she was waiting for the bus while he was buying a pack of cigarettes on his way to Camp Elliott in California. She wrote to him every day while he was overseas. When he got home, they met in person again and were married.
Major Points in Interview
1:23 - Describes the War "Everything is exactly upside down"
1:32 - Met his wife while getting cigarettes at a gas station on the way out to Camp Elliott
4:40 - Inspired to enlist after Pearl Harbor
5:27 - Arrived in Camp Elliott, trained for the fighting 4th Marine Division
10:17 - Studied compass and map reading at Camp Lejune, NC
10:45 - Chosen for additional studies at Camp Ritchie, MD
11:35 - Became a scout for D-2, saying "This was the beginning of my life."
13:20 - Suffered Otitis Media-- a ruptured tympanic membrane
14:17 - Was discharged after treatment
17:50 - Arrived at the Marshall Islands on D-1 Day, on Saipan at D+1, and on Tinian exactly on D Day
18:10 - Blast that caused the injury
19:30 - Diagnosed during a radio testing assignment
21:57 - Shipped to an Army Hospital on Maui
22:10 - No hospitals in the Marine Corp "We never lived long enough to need a hospital, we just needed a morgue."
23:45 - Discharged, but wanted to stay in
26:17 - Watched the USS New Jersey built and launched
29:30 - Meeting with his wife after he came home