Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

The NYC Veterans Oral History Project: Stanley Smolik, Veteran Interview

August 24, 2013

Viewing videos on requires Adobe Flash Player 9 or higher.

Get the Flash plugin from


Copy the embed code below to add this video to your site, blog, or profile.




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