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"[American Indians] always take time out to serve in wars, but we got a war going on with our own government." (28:42)

   Glenn Moore
Collection image
Glenn Moore at time of interview
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army Air Forces/Corps
Service Location: United States; England; France
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Glenn Moore grew up in the 1930s on the Yurok Reservation in northern California. He joined the Air Force shortly after graduating from high school, inspired partly by an automotive repair teacher’s praise for airplanes, and partly by a World War I veteran’s advice to choose his branch of service, rather than wait for a war to begin and have it chosen for him. Determined not to let an elementary-level education relegate him to “yardbird” status on base, responsible for menial tasks and little else, Moore studied diligently, and rose in the space of two years to become a World War II flight instructor on both sides of the Atlantic.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (6 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: video (59 min.)
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»Legacies of Service: Celebrating Native Veterans
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (6 items)
Having a hard time with English as a kid; going to Indian Boarding School far from home for five years; having a teacher who was a World War I veteran who taught about the “air service”; graduating just before Pearl Harbor. (02:06) Learning from a fellow lumberjack who had been in World War I that enlistees get better transportation and could choose their branch of service; enlisting, only to find that draftees get $10 more per month; growing up in poverty in the Depression; reliance on indigenous customs, foods. (02:28) Homesick and hoping for a Christmas furlough in 1941; learning of Pearl Harbor; reaction to Pearl Harbor. (01:57)
Growing up with illiterate parents; studying so as not to become a “yardbird” on the base; graduating with a score of over 85%; becoming an on-base instructor. (04:13) On Native American service in the US Armed Forces; how he would re-enlist to defend the country, but not attack another one; abuse of Native American rights to land, et al.; his struggle with alcohol and discrimination; incarceration of Native Americans. (05:19) Friendship with a Black soldier in Korea; Indians’ right to a better deal from the US government; struggle to adopt the English language; Bureau of Indian Affairs officials’ mockery of Native plights; his daughter’s post-graduate degree as sign of improved opportunities. (03:45)
  
 

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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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