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Guide to the Kenneth D. Andress reminiscences
1937-1943

Collection number: HMC-0058.
Creator: Andress, Kenneth D.
Title: Kenneth D. Andress reminiscences.
Dates: 1937-1943.
Volume of collection: 0.2 cubic feet. 
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Collection summary: Miner and soldier in Alaska.

Biographical note:
Kenneth D. Andress was born in Indiana in 1915. He attended Purdue University for one year but was forced to drop out to seek work because of the depression. He left Indiana in 1937 to seek employment in Oregon. He worked in the fishing industry at Ketchikan, Klawock, Petersburg, and other parts of Southeast Alaska (1937 - 1939) and in the Alaska Juneau Mine (1939 - 1941). He left Juneau and traveled to Palmer in 1941. He worked at Independence Mine in Willow (Winter, 1941 - Spring, 1942). In May, 1942, Andress joined the Army Air Corps at Elmendorf. During the war, he served as a member of the Communications Section and was stationed at Cold Bay and later at Umnak. After the war he returned to work at Elmendorf as an electrical engineer. Kenneth Andress retired in 1973.

Collection description:
The collection consists of Kenneth D. Andress' recorded and written reminiscences. Series 1 contains audio recording reminiscences that concern Andress' trip to Alaska in 1937, his experiences in the fishing industry in Southeast Alaska, his work at the Alaska Juneau Mine, his life in Juneau, his trip to Palmer from Juneau, his work at Independence Mine, and his experiences in the Army Air Corps while stationed at Elmendorf and at Cold Bay. Series 2 contains written reminiscences concern his work experience at Independence Mine.

Arrangement: Materials are arranged by type and by topic therein.

Digitized copies: Digital copies of collection material not available online. For information about obtaining digital copies, please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Rights note: The Archives owns copyright to this collection.

Preferred citation: Kenneth D. Andress reminiscences, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Related materials: For similar materials, please view our topical guide, World War II in Alaska.

Acquisition note: The collection was presented and deed of gift signed by Kenneth D. Andress in 1988.

Processing information: This collection was described by Dennis Walle in 1995. The collection description was revised by Mariecris Gatlabayan in 2012.

Container list:

Series 1: Audio recording reminiscenes; 1937-1945. 5 audiocassettes.


Tape/side

Description

Date

1/A

Pre-war Years: Andress tells about coming to Alaska from Oregon with his brother Ho, in 1938 on an Alaska Steamship Company vessel. Describes Ketchikan. Gives an account of his work in Ketchikan, Craig, and Klawock in the fishing industry, and gives his observations of the society in Klawock. There is some distortion of the tape.

1937-1942

1/B

Pre-war Years: Andress discusses his trip to Wrangell and Juneau in late 1938 and the winter of 1939; includes descriptions of the Alaska Juneau Mine and the City of Juneau. Reminisces about his trip to Petersburg and his work with a friend as a handtroller at Petersburg, Funter Bay, and Hawk Inlet during the summer of 1939. There is some distortion of the tape.

1937-1942

2/A

Pre-war Years: Andress tells of his work in Juneau (1939-1940), his work at the Alaska-Juneau Mine, hunting and fishing trips in the Juneau area, and of his work for the Alaska-Juneau Mine at Camp 6.

1937-1942

2/B

Pre-war Years: Andress relates events of his life in Juneau (1940-Spring 1941), his trip to Valdez on an Alaskan Steamship Company vessel, and his trip to Fairbanks via the Richardson Highway. Tells of his activities in Fairbanks and Circle during the summer of 1941, and of the beginning of his solo trip down the Yukon River with his first stop at Fort Yukon.

1937-1942

3/A

Pre-war Years: Andress continues his account of his trip down the Yukon River during the summer of 1941 to Beaver, Rampart, and Tanana. Reminisces about his activities in Tanana and his trip on a stern-wheeler up the Tanana River to Nenana.

1937-1942

3/B

Pre-war Years: Andress relates anecdotes of his trip on the Alaska Railroad to McKinley Park and his travels in the park during August and September of 1941. Tells of his trip to Willow on the Alaska Railroad, of his stay in Palmer, and of his hunting trips in the Palmer area. Discusses his work at the Independence Mine during the winter of 1941 and spring of 1942, and his joining the Army Air Corps at Elmendorf in May of 1942.

1937-1942

4/A

The War Years: Andress discusses his early military service including becoming a member of the 73rd Bombardment Squadron at Elmendorf, becoming a member of the Communications Section, his participation in training flights, his activities in Anchorage, and life as a private at Elmendorf.

1942-1945

4/B

The War Years: Andress discusses his work at the Communications Station at Cold Bay on the Alaska Peninsula (1942-1943). Describes the facilities, military activities, personnel, purpose of the station, weather, entertainment, and geography at Cold Bay. Tells of the transfer of his Squadron to Umnak in 1943.

1942-1945

5/A

The War Years: Andress discusses his brief stay at Umnak and gives anecdotes of his activities there. Tells of his transfer with several others to Adak in the Aleutians to assist in the operation of a radio station, and gives an account of his activities and the living conditions there. Describes the transfer of his squadron from Adak to Amchitka in 1943, the living conditions and activities there, efforts against Kiska, the flight of bombers to the United States, and his furlough to Anchorage in August 1943. Discusses the return of his unit to the States on the San Mahael, his time in Seattle and at Paine Field in Everett, Washington, and the transfer of his squadron to Pyote Army Air Base in West Texas. Recounts the disbanding of the 73rd Bombardment Squadron and relates anecdotes on his activities at the Air Base and in surrounding communities. Tells of his furlough in Indiana in November 1943, and his transfer to Galveston Air Base in January 1944 to work as a code operator.

1942-1945

5/B

The War Years: Andress discusses his activities in Galveston and his transfer in January 1945 to Puerto Rico with stops in Nebraska, Georgia, Florida, Havana and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Tells of the death of President Roosevelt and of his arrival in Berinquin [?] Field in Puerto Rico near the town of Aquadia [?]. Describes the base, the weather, and his activities there. Discusses his transfer to Fairmount, Nebraska, and relates anecdotes on his activities there, the German prisoner of war compound, his furlough to Omaha and Indiana, and his previous furlough to Wakfield, Washington while he was stationed at Paine Field, Washington. Describes the winding down of the war and reminisces about his time in the military. Relates more of his activities at Fairmount Air Base, and tells of his mustering out at Portland, Oregon in October 1945.

1942-1945

Series 2: Written reminiscences of work at Independence Mine; 1941-1942. 0.02 cubic feet.


Item

Description

Dates

6

Andress tells of his experiences working in various jobs at Independence Mine during the winter of 1941 and spring of 1942. Discusses the personnel, living conditions, entertainment, and working conditions at the mine, and tells of hearing about the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

1941-1942