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William E. Bobbitt Memoir

Identifier: MS-3223

  • Staff Only

This memoir constitutes a very descriptive picture of the Pacific Theater during World War II. Bobbitt begins his narrative by describing his entrance into the war and his first post in Hawaii. Following this service, his unit was sent to Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. Bobbitt describes the horrors of battles fought before they landed on the Island. They were next sent to relatively peaceful New Britain, an island in the Bismarck Archipelago.

Bobbitt and Company L saw heavy fighting on the Negros and Luzon Islands when they were assigned to the Philippine campaign. The terrain was difficult to traverse because of the mountainous landscape, and it was on these islands that Bobbitt received shrapnel wounds in his thumb. Bobbitt provides strong descriptions of the death that was present on these battlefields, but he considers it a part of war and does not lament much. He also voices his strong dislike of the Japanese for the atrocities of the war and philosophizes on the necessity of war to keep domestic peace.

In addition to Bobbitt's narrative, this memoir contains maps of the battle areas, pictures from during and after the war, an abbreviation list, and copies of Bobbitt's vital documents from the war (including discharge papers and health records.)


  • 1996

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This memoir, written in 1996, is William Bobbitt's account of his time fighting in the Pacific Theater during World War II. The manuscript traces his military career from his training with a National Guard Unit in 1941 to his discharge in 1945. During his service, Bobbitt was stationed on many Pacific islands and faced combat in the Philippines.

Biographical/Historical Note

William Edward Eddie Bobbitt was born on May 13, 1915 to Fred and Pauline (Denner) Bobbitt. Eddie's mother died in 1930, leaving six of her seven children still at home. Eddie grew up during the Great Depression and graduated from Tonovay School in 1935.

Eddie followed neighbors from Kansas to California in 1937. He worked on a garbage truck for $100 a month, of which $30 went to living expenses. He registered for the draft in 1940, and later joined a National Guard Unit that trained one night a week. When that unit was called into Federal service, Eddie became a full-time soldier and was stationed at Camp San Luis Obispo, California, and served with Company L, 106th Infantry Regiment, 40th Division.

Company L was sent to Hawaii in October of 1942 and remained there for most of a year. They were then sent to Pacific Theater, where the saw combat on the Luzon and Negros Islands of the Philippines. Eddie, by this time a First Sergeant, was awarded the Purple Heart for shrapnel wounds incurred during this campaign. After serving four and a half years, Bobbitt was discharged.

Eddie married Normaline Brown of Eureka, Kansas in 1947. He worked for five years as a Post Office Clerk while Normaline was a secretary. During this time, the Bobbitts also bought and sold houses for extra income. Eddie was a talented handyman, so they were able to turn substantial profit on each home. Eddie Bobbitt passed away on 2004 November 26 and Normaline followed on 2005 January 4. They had been married for 57 years at the time of Eddie's death.


Collection consists of a single folder.

Acquisition Note

This collection was donated to Special Collections, 2007 April 17.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA