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John Boothby oral history with Ed Theriault, Finland (Finn) Dumond, and William Gage Edit

Summary

Identifier
MCC-00014

Dates

  • 1988 (Creation)
  • Date acquired: 1991-03 (Other)

Extents

  • .15 Cubic Feet (Whole)
    2 audio cassettes

Agent Links

Subjects

Notes

  • Biographical Information

    Finland Dumond (Archives Director Lisa Ornstein gathered the following information during a phone interview with Finland Dumond on 18 January 2000) Finland Dumond was born in Fort Kent, Maine on 16 April, 1920, the oldest of the ten children of George Dumond and Emma Austin. After completing high school, Dumond did farmwork, served several years in the Civilian Conservation Corps, and worked for a year for the Royal Typewriter Company in Hartford, Connecticut as an assembly technician.

    Although he was initially rejected for military service because of poor health, Mr. Dumond volunteered for and was accepted into the Army in Hartford in November 1942. After basic training, his unit was sent to northern Africa in 1944 en route to Italy. In Africa, Dumond was removed from his unit to serve as a local translator because of his French-speaking abilities. He was subsequently assigned to the Quartermaster division and became a vehicle driver in a n undesignated unit nicknamed “The Wandering Gypsies,” delivering obsolete Army military vehicles for shipment back to the United States and picking up new replacement vehicles. From Africa, Dumond was assigned to the Quartermaster Car and Truck unit and went to Naples, Italy where he served in the personnel office for approximately three months during the staging for the invasion of southern France. From there, Dumond was sent to southern France, landing at Saint Tropez and then moving north to central France to set up headquarters for the Sixth Army Group in Vittel with the #4458 Quartermaster Car and Truck unit.

    After a month or so, Mr. Dumond was assigned to the First French Army because of his French-speaking abilities and was assigned as a French general officers’ vehicle driver in Cognac from October 1944 to March 1945. During that time he occasionally served as a driver for General Eisenhower and met with his friend, secretary Mattie Pinette, a Fort Kent native who was Eisenhower’s personal secretary. After contracting trench food, Mr Dumond was sent to the American troop hospital in Vittel where he recuperated for two months. He was then sent back to his American Army unit which was stationed in Heidelberg, Germany and served there as a personnel office clerk for a few months, when the unit was assigned to Weisbaden, where Eisenhower’s SHAEF headquarters were located. There he continued as his unit’s mail clerk until he was shipped home in December 1945 and honorably discharged. He completed a three-year training program in electronics and upon completion, returned to Fort Kent where he worked as an electronic technician until his retirement in 1983.

    William “Bud” Gage. (Archives Director Lisa Ornstein gathered military service information from correspondence with Robert D. Daigle, Commander of VFW Post 9606, birth and death dates and parents’ names from the Fort Kent Town vital records, and marriage and civilian career information from Gage’s obituary notice which was on file at the local funeral home) William “Bud” Gage, born 14 October 1913 in Fort Kent, Maine, was the son of William Gage and Mary Austin. He served from April 1942 to July 1945 in the Army, where he was attached to the 319th Bomb Group. Shortly after his return he became a postal employee and worked in this capacity for 35 years until his retirement in 1980. He died 18 May 1994 in Fort Kent. He was predeceased by his first wife, Clara (Frederick) Gage and survived by his second wife Mary (Theriault) Gage.

    Edmond Theriault (The following information was collected by Archives Director Lisa Ornstein during the course of a field visit with Edmond Theriault on 4 December 1992 and a follow-up phone call on 19 January 2000) Edmond Theriault is the fourth son among the eight boys and six girls born to Jos Theriault and Evan Babin. Born 22 March, 1923 in Fort Kent, Maine, Mr. Theriault has pent most of his life in the Upper St. John Valley. After graduation from Fort Kent High School, he spent 4.5 years in military service (February 1943 - June 1947). During that period he trained as a flight pilot serving in the Army 13th Air Force in the 2nd Emergency Rescue Squadron. Beginning in early 1945, Mr. Theriault spent twenty-two months in the Pacific doing search and rescue operations, obtaining the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. He and Joan Pelletier married in 1953 and raised eleven children. Mr. Theriault has done all kinds of work in his life, mostly outdoors in the woods. He is an expert hunting and fishing guide and trapper and makes beautiful, functional snow shoes and split ash baskets.

    Note written by Lisa Ornstein
  • Scope and Contents

    The two 60 minute audiocassettes which constitute this collection contain interviews with World War II veterans Finland (Finn) Dumond of Fort Kent, Maine, William Gage of Fort Kent, Maine and Ed Theraiult of Eagle Lake, Maine. The tapes were created by John Boothby as a class assignment for an independent study course which he completed Spring 1988 entitled “Oral History WWII."

    Tape 1:
    Side A: 28 minute (approximate) interview with Finland (Finn) Dumond of Fort Kent, Maine. Mr. Dumond reminisces about his Army experiences during his term of military service from 1943-1945 in northern Africa, Italy, France and Germany. He tells anecdotes relating to his work as a translator, vehicle driver, and personnel office clerk for a Quartermaster Car and Truck unit, and of his six-month assignment to the French First Army as an officer’s vehicle driver. He describes personal encounters with Generals DeGaulle and Eisenhower and with Mr. Mattie Pinette, a Fort Kent native who served as Eisenhower’s personal secretary during the war.
    Side B: dub of song “Sugar Mountain,” probably from a Neil Young commercial sound recordings.

    Tape 2:
    Side A: 30 minute interview with William “Bud” Gage of Fort Kent. Mr Gage discusses his 1942-44 Army experiences as a B-26 fighter pilot in the Air Corps 319th Bombardment Group. He speaks of his experiences as a draftee in the signal corps, which brought him to Drew Air Field (Florida), and of his recruitment and training by the Air corps as a volunteer B-26 fighter pilot at MacDill Army Air Force Base. He tells about some of the 68 flight missions which he flew in northern Africa, Sardinia, Corsica, and Italy, which earned him a Purple Heart and the rank of Technical Sergeant. He discusses his encounters with celebrity soldiers Tom Harmon and Clark Gable, and comments on Army life and on Generals Clark, MacArthur, Cannon, and Patton.
    Side B: 20 minute interview with Edmond Theriault of Eagle Lake. Mr. Theriault discusses his service in the Army Air Corps 1943-47, including his training as a B-17 pilot and his subsequent experiences as a B-17 search-and-rescue pilot in the 2nd Emergency Rescue Squadron, which operated in the Pacific (Including Australia, New Zealand, Manila, and Taiwan) during and following the end of WW II. Mr. Theriault relates several anecdotes about non-military relations with local civilian and military populations.
  • Language of Materials

    Collection materials are in English.
  • Technical Access Requirements

    An audiocassette player is required to access this collection.
  • Restrictions

    No restrictions on access.
  • Copyright

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Acadian Archives/Archives acadiennes. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Acadian Archives/Archives acadiennes.
  • Preferred Citation

    John Boothby oral history with Ed Theriault, Finland (Finn) Dumond, and William Gage, MCC-00014, Acadian Archives/Archives acadiennes, University of Maine at Fort Kent
  • Source of Acquisition

    Roger Paradis
  • Custodial History

    John Boothby created these sound recordings as an assignment for the University of Maine at Fort Kent independent course with History professor Roger Paradis entitled SSC350 Ind. Study, “Oral History WWII” in the Spring semester of 1988. The recordings were initially submitted to Professor Paradis in Spring 1988, who brought them to the Archives in March 1991.

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