Jack Shannahan: World War II as Experience and Memory


Erwin Shannahan

Streaming Media


Wadewitz, Lissa


Harder, Elisia

Document Type

Video File


1 hour 10 minutes 18 seconds

Publication Date



Cultural History | Military and Veterans Studies | Military History | Oral History | Public History | United States History


This interview is an oral history conducted by Dr. Lissa Wadewitz, associate professor of history at Linfield College, and Elisia Harder, Linfield class of 2020, with Erwin "Jack" Shannahan, Linfield class of 1945. The interview took place by telephone on February 14, 2019.

In this interview, Shannahan discusses his time at Linfield College and his participation with fraternity life, the Intercollegiate Knights, and other campus activities. He goes on to discuss his decision to enlist in the U.S. Army Air Corps after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Throughout the interview, Shannahan shares funny and interesting anecdotes, all while giving a sense of what it was like to be an enlisted man during World War II. Most notably, Shannahan tells the story of a time he was on leave and his cousin flew a plane through Linfield’s campus, coming extremely close to hitting the old library (Northup Hall). Shannahan also discusses his life after the war and gives advice to current Linfield students, sharing what he thinks about when he hears the words "Linfield College."


For a time-stamped overview of the subjects discussed during this interview, refer to the Related Resource link.