Collection contains WWII correspondence written by Robert W. Cook and a DVD and index/summary of an oral history interview. In the interview, Cook discusses his family, education, involvement as a soldier in China and India, and experiences as a student at Georgia Tech after the war.
Permission to publish materials from this collection must be obtained from the Head of Archives and Special Collections.
.2 Linear Feet (1 letter-sized document case)
This collection contains correspondence written by Robert W. Cook during his time as a soldier in World War II from 1943 to 1945. The correspondence follows his military career from training in Virginia, Florida, and Texas to his military posts in India and China. All correspondence is addressed to his family, most often his mother. Frequently discussed topics include family, travel, living conditions, other soldiers, cultural observations, and daily activities.
It also includes a DVD and a summary of an oral history interview Cook completed in 2015 as part of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association Living History Program. In the interview, he discusses his life from childhood through retirement. Highlights include his years at the Citadel Military College, participation in basic training with the U.S. Army, travels and orders in India and China as a soldier during World War II, and his experiences as a student at Georgia Tech.
Robert “Bob” Ward Cook was born on November 15, 1924 in Lillington, North Carolina. His family moved to Atlanta when he was 6 months old and lived there until 1936, when they moved to Norfolk, Virginia. Cook spent much of his childhood visiting grandparents and extended family in Fairburn and Braselton, Georgia. In 1943, he attended Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina and planned to go to war when he reached the age required for enlistment. Cook was drafted into the U.S. Army in June 1943 and received basic training in Richmond, Virginia, Miami Beach, Florida, and Abilene, Texas. In Texas, he was selected to receive training for the military police. In February 1944, he traveled from California to Australia via the U.S.S. Mariposa. From there, he went to the Assam Valley in India, where he was stationed at a compound in a remote area. During his time overseas, he was stationed as a Guard for the Army Air Corps, which was later united under the Air Force. His orders in India consisted of guarding a compound, bomb dump, supply warehouse, and British-owned tea plantation in the area. In November 1944 he was transferred to Chengdu, China, where he remained until the end of the war. Here, he guarded various U.S. air fields that stored planes used for bombing Japan. In December 1945, Cook returned to the United States on the U.S.S. Macon Island, reuniting with his family in Jacksonville, Florida in January 1946.
After the war, Cook used the GI bill to attend Georgia Tech from March 1946 until his graduation in 1950. He majored in Textile Chemistry and was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity and the Bulldog Club, a student organization responsible for sponsoring intramural activities and planning Homecoming weekend. After graduation, he worked for Chicapee Mills (1950-1957), at the Lockheed Martin Aerospace Company as a Methods Engineer (1957-1962), at Atlanta Stove Works as Distribution Manager (1962-1979), and at the Northside United Methodist Church as Building Superintendent (1979-1995). Cook was an ardent Georgia Tech football fan and from 1970 to 1982, he volunteered at Grant Field as a spotter for the PA system. He retired in 1995 to travel and spend time with his wife, three children, and five grandchildren.
Collection is arranged chronologically.
Processed by Alison Reynolds in November 2018.