David Lamphere Oral History
David Lamphere was born on December 9, 1922 in Lincoln, Nebraska and grew up in Lynd, Minnesota. As a paratrooper in World War II and a member of the 511th Parachute Regiment, the first foreign combat unit to set foot on the Japanese mainland in over a thousand years, Lamphere made two combat jumps in the Philippines. On October 2, 1949, he married Frances Konold, with whom he had four children. Lamphere later married Judith (Gunkelman) Bucholz on March 28, 1983. Working in the banking industry for over 40 years, he retired from Plaza Park Bank in Waite Park, MN in 1987. Lamphere passed away on December 3, 2015 and was interred at Fort Snelling.
In an interview conducted on September 15, 1989, David Lamphere described his experience as a member of the511th Parachute Regiment during World War II. Lamphere volunteered in 1942, joining the newly formed 11th Airborne Division. His first of two combat jumps as a member of G Company took place in 1944 at Tagaytay Ridge approximately 60 miles south of Manila. Following this, he spent what he called the longest 30 days of his life on Leyte. His second combat jump was at Aparri on the northern tip of Luzon, where he says the fighting was even fiercer.
After the war ended, Lamphere took part in the occupation of Japan from August-December 1945. While there, he says their duties consisted largely of gathering weapons and munitions, as well as removing propaganda posters from schools. He spoke about his and his comrades’ relationship with the Japanese, especially some interpreters they spent time with. Those relationships were positive. Lamphere also shared his thoughts on the difference between his own combat experiences and their long-term impact on him, and those of soldiers who fought in Vietnam.
Interview by David Overy
St. Cloud State University, "David Lamphere Oral History" (1989). World War II Veterans. 6.