War: Through the Eyes of Kenneth Tripp


Amanda Weaver, Nicole Stolarski, and Feni Patel

Eighteen year old Kenneth Tripp, from Boston, volunteered to be in the United States Marine Corps. Tripp was in Parris Island for boot camp and was completely isolated from the rest of the world. He said, “didn’t realize what I was getting into until I was there.” Tripp had to remember that he could not do anything unless told: “You didn’t move until you were told and when you move you move fast.” Due to the strictness at the boot camp, five soldiers dropped out in the first two weeks. There was no music, radios, no forms of communication other than letters.

One of his interests during the war was learning morse code. For protection, the soldiers had thin camouflage t-shirts, pants along with a steel helmet. Every morning, the bell went off at 5am. Tripp and the rest had to get up, shave, and get ready for the day.

He then went to Parris Island to the South Pacific, between Hawaii and China. Many of his memories surrounded his time in China. Tripp said, “The only thing that talked. [in China] was money.” Tripp realized how influential money was to the Chinese. Tripp realized that money was the most important thing in China.

One of Trippś favorite memories is when he was drinking a beer on a Saturday night, on the second floor of his hotel, until an American held a gun at his chest. He then heard someone yell, “The Communists are coming!” This was a very ironic situation because the gun that the communist was holding was made in America. He never bought food in China, the military always brought food for the Americans.

When the war ended Tripp was on the island of Guam. One of the biggest memories Tripp said he will carry with him throughout his life is of a boy in Guam. Tripp noticed a little boy who was starving literally ate any food he found, no matter how old or how mixed the food was.

With this memory Tripp gave the advice, “If food is put in front of you, eat it.” Kenneth Tripp was in the service for a total of three years.

After the war, Tripp went to college in Boston to become an accountant and an auditor. After his studies, Tripp was hired, by J. C. Penney, as a traveling auditor.