Warren S. Lane Oral History Interview

January 17, 1977
Oral History #OH0037
Lane, Warren S. (Warren Spencer), 1908-; Lennon, Donald R.
Physical description
0.005 Cubic Feet, 1 audiocassette, 1.5 hours, 32 pages
Preferred Citation
Warren S. Lane Oral History Interview (#OH0037), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Scope and arrangement

Warren S. Lane recounts his experiences as commander of a Naval Armed Guards gun crew stationed aboard the merchant ship, SS EDWIN L. GODKIN. The ship was part of a convoy and Lane discusses the size and type of ships involved (p. 5) and being forced to sail independently from the convoy when his ship broke down three days out of New York (pp. 13-14). He discusses sailing under sealed orders (p. 6) with the protection of destroyer and blimp escorts (pp. 6-7), transporting supplies for European (pp. 9, 11, 14-15) and Pacific (pp. 9-10, 15-16) destinations, problems with shipping Army equipment on deck (p. 9), ballasting an empty ship (p. 15), and disposing of cargo at the end of the war by leaving weapons carriers on a beach and dumping explosives and shells overboard (p. 10).

Lane comments on the nature of the men under his command, their lack of interaction with the crew (pp. 18, 24-25), and the disciplinary methods he employed when beer was stolen from the ship and for other infractions (pp. 12, 19-20). He discusses recreational activities including games (p. 21), correspondence courses (pp. 21-22), and toursarranged by the Red Cross (pp. 2-3, 30). Lane organized a nondenominational worship service which improved relations between the Navy gun crew and the merchant seamen because it provided an activity in which they could all participate instead of working separately (pp. 22-24). He also recalls two humorous incidents involving his skipper who was mistaken for a spy in Marseilles (pp. 25-27) and who visited a Bedouin camp in Egypt (p. 28) during shore leave.

Lane retired to Washington, N.C., in 1967 and subsequently served as executive director of the Downtown Washington Association (p. 5).

For related material see Collection #326.

Administrative information
Source of acquisition

Gift of Warren S. Lane

Processing information

Processed by M. Cherry, April 1988

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

Repository does not own copyright to the oral history collection. Permission to cite, reproduce, or broadcast must be obtained from both the repository and the participants in the oral history, or their heirs.

General note


Key terms
Personal Names
Lane, Warren S. (Warren Spencer), 1908-
Corporate Names
Edwin L. Godkin (Ship)
United States. Navy--Military life
United States. Navy--Officers
World War, 1939-1945--Naval operations