Ted Ranneft and Danielle Ranneft

Recorded November 24, 2009 Archived November 24, 2009 28:31 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: MBY005996


Danielle interviews her father, Ted, about his time in the Dutch army in WWII, stationed in New Guinea

Subject Log / Time Code

WWII experiences in New Guinea. Ted was born in Holland, he came to the US at 13 and was drafted into the Dutch army when he was in college.
New Guinea was very mountainous and rainy. There was always mud up to you ankles.
His unit helped the natives with medicine. They all wanted an injection. Ted saw people with elephantitis.
Ted’s father was in the Dutch Navy. Ted grew up in the Dutch East Indies. Also lived in Amsterdam.
Ted remembers seeing a Japanese uniform in the jungle and picking it up and a skull fell out.


  • Ted Ranneft
  • Danielle Ranneft

Recording Location

MobileBooth West


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00:06 I'm Danielle ranneft. I'm about 52 getting towards 53 today's date is November 24th 2009. Where in Houston Texas and I am the daughter.

00:31 And I'm Ted ranneft.

00:37 Age 50

00:41 785

00:46 Dollar Tree in the daytime November 24th is today 24th, 2009 and the location of Houston, Texas.

01:03 Dad could you tell me a little bit about your experiences in World War II

01:11 Yes, well, it's alright. I had no clean. I was born in whole entire. I came to the United States when I was 13 and several years ago. When I had one year of college, I wasn't all of a sudden inducted into the Dutch Army basic training in Canada and to my surprise. I was not sent to England but sent to Australia and in Australia, I I I I spent about

01:46 9 months in school to learn about the New Guinea natives

01:54 And and

01:58 This was at the request of General MacArthur and who wanted to do all this way to the Philippines Rodrigo and invade the northern part of Northern New Guinea.

02:13 And and I needed to know that you're important because of

02:24 Intelligence the Gathering especially early and then later on we had to take care of.

02:35 Alternators who that's the native population because they might suffer or the other might be problems with him. We're providing intelligence about the whereabouts of the Japanese as well and they nearly always knew where the Japanese were and so are you you had Messengers take take this information and pass it on to the Americans.

03:22 Do you know I saw that I'd kinda like Michael Bergin there and the way I'd ever so beaver in touch with me mac is everyday one way in the Basecamp. What was the most important lesson that you learned while you were stationed in New Guinea?

03:43 I think that you want to say I would all of all of a sudden I spent I spent time for Alton several months in the values Villages and I learned to admire the New Guinea natives who were very primitive, but they were loyal and

04:07 And knowledgeable in their own environment, very knowledgeable.

04:16 No, they helped you in in what ways?

04:25 They are you might.

04:30 And I would walk in the jungle with some and fries and and then you would save whispering in Japanese. No pics and then you would think they were always right environment extremely. Well do the trails the new the trails. Sometimes you do sloths who voted and swamps and they got you cross rivers.

05:16 Cross River City big fat Friday my chop down a tree and then you went over the river on the tree.

05:35 And they cooks for you.

05:38 Guess they could yes, I remember one time. I saw the other than they had a pan full of drugs and the crops are trying to climb out and they just slapped him back into the pants and then they offered me some Monday midnight and I said after a few days of eating at me to send and to meet the sandvich funny. What it what kind of meat is it? They said the regular meat at bat.

06:19 MacArthur and then pick them up and tell me a little bit about what it was like in the jungle.

06:31 I guess it was mountainous in New Guinea and fees for ankle deep in mud.

06:45 And and I can going up and down hills and mountains. Don't amount to a quite I

06:52 And you do you get tired walking all day and you could only go anywhere so I know Road and that's all I do. I think I left a pretty strong legs and malaria while you were there and hepatitis we all love you. Malaria.

07:29 So you couldn't escape it to end. So we all had added run Mac from the American Army when I had to run.

07:41 Major yellow

07:43 And and it's inhibited to malaria and it was a bit odd because the Japanese that we didn't counted in the jungle. They have been there so long that they are they disc and what's right and the other one and so did the other brands suppress the symptoms until it takes. Stop taking your time.

08:23 But now you have left you get any info into other places and actually it did that hit me up and I was back in Washington after the war was over in Ogunquit George here to help me take care of you as well and I felt terrible one well on a patrol in

08:55 Unfortunately doctor we had a doctor in the unit that came by and I didn't know what was the matter with me and it looks at my eyes and just say you've called jaundice.

09:14 Hepatitis, but then you would cost a fortune, please. Not the bad hepatitis, but I have a dinosaur.

09:25 I believe you also help the natives with medicines right old are there sick people lined up and and day of magic things we could do and they all wanted some injection even even if the illness that they had was not.

10:00 But not killed by an injection but but pills and what were the kinds of things that you saw?

10:11 Some people with elephantiasis which issue which makes you that makes your legs swell through to monstrous proportions and then to the office. The legs favorite one or two legs, but you each and dolphins ever super 81 from the legs miserable side.

10:37 You had contact with American soldiers. I believe the 92nd or 93rd Division. I think you know at that time was the time of Jim Crow and black divisions in the Army 92nd over one was in Italy in the driveway and one was in in in.

11:05 And you can eat and

11:12 And yeah, you offered them accommodation to the office of America send to other bills to my surprise the I made arrangements with the officers to stay with me in and I had to go in the village Mystic the other people and I was surprised to see you.

11:41 That that wasn't black Division and

11:48 And so I am but that didn't bother me if we should black people showed up so I had them in my in my

12:06 In my heart in two

12:08 In the village and

12:11 And they were very friendly and at this time at night then. They went off and came back and I saw them again and then I invited him again to eat with me and I put them up in my house and

12:29 And then later on would you like me to go finish this off right now later on I saw them again. No, no, no, no on the beach. I never station there on the beach and they saw me and then they should Day-Day. They said the north one doctor there two black doctor, which was unusual in those days and they said why don't you call me? Why don't you come and eat with us Uncle Sam's got plenty of everything in the food is probably better than what they feed you.

13:05 And the best and so we can show that were talking about Justin cats and dogs and then they began to forgot it was there and then they began to to say what was really bugging. Monday. They hated being treated badly in the United States to hear fountains drinking found. It's ridiculous and

13:46 II gation in the United States and and and then they began after a while they began to talk to me about that then and then they said, you know, you wouldn't believe it. But to me we have two kinds of blood plasma if you're wounded.

14:06 I want kind to Hess is for white people at one kind is for black people and then the blood patch mesh identical but

14:22 If you will be having to all told to only give

14:27 White blood plasma to whites and black plus with Droid Turbo 2 blacks and are no circumstances should be to anything else. I shall do a lot.

14:39 What if I

14:41 What if I shoot?

14:45 You know shoot walk out of here and again got Shelton and I'm bleeding and you out of

14:52 White blood plasma

15:00 I said I I hope you

15:06 If it's an American, would you let him bleed to death? If you don't have the right blood plasma yesterday happens to me and I don't give a damn by I take I want to be alive because you are Dutch.

15:36 Choking. Thank you, Dad.

15:44 Yeah true.

15:50 Taken into the Dutch Army we even though you'd moved to the us when you are 13.

15:55 Well when the war broke out.

16:04 Do you want some?

16:07 Everybody in those days I had to serve and

16:14 And

16:16 So that's when I knew that if I if I if we insist had I had refused to go into the Dutch Army. I would have been with the American Army and who knows I wouldn't you know, I did survive that to the time may not have survived something out. Anyway, it just didn't occur to me to

16:38 Do a very young to die was right. I was only 17.

16:47 In Canada, New Guinea

17:00 How many before do you have something like that?

17:04 And you spoke Malay that's was something that's why I went to the tune you gave me because I I had grown up in the Dutch East Indies versus as a boy and the Shore by on Java.

17:27 And I could say I could speak some Malayalam ready?

17:36 Yeah.

17:41 II for those days that my father was in the Dutch Navy and every 5 years you can transfer it to some other passport in and when I was young we went by ship of course or two of the day, I found it exciting going meow going to the other end of the world and friendly and you remove back to Amsterdam and then detonate that my father was a

18:23 Appointed to Naval attache in Washington and that's how I go to America you

18:34 Culture shock

18:39 What what what what what what what what?

18:47 How do I was mostly fascinated but it was so different. I found it to say what's in the Harvest and neither side is it I didn't have any problem with him.

19:06 Was there anything that surprised you when you first got there?

19:10 From what you expected?

19:15 Yeah. Well catch a surprising. I remember one of my first Patrol.

19:30 Rental control and all of a sudden I saw.

19:40 A uniform of a Japanese uniform on the side of the trail. So I I I picked up two uniform and a and a skull fell out.

19:53 Goodnight, and in the end the jungle is do you turn into a to just bounce back quick quick time?

20:06 Were you aware that I mean the fact that there was a war going on with that very present in your mind or where you pretty removed from it. I know no I know.

20:25 Oprah phrases

20:36 Oh, no, I I I I I I

20:43 I don't know why I had to.

20:48 No, I didn't take a long time with all the all of a sudden you or you or you just put into a different world end.

21:00 So I I know I didn't have any problem with that. Did you bring them canned food or did you have any provisions like. We have the water PX?

21:17 You could you could cause I got some things about the door that the window stores there was nothing. So whatever you got your

21:32 Did you ever feel homesick or ready to leave?

21:39 No, because

21:43 LOL, I live all I wasn't mine.

21:49 No, nothing and your unit and was you had a lot of jokes to roast in the Dutch group right occasion that I fell off. My chair. You're funny things happened never the less. You were very grateful when the war was over course when you heard them that the bomb has been dropped right tonight duration that was in the outside Hall & Beyond.

22:31 Yo.

22:34 Because that was the toast of you were in a bit of a dangerous situation because of her.

22:42 The one

22:45 We are on the North Coast and door.

22:51 7000 jobs until we started with 3000 with afterward turned out to be 7000 Japanese that were on the other side of the river Maybe.

23:03 Maybe 20 or 30 miles away and

23:10 We fight we had at least one encounter with him already.

23:15 Payday versus up in the trees and they're shooting at you and I saw that we'll see how your stuff there and then

23:23 And don't

23:26 So

23:28 And then I remember that to you.

23:36 Yeah, I was happy and so I'm and I hope I had to little radio with me and I could receive a single tonight.

23:51 I remember the evening at that I heard.

23:56 That the war was over in the moment being dropped.

24:00 I remember asking hold it all the village Chiefs in the neighborhood to come in tonight.

24:07 I am told him.

24:11 And they

24:15 Very very nice price to do.

24:29 Yeah, it's cool now on you.

24:32 Did you know what you were going to do when it was over when you went back to give a plan, LOL. I went to college. She wants to be a geologist and I became a geologist.

24:44 When did you know that you wanted to do that?

24:47 That usually in the peace when my I think my love and my father had taken me all out on the horse and I Saw Shop.

24:57 Volcanoes in awesome scenery in Java and

25:07 And then movie walking into a crater of Fortune inside the Caldera. I'm sure vent Apple.

25:17 A small mountain and he could you look into the crater and see smoke coming out of fascinating stuff after that. Oh, yeah. I enjoy enjoying my career.

25:39 So what's your suggestion Oklahoma and in the Philippines?

25:49 I'm done.

25:52 One else two-piece. I thinks it's and Australian NetSpend deposit at 13 years old. So I I found it.

26:11 And then I did a bit more here, but not so much.

26:24 Let's Consulting geologist. I was often hired to make a geological reports on the part of Indonesia, which I could read to touch and I could wait until 8. So I was feeling unusually in mind what other what I could do.

26:44 And the leeches the leeches New Guinea in the least coming you and I did begin to do is really real and then it's like to help on you and it starts.

27:06 Start sucking

27:09 But didn't you just use them to remember if you have a shoe and the leeches didn't like a lemon?

27:25 So that's very important. No.

27:33 Affect your future effect.

27:41 How to answer that I don't know if your major lesson was there of respect for these

27:52 Some people sort of remember the restroom.

27:59 People that talked with contempt about the natives and I know you always got kind of mad at them. And what do you know about when did you know anything about them and then you know that has opinions without

28:15 Anything to back them up?

28:25 No, I think that's enough.