James Nicholl Jr.

 

James Nicholl Jr. joined the Navy in 1944 to honor his father and history teacher. He would serve on several vessels, including an armed cargo vessel and mine sweeper, in Scotland, Russia and the North Atlantic. Nicholl would also serve during the Korean War.

James Nicholl Jr. during WWII.

 

James Nicholl Jr. among a group of veterans receiving diplomas from Everett High School.

 

James Nicholl’s certificate of honor for his service in the Korean War.

 

Citation from the American Legion; Nicholl served as a commander for Post 210.

 

 

Ferdinand “Fred” Lucontoni

 

“Fred” Lucontoni was drafted into the Army in 1943, and served in General George Patton’s 3rd Army, 733 Field Artillery Service Battery, as a machine gunner. He remembered seeing “thousands of planes” flying overhead en route to a bombing mission at St. Lo in France; Lucontoni also took part in the Battle of the Bulge.

This interview was recorded at the Bedford VA Medical Center by James Ramsey.

 

Vincent “Vince” MacDonald

 

Vince MacDonald joined the Air Force ROTC while still a student at Brown University, earning his second lieutenant’s commission upon graduation in 1960. Over the next 30 years, MacDonald would work in personnel and career management at several bases in the U.S. and in Bermuda. While stationed at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware in 1978, he oversaw the receipt, processing and disposition of the victims of the tragedy in Jonestown, Guyana.

 

 

Vince MacDonald in uniform

 

Vince MacDonald starring in a comic strip

 

Vince MacDonald when he began his duties at Dover AFB, 1970s.

 

Vince MacDonald when he retired from Hansom AFB

 

 

Air Force article on Jonestown, page 1

 

Air Force article on Jonestown, page 2

 

Air Force article on Jonestown, page 3

 

 

Jacob Darnel

 

Jacob Darnel enlisted in the Marines shortly after graduating from high school in Kentucky. He learned cryptography, and was assigned to Paris to help establish the Defense Command Agency. He would also be assigned to Vietnam to help run a message center near Da Nang Harbor.

This interview was recorded at the Bedford VA Medical Center; interview conducted by volunteer Jim Ramsey.

 

Richard Diaz

 

In 1965, Richard Diaz was not doing well in high school, so he decided to join the Navy. First trained to handle codes, he soon transferred to the “black shoe” Navy; he served on board the USS Northampton and the USS Eaton as a fire control technician. Diaz took part in several operations in Vietnam, from bombing targets in North Vietnam to searching junks and sampans for weapons.

This interview was recorded at the Bedford VA Medical Center; interview by volunteer Jim Ramsey.

 

 

Richard Diaz with U.S. Senator John McCain

 

Richard Diaz with friend Robert Moody

 

A gun firing

 

A child in a village in Vietnam

Albert Souza

 

Albert Souza remembers the end of World War II, growing up in the 1950s, the Camelot years of John F. Kennedy, when the Beatles performed in Boston, and the turmoil during Vietnam and Watergate. In 1961, Souza was married with a child on the way when he came close to being drafted into the Army during the Berlin crisis.

 

This interview was recorded by students at UMass-Lowell.