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.

 

Hyman Hipsman

 

Holocaust survivor, Poland and Russia

 

Hyman Hipsman grew up in Wlodawa, Poland; after the German invasion in 1939, he went to work for a German war contractor, Bernhard Falkenburg, who saved Hipsman’s life on several occasions. When Falkenburg could no longer protect him, Hipsman went into hiding, and eventually joined a group of Russian partisans. Hipsman would lose his parents, two brothers and sister to Nazi atrocities.

 

 

Newspaper article about the Hipsmans’ experiences during the Holocaust.

 

Arnold Lessard

 

U.S. Army Air Corps, 1943-47

Arnold Lessard helped his father run a grocery store in Newburyport, and also owned a band that toured around the area. He enlisted in the Army in 1943; his ability to do math quickly helped him join the Army Air Corps soon after. He became a navigator and bombardier, and would be part of a B-17 crew testing radar equipment. Arnold Lessard was stationed in Japan during the American occupation. Lessard’s experience in the military led to a lengthy and successful career in consulting.

This interview was conducted by his son, Arnaud Lessard, at the Bedford VA Medical Center.

 

 

 

John Lobberecht (audio only)

 

John Lobberecht didn’t study much during high school and college, so he joined the Marines in 1983. He learned how to fly, and became a loadmaster on a C130; he served mostly in the United States, with a tour of duty in Okinawa. He said although he was a Marine serving in peacetime, he trained constantly in case he was called in action.

This interview was part of a program conducted by students at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.

Nicholas A. Hapshe Jr. (audio only)

 

Nicholas Hapshe served in the U.S. Navy from 1969-71 with the 7th Fleet, Destroyer Squadron, at Norfolk, Va., and Guantanamo, Cuba. His duties included servicing anti-submarine missiles and as a fleet kitchen worker.

This interview was part of a program conducted by graduate students at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.