William Martin

Born and raised in South Boston, Bill Martin was drafted into the Navy in 1966 despite poor eyesight. Because he was a college graduate, he was sent to Officer Candidates School in Newport, R.I. Trained as a supply officer, Martin would serve in active duty and the Reserves for 30 years; he would see action off the coast of Vietnam and take part in Desert Storm. He retired from the Navy in 1997 with the rank of captain. As of this interview in 2019, Martin is the Veterans Services Officer for Kingston, Mass.

Raffael deGruttola

Raffael deGruttola – audio

Raffael deGruttola enlisted in the Army in 1953, shortly after graduating from Somerville High School. Because of his talents as a musician, he earned a spot in the 18th U.S. Army Band in Fort Devens. He would also earn a spot in the 1st U.S. Army Band in New York City, as well as attending the Naval School of Music Conservatory in Washington, D.C.

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.

 

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.

Robert W. Wright

 

Bob Wright was born and raised in Natick. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1966 to see the world and have some adventure. He became a “plane captain” working the flight decks on the USS Yorktown, USS Constellation and the USS Ranger during the height of the Vietnam War and the Cold War.

 

 

Bob Wright at the Veterans Wall, Morse Institute Library, Natick

 

Bob Wright during his service on board the USS Yorktown

Bob Wright on deck

 

Charles Bevilacqua


 

The first time Woburn native Charlie Bevilacqua took a train, it was to go to the U.S. Navy training center at Great Lakes, Ill., in 1948. He would serve in the SeaBees (construction battalion) for 30 years, serving in Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines and the United States. He was part of the construction crew that built the research bases at McMurdo Sound and at the South Pole in Antarctica in 1957. He also saw action at Inchon in Korea as well as in Vietnam.

Thomas A. Hunt

 

U.S. Army 1954–1956

 

While lying in bed at night, Thomas Hunt would hear squadrons of bombers fly over his home in New Canaan, Conn., and knew the types of planes from the engine sounds they made. This is just one of the stories Tom recollects about his boyhood days before and during World War II. He talks about his brother, Bob, who served in the Marines and was wounded at Okinawa, and about his own experiences serving the U.S. Army in West Germany during the Cold War in the 1950s.

 

Robert Hunt, Thomas Hunt’s brother, who served in the Marines.

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