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.
Arnold Bopp joined some friends and enlisted into the Army in 1954. He served for 20 years in the Army’s Security Agency as a teletype operator and teletype interceptor. He served twice in Alaska, as well as Berlin, Fort Devens and Vietnam.
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 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.
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.
Dawn Ross was born in a family where military service was valued – her father and brother both served long terms in the Navy. She joined the Navy in 1981 and helped track Russian submarines in the Pacific. She remains a strong proponent for veterans and military service.
This interview covers Mr. Petrone’s service as an aircraft handling technician in Europe and the Mediterranean. He was in Cuba during the Missile Crisis.
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.
U.S. Army 1954–1956
U.S. Navy 1961–1963