Vernon Amundson

MP3 of Vernon Amundson interview

Vernon Amundson joined the Air Force right after high school in 1954. He would spend 25 years in the USAF, mostly as a navigator on a variety of aircraft, including B-52s, C130s and AC 119s. Amundson served in Europe during the height of the Cold War, as well as in Vietnam. He retired in 1979 with the rank of major.

A B-52
A C-130

Wade Tambor

Wade Tambor joined the Navy in 1955, and was sent to Officers Candidates School in Newport, R.I. After earning his ensign’s commission, Tambor was sent to Adak in the Aleutian Islands for his first duty station. There, Tambor handled administrative duties. Tambor would also serve in San Francisco and the Mare Island Naval Shipyard. He would leave active service in 1958 with the rank of lieutenant.

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