Andrew DeFrancesco

Andrew DeFrancesco joined the Marine Corps shortly after graduating from Don Bosco High School in Boston. He was a member of the Corps’ Force Reconnaissance Unit; his training included scuba diving and parachuting. He served in Okinawa, Australia, Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam, and was wounded five times.

Jim Ramsey interviews Andrew DeFrancesco at the Bedford VA Medical Center.

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.




David A. Whitmore


After junior college, Dave Whitmore worked for an engineering firm in Manchester, N.H., and when he was called up during the Korean Conflict, enlisted into the Army. Initially stationed at Camp Gordon, Ga., he was sent to New Jersey for VHF (very high frequency) communications training. Although he wanted to go to Germany, Dave was instead sent to Japan, where he worked at a transmitter station in Tokyo Bay. After the service, Dave had a 35-year career with Raytheon, working on projects such as HAWK (ground-to-air missiles) and SPARROW (air-to-air missiles).


Charles Leavitt


When young Charles Leavitt heard about the atomic bomb being dropped in 1945, he thought there would be no more war. In 1948, he volunteered to enter the Army; in 1950, after a stint as a company clerk in Japan, he was sent to the conflict in Korea as a rifleman with the 1st Cavalry Division, 7th Cavalry Regiment. Leavitt tells of his experiences there, from watching friends get shot to being wounded in the thigh.



Charles Leavitt, discharge paper