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

 

 

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.

 

Walter Gilbert

U.S. Army, 1943-45

 

Walter Gilbert was born and raised in Cambridge. While a student at Northeastern University, he enlisted in the Army Reserve Corps, and was called up in 1943. Gilbert served in the 104th Infantry, 26th (Yankee) Division as a platoon sergeant. He would see action in France, Luxembourg and Belgium, and would earn a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and the French Legion of Honor for his service.

 

 

Walter Gilbert with his medals, 2018

David Gaulin

U.S. Army, 1954-57

 

David Gaulin entered the U.S. Army in 1954 as a way to stay out of jail. He trained as a tank driver, and was stationed in Furth in West Germany. When he was sent to the border at Czechoslovakia, he helped several civilians fleeing the Soviets. While he was heading back to the United States, Gaulin witnessed the sinking of the Andrea Doria.

 

Harold Eckman

 

Harold Eckman was born in Worcester, the son of immigrants. He attended Clark University in Worcester, and joined the U.S. Army Reserve Corps in 1942. Eckman would eventually head to Europe as part of the 94th Infantry Division, where he served as mail orderly, delivering (and sometimes censoring) mail for his company.

 

James Zographos

 

James Zographos had just graduated from the Mass. College of Pharmacy when he was drafted into the U.S. Army. Initially assigned to the infantry, Zographos would transfer to the Army Air Force, where he became a bombardier on board a B-17. Assigned to the 8th Air Force, he flew 50 missions, was wounded twice, and would be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Purple Heart.

This interview was recorded at the International Museum of World War II-Boston.

 

 

Ronald “Chuck” Tiberio

 

Chuck Tiberio enlisted in the Army in 1968 to avoid being drafted. A brand-new college graduate who majored in mathematics, Tiberio went into artillery because that’s where he believed he could put his math skills to good use. He would spend most of 1969 in South Vietnam with Alpha Battery, 7th Battalion, 8th Field Artillery, 54th Artillery Group. Although never in direct contact with the enemy, Tiberio talked about his unit being hit with mortar rounds.