Russ Lattuca enlisted in the U.S. Navy right after graduating from Maynard High School in 1965. Trained in fire control, Lattuca was assigned to the USS LaSalle, an amphibious transport vessel. The LaSalle transported equipment and personnel to various parts of the Atlantic; it even picked up an unmanned Gemini test capsule that turned out to be part of an experimental spy program.
Dan Callanan left Malden Catholic in February 1943 to join the Marine Corps, because his father had served with the Marines during World War I. Callanan would be trained as an aerial photographer, and would serve in North Carolina, Florida and at Midway Island in the Pacific Theater.
Marcia Bloom answered the call for women to serve and spent 2 1/2 years in the Women’s Army Corps. A shy young woman, she learned how to handle herself in whatever assignments she was given, from drum corps to military police and even as part of a radar crew in Orlando, Fla. Many of her stories are humorous, although she did experience some discrimination because she was a woman. While in service she made many lifelong friends. Marcia talks about her husband, Otto Zwecher, who fled from the Nazis in Austria and became an interpreter for the U.S Army during the war, and about life in Natick after the war.
Marie Claire Maxfield White joined the U.S. Army Air Force in 1943, following in the footsteps of her father, a colonel in the Army Reserves, and two brothers who served in the Army and Navy, respectively. White became a radio mechanic, and served at the Big Spring Bombardier Training Base in Texas. A highlight of her service came when she fixed the radio on the plane carrying entertainer Bob Hope and his troupe.
As a Yeoman 1st class in the Navy during World War II, Kit Symonds performed clerical work in Key West, Fla., and Washington, D.C. She talks about her role in helping to find housing for servicemen and their families in Key West and about her experiences in boot camp in New York, which included singing with the Ray Charles choral group for two months.
Discusses Mr. Sanford’s service as an instructor at Fort Monmouth, as well as his role in the installation and maintenance of communications in the Philippines as a member of the U.S. Army Signal Corps during World War II.
While still a student at Harvard University, Roger Reidy enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Finishing his studies as part of the V-12 Navy training program at Harvard, he would become friends with Robert F. Kennedy and encounter the future Academy award winner Jack Lemmon. Because of his background in engineering, the Navy sent Reidy to Camp Endicott in Davisville, R.I., to train with a construction battalion. With the 94th Construction Battalion Seabees, Ensign Reidy was stationed on Guam. He also served with the 76th and 23rd Construction Battalions. They helped prepare the island to be a base for the invasion of Japan and built Northwest Field and a breakwater in the harbor. Both are still in use today. While on Guam, Reidy was in charge of a group of Japanese prisoners, supervising a construction project. In this capacity he learned to understand the enemy the Allies had just defeated.