Oral Histories


Alan and the Water Buffalo

The last day of Alan Michael Tanguay, a Private First Class of the United States Marine Corps, was no different than any other day for any other Marine in Lance Corporal Barone’s Fireteam of the 1st Platoon of Kilo Company the Third Battalion of the Seventh Marines, in Chu Lai, Vietnam. There was nothing very special that would differentiate Alan from the other Marines he served with, and the best that could be said about Alan was that he was a Marine, and that did his job so very well with honor to the very end. And, of course, there was the water buffalo incident.

Battle for Dong Ha

First person account by Frank Breth, Major S-3 3/9 who was present on April 30, 1968.

Battle for Okinawa, 24 March -30 June 1945

Recollections of Commander Frederick Julian Becton, USN, Commanding Officer of the destroyer USS Laffey (DD-724) which, despite being struck by eight Japanese suicide (kamikaze) aircraft on 16 April 1945, did not sink.

Battle of Guadalcanal, 1942-1943

Battle of Guadalcanal, 1942-1943. Excerpt from Oral History of Pharmacist's Mate First Class Louis Ortega, With the Marines at Guadalcanal.

Battle of the Atlantic, 1941-1945 - Seaman Second Class Basil D. Izzi

Battle of the Atlantic, 1941-1945 Recollections of Seaman Second Class Basil D. Izzi, USNR, an Armed Guard crew member on the Dutch merchant ship SS Zaandam which was torpedoed by German submarine U-174 off the coast of Brazil. He was rescued after 83 days adrift on a raft, 2 Nov 1942 - 24 Jan 1943.

Invasion of Normandy, 6 - 25 June 1944

Invasion of Normandy, 6 - 25 June 1944. Recollections of Lieutenant Commander Joseph H. Gibbons, USNR, Commanding Officer of U.S. Navy Combat Demolitions Units in Force 'O' during combat operations on Omaha Beach during and after the D-day landings.

Iwo Jima Flag Raising

Recollections of the flag raising on Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima by Pharmacist Mate Second Class John H. Bradley, USN, with the 5th Marine Division.

Oral History of Lieutenant Colonel Douglas Smith

After a year in Vietnam, Douglas Smith was going home, and the Army interviewed him as part of a program to find out what worked and what didn't. Smith had first served on the staff of 9th Infantry Division, then spent six months commanding a mechanized infantry battalion. Mechanized infantry had different strengths and weaknesses than regular 'leg' infantry or airmobile troops, and Smith used different tactics to both minimize his risks and get the most from his men and equipment.