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Find more about Weather in Bellingham, MA


 
Veteran's Oral History
World War II Era



Part of the Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s Oral History Project
Interviewer: Marjorie Turner Hollman
Recorded at ABMI Cable 8 Studios, Bellingham, MA
Video uploads to Youtube thanks to Amy Haug, Bellingham, MA

Matthew F. Foley grew up in Norwood, MA and joined the US Navy just prior to WWII. In this interview he describes skirmishes with German Submarines and planes as the ship he was stationed on cruised the Atlantic coast. Responding immediately to the attack on Pearl Harbor, his ship was ordered to an island near Bermuda, where they captured 5 French ships (France was already occupied by the Nazi government).
Matt continued to serve for the duration of WWII, seeing combat in the battles of Anzio, Palermo and Casablanca. He was honorably discharged after the end of WWII and returned to the Norwood area, married, found work in as a printer and raised his family but longed for a farm. He moved to the Franklin area 40+ years ago, where he found some land, raised all sorts of animals, and still keeps a large garden. He spends time every week in Bellingham with fellow veterans and others in the Bellingham Men’s group.
The Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s oral History Project is supported in part by a grant from the Bellingham Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency." ~http://www.massculturalcouncil.org/



Interview for the Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s Oral History Project
Interviewer, Marjorie Turner Hollman
With support from ABMI Cable 8 in Bellingham, MA
Video uploads to Youtube thanks to Amy Haug, Bellingham, MA.

Robert J. Arpin grew up in Maine in a family that spoke French. When his family moved to Woonsocket, RI they settled into yet another community that was predominantly French-speaking. Arpin retained his French throughout his life and delighted in his visit to France while deployed during the Korean war. He credits his experiences in the Navy for instilling in him a love of travel. His wife opened a travel agency and the couple traveled the world together.
Arpin joined the Navy in March of 1945. On his way across the Pacific he crossed the international dateline and lost a day—his birthday—which became a family joke. He had hoped to be a cook but instead was assigned to gunnery duty and stationed in Okinawa at the very end of WWII. To his surprise, as they landed in Okinawa he and his fellow sailors were shot at by Japanese who were not aware that the war had ended. He went through a typhoon on Okinawa, all the tents they were living in blew away, and they ended up living in caves for shelter until more permanent housing was provided.
In 1951 Arpin was reactivated to serve in the Korean war. This time he served on a tanker ship that supplied American ships with fuel.
 This program is supported in part by a grant from the Bellingham Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency." http://www.massculturalcouncil.org/



Part of the Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s Oral History Project
Interviewer: Marjorie Turner Hollman
Recorded at ABMI Cable 8 Studios, Bellingham, MA
Video uploads to Youtube thanks to Amy Haug, Bellingham, MA.


Catherine (Kay) Mabey DeTore learned about the Cadet Nurse Corps program while caring for her aunt who was ill. This nurse’s training program was instituted during WWII by Franklin D. Roosevelt as a program to provide additional nurses since so many trained nurses were being sent overseas because of the war effort. Kay joined the Cadet Nurse Corps in 1944 and graduated in 1947. She served as a nurse through the 1980’s. In this interview she talks about the nurses training she received, how medicine has changed since she began her schooling, life in the cadet Nurse Corps, rationing and more.
"The Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s oral History Project is supported in part by a grant from the Bellingham Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency."  http://www.massculturalcouncil.org/




Part of the Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s Oral History Project
Interviewer: Marjorie Turner Hollman
Recorded at ABMI Cable 8 Studios, Bellingham, MA
Video uploads to Youtube thanks to Jean Weidman Bradley, Bellingham, MA

Burton “Dutch” Sutton, born in North Adams, Massachusetts, served in the Naval Air Force during WWII and saw combat in the Pacific theater in the Marianna Islands, Palau, the Philippines, Hollandia, New Guinea, Truk Island and the Marshall Islands, 31 combat missions.
He flew as a turret gunner, his position was on the top of the plane, looking backwards. As such, he was in the best position to see how successful each mission was and was debriefed after each mission. He lost the hearing in his left ear, the result of the concussion from Japanese bomb that exploded while his plane was in the air.
“Dutch” flew on additional patrols in search of Japanese submarines floating on the surface to charge their batteries. The missions he flew with never found any Japanese submarines. He noted that if they had, the Japanese would have shot them down before they could have dropped their bombs on the enemy ship.
The Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s oral History Project is supported in part by a grant from the Bellingham Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency."  http://www.massculturalcouncil.org/
Cable8 ABMI TV also provides in-kind and monetary support of this project. http://abmi8.org/

 
 Korean War Era:

Bellingham/Mendon Veteran's Oral History Project - John L. Bell

Part of the Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s Oral History Project
Interviewer: Marjorie Turner Hollman
Recorded at ABMI Cable 8 Studios, Bellingham, MA
Video uploads to Youtube thanks to Jeanne Wiedman Bradley of Bellingham, MA



John L. Bell of Hopedale MA served in the US Army beginning in 1951. He was deployed several times to Korea, witnessed the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961, and was deployed to Vietnam where he was injured and awarded a purple heart

The Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s oral History Project is supported in part by a grant from the Bellingham Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency."  http://www.massculturalcouncil.org/



Part of the Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s Oral History Project
Interviewer: Marjorie Turner Hollman
Recorded at ABMI Cable 8 Studios, Bellingham, MA
Video uploads to Youtube thanks to Amy Haug, Bellingham, MA.

Loretta Perrin Lopez joined the Air Force right out of high school, in 1951. She grew up in Gloucester, MA but the military took her away from home and allowed her to see the world. She worked as a supply clerk, travelled to Germany, met and married her husband there, and left the service when she was no longer able to wear her uniform when she was six months pregnant with her first child. Loretta spent several years back in France where her husband was stationed, and when she returned to the US she worked for many years at the U.S. Army Natick Laboratories. She volunteered for many years as a ski patrol at a local snow skiing area. She has a passion for sailing and built and sailed her own sailboat, and continues to sail at age 81.
The Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s oral History Project is supported in part by a grant from the Bellingham Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency."  http://www.massculturalcouncil.org/


Part of the Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s Oral History Project
Interviewer: Marjorie Turner Hollman
Recorded at ABMI Cable 8 Studios, Bellingham, MA
Video uploads to Youtube thanks to Jean Weidman Bradley,, Bellingham, MA

Robert S. Weidman grew up in Franklin, MA, joined the Army when he was 17 and was sent to Korea during the Korean War in 1953-54. He trained as a medic and served at the 38th parallel, one mile behind the front lines. Robert met United Nations troops from across the world during his time in Korea. He was moved by the poverty of the people of Korea, as well as his experiences meeting survivors of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima (during a week of rest –R&R-in Japan). He returned home after having served, married, has 6 children, and after retirement continues to help out with a son’s business. His daughter Jean and her children live in Bellingham.

The Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s oral History Project is supported in part by a grant from the Bellingham Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency." http://www.massculturalcouncil.org/ 



Later 1950's Cold War Era:



Part of the Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s Oral History Project
Interviewer: Marjorie Turner Hollman
Recorded at ABMI Cable 8 Studios, Bellingham, MA
Video uploads to Youtube thanks to Amy Haug, Bellingham, MA

Thomas G. Donnelly grew up in the Boston area and entered the U.S. Navy in 1954. He was stationed on the USS Coral Sea, an aircraft carrier. He witnessed plane crashes, weathered storms, traveled to Europe and visit Cuba just prior to the revolution in that country. He carried his camera with him regularly, and during this interview shared some of the photographs he took during his time of service.
After his discharge from service he has continued to give back to the community by serving on the volunteer fire department, and is a volunteer van driver for the Bellingham Senior Center.
The Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s oral History Project is supported in part by a grant from the Bellingham Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency." ~http://www.massculturalcouncil.org/


Wayne Morey grew up on a farm in the Milford, MA area, and joined the Navy in hopes of receiving the help he needed to get further education. He became Fire Control technician, which he learned had nothing to do with putting out fires. Instead of fighting fires, his responsibilities involved running the radar equipment on the USS Leyte, an aircraft carrier. Wayne shares stories of life aboard ship, details of early computers that ran equipment, learning trigonometry from a determined teacher, travels abroad, learning to not be wasteful, and finding ways to give back.

The Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s oral History Project is supported in part by a grant from the Bellingham Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency."  http://www.massculturalcouncil.org/


Vietnam Era:



Part of the Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s Oral History Project
Interviewer: Marjorie Turner Hollman
Recorded at ABMI Cable 8 Studios, Bellingham, MA
Video uploads to Youtube thanks to Amy Haug, Bellingham, MA.

Bruce W. Lord was drafted in February, 1966 and sent to Vietnam. He served with the 44th Med Brigade. He spent a year in Vietnam, initially stationed in Saigon, later moved to long Bihn. His official work was clerical, but Bruce took on the job of producing a weekly newsletter, “The Mover” as a method of maintaining communication with the various medical units spread throughout the country. In this interview he talks of daily military life, experiences that made it clear they were living in a war zone, the black market, people he met and ways he spent his spare time. Throughout the interview are photos Bruce took during his year in Vietnam. At the conclusion Bruce spends time talking about returning to a changed country that did not welcome back those who served in the military in Vietnam.
"The Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s oral History Project is supported in part by a grant from the Bellingham Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency."  http://www.massculturalcouncil.org/




Part of the Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s Oral History Project
Interviewer: Marjorie Turner Hollman
Recorded at ABMI Cable 8 Studios, Bellingham, MA
Video uploads to Youtube thanks to Amy Haug, Bellingham, MA.

Bellingham, MA resident Bill Vicini joined the Air Force in 1964 and served in Vietnam in the Field Maintenance Squadron with the 14th Air Command in Nha Trang. Besides keeping equipment in good repair, Bill provided aircraft crash recovery. In this interview he describes living conditions in Vietnam, challenges of living in a tropical climate, his duties as part of the crash recovery crew, enemy attacks on the base and more. When Bill returned to civilian life he continued to serve the community, working with the Fire Department and the school system here in Bellingham, MA. He presently works with disabled veterans, coordinating transportation of veterans to medical appointments, as well as aiding veterans in applying for benefits.
 This program is supported in part by a grant from the Bellingham Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency." http://www.massculturalcouncil.org/



Interview for the Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s Oral History Project
Interviewer, Marjorie Turner Hollman
With support from ABMI Cable 8 in Bellingham, MA
Video uploads to Youtube thanks to Amy Haug, Bellingham, MA.

Bellingham, MA resident Robert P. Bartlett served as a medic in the U.S. Navy Reserve and was deployed with the U.S. Marines to Kuwait in 1991 in Desert Storm. In this brief oral history, Bartlett mentions the draft lottery that took place during the Vietnam War. Because of his low lottery number, Bartlett enlisted in the Navy rather than being drafted by the Army.
Bartlett was never deployed to Vietnam, and remained in the Navy Reserve for twenty plus years. During his deployment during Desert Strom he served on the front lines, patrolled oil fields, encountered Iraqi forces, and found himself between enemy tanks and US forces. He spoke warmly of discovering an Iraqi doctor who had been working in the US but returned home to visit his parents and was forcibly drafted into Sadaam’s army. He expressed admiration for this doctor and appreciation for his help during Desert Storm. The doctor was returned to the states at the war’s end. He also described treating injured Iraqi soldiers with numerous illnesses and lingering injuries from the Iran-Iraq war.
A father of three young children, Bartlett chose to retire after his deployment to Kuwait. Like many fellow soldiers, Bartlett has spent much of his adult life giving back to his community.
 This program is supported in part by a grant from the Bellingham Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency." http://www.massculturalcouncil.org/



Jim Fitzpatrick was drafted into the U.S. Army in July of 1967, and was headed to Vietnam. He became ill just prior to his unit’s departure, and ended up in Korea during the time of the Pueblo incident. Upon Jim’s return to the US he became involved in the anti-war movement, and experienced more violence here in the US than he had seen during his time of service in the Army. His last thought during the interview was of his friend who died, serving in Vietnam.

The Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s oral History Project is supported in part by a grant from the Bellingham Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency." http://www.massculturalcouncil.org/ 

ABMI Cable8 TV also provides in-kind and monetary support of this project. http://abmi8.org/


Turn of 21st century, War on Terror Era:



Interview for the Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s Oral History Project
Interviewer, Marjorie Turner Hollman
With support from ABMI Cable 8 in Bellingham, MA
Video uploads to Youtube thanks to Amy Haug, Bellingham, MA.

 Bellingham, MA resident Linda Calderiso joined the Army as a single mother with two small children. She says that she wanted to do something to make her sons proud of her. She talks about the challenges of boot camp and being so far away from her children, her determination to stay fit once she’d gotten into shape, and her experiences serving as an Emergency Prepared Liaison Officer during the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. She talks about how her job changed after 9-11 with an increased awareness of the capabilities of emergency prepared liaisons. She also participated in work that addressed sexual harassment in the military after the Tailhook scandal and received an award for her work. She assisted with emergency response during Hurricanes Ivan and jean. Now retired from the Army, Linda serves with FEMA, using her experience with emergency preparedness. Each year she, her husband and a growing number of others band together each September 11 to climb the forty 4000 ft. peaks in New Hampshire, where they collectively post a flag on each peak and spend several hours at those peaks recalling the attacks and remembering those who were lost.
 This program is supported in part by a grant from the Bellingham Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency." http://www.massculturalcouncil.org/




Tim Harvey grew up in Blackstone and his family is from Bellingham, his parents have a business in Bellingham. His father served in the Army, but encouraged Tim to join the Marines for the closeness and camaraderie of this branch of the service. Tim went to college, graduated then joined the Marines as an officer candidate. After training and becoming an officer, Tim was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011. He served on two bases, Camp Eddi, a Forward Operating Base, (FOB) and Camp Leatherneck. He describes life on a FOB, security concerns, staying in shape with Marine Martial Arts training, and learning to manage in difficult circumstances. He left active duty in 2012, got an MBA on the GI Bill, and is now serving on State Senator Richard Moore’s staff as his District Director.
 
The Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s oral History Project is supported in part by a grant from the Bellingham Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency."  http://www.massculturalcouncil.org/

Cable8 ABMI TV also provides in-kind and monetary support of this project. http://abmi8.org/