Streaming Media


Oral History interview of Leo Birch. Interview conducted by Cannon, Joan at Village on the Green in Longwood, Fla.


0:01 Introduction; 0:45 Childhood; 2:00 Education & Musical Interest; 3:40 Employment Prior to Being Drafted; 4:23 Pre-War Draft; 5:38 Personal & Family Feelings on Service; 6:52 Marching Band Unit Ft. DuPont, Delaware; 8:29 Pearl Harbor; 9:15 Unit Activated Sent West to LA Rail Yards; 10:40 Officer Candidate School; 12:12 Orders to California/Mojave Desert Training; 13:20 Marriage; 13:30 Ft. Monroe Bell Computer Anti-Aircraft Course; 14:26 Assignment to Coast Artillery Board Assistant Training Officer; 16:30 Chesapeake Bay Target (Bell/155mm); 20:02 Ft. Crockett, Texas Artillery Shoot; 23:34 End of World War 2; 24:37 Reserves & Returning to Work for Western Electric; 25:28 Inspiration While at Rutgers University & Leaving Western Electric; 28:35 Harbor Defense Course; 29:34 GTE Employment; 31:28 Korean War Activation; 33:14 Orders to Japan; 35:28 Planning Landline Service in Okinawa; 37:31 Impressions of Japanese People; 39:42 Memory from Tokyo; 41:07 Requesting Richard Nixon‘s Help in Resigning Commission; 42:51 Returning to Civilian Life & Work with GTE; 45:02 Various Positions in GTE & World HQ Position in New York City; 46:07 Keeping up with Others Who Served; 46:51 Eldest Son‘s Career; 50:54 Younger Son‘s Career; 51:36 Grandchildren; 52:14 GTE International & Iran; 55:08 London Personnel Acquisition; 58:02 Retirement in Florida; 59:09 Assessment of Military Service; 59:59 Conclusion

Date of Birth


Place of Birth

Elizabeth (N.J.)




White - Non Hispanic

Home State

New Jersey

War or Conflict

World War II



Begin/End date of Service - 1st



Entrance into Service


Branch of Service

U.S. Army

Unit of Service

Battalion - Coast Artillery Board; Signal Corps; Aviation Battalion

Highest Rank

First Lieutenant; 1LT

Prisoner of War


Service Related Injury



Anti-Aircraft training officer; Computer Artillery Test Officer.


Coast Artillery Board - Worked with Bell Laboratories on their development of Computer Associated with SCR-584 Radar to direct fire of 155mm Mobile Seacoast artillery at Ft. Monroe, VA; In Japan during Korean War with team of technicians: gave communications support to Gen. MacArthur‘s headquarters in Tokyo; Lent support to communications needs at Kadena Airport in Okinawa - land line replacement of Radio -was transferred to Signal Corps from Anti-Aircraft Artillery prior to Korean War.

City of Birth


Country of Birth

United States


Cannon, Joan

Interview Date


Location of Interview

Village on the Green in Longwood, Fla.


Birch, Leo A.; World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives; Post World War II; United States. Army

Collection Description

Contains logs, audio and video recordings of interviews with Central Florida's veterans as part of a history class project for the students at the University of Central Florida (UCF). The UCF Community Veterans History Project(CVHP) started in fall 2010. It collects, preserves, and makes accessible to the public the experiences of Central Florida's veterans so that future generations will better understand the realities of conflict. It is a collaborative endeavor supported by multiple departments and offices at UCF. The veterans' histories are archived and made digitally available through the UCF library and selected materials are contributed to the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress.

Contributor Affiliation / Organization

RICHES; University of Central Florida


Cannon, Joan

Length of Interview

60 Minutes


Department of History, University of Central Florida


Video; MovingImage


All rights are held by the respective holding institution. This material is posted publicly for non-profit educational uses, excluding printed publication. For permission to reproduce and/or for copyright information contact Special Collections and University Archives, University of Central Florida Libraries, (407) 823-2576.


University of Central Florida Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives

Contributing Project

UCF Community Veterans History Project

Document Type