Streaming Media


Oral history interview of Gary Kikillus. Interview conducted by Molly Macgowan at Cocoa Village, Florida.


00:12 Introductions; 00:30 Family military history; 2:40 Enlistment as terrorism begins in Europe; 3:28 Why I chose the Navy; 4:51 Arriving at Sardinia and the USS Orion; 5:43 Sardinia people and culture; 7:50 Serving in the Mediterranean; 8:42 Least favorite assignment and describing duties; 10:00 Meets CMO winner Mike Thornton; 12:51 Becoming a petty officer; 14:19 Feelings on the decommissioning of Orion; 14:57 Going to Virginia Beach; 16:00 Chernobyl and Libyan terrorism; 17:00 Seeing the American military in action; 17:34 Returning to Libya; 18:50 Its good to work for the Captain, good to be a cook; 21:31 Plans for life after the Navy; 23:00 Readjustment to civilian life; 24:16 Hardest part of leaving the Navy; 24:48 Closure of Sardinia base; 25:32 Cigarette rations; 26:49 Missing a bus and meeting a stranger; 28:40 Recommends joining the Navy; 29:40 Admiration for Special Ops; 30:20 The media and the military; (2) 00:23 Traveling in Europe; 3:15 European relations and WWII connections; 7:29 Meeting the Seals on the beach; 8:00 Female officers in Sardinia; 9:00 The Orion's mission and naval activity in the Mediterranean; 11:13 The Royal Navy and shore leave; 13:13 "Ugly Americans" and European Roots; 14:46 Cultural briefings do's and do not's, on-shore relations; 18:30 On board injuries and medical services; 23:05 Aga Khan's Yaht [YACHT]; 24:40 The captain of the Orion and the XO; 28:48 Cooking in today's Navy; (3) 0:02 Thank you

Date of Birth


Place of Birth

Yonkers (N.Y.)




White - Non Hispanic

Home State

New York

War or Conflict

Cold War Era



Begin/End date of Service - 1st



Entrance into Service


Branch of Service

U.S. Navy

Unit of Service

AS-18 Orion Command Service Squadron 4

Location of Service

Sardena (Italy); Northfolk (Va.)

Highest Rank

Petty Officer 2nd Class; PO2

Prisoner of War


Service Related Injury



Sea Service Deployment Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon


See the video.

City of Birth


Country of Birth

United States


Macgowan, Molly

Interview Date


Location of Interview

Cocoa Village, Florida.


Kikillus, Gary W.; Cold War -- Personal Narratives; Sardinia; USS Orion; Mediterranean; Chernobyl; Libya; Terrorism; United States. Navy

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


Macgowan, Molly

Length of Interview

62 minutes, 34 seconds


Department of History, University of Central Florida


Audio; Sound


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