Oral History interview of Richard Jeffrey. Interview conducted by Thurlow, Katherine; Radcliffe, Todd at Mr. Jeffrey's residence, Melbourne FL.
0:10 Beginning of service, appointed to Naval Academy by Sen. Warren Austin; 0:52 Graduates 1939 from naval academy, goes to Pacific; 1:34 Commanders not informed of likelihood of attack on Pearl Harbor; 2:38 Emperor Ho has divine message to be controlling power; 4:14 Pacific fleet moves to Hawaii to offset any of Japan’s attacks; 4:38 Graduates from naval academy, assigned to Pacific fleet; 5:15 Why Washington doesn’t inform those in Hawaii of possible attack; 8:34 Battleships, his ship was Maryland, target of Japanese – Battleship row; 9:49 Attack on Oklahoma ship; 10:09 Loss of men on his ship, bombs hit stern and bow; 11:11 Discusses birth, will be 95 [spouse interjects]; 11:28 First marriage (of both veteran and his wife), this is his second marriage; 11:54 Meets his present wife, on a cruise as they were part of Navy League; 12:35 Current day activities – parties, their retirement community, golfing; 13:06 Duty at Guantanamo Bay – playing tennis, then takes up gold; 13:40 Experience after Pearl Harbor; 14:15 Goes to war college, then remains on faculty; 14:26 Tour with General Eisenhower in Europe, Paris; 15:15 Goes back to US on ship captured from Germans as Executive Officer, Biminy Experiences; 18:33 After the war, serves as dean at University in Massachusetts; 20:35 Hometown in Vermont, doesn’t want to return after war; 21:50 First day, Japanese bombers on way, attack; 24:08 War over, looking for jobs but depression, decides to stay in Navy; 26:32 Becomes dean of college in Massachusetts; 26:45 Returns to Hawaii on vacation, sees the memorial; 27:33 Cruise ship trips, give talks on the cruises about his experiences; 30:11 Reunions of Pearl Harbor; 30:20 “Can’t trust Washington” – major life lesson; 30:31 Statistic of aging, he is beating the statistic; 32:12 Can’t keep having wars like this, especially with atomic weapons; 34:35 “Tooth story” – General Tojo captured, has to have dentures made – they say “remember Pearl Harbor” in military code; 37:54 How he meets his wife on cruise ship, trip for MOA, Navy League; 39:30 Retirement home development, many military officers
Date of Birth
Place of Birth
White - Non Hispanic
War or Conflict
World War ll
Begin/End date of Service - 1st
Entrance into Service
Branch of Service
Unit of Service
Prisoner of War
Service Related Injury
Pearl Harbor (Hawaii), Attack on, 1941
Bronze Star Medal
See the video
Pearl Harbor attack on December 7 Hawaii (Ensign- aboard US Maryland)
City of Birth
Country of Birth
Thurlow, Katherine; Radcliffe, Todd
Location of Interview
Mr. Jeffrey's residence, Melbourne FL.
Jeffrey, Richard P.; World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives; Pearl Harbor; United States. Navy
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
Length of Interview
Department of History, University of Central Florida
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. http://library.ucf.edu/about/departments/special-collections-university-archives/
University of Central Florida Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives
UCF Community Veterans History Project
Central Florida, RICHES of, "Jeffrey, Richard Putnam interview" (2011). Veterans Oral Histories. 76.