Streaming Media


Oral History interview of Paul Finn, Jr. Interview conducted by Langham, Timothy at Thomas Residence.


0:01 Introduction; 0:30 Educational background and family; 1:30 Early expectations of the Navy; 2:00 Joining the Navy and early career summary; 2:38 Boot camp and training; 3:20 Time stationed in Japan; 5:00 Mine sweeping school Charleston, NC; 6:00 Ranking goals in the Navy; 7:24 Time on the U.S.S. Oriskany aircraft carrier; 9:55 500 pound bomb accident and death of a friend - Korean War; 11:45 Shanghaied from the U.S.S. Oriskany to the U.S.S. Yorktown; 13:05 Receives orders to Alameda Air Force base, California; 14:10 Assigned to U.S.S. General Mann transport; 15:10 Ordered to U.S.S. Epping Forest mine countermeasures - Vietnam War; 15:48 Transferred to Great Lakes Academy, Illinois; 16:53 Receives the Navy Times Helm Award; 17:53 Assists with establishing ROTC camps in Orlando, Florida; 22:02 Working at Orlando General Hospital and Retirement; 23:35 Elaboration on duties at Great Lakes Academy, Illinois; 27:32 Staying in touch with old shipmates and the Oriskany museum; 30:22 Personal opinion on changes that should be implemented; 33:10 Makes E-8 Senior Chief rank; 33:40 Training recruits; 36:23 No dull time in the Navy, common accidents and rescuing pilots; 41:27 Feelings on the modern media's portrayal of the Navy; 43:30 Opinions on nuclear powered ships; 45:30 Conclusion.

Date of Birth


Place of Birth

Springfield (Mass.)




White - Non Hispanic

Home State


War or Conflict

World War II



Begin/End date of Service - 1st



Entrance into Service


Branch of Service

U.S. Navy

Unit of Service

Retired eight ships

Highest Rank

Senior Chief Petty Officer; SCPO

Prisoner of War


Service Related Injury





Good Conduct Medal; China Service Medal; World War II Victory Medal; Army of Occupation Medal; United Nations Service Medal for Korea for Korea; National Defense Service Medal; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; Korean Presidential Unit Citation; Korean Service Medal


Highest score ever cut mine sweeping score (98.1), 1960; Company Commander, Great Lakes, Il., 1964 (Navy Times Helm Award)


30% on Military Duty Disability. Won Good Conduct Medal (3 awards); China Service; World War II Victory; World War II Occupation (Japan); UN Korean Service; National Defense; Armed Forces- Expeditionary (Vietnam); Korean President Unit Citation and Korean Services Bronze Stars (2 awards).

City of Birth


Country of Birth

United States


Langham, Timothy

Interview Date

Spring 3-23-2012

Location of Interview

Thomas Residence


Finn, Paul T., Jr.; World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives; 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


Langham, Timothy

Length of Interview

47 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