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Oral History interview of Gerard P. Maxfield. Interview conducted by Orleman, Andrew; Wiggins, Leanne at Veteran‘s home in Maitland, FL.


0:01 Introductions/Biographical Data; 1:14 Parents Occupations/Growing up during the Depression; 3:18 Early Education/Speaking French; 4:30 Deciding to Enlist in the Navy/Asking his Parents for Permission; 5:50 Being Homesick during Training/First Few Weeks in the Navy; 8:30 Ford's Navy School - Dearborn, Mich. - Built by Henry Ford; 9:39 Staying on the U.S.S. Constellation while in Newport, R.I.; 11:16 San Diego - December, 1941; 13:00 Reactions to the Bombing of Pearl Harbor/Witnessing the Devastation; 13:42 U.S.S. Pelias - Submarine Tender; 15:07 Discussing Work on a Submarine Tender/Working with a Lathe; 16:45 Going Back to San Diego; 18:00 Getting Thrown in the Brig after Going on Leave for too Long; 19:18 Shipping out to Australia; 22:37 Working as a Mechanic during the Second World War; 22:58 Meeting his Wife in 1944; 24:24 Hitchhiking and Working after the War; 25:00 First Impressions of Australia/Interacting with Australians; 27:30 Asking his Wife's Father for his Daughter's Hand in Marriage; 28:00 Typical Day Working in the Garage as a Wrecker; 29:52 Going to the Pub/Wood Working; 30:49 His Thoughts on "Having it Made" during the War; 31:24 The End of the War; 33:42 The Turning Point in the War for Australia - the Battle of the Coral Sea; 36:16 Transitioning to Civilian Life - Moving to LA; 40:49 Joining the Air Force; 43:38 Being Sent to Washington State - Moses Lake; 44:49 Becoming a Technical Sergeant - Working at the Wood Shop; 46:14 Going to Hartford, Conn. as a Recruiter; 48:31 "Shading the Truth" to Attract Recruits; 50:22 Recruiting Duty during Korean War; 51:18 Serving in Japan - Different Types of Work; 52:20 Stationed in Illinois; 52:49 Stationed in Libya - Travelling to Rome; 55:57 Stationed in New Jersey - Retiring after 24 years; 57:43 Moving to Orlando - Working at Sears for 19 years; 1:00:03 Retiring from Sears in '86/Working Part-Time/Travelling the South; 1:03:00 Volunteer work/Missionary work - "The Prison Angel"; 1:08:30 Receiving a Papal Cross.

Date of Birth


Place of Birth

Leominster (Mass.)




White - Non Hispanic

Home State


War or Conflict

World War II; Korean Conflict



Begin/End date of Service - 1st



Begin/End date of Service - 2nd



Entrance into Service


Branch of Service

U.S. Navy

U.S. Air Force

Unit of Service

U.S.S. Pelias; U.S.S. Birmingham

Location of Service

Naval Station Great Lakes; U.S.S. Pelias; U.S.S. Birmingham; U.S.S. Harris - Pearl Harbor

Highest Rank

Machinist 1st Class Petty Officer; MACH1; Senior Master Sergeant; SMSgt

Prisoner of War


Service Related Injury





Letter of Achievement


Helped construct parts for the U.S.S. Pelias.


Was Stationed in Hawaii in December 1941; Transferred to a submarine base in Fremantle, Australia.

City of Birth


Country of Birth

United States


Orleman, Andrew; Wiggins, Leanne

Interview Date


Location of Interview

Veteran‘s home in Maitland, Fla.


Maxfield, Gerard P.; World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives; Korean War, 1950-1953 -- Personal Narratives; United States. Navy; United States. Air Force

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


Orleman, Andrew; Wiggins, Leanne

Length of Interview

76 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. http://library.ucf.edu/about/departments/special-collections-university-archives/


University of Central Florida Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives

Contributing Project

UCF Community Veterans History Project

Document Type