Media is loading


Oral History interview of James L. Middlekauff. Interview conducted by Daniel Bradfield.


0:01 Introduction; 1:00 Early Life; 2:10 Father's occupation; 3:32 Family Members' military service/ Drafting community members; 4:25 The drafting process and moving to Basic Training; 6:15 Family's Reaction to being drafted; 7:36 Father's Service in World War II; 8:51 Basic Training; 12:00 Duties of Religious Petty Officers in Basic Training; 13:11 Memorable Experience in Basic Training/ Passing Swimming Training; 15:32 Military Occupation during service; 17:14 Engine A School in Great Lakes/ Conditions at the barracks; 19:23 Training in Engine A School/ Experience with diesel engines; 22:12 Submarine School; 23:15 Interaction with Civilians in Groton, Connecticut; 24:00 Assignment to USS Carbonero; 24:20 Deployment to Northern Pacific through Canada and Alaska; 30:00 Responsibilities on the USS Carbonero/ Qualifying on the ship; 31:56 Physical Conditions on the Carbonero/ Sleep on the ship/ Condensation; 32:48 Firemen's responsibilities on the ship; 33:42 Decommissioning of the Ship; 36:00 USS Bonefish/ Responsibilities on a ship as a non-qualified sailor; 43:10 Physical Conditions on the USS Bonefish/ Life on the submarine; 50:21 Decision to not Re-enlist/ Jobs following military service; 56:07 Decision to re-enlist/ 2nd Enlistment; 59:01 Nuclear Submarine; 1:00:10 Differences between Nuclear and Diesel Submarines; 1:05:35 Deployments on the USS Tautog in the Western Pacific; 1:06:25 Physical conditions on the Nuclear Submarine/ Diesel engines on a nuclear submarine and drills on the nuclear submarine; 1:09:28 Qualifications for the Nuclear Submarine compared to Diesel Submarine; 1:17:38 Assignment to NTC Orlando/ Deployment to Indian Ocean Uprising; 1:19:38 Promotion and Assignment to NTC Orlando; 1:22:13 Personal Reflection on Shore Duty and Training Duties; 1:30:33 USS Ray/ Training to pass Chief Examination Test; 1:31:12 Initiation and Hazing for Chief/ Herniated Back Injury's effect on career; 1:37:30 Deployment to Northern Atlantic and to the North Pole; 1:40:40 Encounters with Soviet ships throughout naval service; 1:43:28 Submarine's camera assistance to navigation; 1:44:10 R-12 Leak on the submarine/ Dichlorodifluoromethane.

Date of Birth


Place of Birth

Cedar Rapids (Iowa)




White - Non Hispanic

Home State


War or Conflict

Vietnam Era; Persian Gulf War



Begin/End date of Service - 1st



Begin/End date of Service - 2nd



Branch of Service

U.S. Navy

Unit of Service

USS Bonefish (SS 582); USS Carbonero (SS 337); Submarine Service; USS Tautog (SSN 639); USS Canopus; USS Tunny (SSN 682); USS Ray (SSN 653); USS Batfish (SSN 682)

Location of Service

San Diego (Calif.); Great Lakes (Ill.); Groton (Conn.); Pearl Harbor (Hawaii); Vietnam; Georgia; South Carolina; Arctic Circle; Persian Gulf

Highest Rank

Engineman Second Class

Prisoner of War







See video for details.


Not applicable

City of Birth

Cedar Rapids

Country of Birth

United States


Bradfield, Daniel

Interview Date



Middlekauff, James L.; Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Personal Narratives; Persian Gulf War Era, 1990-2003 -- 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


Bradfield, Daniel

Length of Interview

152 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