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Oral History interview of John Gillooly. Interview conducted by Campbell, Tyler at Mayflower Retirement Community.


0:01 Introduction; 0:32 Early Life; 1:05 Pre-Military Education & Naval Academy; 1:51 Naval Commissioning & family reaction; 2:35 Assignment to USS Columbia during WW II; 4:11 Role on the USS Columbia as an Anti-Aircraft Gunner; 5:18 Battle of Surigao Strait/ Battle of Leyte Gulf; 10:51 Kamikaze attacks during the Battle of Leyte Gulf; 19:15 Aftermath of Kamikaze attacks on the USS Columbia/ Anecdote of another Sailor's heroism; 22:28 Invasion of Borneo/ Japanese mining in the Bay; 23:35 Task Force composition for the Battle of Okinawa/ Final Months of WWII; 25:18 Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki/ Hearing the end of the war; 27:46 Post- War service/ USS Columbia in Guam; 29:35 Flight Training; 33:35 Difference between serving on a surface ship and flight; 34:36 Anti-Submarine Squadrons in the Pacific during the Cold War; 35:30 Service during the Cuban Missile Crisis/ Anti- Submarine Tactics; 40:32 Anti-Submarine flights in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic; 41:25 Commanding Officer of the USS Wasp during Cruise to Europe in 1969-1970; 42:49 Tracking Soviet Submarine in Northern Atlantic; 44:35 Reflections on Gillooly's command of the USS Wasp; 46:14 National War College/ Stanford Master's Degree; 47:48 Stateside service/ Director of Policy Division/ Naval Bureau of Personnel; 48:59 Orlando Naval Training Center/ Training women at the Center; 51:29 Commander of the USS Manatee/ Manatee's service in Vietnam; 54:52 Service as a Photographic Intelligence Analyst; 56:24 Responsibilities and day-to-day tasks of a Naval Commanding Officer; 1:03:51 Encounter with Russian Naval Commander; 1:05:27 Command positions/ Career after Commanding USS Wasp; 1:07:38 Reflection on race relations during Naval service; 1:10:12 Bureau of Naval Personnel's Integration policy; 1:12:42 Integration of Women into the Navy; 1:13:56 Role in the Orlando Naval Training Center; 1:15:45 Decision to Retire/ Post-Military Career as an aviation consultant; 1:18:44 Remaining in contact with fellow service member/Post- Military Career; 1:19:20 Leadership and development of Orlando International Airport; 1:23:33 Assessment of military career; 1:26:04 Reflection on the value of the Navy and military service; 1:27:41 Conclusion.

Date of Birth


Place of Birth

Pittsburgh (Pa.)




White - Non Hispanic

Home State


War or Conflict

World War II



Begin/End date of Service - 1st



Video; MovingImage


Entrance into Service


Branch of Service

U.S. Navy

Unit of Service

USS. Columbia (CL-56); USS Randolph; USS Intrepid; USS Wasp

Location of Service

Pacific Ocean; Atlantic Ocean

Highest Rank

Captain; CAPT

Prisoner of War


Service Related Injury



Battle of Mindoro; Battle of Linqaigan; Battle of Borneo; Battle of Okinawa


Legion of Merit; Bronze Star; Purple Heart


Served as Aviator; CO of USS Manatee & USS Wasp; CO of US 36 & US 656.


"Ship struck by 3 kamikazes at Linqain." - The Veteran. Was awarded Legions of Merit three times, Bronze Star twice and many Theater Ribbons. `

City of Birth


Country of Birth

United States


Campbell, Tyler

Interview Date

Summer 5-26-2016

Location of Interview

Mayflower Retirement Community


Gillooly, John; 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


Campbell, Tyler

Length of Interview

87 Minutes


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

Contributing Project

UCF Community Veterans History Project

Document Type