Oral History interview of Henry Bruce. Interview conducted by Bradfield, Daniel at Veteran's Home in Mayflower Retirement Community.
0:01 Introduction Statement; 0:34 Early Life; 0:56 Sibling's Death; 1:31 Description of Early Life/ Story of early fascination with flight; 2:13 Education before Military Service; 2:24 Reason for Enlistment in the Marine Corps; 3:21 Employment between High School Graduation & Military Service; 4:07 Parents' careers/ Parents' Death and Early Life; 4:49 Brother's Military Service/ Brother's Life and untimely death; 5:30 Sentimental Remembrances of his wife; 5:54 Assignment to Quantico, VA Naval Air Station to the Electronics Department; 7:15 Education and Training; 8:39 Declaration of War during Pilot training/ Pilot Training for Carrier Landing; 9:35 Effectiveness of Air training regimen; 10:10 Service in the Pacific Theater during WWII; 11:20 Battle of Guadalcanal; 12:00 Survivors from VMSB-19; 12:27 Re-assignment to a DC-3 Air Group/Bruce's WWII Service; 16:15 Post- Graduate Russian Language Training at Naval Language School; 18:12 Role in Russian Language Interpretation for Khrushchev and Eisenhower; 21:45 Day-to-Day Life in Russian Language Training/ Certification Exam; 25:09 Assignment to French Colonial West Africa; 29:12 Service as an Intelligence briefer for the Marine Corps Commandant; 30:16 Studying at the Naval War College as a Graduate Student; 30:49 Intelligence Analyst and Briefer for the Joint Chiefs of Staff; 32:26 Helicopter Pilot and Squadron Commander of an Observation Squadron; 32:53 Decision to retire/ Impact of military life on the family; 34:15 Decision to retire to Winter Park/ Health Difficulties; 35:15 Military Service in Vietnam/ Squadron's Operations in Vietnam; 37:14 Day to Day Work as Squadron Commander; 39:10 Anecdotes about flying in Vietnam; 40:00 Service during the Cuban Missile Crisis as a Reconnaissance Pilot; 43:49 Anecdote about losing a helicopter crew during Vietnam; 44:28 Reflection on French Colonial Senegal; 45:48 Anecdote about dangerous mission in West Africa; 48:22 Post-Military Career as an Accountant; 52:00 Life in the Retirement Community; 54:24 Reflection on military service; 55:10 Conclusion.
Date of Birth
Place of Birth
White - Non Hispanic
War or Conflict
World War II
Begin/End date of Service - 1st
Entrance into Service
Branch of Service
Unit of Service
1st Marine Air Wing, Headquarters Marine Corp; Joint Chiefs of Staff (2 years); State Department (2 years); CIA (1 Year)
Location of Service
California; Oregon; Washington (D.C.); Le Dakan (Senegal); Senegal
Prisoner of War
Service Related Injury
Battle of Okinawa; Battle of Saipan
Air Medal; Sharpshooter Badge; Korean Service Medal; Presidential Citation; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; Vietnam Service Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal
Joint Chiefs of Staff; Headquarters Marine Corp; CIA; Navy Pilot; Linguist, Russian and French, Translator/Interpreter at Camp David for Khrushchev and US President; Naval Attaché for 5 African Countries.
Also awarded a special French medal and other medals.
City of Birth
Country of Birth
Location of Interview
Veteran's Home in Mayflower Retirement Community.
Bruce, Henry; World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal Narratives; United States. Marines
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
Henry, Bruce, "Bruce, Henry interview" (2016). Veterans Oral Histories. 469.