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Oral History interview of Don Smith. Interview conducted by Allan Schmidt at Museum of Military History, Kissimmee, FL.


0:11 Introduction; 0:48 Date and place of birth; 0:54 Siblings; 1:03 Parents Occupation; 1:15 Education Growing up; 1:37 Family in the Military; 1:55 Life Prior to the military; 2:21 Why he enlisted; 2:47 Family and Friends reaction to enlisting; 3:00 Boot Camp at East Great Lakes; 3:47 Additional training after Boot Camp; 4:58 Why he became a Warrant Officer; 6:39 Warrant Officer Duties; 7:22 First assignment; 8:39 First time he got out of the Navy; 10:36 Life after first enlistment ended; 11:36 Re-enlist in Navy; 12:02 Duty station after Re-Enlistment; 12:44 U.S.S. Stormes; 13:02 Firing the "big guns" on the ship; 14:49 Reminiscing about U.S.S. Stormes; 16:31 Typical day on the ship; 18:51 Finding Soviet Subs off the East coast of United States; 20:57 Assignment after the Stormes; 23:02 U.S.S. Brumby; 24:03 Duties in charge of a Division; 25:05 Responsibilities of U.S.S. Brumby; 25:40 Fitting out and problems with the Brumby; 29:25 Personal responsibilities during Battle exercises; 30:52 Practicing Emergency Break away; 31:23 Sent to Norfolk at repairs; 33:13 Shore Duty-Recruit Company Commander; 36:50 Going into support job; 37:05 Coordinating drum and Bugle Corps; 37:33 State flag Company; 38:18 Change from taking care of Gun to Recruits; 38:44 Keeping up with changes to weapons while on Shore Duty; 38:55 Busy but a rewarding job; 39:23 Graduation Parade; 40:00 Total time back at East Great Lakes; 40:15 Family at East Great Lakes; 40:22 Service School Command/Learning the new guns; 43:11 Accelerated School/off to Philippines; 44:33 After the shots/not going overseas; 44:54 Off to Japan aboard the U.S.S. Parsons; 45:39 Docked in Japan and off to Vietnam; 46:16 on the gun line often; 46:33 "Blue water Navy"; 46:44 Lending support for troop movement; 46:55 Harassment fire; 48:08 Reloading Ammunition to ship; 48:40 Cease fire March 1973; 49:30 Still making trips to Vietnam for support until 1975; 50:04 Combat action Medal; 51:06 Orders off the Parsons late 1975; 52:59 Receiving order to U.S.S. Hammond; 53:42 Back to East Great Lakes; 55:26 Basic Electricity and Electronics Instructor; 56:17 Not my area; 56:38 offered Chief Master at Arms; 57:28 up for E8; 58:20 Selected #3 out of 13; 59:00 out of rate service.

Date of Birth


Place of Birth

Weston (Va.)





Home State


War or Conflict

Vietnam Era



Begin/End date of Service - 1st



Video; MovingImage


Entrance into Service


Branch of Service

U.S. Navy

Unit of Service

USS Cambria APA 36; USS Storms DD780; USS Brumby FF1044; Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, IL; USS Haman FSS1067; Service School Command Great Lakes, IL; USS Pattnall DDG19; USS Coral Sea CV43; Naval Gun Fire Command

Location of Service

Great Lakes Naval Training Center (Great Lakes, Ill.); New York; Bethesda (Md.)

Highest Rank

Chief Warrant Officer 4; CWO4

Prisoner of War


Service Related Injury





Navy Accommodation Medal; Navy Achievement Medal; Combat Action Medal; Good Conduct Medal


See video for details.


The veteran was enlisted before he became commissioned. He was awarded 4 Navy Accommodation Medals, 2 Navy Achievement Medals and 4 Good Conduct Medals.

City of Birth


Country of Birth

United States


Schmidt, Allan

Interview Date

Fall 11-22-2017

Location of Interview

Museum of Military History, Kissimmee, FL


Smith, Don; Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- 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


Schmidt, Allan

Length of Interview

60 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 & University Archives

Contributing Project

UCF Community Veterans History Project

Document Type