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
War or Conflict
Begin/End date of Service - 1st
Entrance into Service
Branch of Service
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.)
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
Location of Interview
Museum of Military History, Kissimmee, FL
Smith, Don; Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Personal Narratives; United States. Navy
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 & University Archives
UCF Community Veterans History Project
Central Florida, RICHES of, "Smith, Don interview" (2017). Veterans Oral Histories. 558.