Streaming Media


Oral History interview of Pernell A. McEwen. Interview conducted by Samuel Stevenson in Ocoee, FL..


0:01 Introduction; 0:47 Place of birth; 1:02 Siblings; 1:17 Childhood; 1:48 Education; 2:11 Family's military service; 2:48 Occupation prior to military service; 3:15 First hearing about the draft; 3:33 Reaction to be being drafted; 3:55 Family's response to the draft; 4:20 General perception of the draft at the time; 4:42 Location and date of basic training; 5:00 First impressions of basic training; 5:26 Description of expectations of Army life; 5:54 Description of basic training; 6:59 Description of Drill Sergeants; 7:30 Memorable officers encountered in basic training; 8:03 Duration of basic training; 8:14 Graduation from basic training; 8:58 Assignment to Signal Corps after graduation; 9:19 Advanced training; 9:26 Description of duties in Signal Corps; 10:04 Description of fellow squad members; 11:10 Circumstances of transfer to Fort Bragg; 12:05 Reaction to being recalled into military service; 12:36 Description of job between periods of service; 13:08 Description of activities while on leave; 13:47 Comparison of Fort Bragg to Fort Dix; 15:14 Recounting of reaction to the Cuban Missile Crisis; 16:18 Reaction to possibility of being sent to war; 16:35 Circumstances of transfer to Okinawa; 18:24 Description of Okinawa and its people; 20:47 Lack of acquaintance with Vietnam veterans; 21:13 Description of transition to civilian life; 21:56 Description of lack of change in NYC during service; 22:45 Recounting of President Kennedy's assassination; 23:35 Reaction to Vietnam War protests; 24:28 Moving to Florida; 24:50 Discussion of whether military service could have been done differently; 25:22 Contact with former service members; 25:53 Medals and citations while in the military; 26:15 Experience with Veteran's Administration; 27:07 Closing words; 27:28 End of interview.

Date of Birth


Place of Birth

Bronx (N.Y.)




Black or African American

Home State

New York

War or Conflict

Cold War Era



Begin/End date of Service - 1st



Entrance into Service


Branch of Service

U.S. Army

Unit of Service

Signal Corps

Location of Service

Fort Dix (N.J.); Fort Bragg (N.C.); Okinawa (Japan)

Highest Rank

Corporal; CPL

Prisoner of War


Service Related Injury





Good Conduct Medal


See video for details.


Not applicable

City of Birth


Country of Birth

United States


Stevenson, Samuel

Interview Date

Fall 11-14-2017

Location of Interview

Ocoee, FL.


McEwen, Pernell A.; Cold War -- Personal Narratives; United States. Army

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


Stevenson, Samuel

Length of Interview

28 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.


University of Central Florida Libraries, Special Collections & University Archives

Contributing Project

UCF Community Veterans History Project

Document Type