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Oral history interview of Mr. William Mandigo. Interview conducted by Walter Napier at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida on 03/14/2018.


0:01 Introduction; 0:31 Place of birth/date of birth; 0:39 Family; 1:19 Education; 1:55 Being told he wasn't college material; 2:24 Family members who served; 2:40 Employment prior to joining the military; 2:42 Reasons for joining the Air Force; 3:19 Induction physical experience; 4:06 Why he chose the Air Force; 4:29 Being selected for Officer Training; 4:40 Basic Training; 6:11 Additional training; 6:58 Volunteering for Reliability/Maintainability training; 8:14 Trying to get out of aircraft maintenance; 8:35 Masters degree in the Air Force Institute of Technology; 9:52 Orders to Vietnam; 10:59 First impressions of Vietnam; 11:53 O-1 Bird-dog aircraft; 12:33 O-2 Sky-master aircraft; 14:05 FCF (Functional Check Flight) ride experience; 15:56 OV-10 Bronco Aircraft; 16:40 Vietnam living conditions; 18:10 Communication ability; 18:53 Life in Vietnam; 20:35 Rocket attacks and Tet Offensive; 22:51 Difficulties of telling friend from foe; 24:05 Final thoughts on Vietnam; 25:15 Returning from Vietnam; 26:06 First duty station after Vietnam; 26:45 Almost leaving the Air Force; 28:54 Logistics officer at Sheppard's AFB; 30:45 Feelings on the end of the Vietnam War; 32:10 Differences in the post-Vietnam Air Force; 33:27 Being stationed in Germany; 34:44 Comparing Logistics to Air Craft Maintenance; 35:25 Impressions of Germany; 36:22 Cold War threat while in Germany; 37:22 Favorite destinations in Europe; 37:57 Eglin AFB assignment (War Games); 39:04 Working with Italian and British Military; 40:47 Retiring out of Eglin AFB; 41:22 Earning the Bronze Star; 42:10 Reasons for retiring; 43:10 Defense contract work; 44:02 Returning to civilian life; 44:52 Staying in contact with individuals he served with; 46:01 Advice for someone wanting to join the military; 47:03 Final Thoughts; 48:32 Conclusion.

Date of Birth


Place of Birth

Plattsburgh (N.Y.)




White - Non Hispanic

Home State

New York

War or Conflict

Vietnam Era



Begin/End date of Service - 1st



Entrance into Service


Branch of Service

U.S. Air Force

Unit of Service

19th Tactical Support Squadron; Bien Hoa Airforce Base, Vietnam

Location of Service

Fort Ord (Calif.); Fort Benning (Ga.); Schweinfurt (Germany); Fort Riley (Kan.); Fort Belvoir (Va.); Adelaide (Australia); Brisbane (Australia)

Highest Rank

Major; Maj

Prisoner of War


Service Related Injury



Tet Offensive


Bronze Star; Meritorious Service Medal; Air Force Commendation Medal


Exposed to hostile fire while supervising flight live aircraft maintenance operations.


The veteran was in Tet Offensive in January 1986. He was awarded Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal twice.

City of Birth


Country of Birth



Napier, Walter

Interview Date

Spring 3-14-2018

Location of Interview

University of Central Florida


Mandigo, William; Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Personal Narratives; United States. Air Force

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


Napier, Walter

Length of Interview

49 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. 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