Oral history interview of Mr. James L. Hughes. Interview conducted by Walter Napier at the VA Medical Center (Lake Nona) in Orlando, Florida on 03/22/2018.
0:01 Introduction; 0:30 Early childhood and education; 1:50 Life before the Marine Corps; 2:20 Enlisting in the Marine Corps; 3:02 Boot camp; 4:45 Special training/ ITR; 6:00 Being sent to Vietnam and first impressions; 6:30 Job in Vietnam; 7:55 Average day in Vietnam; 8:30 Experiencing race riots in the military / Whites v. Blacks; 9:10 Down time in Vietnam; 9:50 Getting attacked/ Rockets/ Shrapnel; 10:45 Tet offensive/ Napalm; 13:20 Convoys; 15:15 Coming home/ Agent orange; 16:10 Split tours in Vietnam (1969, 1970, 1971); 17:10 Patrolling in the mountains/ Missiles; 17:45 Total time in Vietnam; 18:00 R&R: Cam Ranh Bay; Japan; 18:47 Time in Paris Island; 19:00 Deciding to retire from the Marine Corps; 19:15 Being an NCO; 19:30 Feelings on the Vietnam War; 20:10 What it means to be a Marine for him; 20:40 Most memorable moment in the service; 21:30 Advice to anyone considering entering the Marine Corps; 22:00 Coming home/ Reception; 23:00 Returning to civilian life/ Hardships; 24:10 Profession after the Marines; 25:05 Getting sick/ After-effects of the war; 25:30 Losing friends due to the war (suicides; drinking; PTSD); 26:40 Advice for veterans entering the VA system; 27:50 Advice to those entering the service/ Appreciation for the servicemen; 28:50 Other health issues due to time in service and Vietnam; 29:05 Closing remarks.
Date of Birth
Place of Birth
White - Non Hispanic
War or Conflict
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
Texas; Illinois; Germany; Vietnam; Florida
Prisoner of War
Service Related Injury
Bronze Star; Meritorious Service Medal; Air Force Commendation Medal
Exposed to hostile fire while supervising flight live aircraft maintenance operations.
Awarded Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal twice.
City of Birth
Country of Birth
Location of Interview
University of Central Florida
Hughes, James L.; Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Personal Narratives; United States. Air Force
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, "Hughes, James L. interview" (2018). Veterans Oral Histories. 604.