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Oral History interview of Richard Jeffrey. Interview conducted by Thurlow, Katherine; Radcliffe, Todd at Mr. Jeffrey's residence, Melbourne FL.


0:10 Beginning of service, appointed to Naval Academy by Sen. Warren Austin; 0:52 Graduates 1939 from naval academy, goes to Pacific; 1:34 Commanders not informed of likelihood of attack on Pearl Harbor; 2:38 Emperor Ho has divine message to be controlling power; 4:14 Pacific fleet moves to Hawaii to offset any of Japan’s attacks; 4:38 Graduates from naval academy, assigned to Pacific fleet; 5:15 Why Washington doesn’t inform those in Hawaii of possible attack; 8:34 Battleships, his ship was Maryland, target of Japanese – Battleship row; 9:49 Attack on Oklahoma ship; 10:09 Loss of men on his ship, bombs hit stern and bow; 11:11 Discusses birth, will be 95 [spouse interjects]; 11:28 First marriage (of both veteran and his wife), this is his second marriage; 11:54 Meets his present wife, on a cruise as they were part of Navy League; 12:35 Current day activities – parties, their retirement community, golfing; 13:06 Duty at Guantanamo Bay – playing tennis, then takes up gold; 13:40 Experience after Pearl Harbor; 14:15 Goes to war college, then remains on faculty; 14:26 Tour with General Eisenhower in Europe, Paris; 15:15 Goes back to US on ship captured from Germans as Executive Officer, Biminy Experiences; 18:33 After the war, serves as dean at University in Massachusetts; 20:35 Hometown in Vermont, doesn’t want to return after war; 21:50 First day, Japanese bombers on way, attack; 24:08 War over, looking for jobs but depression, decides to stay in Navy; 26:32 Becomes dean of college in Massachusetts; 26:45 Returns to Hawaii on vacation, sees the memorial; 27:33 Cruise ship trips, give talks on the cruises about his experiences; 30:11 Reunions of Pearl Harbor; 30:20 "Can’t trust Washington" – major life lesson; 30:31 Statistic of aging, he is beating the statistic; 32:12 Can’t keep having wars like this, especially with atomic weapons; 34:35 "Tooth story" – General Tojo captured, has to have dentures made – they say "remember Pearl Harbor" in military code; 37:54 How he meets his wife on cruise ship, trip for MOA, Navy League; 39:30 Retirement home development, many military officers.

Date of Birth


Place of Birth

Feominster (Mass.)




White - Non Hispanic

Home State


War or Conflict

World War ll



Begin/End date of Service - 1st



Audio; Sound


Entrance into Service


Branch of Service

U.S. Navy

Unit of Service

US Maryland

Highest Rank

Captain; CAPT

Prisoner of War


Service Related Injury



Pearl Harbor (Hawaii), Attack on, 1941


Bronze Star Medal


See video for details.


Pearl Harbor attack on December 7 Hawaii (Ensign- aboard US Maryland)

City of Birth


Country of Birth

United States


Thurlow, Katherine; Radcliffe, Todd

Interview Date


Location of Interview

Mr. Jeffrey's residence, Melbourne FL.


Jeffrey, Richard P.; World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives; Pearl Harbor; 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


Thurlow, Katherine; Radcliffe, Todd

Length of Interview

42 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 and University Archives

Contributing Project

UCF Community Veterans History Project

Document Type