Media is loading


Oral History interview of Francis Mahoney. Interview conducted by Benson, Alayne; Dennis, Clay at 1248 Rolling Lane, Casselberry FL 32707.


0:17-0:25 Born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA; lived in an orphanage from age 5-13; 0:30-1:30 Married wife; in 1957 later moved to Florida for a communications job; siblings; 1:30-2:15 Dad served in WWI; would only sign waver is son joined Navy; 2:18-2:29 Wanted to enlist even though he could have been deferred; 2:30-3:24 11/2/42: Enlisted with five friends; 3:26-4:00 Went to Great Lakes Naval Training Center for 6-8 weeks; Brother's naval experience, MIA status and their Christmas reunion; 4:01-4:55 What made him want to go in the Navy; 5:00-5:29 Wasn't happy on the ship he was assigned to because it was small; Maintained the sound equipment and operate it below deck;5:30-6:27 How the asbestos on the ship caused him lung problems; 6:28-7:45 How he adjusted to Navy life; compares to life in orphanage; 7:46-8:43 Maintained equipment/operated equipment; in charge of 3 people; 8:50-9:48 Shared disappointment with friend who served on PC boat; 9:50-12:38 The relationships the crew developed allowed for a relaxed environment; the relationships he and the men whom with he served developed; 12:44-13:58 What he did to pass the time on the water;14:00-15:52 Description of the USO show he saw in Tarawa; 15:55-17:20 Time in the Solomon Islands in the Pacific based on Guadalcanal Dec '43; 17:22-19:24 Exploring the Soloman Islands with a friend and capture by Marines; 19:25-20:50 What the American Theatre was like – submarine war; 20:51-23:55 His ship's purpose and its effectiveness; use of sonar; 23:57-24:29 In the Pacific from May '43 – Dec. '43; 24:30-25:30 Strategy of German submarines and their communication encryptions; 25:31-28:19 Getting stationed in the Pacific Theatre and his experiences there; Japanese submarines; 28:20-31:33 What his duties were as a Petty Officer Second Class and a Sonar Man; 31:35-33:55 Having women aboard the ship; 34:00-37:15 R&R in Australia around Christmas in 1944; 37:16-38:50 Getting to see New York and Havana Cuba; 38:51-41:58 How he communicated with people back home/Microfilm letters; How he met his wife; 41:59-45:11 Where he was when the war ended; air-sea rescue; What his trip home, and his arrival back in the US was like (Seattle); 45:12-46:45 Sent to Philadelphia Navy Yard for discharge; Navy losing his records; 46:46-49:28 Sent to Cape May New Jersey service in the Cold War; final discharge; 49:30-53:39 Adjusting to civilian life; What he learned in the Navy that stuck with him as a civilian; How his wartime experiences affected his life; 53:40-54:44 Showing his ship models and details the ships; 54:45-58:27 Two times he came closest to death in the war.

Date of Birth


Place of Birth




Home State


War or Conflict

World War II



Begin/End date of Service - 1st



Audio; Sound


Entrance into Service


Branch of Service

U.S. Navy

Unit of Service

USS PC-606 (Patrol Craft Submarine Chaser)

Location of Service

Atlantic Ocean; Pacific Ocean; Solomon Islands; Mariana Islands; Iwo Jima (Volcano Islands, Japan); Cap May (N.J.); Tarawa atoll (Gilbert Islands); Guadalcanal (Solomon Islands)

Highest Rank

Sonarman Second Class

Prisoner of War


Service Related Injury



Solomon Islands Campaign; Marianas Islands; Battle of Iwo Jima




See video for details.


Not applicable

City of Birth


Country of Birth



Benson, Alayne; Dennis, Clay

Interview Date



Mahoney, Francis; World War, 1939-1945--Personal Narratives; 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


Benson, Alayne; Dennis, Clay

Length of Interview

59 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