Joseph Fleischer oral history

Track 1:
Fleischer, Joseph, Interviewee
Fleischer, Regina
, Interviewer
Media Type:
Item Type:
Interview with Joseph Fleischer by Regina Fleischer in Wilmette, Illinois, in March 1982.


• Name and location of present home - birthplace and life in Albany Park area - Chicago

• Joined U.S. Navy in July, 1943 - training received at Farragut, Idaho — 30 day leave before entering active service — graduation — assigned to Pleasonton, Ca. — USS MORRIS DD4 17 - seasick -300 men assigned - duties - recreation aboard ship — part of Admiral “Bull” Halsey’s fleet

• Battles — Mariannas — Makin — Tawara — description of injuries resulting from battles — returned to Treasure Island (in San Francisco Bay)

• Assigned to a new destroyer and returned to Halsey’s Fleet — Marianna’s — Guam and Saipan — This was the largest fleet in history — describes men’s assignments in a battle — team work, “bonded brotherhood” - friends within each department — officers and men on ship - description of Battle of Saipan - sea and air - awarded ribbons for eleven Pacific battles - different ways the men were killed at sea — end of war in Pacific - Japanese continued dive bombing - Admiral Halsey’s directive — “Shoot them down, in a friendly manner.”

• Second ship to enter Tokyo Bay - guided by a Japanese pilot (a graduate of University of California) - through the mine fields - ship remained in Tokyo Harbor until after General McArthur accepted the Japanese surrender aboard the battleship MISSOURI

• Were permitted shore leave on Japanese islands — found civilians sweet gentle people — contrasted Japanese military - souvenirs — pictures (by official ship’s photographer), swords, epaulettes, buttons, pencils, razor blades - anything with Japanese writings on it - picked up at source

• Homeward bound—San Francisco Harbor — furlough — discharged April 23, 1946 — vacationed in Mexico — after almost three years in South Pacific returned to Chicago — 40 degree temperature in May — after spending most of time near turbines in 170 degree temperature

• Had been graduated from Roosevelt College -- enrolled at Northwestern University night classes in graduate school in MBA program - married in April, 1949 reenlisted Naval Reserve May, 1950 — recalled to active duty June, 1950 but deferred to January, 1951

• Sent to Green Cove Spring, Fla. aboard decommissioned USS OSBURN — a destroyer escort (in “moth balls”) to prepare it for sea duty - reported to Brooklyn Navy Yard

• Operated in Atlantic out of Brooklyn Navy Yard - training reservists from Third Naval District — returned to Chicago after serving 18 months and received discharge April 23, 1954

• Lived in Hyde Park, Hazelcrest, Illinois — family of four - when children reached school age family moved to Wilmette - children educated in local schools

Place of Publication:
Wilmette, Illinois
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Wilmette Public Library
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1242 Wilmette Ave.
Wilmette, IL 60091
Wilmette Public Library
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1242 Wilmette Avenue
Wilmette, IL
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Joseph Fleischer oral history
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