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Collection Harold Cottington
WVM ID Number OH 1569
Object Name Oral History
Title Oral History Interview with Harold Cottington, Stephen E. Ambrose WWII Oral History Class Project, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Date 1996
Event World War II
Narrator's Name Harold Cottington
Interviewer's Name Teresa Schneiderman
Description In this oral history interview, Harold Cottington, an Ashland, Wisconsin native and Middleton, Wisconsin resident, details his World War II service in the United States Navy as a naval gunner on the U.S.S. President Adams.

Cottington remembers volunteering for the Navy in December 1939, naval training, and flight training in Great Lakes and Glenview (Illinois). Cottington talks about his year aboard the aircraft carrier, U.S.S. Ranger, as a mess cook, a transport ship. Cottington provides a sketch of the rough waters and seasickness endured while sailing. Reassigned to the U.S.S. President Adams as a naval gunner, Cottington outlines how the ship was commissioned on November 19, 1941, about two weeks before the Pearl Harbor attacks, and describes firing at an enemy U-boat on Christmas Day of that year. Continuing with engine repairs in Florida, amphibious exercises in California, a brief recreational stop in Tonga, and operations in the Guadalcanal-Tulagi area, Cottington explains the President Adams part as one of the unholy four in the first major Allied offensive in the Pacific. He recalls his commanding officers’ offering a ten dollar bounty for enemy planes spotted and hit. He comments on his general quarters station in the crow’s nest and landing Marines at Guadalcanal and the Marshall Islands. Cottington touches on the conditions living on the Pacific Islands, the dangers of loading and transporting supplies, his visits to Australia, and his discharge in 1944 because of malaria.
Extent and Medium of Description Transcript: 18 pgs.
(Transcript only)
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Biographical Record Cottington, Harold