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Collection Robert Freedman
WVM ID Number OH 108
Object Name Oral History
Title Oral History Interview with Robert Freedman
Date 2001
Narrator's Name Robert Freedman
Interviewer's Name James McIntosh
Description In this oral history interview, Robert Freedman, a Chicago, Illinois native, discusses his post-World War II service with the Navy in the Western Sea Frontier.

Freedman discusses his reasons for enlisting, basic training at Camp Peary (Virginia), spending time waiting in Outgoing Units, and purposefully flunking out of electronics school at Treasure Island (California). He comments on the deterioration of the military. Assigned to Western Sea Frontier, he mentions trying out small boat duty and diving school, which he declined, and winding up as a storekeeper striker with Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet [COMSUBPAC] on Oahu (Hawaii). Freedman describes his duties as a storeroom clerk, pleasant living conditions on the submarine base, and side jobs he had as a waiter and a babysitter for some of the officers' families. Shipped back to the states in 1947, he recalls attending officer candidate school before assignment as a deck aid to the USS Coral Sea (CVB-43). He talks about an accident when two men fell off the ship's hawsers. He tells about exhausting duty loading potatoes and mentions duty carrying ammunition for the 20 millimeter antiaircraft guns.

Freedman touches on his opinions of the Korean War. He talks about using the GI Bill to attend school, getting funds from the "52-20 club", and settling back into civilian life. He recalls "casual" Jew baiting in the service and compares it to anti-Semitism he experienced as a civilian. He talks about his uncle, who was a colonel in the National Guard, his son, who attended Marine Corps Officer training and became a police officer, and his immigrant grandparents. Freedman touches on going into the Veteran's Administration and being struck by the appearance of "broken down" veterans, and he recalls a conversation he had with a survivor of the USS Lexington. He states why he is in favor of universal military service.
Extent and Medium of Description Analog video recording: 1 VHS tape (approx. 52 minutes)
Transcript: 34 pgs.
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Biographical Record Freedman, Robert