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“I was driving down Route 40, and a policeman stopped me. And the first word he said [was], ‘Get out of that car, boy.’” (Video interview, part one, 12:24).

   Donald Fisher
Collection image
Donald Fisher at time of interview
War: Korean War, 1950-1953
Branch: Army
Unit: Military Police
Service Location: Okinawa, Japan; Germany; Italy
Rank: Specialist Four
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Almost a century after his Cherokee grandfather shortened his name from Kingfisher to Fisher upon joining the Navy in 1861, Donald Fisher was drafted into the Army and trained as a Military Policeman. He spent the Korean War guarding a US general, before transferring to Germany, where he befriended Elvis Presley. After seventeen years’ service, repeated denials of promotion, and suspicion toward his Japanese wife, he took an honorable discharge in 1967.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (4 clips)
»Part 1 | Part 2 
Download: video(1) | 
Download: video(2) (55 min.)
»Photo Album  (3 photos)
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»Legacies of Service: Celebrating Native Veterans
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (4 items)
Pulled over by a policeman when giving a Woman’s Army Corps member a lift to Washington DC; policeman orders them to return to base; calls Senator, who gets him transferred to Niagara, New York. (01:56) After marriage to a Japanese woman, cannot promote past Specialist-4 for over a decade; deciding to retire. (01:03) Playing guitar at the Service Clubs; forming a band; befriending Elvis Presley. (00:47)
Cherokee grandfather’s biography: Trail of Tears; enlistment in Union Navy in 1861 as seaman not cook; shortening of name; discharge in Rhode Island, 1863. (02:09)  

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  October 26, 2011
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