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"It was like an inferno. I couldn't believe it. It was a nightmare." (Video interview, 20:23)

   Jesse W. Dunnagan
Collection image
Jesse Dunnagan, 2003
War: World War, 1939-1945; Korean War, 1950-1953; Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Branch: Navy
Unit: 7th Fleet
Service Location: Atlantic Ocean; Pacific Ocean; Guadalcanal (Solomon Islands); Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Philippines
Rank: Master Chief Petty Officer
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Serving in the Navy for thirty years starting in 1940, Jesse Dunnagan saw three wars-WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. He was on the USS California when Pearl Harbor was attacked, and had to abandon ship when it was sunk by the Japanese. Although he was unhurt, his family was informed that he was listed as missing and presumed dead, and though they soon learned otherwise, even now his name appears on a monument to the dead at Pearl Harbor. After Pearl Harbor, Dunnagan went on to serve on the USS McCalla at Guadalcanal and on through to the end of the war.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (5 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: video (81 min.)
More like this
»The War
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (5 items)
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. (15:26) Guadalcanal; rescuing men from shark-infested waters. (12:07) Friendly fire. (02:26)
Picking up survivors in the water. (01:31) Exploding cigarettes; colliding with another ship. (04:17) 

Home » Jesse W. Dunnagan
  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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