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"From there, we cruised about looking for more trouble…" (Video interview, 13:49)

   Harold E. Ward
Collection image
Harold Ward at time of interview
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Navy
Unit: USS San Francisco (CA 38); USS Wabash (AOG 4); USS Giansar (AK 111); USS Charles H. Roan (Chas Roan) (DD 853)
Service Location: Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Great Lakes, Illinois; Pacific; Atlantic; Guadalcanal (Solomon Islands), New Guinea, Alaska
Rank: Petty Officer First Class
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For Harold Ward, a self-described skinny kid from Atlantic City, life in the Navy seemed to offer not only a steady paycheck and an escape from a difficult family situation, but also a life of travel and intrigue. Enlisting in 1940, the USS San Francisco became home. Aboard the cruiser, he weathered the attack on Pearl Harbor and got “tangled up” in Guadalcanal. During a night attack by the Japanese on November 13, 1942, off the coast of Guadalcanal, the San Francisco suffered serious damage--and Ward earned a Purple Heart for the injuries he sustained. In his oral history interview, he comments on the importance of asking veterans about their service, to offer a chance to break the usual silence surrounding stories of war.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (3 clips)
» Part 1 
Download: video (35 min.)
More like this
»Guadalcanal: 75 Years Later
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (3 items)
Memories of the attack on Pearl Harbor; USS San Francisco was being overhauled; departing for the Pacific Theater 10 days later. (02:01) Naval Battle of Guadalcanal; USS San Francisco damaged. (00:47) Learning to forget service experiences; most veterans don’t talk about their service unless asked; horror of war. (04:30)

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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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