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Fri 9-6

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Newton Talks

An Oral History Project for the city of Newton.

Peter Neumann, 3/1/2016

Peter Neumann was drafted into the United States Army in 1969 after graduating from Central Connecticut State Community College.  He talks about the resistance to the war, the draft lottery, and some close calls in Vietnam.

Richard Silverman, 3/1/2016

Richard Silverman, a life-long Newton resident, enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1942 while a student at Brown University.  He discusses landing in Normandy, serving as a cryptographer, and attending school in Paris after the war.

Paul Chernoff, 4/5/2016

Paul Chernoff enlisted in the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey (USC&GS) [which became the Environmental Science Services Administration (ESSA Corps) in 1965] in 1961. He discusses the last hydrogen bomb test on Christmas Island, serving as a courier, lessons he learned in the military, and his work with veterans.

Robert Lebowitz, 4/5/2016

Manny Brown, 5/3/2016

Manny Brown was drafted into the U.S. Army in October, 1942. He talks about his training, interactions with local people in Wales, and the days leading up to D-Day. Mr. Brown has lived in Newton since 1983.

John Hicks, 5/3/2016

John Hicks served in the U.S. Navy from 1952-1981. Hicks recalls a collision with an underwater mountain, an accident during a torpedo repair, and the difficulties of communicating with home.

Don Laliberte, 5/3/2016

Don LaLiberte was drafted into the United States Army in 1969. He discusses the lack of acknowledgement and appreciation he experienced upon returning from Vietnam and describes his involvement in the Brockton VA Hospital and American Veterans, Inc. (AMVETS).

Kevin McElaney, 6/2/2016

Kevin McElaney was drafted into the United States Army in February 1968. McElaney discusses the draft, soldier friendships and the personal impact of his service.

Philip Stoner, 6/2/2016

Philip Stoner enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in August, 1966 at the age of 23. Stoner discusses the disconnect between civilians and the military, treating Vietnamese children for yaws disease, his own exposure to Agent Orange, post-military life, and growing up in Auburndale (Newton), Mass.

Arthur Talis, 7/7/2016

Arthur Talis enlisted in the Navy in August, 1945, interrupting his evening college business studies to follow in his older brother's footsteps. He discusses the day Nagasaki was bombed, a near collision with a whale, and his family's experience during the Great Depression.

Werner Gumpertz, 7/7/2016

Werner Gumpertz was born in Germany and immigrated to the United States. He began his service in the U.S. Army after being drafted in 1943. Gumpertz discusses his intelligence training, Europe after the war, and describes a brief encounter with Hermann Goering.

Richard Aronson, 7/7/2016

Richard Aronson was drafted in October 1951, and left his studies at Springfield College to enlist in the United States Air Force in January 1952. Aronson talks about the weather in Alaska, air raids, and his family's military history. He recounts some unique experiences in the Alaskan climate and his role in identifying plane crash victims using dental records. Aronson earned a National Defense Service Medal and a Good Conduct Medal during his service.

Thomas O'Connor, 8/4/2016

Thomas O'Connor enlisted in the United States Army in June, 1975 after graduating from Brookline High School. He discusses his physical training, social life at the barracks, his return to Boston, and an incident at Fort Sill during which a round was mistakenly fired on the base.

Robert Ellertsen, 8/17/2016

Robert Ellertsen enlisted in the Navy in the spring of 1967, a few weeks prior to graduating from Gettysburg College (Penn.). Ellertsen recalls his motivation for volunteering to become a Naval officer, the fear of being drafted into the Army, and the relative normalcy and comfort of his life in the military during the war. He talks about his disagreement with the war, and reflects on the loss of life.

Francis Tobin, 9/1/2016

Francis J. Tobin enlisted in the Air Force in 1963. He shares several stories of his experience in Vietnam, and reflects on its significance and positive impact. He also touches upon the difference between the treatment of returning Vietnam vets, and those currently returning from conflicts in the Middle East.

Julius Breslouf, 9/1/2016

Julius Breslouf was drafted into the United States Army in 1953 after having graduated from the New England College of Pharmacy.  He reflects on how his military experience positively affected him and his pride in having served.

Mario DiCarlo, 9/7/2016

Note: Mario DiCarlo's interview was not conducted by Newton Talks. However, at the interviewer's request, it was decided to include in the project.

Robert Whitten, 10/6/2016

Robert Whitten was commissioned into the U.S. Army in 1962, after graduating from Boston College in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC). Whitten talks about working at the Pentagon during the Egyptian-Israeli crisis, delivering bad news to a soldier's family, and his service as a representative of the President of the United States in a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier commemorating the anniversary of the Bay of Pigs Invasion. 

Elyse Katz, 10/6/2016

Elyse Katz is the widow of U.S. Army Air Forces Staff Sergeant Robert Sandor Katz. Katz enlisted in 1942, and served as a gunner on B-24 and B-27 bombers in the 64th Bombardment Squadron, 43rd Bombardment Group, 5th Air Force. She discusses how she met, corresponded with, and eventually married Robert. She explains the Yiddish word "bashert" and how the concept of that word ran throughout their lives, including an incident when Robert escaped a fatal accident. Elyse recounts a story of Robert's color-blindness helping him and his unit, and his witnessing the explosion of the atom bomb over Nagasaki.

Diane Tarr, 11/3/2016

Diane Tarr was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Navy Nurse Corps in 1972. She talks about her experiences at the forefront of an era of changing roles for women, mixed feelings about serving in the military, moving experiences with patients, and the medical and psychological problems of veterans.

Laura McTaggart, 11/3/2016

Laura McTaggart was commissioned into the U.S. Navy after finishing her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan with a Reserve Officers' Training Corps scholarship, and served on active duty from 1992 to 1996. She discusses the integration of men and women in the military, experiences traveling and going ashore, and the contrast between military and civilian life. McTaggart earned her Master of Business Administration after leaving active duty, and moved to Newton in 2008.