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Military Oral History Database:  Alphabetical Listing

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Baity, Kenneth W. ()  -Mr. Baity served in the Navy on the USS Sam Houston, SSBN-609. His enlisted rate was Machinist Mate/Engineering Laboratory Technician Nuclear.   Full-text interview
Barrett, John G. ()  -John G. Barrett was born in 1921 in Gastonia, North Carolina. In 1942 he joined the U. S. Naval Reserves and was commissioned following his graduation from Wake Forest University. Barrett served in the Pacific Theater on the LCI(L)-1052 (Landing Craft Infantry Large). He was discharged in 1946 and enrolled in graduate school, receiving a PhD in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Barrett was a Professor of History at the Virginia Military Institute from 1953 until his retirement in 1987.   Full-text interview
Belt, Ovid (SGT)  -Mr. Belt enlisted in 1957 and served two years active duty and two years in the Reserves. He deployed overseas to Korea with the 34th Infantry Division and later saw stateside duty with the 14th Infantry Division.   Full-text interview
Bissell, Brandon A. (CAPT)  -Brandon A. Bissell accepted a commission in the United States Army following his graduation from VMI in 1998. He served with the 101st Aviation Regiment at Ft. Campbell, KY, flying Black Hawk helicopters; he has been a company XO, platoon leader, S-1 and S-3. Bissell subsequently spent two years in Korea and is currently assigned to the Army ROTC department at VMI.   Full-text interview
Bissell, Gary A. (LTC)  -Following his graduation from VMI in 1989, Gary Bissell commissioned in the U. S. Army and trained as a helicopter pilot. After leaving active duty, he has continued to serve in the Army National Guard and the Reserves, and was deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He served as company commander of a Chinook unit with 14 aircraft and 215 troops; the company was part of an aviation task force supporting units throughout Kuwait and Iraq.   Full-text interview
Bissell, Marti J. (LTC)  -LTC Marti J. Bissell commissioned in the U. S. Army in 1988. She trained as a helicopter test pilot and served on active duty in Korea, Germany and at Ft. Riley Kansas. LTC Bissell is currently a member of the D.C. National Guard and is the Assistant Chief of Staff at the Virginia Military Institute.   Full-text interview
Bissell, Norman Michael (Brig. Gen.)  -Brigadier General N. Michael Bissell (Mike) graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1961 and was commissioned into the U.S. Army. He retired from the U.S. Army in November 1987 to become a Program Manager in industry. In 1990, he returned to VMI to be the first full time Commandant of Cadets. After four years, Bissell became the Deputy Superintendent responsible for the assimilation of women into the Corps of Cadets. In addition, he coordinated VMIís role in support of the creation of the Virginia Womenís Institute for Leadership (VWIL) at Mary Baldwin College where he also performed as the part time Acting Commandant of Cadets. In 1999, he left VMI to become the first Commandant of Cadets at VWIL. Bissell served two tours as a combat helicopter pilot in Vietnam. While in Vietnam, he was nominated for the Medal of Honor and received the second highest award for valor - the Distinguished Service Cross. In addition, he was awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and the Air Medal with ďVĒ device and 24 Oak leaf Clusters. His other assignments included Commander of the 17th Aviation Group, Commander of the Joint Republic of Korea Army and the U.S. Army Combined Aviation Force, Director of the U.S. Army Flight Training and Deputy Chief and Acting Chief of Staff of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). He spent two years in the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon as Executive Officer to the Director of Operations (J3). With these assignments came additional awards and decorations: the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, and the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters. Before retiring from the U.S. Army, Bissellís last assignment was as the Executive Officer for the Assistant Secretary of the Army. He retired from the U.S. Army and went on to become the Program Manager for the U.S. Armyís new stealth helicopter (Commanche) for the Boeing and Sikorsky Team. When the team won the contract with the Army, he returned to VMI to be the Commandant of Cadets. Bissellís schools and qualifications include the Ranger tab, Airborne and Air assault Badges and the Expert Infantrymanís Badge (EIB). He was awarded the Gold Order of Saint Michael Medal by the Army Aviation Association of America for his career contributions to Army Aviation. In May 2007 he was inducted into the U.S. Army Aviation Hall of Fame. This interview covers his entire military career.   Full-text interview
Bither, William (LTC)  -LTC Bither first served with the U.S. Army 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment at Ft. Lewis, Washington as a rifle platoon leader. He then joined U.S. Army Special Forces, in Ft. Lewis, Washington; Korea; Quantico, Virginia, the Marine LTC Bither first served with the U.S. Army 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment at Ft. Lewis, Washington as a rifle platoon leader. He then joined U.S. Army Special Forces, in Ft. Lewis, Washington and has been stationed in Korea; Quantico, Virginia; the Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School; Germany; Ft. Bragg; Kuwait and Iraq; and currently the Virginia Military Institute. This interview covers his years in the service.   Full-text interview
Bodkin, Hobert Vaughn (SGT)  -Mr. Bodkin joined the Marine Corps in September 1942 and was assigned to the 1st Marine Division in March 1944. He went into combat during the invasion of Peleliu Island and in April 1945 took part in the invasion of Okinawa.   Full-text interview
Boese, Lawrence E. (LT GEN)  -Boese joined the United States Air Force following his graduation from VMI in 1966 and rose to the rank of Lt. General before retiring in 1996. This interview covers his three tours of duty in Vietnam, 1968-1972, with particular emphasis upon operation Linebacker. During the "Linebacker " period he served as a F-4D/E aircraft commander, instructor pilot and mission commander with the 308th Tactical Fighter Squadron out of Homestead Air Force Base, Florida. A portion of the interview covers the introduction of Laser Guided Bombs (LGB).   Full-text interview

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