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"No animosity toward us at all, not even a dirty look. They just got out of your way." (Audio Interview, Part 2, 13:28)

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   Raymond Albert Brittain
Image of Raymond Albert Brittain
Raymond Brittain, San Francisco, California, ca. 1943.
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Navy
Unit: USS Tennessee, LST-17, LST-12
Service Location: Naval Training Station, San Diego, California; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Attu Island (Aleutian Islands); Coral Sea; Midway; Tarawa Atoll (Gilbert Islands); Kwajalein Island (Marshall Islands); Washington, DC; Saipan (Northern Mariana Islands); Okinawa Island (Ryukyu Islands); Manila Bay (Philippines)
Rank: Fire Controlman Second Class
Place of Birth: CA
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Raymond Brittain witnessed both ends of America's involvement in the war. His ship was on Battleship Row during the December 7th attack on Pearl Harbor, and he was in Japan immediately after the surrender to witness the havoc that U.S. bombers had caused there. Brittain had the right to feel animosity toward the Japanese after he saw firsthand the human cost of their sneak attack, but four years later, he found them to be submissive and deferential in defeat.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (8 clips)
»Complete Interview  (81 min.)
Download: audio (1) | audio (2)
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 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (8 items)
Firefighting lessons learned from the attack. (01:14) Early training; duties board the Tennessee; premonitions of an attack on Pearl Harbor; an account of December 7, 1941. (24:24) Reflections on service; dealing with harsh memories. (08:04)
Marriage to a Rosie the Riveter; staying in touch with her; security restrictions on ship. (05:00) Naval policy on sexually transmitted diseases. (01:17) Seeing preparations for invasion; knowing the atomic bombs ended the war. (00:48)
Back to U.S. for fire training; in Manila Bay near the end of the war; postwar devastation in Japan. (06:52) Fighting in the Aleutians. (04:03) 
  
 
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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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