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Guide to the Brooklyn Navy Yard oral history collection ARC.003

Brooklyn Historical Society
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Brooklyn 11201
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library@brooklynhistory.org


Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Amy Lau, Mary Mann, Aliki Caloyeras, and Margaret Fraser

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on  , September 3, 2020
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

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Oral History Interview with William Obitz, May 18, 2009

Biographical / Historical

William Obitz (1926-) was born in Plymouth, Pennsylvania. He grew up on a farm about 10 miles outside of Plymouth, PA. His father worked in the coal mines for approximately thirty years. Obitz enlisted in the Navy in 1943 and completed boot camp at Sampson, New York. He worked as a mess cook, gunner and deckhand on the USS Missouri out of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. After his work in the Navy, Obitz worked as a welder in New Jersey for twenty-two years.

Scope and Contents

In this interview, Obitz primarily discusses his experiences aboard the USS Missouri, where he was a deckhand, mess cook and gunner from 1944 through the end of World War II. While on the Missouri, he witnessed a kamikaze plane attack. Other topics covered include his upbringing on a Pennsylvania farm; his enlistment and training in the Navy; his time at the Brooklyn Navy Yard preparing the Missouri for deployment; and how he met his wife. Interview conducted at the U.S.S. Missouri Reunion in Virginia on May 18, 2009. Interview conducted by Daniella Romano.

Conditions Governing Access

This interview can be accessed onsite at Brooklyn Historical Society's Othmer Library and online at the Oral History Portal.

Subject Organizations

  • New York Naval Shipyard
  • Missouri (Battleship : BB 63)

Subject Topics

  • Cooking
  • Military life
  • Cooking for military personnel
  • Warships
  • Shipyards -- New York (State) -- Kings County

Subject Places

  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Jersey City (N.J.)