Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans


Milton Kassel | USS Fitch (DMS-25) - Navy

5:38   |   Milton Kassel was called from the Naval Reserve into active duty during the Korean War. He was assigned to serve on a Merchant Marine vessel, going between the US and Korea, but through a stroke of luck, he wound up on a ship out of Charleston, SC and enjoyed a nice Med cruise.

More From Milton Kassel

Keywords   :     Milton Kassel    USS Fitch (DMS-25)    Merchant Marine    Norfolk Naval Shipyard    Korea    Washington DC    Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS)    Charleston SC    destroyer minesweeper    Mediterranean    Europe    Cold War    Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)    Russia    6th Fleet

Videos ( 6 )
  • Milton Kassel  |  WWII  |  USS PCS-1451  |  5:02

    The Navy V-12 Program had Milton Kassel studying in college. On graduation, he would get a Navy commission, but the Navy had other ideas. They put him on active duty, made a 90 day wonder out of him, and sent him to serve on a patrol craft in the Aleutian Islands.

  • Milton Kassel  |  WWII  |  USS PCS-1451  |  5:40

    Milton Kassel describes his remote post in the Aleutian Islands, Dutch Harbor. The young ensign was one of four officers on a small patrol craft. The weather was the main adversary while protecting the installations there.

  • Milton Kassel  |  WWII  |  USS PCS-1451  |  5:30

    While patrolling out of Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands, Milton Kassel searched for Japanese submarines, but never had a positive contact. His ship protected the harbor and guided ships between islands and through the anti-submarine nets.

  • Milton Kassel  |  WWII  |  USS PCS-1451  |  3:33

    Radar was a new technology, but Milton Kassel had it on his ship. The patrol craft based in the Aleutian Islands could see over the horizon and know if a ship was there, but they didn't know if it was friend or foe. That required visual contact.

  • Milton Kassel  |  WWII  |  Multiple Ships  |  4:00

    When Milton Kassel and his shipmates heard about the atomic bomb, they didn't believe it was real. It was real enough that they were soon on their way back to the States. After a short leave he got another assignment, from the cold of Alaska to tropical Panama.

Cold War
  • Milton Kassel  |  Cold War  |  USS Fitch (DMS-25)  |  2:40

    Milton Kassel was engaged and the wedding was set upon his return from Atlantic exercises. While on watch, he received a message that his ship would be delayed, making him late to his own wedding. He was pretty upset when the ship's doctor said to him, "I can't let them do this to you."

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