Michael Szukula

Biography:

Michael A. Szukala is a veteran of World War II. He was born in Chicago, Illinois on November 1, 1925. He enlisted and served from February 1943 to March 1946 in the Coast Guard. Szukala’s highest rank was Fireman 1st Class. He served on the USS LST-770, for which he volunteered for because he was not originally assigned to this post. He fought in the Asia Pacific Theatre and was involved with the Occupation of Japan and in the Philippines liberation campaign. He sustained service-related injuries. Szukala was awarded a ribbon and two stars for his service in the Asia Pacific Theatre and one star for his efforts in the Philippines. One of his highlights of his service was caring for an orphan in the Philippines for a couple of months.

 

Audio Recording of Interview:

Minute Markers and Topics of Audio Recording of Interview

0:30     Early life and family

1:10     Life before entering military service

1:30     Enlisted

1:50     Reasons for choosing Coast Guard

2:10     Service dates

2:30     Travel during service

3:40     Combat experiences

5:00     USO events

5:20     Visited local establishments in other countries

5:50     Communication with family and friends

6:00     End of service and coming home

6:50     Reaction of family

7:30     Contact with veterans and veteran organizations

8:10     How war changed him

8:50     Life lessons from service

9:40     Wartime experiences

10:50   Involvement in Philippines Campaign

11:40   Treatment and employment after WWII

12:40   Reflections on service

13:20   Friends in WWII

14:00   More reflections on service

14:30   Comments on Japanese people and culture

15:30   Looking back on decision to enlist

17:30   Advice for newly-joined soldiers

 

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Awards and Recognition:

 

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