Goroskop Maia 2012
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Oral History Interviews

Recollections of Fort Slocum varied from one participant in the oral history project to the next, reflecting their age, background and period of residence at the post. The interviews revealed the distinct concerns of different groups at the post: children versus adults, civilians versus soldiers and officers versus enlisted personnel. They also showed how the atmosphere and character of the post altered, sometimes subtly, as Fort Slocum’s mission and the responsibilities of its personnel changed. 

 

An oral history interview.  Tetra Tech cultural resource specialist Rob Jacoby (right) interviews Michael Cavanaugh on Davids Island in 2007. Mr. Cavanaugh lived at Fort Slocum as a young boy in the late 1950s. Conducting the interview on the island was a rare opportunity to get a participant to indicate exactly where he had lived, played and waited for the ferry.

 

An oral history interview.  Tetra Tech cultural resource specialist Rob Jacoby (right) interviews Michael Cavanaugh on Davids Island in 2007. Mr. Cavanaugh lived at Fort Slocum as a young boy in the late 1950s. Conducting the interview on the island was a rare opportunity to get a participant to indicate exactly where he had lived, played and waited for the ferry.

 

 

 

But… the time we were at Fort Slocum, I remember… as a kid would. There was a day Major Skelly got a call. ‘Major, your son is riding his bicycle through the Retreat formation. Please take care of it.’  And another day, I guess this was first grade, when I was taking the ferry over to New Rochelle, the guard down at the dock called my parents at 5 o’clock [in the morning] and said ‘He’s here, he doesn’t want to be late for school.’”

 

-Pat Skelly, lived at Fort Slocum as a child from 1940 to 1942

(interviewed 2007)

 

I was assigned to Fort Slocum, and I had no idea where it was. I went to the library, and there was a little dot on a little tiny island in Long Island Sound, and that was Fort Slocum.”

 

-Bill Waterhouse, served at Fort Slocum in the 1207th Army Service Unit from 1961 to 1963

(interviewed 2007)

 

My summer memory is of a lazy summer day, going outside to sit under the elm tree and hearing the recorded band music over the Parade Ground.”

 

-Christa Huchthausen Mueller, daughter of Chaplain Lt. Col. Walter Huchthausen, director of instruction in the Army Chaplain School at Fort Slocum from 1953 to 1955

(interviewed 2007)

 

The trailer camp was near the seawall, not too far from the dock--When I was first there, I still had enough Japanese that I would go and talk to some of the Japanese wives. And-- they seemed young and cute, and they were fun, you know, where some of the… officers’ wives were all, like, older.”

 

-Rivka Olley, daughter of Chief Warrant Officer Cornelius Olley, moved to Fort Slocum at 10 years of age and lived there from 1956 to 1962

(interviewed 2007)