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Francis Eugene Somers oral history interview, May 12, 1988

Date: May. 12 1988 | Identifier: OH0109
Somers briefly describes life at the U.S. Naval Academy as a member of the Class of 1941. After graduation Somers was assigned to the USS BUCK. In the interview he discusses the activities of the BUCK as part of a task force carrying Marines from Newfoundland to Iceland, and then briefly describes the sinking of the BUCK off the coast of Italy some months after the invasion. (Somers had left the BUCK before it sank.) After leaving the BUCK, Somers was sent to serve aboard the USS WILKES. He describes convoy duty in the North Atlantic to Scotland and Londonderry and duty supporting invasions in North Africa and Sicily while aboard the WILKES. Following the WILKES, he was transferred to the USS MARSHALL and he notes its participation in the Second Battle of the Philippine Sea. In Interview #2 Captain Somers comments on his perspective of academic challenges at the USNA, his assignment to the USS BUCK, convoy duty in the North Atlantic, transfer to the USS WILKES, and operations at Casablanca and in the Mediterranean during the North Africa and Sicily invasions. He also describes duty on the MARSHALL in the South Pacific at Saipan, Tinian, Guam, and the second battle of the Philippine Sea; his assignment to the USS TUCKER; his resignation from the Navy in order to join the FBI; his return to active duty during the Korean War to work with the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project; and his work for the CIA subsequent to the Korean War. In Interview #3 Captain Somers concentrates on his duty with the CIA monitoring the Soviet nuclear program, liaison service in Tokyo and London with British Intelligence, and assignment as deputy commander of U-2 planes stationed at Edwards Air Force Base. He comments on effort to recover a Soviet nuclear submarine that sank in the Pacific, duty in Vietnam, and project work for the FBI and CIA. Interviewer: Donald R. Lennon. more...