William James Ruhe Oral History Interview

May 20, 1975
Oral History #OH0022
Ruhe, William James; Lennon, Donald R.
Physical description
0.005 Cubic Feet, 1 audiocasette, 1.5 hour, 29 pages
Preferred Citation
William James Ruhe Oral History Interview (#OH0022), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Biographical/historical information

William James Ruhe, a retired Navy captain of McLean, Va., was graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy (June 1939). He was assigned to the cruiser U.S.S. TRENTON (June 1939-August 1940), during which time he visited several countries, including extended stays in Portugal and France while assigned to Squadron 40T in the Mediterranean. Ruhe then transferred to the submarine service (1941) and throughout World War II operated out of Australia to fight the Japanese in the South Pacific. He left the submarine service in 1950 and between that year and 1967, when he retired from active duty, divided his time between commanding cruisers and administrative work in Washington, D. C.

Scope and arrangement

Ruhe discusses his experiences with Squadron 40T in pre-World War II duty in the Mediterranean and relates anecdotes about fellow officers and people he met while in Europe. Topics discussed include reactions of the local populace to U.S naval personnel in port cities after extended stays, meeting an English spy in Portugal (1940), attempts to obtain information about U. S. naval security and activities, and sailors' shipboard antics.

Among post-war problems described are disputes between naval officers and civilian administrators over manpower requirements, capabilities of current naval officers, and their lack of wartime experience.

Administrative information
Source of acquisition

Gift of William James Ruhe

Processing information

Processed by D. Beard, April 1985

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Key terms
Personal Names
Ruhe, William James
Corporate Names
United States. Navy--Military life
United States. Navy--Officers--Interviews
United States. Navy--Submarine forces
United States. Navy. Squadron 40-T.
World War, 1939-1945--Naval operations