Capt. Zirkle, a native of Washington, D.C., recounts his early background, his attendance a prep school, and his experiences at the U.S. Naval Academy. He describes an episode involving the transport of code books by train across the United States, his assignment to the USS
CALIFORNIA, and his assignment to the USS
MASSACHUSETTS after the sinking of the
CALIFORNIA at Pearl Harbor. Comments pertain to involvement in the North African invasion, their attack upon a French battleship, his service in
WESTPAC with Task Force 38 and 58, and his departure from the
MASSACHUSETTS for flight training.
Interview #2 focuses on flight training at Corpus Christi, Texas in 1943, assignment to the USS GUAM for the remainder of W.W. II, flying assignments off the USS
MIDWAY and USS
CORAL SEA, duty as skipper of ASW squadron flying off CVEs, attendance at War College, assignment to
TICONDEROGA, and duty at the Pentagon.