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Roy Latall Oral History

Identifier: OHP 011

Scope and Contents

Roy Latall served aboard Intrepid as an aviation machinist’s mate second class in the arresting gear crew during World War II, from 1943 to 1945. Latall began his interview by describing his journey to Intrepid in April 1943, explaining how he had travelled from Millington, Tennessee, to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, where he was introduced to arresting gear, the equipment he would be operating aboard Intrepid. Latall noted that he had never heard of arresting gear and then explained the carrier landing process, the arrangement and operation of the arresting cables, and his work with the crash barriers. He also recalled crash landings on the flight deck and noted the men in his group, stating that they were a family, and explaining how they remained lifelong friends. Latall next spoke about kamikaze attacks, specifically noting when Gun Tub 10, a gun tub that was manned by African American sailors, was struck by a kamikaze. At this point he also took time to describe burials at sea. The interview then shifted toward the end of the war, and Latall stated that he was released from Intrepid on June 25th, 1945. He also noted that he had been recognized for creating a leather holster that could be placed around a plane’s tail hook, covering the hook and preventing the hook from catching other arresting cables while the plane was being pushed forward. Latall said that this increased the efficiency of the men tasked with moving planes on the flight deck and earned him an opportunity to attend flight school in June of 1945. However, he noted that the war had ended soon after he entered flight school. Latall then discussed life after the Navy, stating that he had left the service and continued his education. He also described a visit to the Intrepid Museum in 1983. Latall said he met shipmates from the arresting gear crew, and they spoke about their time aboard Intrepid with a newspaper reporter. Before the interview came to an end, Latall discussed his time in Millington and Philadelphia in greater detail. He also noted the shakedown cruise to Trinidad, described Intrepid’s transit through the Panama Canal, and made final remarks regarding Intrepid’s service in World War II. Latall ended the interview by sharing his thoughts on Intrepid's current role as a museum and stating that he was proud to have served.


  • August 16, 2013



4 Files

15 Sheets

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David Dzendzel
June 27, 2018
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Repository Details

Part of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Online Archives Repository

One Intrepid Square
W. 46th Street and 12th Avenue
New York NY 10036-4103 United States