Bradley J. Strait
Bradley Strait was born in Canandaigua, NY, and served in the Navy during the Korean War. He was stationed aboard the USS Joseph P. Kennedy, DD-850, from February 1951 until 1955, and he offers an account of the living conditions aboard ship and describes some of his duties. He served in the US Navy as an ETI and electronics technician, and after being discharged from the military, he returned to Syracuse where he continued his education in engineering at Syracuse University. He is proud of his service and shares his thoughts on Korea today.
Reasons for Enlisting
Bradley Strait discusses reasons why he enlisted. He explains he was a young boy when the attack on Pearl Harbor took place and that he was very impressionable at the time. He shares he was too young to participate in the war, but he was not too young to be impressed by it and would later enlist to serve during the Korean War. He recounts everyone contributing to the war effort during WWII but shares that there was a different mindset during the Korean War on the home front.
Destroyers during the War
Bradley Strait explains the difference between a battleship and destroyer. He discusses being stationed on the USS Joseph P. Kennedy Destroyer and shares that one of its chief functions was anti submarine warfare. He states that destroyers were used for shore bombardment at Wonsan Harbor and Incheon during the war.
Front Lines and Living Conditions
Bradley Strait explains he was stationed mostly in Wonsan Harbor. He remembers the North Koreans had pushed the Americans back to Wonsan and that a battle was taking place there, and he details the role of destroyers during this battle. He also recalls the living conditions on the ship as being very tight and cannot imagine women being stationed on the ship due to the close conditions.
Animosity towards the North Korean Leadership
Bradley Strait shares the level of animosity he feels towards the leadership in North Korea. He weighs in on the benefits of reunification and suggests that South Korea is a good model of democracy. He highlights the economic gains South Korean has made as well.
Advice for a Different Era
Bradley Strait offers some advice on military service based on his experience. He promotes the Navy as he feels it prepared him in many ways from life lessons centering on teamwork to offering him benefits after service. He shares that he feels he received a better net return having gone the route he did compared to others he knew.