John Conaghan Interview, August 17, 1986


John Conaghan


Charles Milo McLeod



Download Audio Interview (82.0 MB)

Download Transcript of John Conaghan Interview (405 KB)


John Conaghan discusses his military training and career. He talks about working on a searchlight crew before he volunteered for the First Special Service Force during World War Two. He talks about his Force training in Helena, Montana, and the pay he received for being jump certified. Conaghan discusses the bond between Force members and describes his combat experience. He recalls working communication during the invasion of Southern France and finding Champagne and Cognac hidden in haystacks around the French countryside. Conaghan also talks about the different types of weapons that he was trained on and carried during the war, and he describes getting hit by a mortar that was thrown by German troops. He recalls how the members of the Force felt when the unit was disbanded and talks about how they are still actively engaged by attending reunions each year.


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Document Type

Oral History


World War, 1939-1945; First Special Service Force; Canadian military; U.S. military; Hand-to-hand combat; Military training; Battle of Anzio; Fort Harrison, Montana; Camp Borden, Ontario, Canada; Anzio, Italy; Frederick, General Robert T.; Military, specialized missions; U.S. military servicemen; Canadian military servicemen

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

First Special Service Force Oral History Project, OH 151, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula

Digital Publisher

University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library


Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 /

Oral History Number

OH 151-007

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

1 sound cassette (01:00:00 min.) analog + 1 transcript (22 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

01:02:11 minutes

Local Filename

OH_151_007.mp3; OH_151_007.pdf

John Conaghan Interview, August 17, 1986