Wilson Thrower was born in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1922. He worked as an electrician at the Charleston Navy Yard before being drafted in 1943 and entering the Navy as an Apprentice Seaman on the USS Jenks. After demonstrating his knowledge of the destroyer escort's communications system, Jenks became an Electrician, Third Class. In this interview, Thrower recounts the capture of the German U-505, which proved vital to Allied code breaking operations. For serving in the submarine task force that captured the German U-boat, Thrower received a Presidential Unit Citation. After the War, he served in law enforcement and ran a series of businesses.
Fleming was born in Charleston, South Carolina on 8 January 1922. To help support his family following the death of his father, Fleming joined the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1939 through which he worked on Bull’s Island. He recalls the Charleston of his childhood: “We didn't have but one street, Spring Street, to go across the old Ashley River Bridge . . . . right back where the stadium is at, all that was the river.” Fleming married and was drafted in 1942. He attended basic training at Camp Sibert, Alabama, where he “learned how to take care of myself through that army life, I learned a lot because when you hit them beach head, there ain’t nobody there to help you, you got to help yourself.” In Hawaii, he received training that prepared him for work as a medic on ship hospitals and in field hospitals in the Pacific. He recalls many harrowing scenes of battle and details life in foxholes during Japanese air attacks. Returning to Charleston after the war, Fleming worked in carpentry and construction, and played baseball for the Avco Corporation team. He concludes by reflecting on the September 2011 death of his wife of 69 years, Dorothy Buckingham Fleming, whose grave he visits weekly: “I go up there and look at the grave, and I got a little clipper, you know, like the stone, and I cut around it and take the brush and brush it all off.”