Based on five interviews conducted by John T. Mason, Jr., from November 1972 through July 1974. The volume contains 375 pages of interview transcript plus an index. The transcript is copyright 1986 by the U.S. Naval Institute; the interviewee has placed no restrictions on its use.
In the first of three planned volumes by a former Director of Naval History, Admiral Eller discusses his boyhood, midshipman years leading to graduation from the Naval Academy in 1925, duty in the battleships Utah (BB-31) and Texas (BB-35), and the submarine S-33 (SS-138). In the 1930s, he served two tours on the faculty of the Naval Academy, where he made the study of leadership a project. A characteristic of this volume is the admiral's ability to place events in the narrative into the broader context of history. For instance, in his discussion of duty with the U.S. Asiatic Fleet, he provides detailed descriptions of various places he visited while on leave in the Far East. In telling of his Utah service, he discusses the ship's role in enhancing fleet antiaircraft gunnery as World War II approached.
Based on seven interviews conducted by John T. Mason, Jr., from December 1974 through August 1978. The volume contains 456 pages of interview transcript plus an index. The transcript is copyright 1990 by the U.S. Naval Institute; the interviewee has placed no restrictions on its use.
The focus of nearly all of this second volume of Admiral Eller's oral history is World War II. He began with a tour of duty as an observer with the Royal Navy, including service on board the Hood and Prince of Wales before they fought the German Bismarck. When hostilities began for the United States he was gunnery officer of the aircraft carrier Saratoga (CV-3) and was on board when she was torpedoed. In the spring of 1942 he reported to the Pacific Fleet staff of Admiral Chester and served there throughout much of the rest of the war, working mostly in the gunnery section. He was both eyewitness and participant in a great deal of the planning and execution of the South Pacific and Central Pacific campaigns. Besides operating with Admiral Nimitz in Hawaii he made several trips to the forward area to see battle conditions firsthand. At war's end he commanded the attack transport Clay (APA-39). In the postwar period he had public information duty in San Francisco and then in the Navy Department in Washington.