Based on one interview with Admiral Melhorn conducted by Etta-Belle Kitchen and Charles Melhorn in February 1970 (77 pages) and one with Commander Melhorn conducted by Etta-Belle Kitchen in February 1970 (76 pages). . The volume contains 153 pages of interview transcript plus an index. The transcript is copyright 1983 by the U.S. Naval Institute; the interviewees have placed no restrictions on its use.
This volume comprises one interview each with a Navy father and a Navy son. The father was a doctor who served on active duty from 1907 through 1946. He had a variety of duties both at sea and ashore, and he describes them in a fascinating manner: with the Marines in Santo Domingo in 1915, two tours as a public health official in Haiti in the 1920s, two tours on the staff of Commander in Chief U.S. Fleet, and a stint as attending physician to the U.S. delegation to the World Disarmament Conference at Geneva in 1932. During World War II, Admiral Melhorn commanded the Navy Medical Supply Depot in Brooklyn.
Commander Melhorn led a charmed life from the time of his enlistment in the V-7 program in 1940 until his retirement in 1961. His PT boat was blown up at Guadalcanal in 1942; he then survived a plane crash during flight training, a midair collision, attacks on the Japanese fleet in 1945, a tour on Rear Admiral Jocko Clark's Carrier Division Four staff in 1949-1950, and a night ditching at sea in the Mediterranean in the 1950s. Through all of that, he managed to retain the delightful sense of humor which is evident in his oral history.