Buell, Thomas B., Cdr., USN (Ret.)

Buell, Thomas B., Cdr., USN (Ret.)

(1936–2002)

In these interviews conducted the month before Commander Buell died, he was extremely candid in describing his experiences and the people with whom he served. The two major themes in the memoir deal with his service as a destroyerman and his work as a historian. He wrote widely admired biographies of World War II Admirals Ernest J. King and Raymond A. Spruance and later produced a book dealing with Civil War leaders on both the Union and Confederate sides. After he graduated from the Naval Academy in 1958 Buell served in the destroyer USS Hamner (DD-718) and in the first crew of the guided missile destroyer leader USS King (DLG-10). After studying at the Naval Postgraduate School, he was in the commissioning crew of the guided missile destroyer escort USS Brooke (DEG-1). Later duties included serving as technical assistant for weapons at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard and as executive officer of the guided missile destroyer USS John King (DDG-3). From 1970 to 1973 he was at the Naval War College in various capacities, and it was there he began his career as a biographer. His sea command was the ocean escort USS Joseph Hewes (DE-1078) from 1973 to 1975. From 1975 to 1979 he taught in the history department of the Military Academy at West Point. Following his retirement from naval service in 1979 he worked in the defense industry for the Honeywell Corporation and Rosemont Company in Minnesota. In the 1990s, living in North Carolina, Buell did consulting work and wrote his Civil War book, The Warrior Generals. The oral history contains accounts of the research and writing of his books.

Transcripts of this oral history are available in many formats including bound volumes, and digital copies.

Order Oral History

About this Volume

Based on five interviews conducted by Paul Stillwell in May 2002. The volume contains 455 pages of interview transcript plus a comprehensive index. The transcript is copyright 2005 by the U.S. Naval Institute; the interviewee placed no restrictions on its use.