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Don Fisher

USN -PT503

Radioman 2/C

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Donald Eugene Fisher was born in Beloit, Wisconsin. The son of a career Army officer, he moved frequently with his father's changing duty stations. He spent his youth in northern Wisconsin, where his father was commanding officer of depression-era Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) camps at Cable, Seeley, and Townsend, Wisconsin. Donald attended Namakagon, Spider Lake and Antigo elementary schools. When his father became commanding officer of Camp Madison (now the University of Wisconsin Arboretum), Donald attended Madison West High School. He graduated from Daytona Beach High School, where his father became commanding officer of the Women's Army Corps camp in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Donald joined the Navy when he was 17 years old and volunteered for PT (Patrol Torpedo) boat service. After his training, he was assigned to PT 503 of RON (PT boat squadron) 34. He saw action on D-Day off the coast of France during the Normandy invasion, Jersey Island, the taking of La Havre, and joined the forces occupying Cherbourg. While in France, his RON fought a skirmish against a German convoy, in which PT 509 was destroyed. Returning to Britain, he helped prepare PT 503 and other boats in RON 34 for transfer to the U.S.S.R. under the terms of Lend-Lease, and then was transferred to the Pacific aboard PT 277 of RON 23, and later on, PT 297 of RON 16. Donald served in the South Pacific until the Japanese surrender. During his service he earned three Purple Heart medals for injuries sustained in combat, as well as numerous other awards for the actions in which his boat and squadron were engaged. 

Shortly after the war, Don met and married Jenny Hynek, and had four children: Patricia, Michael, Cheryl, and John. He attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin, and received a BS degree in economics in 1949. He was hired by General Casualty Insurance Company in Madison as a claims adjuster in 1950, rising to the office of president and CEO in 1966. He held this position until his retirement in 1982. In 2005, he moved to Rochester, Minnesota with his wife and lived there until he passed away in 2013.

These are the medals Don was awarded while in the Navy:


American Theater Campaign Medal

European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal

Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal

Philippine Liberation Medal

WWII Victory Medal

Navy Combat Action Ribbon

Purple Heart Medal

Navy Good Conduct Medal

Don was interviewed in London by Herbert M. Clark of Blue Network Radio (sponsored by Coca-Cola) on 17 October 1944 for broadcast back in the States. This interview was recorded on a glass record which was presented to Don's parents. Over the years the glass record was broken in multiple pieces but the family repaired it to make the above mp3 which we have cleaned up. 

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