Document Type

Oral History

Interviewee name

Donna Loring


Kellie Pelletier

Interview date


Interview location

Lewiston, Maine





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Donna Loring, interviewed by Kellie Pelletier at the Muskie Archives, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine, June 15, 1999. Loring discusses her early schooling, her family history serving in the military, her MOS (72B-20) as a communications specialist, and working with early computers. She talks about being stationed at Fort McClellan, Alabama, and Fort MacArthur, in San Pedro, California. She tells about putting in for Vietnam, being told women were not allowed in combat, receiving orders to go a few months later, knowing it was a mistake but no one caught it until she was in Vietnam, being assigned to the 44th Signal Battalion, being billeted with a WAC detachment, being stationed at Long Binh, handling all the casualty reports for Southeast Asia; experiencing the start of the Tet Offensive; being rebellious and never being granted R&R, returning home in November 1968, her life after the war, becoming a police chief, and using her GI bill. Text: 37 pp. transcript, 2 pp. administrative. Time: 01:51:05. Restrictions: None. Approval to release provided by James Francis of the Penobscot Historic Preservation Committee, 2024-02-23.


Part 1 mfc_na4478_01A
Part 2 mfc_na4478_01B
Part 3 mfc_na4478_02A


Military History | Oral History | United States History

Birth date

October 1, 1948


Indian Island, Old Town, Penobscot County, Maine

Nation of origin

United States

Home state/Territory





Native American

Ethnic group



Retired police officer; author, broadcaster, and tribal representative of the Penobscot Nation in the American state of Maine

Civic groups


Branch of service

U.S. Army

Service Unit

Communication Center Company C, 44th Signal Battalion, 160th Signal Group, 1st Signal Brigade

Dates of service

1966-1972; Vietnam November 1967 - November 1968

Date of entry


Service entry


Location of Service

U.S. Army Vietnam Communication Center, Long Binh, Vietnam

Awards & Ribbons

First Signal Brigade Presidential Citation; Vietnam Service Ribbon; Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal; National Defense Ribbon; Certificate of Achievement 160th Signal Group, 1st Signal Brigade, U.S.A.

Wars & Conflicts

Vietnam War

Battles & Engagements

Tet Offensive, 1968

Entry Rank

E-1 Private

Highest Rank

E-3 Private First Class

Exit Rank

E-3 Private First Class


Warrant Officer Joan M. Blakeley; Captain Murphy; Colonel Richard W. Swinson; Major Robert Rogers; Hubert Humphrey; Richard Nixon; George Wallace; General Rinezy; Staff Sergeant William A. Harris; Captain Jean Murphy; First Sergeant M.C. Crawford


Fort McClellan, Alabama; Fort Gordon, Georgia; Fort Devons, Massachusetts; Fort MacArthur, California; Travis Air Force Base, California; Tan Son Nhut, Vietnam; Long Binh, Vietnam; Washington, D.C.; Hawai'i; Saigon; Long Binh Jail; Singapore; Hong Kong; Ho Chi Minh Trail; San Antonio, Texas; Biên Hòa; Indian Island, Maine; United States Army Signal Corps


Vietnam War, 1961-1975; United States Army; Women soldiers; Communications, Military

Collection name

Maine Vietnam Veterans Oral History

Collection number


Item number


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Donna Loring, interviewed by Kellie Pelletier, Part 1



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