The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Michael Driscoll Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Chris Petersen and Linda Richards.

October 9, 2013


Michael Lawrence Paul Driscoll was born in Portland, Oregon in 1942. Following his graduation from David Douglas High School, Driscoll joined the Navy where, at the conclusion of boot camp, he was voted "Outstanding Recruit" by the men in his company. For much of his service Driscoll was stationed aboard an aircraft carrier, the USS Yorktown, where he worked as a motion picture operator and also assumed responsibility for the ship's two gyros. It is during his time on the Yorktown that Driscoll was exposed to two nuclear blasts emanating from the Dominic I series of atmospheric tests: Operation Frigate Bird (May 6, 1962) and Operation Sword Fish (May 11, 1962). Driscoll is one of perhaps 400,000 U.S. military personnel who were subjected to nuclear tests of this type and who now identify as Atomic Veterans.

In 1964 Driscoll received his honorable discharge from the Navy and in 1967 he initiated studies at Oregon State University, majoring in education. For several years following his graduation, Driscoll worked as a teacher in the Portland metropolitan area. From 1973-1974 he also served in the Peace Corps, where he taught mathematics in Western Samoa. Currently based in Spokane, Washington, Driscoll has also been actively involved with the Kiwanis Club and the Boy Scouts of America throughout his adult life.