UW Madison grad, U.S. Navy D-Day veteran celebrates 100th birthday

James Joseph Field, a 1943 University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate and U.S. Navy D-Day...
James Joseph Field, a 1943 University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate and U.S. Navy D-Day veteran, is celebrating a once-in-a-lifetime milestone on Feb. 3 - his 100th birthday.(Rick Burke, U.S. Navy Office of Community Outreach)
Published: Feb. 3, 2021 at 8:10 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A 1943 University of Wisconsin- Madison graduate and U.S. Navy D-Day veteran is celebrating his 100th birthday Wednesday.

James Joseph Field served in the navy for four years, from 1941 to 1945, as a lieutenant on the USS Satterlee and USS Tillman, during WWII.

He explained that he joined the Navy because the U.S. was at war and he wanted to serve for his country.

“As a college sophomore in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor, I joined the Navy in a program that allowed me to finish my degree and graduate in 1943 as an Ensign,” Field said.

He then went on to attend the U.S. Naval Reserve Midshipmen’s School (V-7) at the University of Notre Dame to become a lieutenant.

Field noted the two most significant events of his service were D-Day and when the Satterlee was commissioned to escort President Franklin D. Roosevelt on his trip to meet with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin at the Yalta Conference.

“I learned thousands of lessons from my childhood but serving in the Navy in big cities and overseas with other young men of such diverse backgrounds, really opened my eyes to the world,” said Field. “On a less serious note, my naval service taught me that the ocean movements in the Atlantic and the Pacific are quite different. I was seasick every day we were posted to the Atlantic and not at all in the Pacific.”

Happy Birthday James!

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