Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: Persian Gulf War, 1991
  • Branch of Service: Navy
  • Unit of Service: USS Hector (AR 7); USS Opportune (ARS 41)
  • Location of Service: Alameda, California; San Diego, California; Norfolk, Virginia; Washington, DC; Port Said, Egypt; Guam (Mariana Islands)
  • Highest Rank: Commander

View full service history

"Don't treat me any differently; I am the commanding officer and that's it." (Video Interview, 34:55)

When Darlene Iskra enlisted in the Navy in 1979, her ambitions were modest; she was 27, coming off a divorce, her life in need of a jump start. She unwittingly caught a wave of change in that service, becoming one of the first women to graduate from dive school. Her talent for supervision and her tenacity won her a loyal following in the higher echelons of the Navy, and in December 1990, she became the first woman to take command of a U.S. Navy ship, aptly named the Opportune. Though her ship was on stand-by duty during the Persian Gulf War, Iskra's name was already secure in Naval history.

More Resources

Darlene M. Iskra Collection
Interview / Recording

About this Item

Title

  • Darlene M. Iskra Collection

Names

  • Iskra, Darlene M.
  • Mears, Rachel
  • Alison R. Spack
  • National Court Reporters Association (NCRA)
  • Library of Congress

State of Birth

  • CA

Home State

  • MD

Headings

  • -  Iskra, Darlene M.
  • -  Persian Gulf War, 1991 -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Navy.

Repository

  • Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Status

  • Veteran

Service History

  • Persian Gulf War, 1991

    • Branch of Service: Navy
    • Unit of Service: USS Hector (AR 7); USS Opportune (ARS 41)
    • Location of Service: Alameda, California; San Diego, California; Norfolk, Virginia; Washington, DC; Port Said, Egypt; Guam (Mariana Islands)
    • Highest Rank: Commander
    • Dates of Service: 1979-2000
    • Entrance into Service: Enlisted
    • Military Status: Veteran

Materials

  • Video: MiniDV [1 item] -- Oral history interview (collected 12/19/2002)
  • Audio: CD [1 item] -- Reference copy (collected 04/12/2008)
  • Photograph: Digital print [5 items] -- Photograph (collected 1979 - 2000)
  • Audio: Audio Cassette [1 item] -- Oral history interview (collected 04/12/2008)
  • Video: Digital Betacam [1 item] -- Digitized Copy (collected 12/19/2002)
  • Manuscript: Transcript [1 item] -- Transcription of video recording (collected 10/27/2014)
  • Manuscript: Transcript [1 item] -- Transcription of audio recording (collected 10/27/2014)

Collection Number

  • AFC/2001/001/3482

Cite as

  • Darlene M. Iskra Collection (AFC/2001/001/3482), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Online Format

  • audio
  • image
  • video

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

Using VHP Material in Publication or Exhibition

The Veterans History Project (VHP) at the Library of Congress collects, preserves and makes accessible the firsthand recollections of U.S. military veterans who served from World War I through more recent conflicts and peacekeeping missions, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand what they saw, did and felt during their service. The Veterans History Project Collection includes oral histories along with documentary materials such as original letters, diaries, photographs, and memoirs.

Veterans and interviewers contribute these materials to the Library for scholarly and educational purposes, retaining any copyright they may hold. Therefore, permission must be obtained before using the interview or other materials in exhibition or publication. Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these materials should contact the Veterans History Project for assistance.

As a publicly supported institution, the Library generally does not own rights to material in its collections. Therefore, it does not charge permission fees for use of such material and cannot give or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material in its collections. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item from the Library’s collections and for securing any necessary permissions rests with persons desiring to use the item.

Please contact us with questions.

Obtaining Copies of VHP Materials

In order for VHP materials to be duplicated, we must receive written permission from the interviewee for you to obtain a copy of the recording unless the proposed use is limited to personal use, research, or other uses permissible by copyright law. If the interviewee is deceased, their next-of-kin may grant written permission.

Please contact VHP for assistance if you need to contact a veteran for permission to use their materials in exhibition or publication, or if you have received permission from the veteran and need access to high-resolution copies of VHP collection materials.

Citing VHP Materials

Please use the following formats when citing Veterans History Project materials (substituting the appropriate name and collection ID number).

Materials as a whole:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Manuscript material:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Memoirs (MS02), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Transcript (MS04), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Correspondence (MS01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Recording:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Audio recording (SR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Video recording (MV01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Photograph:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Photographs (PH01), photographer unknown, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Photographs (PH03-PH14), Ralph Williams photographer, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Computer file:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Computer file (CF01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Artifact:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Artifact (AR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Iskra, Darlene M, Rachel Mears, Alison R. Spack, National Court Reporters Association, and Library Of Congress. Darlene M. Iskra Collection. 1979. Personal Narrative. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.03482/.

APA citation style:

Iskra, D. M., Mears, R., Alison R. Spack, National Court Reporters Association & Library Of Congress. (1979) Darlene M. Iskra Collection. [Personal Narrative] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.03482/.

MLA citation style:

Iskra, Darlene M, et al. Darlene M. Iskra Collection. 1979. Personal Narrative. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.03482/>.