Neil was a student in college when his brother, Jack, was drafted for WWII. Neil could have deferred his entry into the service but chose to enlist in the US Navy. After initial testing, he was sent to the Naval academy in Bainbridge, MD. After 16 months, he was assigned to a destroyer, the USS Fullam DD-474. Neil was assigned to fire control on the ship. Neil was the oldest of five boys. Four of the five brothers served in WWII, with the fifth joining the Coast Guard during the Korean War. His experience on the USS Fullam took place in the South Pacific corridor. After training, Fullam arrived at Efate, New Hebrides, for escort and patrol duties in the Solomons. They guarded convoys carrying reinforcements and supplies as well as bombarding enemy installations in the Empress Augusta Bay area. Ordered west, they joined in the firing which brought down the vast majority of the Japanese naval aviation as an effective element in the war. Fullam returned to Pearl Harbor, then sailed for Saipan. here they joined the Iwo Jima assault, sailing to serve as screen and fire-support during the assault.