I wish I could still talk to my Dad, he’s been dead for 30+ years. He never spoke much about WW2. All I ever got out of him was that he was the XO on a destroyer in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. I never even knew the name of his ship.
If you've never read it, I highly recommend The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors. You may understand your father's reticence to talk about his experience after reading that book. It's an amazing recounting of the battle.
I also recommend With the Old Breed, mentioned above, for the same reason; it tells the story of the island war in the Pacific as the men on the beach experienced it.