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Capt. C.A. "Pete" Tzomes

Navy Captain (Retired) C. A. “Pete” Tzomes was born on December 30, 1944 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. He was the oldest of two children parented by James C. Tzomes and Charlotte Eudora (Hill) Tzomes, who instilled in him the value of hard work and discipline at an early age. Tzomes decided to pursue a career in the U.S. Navy during junior high school following a recruiting visit by a Naval Academy midshipman. Later, in 1963, Tzomes was admitted to the U.S. Naval Academy after briefly attending the State University of New York at Oneonta. He graduated in 1967 and was commissioned as an Ensign.

Upon graduation, Tzomes completed submarine nuclear power training which was followed by submarine training. He was then assigned to the ballistic missile submarine USS WILL ROGERS in 1969 and served in various division officer billets before being transferred to the fast attack submarine USS PINTADO. After completing Engineer Officer qualification in 1973, Tzomes was assigned as engineer officer on board USS DRUM; and, from 1979 to 1982, served as Executive Officer on board USS CAVALLA. In 1983, Tzomes became the first African American to command a U.S. submarine when he was assigned as the Commanding Officer of USS HOUSTON (SSN 713). At the conclusion of his command tour in 1986, he was assigned as the Force Operations Officer on the staff of Commander Submarine Forces U.S. Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and oversaw the operations of all submarines in the Pacific theater. In 1988, Tzomes was appointed as the Director of the Equal Opportunity Division in the Bureau of Naval Personnel and as the advisor to the Chief of Naval Personnel on equal opportunity issues; and, in 1990, he became Commanding Officer of Recruit Training Command Great Lakes (boot camp). Tzomes then served as Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations and Inspector General before he retired from the Navy in 1994.

Tzomes was an active member of the National Naval Officers Association, including two years as a regional Vice President, while on active duty. This is a professional organization that targets professionalism and development of sea service minority officers (Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard). After Navy retirement, Tzomes worked as a utility manager at Exelon Corporation until July 2012. He held various leadership positions while primarily assigned to the Quad Cities Generating Station located in western Illinois. He continued to keep abreast of Navy issues through his affiliation with the Naval Submarine League, the U.S. Naval Institute, the United States Submarine Veterans and the Navy League. His military honors and decorations include the Legion of Merit (with Two Gold Stars), the Meritorious Service Medal (with Three Gold Stars), and the Navy Commendation Medal (with Two Gold Stars) as well as various unit and campaign ribbons.

Tzomes married the former Carolyn Eason in July, 2007. Offspring from a previous marriage include a son, Chancellor A. Tzomes II, and a granddaughter, Mariana Tzomes.

Navy Captain (Retired) C.A. “Pete” Tzomes The HistoryMakers August 21, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.233

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/21/2013

Last Name

Tzomes

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

United States Naval Academy

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

C.A.

Birth City, State, Country

Williamsport

HM ID

TZO01

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Youth and teens

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

No

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Expect what you inspect.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

12/30/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Moline

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steak

Short Description

Captain and U.S. navy (retired) Capt. C.A. "Pete" Tzomes (1944 - ) became the first African American to command a U.S. submarine in 1983 when he was assigned as the Commanding Officer of USS HOUSTON (SSN 713).

Employment

Exelon Corporation

Bank One, Cleveland

United States Navy

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of C.A. Tzomes' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - C.A. Tzomes lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - C.A. Tzomes describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his mother's personality and her emphasis on education

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - C.A. Tzomes describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his father's personality and his employment

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his adoption, and finding out that his adoptive father was his biological father

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his parents getting married, and his biological mother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - C.A. Tzomes describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - C.A. Tzomes describes his childhood memories of growing up in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and talks about his brother, Pierre

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - C.A. Tzomes describes the geographical location of Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - C.A. Tzomes discusses how his parents settled down in Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - C.A. Tzomes talks about the black population in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, while he was growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - C.A. Tzomes describes the segregated community in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, in the 1940s and 1950s

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - C.A. Tzomes describes the neighborhood and community within which he grew up in Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - C.A. Tzomes describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - C.A. Tzomes describes Christmas with his family

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - C.A. Tzomes talks about Ebenezer Baptist Church in Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his experience in elementary school in Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his interest in sports in school and his academic performance

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - C.A. Tzomes explains his career aspirations as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his brother, Pierre Tzomes

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - C.A. Tzomes talks about the undercurrents of discrimination and racism in Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - C.A. Tzomes discusses the racial climate in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and talks about his first direct experience with racism in the South

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - C.A. Tzomes talks about being biracial, and his observations of social perceptions of skin color

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - C.A. Tzomes talks about desegregated public services in Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - C.A. Tzomes discusses his desire to the U.S. Naval Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - C.A. Tzomes discusses his graduating class and the few role models in the community who emphasized a college education

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - C.A. Tzomes talks about the importance of getting good grades

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his plans to attend college and his father's alcoholism

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - C.A. Tzomes describes his application to the U.S. Naval Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - C.A. Tzomes talks about attending the State University of New York at Oneonta, and his acceptance to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1963

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his first summer and plebe year at the U.S. Naval Academy in 1963

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - C.A. Tzomes reflects upon the sociopolitical events of the early 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - C.A. Tzomes describes his experience during Plebe Summer at the U.S. Naval Academy

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his classmate, Calvin Huey, the first African American to play varsity football for the U.S. Navy

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - C.A. Tzomes describes his experience during Plebe Year at the U.S. Naval Academy, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - C.A. Tzomes describes his experience during Plebe Year at the U.S. Naval Academy, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - C.A. Tzomes describes the racial climate during his time at the U.S. Naval Academy

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - C.A. Tzomes describes the racial climate in Annapolis, Maryland, during his time at the U.S. Naval Academy

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - C.A. Tzomes describes his social experience in the black community in Annapolis, Maryland while at the U.S. Naval Academy, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - C.A. Tzomes describes his social experience in the black community in Annapolis, Maryland while at the U.S. Naval Academy, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his aspirations of joining the U.S. Marine Corps, and instead applying for the U.S. Navy's Nuclear Power Program

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - C.A. Tzomes reflects upon the Vietnam War and his experience with racism while in the U.S. Naval Academy

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - C.A. Tzomes describes racial challenges that he faced in Norfolk, Virginia in 1964, and at the U.S. Navy submarine squadron in Key West

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - C.A. Tzomes talks about training for the Nuclear Power Program and his interest in submarines

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his interview with Admiral Hyman G. Rickover for the Nuclear Power Program

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - C.A. Tzomes describes his experience with racism in the Submarine Nuclear Power Program, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - C.A. Tzomes describes his experience with racism in the Submarine Nuclear Power Program, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - C.A. Tzomes describes his experience as an Engineer Officer on the USS Drum, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - C.A. Tzomes describes his experience as Engineer Officer on the USS Drum, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - C.A. Tzomes talks about submarine officer ranks and recalls his colleague, Willie Wells, aboard the USS Will Rogers

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his assignment on the Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board and as the executive officer on USS Cavalla

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - C.A. Tzomes talks about how he dealt with racial insubordination while on assignments in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his relationship with white and black officers and crew members on the USS Will Rogers and the USS Pintado

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - C.A. Tzomes discusses Admiral Elmo Zumwalt's efforts to address racial tensions in the U.S. Navy, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - C.A. Tzomes discusses Admiral Elmo Zumwalt's efforts to address racial tensions in the U.S. Navy, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - C.A. Tzomes reflects upon the results of Admiral Elmo Zumwalt's efforts to address racial tensions in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - C.A. Tzomes discusses his selection as the commanding officer of the USS Houston in 1983, and describes the command screening process

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - C.A. Tzomes talks about becoming the commanding officer of the USS Houston, and the U.S. Navy's Centennial Seven

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - C.A. Tzomes talks about serving as a mentor in the National Naval Officers Association

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his experience as the commanding officer of the USS Houston, and the positive feedback from his mentees

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - C.A. Tzomes reflects upon his first marriage

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - C.A. Tzomes talks his assignment as the Force Operations Officer for the staff of the Commander for Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - C.A. Tzomes reflects upon the advancement of African Americans in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - C.A. Tzomes discusses his service on issues of equal opportunity and racial bias in the U.S. Navy, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - C.A. Tzomes discusses his service on issues of equal opportunity and racial bias in the U.S. Navy, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - C.A. Tzomes describes his assignment as the commanding officer of the U.S. Navy's Recruit Training Command at Great Lakes Naval Base

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - C.A. Tzomes talks about meeting his second wife, Carolyn Eason

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - C.A. Tzomes talks about retiring from the U.S. Navy in 1994, and the Navy's Centennial Seven

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - C.A. Tzomes reflects upon the fall in the number of black submarine commanding officers since 2009

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his father's death, his funeral, and the changes in his hometown of Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - C.A. Tzomes reflects upon his life and career

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - C.A. Tzomes describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - C.A. Tzomes reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - C.A. Tzomes describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

8$7

DATitle
C.A. Tzomes describes his social experience in the black community in Annapolis, Maryland while at the U.S. Naval Academy, pt. 1
C.A. Tzomes describes his experience as an Engineer Officer on the USS Drum, pt. 1
Transcript
So, here you are--$$But that's the town [Annapolis, Maryland]. I still got more to talk about the town. So, the black community--remember, Annapolis is the south--racially segregated, signs and everything, okay. So, the local community embraced the black midshipmen, totally embraced us. We had one woman while I was there, and we ended up having other women. Her name was Lillie Mae Chase. They now have a street named after her in Annapolis. And she was our mother away from home, okay. We were having times, hard times, racially. Now Plebe Year, I didn't get, I could not go out. I could not go out in the streets until starting my sophomore year, okay, except for special occasions, okay. And so, Lillie Mae adopted us. And about the time there was about--well, the whole time I was there, she probably adopted about twelve or thirteen of us. And we cried on her shoulders--anything--any problems we were having, any issues. And she did so much for helping us get through, especially when things were racially trying in Annapolis at the [U.S. Naval] Academy. And the rest of the older black community was sort of like her. So, they had the area, like I told you--not my freshman year, but like I told you about Annapolis and the black theater--I used to refer to it as the black belt, okay. That's, you know, no whites are going to go in the black belt. It's an area where, it's where a large black community exists, including a social club. And I used to, I used to go to this social club. I would take my uniform, and I would change clothes in the bathroom at the social club. And then I would go hang out there on weekends whenever I was allowed to go out in town. And then they would look out for me. For example, if they saw a police or something coming down the street they'd tell me, and I would go hide in the bathroom until the police would come in and go out, say. And then I joined a black church. We had what's called church parties. You could worship at the Academy, or you could go on church parties. The churches were the Baptist church, because I told you I grew up in a Baptist church--was a Southern Baptist. And Southern Baptists had racial issues with them. So, I went to the Academy and I said, "I am not a Southern Baptist. I'm a Baptist. I want to worship where I belong for my religion." And they let me, there was a senior at the time who was going to a Baptist church out in town. So, I went to his church. It was called--I can't remember the name of the church. I want to say Second Baptist, but I can't remember. So, we used to walk--on Sundays we had a two-person church party. Then I, for two years, it was me by myself. And then I'll never forget. My senior year, there was a plebe that I sort of introduced to the church. And we all have--each company has a company officer who was responsible for everything dealing with the companies--typically, a Navy lieutenant or a Marine Corps captain. And so, myself and Tucker were going to church one Sunday. And on Monday my company officer called me in the office and said he got a phone call from one of his contemporaries who said he saw me and Tucker straggling in the streets of Annapolis, and what were we doing, doing that? And he told me, he says, "But I stuck up for you. I told them that was you marching Midshipman Tucker to church." (laughter). So, when you talk about the racial issues, okay--although they had--the Academy--and I told you earlier about the rules at the Academy. So, all I had to do was go and say, "I'm not a Southern Baptist. I want to go to my church." And they said okay.$I had one commanding officer who tried to protect me. And I need to lead to a certain story about--. Because what got me on this, you were talking about my first wife. So, this is my--the submarine that I was assigned to be the engineer to--there's a separate qualification to get your engineer's certification, and then the assignment is nuclear. Not every nuclear trained officer is allowed to be an engineer. And there's another academic thing you got to go through. So, I'm on my, my submarine is the [USS] Pintado that I'm on. And I get certified to be an engineer. So I'm getting transferred to the Drum, to be the engineer officer on the Drum, the USS Drum. And my commanding officer calls the detailer. The detailer is the person in Washington [District of Columbia] that determines where you go and when. They're called detailers. And he says, "I think we're setting Tzomes up to fail." And that's because he was very familiar with the commanding officer of the Drum, who came from a very segregated, racist, deep rooted southern background, both him and his wife, okay. And he says, "With Tzomes being the first, you do not want to send him there under that guy." The detailer didn't listen to my captain. He says, "Does Tzomes qualify for the job?" "Yes." "Do you recommend him for the job?" "Yes." "He's going to the Drum." Okay. So, I get to the Drum, and there's a story here. Because I told you that frequently on the submarine I was the first exposure to a lot of people, as far as being next to a black person, okay. So, I'm coming here with his bias towards blacks, and I'm going to be his engineer, which is a very important job. We leave port, I report to the ship overseas. We immediately go in what's referred to as a Spec Op. That's secret missions that we did in the Cold War that you can't talk about. And you don't communicate, you're not allowed to communicate, okay, at all unless there's a disaster and you have an accident, okay. Then you have to abort your mission. So, we're underway, and the person I relieved did a terrible job, and they failed an inspection. So, the captain's got this stigma over him. And this black guy now is supposed to be able to clean it up. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, he has daily meetings with me. By the way this captain, besides the racist thing, he was so impersonal that the officers avoided him. In a wardroom, one of your favorite times of the day is to eat the meal together and socialize. In that wardroom, the captain and the oncoming, two oncoming watch officers, ate dinner together. No other officers ate dinner with them in the wardroom. So, besides this racial baggage, he's got other issues. So, he has me go to his state room every night, and we have about three hour meetings. And he gives me this list of things to do--typically thirty, forty, fifty things to do, okay. He would get up the next morning and summon me. And I'd get out of the state room about maybe ten o'clock. And then whoever worked for me that was on watch at the time, or who was going to come on watch at midnight--I would parcel out some of these things, okay. And, but I wouldn't give all the assignments out. So, he would summon me every morning about nine o'clock--eight or nine o'clock. We'd go over this list, and then he'd tear into me when I would not be able to tell him that half the list had been accomplished, okay. It went like that for two weeks. It went like that for two weeks and he told me, he says, "Engineer, I cannot deal with you." He says, "If I had the power, I would surface this submarine and take you back to port and fire you." Okay.$$This is your commanding--$$This is my commanding officer, okay. So, there's more to this.

Capt. Winston Scott

NASA astronaut and U.S. Navy Captain Winston E. Scott was born on August 6, 1950 in Miami, Florida to Alston J. and Rubye L. Scott. He graduated from Coral Gables High School in 1968, received his B.A. degree in music from Florida State University in 1972 and his M.S. degree in aeronautical engineering with avionics from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

Scott entered Naval Aviation Officer Candidate School in 1973 and was designated a Naval Aviator in 1974. As an aviator, Scott piloted the F-14 Tomcat, F/A-18 Hornet, and the A-7 Corsair. In 1988, Scott was assigned as deputy director and test pilot in the Tactical Aircraft Systems Department at the Naval Air Development Center in Warminster, Pennsylvania. Scott has logged over 6,000 hours of total flight time in more than 20 different aircraft and more than two-hundred shipboard landings.

In 1992, Scott was selected by NASA for astronaut training. He later served as a mission specialist on STS-72 Endeavour during its nine day mission from January 11, 1996 to July 20, 1996. Scott conducted one spacewalk to demonstrate and evaluate techniques later used in the assembly of the International Space Station. Scott returned to space on STS-87 Columbia during its sixteen day mission from November 19, 1997 to December 5, 1997 where he performed two spacewalks, including one that lasted over seven hours and involved the manual capture of a Spartan satellite. On the second spacewalk, Scott tested tools and procedures for future space station assembly. In 1999, Scott retired from NASA and the U.S. Navy to become Vice President for Student Affairs and Associate Dean of the Florida State University College of Engineering. In 2003, Scott became the executive director of the Florida Space Authority (FSA), an organization responsible for the development of space-related business in the State of Florida. The FSA also advised the state’s governor and legislature on matters related to space and aeronautics in the state. In 2006, Scott became Vice President and Deputy General Manager on the engineering and science contract at Johnson Space Center for Jacobs Engineering in Houston, Texas. Scott’s book, Reflections from Earth Orbit (2005), is a semi-autobiographical account of his experiences as a NASA astronaut.

Scott is a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the National Naval Officers Association, the Naval Helicopter Association, the Naval Tailhook Association, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. In 1998, U.S. Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine named Scott “U. S. Black Engineer of the Year.” Scott also received the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics Achievement Award and two NASA Space Flight Medals. His military honors include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal. Scott was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Florida Atlantic University and an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering degree from Michigan State University.

NASA astronaut and U.S. Navy Captain Winston E. Scott was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 6, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.138

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/6/2013

Last Name

Scott

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Coral Gables High School

Florida State University

Naval Postgraduate School

Naval Aviation Officer Candidate School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Winston

Birth City, State, Country

Miami

HM ID

SCO07

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

Luck is when opportunity meets preparation.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

8/6/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Melbourne

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

Astronaut and aircraft commander Capt. Winston Scott (1950 - ) served as a mission specialist on STS-72 in 1996 and STS-87 in 1997, and has logged a total of twenty-four days, fourteen hours and thirty-four minutes in space, including three spacewalks totaling nineteen hours and twenty-six minutes. As a naval aviator Scott accumulated more than 6,000 hours of flight time in more than 20 different aircraft.

Employment

United States Navy

Naval Aviation Depot

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Florida State University

Florida Space Authority

Jacobs Engineering

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Winston Scott's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Winston Scott lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Winston Scott describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Winston Scott talks about his mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Winston Scott describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Winston Scott talks about his father's occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Winston Scott describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Winston Scott describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Winston Scott talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Winston Scott talks about growing up in Coconut Grove, Miami, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Winston Scott describes segregation in Miami, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Winston Scott describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Winston Scott describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Winston Scott describes knowing current events as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Winston Scott describes learning about the space program

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Winston Scott describes building things as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Winston Scott describes his father's emphasis on education

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Winston Scott describes being involved in Boy Scouts

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Winston Scott talks about playing trumpet in junior high school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Winston Scott talks about his family's involvement in church

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Winston Scott talks about the integration of his high school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Winston Scott describes being involved in music during high school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Winston Scott describes being accepted into Florida State University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Winston Scott describes his time at Florida State University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Winston Scott describes joining the U.S. Navy

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Winston Scott describes his time at the Naval Aviation Officer Candidate School

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Winston Scott talks about his Navy training

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Winston Scott describes his career as a Navy pilot

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Winston Scott talks about African American astronauts

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Winston Scott describes being selected to become an astronaut

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Winston Scott describes training for his first space flight

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Winston Scott talks about his first spaceflight

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Winston Scott describes launching into space

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Winston Scott describes the view of earth from space

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Winston Scott describes his space missions

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Winston Scott describes being in space on the Endeavor Space Shuttle

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Winston Scott describes a space shuttles' reentry into the atmosphere

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Winston Scott describes his space walks

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Winston Scott describes correcting a satellite's attitude by hand

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Winston Scott talks about the psychological screening of astronauts

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Winston Scott reflects on his career as an astronaut

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Winston Scott describes the food astronauts eat

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Winston Scott describes the physical consequences of being in space

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Winston Scott describes becoming a professor at Florida State University

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Winston Scott describes being the director of the Florida Space Authority

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Winston Scott talks about his memoir, 'Reflections from Earth's Orbit'

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Winston Scott talks about opportunities in the space program

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Winston Scott describes his position at the Florida Institute of Technology

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Winston Scott reflects on his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Winston Scott describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Winston Scott reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Winston Scott talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Winston Scott talks about the Florida Institute of Technology

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Winston Scott talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$4

DAStory

6$7

DATitle
Winston Scott talks about his father's occupations
Winston Scott talks about his first spaceflight
Transcript
So farming was the occupation-$$That's right.$$--up until the time that your--and your father [Alston James Scott] continued the, the tradition--(simultaneous).$$Well, my father grew up on the farm and then went off to a--he was drafted during World War II. He left Quitman [Georgia] and went to serve in the Army, he served two years. He was in the European theater in Germany and once his enlistment in the Army was up, he, of course, returned to the states and like a lot of people back then looked for jobs and as I understand it his sister, my aunt was living in Miami [Florida] at the time, she had gotten married and moved to Miami. She sent word to him if you come to Miami you can get work down here. He went down to Miami looking for a job and he first worked in the nursery business, you know, with a company that did landscaping and things like that but then, it's an interesting story, my father got on with the post office--he got hired with the post office down there after many trials and tribulations; that's a story in and of itself. But he became-- he and a guy named John Friar got hired that same day. They became the first two African Americans to carry mail in Miami. The jobs were segregated, blacks couldn't carry mail those jobs were reserved for whites but he was-- he and John Friar was the first two African Americans to carry mail in Miami. In fact, when he retired, thirty-seven years later he was the most senior black postman in the United States. And he was the number seven senior postman of all in the United States when he retired. I didn't know this until he retired and the mayor and the governor, everybody came and gave him all these accolades for him, they gave him all these awards and recognition with newspaper articles and I said, "Good God, I didn't know my dad did all of this". But he broke the color-- color barrier in carrying mail. Mail carrying, that's a good job, good profession.$$He had to be consistent, you know, and dependable, right?$$He had to be consistent, and dependable. Ever since the days of the pony express carrying mail and you know air mail, those were good solid jobs that anybody couldn't get. And like I say, they were segregated so I don't know if there was a union thing but they were segregated. And he was the first-- he and John Friar hired to carry mail.$$I imagine the government was compelled to bring on some black postman after awhile-- this is the kind of thing (simultaneous)--$$I don't know that and in talking to him and reading the accounts I don't think the government was compelled, I think just the, the local postmaster just needed people, just needed workers and he was of the mind that, "I don't care what color you are if you do a job, we need you." My father had stories to tell. When he first started carrying mail people were calling and complain that, "This N-word, I don't want him near my door carrying mail." And they would sic the dogs on him-- you know, they turn the dogs loose and go after him and so on. And it took him several tries to get hired because they would have him drive the trucks and Miami used little scooters. They had big trucks but they also used these motorized scooters that carry, you know, small--. The first few times people would say things like, "He didn't drive well, or he didn't handle the equipment right or he handled the equipment too rough." So finally he overcame all of that and got hired. He thought he was going to be hired temporarily just for the Christmas surge, all the extra mail during Christmas, he figured he would be fired after Christmas and that they would go to Cleveland, Ohio, I guess where they had lived before. But it turned out he wasn't fired, he stayed there and finished his career thirty-seven years later as a postman or thirty-nine years whatever it was. His total government time including Army was forty-one years but thirty-seven of that I think was with the post office.$$So, it wasn't easy being the first black--(simultaneous) (unclear).$$It wasn't easy--it's like being the first black of anything it wasn't easy at all. He had a lot of trials and tribulations, and again he never talked about this. I found out about it when he retired and they started giving him all these accolades and writing articles about him. It's kind of funny when you find out stuff like that about your parents that you never knew; you live with them and you never knew these things.$$Being a postman in those days was a, a very good job--(simultaneous) (unclear).$$Postman is a very good job, especially in the African American community. Like I said, it was a rock solid employment, you had to be dependable and you carried a certain amount of prestige. There is the government uniform, the post office was under the federal government at that time and so there wasn't very many of us doing those jobs; just like the police department, fire department. I'm old enough to remember when the first black motorcycle police officer was hired in Miami, I was a little kid but I remember it. You know, things like riding-- a motorcycle cop is a big deal; a police officer in general in those days, we don't think much of it now but we did back then. Bus driver--blacks couldn't be metro bus drivers for a long while, well you know this stuff but--.$$I'm glad you're saying it because this-- the audience that's watching this don't-- doesn't necessarily know this. Hopefully this will be around for hundreds of years.$$Hopefully it will be around for hundreds of years.$$And people will know.$$But, but those were some very good jobs and jobs that African Americans were not allowed to hold. So I remember when we had the first bus drivers in Miami and the first, well, police officers were mainly--the motorcycle squad I guess was kind of like the elite, at least they thought they were elite. So the first motorcycle cop was written up in 'The Miami Times' which was, of course, the all black newspaper there in Miami. So, those, those were some significant events for us.$Now, your first flight was on the Endeavor [Space Shuttle]?$$Endeavor, that's right. Nine days on the Endeavor.$$Is this 1996?$$In '96 [1996], that's right.$$How did things go? Did everything go perfectly?$$Everything went, everything went fine. I don't know if perfect is the right word but we had no real bad incidents happen. We got all of our mission accomplished. We had two space walks, we were, we had microgravity mission, so we grew crystals in space, plants in space, had laboratory animals in space. We deployed and retrieved the satellite, we retrieved the second satellite that was up there. We conducted two space walks where we tested tools and equipment for building the International Space Station. So we--. Every flight is jammed packed with hundreds of events and experiments and it all went real well. The space walks were particularly a big part of, of a, of any mission so those went real well too. On that flight, one of the things that I had to do that was really interesting was test out improvements to the space suit, because, again, we were preparing to build the International Space Station. It was going to be built in a location of space that was colder than we had been previously going. So NASA [National Aeronautic and Space Administration] had modified the suit and I was going to put the suit on, go outside and test those modifications to be sure to keep astronauts warm and safe in the extra cold environment of space. So that was one of the big important things that I did on my space walk. Space walk was six hours and fifty-- I think it was six hours and fifty-three minutes if I remember correctly on that one. And we did a whole bunch of other things on there also but this was one thing that was really, really important and kind of cool to do.

Cdr. William Bundy

U.S. Navy Commander and Professor William F. Bundy was born on August 12, 1946 in Baltimore, Maryland to William C. Bundy and Paulyne L. Bundy. Bundy attended Henry Highland Garnet School and then Booker T. Washington Junior High School before graduating from Baltimore City College High School in 1964, after which he enlisted in the Navy. He then graduated from the University of Hawaii with his B.A. degree in liberal studies and technical journalism in 1973.

In 1964, Bundy reported to the U.S. Navy Receiving Station in Washington D.C., and then was assigned to Sonar Technician A and A1 School in Key West, Florida. Bundy was assigned overseas duty in USNS BOWDITCH where he served until 1966. He then completed submarine Cold War patrols in nuclear attack submarines on the USS STURGEON, USS RICHARD B RUSSELL and as a combat systems officer on the USS MEMPHIS. Bundy also completed Strategic Deterrent Patrols on the USS SAM HOUSTON GOLD as the assistant weapons officer, and as the navigator and operations officer on the USS LAFAYETTE BLUE. Bundy served ashore as a sonar instructor at the Naval Submarine Training Center at Pearl Harbor, and then went on to complete Officer Candidate School. In 1981, he was assigned to the Nuclear Operations Division at the U.S. Atlantic Command where he participated in directing and developing fleet ballistic missile operations.

In 1988, Bundy assumed command of USS BARBEL in Sasebo, Japan and conducted exercises in the Western Pacific as part of the Seventh Fleet and Submarine Group Seven. Bundy was assigned as Chief Staff Officer of Submarine Squadron Three in 1990. He also served as Director of the Naval Officer Candidate School in 1993. That same year, Bundy graduated from the U.S. Naval War College with his M.A. degree in national security and strategic studies. Bundy retired from active duty in 1994. Bundy was then appointed as Director of the Rhode Island State Department of Transportation and as a FleetBoston Financial vice president before returning to the U.S. Naval War College as an associate professor. In 2005, he earned his Ph.D. degree from Salve Regina University and was promoted to full professor at the U.S. Naval War College. He was also appointed as Director of the Vice Admiral Samuel L. Gravely, Jr. Naval Research Group.

Bundy’s military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Meritorious Service Medal with a Gold Star, the Navy Commendation Medal with a Silver Star, and the Navy Achievement Medal with two Gold Stars. He is one of the Centennial Seven African American submarine skippers who served during the first one-hundred years of the Submarine Service. Bundy was recognized as the Black Engineer of the Year for Achievement in Government by U.S. Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine in 1993. In 1994, he received the U.S. Navy League Dalton L. Baugh Award for Inspirational Leadership, and, in 2010, Bundy was awarded the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award.

Bundy and his wife, Jeanne L. (Pacheco) Bundy, have two sons: Lieutenant Commander William F. Bundy, Jr. and Raymond M. Bundy. His daughter is Andrena M. Seawood.

William F. Bundy was interviewed by HistoryMakers on April 27, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.110

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/27/2013

Last Name

Bundy

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

F.

Occupation
Schools

Salve Regina University

U.S. Naval War College

University of Hawaii

Baltimore City College

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Weekends, need two weeks notice

First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

BUN04

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Any

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

None while a U.S. government employee - Travel and lodging expenses required

Favorite Season

Summer

Speaker Bureau Notes

Emergency #:
Jeannie Bundy - (401) 439-0708, (401) 578-9501

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

Orlando, Florida

Favorite Quote

Knowledge and courage.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Rhode Island

Birth Date

8/12/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Providence

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Crab (Blue)

Short Description

Commander Cdr. William Bundy (1946 - ) , one of the “Centennial Seven” African American submarine skippers rose from the enlisted ranks to earn a commission and command a submarine, served as a leader in the submarine force and later became a professor at the U.S. Naval War College and director of the VADM Samuel L. Gravely Research Group.

Employment

Providence College School of Continuing Education

Salve Regina University

United States Naval War College

FleetBoston Financial

State of Rhode Island

Naval Education and Training Center

United States Army

United States Navy

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:18034,266:20773,382:38698,631:53338,808:59125,887:62270,937:82833,1187:83823,1199:86001,1233:94725,1310:95025,1315:99232,1369:110710,1539:121612,1726:124140,1773:125009,1785:125325,1790:125641,1795:158110,2184$0,0:4368,53:4942,61:5926,77:8796,116:13116,125:13668,132:14680,144:16806,157:17779,167:22010,184:25770,257:26250,264:26650,273:27770,291:30876,307:31644,317:32220,324:36713,385:37589,400:40290,427:41531,451:41823,456:42115,464:42407,469:42845,479:43137,484:52890,564:53740,571:54165,577:54590,583:63012,672:63532,677:64260,687:66548,705:67068,711:69668,752:77220,825:79236,852:79824,862:80580,872:82008,882:82512,889:82848,894:84864,928:89782,944:90420,960:93616,1008:94011,1014:94485,1021:95038,1030:107168,1147:109016,1183:111530,1198
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William Bundy's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William Bundy lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William Bundy describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William Bundy talks about his mother growing up in Stonewall and Long Island, New York, and his family's life in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William Bundy describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William Bundy talks about his first visit to his paternal hometown of Weems, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William Bundy talks about his father's growing up in Virginia, and his migration to Baltimore, Maryland, where his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William Bundy talks about his father's and others' service in the U.S. Army in World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William Bundy talks about his father's job as a construction worker

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William Bundy talks about his mother, and his resemblance to her

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William Bundy talks about his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William Bundy describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William Bundy talks about his first impressions of the U.S. Navy

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William Bundy talks about his parents' divorce, and becoming involved with "The Cadets" while living in the projects in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William Bundy describes his home, neighborhood and friends in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - William Bundy talks about his elementary school and junior high school in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - William Bundy talks about his teachers and his experience in music class

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - William Bundy talks about swimming at the YMCA and selling newspapers and soap to fund his membership and camp fees

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - William Bundy describes his decision to attend high school at Baltimore City College

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - William Bundy talks about playing football on his high school junior varsity and varsity teams

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William Bundy talks about playing on the football and lacrosse teams in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William Bundy talks about his relationship with his father after his parents divorced

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William Bundy talks about joining the U.S. Navy's Sea Cadets in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William Bundy talks about joining the U.S. Navy's Sea Cadets and becoming a seaman apprentice on the USS Darby after graduating from high school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William Bundy describes his experience on the USS Darby, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William Bundy talks about becoming an E-3 seaman and explains the entry-level ranks in the U.S. armed forces

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William Bundy describes his experience on the USS Darby, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - William Bundy talks about the mentors and guardians he had as a young seaman in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - William Bundy talks about enlisting in the regular U.S. Navy in 1964

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - William Bundy talks about missing the bus to attend the March on Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - William Bundy talks about his exposure to the Civil Rights Movement while growing up in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - William Bundy discusses the close-knit African American community while he was growing up in Baltimore

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - William Bundy talks about his assignment on the funeral formation for Admiral Claude Ricketts and attending sonar technician school

Tape: 3 Story: 14 - William Bundy talks about his assignment on Oceanographic Unit 1 on the USNS Bowditch

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William Bundy talks about getting married while he was at Fleet Sonar School, and becoming a father in 1964

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William Bundy talks about his experience in the Oceanographic Unit 1 on the USNS Bowditch in the Atlantic Ocean

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William Bundy discusses his assignment to the U.S. Naval Facility in the Bahamas, and the opportunity to become a submarine sonar technician

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William Bundy discusses his interest in submarine duty in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William Bundy talks about his assignment on the USS Sturgeon

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William Bundy talks about his assignment to the Naval Submarine Training Center in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William Bundy talks about his African American colleague on the USS Sturgeon

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - William Bundy talks about teaching at the Naval Submarine Training Center in Hawaii, earning his bachelor's degree, and becoming a chief petty officer

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - William Bundy talks about attending Officer Candidate School and becoming an unrestricted line officer in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - William Bundy talks about his mentors in the U.S. Navy, and his life at the Naval Submarine Training Center

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - William Bundy talks about his assignment and mentor on the USS Sam Houston Gold Crew

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William Bundy talks about his assignment to the USS Ohio, the USS Richard B. Russell and attending Submarine Officer Advanced Course

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William Bundy talks about meeting his wife, and his assignment to the USS Memphis

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William Bundy talks about the capabilities of the USS Memphis

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William Bundy talks about serving on the USS Memphis from 1979 to 1981

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William Bundy talks about meeting his extended family in Weems, Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - William Bundy talks about his assignment to nuclear missile operation systems on the staff of the commander of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - William Bundy talks about his assignment as the navigations and operations officer on the USS Lafayette

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - William Bundy talks about his experience as the executive officer of the USS Blueback, and author Richard Henrick's book, 'Crimson Tide'

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - William Bundy talks about his assignment as the submarine group plans officer for Submarine Group V and commanding officer of USS Barbel

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - William Bundy describes his experience as the commanding officer of USS Barbel

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - William Bundy talks about his assignment as Chief Staff Officer at Submarine Squadron III, the birth of his sons, and the U.S. Navy's diversity program

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - William Bundy talks about the National Naval Officers Association (NNOA) and his involvement in its diversity program

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - William Bundy talks about attending the U.S. Naval War College in 1992

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - William Bundy talks about receiving the Black Engineer of the Year Award in 1993

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - William Bundy talks about the U.S. Navy's Centennial Seven

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - William Bundy talks about his involvement in science and technology in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - William Bundy talks about the African American four-star admirals in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - William Bundy talks about his post-retirement employment and his decision to accept the position as the director of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - William Bundy talks about his experience as the director of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - William Bundy describes his experience at Fleet Financial Group, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - William Bundy describes his experience at Fleet Financial Group, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - William Bundy talks about his doctoral dissertation on leadership in complex technical organizations, at Salve Regina University

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - William Bundy talks about teaching leadership at Providence College

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - William Bundy talks about his experience as a professor at the U.S. Naval War College

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - William Bundy talks about the U.S. Naval War College and his role as a research professor there

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - William Bundy reflects upon race in America

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - William Bundy reflects upon race relations in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - William Bundy talks about Admiral Arleigh Burke

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - William Bundy talks about the importance of STEM education and his efforts to encourage the same

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - William Bundy reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - William Bundy talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - William Bundy talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

4$10

DATitle
William Bundy discusses his interest in submarine duty in the U.S. Navy
William Bundy describes his experience as the commanding officer of USS Barbel
Transcript
Let me just ask this, now, this seems interesting. Now, is submarine duty coveted in the [U.S.] Navy?$$Yeah.$$I'm wondering 'cause I've seen like movies, the guys in the submarines, they seem like they're awful cramped in there.$$Well, it's not--it's, that's not a problem.$$And it's, they're down--can, they really can't even see outside either, you know.$$Yeah, we'll talk about that.$$Okay, so, I mean but, so what is the attraction of being on a submarine (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$It's the, in my mind, it's the best duty in the Navy.$$Okay.$$You work with some of the smartest people in the Navy. You imagine a submarine today and when I was going in the submarines back then, they were the most advanced warships that we had, all packaged in the, you know, in the, one pretty potent package. And this is toward the, you know, the--in the middle of the Cold War. And what we were doing then with our submarines has just been declassified to some degree. And so it's a pretty exciting duty. It's, it pays better. In those days, you got quite a bit more money for submarine pay because it was hazardous duty. And it was kind of what I wanted to go do--$$Okay--$$--and it's science and technology kind of stuff.$$Now, I remember in 1962, I believe it was, it was maybe a year before or around the same time as John F. Kennedy was assassinated, there was a case of a submarine 'cause we talked about it in--I was in sixth or seventh grade, eighth grade, something like that. And we talked about a submarine going too deep and collapsing on itself in the--$$Yeah, that was USS Thresher--$$Right. That's the one.$$That was on the 10th of April, 1963.$$Yes. (Unclear) (simultaneous)--$$And so we just commemorated that again. The submarine force learned a lot about that, from that case. And it really, later on, you know, it really proved to be very important in proving what we call sub-safe, submarine safety over the years. And so, yeah, that was Thresher that went down in '63 [1963].$$I raise just because, just to emphasize the point, this could be dangerous duty from a number of different--$$Oh, it is.$$--angles, yeah.$$Yeah, it is. Yeah--$$Okay. (Laughter)$Now, before we leave the [USS] Barbel, are there any stories about being the commander and what it's like?$$I think that the really interesting part is, you know, the people. I think that the enlisted people and the officers that you have working with you really make the difference in the ship. We had a number of things that could go wrong in the ship and it was the crew that you have to credit with, you know, overcoming those periods. And you face that in just about any ship that you're in, but Barbel was a thirty-year old submarine, and it was the crew that I think about most in being able to operate that ship. We went to Subic Bay [Philippines], we went to Hong Kong. We operated the ship going into, in and out of Sasebo [Japan] quite often. And that's, that was our home port. Jean [Bundy's wife] had the opportunity to be the, you know, the captain's wife, and really take care of the families when we were away. And, you know, submarine operations are not something that I can go into great detail with you about, but it was, it was a pretty, pretty exciting time for us. We operated well, I think, and we brought the ship back to Pearl Harbor [Hawaii] to be decommissioned.

Radm. Lillian Fishburne

U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Fishburne was born on March 25, 1949 in Patuxent River, Maryland. After graduating from Lincoln University (Pennsylvania) with her B.A. degree in 1971, Fishburne enrolled in the U.S. Navy Women’s Officers School in Newport, Rhode Island and was commissioned as an Ensign in 1973. Fishburne went on to receive her M.A. degree in management from Webster College in 1980 and her M.S. degree in telecommunications systems management from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1982. In addition, she is a 1993 graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, in Washington, D.C.

Fishburne was first assigned as the personnel and legal officer at the the Naval Air Test Facility in Lakehurst, New Jersey. In 1974, she reported to the Recruiting District in Miami, Florida as a Navy officer programs recruiter where she worked until 1977. She then served as the officer-in-charge at the Naval Telecommunications Center in Great Lakes, Illinois. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Fishburne reported to the Command, Control, and Communications Directorate in the office of the Chief of Naval Operations where she served as the assistant head of the Joint Allied Command and Control Matters Branch. In 1984, she became an executive officer at the Naval Communication Station in Yokosuka, Japan before being named as the special projects officer for the Chief of Naval Operations in the Command, Control, and Communications Directorate.

In 1992, Fishburne was appointed as the commanding officer of the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station in Key West, Florida; and, in 1993, she was assigned as the chief of the Command and Control Systems Support Division of the Command, Control, Communications, and Computers Systems Directorate of the Joint Staff at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Fishburne assumed command of the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Eastern Pacific Station in Wahiawa, Hawaii in 1995, and then reported to the Space, Information Warfare, Command and Control Directorate, Chief of Naval Operations where she served as the director of the Information Transfer Division. On February 1, 1998, Fishburne was promoted to U.S. Navy Rear Admiral making her the first African American female to hold the rank of Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy.

Fishburne’s decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, two Legion of Merit Medals, two Meritorious Service Medals, two Navy Commendation Medals, and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.

Rear Admiral Lillian E. Fishburne was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 28, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.082

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/28/2013

Last Name

Fishburne

Maker Category
Middle Name

E.

Occupation
Schools

William Harry Blount Elementary School

Rock Terrace Elementary School

Shih Lin

Julius West Junior High School

Richard Montgomery High School

Dickinson College

Lincoln University

Women Officers School

Webster College

Naval Postgraduate School

Industrial College of the Armed Forces

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Lillian

Birth City, State, Country

Patuxent River

HM ID

FIS04

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

There is a reason for everything.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

3/25/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Barbecue

Short Description

Rear admiral Radm. Lillian Fishburne (1949 - ) was the first African American female to hold the rank of Rear Admiral in the Navy.

Employment

Macy's

Chase Manhattan Bank

Naval Air Test Facility

Naval Telecommunications Center

United States Navy

Naval Communication Station

C4 Directorate

Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station

Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon

Favorite Color

Pink

Timing Pairs
0,0:3510,34:3774,39:4104,45:6084,77:6348,82:23882,239:24310,244:39980,396:45820,481:46140,487:47020,501:50220,556:50940,569:76210,794:98482,1065:112509,1172:140790,1380:141546,1389:149080,1409:160741,1529:161452,1539:161768,1544:163506,1576:163822,1581:167772,1654:178032,1863:192888,2011:210408,2235:212040,2266:212550,2272:212958,2277:213366,2282:214896,2293:217590,2303:236420,2585:258974,2714:259703,2724:267578,2813:268502,2840:270850,2853:273720,3091:301565,3198:302245,3207:304530,3229$0,0:2268,27:3339,39:7290,62:8190,75:8820,85:10800,112:11430,121:18365,290:22190,370:23125,385:31180,407:41964,454:45786,512:51242,609:68548,769:68932,774:75638,802:78526,847:83456,939:91892,1029:92576,1036:93944,1052:108951,1138:109456,1144:119506,1248:127287,1328:127682,1335:129973,1382:130526,1391:130842,1396:131474,1406:135610,1461:142640,1558:143100,1563:150836,1622:152768,1657:153524,1670:166980,1824:167700,1834:170100,1909:185110,2065:202330,2188:203870,2271:204290,2279:205200,2294:209290,2345
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lillian Fishburne's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lillian Fishburne lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lillian Fishburne describes her mother's family background, pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lillian Fishburne describes her mother's family background, pt.2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lillian Fishburne describes her father's family background, pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lillian Fishburne describes her father's family background, pt.2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her father's service in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lillian Fishburne speaks about helping her father study for the E7 exam and how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her older brother and which parent's personality she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lillian Fishburne describes her earliest childhood memory and the sights, sound and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lillian Fishburne describes her elementary school experience and move to Rockville, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her family's move to Taiwan, China

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her junior high school and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her junior high school and high school experience

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lillian Fishburne discusses the role church played in her growing up, and her childhood interests and activities

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her career aspirations in high school and attending college

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lillian Fishburne discusses her studies at Lincoln University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her commencement at Lincoln University and spoken word artist, Gil Scott Heron

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lillian Fishburne describes her job search after college

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lillian Fishburne talks about joining the U.S. Navy

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lillian Fishburne discusses her training in the Navy

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lillian Fishburne comments on the treatment of minority women in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lillian Fishburne talks about black women officers in the U.S. Navy and her duties as an ensign

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lillian Fishburne discusses her first assignment at the U.S. Naval Air Test Facility in Lakehurst, New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her recruiting duties in Miami and work as a communications officer in Great Lakes Region

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her post graduate education and how she met her husband

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her telecommunications training, the birth of her daughter, and early FORTRAN computers

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her work for the Pentagon and in Japan

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lillian Fishburne discusses the confidential nature of her work for the Pentagon

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lillian Fishburne describes her work as Commanding Officer for Naval Computer and Telecommunications in Key West

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her work with the Joint Staff at the Pentagon

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lillian Fishburne discusses her command of the Naval Computer Telecommunications Station in Hawaii

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lillian Fishburne talks about being the U.S. Navy's first African American woman rear admiral

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lillian Fishburne discusses the U.S. Navy's progress concerning race

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lillian Fishburne describes some of the challenges for women in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lillian Fishburne discusses her family and her retirement from the U.S. Navy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lillian Fishburne discusses her and her mother's illness and her interest in helping children

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Lillian Fishburne reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her family, her philosophy on managing people and how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lillian Fishburne describes her photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

1$5

DATitle
Lillian Fishburne discusses her first assignment at the U.S. Naval Air Test Facility in Lakehurst, New Jersey
Lillian Fishburne describes some of the challenges for women in the U.S. Navy
Transcript
All right, okay. So all right so your first assignment in, at the Naval Air Test Facility in Lakehurst. So you're, you're a personnel and legal officer. So, so what--tell us about it. How, how your first assignment went.$$It, it was a nice assignment for an ensign, really, really because I had to do a lot of things. We tested arresting gear and catapult gear, you know when you see on the carriers when they shoot the plane off of the carrier deck and when the plane lands, this, this wire, it traps this wire. Well that's, that's what we did. We tested those systems. So I got to--during down time when it wasn't very busy, the pilot would say hey, Elaine, you wanna go up for a ride? So I'd get to, to go up and do cat shots and arresting gear, you know, traps, as an ensign. But first of all I had to come to Pax River [Patuxent River, Maryland]. So they flew me in our little old prop plane, they flew me to Pax River and I got my seat check, this cord which permit--I, I go--that was the first time I'd been back to Pax River since I was there at that dispensary. And so when I got back, I got to you know, go on the, go on the, the airplane trips. So that, that was fun. The other part was that I was there when the Blue Angels crashed. You remember that crash in Lakehurst? The--traditionally when you know they visit a base, they do a, they do a flyover prior to landing. And so we were having a picnic after, after a baseball game I believe it was, and the command was having this. And so some of my shipmates were explaining the patterns and all that were, you know that they were flying and they explained the whole, whole tradition to me. And--$$Of the Blue Angels and the--what they--$$Yeah, about they're doing the flyover.$$And they're, they're like--for those who are watching this and don't understand, the Blue Angels are a special Navy group of--$$Acro--flight acrobatic team, yeah.$$Yeah, so flight, yeah acrobatic team.$$Right. Yeah, so you know they were explaining, that was the fleur-de-lis and they were explaining the different, the different patterns to me. And then one plane kind of--the wing kind of flipped up and got into another one and they said uh-oh. And we were some of the first to arrive at the, at the crash site even before the emergency people got there.$$So this, this is in, this is in--in '74 [1974] '75 [1975], '76, [1976]?$$I believe that was '74 [1974].$$Seventy-four [1974]. Okay I mean it, it can be checked out by anybody watching this, but just to--$$Yeah, '74 [1974].$$Seventy-four [1974], okay. That must have been a horr--well--$$Yeah, we went out to the crash site and once the, you know, we were looking for survivors and once the emergency personnel came there, they, you know, they made everybody leave and you know--when I got back to the base, you know actually the bottom, of, of, of, of my shoes were, they were just burned.$$So it was hot still?$$Yes.$$Now did everybody die in that crash? All, all the Blue Angels?$$No, not all of them.$$Okay, just a couple planes.$$The planes that crashed.$$Yeah, were the pilots well known there at the--$$I, I don't, I don't know if they were well known there.$$Okay. National tragedy, right?$$Yeah.$Okay, okay. Now what were some of the challenges I guess for women in the Navy, you know, as--that you've seen over the years? You're someone that, that kind of crashed through some barriers, you know you, you went through a couple, couple of ceilings to become a rear admiral. But, but what were some of the obstacles and maybe challenges for a woman in the, in the services as an officer in the Navy?$$Some of the, some of the challenges were for a while we were not permitted to, to, to serve on combatant vessels and not even commanding a vessel, combatant vessel. There are certain specialties that, that were not open to us. And so you know every time you take--you know there's a limit put on there as to what you can do, then that says hey, that decreases your chances for promotion. The numbers are not going to be there. The base number is, it's just not going to be there. So you know, you kind of look for, you kind of look for that niche. I found that niche in you know, communications where I could be "in direct support" of the operating forces. And you look at all the other things, you know, you know what have other people done? What's the background of those getting promoted? And, and, and you know, you, you got to work a plan and you also have to for me, I always wanted to have an option, you know. When I originally came in, I could sign up for three or four years. I signed up for three years because if I didn't like it, that fourth year would seem awfully long. So I sort of set a timeframe. I said okay, if I'm in five years, I'll shoot for twenty. But I always try to keep my options open that I could walk any time that I, that I was unhappy.$$Was there ever a time when you thought you might not, you know, you might want to--$$Yeah, there, there were times, of course. I, I preferred being out in the field, working out at the activities, you know, providing that operational support. I you know, I, I, I--if I had my druthers, I, I, I you know but headquarters has its, you know because then that gave me the big picture. But I just didn't like staff work. It wasn't my favorite. So there were times when I said I'm going, you know, it's time to pull the plug. And my husband said when it's time for you to quit or retire, you'll know it because you won't talk about it, you'll just do it.

Albert Stewart

Chemist and chemistry professor Albert C. Stewart was born on November 25, 1919. Stewart received his B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1942. He was drafted into the U.S. Navy in 1945 and was among a select group of African American sea men trained as officers. Following his tour of duty, Stewart returned to the United States and enrolled at the University of Chicago. In 1948, he received his M.S. degree in chemistry; and, in 1949, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the U.S. Navy. Stewart earned his Ph.D. degree in chemistry from St. Louis University in 1951.

From 1949 to 1963, Stewart held teaching appointments at St. Louis University, Knoxville College, and John Carroll University where he taught chemistry and physics. In 1951, Stewart began his thirty-three year long career at Union Carbide Corporation as a senior chemist in the nuclear division. In 1960, Stewart became the assistant director of research and held several leadership positions until his departure in 1984. He was appointed as an associate professor and named as the associate dean in the Ancell School of Business at Western Connecticut State University. From 1987 until 1989, Stewart served as the acting dean and remained as an associate professor of marketing. In 1999, he became Professor Emeritus at Western Connecticut State University.

In 1966, Stewart received the University of Chicago Alumni Citation Award. Stewart is a member of a number of professional and academic societies, including the Radiation Research Society, the American Marketing Association, and the American Chemical Society where he is an emeritus member. He was a fellow of the American Institute of Chemists. He has also served as an advisor, consultant and on the Board of Directors of several organizations, including U.S. Department of Commerce, NASA, and the Urban League, respectively.

Albert C. Stewart was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 9, 2013.

Stewart passed away on October 13, 2016.

Accession Number

A2013.059

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/9/2013

Last Name

Stewart

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

C.

Schools

Saint Louis University

University of Chicago

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Albert

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

STE15

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caneel Bay Plantation, U.S. Virgin Islands

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Connecticut

Birth Date

11/25/1919

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New Haven

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

10/13/2016

Short Description

Chemist and military officer Albert Stewart (1919 - 2016 ) is Professor Emeritus at Western Connecticut State University and a veteran of the U.S. Navy, where he served from 1944-1956.

Employment

St. Louis University

Knoxville College

John Carroll University

Western Connecticut State University

Kanthal Corp.

Executive Register, Inc.

Execom

Foundation for Social Justice in South Africa

Union Carbide Corporation

United States Naval Reserve

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:4928,49:9574,95:10465,108:10789,113:11356,118:11761,144:12976,172:13624,181:14596,201:33084,298:35844,341:37132,347:37960,359:43650,374:44370,384:45090,394:48050,415:48770,425:49250,432:52690,491:56550,510:56902,515:59542,557:60686,568:61038,573:61566,580:63150,603:64910,624:66142,633:66582,639:70349,654:76952,699:81003,723:81418,729:81999,737:89460,782:89935,788:90600,796:97060,876:102142,898:107108,915:107588,920:107972,927:110468,957:113444,1005:114116,1013:118436,1063:118916,1068:123462,1088:125184,1170:126783,1185:128997,1208:131457,1245:134354,1276:134762,1281:135578,1291:136190,1298:137618,1311:138434,1323:142566,1367:144022,1383:144806,1391:153000,1426:153450,1432:153810,1437:157984,1455:158985,1467:159349,1472:161004,1488:161372,1493:161740,1498:164868,1525:165604,1536:168548,1578:169836,1598:170940,1606:180070,1643:185306,1694:187924,1722:197735,1766:200465,1800:205085,1833:206870,1846:208235,1864:209285,1876:210125,1888:210860,1896:217181,1910:217616,1916:218399,1930:218921,1938:221912,1958:222758,1969:223604,1980:224356,1990:225202,2002:228304,2068:236042,2100:237526,2113:238162,2120:241940,2136:242675,2145:245615,2176:250590,2190:253838,2208:258014,2245:267410,2288:268130,2297:273524,2314:276330,2329:277428,2339:280480,2350$0,0:1881,21:2226,27:2640,37:3192,46:3468,51:12582,90:21864,202:26187,243:27497,255:28152,261:32586,276:37672,319:38056,324:38632,332:39112,339:46160,349:49190,379:49594,384:50907,399:51311,404:51816,410:55351,462:57876,493:58482,500:62986,517:64330,529:86112,645:87276,658:87761,664:90380,699:91059,704:92320,720:96103,758:96588,764:102752,819:103520,827:107552,845:108320,852:113380,874:135158,1038:137172,1050:137914,1059:138444,1065:145150,1093:145800,1099:146840,1109:152040,1147:157532,1167:159510,1180:160500,1201:161940,1222:179189,1341:179601,1346:182176,1381:182794,1388:183515,1397:186630,1414:187260,1423:194980,1481:202040,1507:202750,1518:203105,1524:203673,1534:206640,1563:213080,1637:218102,1709:225511,1763:233875,1807:240384,1826:242204,1842:245116,1879:246390,1897:248028,1918:248574,1925:255691,1946:256258,1955:256582,1960:264844,2078:265492,2084:270198,2125:271728,2142:275604,2186:276624,2197:281140,2220:281740,2226:282460,2235:283300,2243:286664,2255:287108,2260:287774,2267:288218,2272:295763,2339:304210,2427
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Albert Stewart's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Albert Stewart lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Albert Stewart describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Albert Stewart talks about her mother's growing up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Albert Stewart describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Albert Stewart talks about his father's growing up in Maryland and how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Albert Stewart talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Albert Stewart talks about his parents eloping, their life in Detroit, Michigan and their decision to move to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Albert Stewart talks about his father's employment in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Albert Stewart talks about his father's employment at Sherwin-Williams in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Albert Stewart talks about getting a job as a resin researcher at Sherwin-Williams in Chicago, Illinois, and being drafted for World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Albert Stewart describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Albert Stewart talks about his parents' homes in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Albert Stewart talks about receiving a double promotion in elementary school, and graduating early from high school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Albert Stewart talks about growing up in the West Woodlawn neighborhood of Chicago and White City amusement park

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Albert Stewart describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Albert Stewart talks about the Chicago American Giants baseball team and attending their baseball games on Sundays

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Albert Stewart talks about African Americans moving to Chicago from the South, and his father's job as a carpenter who remodeled homes

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Albert Stewart talks about attending baseball games in Chicago, and recalls Prohibition in Chicago

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Albert Stewart talks about his childhood jobs as a milk delivery boy and as a newspaper delivery boy for the 'Chicago defender'

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Albert Stewart describes his experience in elementary school and his interest in math and spelling

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Albert Stewart talks about his experience in school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Albert Stewart talks about the racial division in school and in the city of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Albert Stewart talks about his interest in chemistry and the schools for the black students in Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Albert Stewart talks about graduating from high school, attending Wilson Junior College, and working on the railroad

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Albert Stewart describes how he decided to attend the University of Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Albert Stewart talks about walking to the University of Chicago every day from his parents' home

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Albert Stewart talks about working to support his education at the University of Chicago, and the help that he received from the Rotary Club

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Albert Stewart talks about his experience at the University of Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Albert Stewart describes his experience while working at Sherwin-Williams

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Albert Stewart talks about his draft to the U.S. Navy during World War II, and attending boot camp at Great Lakes, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Albert Stewart talks about his mother wanting him to play the saxophone and his parents' skepticism of his prospects as a scientist

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Albert Stewart describes how he got commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy in 1945 - part one

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Albert Stewart describes how he got commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy in 1945 - part two

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Albert Stewart describes his assignment and experience on a U.S. Navy fleet oiler towards the end of World War II

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Albert Stewart talks about his experience aboard a U.S. Navy fleet oiler in China and Japan, and going into inactive duty

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Albert Stewart talks about how he became a research assistant at St. Louis University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Albert Stewart talks about getting married

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Albert Stewart talks about his master's degree research on vacuum systems and getting a job as a research scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Albert Stewart describes his experience at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Albert Stewart talks about the racial climate in Oak Ridge, Tennessee in the 1950s, and how it affected him and his wife

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Albert Stewart talks about his experience at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the racial politics there, and how he was hired at Union Carbide Company

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Albert Stewart talks about his Ph.D. dissertation research in boron chemistry

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Albert Stewart talks about his experience at National Carbon Company in the 1950s

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Albert Stewart talks about his getting promoted to the marketing department at National Carbon Company

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Albert Stewart talks about his patents

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Albert Stewart talks about his experience in the marketing department at Union Carbide Company

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Albert Stewart talks about his services as a National Sales Manager and director of University Relations for Union Carbide Company in 1980

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Albert Stewart talks about teaching at Western Connecticut State University

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Albert Stewart talks about serving as the vice president of the Foundation for Social Justice in South Africa, and his international travels

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Albert Stewart describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community today

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Albert Stewart reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Albert Stewart talks about his wife

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Albert Stewart talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Albert Stewart describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$3

DAStory

1$2

DATitle
Albert Stewart talks about his experience at National Carbon Company in the 1950s
Albert Stewart talks about the racial division in school and in the city of Chicago, Illinois
Transcript
Okay, all right. So 1956.$$Six, yes.$$You're on your way to Cleveland to--now you're going to Cleveland to work with Union Carbide [Company]?$$National Carbon [Company].$$National Carbon?$$Yeah. And that was--they were connected to Ever Ready Battery Company too.$$Okay. All right, well tell us what happened in Cleveland?$$Hmm?$$Tell us about Cleveland?$$Well I started radiation chemistry there and had, got a radiation source like the one we had down in Oak Ridge and did all sorts of experiments but my main function was to be a group leader. And I hired, got some people from Oak Ridge, I mean from, not Oak Ridge, from St. Louis University and others and did a variety of experiments that were not classified but Union Carbide property. And things were going great there until Carbide decided to split up and split up some things. They sold the Ever Ready Battery Company and gave me a promotion to New York City. Well they promoted me and the laboratory they were going to send me to was in Niagara Falls, but they decided instead to send me to New York City. And when did Kennedy [John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy, 35th President of the United States] get assassinated?$$Nineteen sixty-three.$$Nineteen--?$$--sixty-three.$$--sixty three?$$Yes sir.$$I was in New York trying to decide what sort of research we were going to do and I had just been to the library and was walking down the street in Manhattan and I heard this report. I had an interesting time because, in New York City because they wanted me to, when I was looking for an apartment, the real estate people wanted me to move to Harlem. And--because we're now in a desegregation period, I said uh-uh, served my time there. We're desegregating communities, want to move to Manhattan. So they wanted to send me to a plant that, oh the aluminum--Alcoa was building in, near Harlem and I wouldn't go there. And finally ended up in a place where I could walk to work. So I started walking to work--$$So where was that in New York? Where was, this is--?$$On the west side.$$Okay.$$West 65th Street.$$Okay.$$But that was an adventure in itself because then we ended up deciding that we wanted to buy something and well, I worked in Chicago. I mean, Chicago--worked in Manhattan and they had changes. And I got promoted again to--out of science into a marketing department.$So did you run for a class office or anything like that or--?$$No, I didn't. In fact, we hardly, the black kids hardly talked to the white kids. At the, at Englewood [High School, Chicago, Illinois], remember there was little money around. There was a White Castle on 63rd Street and you got a hamburger--I remember they used to have a hamburger sales thing and you could get five hamburgers for some cheap price, I forget what it was. But I'd do that. But mainly instead of going to the school cafeteria on one side of the school nearest the South--the Wentworth and South Park side, there was a guy who rented a build--apartment that had food for the black students. And there was a guy who made fried pies. He sold fried pies and such stuff to the black kids. Well the black kids didn't go to the--there was another white guy who had also a store and so the kid, white kids who didn't have any money went to that instead of the cafeteria. And only rich kids went to the cafeteria. Pardon me. [Coughing] But there was no real association with the white students in Englewood. The black girls had started school in West, pardon me, in West Woodlawn. The professional people, the doctors, lawyers and so forth their daughters had school--had clubs. And they gave dances and the like at Bacon's Casino. And while the white kids were going to the Stevens Hotel and the blacks were not welcome. Blacks were not welcome in these big hotels and never on the North Side. When what's her name, the celebrated black woman who lived on the North Side, the television person.$$Oh god, you got me.$$You know of recent who bought--$$Oprah?$$Huh?$$Oprah Winfrey?$$Yeah, she was--I was so surprised when it turned out she was living on the north side because I always thought of that as a big division in Chicago. In fact, from, till 12th Street on the South Side, below 12th Street on the, in Chicago that was all white, nothing but.$$Okay.$$When you were growing up could you go past 63rd Street south? Did you go south of 63rd?$$Down 63rd Street?$$Yeah, did--no, did any black people live south of 63rd?$$Down--$$No.$$Below? No, 63rd Street was the dividing line. From 63rd to Washington Park was white between South Park and Cottage Grove. And that didn't turn over for quite a--never while I was growing up. And the big fight with West Woodlawn was the kids that lived at 58th and Calumet and over in there.$$Okay.

Lanier W. Phillips

Sonar technician Lanier Phillips was born on March 14, 1923, in Lithonia, Georgia, to sharecroppers. Phillips attended the Yellow River School, the only colored school in DeKalb County, until it was burned down by the Ku Klux Klan in 1929. As a remedy, Phillips was sent to live with relatives in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1932; there he attended Main Street Elementary School and Howard High School in Chattanooga until he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1941, at the age of eighteen, in order to escape the rigors of sharecropping in the South.

In the Navy, Phillips faced strict segregation. After boot camp, aboard the U.S.S. Truxton, Phillips began working in the mess hall alongside other sailors of color. In February 1942, the U.S.S. Truxton, the Pollux, and the Wilkes capsized off the coast of Newfoundland; 110 sailors were killed aboard the Truxton alone. Phillips was the sole African American survivor, finding refuge aboard the last raft. A group of Canadian townspeople rescued Phillips and 185 white sailors. Phillips would go on serve in battle with the U.S. Navy several times throughout the course of World War II.

In the 1950s, Phillips applied to the U.S. Navy’s Fleet Sonar School; he received a letter of recommendation to this post from Congressman Charles Diggs of Michigan. In 1957, Phillips became the U.S. Navy’s first black sonar technician. Phillips retired from the U.S. Navy in 1961, and began work as a civil technician with EG & G, a systems engineering firm; at this time he also began work with the ALVIN deep water submersible team. Phillips later joined the deep sea exploration team of Jacques Cousteau and assisted in the development of deep sea lamp technology.

During the 1960s, Phillips marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in Selma, Alabama. In 1977, after his wife’s death, Phillips sought relief from the growing racial tensions of northern cities, so he moved his family to his hometown of Lithonia, Georgia.

Lanier Phillips passed away on May 20, 2012.

Accession Number

A2007.219

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/29/2007

Last Name

Phillips

Maker Category
Middle Name

Walter

Occupation
Schools

Howard High School

Yellow River School

Main Street Elementary School

Howard School of Academics and Technology

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Lanier

Birth City, State, Country

Lithonia

HM ID

PHI02

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Brazil

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

3/14/1923

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Death Date

5/20/2012

Short Description

Sonar technician Lanier W. Phillips (1923 - 2012 ) was with the U.S. Navy in World War II, where he became the first African American sonar technician. In his civilian career, Phillips worked on the development of ALVIN deep water submersible, and deep sea lamp technologies.

Employment

U.S. Navy

EG&G

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lanier W. Phillips' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lanier W. Phillips lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lanier W. Phillips describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lanier W. Phillips describes the racial violence in Lithonia, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lanier W. Phillips describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lanier W. Phillips recalls his experiences of racial violence in Lithonia, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lanier W. Phillips recalls the burning of the Yellow River School by the Ku Klux Klan

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lanier W. Phillips talks about his schooling in Lithonia, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lanier W. Phillips remembers attending school in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lanier W. Phillips remembers Howard High School in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lanier W. Phillips recalls visiting his family in Lithonia, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lanier W. Phillips recall his decision to enlist in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lanier W. Phillips talks about his education

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lanier W. Phillips recalls joining the U.S. Navy

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lanier W. Phillips recalls his first year in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lanier W. Phillips talks about his early voyages in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lanier W. Phillips remembers the shipwreck of the USS Truxtun

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lanier W. Phillips describes how he survived the wreck of the USS Truxtun

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lanier W. Phillips recalls his recovery in Canada after the wreck of the USS Truxtun

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lanier W. Phillips talks about returning to the United States after the wreck of the USS Truxtun

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lanier W. Phillips recalls serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lanier W. Phillips recalls his combat experiences during World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lanier W. Phillips remembers the end of World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lanier W. Phillips recalls his experiences of discrimination after World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lanier W. Phillips recalls his racist commanding officer in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lanier W. Phillips remembers serving in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lanier W. Phillips recalls the U.S. Navy's treatment of African Americans

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lanier W. Phillips talks about recognition for his service on the USS Truxtun

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lanier W. Phillips remembers entering the Fleet Sonar School

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lanier W. Phillips recalls graduating from Flight Sonar School in Key West, Florida

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lanier W. Phillips talks about working as a sonar technician in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lanier W. Phillips recalls his work with Jacques Cousteau, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lanier W. Phillips recalls his work with Jacques Cousteau, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lanier W. Phillips talks about his wife and children

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lanier W. Phillips talks about his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lanier W. Phillips describes the community of Selma, Alabama

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lanier W. Phillips remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lanier W. Phillips talks about raising his children in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lanier W. Phillips remembers moving to Georgia after his wife's death

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Lanier W. Phillips talks about his work as a motivational speaker

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Lanier W. Phillips reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Lanier W. Phillips describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Lanier W. Phillips shares a message to future generations

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Lanier W. Phillips narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$3

DAStory

6$4

DATitle
Lanier W. Phillips recalls his experiences of racial violence in Lithonia, Georgia
Lanier W. Phillips describes how he survived the wreck of the USS Truxtun
Transcript
Well Adeline and Eli [Phillips' paternal grandparents, Adeline Phillips and Eli Phillips] (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Both were--$$--were alive during emancipation?$$Oh yes, yes, yes.$$Did they tell stories about emancipation?$$No, they never told me that. The only thing they, they told me was, seemed like all negative things, you know? She'd tell me to never look the white man in the eye, you know, or I'll get a whipping, you know? And never dispute him regardless to what he said, or what, if I--because they would lynch me or beat me, or what say, and I might as well, you know, never look him in the eye, and say, yes sir, regardless to the age. Say if I, you could be twenty-five years old, and a five year old white boy, you would say, yes sir, and you know, mister you know, things like that. Now I do remember as a child I would go uptown, they had a place where you could buy ice cream but they had a little store there you could get jaw breakers for a penny, they call 'em jaw breakers, candy. And I would go up and a little white boys my age would come and kick me on the leg and say, nigger, nigger, nigger, and spit on me and I couldn't do anything and their parents would laugh and you know, look at 'em and laugh and like you say, come on, you know, or what, but I couldn't say anything because I knew if I did they'd whip me, you know? So, that's the way it was.$$So you were born in Lithonia, Georgia, this was all happening in Lithonia?$$In Lithonia, yes.$$In DeKalb County [Georgia]?$$DeKalb County.$$Do you have other memories of, of that kind of treatment as a young boy?$$Oh yes. Oh yes, I was told about Charlie Mitchell [Charles Mitchell], that was the last lynching they had in Lithonia, his name was Charlie Mitchell, and what happened was a group of white men attempted to whip him, and he bit one who owned the bank, I.M. Starr was his name, bit his ear off. And he got away, and he made it up to what is now Coffee Road, and out in the middle of the field they would have the house called the cotton house, and he got in the cotton house, they couldn't find him, they got the dogs trying to track him or what. And the next morning, you saw this black fellow coming down, what is now, Lithonia, Redan Road, and he whistled and called him and said, "Go to Decatur [Georgia] and get the sheriff to come and get me," he said, "because they're gonna kill me if they find me." And he came down to Lithonia and sat on that rock wall where the train comes by at eight o'clock in the morning, come back at five in the evening and he told the police down there and they went up and got him and naturally killed him and tied him by his feet and drug him up and down Main Street. Well the street was made out of what we call cobblestones, about twelve inches long and about four inches wide, you know, put down on the street and they drug him back and forth, you know, and people come out and spit on him and things like that. And, but I remember the Klan [Ku Klux Klan, KKK] coming down where we lived in Brewster's Alley [ph.] and everybody would pull their shades down, they had the green shades, pull their shades down and, and they would kick the door in or what, you could hear 'em they'd shoot in the air, you know? Say, "What are you doing up this late," you know? Because you had to go to work and the rock quarries are in the fields, you know, at daybreak. And as a child, I would crawl under the bed, you know?$$So this happened actually at your home? They were kicking the door?$$Oh? Out, out in Brewster's Alley they did, but I don't recall them kicking our door in. We lived in a little two room house and, but I would peep out of the window at them. And, I did see them whip a man called Boise Shepard [ph.], and because what they were doing, the cotton house in the middle of the cotton field, as the people picked the cotton, the end of the rolls, they would dump it out in the big baskets and then the--he would pick up on the wagons and put it in the cotton house until he'd get enough to, bails to take to the cotton gin, and he didn't go to work that day, so somebody who picked cotton had to take that job, driving the wagon, you know, the mule and wagon that do it. And he said he was sick. Well I knew the man was sick 'cause my mother [Celvia Woodall Phillips] had given him some castor oil and, they whipped him, made him lay over the log, they whipped him and I watched that and I just had fear, you know, of the Ku Klux Klan.$$Did they come in wearing their garb? The, the white (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yes--$$--robes?$$--some would have them, some wouldn't and I, I knew some of 'em, well everybody was a Klan. All the white people were Klan, you know? The store was, owner was Klan, they had one policeman, he was a Klan, and any white person could arrest any black person, you know?$I jumped in the water, and they pulled me on board, helped me get onboard the raft, because see, the type rafts they had then were K-pots [ph.], you know? So, I got on and I was sitting around the edges there and we finally made it ashore, we were only about 250, maybe three hundred yards from shore, and we could see like a fence on top of the cliff, so we knew, you know, for that fence to be there, we figured it was for to keep the sheep and goat or something, you know, from falling over the edge there. And the raft capsized just before we landed, or what, and then, well Bergeron [Edward Bergeron] had gone in the first raft, he and Egner [Harry Egner], and climbed the cliff, he had a knife, because they, they, they always told us to carry condoms, and the purpose for the condoms was to put a box of matches in there a knife, and what, and then tie a knot in it, it becomes waterproof. And, so if the ship is sunk you would have a match, you know or something you could start a fire, and that's what they had, and Bergeron used his knife to put etches in the ice and climb the cliff. And he climbed the cliff and made it over the ice cap, he saw light about three miles and notified the people of St. Lawrence [Canada], the ship [USS Truxtun (DD-229)] and they all, they closed the mine [Iron Springs Mine], shut down their little village, the store, they had one store or what, and they came, they came down on ropes, down the cliffs. Well when I got ashore, I thought I was in Iceland, well, it was a strange, strange feeling, I, it's hard to explain because it seemed like I was conscious but it seems like time, say if I wanted to walk from here to the window, it would take hours, it seemed like. And I, seemed like my heart, instead of beating boop, boop, boop, it would beat, boomp--boomp--and I was wondering if that next beat was coming, and I knew all I had to do was close my eyes and die, because the, the Cato brothers [James Cato and Leo Cato] had sat on the torpedo tube and put their arms around each other, said, goodbye, this is it and just died, you know? So I knew all I had to do was close my eyes and die. So I went back in the cove there, a little small cove, not much bigger than this room, went back in the corner and decided to die, I decided to die, you know, so I got down on the ground there and somebody, well the Newfoundlander had scaled the cliff and come down and one picked me up, when he picked me up, I looked up, I knew it wasn't a sailor and I knew it wasn't an American, he said, "Don't lie there, you'll surely die," he said, "get up." And he told another Newfoundlander, said, "Walk him around," and I looked at his white face and what, you know, I said, here's a white man that wants to help me, you know? I'm thinking, I said nothing, you know, I could barely move and it just, they began to walk me around, and Egner had started a fire, some of the crates had washed ashore and what, and I began to walk around and I, they said, "Well, the tide is coming in," and, said, "do whatever you want, try to make it up the cliff." So Bergeron had gone up the cliff, so Egner and I went around and went up, it's like a rejuvenation or what, when that fellow picked me up, you know, and everything, began to walk me around to help me, I'd never heard a kind word from a white man in my life, you know?

Alyce Jenkins

Rehabilitation counselor, educator, and first African American female to be appointed in 1974 to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy Reserve (USNR) without prior service, Alyce Earl Jenkins was born on September 22, 1935 in Birmingham, Alabama. The daughter of Margaret LaVern Wright Earl and Boysie Orr, Jenkins was raised by her mother and stepfather, Arthur Fred Earl. She attended Lincoln Elementary School and graduated from A.H. Parker High School in 1953. She majored in graphic arts at Alabama A&M College in Huntsville, Alabama where she graduated with a B.S. degree in mechanics arts in 1957. She earned a M.Ed. in rehabilitation counseling from Kent State University in 1968.

In 1958, Jenkins was hired as assistant director of printing and graphics for Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio where the Journal of Human Relations was printed. In 1966, the Central State University’s Printing Department closed, and Jenkins worked for the Ohio Bureau of Rehabilitation Counseling. From 1968 to 1972, Jenkins was Director of Counseling for Wilberforce University. From 1972 to 1993, she taught rehabilitation counseling at Wright State University in Dayton.

Published widely in professional journals, Jenkins’s writings, professional presentations, and federal funding awards focused on African Americans with disabilities, a group historically ignored by state and federal rehabilitation agencies. She is the producer/director of the video series, Living Your Dreams that highlights historical contributions of ordinary African Americans to the community. The video series includes Profiles of African Americans: Their Roles In Shaping Wright State University, A Predominantly White Institution and The Story of Neal Loving: Aviator, Experimental Airplane Builder and Double Amputee.

Jenkins’ professional service contributions include serving on the national planning committee for the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Education, an accrediting organization for undergraduate and graduate programs. Jenkins also served as a founding member for four years on the Ohio Counselor and Social Worker Licensure Board where she strongly advocated for practicing rehabilitation counselors.

Jenkins retired in 1993 as Wright State University’s Professor Emerita. Jenkins, who is included in the book, Black Americans in the United States Navy rose to the rank of full Commander before leaving the Navy in 1984.

Jenkins founded AEJ Associates, her own rehabilitation consulting firm in 1993. Returning to Wright State University, she served as interim director and associate director of the Wright State University Center for Teaching and Learning from 1996 to 1998. She was also associate assistant director of Wright State University’s African and African American Studies Program from 1999 to 2001 and coordinator of Youth Programs for the National Conference for Community and Justice from 2001 to 2003. Active in many organizations in her career, Jenkins is a member of the National Council on Rehabilitation Education, Dayton Dialog on Race Relations and the National Rehabilitation Professional Association. She was chosen as one of the Top Ten African American Women in Dayton in 2005 and in 2004, received the Keeping the Dream Alive Award from the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. In 2000, Jenkins was honored by the Ohio Senate with the Recognition of Outstanding Service Award, among other honors. A resident of Yellow Springs, Ohio, Jenkins is also a video oral historian and sits on the Yellow Springs Community Council.

Accession Number

A2006.042

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/19/2006

Last Name

Jenkins

Maker Category
Schools

A.H. Parker High School

Lincoln School

Alabama A&M University

Kent State University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Alyce

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

JEN04

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Near Water

Favorite Quote

My Dog's Not In That Fight.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

9/22/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Dayton

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon

Short Description

Rehabilitation specialist and military officer Alyce Jenkins (1935 - ) was the first African American female Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy Reserve (USNR).

Employment

Central State University

Greene County Vocational School

Dayton State Hospital

Wilberforce University

Wright State University

Favorite Color

Beige

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Alyce Jenkins' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Alyce Jenkins lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Alyce Jenkins describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Alyce Jenkins describes her mother's parents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Alyce Jenkins describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Alyce Jenkins recalls learning who her father was

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Alyce Jenkins recalls visiting her father in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Alyce Jenkins describes her stepfather and his family

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Alyce Jenkins describes her childhood in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Alyce Jenkins recalls moving to Birmingham's Enon Ridge

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Alyce Jenkins recalls childhood activities in Birmingham

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Alyce Jenkins remembers Birmingham's Lincoln Elementary School

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Alyce Jenkins describes her grade school courses and study habits

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Alyce Jenkins describes the Enon Ridge neighborhood of Birmingham

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Alyce Jenkins remembers her experience of discrimination at A.H. Parker High School

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Alyce Jenkins talks about discrimination within the black community

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Alyce Jenkins describes her social life in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Alyce Jenkins recalls the pressure on women to marry young in the 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Alyce Jenkins recalls her decision to attend Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Alyce Jenkins remembers her history courses in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Alyce Jenkins describes her mentors at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Alyce Jenkins recalls pledging Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Alyce Jenkins recalls growing up in Birmingham during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Alyce Jenkins describes her mother's activism in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Alyce Jenkins remembers Gertrude Wesley

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Alyce Jenkins recalls her physics tutor, rocket scientist Wernher von Braun

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Alyce Jenkins recalls teaching printing at Central State College, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Alyce Jenkins recalls teaching printing at Central State College, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Alyce Jenkins remembers meeting her husband

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Alyce Jenkins recalls entering the mental health field

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Alyce Jenkins remembers an experience at Greene County Vocational School

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Alyce Jenkins describes her career path

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Alyce Jenkins recalls negotiating with students at Wilberforce University

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Alyce Jenkins recalls meeting notable figures at Wilberforce University

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Alyce Jenkins recalls her experience as a counselor at Wilberforce University

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Alyce Jenkins describes the results of student protests at Wilberforce University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Alyce Jenkins recalls developing encounter groups at Wilberforce University

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Alyce Jenkins remembers Dr. Wilhelmina S. Robinson

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Alyce Jenkins recalls accepting an offer to teach at Wright State University

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Alyce Jenkins describes her work with the Republican Party

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Alyce Jenkins describes how the Republican Party changed

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Alyce Jenkins remembers receiving tenure at Wright State University

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Alyce Jenkins recalls teaching classes at Wright State University

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Alyce Jenkins recalls working in minority recruitment for the U.S. Navy

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Alyce Jenkins recalls her decision to leave the U.S. Navy

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Alyce Jenkins describes the recruiting tools she created for the U.S. Navy

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Alyce Jenkins remembers establishing a scholarship at Wright State University

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Alyce Jenkins describes her work since retirement

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Alyce Jenkins recalls her work at Wright State University after retirement

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Alyce Jenkins describes her board memberships

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Alyce Jenkins describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Alyce Jenkins describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Alyce Jenkins reflects upon her life

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Alyce Jenkins reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Alyce Jenkins talks about her family and her decision not to have children

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Alyce Jenkins describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Alyce Jenkins narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$6

DAStory

2$1

DATitle
Alyce Jenkins recalls teaching printing at Central State College, pt. 1
Alyce Jenkins recalls teaching classes at Wright State University
Transcript
Now Central State [Central State College; Central State University, Wilberforce, Ohio] how did you get this job at Central State, printer?$$Okay when I was at Alabama A&M [Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College; Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, Normal, Alabama] one of my classmates, Reuben Baxter graduated before I did and he was hired here at Central and when they said that they needed someone else he contacted me and asked me to apply for the job. I told him I wasn't interested in the job. And I really didn't want to come to Ohio, and after I graduated I was offered a job down in Texas, and Texas was too far. So I was working there in the registrar's [Ralph H. Lee] office as full time and so I just really didn't want to leave Alabama. And so finally President Drake [Joseph Drake] and Dean Carter [Robert A. Carter] who was an academic dean told me that I should really go ahead and work in the field for which I had been trained and that I should come--accept the job and that if I didn't like it they would have a job for me there at Alabama A&M. And Dr. Wesley [Charles H. Wesley] had been writing me as well.$$The president of Central State?$$Uh-huh, the president of Central State and so I came and then I didn't want to fail, you know, because I said--I was working hard to do well and to like it because I didn't want to go back. If I had the job--I knew I had the job but if I went back it would have meant that I couldn't cut it, you know. So that's how I got here. So Baxter was the director and Mr. Dungee [ph.] who had been the director was ill and he subsequently passed and so Baxter was named the director and I was his assistant director. Again, I was responsible for most of the linotype work and I taught the introductory courses in printing and composition and platen press and again I was the only female doing that. We had a secretary but I was the only female in there and they didn't want to give me any respect, and we had a huge platen press that I could operate as well as Baxter could. So I was having a hard time and they were teasing me all the time, and Baxter was out of town once and the linotype machine broke and I had to order the part and I was just so happy because I was able to--I knew the part to order, I knew where to call and I knew how to put it on, you know, this complicated machine. They would just tease me and I had been keeping all of this stuff to myself, you know, people. I was up here in the North and I didn't understand them and they didn't understand me but I was just keeping it all to myself. So it finally got to me, and I kind of lost it and told them you guys can have this job, I don't need this and I walked out. And then, what's his name? Mr. Sellers [Walter G. Sellers] and Mr. Johns, [HistoryMaker] Harry Johns talked with me and talked with them and so then I went back and I didn't have any more problems with them. They stopped teasing me like they had been because they were just disrespecting my position and I didn't like that.$Committees and all of that.$$Right, committees at Wright State [Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio].$$Okay yeah, so they helped me to learn how to navigate the higher education community, and I was able to get the tenure. And as far as my classes were concerned as I said most of the time I was the only minority in that class and I also had a lot of first generation white students coming in from rural areas and they didn't know anything about black people except what they had read or seen on television. And so it was--the atmosphere was kind of tense but the good part about it was that, I was the faculty member, I was a professor and I had academic freedom; I had control of that classroom. And so I learned early on to always remember that, you know, and not crumble or, you know, get weak in the classroom. And so as it turned out, I was looking through my retirement book and the comments of different students and they talk about how I influenced them and how much they learned from me and how--the different ways that I helped them and all and that they were pleased to have been in the class to have had a class with someone who was so committed to rehab as I was. So it turned out to be a good experience but the early years were kind of hard because I was trying to learn how to do that. I had quite a few military people in my classes and there was this one guy in my class and he would sit in the back and he would just frown--his non verbals were awful all the time. I said this man has a problem with me I guess it's because I'm female and he was just awful. So one day I had the call him and when I called him I saw that he was a retired colonel and I said, oh that's what his problem is. I am black and female and I'm in charge of this class and he's used to being in charge and so when he answered the phone I said, "Colonel Brimler [ph.], this is Lieutenant Commander Jenkins [HistoryMaker Alyce Jenkins]," and from that moment on I did not have any more trouble with him because it was officer to officer.

Augustine Davis

Augustine Davis, survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor and pioneering black pharmacist, was born on November 19, 1917, in LaGrange, Texas. His early years were spent helping his family with farm work. Aware of the lack of medical attention available to his family, Davis desired to become a doctor. When he graduated in 1936 from Taylor High School in Taylor, Texas, Davis needed money to attend college, but he was unable to find a working scholarship available for any of the black colleges.

To finance his college education, Davis enlisted in the U.S. Army’s segregated black 25th Infantry, which recruiters told him was the only armed black unit in the Army. After a three-year stint, he still needed tuition money, so he enlisted in the still-segregated U.S. Navy. The pay from the U.S. Navy was a little higher, though all black recruits were assigned special duty in the messman branch. However, Davis’ naval duty, which superseded special duty, was that of a gunner.

At daybreak, on December 7, 1941, the Japanese military launched a surprise attack on the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Davis rushed to his gun as the enemy opened fire on the U.S.S. Breese. One plane flew so low that Davis could see the pilot’s face. His loaders never reached him, but somehow Davis loaded his gun and fired back, only to see planes disappear into clouds of smoke. His gun was the only one on the Breese to get into action, but Davis received no citations for valor. He went on to see combat duty in other pivotal engagements, including the Battle of Midway. Davis was placed in charge of a battery aboard the U.S.S. Essex, which consisted of four anti-aircraft machine guns, all manned by black men.

After the war, Davis attended Ohio State University and earned his B.S. degree in pre-medicine, then graduated from the Ohio State College of Pharmacy – one of few blacks to have done so. Davis retired after a long professional career. He has two daughters, six grandchildren and two siblings. He lived with his wife, Gwendolyn, in Montclair, New Jersey.

Davis passed away on July 5, 2014.

Accession Number

A2002.100

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/9/2002

Last Name

Davis

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

La Grange School

Taylor High School

Bates College

The Ohio State University

The Ohio State University School of Pharmacy

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Augustine

Birth City, State, Country

LaGrange

HM ID

DAV04

Favorite Season

None

Sponsor

Walgreens

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

For heaven’s sakes!

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

11/19/1917

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Beans

Death Date

7/5/2014

Short Description

Pharmacist and sailor Augustine Davis (1917 - 2014 ) was a World War II Navy gunner and Pearl Harbor survivor. After the war, Davis attended Ohio State University and earned his B.S. degree in pre-medicine, then graduated from the Ohio State College of Pharmacy, one of the few blacks to have done so at the time.

Employment

Mt. Carmel Hospital, (Columbus, OH)

University Hospital

St. Joseph's Hospital

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:2178,83:2574,88:3069,94:4059,116:4455,121:5247,132:31739,454:37560,486:37928,491:47864,656:50072,678:57913,724:63246,764:73740,891:74586,909:82810,989:83242,994:84646,1010:88726,1043:89878,1063:90238,1069:92326,1116:99725,1153:100185,1158:108138,1196:109490,1211:112506,1250:128212,1407:128664,1412:129116,1417:139180,1496:150520,1626:156223,1682:156829,1690:164592,1760:171875,1825:178398,1870:185440,1936:185880,1942:191130,1989:194378,2032:199520,2091:203515,2117:213318,2226:220540,2275:220924,2285:221308,2292:223652,2314:225488,2357:229433,2399:232140,2413:233925,2433:236920,2455:252430,2624:256850,2703:270440,2804:275076,2868:278115,2927:283815,3032:286095,3080:293392,3130:301571,3248:303104,3275:307398,3309:314860,3375:317020,3404:327854,3500:328505,3509:328877,3514:330830,3546:332225,3564:336059,3608:336311,3613:345155,3724:351136,3825:379560,4004:393610,4300:413084,4502:415983,4515:416538,4521:420867,4596:435435,4725:435960,4733:443970,4835:448520,4850:448940,4855:457770,4950:458420,4956:463707,4992:466370,5005:472170,5080:477806,5148:493500,5399:503790,5568:504312,5576:511970,5672:518850,5768:519678,5786:520506,5806:525291,5869:538280,6024:539237,6048:539672,6054:550354,6146:553954,6269:564540,6387:564954,6395:565230,6407:565575,6414:565989,6421:571142,6478:571646,6487:581938,6646:584080,6652$890,0:1562,17:7328,122:8848,149:9380,158:9684,163:11736,195:12192,202:12496,207:14092,249:20855,274:22045,291:30680,364:31085,370:31490,376:45520,499:46318,529:73340,712:73636,717:73932,722:74968,741:75782,756:78730,777:79155,783:86030,812:88990,821:89550,827:93980,876:96360,930:96920,939:98910,952:118455,1175:119130,1185:120030,1199:120330,1204:120705,1210:121080,1216:121530,1232:122130,1246:122730,1259:129624,1321:134190,1351:134850,1357:137843,1391:141028,1448:150950,1529:151350,1535:166900,1617:167356,1624:167888,1633:170251,1652:176192,1708:176568,1715:182652,1786:187154,1824:189200,1843:190040,1853:191850,1858:200190,1897:226331,2107:227627,2129:230105,2158:239206,2257:245353,2339:246163,2350:249700,2382:252280,2398:252670,2406:253125,2414:255190,2437:255430,2442:255790,2450:256150,2458:256690,2468:278588,2646:281290,2671:281770,2678:282170,2684:282730,2702:283210,2710:291480,2739:304402,2946:305140,2956:305714,2962:316054,3066:318126,3112:321781,3123:325160,3159:327766,3168:329362,3232:337488,3330:337896,3338:338406,3344:342740,3381:346135,3435:347290,3463:348599,3479:349523,3493:350062,3501:350678,3507:351371,3520:352680,3557:355529,3606:367710,3712:387498,3900:401350,4038:402050,4049:403730,4087:404010,4092:410886,4142:411138,4147:417646,4175:422647,4215:428545,4260:428845,4265:429295,4273:434924,4325:435548,4335:436406,4343:437186,4354:441988,4416:448204,4488:449719,4509:473680,4741:476880,4751:478670,4766:480510,4849:504338,5028:506704,5060:508524,5080:509161,5089:509525,5094:510253,5102:515275,5119:515535,5124:515795,5129:523573,5199:524280,5207:529510,5227:529990,5233:545430,5348:547456,5359:548884,5364:550618,5386:551434,5396:557640,5435:563048,5495:569807,5532:570262,5538:570626,5550:572082,5586:575540,5671:582560,5713:587614,5736:593984,5815:597050,5848:597498,5853:603481,5923:604726,5941:613535,6037:622916,6116:624779,6127:626750,6172:627772,6191:628137,6197:630911,6255:631276,6261:637966,6282:651158,6358:652222,6367:656230,6380:656710,6388:658470,6413:658870,6419:659910,6433:665580,6446:666540,6451:672302,6482:674240,6511:675494,6523:677546,6540:681194,6575:682830,6587:687880,6655:698958,6764:699230,6769:701202,6805:704280,6824:713687,6941:714932,6968:715264,6973:715596,6978:718833,7069:732084,7215:734330,7229:734638,7238:735408,7249:736101,7263:736794,7273:738270,7283:738558,7288:739206,7302:739854,7312:741078,7337:741726,7347:744534,7410:745038,7418:745398,7425:746046,7435:750000,7448:751680,7463:753720,7492:761253,7575:761750,7583:762034,7588:763697,7619:769416,7683:769672,7688:770700,7696
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Augustine Davis interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Augustine Davis's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Augustine Davis describes his family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Augustine Davis describes his mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Augustine Davis recalls the racial climate of the La Grange, Texas of his youth

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Augustine Davis describes his family structure growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Augustine Davis reflects on his youth in La Grange, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Augustine Davis discusses the history of Native American/black relations in the U.S.

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Augustine Davis reflects on his school life

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Augustine Davis recalls leaving home at age sixteen

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Augustine Davis recalls his false imprisonment in Katy, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Augustine Davis describes his beginnings in the U.S. military

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Augustine Davis reviews his educational pursuits while in the U.S. military

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Augustine Davis recounts the bombing of Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Augustine Davis gives examples of discrimination in the segregated U.S. Navy during the 1940s

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Augustine Davis evaluates portrayals of World War II generals and admirals

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Augustine Davis talks about mispersceptions about blacks' roles in the Navy during World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Augustine Davis recalls the destruction of the U.S. fleet at the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Augustine Davis shares memories of the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Augustine Davis explains the U.S. Navy's strategy after defeat at Pearl Harbor

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Augustine Davis reflects on his and other African Americans' military service in World War II

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Augustine Davis describes how a gun battery works

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Augustine Davis describes his experience in World War II's Battle of Midway, 1942

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Augustine Davis mentions Tokyo Rose

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Augustine Davis relates an unreported incident of an American cruiser sunk by friendly fire during World War II

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Augustine Davis illustrates how he and other black soldiers were not appreciated at home during World War II

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Augustine Davis illustrates racism aboard the U.S.S. Essex aircraft carrier

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Augustine Davis advocates for the acknowledgement of African American military service in World War II

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Augustine Davis describes his experince at Bates College after his discharge from the U.S. Navy

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Augustine Davis recalls averting a frontal lobotomy while at a Veteran's hospital

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Augustine Davis describes his efforts to start life anew after leaving college and the military

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Augustine Davis talks about his return to college and obtaining his undergraduate degree from Ohio State

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Augustine Davis talks about the difficulty of getting into medical school after graduating from college

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Augustine Davis explains why he attended pharmacy school

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Augustine Davis recalls how he dealt with racism he encountered at Ohio State

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Augustine Davis describes the challenges he faced due to racial prejudice while working as a pharmacist

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Augustine Davis discusses the prevalence of racism in the United States

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Augustine Davis recognizes shortcomings in the mentoring of black youth

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Augustine Davis discusses his parents' responses to his success

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Augustine Davis describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$6

DAStory

1$8

DATitle
Augustine Davis recalls the destruction of the U.S. fleet at the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941
Augustine Davis describes the challenges he faced due to racial prejudice while working as a pharmacist
Transcript
Let's go back to [the attack on] Pearl Harbor [Hawaii, December 7, 1941] and let's talk about what the scene looked like there. And maybe why the [U.S.S.] Breese didn't get sunk. And there's a story about the [U.S.S.] Arizona too.$$You ready for me to talk? Tell you about it?$$Yeah, yeah.$$Then Pearl Harbor, now, see, they have what they call battleship row, and they--now, we weren't tied up to any of those docks. Destroyers was moored to buoys, we were tied up to buoys. Now, we were right around, as you came out of the channel, we weren't too far, after getting out to the channel into the main harbor, tied up to a buoy. Now, when there was all that attack, that was going on there--see, most of those ships were sunk within a minute of--a half an hour because when they knew anything, those guys was dropping bombs and things down on--practically down the smokestacks and things before any of the other guys were even out of the bunks. Ships was sinking and burning. And the guys were abandoning ship, jumping in the water. And those fighters were still coming in strafing and killing the guys in the water. So, and this, another thing, they always say, now, telling it, giving a description of something that happened in a case like that or during war or anything else in the--individuals tell the story from where they--their viewpoint, where they were and what was happening. Now, they, they talk about they only lost 2,500 men in Pearl Harbor. That's hard for me to believe because you take each one of those battleships carried almost 400--4,000 men, not to mention the destroyers or anything like that that carried three--around 300 men and stuff. Now, and most of those guys were lost on those ships. Now, you take like the [U.S.S.] Arizona. The Arizona just went down, and the guys didn't have a chance. But when they sound, man your battle station, even though their ship was blowing up and sinking at the time, here again, that was a battleship. And like I said, most of your black guys on there was assigned to the magazine. Those guys went to their battle station knowing that that ship was going down. They went to their battle stations. Consequently, they're all down there on that, the Arizona in Pearl Harbor right now. Now, about a couple of months before that happened, before the war brought--see, in the [U.S.] Navy they like all the other service, the Army as well, they, they go after good athletes. Ships compete for good athletes just like there in the Army bases and things, like companies go after good athletes. So the guys, the admiral has rank and the captain of the Arizona was an admiral, where the captain of the destroyer I was on was only a commander. Now, the captain of the Arizona was trying to get me off of the destroyer on the Arizona because I was a good athlete.$$What, to play baseball?$$For, to play baseball--now see, I played everything. I played but football, and so, yeah, that's what, yeah, that's what it--because ships compete against each other like schools and things, your bases and things, ship bases, they, they have base teams and things like that. They, they compete against each other just like colleges and things do. So he was trying to get me off, gonna take me off the destroyer, that destroyer and move me to the Arizona. Well, the captain of the destroyer I was on, he made an appeal to the admiral of the fleet saying that the captain of the Arizona was pulling rank on him and attempting to take his best men away from him which was lowering the efficiency of his ship. And the admiral of the fleet stopped that transfer. Now, had that not happened, I would be down there with the rest of those guys on that Arizona right today. So here again, I say, well, maybe there is a God. I mean so many things have happened to me that I can't explain. But anyway, that's--$$Well, what did--yeah, can you--I just wondered if you could describe what it looked like and what it smelled like, and--?$$Oh, during that attack?$$Yeah, after the battle, yeah.$$Well, you couldn't, you couldn't smell anything but oil and oil all over the water, from the ships and things, and naturally, smoke, you, you--black smoke and stuff. You're inhaling that, it's stifling to you--and during, during the battle, you, you could hardly see so far because the, it was so much dense black smoke from those ships burning and sinking. So it was, it was just, it was, it was complete pandemonium. As I say, you smelled a lot of fuel oil and stuff like, all those planes right there on Ford Island [Pearl Harbor, Hawaii]. Those planes was all blowing up so there's aircraft fuel and fumes in the air, and all from the ships, the, the whole harbor was covered with oil. And they guys, if you--that was in the water, all you could do was--and it was fire on the water. So you were taught in the navy anyway, abandon, abandoning ship in case of fire or it might be fire on the water from the--so you swim as far as you could in the water and when you come up, you come up with your hands first and part the water, part that oil and stuff. So you could catch your breath and then go back down. See, you could do that when that, when that oil and stuff is burning on the water, you come up, you part the water, you part that blaze, give you a chance to stick your head up there and, and catch a breath and then go back down. Well, that's--.$$So what do you try to do? Swim under it--?$$Swim under it, you have to stay under it. And that's only, you can only go so far like that, and you, you have to come up. So it's just, you're just lost. I mean you just come up and get burned up. And then another thing, when a ship is sinking like that, you have to get as far away from it as you can because it, it'll pull you right down with it. It's taking on water, you see, and it's sucking that water in; it'll suck you right in with it. And that vacuum of the ship going down, even if it, you--it's no longer seen on the surface of the water, it's still a vacuum, there's water coming in to fill that void where that ship went down. So, so that water and current will, will pull you right down with it. And it may take you so deep so you won't be able to hold your breath long enough to get back to the surface. But that's, that's what these guys were doing in the water. And then--another thing, as I say, most of them didn't have a chance because even though they managed to get off the ship and into the water and trying to swim to the shore, these, these--the fighter planes were coming and just spraying the surface of the water with bullets killing 'em in the water.$When I graduated from pharmacy [Ohio State University College Of Pharmacy, Columbus, Ohio] it was a routine--they usually brought in representatives from all your major pharmaceutical companies, things like that, to come in and interview the senior class. It was two of us graduating in my class. One more black guy. They brought these guys in to interview all these other guys. And none of them ever interviewed myself or this other--Rudy, this other black guy. Never interviewed us. At that time you couldn't--black guys couldn't get in the pharmaceutical industry. You couldn't even get a job in retail pharmacy. You apply--I applied for jobs in retail pharmacy and they said they need you there, but they were afraid to hire you because it may drive a lot of their white customers away. So hospital pharmacy would take a black pharmacist in for the simple reason that none of these other guys--because they made more money in industry and that type of thing than they could make in hospital pharmacy. So hospitals needed pharmacists. So they would take us. So that's how I got into hospital pharmacy. And in order to augment my salary, bring my salary up to something comparable to what these other white guys were making in the industry and that, not only did I do hospital pharmacy, I worked part-time retail pharmacy in areas--all black areas. They wouldn't hire you in retail pharmacy. These chains and things in none of the retail pharmacy that you know. Private drugstores. They wouldn't hire you in a white area. But those people--drugstores in all black areas, they would hire you. Now that's what was going on then, all right. Now another thing that I get into, you get into that. Even there in hospital pharmacy you could never become the head of the department a chief pharmacist even in hospital pharmacy, that paid more than just a regular staff pharmacist. That was going on even in hospital pharmacy. I went--I went into hospital pharmacy in Columbus, Ohio and I stayed in pharmacy in Columbus, Ohio 'til I met my wife [Gwendolyn Newberry] and got involved with my wife and she lived in Cleveland [Ohio]. So that's when I moved to Cleveland and went into hospital pharmacy in Cleveland. And the first thing I was told when I reported to work at University Hospital in Cleveland--the head of the department called me inside and said, "Now just because we will be working with you, that doesn't mean that we want to socialize with you." See that's the thing that burns me. A lot of these blacks today they're out here walking around with their nose in the air and not--and they don't know what we went through. And to a great extent still going through, up until I retired. I was working in--I transferred to a hospital [St. Joseph's Hospital] in New Jersey, because it paid a little bit more money than the hospital was paying--the University Hospital was paying in Cleveland. I got there--it was a situation where most of the people they had working in pharmacy there didn't know anything about hospital pharmacy. So that's why they latched on to me in the first place, all right. The head of the department, that one that should have been running the department--and when they had department head meetings and all this kind--that should have been attending those meetings, I was sent to those department head meetings. And I was told at one of the meeting--it kept happening. I was told at one of the meetings something. The president was talking about some kind of program. Whatever they were talking about and they wanted the opinion of all--coming from all departments. And I said how it would affect the pharmacy department, the problems and things we would have and that type thing. And the president one day--one day I just had had it. This particular day the president said, "Oh that's not for you to say. That's for the head of your department to say." And I had had it. I said, "Well why do you think I'm up here? Do you think I came here on my own? The head of the department sent me here. Why do you think I was sent here?" And you could hear a pin fall. He didn't know what to say. And I--in the department I set up an IV [intravenous] department. I did all the research work and that type of thing. I set up an IV department. So I was put in charge of that IV department because the other pharmacist, they didn't know anything about that. So they got another white youngster coming in there right out of college. And he was assigned to my department, the IV department. He didn't wanna work back there because I was in charge of that department. So the head of the pharmacy department started hee-hawing around and came to me and said, "Well--" talking about the situation. He said, "Well why don't we just make both of you head of that department." Now this might seem ridiculous to you.$$Yeah it does.$$"Why don't we just make both of you head of that department." I told him--I said, "This is ridiculous." I said, "Well I'll just do what you don't have the guts to tell me. I'll just tell you what I'll do myself. You can give that department to that fellow. I'll take orthopedics, intensive care and cardiac care. And I'll take those three departments--floors. Cardiac care, intensive care and orthopedics." And then they said, "Well that will be fine. But then also what will happen before he makes any decisions as to what's to be done back there in that IV department, he'll have to get it approved by you." I was telling you about some of the things I went through. Some of the things I went through.$$That sounds crazy. Sounds absolutely crazy.$$And that's--and that hadn't been eons--years ago. That's right on up until--you have doctors and things coming to the pharmacy with questions and things about medication and what not. They'd walk right by me and go to one of these white individuals. And that white individual had to turn and come to me to get the answer. And that soon became--and all the doctors--it wasn't no black doctors in that hospital out there. They [unclear]. They were aware of that. Yet they would come if they'd come there, they'd still go to one of those guys and they had to get what I had to say through one of those guys. Also the thing that, you know--so tell you the truth I'm a--I am a better man today and it makes it worse when I have to endure and think of what other people thinks about me and that type of thing. Now I--getting back to the beginning when I transferred from Ohio to New Jersey, New Jersey was supposed to reciprocate with Ohio. Supposedly all I had to do was go there and apply for a license in New Jersey. I had to get a New Jersey license. But that's all it should have been. Because I'd been working as a pharmacist in Ohio for what? Five or six years. But when I got to New Jersey instead of reciprocating with me, they did it for other pharmacists. I've known other white pharmacists to come from Chicago [Illinois] here and Boston [Massachusetts] there. Came there and all they did was apply for a New Jersey license and got it. But with me--you know how they requested for me to get licensed in New Jersey? I had to get authentic documentation from the elementary school that I graduated from, the high school that I graduated from, the college that I graduated from. I had to get a letter from two of the professors in the college that I graduated from. And a recommendation from the hospital that I had just left. They requested all that stuff from me. Now how in the world did I get through high school? How did I get through college? How would I get an Ohio license if I hadn't graduated from college?

The Honorable William Sylvester White

Judge William Sylvester White was born in Chicago, Illinois, on July 27, 1914. He attended law school at the University of Chicago after graduating from Hyde Park High School. Upon graduation, he was hired as the assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, where he tried a myriad of cases and enjoyed the experience thoroughly. After fifteen years at this position, he became assistant state's attorney for Cook County.

Interested in becoming a judge, White involved himself in local politics, and his stellar performance earned him three separate appointments between 1961 and 1964. In 1972, White was honored by the Cook County Bar Association as Judge of the Year. In 1990, he began his tenure as a Juvenile Court justice and his expertise in this area garnered him several awards and honors over the years. In additions to these credits, White has also authored and co-authored several articles.

Prior to his judicial career White joined the United States Navy in 1943. White became one of the Navy’s first commissioned African American officers in March of 1944, along with twelve other African American men. These men were later known as the “Golden Thirteen.” Although nearly one hundred thousand African Americans were enlisted in the Navy, none were considered officers until this date.

White passed away on February 16, 2004.

Accession Number

A2000.041

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

9/5/2000

Last Name

White

Maker Category
Middle Name

Sylvester

Organizations
Schools

University of Chicago

Hyde Park Academy High School

Emmett Louis Till Math & Science Academy

Search Occupation Category
Archival Photo 2
First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

WHI01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Warm

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

7/27/1914

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ice Cream (Chocolate)

Death Date

2/16/2004

Short Description

Juvenile court judge and military officer The Honorable William Sylvester White (1914 - 2004 ) was one of the first African American officers in the United States Navy, known as the "Golden Thirteen." In the 1960s, White became a judge in Chicago, and by 1990, he began his tenure as a Juvenile Court justice.

Employment

Northern District of Illinois

Cook County States Attorney's Office

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William White interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William White's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William White describes his mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William White describes his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William White describes his parents' educational backgrounds

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William White recalls a racist encounter from his youth

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William White shares memories of his family life

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William White discusses his early school life

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - William White describes himself as a young person

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - William White remembers his youth in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William White recalls summers at the Idlewild resort, Idlewild, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William White shares memories of the Chicago of his youth

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William White recalls his undergraduate and law school years

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William White discusses early occupational changes

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William White reviews the development of his career

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William White details his time in the U.S. Attorney's Office

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William White recalls being drafted by the U.S. military

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William White details his experiences in the U.S. Navy as part of the Golden Thirteen

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William White details his career appointments

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William White details his experiences as a criminal court judge

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William White describes his experiences as a juvenile court judge

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William White evaluates careers in law

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William White considers issues facing the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William White remembers inspirational figures

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William White describes how he'd like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$2

DAStory

6$4

DATitle
William White recalls a racist encounter from his youth
William White discusses early occupational changes
Transcript
You're the only child?$$Yeah.$$Okay. So I wanna move to your growing up here and what it was like and you know what--what even your childhood was like growing up. Well, what I'd like you to do is maybe share with us some of--one of your earliest memories?$$I lived, first lived at--on Vernon [Avenue], 66th [Street] and Vernon [Chicago, Illinois] and then when I was six, five, I moved to 6342 Eberhardt [Avenue] and when I was there almost all my neighbors were white. I know I remember this because I could've--a girl sat--sat on my steps--you know, the steps down and I told her move 'cause she has no business sitting on steps and she called me a nigger and I never heard the word before. So I came in and told my mother [Mary Matilda Houston White]. My mother told me to go back out there and tell--call her a dirty white trash. I didn't do it because she was gone when I went back there (laughter), but I remember that. I never thought--I never thought that dirty white trash was enough for--was bad enough. I'd later learned some bad words but they were never bad enough but I don't know, it didn't feel like I was getting even when I called her a dirty white trash.$$And how old do you think you were around then?$$Five.$You graduate [University of Chicago Law School] in '37 [1937] and at that point in time what do you do?$$Edith Sampson, did you know her--was married to a fellow named Joe Clayton and he was supposed to be a whiz bang of a lawyer. In fact he was a whiz bang of a lawyer. So I got a job with him. He paid me five dollars a week. Isn't that a shame? I wasn't worth any more than that either. I never felt so--I almost gave up--well I did give up practicing law. I stopped and became a social worker. I can't give you the dates but I was a social worker for about six months and then Bob [William] Ming got a job in Washington [D.C.] with--going to Howard [University], teaching at Howard--Howard and so I went down there, and asked him to give me a job. He couldn't give me one but he said you can use the office. So I used his office until 1939.