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PAUL HAGAN

May 25th, 2004


a thumbnail image of Sergeant Paul Hagen Sergeant Paul HagenSergeant Paul Hagen, from Roopville, Georgia, joined the Corps in 1946 and was assigned to the 8th Ammunition Company, serving in that segregated unit in Hawaii until the outbreak of the Korean War. In Korea he worked to supply Marines with ammunition from the Inchon Landing to the Chosin Reservoir. After Korea, he worked in transportation management at several stateside bases, Guam, and Okinawa. Retiring from the Corps in 1967 after a twenty-seven year career, he obtained a civil service position at Camp Lejeune working in transportation management. Like many retired Marines, he lives in Jacksonville, North Carolina.


INTERVIEWER: Uh, Mr. Hagen, as you know, we're doing these interviews on Montford Point veterans so, for the record, I'd like you to state your name and the today's date.

PAUL HAGAN: My name is Paul Hagen. Today's date is May the 25th, 2004.

INTERVIEWER: Thank you very much, sir, and we appreciate you being here and, and we appreciate your willingness to participate in, in this interview. Um, as you know, I've got a series of questions I'm going to run through and we'd like to being by asking you just a little about what your background was before you joined the Marines. That is, where you were from, where you were raised, what your family was like, what your father or mother did for living.

INTERVIEWER: (CONTINUED) (STAMMERS) What work they did. Brothers and sisters and how many. And something about your educational level before you joined the Marines. So, if you'd just tell a little bit about that?

PAUL HAGAN: Before I went in the Marine Corps, my mother and father died when I was a little baby. Little boy. So, I don't remember anything about my mother and my father. But I had a brother and a sister, two brothers and a sister. And that, we was from Alabama but we come to Georgia and that's where we were living so when they die, we had a home and everything, and we lost everything we had because we was so young, we didn't know what tax was about.

PAUL HAGAN: (CONTINUED) And I went from place to place and the people that raised me, they raised me on a farm in a place they called Roopville, Georgia. Until I was old enough to join the Marine Corps.

INTERVIEWER: Were these people who raised you relatives? Can you tell me a little bit about them?

PAUL HAGAN: They wasn't no kin to me. And, of course, like I said, I didn't have no kin people in Georgia. The ones that was in Alabama, I didn't know nothing about them. So we had no kin that, I just knew that the people that took me in was a friend of my mother and father.

INTERVIEWER: And what about, tell me something about your educational level when you went into the Marine Corps.

PAUL HAGAN: When I went in the Marine Corps my education level was the seventh grade back in that day. But I still, after become Marine Corps I finish high school.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. And before you went into the Corps, when you were living with the people in Georgia, will you tell me what those people in Georgia did for a living. What, what were your surroundings like?

PAUL HAGAN: Big farm.

INTERVIEWER: Tell me that.

PAUL HAGAN: Uh, we worked on that farm sunup to sundown. Six day a week. And, uh, I really enjoyed myself because I didn't have no home or anything. And I enjoy. And they treated me just like I was one of their children.

INTERVIEWER: Um, tell me a little about why you decided to join the Marines.

PAUL HAGAN: The reason why I decided to join the Marines, is, uh, it was one Black Marine that I seen in my hometown. And, uh, I knew him. So he was in the Marine, he got out (STAMMERS) around 19 and '45 and, uh, he come home. He (STAMMERS) uniform and everything. And then as I looked into everything I decided about the uniform he wear and I said, I would like to be in that branch of service.

PAUL HAGAN: (CONTINUED) So, after I become old enough, going on 18, the people that (STAMMERS) raised me signed a letter that I could go into the Marine Corps. Had to sign for them back in that day. 'Cause I wasn't quite old enough to sign for myself. And that's why I wanted to come into the Marine Corps. To be a Marine. Because I have heard that fighting Marines and I wanted to join and (STAMMERS) become a Marine and fight for my country.

INTERVIEWER: And, and you liked that, that dress blue uniform.

PAUL HAGAN: (OVERLAPPING) I (STAMMERS) like that uniform.

INTERVIEWER: And which uniform did you like?

PAUL HAGAN: I liked the blue. I like all the Marine uniform that they wore. All of them.

INTERVIEWER: Did you have a favorite uniform?

PAUL HAGAN: Yes, sir.

INTERVIEWER: Tell me what that was.

PAUL HAGAN: That was the blue uniform. Blue. (TECHNICAL)

INTERVIEWER: Um, I want you to tell me a little bit about traveling to Montford Point. When you left, uh, where you left from and, and how you traveled up to Montford Point. (BACKGROUND NOISE)

PAUL HAGAN: I left from a place in Georgia called Roopville, Georgia. And, uh, they had given me meal ticket and they also had given me bus ticket to come to Jacksonville. That's the way I traveled, I traveled on the bus and, uh, back there, (STAMMERS) actually I was in the back of the bus because it was, uh, not integrated. So, that's the way I traveled, by bus. All the way to Jacksonville.

PAUL HAGAN: (CONTINUED) After I got to Jacksonville I was loaded on a truck they called six by. Trucks. And the trucks carried us on over to Montford Point Marine Corps base for the training.

INTERVIEWER: Okay, now, when you got on the base, what I want you to do now is tell me about your impression of the first two or three weeks when you got on the base. And anything you want to tell me about that experience, please tell me.

PAUL HAGAN: Well, when I got to the gate on the base, uh, they unload the truck and I went in to the guard house, and, uh, the people in there (STAMMERS) training was in there and they, uh, start asking us a lot of questions about where we come from and all that kind of talk. So I told them and, uh, one of the told, an instructor told me, said, go outside and come back and report to me.

PAUL HAGAN: (CONTINUED) I just went out there and come back, reported to him. And he hauled off and hit me, sent me back out there, say report to me again. Went out there and to come back again, (STAMMERS) one of the boots out there will come with me. He say, go in and tell the Private Paul Hagen reporting as instructed. So, I went back in and told him, I said, Private Paul Hagen reporting as instructed, sir.

PAUL HAGAN: (CONTINUED) And (STAMMERS) he told me just stand over there in the corner then. (STAMMERS) I got a little beating on out there first. That, that was the first when I come through there. And I saw a sign to the barracks over there and that's where we had civilian clothes. And so my shoe was torn up at the bottom and one of the DI give me a pair of shoes.

PAUL HAGAN: (CONTINUED) And the next day, I went to get the shoe and they were gone. DI (STAMMERS) told me for at least a week, every night he would send me out to look for his shoes out in the woods. And, uh, I go out, I couldn't find them, come back. I go out, I couldn't find them, come back. And so, finally, he stopped picking at me. And, uh, it was rough.

INTERVIEWER: And what about the kinds of training you got. Tell me a little bit about the kinds of training.

PAUL HAGAN: Oh, now, training, we had, I was trained real hard. Because we had what you called, dungarees on. Then, with a big pocket to put your poncho in when it was raining. And take it out. And they would fill that with sand and they would run us off in, into the pier, was a little pier there and they run us off and get sand all wet and then run us around and around the parade field.

PAUL HAGAN: (CONTINUED) And, uh, as for the infantry training, the only infantry training we had was hand to hand combat like that. Rest of the time we was drilling and thinking all the time. And that's the only training we had, (SOUNDS LIKE) come back, and all the rest of the time was, we were handling supplies and stuff.

INTERVIEWER: Um, now, you, tell me what year you went into the Corps again.

PAUL HAGAN: I went in Marine Corps in, uh, (STAMMERS) November, 1946.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. Uh, so the camp that you went into, it was still a strictly segregated camp with Black DIs. Would you tell me a little about that?

PAUL HAGAN: They was all Black and I mean they were rough on us. I don't know, I guess the White must have told them how to do it, but they were really rough on us. And they was all Black. (STAMMERS) Estimate in the 20,000 Black went through that base. And, uh, (STAMMERS) we just had a hard time. I mean, they was really rough on us. But, uh, I thank God that we made it through boot camp.

INTERVIEWER: Well, what do you remember about the spirit of the men that you went through boot camp in. I mean, (STAMMERS) how did you, how did they relate or how did they express themselves during (STAMMERS) , during the boot camp?

PAUL HAGAN: Well, in boot camp, being, like I said, it was hard on us. Any time our parent would send us boxes of food and stuff, they'd take it, open up, eat it right in front of us and wouldn't give us anything. And, uh, also (BACKGROUND NOISE) that they, they were so rough until, uh, I don't know, they, they was real rough on us. And I mean, as far as I'm concerned, they treat us like dogs. Because back in that day, they allowed to hit on you, kick you and everything. And that was happening right there in boot camp.

INTERVIEWER: Um, after you were able to get through boot camp and you got your liberties, um, tell us a little bit about going in to Jacksonville or Wilmington, some of the surrounding towns and what you would do on liberty.

PAUL HAGAN: Well, what we would do is we would have the buses out there that picks us up and carry us on liberty (CLEARS THROAT), all night. Because there were no White, the only White out there was the Officer of the Day. And he come down from the main side over there where we were and after we got on the bus to go on liberty, bus come back at 11:00. Went out there around 5:00.

PAUL HAGAN: (CONTINUED) And due to the fact when we got in town everything was White, Colored. Bathroom and everything. And you always had two MPs in town. One was Black and one was White. And they had a railroad tracks with a train go by. The Black was across the railroad track and the White, before you get to the railroad track. And they had a White and a Black MP so when the Black go down across the track, he sent a White MP right on down there with him.

PAUL HAGAN: (CONTINUED) And when we got back, we wasn't allowed to go down there where the White was. That's just how segregated it was. And the USO, all Black, we, that's where we had to go to the USO and, and a couple of clubs and, and maybe one barber there now. In, uh, so, that's the way we went on liberty.

INTERVIEWER: Now, tell me about the USO. Did you ever go to the USO up in Jacksonville?

PAUL HAGAN: We went on the USO during that time, they had a little USO there and we all Black and, and, uh, we, was small, so small that sometime we would have to sit on the outside. And, uh, across that track it was a dirt road. After we crossed the track it was a dirt road there. And, uh...

INTERVIEWER: Was it paved on the White side?

PAUL HAGAN: It was paved on the White side. (STAMMERS) Because (STAMMERS) before you get to the track they were paved and then after you get to the track it was a dirt road and, uh, so the White wouldn't come (STAMMERS) there. But the Black and we sure didn't go across there because we had MPs at all times to keep us segregated.

INTERVIEWER: And what did you do in the USO? What kind of activities were there?

PAUL HAGAN: Marines just played cards and uh, drunk sodas, and stuff like that. And uh...

INTERVIEWER: No, but tell me where you did that.

PAUL HAGAN: Huh?

INTERVIEWER: Tell me where you did played cards and drank sodas.

PAUL HAGAN: We play in the USO. But, wasn't no gambling there. (STAMMERS) We just played cards and stuff like that and didn't have no bands or nothing like that.

INTERVIEWER: Well, were there places, tell me if there were places that you could get a drink or if you could gamble in Jacksonville. In, in (STAMMERS) the Black area of Jacksonville.

PAUL HAGAN: Nowhere.

INTERVIEWER: Tell me that.

PAUL HAGAN: (OVERLAPPING) But we could, we could go the, like I said, they had two bars there when I was there. And, uh, one was called Ash and the other one called the Savoy. We could go there and drink beer and, uh, stuff like that. No alcohol like whiskey. But we go there and we have a good time and really enjoy ourself.

INTERVIEWER: Um, did you ever have any interaction with the White community at all in Jacksonville?

PAUL HAGAN: Never did.

INTERVIEWER: Would you please tell me that?

PAUL HAGAN: (STAMMERS) That's like I said, we was segregated so we never did mingle ourself together until, because (STAMMERS) Montford Point and they were (UNINTELLIGIBLE) that part. We weren't allowed to go over there and they weren't allowed to come over there where we were. We're still integrated. And (STAMMERS) we didn't have much contact with each other.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. Um, now tell me about what you did once you left Montford Point? (STAMMERS) What kind of unit were you assigned to and where was your first duty station?

PAUL HAGAN: I was first, (STAMMERS) (UNINTELLIGIBLE) leave Montford Point, we boarded a train on the railroad track at a place they called Dew Drop for, between Jacksonville and Camp Lejeune. And we loaded on a troop train, all Black and we went from there to California, all the way segregated, all the way through with all Black and, uh, when we got to California we (STAMMERS) a place called, Treasure Island.

PAUL HAGAN: (CONTINUED) And after Treasure Island, we got there, we aboard ship and after we board ship we went to Guam. We had duty station in Guam. They call it Eight Ammo Depot in Guam. And that's our first duty station right there for me.

INTERVIEWER: And what unit were you with at that time?

PAUL HAGAN: I was at Eight Ammo Depot. That was the name of it.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. And what kind of duty did you do there?

PAUL HAGAN: We handle ammunition. It was all we done was handle ammunition when we was on Guam. And we handle ammunition, I say there, I think about eight or nine months. Then I was transferred to Hawaii.

INTERVIEWER: And tell me a little bit about Hawaii.

PAUL HAGAN: We got to Hawaii, we, they (STAMMERS) outfit up there in Hawaii, (SOUNDS LIKE) Camp Keller they called it. The officers territory there. They had all the officers and, uh, they assigned their, we was still all Black, assigned the Black to be stewards in the officers clubs and (STAMMERS) steward and from colored you had, steward, had us working for them. And a Navy captain and above. And we worked for them also. That was our job there.

INTERVIEWER: So you didn't do any ammunition handling then?

PAUL HAGAN: No ammunition there but we done a lot of cooking.

INTERVIEWER: Okay.

PAUL HAGAN: And waiting on them, making up beds and stuff like that.

INTERVIEWER: And so (STAMMERS) you had been trained as an ammunition handler, hadn't you?

PAUL HAGAN: That's all we were trained. We had no infantry training at all. Just a little hand to hand combat.

INTERVIEWER: But you had no steward training either, had you?

PAUL HAGAN: Uh, we were, we were in place called the Steward Branch here. Over there, Steward Branch. Well that the one that was our, in the State here was Stewards, but we, I joined the stewards over there after I left the Eight Ammo depot. Well, that's when I joined the steward branch up there.

INTERVIEWER: Did you have any training as a steward?

PAUL HAGAN: Yes, a very little training. They just talked to us, that's all. 'Cause I didn't stay there but about I think approximately six months.

INTERVIEWER: Um, now, you were in Korea.

PAUL HAGAN: Yes, sir.

INTERVIEWER: I want you, you said that you had some of the first units that were integrated in Korea, is that correct?

PAUL HAGAN: Yes, sir, I...

INTERVIEWER: (OVERLAPPING) I want you to just tell me about how you got from Hawaii to Korea and how that process of integration occurred? Just tell me what you remember.

PAUL HAGAN: Well, I remember coming back from Hawaii to the United States.

INTERVIEWER: Tell me when?

PAUL HAGAN: Uh, that was in uh, '49, I think. Anyway, in '50, in '50, like I said, in '50 that's when we, um, over there training at Dew Drop. They go to Korea. And, uh, while we was on the ship there, we was on the ship for 62 days and the President of The United State, uh, passed that integration bill. Integrate all the branch of service in 1950. That's when we, we was going in, only thing we had when we getting ready to go into Inchon. On the ship I was on is handle ammunition only.

PAUL HAGAN: (CONTINUED) Handle ammunition and you just about before we went into there integration come. And what they done, they integrate everybody in the Armed Forces and we supposed to be learning, handling ammunition but when we landed, we would, so many to the infantry, so many to the, uh, different outfits and like that, that broke us up. And then they bring us all together and we had no experience or combat during that time.

INTERVIEWER: So when you went into Inchon you were immediately assigned to integrated units.

PAUL HAGAN: Yes sir.

INTERVIEWER: Various unit (STAMMERS) .

PAUL HAGAN: (OVERLAPPING) Different units, all of us.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. Now, where were you assigned when you went into Inchon?

PAUL HAGAN: When I was Inchon, I, after I landed there I was assigned to come back to service school. And, uh, after we was in the south at Inchon getting ready to go to battle, no.

INTERVIEWER: Now I want you to tell me about your experiences in Korea with this combat services unit.

PAUL HAGAN: Well, we split up and, uh, like I said, some of them over there cooks and bakers and everything was over there fighting during that time, too. And, uh, during that time, I was in this unit that was doing all the fighting and everything. And, uh, that's where I received my award after going to...

INTERVIEWER: (OVERLAPPING) Well, what was, what was your, what were you doing there. Were, what, what was your job there? Could you tell me about that?

PAUL HAGAN: My job then was handling ammunition and stuff like that. Carrying it to the front line, and stuff like that. During that time. But we all working in the front line during that time too.

INTERVIEWER: And where in Korea were you by then?

PAUL HAGAN: I went from Inchon to the Chosen Reservoir, all the way to the Chosen Reservoir, next the Yallow River. Where the 200,000 Chinese cross to come over to fight us.

INTERVIEWER: Were you all, (STAMMERS) all at the (STAMMERS), the (SOUNDS LIKE) island? If you would please is tell me about your experiences, particularly when you were near the Yallow and the Chinese came into the war. So, just tell me about that.

PAUL HAGAN: When they came in...

INTERVIEWER: Now tell me, not, not, they, tell me, when the Chinese came in, you know, after (WORD?) and so forth. Go on, (STAMMERS) don't say they. You see what I mean?

PAUL HAGAN: Right.

INTERVIEWER: Because the audience doesn't, won't know...

PAUL HAGAN: (OVERLAPPING) Okay.

INTERVIEWER: ...who they is.

PAUL HAGAN: Out of there, we aboard ship and they cross our, we aboard ship and we (WORD?) when they got there.

INTERVIEWER: And where did you go to?

PAUL HAGAN: We went back to the ocean and then...

INTERVIEWER: (OVERLAPPING) Now, (STAMMERS) tell me, tell me who you were (STAMMERS) moving away from.

PAUL HAGAN: We were moving away, (STAMMERS) well they called it, they called it, we don't call ourselves retreat, we were moving away from those Chinese. These was called vasulation but it's still a retreating. We don't call it retreating in the Marine Corps.

INTERVIEWER: Okay.

PAUL HAGAN: We say that we don't retreat and then we come back to Japan.

INTERVIEWER: Okay, so you moved out of Korea into Japan.

PAUL HAGAN: Yes, sir.

INTERVIEWER: Now, did you go back to Korea after that?

PAUL HAGAN: I did not have to go, although I did not go to Korea after that.

INTERVIEWER: All right, then (STAMMERS) let me stop you then. All right, let's talk a little bit more about your experiences when you went from Inchon all the way up to the Yallow. You were, your unit was obviously involved in a lot of combat.

PAUL HAGAN: (OVERLAPPING) Yes, sir.

INTERVIEWER: (STAMMERS) I want you to tell me what you remember about combat. I want you to give me some details about what you remember, okay? So just tell me what ever you want to remember. Whatever you want to say.

PAUL HAGAN: Well, one thing I remember is that when we was on our way up to the Chosen Reservoir, it was 35 below zero and, uh, our mans up there was just, (STAMMERS) feet was busting open in their shoes they were so frozen. And there was many mens up there that we lost vehicles up on the mountain, we lost a lot of troops up there and everything.

PAUL HAGAN: (CONTINUED) And due to the fact, like I told you, that we was not trained, no combat training so we just had to dig in and do the best we could. Because we did not take that training (BACKGROUND NOISE) before we was sent overseas.

INTERVIEWER: Um, did you make Black friends while you were in there?

PAUL HAGAN: Make what?

INTERVIEWER: Black friends. Did you become friendly...

PAUL HAGAN: (OVERLAPPING) Yes, sir, I met many. 'Cause we was integrated.

INTERVIEWER: And you met many...

PAUL HAGAN: We worked together, they were friend.

INTERVIEWER: And who did you work with?

PAUL HAGAN: I worked with so many different peoples. Marines and too, we all were friends over there. We, we were friends to each other over there because we know we had a job to do and we all done that job together.

INTERVIEWER: Okay, did, did you (STAMMERS) , what kind of things did you do in the combat area? Did you receive any commendations or medals or anything as a result of that?

PAUL HAGAN: Well, the medal I received when I was in there, I was awarded the Silver Star and I was awarded six Bronze Stars. Now, Silver Star is lieu of five Bronze Stars so (STAMMERS) it would add up to be six Bronze Star, or use the Silver Star with one Star. So I had six Bronze Star. And, uh, that was what I rated over there. But, there was a lot of confusion come back when I left there to go back to the State, about the ribbon that I wore.

INTERVIEWER: Well, you want to tell me about that?

PAUL HAGAN: Well, we had a battalion inspection and I was in the ranks and they, uh, had that battalion inspection. I was a sergeant then and the commanding officer of the battalion came up to me and checked my ribbons over (LAUGH) and he called the sergeant major and had him to take a number of every ribbon I had and what the meaning of those ribbons was. Because he feel that, that I did not rate those ribbons. And they turned them around, took my name, and sent it into headquarters, Washington, D. C. to see what ribbon I had in my record in Washington.

PAUL HAGAN: (CONTINUED) And they sent the letter back. They stated on that letter that I rated every ribbon and every star that I was wearing and also one that I rated that didn't have in my record. And, uh, that's when they dropped the case 'cause they wanted to get me busted, but I rated all the stars and ribbon that I was wearing during the battalion inspection.

INTERVIEWER: Why do you think they wanted to get you busted?

PAUL HAGAN: Because there was many, many men in the battalion and I was one of the most decorated man up there in the battalion and they got to me. They feel that in some way, that they might have had a final excuse to get me busted because they did not figure that I rated all the ribbons I had due to the fact that I had more ribbons on my chest than the commanding officer had on his.

INTERVIEWER: Well, so you think that was because you were...

PAUL HAGAN: (OVERLAPPING) I, I...

INTERVIEWER: ...African American?

PAUL HAGAN: I believe that's 'cause I'm African American. 'Cause he did not stop the other people. White. I believe in my heart, that's why they done it.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. Um, after that experience, now you're back in the states, right?

PAUL HAGAN: Right.

INTERVIEWER: What did you do then? I mean what kind of assignments did you have then?

PAUL HAGAN: I was in uh, TMO, that's transportation, Marine Corps base, I was in TMO when I was assigned there, being in charge of the Marine, the TMO.

INTERVIEWER: And TMO is?

PAUL HAGAN: Freight Traffic Management Office.

INTERVIEWER: And where, where were you stationed then?

PAUL HAGAN: Well, you mean when I left Lejeune?

INTERVIEWER: Yep, no, no, in the, in the (CLEARS THROAT) place of management office?

PAUL HAGAN: Oh, I was stationed over in industrial area they call it. Building 1011, that was the number of the building. In Traffic Management Office. In industrial area, that's where they had a lot of supplies and stuff.

INTERVIEWER: In what camp?

PAUL HAGAN: Camp Lejeune. The Main Side. Not, Hadnot.

INTERVIEWER: Okay, and how long did you serve in Camp Lejeune then?

PAUL HAGAN: Well, I stayed over there, we lasted about three years because I was backwards and forwards all the time. I went overseas six time.

INTERVIEWER: Where were you going overseas? Tell me about that.

PAUL HAGAN: All different places, Guam. Hawaii, Japan, Japan, Japan. And (STAMMERS) different places that was after I left during the war that I, all my time, was six times overseas. Around 11 years.

INTERVIEWER: And what were your experiences overseas like? Uh, did you think you encountered any racism from people overseas or were you pretty much treated like any other American Marine overseas?

PAUL HAGAN: I think overseas I was treated like any normal, uh, American over there, Marine. Because they allowed us to run the booms on the ships ourself. We run the booms on the ships and stuff like that. And they let us run it so I, I think that was a pretty good job that we were doing over there.

INTERVIEWER: What about, did you have any, uh, liberties overseas? Or any, any time to mingle with the people overseas?

PAUL HAGAN: We had good liberty overseas.

INTERVIEWER: And tell me how you were treated over there as a Marine.

PAUL HAGAN: I was treated real good.

INTERVIEWER: Did you see, tell me if you felt any discrepancy about being an African American as opposed to, while you were overseas.

PAUL HAGAN: (OVERLAPPING) Okay.

INTERVIEWER: Just tell me about what.

PAUL HAGAN: All right, now we was overseas, I say right here when we was overseas in, uh, Okinawa. They had the place over there they call B. C. Street, all White. We had a place they called, Four Corners. All Black. In other word, we had a different area that we mostly went in and White had a different area they went in. But they living was good and we was all treated right.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. So, what about how you were treated off base in the States? In the period of the 1950s, when you were back in, in the States. And on duty here, particularly in Camp Lejeune? Uh, the, the Marine Corps is integrated.

PAUL HAGAN: Right.

INTERVIEWER: But the society that you're in is not. Do you understand what I'm saying?

PAUL HAGAN: Right.

INTERVIEWER: Would you talk a little bit about that and what your experiences were, uh, say if you, If you had White friends on the base, what happened if you went off base?

PAUL HAGAN: Well...

INTERVIEWER: (OVERLAPPING) Or, or what kind of experiences did you encounter?

PAUL HAGAN: (STAMMERS) In the, in the '50s, after the, everything was integrated, we worked together most time, then. I mean, we caught the buses together, went on liberty together. And we come back together. And we slept side by side in the barracks and we ate in the mess hall. In other word, everything seemed to be a lot better than it was when I come through at the beginning.

INTERVIEWER: How about when you were on liberty? How did you civilians, the White civilian population, (STAMMERS) in the area treat you?

PAUL HAGAN: (STAMMERS) They treated me all right. They sure did.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. Um, did you go to Vietnam?

PAUL HAGAN: No, sir, I was pulled off (STAMMERS) didn't go to Vietnam because I was pulled off, I don't know, my line item was called and I was pulled off 'cause I had went to the Korean War and, um, a good job over there. And I don't know why they pull me off, but they pulled me off.

INTERVIEWER: And when did you retire from the Corps?

PAUL HAGAN: I retired from the Marine Corps the 30th of June, 1967.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. Now, will you tell me a little bit about what you did after you retired from the Corps?

PAUL HAGAN: After I retired from the Marine Corps I (STAMMERS) civil service, 20 years in it. 20 year Marine Corps, 20 year civil service. And then, me and my wife ran a family care home for 23 years. Keep...

INTERVIEWER: (OVERLAPPING) After you, after you retired from the service?

PAUL HAGAN: (OVERLAPPING) Yes, sit. We, uh, retire, I (STAMMERS) run a family care home for 23 year, keeping retarded people with license to operate it.

INTERVIEWER: And what did you do as a civil servant? Tell me about that.

PAUL HAGAN: Right back to TMO. I went back to the same outfit I used to work in and TMO and I become in charge of some (STAMMERS) civilian personnel working down in TMO.

INTERVIEWER: And at...

PAUL HAGAN: I work there for (STAMMERS) .

INTERVIEWER: At Camp Lejeune.

PAUL HAGAN: Camp Lejeune. Marine Corps Base. In the industrial area.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. Um, so you had a pretty long career after you got out of the Marine Corps?

PAUL HAGAN: Yes, sir.

INTERVIEWER: Um, how do you, how would you explain how the Marine Corps affected your life? I mean, what were, what were the most major effects (UNINTELLIGIBLE) ...

PAUL HAGAN: (OVERLAPPING) Well, I, I think, I think, I think the Marine Corps affect my life real good. Because if hadn't have stayed in the Marine Corps, I don't know where I'd be now. I'd probably be gone. But the Lord spared me to stay in the Marine Corps and I'm glad I did because now He using me as chosen vessel to help the sick and afflicted and the (STAMMERS) sick and shut in. That's what my job now is to visit sick and shut in, in nursing home and I do that every week.

INTERVIEWER: Well, what are your feelings now about having been a Montford Point Marine? How do you feel about that now?

PAUL HAGAN: I feel good. Like I said, I feel real good because if I hadn't been a Marine, ain't no telling what would have happened. And God fixed it for me to be one and I thank the Lord.

INTERVIEWER: Okay, well I want to thank you for the, thank you for the interview. Before you get up, you're going take that mic off of you.

PAUL HAGAN: All right, sir.


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