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This web site was supported by the Department of the Navy, Office of Naval Research, through a grant with South Carolina State University and developed by the University of North Carolina Wilmington, working in close cooperation with the Montford Point Marines Museum at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, N.C.

NATHANIEL RALPH HOSEA JR.

July 23rd, 2004


Master Gunnery Sergeant Nathaniel Ralph Hosea, from Coatesville, Pennsylvania, joined the Marine Corps in 1946 and served for twenty-nine years. After training at Montford Point, he played on several Marine sports teams. Hosea also served in Korea, as a radio operator. After the Korean War he had duty assignments in Japan and at several bases in the United States. He makes his retirement home in Garden Grove, California.


INTERVIEWER: Sir, can you state your full name, uh, and, and spell it for us, and today's date?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: My name is Nathaniel Ralph Hosea Junior. Last name is spelled H-O-S-E-A.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. Today's date?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: Today's date is July 23, 2004.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. Tell, tell me a little bit about your background before joining the Marine Corps.

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: Well, I lived in, uh, Coatesville, Pennsylvania, very active in the boy scouts. In fact, I was one of the first eagle scouts in that Chester county area. And, uh, was in high school and I played sports, track, football, and, uh, that was about it.

INTERVIEWER: Can, can you tell us a little bit about your family?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: Yeah. I had, uh, two sisters, mother and father. My father, he was always away working, and, uh, my mother was, uh, the main one around the house. And my two sisters are older than I am. But, uh, we survived.

INTERVIEWER: What about your education?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: I went through high school. When I got into the Marine Corps, it was toward the time for me to retire. I took tuition assistance and I, uh, got a Bachelor Of Science in Business Administration from Pepperdine University. After retiring, uh, being a single parent, I had a baby on my hands. So I found out they had a Master's course at USC. So, I signed up for that, and I got a Master's in Systems Management from, uh, University Of Southern California.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. Why did you join the Marine Corps?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: Well, they had a high school, and the first, well, the summer before I graduated, I was in Atlantic City working as a bellhop. Allowed to do that. Then when I graduated, the only thing around that time was, uh, to work in the steel mill, and to, uh, work on the railroad. Um, I wasn't built for that, and didn't want it. So, I put up my age, got a draft card, I went to a place called Pottstown, Pennsylvania, and was living with my sister there. My number came up and I asked for immediate induction. They gave me a one way ticket. I went to Philadelphia, and that's it.

INTERVIEWER: Well, but why did you chose the Marines?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: I didn't. I wanted to go to the Navy. Uh, my, uh, brother in law had gone to the Navy previously. And then I went down and I took the EDDY test. Which is electronics test to go to, uh, electronics in the Navy. Well, little did I know that, uh, once they got me in there, all, I was going to steward duty. But I went down and, uh, was with the Army, you know, everybody is there in, in this one, large group. So I, they said, uh, where do you like to go? I say, I wanna go to the Navy. So I went over to the side with several other people.

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: (CONTINUED) Then, while we were standing there, a Marine sergeant came in and said he needed three volunteers. And, uh, the sailor just said, take one. And, uh, he, uh, pointed out you, you, and you. And I said... (LAUGH)

INTERVIEWER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) come into the Marine Corps. Well, how about, uh, now, you, you, all of this took place in what city, where? (UNINTELLIGIBLE) went down for induction?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: I went down for induction in Philadelphia.

INTERVIEWER: (OVERLAPPING) Okay, okay. Tell me about, uh, your perceptions of what North Carolina and the trip down, and, uh, what was it like?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: Oh, well, the trip down wasn't that bad, but see, I came from Coatesville down there, and, uh, they had to put me up overnight. And they had a YMCA on 16th and Market. And they also had one, a, a Black YMCA down at 16th and Christian. Well, they, um, juggled me between those two places to try to find me a place to, uh, sleep. The man at 16th and Christian knew what they were doing, so he sent me back, and the guy said, I still don't have a room for you. So, I went down, I came back up there. Then the man at 16th and, uh, Market, the White, uh, YMCA, waited until everybody was asleep.

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: (CONTINUED) He gave me a bunk right inside the door, and he woke me up early in the morning. So, uh, when he woke me up, I cleaned up and everything. Got my dime, and went on down to, uh, Fourth and Chestnut, which is the customs house.

INTERVIEWER: All this was in what town?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: This was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

INTERVIEWER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: And so, I went to the customs house, and that's where I met a man named, another guy named Ira Griffin, James Archie Robinson. They were all from Philadelphia, and it was, the coincidence is that Griffin, uh, lived on Master Street right off of Ridge, and on the summers, I used to go down to, uh, Master Street (LAUGH) to visit my cousin, and we're right down there. And, uh, we just happened to click like that. We went together down to, uh, camp, not Camp Lejeune. Uh, went to the train station. We got on a cattle car, sort of.

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: (CONTINUED) We went straight through down to DC and we picked up, uh, some other people there. And, uh, this was on, like, a freight train, you know, with just open, just like a cattle car. And, uh, benches along the side. And we gambled and had fun all the way down. There were several White Marines on the place, too, I mean, well, they were gonna be Marines. And we got to Warsaw, North Carolina. And, uh, they stopped us there, took us off, and we got the green cattle cars, and they took us on into Montford Point.

INTERVIEWER: And then when you got to Jacksonville and Montford Point, what were your perceptions of the camp, the city?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: Uh, it was at night. I mean, very late at night, so I didn't see anything of the city. In fact, uh, we went on to camp, and, uh, Griffin turned in the orders, and that's our first taste of the Marine Corps.

INTERVIEWER: Did you, did you encounter any, any racism, uh, before you got to camp, or when you got there?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: None.

INTERVIEWER: What, what, what was, uh, your off camp experiences like? Your liberty, when you, while you were there?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: I went to Jacksonville twice, and, uh, I didn't have any, no bad time, or anything, because I didn't drink, and, uh, all would do was to see on the other side of the tracks.

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: (CONTINUED) ...um, to one bar with Griffin. And I came back because, uh, I didn't have that much money to spend, anyway.

INTERVIEWER: Did, did you experience acceptance or rejection (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Whites, uh, throughout the town?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: Well, basically, we got rejection. It was the same. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) go to the bus station, you know, and that was it. They would load the White guys up before they loaded, uh, the Black. There were two lines, you know, and they would load from the Whites. And when they finished with them, then they'd load us in.

INTERVIEWER: And, and when you were out in town, did you...

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: (OVERLAPPING) I didn't go out in town. I stayed on the base.

INTERVIEWER: Um, the USO, did you, you never...

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: No.

INTERVIEWER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) USO?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: No.

INTERVIEWER: There were some accounts of, uh, in previous interviews, of folks going to Kinston, and taking the bus, and, and, uh, places, Wilmington, to get away from Jacksonville. Do you wanna comment on that?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: I, I went to Wilmington several times, and I went to Kingston, just to see what was up there. And, uh, that was it. I didn't like it that well. And, um, looked like every two weeks I was going to DC or going back to Pennsylvania.

INTERVIEWER: I see. What do you think is the historical significance of the Montford Point Marines? Of your having been in the Montford Point Marines, and all of this that, that happened there during that period between '42 and when the camp closed?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: Well, uh, it was a heck of an experience. It, it pulled the best out of you. It, uh, it, you'd be doing your best, and you got slapped in the face, and all you could do is do your best. And continue.

INTERVIEWER: You, you say that, uh, you didn't go off base very much, but you had free time, just like the individuals that did. What did you do during your (UNINTELLIGIBLE) ?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: (OVERLAPPING) Oh, I'm an athlete. I, track, football, and I box.

INTERVIEWER: Can you talk about some of those experiences that, that you, for example, when they had the boxing matches, and where, where they were held, and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) .

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: (OVERLAPPING) Well, oh, I was at the, I was at the gym most of the time, just boxing, because there was (WORD?) Thomas there and his Roscoe Tolls, and they had worked with, uh, uh, Joe Louis. And, uh, it was, uh, just nice to be there in the same gym with those guys. Uh, they'd see you doing something wrong, check you. And so, you know, I didn't have any matches or anything down there. But, uh, I was on the track team, and I had, uh, run in the Penn relays that, uh, in 1945 as high school. And then I came into the Marine Corps. I ran into some pretty fast guys there. And I was on the quarter mile relay there. And, uh, I was on a team that got second place also.

INTERVIEWER: Who did the Montford Point Marine, was there a team at, at Montford Point? A track team?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: Yes, there was.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. Who did you compete against?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: Well, let me see. Uh, Black colleges.

INTERVIEWER: What, what kind of a record would you say that the Montford Point Marines had against these, these other schools?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: Very low. It was just the fact that we were competing.

INTERVIEWER: Okay.

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: We played football against them, also. And we had a low record, uh, against them. But it was competition. I, uh, was about 135 pounds, (LAUGH) and I guess they just carried me on there. But I could throw and run. And, uh, I would get about three minutes in a game, (LAUGH) but I worked out with them all the time, you know? And I was carried along on the roster. I have my, still have my football from the Montford Point Panthers. Well, a little piece of jewelry. In fact, I was there in, uh, uh, at, uh, Johnson C Smith College.

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: (CONTINUED) And, uh, we were sitting on a bench, and the guy says, hey, man, there's a lieutenant back there. And so, uh, oh, man, lieutenants all over the place. The guy said, yeah? (LAUGH) And, but he's one of them, one of us. I turned around, there was Fred Branch, you know? That's the first time I saw him. And everything stopped the game right there, you know?

INTERVIEWER: So you never competed against any, any of the White colleges?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: No, no, no. (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

INTERVIEWER: (OVERLAPPING) (UNINTELLIGIBLE) And did you have, uh, the schedule that, can you talk about some of the other schools that you competed against, if, if you, do you remember?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: I don't remember them, but I know we went to Atlanta, we played all around and everything.

INTERVIEWER: And, and how long was this, uh, this team, uh, in existence? Was it, I mean, had, had it been there before you (UNINTELLIGIBLE) ?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: (OVERLAPPING) It had been there before I got there, and, uh, they just let me come on out and suit up.

INTERVIEWER: Any other kind of athletic events that you can remember, uh, while you were there that you could talk about?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: No, that's it.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. Uh, did you, uh, ever, uh, get deployed overseas?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: Oh yes. I had a, well, I was also there, and, uh, my job was in the library for a while, and that's why I got a chance to go to all the sports, and do anything I wanted to. Then they pulled me out of there and put me in a AAA outfit. And before I even got...

INTERVIEWER: AAA?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: Yeah, 40 millimeters (UNINTELLIGIBLE) . And, uh, before I got into that, uh, good, didn't even get to clean the weapons or fire them, well, in February of '46, Marine Corps decided to let, uh, 99 of us reenlist in the regulars. And they offered us, uh, two months' leave and all that, travel pay, and all that. So I went down and signed up. And I did my, went home for 60 days, we came back, and, uh, was offered communications school. Well, I couldn't handle that, uh, that INT that they were sending me for radio, and so I elected to go to telephone school.

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: (CONTINUED) I went to, uh, field telephone school, and I was first in that class. And another guy named Roy Hayes was second in that class. And in September of '46, they gave us orders to go to Camp Delmar, California. So we came out here, out to, uh, the west coast. Delmar is a little camp right across the way from Camp Pendleton. Uh, when we got there, they discovered that we didn't have, um, enough time to do, after we completed this course, to, uh, benefit the Marine Corps. So they said, well, you can go back or you can extend. Well, Hayes didn't like the Marine Corps that well at that time.

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: (CONTINUED) So he went back. I extended and stayed there for the 36 weeks, finished the school, and, um, got promoted. And then, um, they made me PFC, which I should have been in February anyway. But then, uh, I got corporal, made sergeant, and I stayed there 39 months. They kept me there. And when I finished school, they assigned me to a staff sergeant by the name of McLauren. (SP?) And McLauren was from Laurenberg, North Carolina. (SP?) Now, that guy, he took care of me like a father. (LAUGH) And he, uh, did everything for me. If any rank was coming, I was in line for it.

INTERVIEWER: (OVERLAPPING) Was he, was he African American?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: No. No.

INTERVIEWER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: (OVERLAPPING) These were all White. It was, in fact, they had a thing called a morning report out there. Uh, morning report, or muster roll. And at the bottom of it, it had, uh, uh, say, 1,200 Marines, 10 officers, and two colored. And it was, uh, (LAUGH) that was Roy Hayes and myself. That's the way...

INTERVIEWER: (OVERLAPPING) (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: ...they categorized us.

INTERVIEWER: (OVERLAPPING) You were the only two African Americans in the whole school.

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: In, in that battalion.

INTERVIEWER: And, and you came, both you and, tell me about you and, uh, uh, Marine Hayes, you were the first, top two in the class?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: Top two in the, in that class, yes.

INTERVIEWER: (OVERLAPPING) (UNINTELLIGIBLE) everybody else was, uh, White, and you, you were the only two Blacks.

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: (OVERLAPPING) Oh, no, that was, uh, no, this was Blacks that went to this telephone school, and we were the top two in the Black class.

INTERVIEWER: (OVERLAPPING) (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: Then we were sent out to California, to this, uh, Signal Schools Battalion. And, uh, later on, they sent, um, a young man name of James Miller Baxter out there. And, uh, Baxter, he was, yes, he was Black, he was from East Orange, New Jersey. And, uh, he was an instructor there in, um, at the radar school. There also was another time they sent about 30 Black Marines through there, and they stayed for a few weeks, going to radio school. And they continued on to Guam. And, um, so, I was, like, Baxter and I were permanent personnel in that area for a long time. And, uh, both of us were, uh, fighters and, uh, we had very few incidents.

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: (CONTINUED) And, uh, when I, uh, after the thirty ninth month or so, I asked to go to Great Lakes at the time. And I was transferred to Great Lakes, and I went up there for electronics school, and I stayed up there on the, the Great Lakes boxing team for about 11 months. (LAUGH) Then I went on through electronics school. And, uh, came on back to the Marine Corps. (TECHNICAL)

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: (CONTINUED) And, uh, 1950, I was in school, so I couldn't go to Korea, the start of it. In '51, I was sent back to, uh, San Diego. I completed my, um, electronics training as a radio technician. Was transferred to Camp Pendleton, and that's where it started getting a little hairy. Uh, they sent the 1st Signal Operations Company, and I was, uh, the only technician, it seemed, that was available. And every time they sent in somebody like the first one, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) battalion, first four point five rocket battalion. And they were working out on San Clemente, I went out with the forward echelon message center, as a technician with that group.

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: (CONTINUED) We'd stay out for a period of two weeks. You come in for a weekend or whenever they're ready to take you back out, it'll never be in, no more than three to four days, and go back for another two week period. Well, in, uh, '52, they came out with, uh, some concept, and they were putting a K in front of your serial number. And they said there's only gonna be two kind of Marines, those going to Korea, those coming back. So, uh, I did the best I could to volunteer for it, and I managed to make it in the twentieth replacement draft. So I went to, uh, was sent to Korea, and I went to, uh, another Signal Operations Company that was, uh, maintaining the transmitters that were working out of country.

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: (CONTINUED) And I was working on some transmitters that I'd only seen the schematic of. And so, uh, some of the White NCOs that had, staff NCOs that had come through, uh, Delmar during the time that I was there, and knew me when I was out on the pole line construction, uh, out there in the cable splicing area, uh, they knew that, well, they wanted me. They pulled me out to a shore party, and I was down there about two months. I made a landing, uh, well, this is all practice landings (UNINTELLIGIBLE) then in '52.

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: (CONTINUED) So, uh, they, um, used me down there, and the next thing I know, I got a set of orders and I went to the East Coast Island Defense Element. That was way above the thirty ninth parallel. And, uh, soon as I got there, it seemed my warrant was there. I made master sergeant. And, uh, um, I was the only Black up there in the, in that area, and it was 22 Marines on the island. We had seven islands in that harbor, and four of them had Marine, uh, naval gunfire spotters on them. Uh, we had, uh, the colonel there was very good, Colonel Barnger. (SP?)

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: (CONTINUED) Uh, this, uh, Marguerite Higgins, she's, uh, dead now, she was from Life magazine. She came up and interviewed us, and went on one of our runs at night. And, um, it was pretty eventful. I was only supposed to be their TAD for four months, but it ended up nine months up there, and I had some horrible experiences there, too. But, uh, uh, when I came back, I came through, uh...

INTERVIEWER: (OVERLAPPING) What, what kind of experiences, can you talk to us about those?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: Well, there was a, well, this colonel's dead now, but, uh, he and I didn't get along. He, uh, he asked me how old I, um, how, asked me how old I was. And I told him 24. And he said, I think you're too young to be a master sergeant. Well, I really, I had a smart mouth. (LAUGH) And I told him, I said, they didn't have a, a blank for age on the test I took. And he straightened me out, he got me. And then, um, another time, I was down on the air, they put an airstrip, an emergency airstrip there to rescue those Corsairs, you know? They'd get shot up or something and come in and land. Uh, on the, this emergency strip there.

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: (CONTINUED) Uh, uh, and the helicopter, uh, was there, it used to bring our, uh, mail in from the ship. Well, and they'd also pick up the floating bodies out there in, in the, in the water. So, they would drop a smudge pot on them, you know, and we'd have to go out and pick them up. Well, the helicopter took a round through its radio, you know, and all it is was to slip one out of the Corsair, slip it in the other. R27s, you know, they tune themselves. So, uh, uh, I was down there doing that, and the colonel walked up to me and says, what are you doing?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: (CONTINUED) I said, I'm switching radios, you know, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) . He said, your allegiance is to the Marines on the hill. (LAUGH) And I turned around, smart mouth, and said, I thought there was a war going on? So, uh, I got another reaming. But, um, the Navy kind of gave us the devil. They heard about it, and they refused to, uh, uh, send us food in. Uh, you know, I used to go out and pick up the mail, go on on a (WORD?) boat and pick up the supplies and all that other stuff. They said, you're gonna send an officer out here now. And so, they kept that going for a while.

INTERVIEWER: How many, how many Blacks were in your unit?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: In that unit?

INTERVIEWER: Yeah.

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: One.

INTERVIEWER: Just, just you?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: Just me.

INTERVIEWER: Did, uh, do you think that, uh, a lot of the problems you were having were racial? I mean, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) .

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: (OVERLAPPING) I think it was, I, I'm sure it was. But, um, I kind of egged it along. I wasn't, I didn't take any, any crap. The thing was is that when I was, uh, back here in Delmar, we'd sit around with all them staff NCOs, you know, that's come back from, uh, World War II and everything. And, uh, it came to me that one of the greatest things I could do to become a, was to become a corporal in the Marine Corps. As soon as I got that, I was one cocky son of a gun. So, when I went on and made staff, you know, got to be master sergeant, well, it was my world. So I would not take anything. And that's the way it was.

INTERVIEWER: So, how long, how long (UNINTELLIGIBLE) , how long do you stay in the Marine Corps?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: I stayed in the Marine Corps 29 years and six months.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. All right. Can you talk a little bit about, uh, your experience, uh, maybe after those early years? You, you've taken us up to Korea, I think. So, what, what was, just briefly, what was the rest of your career like?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: Oh, well, I came back, they sent me to Third Marine Aircraft Wing in Miami, and, uh, my outfit went down to Puerto Rico. I stayed there, uh, six months, and I said I'd, well, I went back to Korea then. I went back to the fifth Marines. And I stayed there, um, well, it was 12 months. And, uh, we rotated back to the States as, when the division came out. That was in, uh, in, um, Pendleton. And I stayed there five months, and went to Hawaii. And, uh, when I got to Hawaii, I stayed there about five or six months, and I came back out to Japan.

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: (CONTINUED) And, uh, joined the Third Marine Division in there. And, uh, as I was in, I was still a, I'm a radio technician, now. We had a shop, and it had about five master sergeants in it. Okay? So at that time, uh, there was one major there, the comm officer, and he asked me, uh, would I go up to, he knew me from Delmar. And he asked me, would I go to Second Battalion, Third Marines, and be his comm chief temporarily? Well, I stayed there 29 months as a comm chief in, uh, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) .

INTERVIEWER: Okay. Okay, we've got just a few minutes left, but if you can paint a picture, uh, a word picture, you know, of what, uh, a typical day in the life of a Montford Point Marine, when you, when you first went there, what was it like? Just a, a typical day in the life of a Montford Point Marine.

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: I didn't have a hard time. In fact, I think it was, it's what kind of shaped me up for what I have become. I got a rough time, I got pushed around, I was small enough to be pushed around at that time. Uh, but I don't mind it.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. How would you, how would you compare your life in the, in the all Black environment in Montford Point, and then when you suddenly left there and got thrust in to the other that you described earlier? How, what was the difference?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: It was great. It was just like, uh, (LAUGH) coming up for air.

INTERVIEWER: What, leaving Montford Point?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: Yes. It was.

INTERVIEWER: (OVERLAPPING) So life was better.

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: It was a lot better. In fact, uh, when I left Montford Point, and, uh, to the end of my career, I was never in an organization with as many as, with more than five Blacks in it.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. And you enjoyed your, your Marine Corps career.

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: I enjoyed it.

INTERVIEWER: Do you think it, uh, it helped you, I mean, after you got out of the military, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) do you think the kind of things that you learned and experienced...

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: (OVERLAPPING) Yes.

INTERVIEWER: ...benefited you and your family?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: Yes, it did. In fact, uh, I, when I graduated from, uh, Pepperdine, I still was babysitting, (LAUGH) taking care of my son. When I got out of, uh, USC, they come knocking on the door, and everything. But the jobs that I got I could have done when I got out of the Marine Corps. Because they had trained me that way. (TECHNICAL)

INTERVIEWER: Is, is there any, is there anything else you'd like to tell us, sir? (TECHNICAL)

INTERVIEWER: (CONTINUED) Is there anything else you, um, sir, would just like to tell us, uh, about, uh, with respect to, uh, your experiences, uh, as a Montford Point Marine, uh, anything that you might like to, us to know.

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: Oh, just that, um, mine was like a one of a kind existence. I don't think that too many guys had it as easy as did, coming through the Marine Corps.

INTERVIEWER: Why do you say you had it easy?

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: Well, it didn't seem hard at all. I didn't, it was no struggle, you know? I had put a lot of time out on Okinawa, and had units, I worked with infantry units, I worked with artillery. I was at Parris Island. I was a Comm Chief there for about three weeks, and Castro acted up, and they sent me the nuclear weapons in Sandia base. And I stayed there for, I mean, stayed in nuke weapons for four years. And that way, you get to travel around, and, uh, I was the only Black, the senior man on that, on that, uh, team, and we traveled around boot storage inspections and things like that.

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: (CONTINUED) You go to a lot of places (UNINTELLIGIBLE) . The, sometimes, you'd go to a place, and you walk up with an other White sergeant. And he's got hash marks up the yin yang there. And yet, I come up and I hand the guy the orders, a corporal (UNINTELLIGIBLE) look at him, you know. And, uh, try to give the VIP room where the good, to this other guy. I told him, I said, don't the VI, uh, don't the senior man get that key? Guy said, yeah. Oh, I'm sorry. You know. Because I had, uh, a lot of, uh, time in grade, but I didn't have time in service.

NATHANIEL HOSEA JR.: (CONTINUED) In fact, that was what beat me out on the E9 board when they first made the E9s. I had it, but didn't get it. I was also up for the, the warrant. I was stationed at Quantico at the time, when James E Johnson got it, you know. But, uh, I don't mind. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) They probably got the best man anyway.


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