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HERMAN NATHANIEL

July 23rd, 2004


a thumbnail image of Herman Nathaniel Herman NathanielHerman Nathaniel, from Sumter, South Carolina, joined the Marines after finishing high school and served with the 52nd Defense Battalion in the Marshall Islands and Guam during World War II. After the war he worked for the General Dynamics Corporation, first building submarines, then in a California airplane factory installing radar equipment. He later worked in the nuclear power industry. He resides in Norwalk, California.


INTERVIEWER: Sir, would you state your full name.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: Herman Alan Nathaniel.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. Today's date.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: Today's date is, uh... (TECHNICAL)

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) ...July (STAMMERS) July 23rd, 2004.

INTERVIEWER: Thank you, sir. (TECHNICAL)

INTERVIEWER: (CONTINUED) Could you spell your last name for us.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: N-A-T-H-A-N-I-E-L.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. (TECHNICAL)

INTERVIEWER: (CONTINUED) Sir, can you tell us, uh, a little bit about your background before you joined the Marines.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: Before I joined the Marines I was, uh, I lived in Sumter, South Carolina. I was born in Sumter, South Carolina. Went to Lincoln High School. Graduated from Lincoln High School. And went a little while at Morris College, which is also in Sumter. And also, a short stint at South Carolina State. And afterwards I took a welding course and, and went to take a job in Chester, Pennsylvania at Sun Ship Building in Chester, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) From Philadelphia I received my, uh, notice to come in, to go into the Marine Corps. I forget what you call it now. They had a name for it then. Uh, (STAMMERS) I want you, or something like that. Well, I drafted, of course. But I, I was thinking of what they, Uncle Sam noticing you, particularly, I don't know the name of it. Anyway. So, I went down to Columbia and, uh, and they took me in.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) And, uh, they asked me which branch of service I wanted to go into. And, uh, the truth of the matter, I wanted, I, I wanted to go into the army. But everybody was for the army was getting the navy. And I didn't want the navy. So, I asked for Marine Corps and they said, you got it. And, actually, this is new. So, I was happy that I went into, to the Marines. Because I knew they didn't have any Blacks in there at that time.

INTERVIEWER: Can you tell me a little bit about the day, if you can, (BACKGROUND NOISE) if you can remember it. The day that you actually left home and, and got on the train or the bus, or whatever it was. Little bit about the trip down to, uh, the trip to Camp Lejeune. But just paint a picture for us of that day, if you can.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (OVERLAPPING) Well, (LAUGH) what happened was, as much, as best I can recall, when I got to, uh, Columbia, I had, I told, uh, recruiting people that, or draft people that my company said they were going to try to get a deferment for me. So, they didn't do it. So, I asked her why, and she said, well, we just couldn't do it. But I will tell you, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I put you in charge of the people going to Camp Lejeune. (LAUGH) So, that's what happened.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) And then, uh, I don't recall very much about the trip. It was, it wasn't anything special about it. It was just a bus trip to, that went to Camp Lejeune. And, uh, when I got there, I was not the first, you know, of the Blacks to go. And I was, I was later on. So, they'd already had all the arrangements made. One thing I do recall, once we got to, to the, uh, camp and talked with the, at that time we had some sergeants (STAMMERS) , I mean, and they would welcome us in.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) The guy, I, I went in smiling. And the first thing he says, he says, wipe the smile off your face. I said, what are you talking about? He said, so, I quit smiling. He said, I didn't say quit smiling. I said wipe the smile off your face. So, I had to put it, he said, now put it back on. So, (LAUGH) put it back on. I had to literally wipe the smile off my face like that. And that was an experience. So, I, then I knew that the Marine Corps was something different.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) I had never, you know, being just out of high school, I, I really didn't have any idea what was going on. But that was one thing that happened. The trip itself was, wasn't anything of any that you would remember. Just when we got there that was the one thing that stood out.

INTERVIEWER: When you joined, were you aware that the Marine Corps, uh, had never admitted, uh, African Americans. And, if so, how did that affect you?

HERMAN NATHANIEL: Truthfully, I didn't know at the time. Being from a small town of Sumter, we didn't, I didn't think about it. Because I knew that the army and the navy had, had, uh, African Americans in them. So, it never occurred to me (LAUGH) that the Marine Corps didn't have them too. And I, honestly, I just didn't know. You know, being from the, from the South, we didn't, we weren't as much up on things as you would think. And anybody who's lived there would know that, that you just, you just didn't know. It wasn't told to you. So, I, honestly, I just didn't know.

INTERVIEWER: Would, can you paint a picture of a typical day in the life, uh, at, at Montford Point? Now, I know during the day you, you went to the rifle range. You did the whole course. And you ran the hill trails and all that. But how, how was life outside of that on the, on the, at Montford Point? I mean, in the evenings, liberty maybe.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: Okay. Well, of course, during boot camp, you know, we ran every place we had to go. And we went, you know that. We ran off duty. We ran everywhere. Liberty, uh, once we got liberty, I didn't go into Jacksonville too much. That's where, uh, you know, Montford Point camp was. I went there couple of times and I remember distinctly one little place we would go. I don't know the name of it. But if I described it, it was a small kind of a shack.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) And bending down. We had to almost bend, we were tall. Had to almost bend down to get through the door. And it was a beer joint more or less. A beer place. And, and I, I went back, I don't know the name of it. I can't recall the name of it. But it was very small. More like a shack. And it was off the beaten track. And it was kind of like, uh, hidden away place we learned about, I don't remember. But we would go there and then have beer.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) And, and a few other things, you know. But, I mean, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) beer. But, uh, there was one lady who worked there that, that, that was there for, seemed like, ages. In fact, when I was back in 1992, can't think of her name, Bertha or somebody, she was still there. She had, uh, she did, she had opened the place and I guess was still running. (LAUGH) She was pretty old. But she was still running it.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) Now, we didn't end, like I said, I didn't go to Jacksonville too much. We, we went to, uh, we used to go to Raleigh. Raleigh was pretty good, because that's where, where, what's the, what's the college there? (STAMMERS) St. Augustine's, St. Augustine. We'd go up there and, uh, and we'd date the girls on the campus. That was nice. And, uh, there was one incident. One thing happened. I think this happened in Wilmington. I am not sure where it was.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) There was, uh, a juke joint. What, what we called a juke joint was a kind of a shack where a few, had a few tables in there and a jukebox. And you danced. You'd go in there and you maybe get a beer. And you sit down and dance. And you put a nickel in the jukebox. Well, me and my, my, my friend, we were kind of, the Marine Corps taught us that we were pretty bad, you know. So, somebody was playing a song, and my buddy didn't like it.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) So, I (STAMMERS) , I went over and cut it off. So, the guy that played it, why you cut that off for? I said, my friend don't like it so we cut it off. Like we were looking for trouble. That, that was once incident where nothing happened, but it could've happened. And, uh, that was, that was, that was one incident. And then, well, you, you want to stick with Camp Le (STAMMERS) , that's at Camp Lejeune. I mean, Montford Point.

INTERVIEWER: Just go ahead and talk shop.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: Okay. And when we went to getting ready to ship overseas, I'm going to (STAMMERS) skip ahead for a minute, we were at Camp Pendleton. Camp Pendleton was pretty much away from Los Angeles at that time, is not too far now. (LAUGH) It built up. But we were at the USO. And we'd go to a place called The Plantation Club, where they had the big bands playing. One time we were at the USO and somebody from Hollywood, well, Vinny Carter, the musician, came by.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) Or, no. Somebody came by and said there will be a party at Vinny Carter's house. And where is it? Is, is in Beverly Hills. That's a long ways, but we didn't know. So, with me and a couple other guys, no, one other guy, went up to this, this, got in the car and went up there. And they took us up to Beverly Hills. (STAMMERS) There told us that Lena Horne was going to be there and a few other stars. And these are big time movie stars.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) So, hey, this is it, you know. So, but anyway, when we got up there, the only thing we heard was a bunch of musicians just playing music, you know. And we looked we didn't see no women. So, the guy says, this looks kind of funny. So, (LAUGH) so, we took off. I will never forget. We had one heck of a time finding our way back down to the USO. But we didn't want to go in because it was no women there. So, we just thought it was something kind of funny.

INTERVIEWER: Uh, what are your, uh, what do you remember, though, most about, uh, your experiences off base?

HERMAN NATHANIEL: Well, I was, well, I was born in the South. So, I didn't have a problem with the segregation part of it. So, uh, I don't have any specific thing. Because when I was off base, we were out to just, uh, just to have fun. And we knew where to go having, you know, we didn't have a problem. Because we were brought up in the South. At least I didn't have a problem. Being brought up in the South I knew where to go. And it didn't bother me that much the fact the it was segregated.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) You know, I can imagine people from other places that might have a problem with it. But it wasn't a problem then, because I had lived all my life from a (STAMMERS) , in a segregated society. So, the main thing I wanted when I got off base was to have fun. And I knew where to go to have fun. (LAUGH) That's about it.

INTERVIEWER: When, when you left Montford Point, did you go overseas?

HERMAN NATHANIEL: Yes. We went overseas.

INTERVIEWER: (OVERLAPPING) Talk about that.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: Well, we, we took a train across country. Uh, and that's when we ended up at Camp Pendleton. And we, we stayed at Camp Pendleton for, oh, I guess maybe six weeks or so. I don't remember how long. Some additional training. And that's during the period where I just mentioned to you about the incident at the USO. We'd go in the USO Club. And, uh, the, the trip across country wasn't, wasn't, uh, there was no incidents on that.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) Some guys would do things like shoot out of the window. See something that they figured they could hit. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Wanted to shoot off the train, which is kind of stupid. But that's what the young people do sometime, you know. So, but it there was no, nothing incidental. I, I mean, there was no incident involved with going cross-country on the train. Now, at Pendleton, I told you, we just stayed there about six weeks.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) It was all tents. And, and it was still in pretty much of an open camp. It was just being, just being built. Just completed. So, it was pretty rough territory. But that's what they, they wanted in order to get us trained in conditions that are other than normal. And, uh, after that we boarded the ship, the USS Wing Nara, that's what the name of the ship was, I remember that. We went to Honolulu. And we stayed there for a little while.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) We got off. And I will never forget. This is something. I went to a dance hall. It was called Taxi Dance. And you paid 10 cents to dance with a girl. (LAUGH) You'd give them a dime and you go out there and then, and, and, and, and dance for a little while with her, you know. And that's all we did when we were in Honolulu. We didn't stay there very long. But the most significant thing on our way to the Marshall Island was, the fact that we left Hawaii.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) And, uh, and it seems as if overnight, or maybe two days out, but one morning we woke up, you know. Overnight we were in the middle of an armada of ships. I had never seen so many ships in all my life. Right in there. We had had left alone. But we (STAMMERS) we had joined the fleet someplace in the Pacific. Just before we took off and went to the Marshall Islands. And they had split us. They split us up to (STAMMERS) , 52nd Defense Battalion.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) That's where I was with them. Maybe I am getting a little bit ahead of myself. But, uh, they split us up. And I went and, you know, my section went to Majuro Atoll in the Marshall Islands. And the other went to (SOUNDS LIKE) Roina Moore. Uh, the other section, the 52nd Defense Battalion went to Roina Moore. And, uh, we were still a defense, we relieved the 18th Defense Battalion at, uh, Majuro Atoll. The 18th Defense Battalion it was.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) And it's a funny thing. Uh, when we got there, I don't want to get my islands mixed up, the natives, they moved the natives off the island. The Marshallese women in particular. They moved them off the island and sent them to another island. Now, they were there before when the 18th Defense Battalion was there. But when we got there they moved them. I don't know, it's just...

INTERVIEWER: (OVERLAPPING) What, what was the difference between your battalion and the 18th?

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (OVERLAPPING) The 18th was a White battalion. And the 52nd was a Black battalion. So, when the Black battalion got there, then they moved all the females and everybody else off the island.

INTERVIEWER: Did, when, while you were on the island, what kinds of things did you do?

HERMAN NATHANIEL: We mostly trained, uh, I didn't say in the beginning. But I was a radar operator. We controlled the 90mm guns. And my unit would keep the guns on track and search, well, they would search for enemy aircraft. Uh, we had the radars and we could, we could, we could search up, up to about six miles in the air. Maybe more than that.

INTERVIEWER: (OVERLAPPING) What did you do after hours, after, you know, after?

HERMAN NATHANIEL: Go swimming. Wasn't nothing on the island. Go swimming and it was very hot. So, we played cards maybe. Played, played, played cards particularly. And swimming. Uh, we didn't have anything to do. There wasn't anything on the island but us.

INTERVIEWER: Did, did you ever, uh, get, were you ever involved in combat?

HERMAN NATHANIEL: Not really. We was defense battalion. And we, our, our, our job was after the island or after the, after the island had been taken, then we'd come in and defend it against being, uh, against enemy that's coming in and try to take it back. That, that's, that was our focus. So, we never did get involved. We always looked for enemy aircraft and was, you know, was trained, uh, to shoot them down if, if it should happen.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) But they always flew above the range of the guns. You see, the Japanese were smart too. They knew how far the guns could shoot. So, they would let their reconnaissance plane, they'd fly reconnaissance over us. But they'd always fly out of the range of the guns. So, if it did fire you wouldn't hit anything. (LAUGH) Because you'd fall short. So, one time we had an incident. Our own pilot, this is something that, uh, I, uh, one of our pilots was up.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) And he didn't have his identification equipment on. Identification, uh, all our pilots had, uh, sort of a module on their plane that matched with our, that the equipment in the radar said. Identification friendly four, that's what they called the IFF. And we could tell what, if it was a friendly aircraft or an enemy aircraft from the screen that we had, you know. And one guy came in with his equipment off. So, I got on the phone, it was my job. I was chief operator.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) And called the island command, and they scrambled some more planes up there and find out the fool hadn't put his equipment on. (LAUGH) So, so, he, he almost got shot down. Because we were training right on him, you know. That's, that's the kind of thing that we were doing, you know. We would search for enemy aircraft. We, we would get them, we got them with, the guns would be right on them. Or we would, had to wait for the command to shoot. But that was a function of a defense battalion. And that's the kind that...

INTERVIEWER: How long did you stay in the Marshalls and then, uh, what did you do when you left?

HERMAN NATHANIEL: Okay. We stayed in the Marshalls, I guess, mainly about six months. And then, we went to Guam. Now, on Guam had been just recently taken from the Japanese. So, it was pretty much beat up. But we landed and I will never forget the night we landed. It was a rainstorm. And you better appreciate the pup tent. We had to set up pup tents in the rainstorm. And, boy, that's the worst thing you wanted.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) I slept in mud all night long. I will never forget that night. It was the worst time (LAUGH) , uh, of setting up a pup tent. You know, pup tents, they run, well, you know about pup tent. But pup tent is a one-man tent, where you just get in there and it just covers you. But there, we set our equipment to defend Guam against the Japanese taking it back again. Also, we went on patrols, uh, looking for Japanese who didn't, who weren't captured.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) And they were still in the jungles. And you've probably read about the story of the guy who stayed in there for, didn't, uh, was 1990-something. He didn't know the war was over. And they found him. But that, we were looking for people, you know, strays like him. But, uh, we found a few. But what they would do, they were there. What they'd come in during the night and steal food. They'd steal the food from our mess, you know.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) From our mess hall or our mess tent. It wasn't a hall. Our mess tent. And they could, they could sneak in there and get it. I don't know. We had guards and everything. But (LAUGH) somebody would get in. So, that's why we sent out patrols. We knew there were some Japanese hanging around. But mainly what we did was to defend the island in the way of radar searches and make sure the aircraft didn't come in. And that kind of thing.

INTERVIEWER: In general, was life different, uh, in Guam than it was in the Marshalls?

HERMAN NATHANIEL: Let me see. Uh, well, there was some civilization on Guam. They had the city of Agana, plus it was a navy base. Navy was there, as well. We could always, we'd go over to the navy and eat chow with them sometime. And things of that nature. We, our unit was stationed away from the city of Agana. And we didn't get into the city very much. They, they kept us away from the city for reasons I don't know. They, we, anyway, we didn't go into Agana. And, uh, we, we weren't that close.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) And we also had Japanese prisoners on Guam that would do the, uh, cleanup work for us. And oddly enough, the Japanese prisoners was just like any other. They were just young Japanese boys like we were, you know. That were asked to fight and that's what they did. In other words, they, they didn't, they weren't no hostiles or anything of that nature. Just, they were just prisoners, you know. That's all.

INTERVIEWER: Can, can you describe, uh, the relationship between the Japanese prisoners and the, the Marines that were there?

HERMAN NATHANIEL: Well, it, yeah. It was a pretty good relationship. Uh, considering we couldn't speak the language and they couldn't understand us. So, it was a lot of gesturing going on. But, uh, there was no hostility there because, like I say, they were prisoners. And they were treated (STAMMERS) , they were treated, uh, good. I mean, it wasn't, you know. Just that they did their work. And there was no hostility, uh, in there after. Because they were captured.

INTERVIEWER: So, tell, tell us when you were, when, I want to go back a little bit.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (OVERLAPPING) Uh huh.

INTERVIEWER: Go ahead, tell us exactly when you arrived at Montford Point and what that day was like.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: Okay. When I first arrived at Montford Point, oh, I, I think I did. I told you when we were greeted, we were greeted by two sergeants. And we were smiling when we got off. And the guy told us...

INTERVIEWER: (OVERLAPPING) But when was that? That's right. What, what day?

HERMAN NATHANIEL: ...that was the very first day.

INTERVIEWER: What, what year?

HERMAN NATHANIEL: Oh, (STAMMERS) the day itself? I don't know. (TECHNICAL)

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) Oh, 1943 in August. That, that's how we were greeted at Montford Point with those three don't do anything unless you are told to do it. Don't do anything on your own.

INTERVIEWER: Had, had, uh, when you, when you got there in '43...

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (OVERLAPPING) Uh huh.

INTERVIEWER: ...the drill instructors, uh, were they, were they, were they Whites? Had, had there been, had, uh, Sergeant Major Huff and, and, uh, Johnson and of those folks, have they come on as drill instructors (UNINTELLIGIBLE) .

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (OVERLAPPING) Uh, yes. We had, uh, you know, my platoon and the 163rd had a Black drill, drill (STAMMERS) instructor. His name was, uh, Cedric, Cedric. He, he was a sergeant. So, I came in the latter part of August. So, in 1943. So, we had almost a year of people coming aboard. And the, and the White drill instructors had trained them. And we, I mean, I got there, they didn't have the, oh, we had, of course, the White officers. But the NCO's were Black. The drill instructors were Black.

INTERVIEWER: Uh, what are your feelings now about having been a Montford Point Marine?

HERMAN NATHANIEL: I think it's one of the greatest things that ever happened to me. Because I went in the Marine Corps as a boy and I came out as a man. That was the greatest training that I ever had. Because discipline is something that you have to have in life. You don't know this when you are that young. But I would think that the training at Montford Point taught me camaraderie. It taught me respect. But it taught me discipline. And I haven't regretted for one day, uh, having gone.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) One thing, uh, I was offered, when I was on Guam, a few others, a chance to go to Officer Candidate School. And they wanted me to, once, if I went there, they asked me this question in the jungles of Guam. They said, we, we will send you, we think you ought to go to Officer Candidate School. And, uh, but you have to sign up for four more years. If you go, you, you have to sign up for four more years. The first part was all right.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) The second part (LAUGH) didn't, did not work too well. So, I turned them down. I said no. I am going to get out. (LAUGH) Because that was not the right place to ask me. And when you are miserable in the jungles of Guam, they'd say you do four more years of it, no, you know. And, of course, uh, Lieutenant Brand, as you know, did, did, uh, pursue it and became their first Black officer. Freddy Brand.

INTERVIEWER: Let me go, go back a little bit even further...

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (OVERLAPPING) Okay. Sure.

INTERVIEWER: ...and ask you how did your family feel about you being in the Marines?

HERMAN NATHANIEL: Actually, they, they, uh, actually, this, this never came up, believe it or not. Uh, except for my mother, you know. Mothers, uh, care about their son. My father said, well, it's something you got to do, you know. You see, the thing, it was good. I will say this. Because they didn't want us in the Marine Corps in the first place. But number two is, we wanted to fight. Because we were always thought of as second class citizens. (BACKGROUND NOISE)

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) So, it was a sort of a proving thing. That you have to show people that you, you know, you know, it maybe hard for you to understand, or somebody to understand. But when you are considered less than somebody else it gives you more incentive to prove them wrong. So, they felt good about it, and I felt good about it too. (LAUGH) In fact, I was going to go into, to the air force. I wanted to be a Tuskegee Airman. They were a little older than that, actually. (LAUGH) But I didn't make that. Uh huh.

INTERVIEWER: Do you remember any unusually difficult or scary experiences that you had either in boot camp or out, uh, that you might like to tell us about?

HERMAN NATHANIEL: No. I, I don't recall any. I, uh, I don't recall having any.

INTERVIEWER: Any difficult and, you know, in, in town, you know. When you are in town. Or...

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (OVERLAPPING) Yeah.

INTERVIEWER: ...a real tough situation, you know. Any, any one little thing, uh, on the base or...

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (OVERLAPPING) Yeah.

INTERVIEWER: ...or, maybe when you were in the Marshalls or in Guam or on the trip over. The trip back. Uh, anything really stands out as being unusual that you might be able to talk to us about. During your, during your Marine and Montford Point Marine experience.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: No. I, I, I was trying to think of something. But (LAUGH) I guess you might say I was a good boy, you know. (LAUGH) Or something of that nature. I didn't run in any, any difficulty of any nature that has stood out, you know. That stands out today or, or, uh, I, I can't think of anything.

INTERVIEWER: Well, uh, you said you didn't really go, uh, go out to join the Marine Corps. Because you were pretty much drafted.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (OVERLAPPING) Uh huh.

INTERVIEWER: But, uh, but, uh, do you think that the disciple and all of the things that you learned in the Marine Corps really helped you get to, to, you know, successful point that you did in life.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: Yes. And I will tell you why. As I've mentioned, I was a radar operator. And sometime technician. When I went to work for General Dynamics, uh, we were building submarines. They had sonar equipment on submarines which is similar to radar. They accepted me as sound and noise and radar underneath. And also, that was in my area. I, I could work with that. But the main thing is, I was sent on assignment to California from General Dynamics to do, uh, a contract definition for an aircraft.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) Do a radar system on an aircraft carrier. Because I had experience with it, they chose me to do this. And, uh, so, I went out and designed a radar system for an aircraft carrier, which had nothing to do with submarines. But we were moving into another area. So, I'd say my, my radar experience in the Marine Corps did help me in my, and I did my early part of my career. Of course, I went on to nuclear power after that. So, in the beginning, yes, it was a help to me very definitely, in my case.

INTERVIEWER: But the history, uh, that surrounds this group of, uh, Marines that are here in this conference...

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (OVERLAPPING) Uh huh.

INTERVIEWER: ...right here is, uh, I think it's very, very significant in military history and then, in American history. (BACKGROUND NOISE)

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (OVERLAPPING) Yes.

INTERVIEWER: And you are a part of that, sir. You really are. How do you feel about that? How do you feel?

HERMAN NATHANIEL: Well, the thing it does to me, it makes, uh, I mean, what I would like to see is, some of the younger people appreciate the fact that people like me went ahead to attempt to make things better for them. Now, that, that's the only feeling I have. If I couldn't do something to better there, to better a situation overall. But, unfortunately, uh, I don't know how much the young people appreciate what the old, you know, did in the past. And, and it's, but that's the only feeling I have. I don't feel any great thing, because I wanted just to fight for my country.

HERMAN NATHANIEL: (CONTINUED) And we had to fight to even do that. To, in other words, as you probably know, I don't want to get off track too much. But we, we fought the two wars, you know. One in the Marine Corps and one overseas, and what have you, the enemy. But as far as my feeling that I was a part of, of anything history, all I want to know is let, let the people know that things weren't always as they are now. That somebody had to pay some dues. Had to go through some struggles to get to where we are today. That's the only thing I'd like to say.

INTERVIEWER: Okay, sir. Is there anything else you'd like to say while you have this moment in front of the camera. Is there anything else you'd like to tell us?

HERMAN NATHANIEL: Uh, no. Well, the only thing I'd like to say, uh, I do think that every young man get a high school or have some sort of military training to get that discipline that's required and that is necessary. And it's, it will be a big help with them in, uh, in their careers and their life. I do believe that that's the way it should be. Uh, everybody, things are sometimes too easy. We need to have, young men need to have that discipline to make life better for them. I think we would have a lot less trouble if this was the case. That's all I'd like to say.

INTERVIEWER: Thank you, sir. (TECHNICAL)


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