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During World War II, after graduating from the Naval Academy in 1941 and being commissioned as a Naval Reserve officer, Paul Richmond was involved in the training of new recruits at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station. In 1942, with the influx of thousands of black sailors among the recruits, Richmond served as a battalion commander at the segregated Camp Robert Smalls. In early 1944, 16 black sailors reported to Great Lakes to undergo a two-and-a-half month training program to become officers and subsequently became known as the Golden Thirteen.
After being commissioned as a Naval Reserve officer, in 1942, with the influx of thousands of black sailors among the recruits, John Dille volunteered to be involved in their training and served as a battalion commander. In early 1944, 16 black sailors reported to Great Lakes to undergo a two-and-a-half month training program to become officers. During that time when the black men were under a great deal of pressure, Dille served as a mentor and a source of moral support and encouragement. They were commissioned in March 1944 and subsequently became known as the Golden Thirteen.
This memoir of Admiral James Loy traces from his boyhood in Altoona, Pennsylvania, to the culmination of his service career, as Commandant of the Coast Guard from 1998 to 2002.  The terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 occurred on his watch, and he was responsible for leading his service's reaction to them.
The main ingredients in this oral history are Admiral Harold Page Smith's recollections of service in two battleships, the Arizona (BB-39) in 1928-29 and the Missouri (BB-63) in 1949-50.  As a captain he commanded the Missouri until shortly before her grounding in January 1950 and then again shortly afterward to restore the confidence of the officers and crew. 
Of particular interest in this oral history was Captain Frank Manson's close association with a number of four-star admirals whom he discussed candidly: Louis Denfeld, Forrest P. Sherman, Robert B. Carney, Arleigh A. Burke, Harold Page Smith, Harry Don Felt, Robert L. Dennison, David L. McDonald, John S. McCain Jr., and Claude V. Ricketts.
This memoir covers the experiences of Captain Winifred Quick Collins, a naval pioneer. She was among the first officers accepted when the WAVES were established in 1942; one of the first female officers commissioned in the regular Navy, which happened in 1948; and at the top of her profession as the only woman line captain at the end of her career.
Commander Norman Meyer's memoir is notable because it contains the recollections of one of the few white naval officers who commanded warships with African American crews in World War II.   During the summer of 1945, Meyer commanded the destroyer escort Mason (DE-529), which had a crew of black enlisted men.
Admiral Denys Knoll's strength was as a staff officer.  The list of individuals on whose staffs he served:  Admiral Thomas C. Hart, Admiral Ernest J. King, Ambassador Averell Harriman, Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner, Rear Admiral Walter F. Boone, Vice Admiral Arthur D. Struble, Admiral Arleigh A. Burke, Vice Admiral Alfred M. Pride, Vice Admiral Stuart H. Ingersoll, Vice Admiral Wallace M. Beakley, Vice Admiral Glynn R. Donaho, and Admiral Robert L. Dennison. 
Vice Admiral George P. Steele was the eighth individual to command a nuclear-powered submarine in the U.S. Navy. The oral history contains a great many observations concerning Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, the founder of the Navy's nuclear power program.
Two of the main contributions of this oral history are in describing Vice Admiral William Martin's work as a naval aviation pioneer, particularly in the area of night and all-weather flying, and his repeated contacts with Admiral Arleigh Burke.  Martin served as the latter's executive assistant during Burke's tenure as Chief of Naval Operations and thus observed him on a daily basis. 

Rear Admiral Wayne Meyer is known as the “Father of Aegis,” the revolutionary combat system now standard in U.S. Navy surface warships for air and missile defense.  Following retirement from active naval service he continued to work in Aegis-related activities.

Admiral Bruce DeMars was one of the early successors of the legendary Admiral Hyman Rickover in running the Navy's nuclear power program.  He grew up in Chicago and received his bachelor’s degree and commission at the Naval Academy, from which he graduated in 1957. After a trying interview with Admiral Rickover, DeMars attended Nuclear Power School at Mare Island in 1960 and then underwent training on a prototype nuclear reactor in West Milton New York, in 1960-61.  He was among the members of the handpicked crew of the nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine George Washington (SSBN-598) in 1961-62.

In this candid account Admiral Robert Kramek traces his experiences from his boyhood in New York City to his service as Coast Guard Commandant and an executive with the American Bureau of Shipping. He graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1961 and served initially on board the high-endurance cutter Mackinac (WHEC-371), 1961-64.

Admiral Noel Gayler grew up in a Navy family and thus was exposed to a variety of locales as a youth. He was one of the Navy’s first fighter aces in World War II; his carrier, the Lexington (CV-2), was lost in the Battle of the Coral Sea.  Subsequently, he served 1942-44 as a test pilot, commanded Fighter Squadron 12 (VF-12) in 1944-45, and from May to September 1945 was on the staff of Vice Admiral John S. McCain. The oral history is noteworthy for Admiral Gayler’s discussion of nuclear weapons.

This memoir of Vice Admiral William Lawrence reveals a great deal about the character and personality of an individual who lived his life with a thoroughgoing sense of honor.  As a midshipman he was a leader in devising the Naval Academy’s honor concept.  During his five and a half years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, he was stalwart in his resistance to his captors.  His achievement has been honored by the naming of the guided missile destroyer William P. Lawrence (DDG-110).  The oral history is a treasure trove of material on the Naval Academy, both during Lawrence’s midshipman years and in his tenure as superintendent.

The oral history of James Hair covers his early years in the segregated South, his commissioning as one of the Navy’s first black officers, and his post-naval service. Mr. Hair enlisted in the Navy in July 1942 and went through officer training at Great Lakes in early 1944. In March of that year, he was commissioned as one of the Navy’s first black officers, a group that came to be known as the Golden Thirteen.  In his later years he and other members of the Golden Thirteen were active in promoting naval service.

This oral history of Admiral Stansfield Turner covers his time at the Naval Academy in the mid-1940s to his final tour of service as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 1977 to 1981.  The oral history contains detailed descriptions of his dealings with his Naval Academy classmate, President Jimmy Carter, and with Chief of Naval Operations Elmo Zumwalt.

 

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