Meyer, Norman H. (1913-2006)
Commander, U.S. Navy (Retired)
Based on one interview conducted by Paul Stillwell in November 1986. The volume contains 40 pages of interview transcript plus a comprehensive index. The transcript is copyright 2013 by the U.S. Naval Institute; the interviewee placed no restrictions on its use.
This 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. Meyer graduated from the Naval Academy in 1935 after having served during part of his first-class year as the five-striper in command of the entire regiment of midshipmen. After graduation he served two years at sea in the aircraft carrier Lexington (CV-2) and destroyer Barry (DD-248) before his temporary appointment was revoked because of his vision problems. He was in civilian employment for the Bakelite Corporation in New Jersey before returning to active duty in March 1941 to teach aviation cadets at Pensacola. In 1942-43 served as executive officer and then commanding officer of the corvette Saucy (PG-65) during antisubmarine operations. From 1943 to 1945 was on the staff of Commander Cruisers Pacific Fleet and Commander Destroyers Pacific Fleet, primarily in a training-and-inspection role. During the summer of 1945, Meyer commanded the destroyer escort Mason (DE-529), which had a crew of black enlisted men. After the war, Meyer worked in the commercial world for Bakelite, Union Carbide, and in hospital administration.