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"I think the most important thing I learned [in the Navy] is that I'm as good as anybody." (Video Interview, 16:53)

   Augustus Prince
Image of Augustus Prince
Augustus Prince, 1944
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Navy
Unit: USS Santee
Service Location: Hawaii; Guam (Mariana Islands); Philippines; Saipan (Northern Mariana Islands); Okinawa Island (Ryukyu Islands); Formosa; Japan; Pacific Theater
Rank: Petty Officer Second Class
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It was a small moment in a brief military career in a world war filled with large and momentous events. But sixty years after it happened, Gus Prince clearly recalled his being accepted as a radar man aboard the USS Santee, knowing in retrospect what that acceptance meant to him, a young black man struggling for respect in a largely segregated Navy.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (4 clips)
»Complete Interview   (40 min.)
»Transcript
  Photos
»Photo Album (4 photos)
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 Video (Interview Excerpts) (4 items)
Mother's stress on education. (00:54) Joining the Navy when opportunities for minorities were expanding; becoming the first black radarman; getting his first break. (05:22) Life aboard the Santee; integrating the sleeping quarters; teaching other radarmen; preparing for the invasion of Japan. (06:23)
Lessons from his service; life after the Navy. (02:53)  
  
 
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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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