Segment 1


Harold Ward was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey on April 21st, 1921. Ward had the life of a bastard growing up. Ward was born out of wedlock. Ward's mother was 16 years old when Ward was born. Ward bounced around from one part of his family to another. Throughout the Depression Ward lived with one part of his family and he prefers not to talk about that. Ward's years in high school were ugly. Ward went into the military because he was looking for stability. A lot of the kids came from various parts of the country and were excited to have a bed, running water, and three meals a day. Ward notes that some of them were not used to taking a bath every day. Some of the guys only owned one pair of shoes. Ward’s family was used to hard times. Ward almost joined the Civilian Conservation Corps in order to find something more substantial. Ward worked summers on the Atlantic City Boardwalk washing dishes for one dollar a day. When Ward left Atlantic City he went to New York City to live with another segment of his family. He was treated like a child and realized he did not need that. Ward applied for the Brooklyn Naval yard, but as he waited to find out he became more and more upset with his family situation and said the hell with that, I am joining the Navy. About eight months after Ward joined the Navy he received a letter asking him to head down to the Brooklyn Naval Yard to talk about a job. Ward was trained so that he understood a man kept his word. Ward had other jobs that he had walked away from in the past, but he realized that once he was in the Navy, he was in. Ward fought for his country shining shoes. Ward was angry throughout the entire war. He was able to subdue his anger because otherwise he would have ended up in a nuthouse. Ward was pegged as being not a good servant because of his attitude. Ward had to go on what was called the pantry watch. Ward was near Guadalcanal when this happened. Ward had to carry a coffee tray for the officers. A JG came down and yelled at Ward to keep the damn tray still. Ward did not take kindly to this and shot the JG a murderous look. The look Ward gave was obvious so the executive officer was called down and put Ward on report. Ward was summoned by the master of arms and told he had a meeting with the executive officer. Ward was informed that they did not like his attitude. Ward ended up being captain of the head and it was the best job he had throughout the war because he did not shine anyone else’s shoes but his. Ward cleaned the heads, the showers, and the living spaces.


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