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Baptiste was born in Saint James Parish, Louisiana on 4 November 1916. He is in town [Annotator's Note: New Orleans] visiting his family.Baptiste entered the navy on 5 February 1938. He had joined the navy because there was no work during the depression.He entered school in Jefferson Parish where his parents had moved the family when he was 4 years old. His family lived in Marrero, Louisiana. He finished grammar school at the Roosevelt School. He finished his high school at McDonough 35 in New Orleans.In 1932 Baptiste entered Xavier University where he completed a two year course in teaching. After completing his studies at Xavier he entered the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). He received a certificate for being in the CCC for 14 months. In 1937, Baptiste came back from Shreveport, Louisiana. He spent Christmas of 1937 in Marrero with his family then applied for the navy. His father went with him to vouch for him. The naval officers went to his home to see what kind of person he was. Baptiste was doing laundry when the officers arrived. Since he and his brothers were older than their sisters they had to do much of the house work. He was given the ok to be a recruit in the navy.
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