WWII Subvet Tells His Story
I really enjoyed reading this story about WWII Submarine Veteran Edgar Martin. Although he didn't make a war patrol, he did serve under legendary CO Slade Cutter on USS Requin (SS 481) after Cutter's history-making patrols as Captain of USS Seahorse (SS 304). My favorite part of Martin's story:
There were, Martin soon found out, other benefits to being part of a submarine crew: benefits such as 80 percent higher pay, access to the best food in the Navy and relaxed regulations.In my experience, this lack of overt racism aboard submarines has continued to the present day. As long as you can do your job and not cause problems, Submariners are very accepting. When it comes to dealing with those who can't hack it, however, we tend to be ruthless.
But for someone who'd grown up accepting racial segregation as a part of life, perhaps one of the most unexpected benefits of serving as part of a Navy submarine crew was the absence of overt racism.
"You work in such close quarters on a submarine, it was difficult for anyone to focus on things like that," Martin said. "For the most part, everyone was friendly and there were no vestiges of segregation. Everyone worked together; everyone was glad to help you.