John Turner, Oral History
This is a video recording of an oral history interview with John Wesley Turner Jr. It was conducted October 6, 2016. The interviewer is Madison Garcia.
In this interview, John Turner discusses his service in the Navy during the Cold War, including his experience overseas in Guam and Germany.
John Wesley Turner Jr. was born in Clinton, South Carolina on November 14, 1944. He was the eldest of six children and his parents worked in a cotton mill. Turner worked at a grocery store after high school, and within two years, was an assistant manager.
On June 18, 1965, Turner enlisted in the inactive Navy reserves and, four months later, he was sent to Great Lakes, Illinois, to receive basic training. He then went to Pensacola, Florida, where he attended communications technician school. Turner met his future wife in Olanta, South Carolina, and they got married on August 20, 1966.
In April 1967, the Navy sent Turner overseas to the Mariana Islands, Guam. After 18 months in Guam, Turner attended advanced non-morse training school at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. From 1969 through 1972, Turner was stationed in Germany. He volunteered for submarine operations in Fort Meade, Maryland, and stayed there for several years until he developed a medical problem and was sent to Sugar Grove, West Virginia, to supervise satellite dishes. Two years later, Turner was considered fit to return to working on submarines, and from 1977 through 1979 he was stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He also completed a two-year tour in Japan. At the end of his career, Turner returned to San Diego, California where he taught students how to work with submarines until his retirement from the Navy in 1985. He and his wife moved to Texas, where Turner worked at L3 until 2007. Turner has been involved in the Disabled American Veteran Organization and helps chair meetings and conduct public outreach.
Special Collections and University Archives
Turner, John and Garcia, Madison, "John Turner, Oral History" (2016-10-07). All Oral Histories. 120.
Cold War; United States. Navy; Mariana Islands; Disabled American Veterans; Submariners
East Texas War and Memory Project; ETWMP