WWII Veteran Transcript
Subject: Thomas Dent
Interviewer: Alissa Mashburn
Tape Number: 01 of 01
Interview Date: February 6, 2011
Transcriber: Kevin Lin

Transcription Date: October 15, 2011


Interviewer: Interview with Thomas Dent, February 6th I believe.  So let’s start 
right off.  Did you live in New York your whole life?

Thomas Dent: Virtually.

Interviewer: Virtually?

Dent: For two years when I was thirteen or fourteen, the family moved to Long 
Branch, New Jersey.  I wound up graduating from another school down there.  But 
34, September we ended up moving back to Queens.

Interviewer: Okay.  How was growing up in New York.  You lived during the 
Depression era.

Dent: It had advantages and disadvantages.  Here we are nine years old; I learned 
to ride the subway the Second Avenue L by myself.  Unfortunately, I did belong to 
a cohesive family unit.  My father was conspicuous by his absence so that my 
mother and I bounced for the first ten years of my life.    About five different 
places in Manhattan and about nine different places in Corona, Queens.  When I was 
ten years old, my mother and my father reconciled.  In the ensuing two years she 
gave birth to my two brothers, but then…very frankly he was an alcoholic.  And in 
the spring of 32 as the saying went in those days, he fell off the wagon…the water 
wagon.  That means he went back to drinking, my two brothers were born and that’s 
why we went to Long Branch for two years.  We came back in 34 finished out high 
school, Queens College, Brooklyn Law School, the Navy.  From 34 to 46 we lived in 
one house in Corona.  It was the longest I lived in a house until I got married.  
My mom while I was still in active duty in the Navy made arrangements so we ended 
up occupying in Woodside.  I was in the Navy in 46, joined my two brothers there 
in Woodside and lived there until my wife and I got married in 51.  That answer 
your question?

Interviewer: Did living in New York influence your decision to join the Navy?

Dent: No, it didn’t influence my decision, because I was a Navy fan since I was a
 little kid.  I don’t know how or why.  I think I was five years old, my mother 
 bought for me a sailor’s suit and that’s why I’ve been Navy oriented.

Interviewer: You were 22 when you joined up the Navy.

Dent: Right.

Interviewer: I’m 22 right now.

Dent: You could do worse.

Interviewer: *Laughs* You were a law student and a storekeeper; it’s what you 
wrote on your survey.

Dent: In my senior year at Queens, I applied for…it was offered in an ad in 
Jefferson Hall.  I applied for and received an internship scholarship for Brooklyn 
Law School.  I got six months of that in before I was called to active duty in the 
Navy on February 1st '43.

Interviewer: What did you do in your job?  What did it entail?  Your job at the 
internship for a law student you said?

Dent: Oh, in my senior year and during my six months at law school I was the sole 
support of my mother and my two brothers who were ten and eleven years younger 
than I.  And I had a job for the Greyhound Bus company as a storekeeper in their 
garage in Long Island City working at night.  So I worked from 11 at night until 
7 in the morning in the garage and then I headed for Queens College.  And I went 
to classes from 9 through 12.  Library, some studying.  Home for some sleeping 
and then up again at 10:00 to go to work again.

Interviewer: That’s a full day, that’s a full life.  Oh my gosh.  You said you 
lived with your mother.  What type of person was she?

Dent: She was the son…the daughter…one of six children of Irish immigrants.  Her 
maiden name was Mary Goggins; she was brought up in the Yorkville section of 
Manhattan, 76th St. & 3rd Avenue.  She went to a Baptist School through to the 
eighth grade.  Then at the eighth grade her father took her out of school.  He 
was a widower at the time and told her to stay home and take care of the house 
for him and for her five siblings.  She did that until her twenties and then met 
my father.  They were married 1918, he spent about six months in the army and I 
was born in 1920.  That answer your question?

Interviewer: Yeah, so your father was in the Army.  Did that influence your 
decision to join up?

Dent: He was drafted in June of 1918.  The war ended in November and he was 
discharged.  He spent all his time at a place called Camp Upton here on the 

Interviewer: So he never went overseas?

Dent: No.

Interviewer: Did your mother support your want to join the Navy?

Dent: Oh yes, sure.

Interviewer: She wasn’t afraid for you?

Dent: No.  She probably was but she never said it to me.

Interviewer: So what was your neighborhood like?  Was there a lot of buzz when 
the war began?

Dent: Before December the 7th in 1941, there was a very substantial peace movement 
all over the country.  There was a Senator Wheeler I think he was from Colorado or 
one of those states out there…a Burt Wheeler and he was the leader of the anti-war 
movement.  There was an organization called America first which he pretty much 
headed up and while a bulk of the sentiment from 1940 and increasingly from 41 
even in ’39 was to support the Allies and Roosevelt of course led that faction.  
But of course, there was a substantial peace movement and on the Queens College 
campus I organized the peace committee.  And we had a rally on the quadrangle.  
That was in June 1941, before Pearl Harbor.  Because once Pearl Harbor occurred…

Interviewer: Peace was out of the question.

Dent: Right, completely out.  Period.

Interviewer: So you had a Rally for peace at Queens College?  Who else was 
involved with that at Queens?

Dent: We had a city councilman who was a member of the American Labor party.  He 
was a speaker, I was the organizer.

Interviewer: Did anyone else help you?

Dent: Well, I had a couple helping out.  I had a committee…can’t remember who they 
were quite frankly.

Interviewer: Did you have the support of the Queens College students and faculty?

Dent: Some of the faculty.  Most of them were pro war.

Interviewer: Was there a big difference in the amount of pro-war people and the 
amount of peace people in Queens College.

Dent: The peace people were in a minority.  And when Germany invaded Russia, the 
peace committee fell apart around me.

Interviewer: Why did it fall apart at that point?

Dent: Well because of Russian sympathizers.  Some were more sympathetic to Russia 
at that point.

Interviewer: You mentioned you were in the CMTC training camp in 1938.

Dent: During peace time before Hitler got involved, there were all of these 
organizations sponsored by the Army called the Citizens Military Training Camp.  
And what they offered was a month of various training in July and August to young 
men eighteen and older.  And if you stayed with them for four years you could 
earn a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the army reserve.  And during the one 
month you were training, you were basically in boot camp for a month.  You were 
carrying a rifle which you didn’t know nothing about.  You marched you drilled, 
you got hollered at, given all kinds of orders in foul language by some army 
sergeant and you live in tents.  There was a place in Fort Dix in New Jersey and 
there was one up in Plattsburg, new York.  I was in the one at Plattsburg, New 
York.  Somewhere at the end of the month, the put us into this steel little 
building.  I’m not complaining, I’m just telling you what happened.  I got exposed 
to tear gas which was...  They also gave us incentive drills and firing the rifle.  
And about the third or fourth day before we left we got to fire the rifle.  And I 
did well in marksmanship.  I got a badge.  You follow the instructions you do it 
right, not a big deal.  That was the CMTC.

Interviewer: Why did they expose you to tear gas?  To build up an immunity?

Dent: It’s just for experience.

Interviewer: What was the effect of tear gas?

Dent: Oh yeah, we cried like babies.  We were banging to get out of the front 

Interviewer: So was the training camp adequate experience to prepare you for the 

Dent: It was for one month…it was a four year proposition.  But for one month you
 learned how to drill, squad right, squad up; live fire…all that kind of stuff.

Interviewer: You said that before you enlisted there were two months you felt a 
real need to enlist.

Dent: Well once the war started I was in an ambiguous position.  I pulled a very 
low number as far as the draft was concerned so I wasn’t called to register.  But 
by the time the draft board called me I was then supporting my mother and my two 
kid brothers.  So initially, I received what they called a 3A deferment.  But I 
didn’t want to spend the war working on the sidelines.  So I in 42, I took steps 
to enlist in an officer training program in the NAVY.    So I wound up in what 
was called the V7 program in which you spent four months in Midshipsman school 
or some college and if you survived the four months you ended up getting a 
commission in the Naval reserves and that’s what I did.

Interviewer: When you enlisted, was your mother secured, because you were the 
sole supporter at the time?  Did you feel like you could go up?

Dent: Well we talked about it, and we felt that…she felt that she could get by 
for four months.  And by the time I got my commission if I was still supporting 
her, I got an extra allowance for her.  It turned by coincidence in February 
when I went on active duty…I have to backtrack a little bit now.  Sometime in 
1941, my father wound up basically in the drunk tank and Northfolk Veterans 
Hospital, he was there for about a year an half and they turned him loose and 
he moved in with his parents…my grandparents who lived around the corner from 
us in Corona.  And when I went into the Navy, he moved back in with my mother 
and my two kid brothers.  He got a job, and during the war he stayed sober and 
worked down at the shipyard and a guard or something like and he stayed sober 
all throughout the war.  1945, the war ended in August 17th it was V-J Day and 
that’s when he got back to drinking.  I was discharged in 46 but when he lost 
his job he started drinking gain that’s how I ended up in Rego Beach out in 
Long Island and I applied for dependency for my mother and two brothers.  So 
that I resumed support and eventually because of his behavior we had to get a 
court order…called an order of protection to keep him out of the house.  He 
never came back and so then, I was discharged in October of 46.  I got a job 
selling marsh and calculating machines in Manhattan and I continued to support 
my mother and my brothers for the next five years' period.

Interviewer: What was the midshipman school like?

Dent: It was a crash course in navigation, gunnery, seamanship, and damage 
control.  There were four major elements in preparing a young man to become a 
naval officer.

Interviewer: Was it encouraging to be around other people who wanted to be in 
the Navy?

Dent: Well, there were in midshipman school, we had I say about 400… or three to 
four hundred men.  Some were my age, some were a bit younger, others were a bit 
older.  All at Notre Dame going to midshipman school all striving to survive and 
become Naval officers.  So we were all encouraging each other and all competing 
with each other.

Interviewer: So you thought the midshipman school was a good experience.

Dent: It was a grueling experience.  As I said many times to many people it was 
the worst four months of my life.  You see, most of my adolescent life I was not 
disciplined, no father and my mother had her hands full with my two kid brothers 
so I was on my own.  I get into Midshipman school practically told you to do 
everything by the numbers.  You marched to food, to classes, virtually very 
little recreation.  So I hated it, we all hated it but I survived and that’s what 

Interviewer: So in the newspaper and radio how as the attack on Pearl Harbor.  
How was it portrayed in America?

Dent: Treachery, cause a lot of guys were in Washington were allegedly negotiating 
for peace and they bombed Pearl Harbor.  So everyone was furious, incensed.

Interviewer: Um yet, you said you said you wanted peace before this date, before 
Pearl Harbor.  That was your turning point?

Dent: Of course, there were no peaceniks after that.

Interviewer: And you waited until two years after Pearl Harbor to join the Navy 
to support your mother, right?

Dent: A year and a Half December 41 to December of 42.   You don’t side up and 
get into the program in 24 hours.   You go through a lot of rigmarole, bringing 
some papers, physical exams, mental exams.  Took me about a month from the time 
I applied to the time I joined the Navy.

Interviewer: Alright, you said you had apprehensions in joining the military.  
What kind of apprehensions?

Dent: Well, remember I said about the V7 form and whether or not you’d make it.  
Because if you did make it you’d wind up a sailor.

Interviewer: And you didn’t want to be a sailor?

Dent: If I could help it then, no.  I wanted to be an officer.

Interviewer: So what were your friends and family reactions to you joining the 

Dent: They thought I was right.

Interviewer: They thought you were right?  There was nobody who was pro-peace 
at the time?

Dent: No, family knew what I already just told you.  They knew I was working 
nights and going to school during the day.  They knew I was supporting my 
mother and my brothers and they knew what my father’s behavior had been and 
they approved.

Interviewer: That’s really great, even today I have friends in the military 
whose parents don’t approve of it.

Dent: Well you know it’s a different time.

Interviewer: So you trained as a deck officer and a PT boat officer.  Did you 
like one more than the other.

Dent: At Midshipman school, everyone is trained as a potential deck officers.  
PTs were a very small part of the Navy, while I was in Notre Dame Life magazine 
came out with a big spread on the PT boats at Guadalcanal who had stalled the 
Japan movement south to invading Australia.  And they did magnificent 
works…little rinky-dinky boats attacking destroyers and cruisers and that made 
a lot of people in Midshipman’s school gung-ho about PT boats to become a PT 
officer including me.  Then one day they made the announcement that some 
officers were coming out of the PT training school in Rhode Island to interview 
volunteers for PT boat duty.  I signed up, I was interviewed and to make a long 
story short I was accepted.

Interviewer: That’s great you must have been very happy with that.

Dent: Oh, delighted.  They were looking for men who had collegiate athletic 
experience or for men who had substantial boating experience.  My boating 
experience was limited to taking out a rowboat in the middle of Central Park and 
at Queens I had no athletic experience to speak of in those days.  So when it came 
up to those questions about my athletic experiences, I told him I didn’t have time 
for athletic experience working nights and going to school days.  That apparently 
sold them that I should go to PT school which did.

Interviewer: Well you did and you did a great job too.
Dent: I survived.
Interviewer: So after going through your PT training and having a total 
satisfactory experience that’s what you wrote were you eager to get to your real 

Dent: Absolutely.

Interviewer: Did you have a want to go out fighting?  Or did you want to defend, 
what was your state of mind?

Dent: My state of mind was I wanted to go where the action was…to kill Japs.

Interviewer: Um was it just against the Japanese, or was it against the Germans 
and Italians?

Dent: It was like both ways but because of Pearl Harbor and because of that time 
all the PT boats were out in the Pacific my attention as directed in that 

Interviewer: What were your travel accommodations like?

Dent: PT boat is 80 feet long and widest point was twenty feet wide.  It 
has accommodations for maybe two officers and ten enlisted personnel…ten 
sailors.  So the accommodations are very tight and I had a cabin the size 
of from where you are sitting to the wall there.  I mean in the Pacific, 
they put in another officer and we shared bunks.  But the accommodations 
as you used the word and that’s the best word to use were scant.

Interviewer: Umm, so how did you reach the rank of lieutenant?

Dent: The Navy system was…

[Side A Ends]

[Side B Starts]

Interviewer: So there was only one black sailor in your squadron?

Dent: Yes

Interviewer: And was there…

Dent: They were stewards in the squadron.  At most there were half a dozen 
stewards who were strictly in that capacity.  Not on the boats, just this one 
man as I remember who was a full fledged fighting sailor.

Interviewer: Was there any racial discrimination between sailors towards him?

Dent: I didn’t notice that.

Interviewer: Was he a friend of yours?  Did you know him?

Dent: He was on a different boat, I only knew the man.

Interviewer: How did you do spending all that time on the boat with no contact 
with civilians and women?

Dent: Miserable.

Interviewer: Was there a lot of tension on the boat?

Dent: No, we were doing what were expected to do.  We knew there were no women 
in the South Pacific.  And whatever the native populations on the island we 
never saw them.  Even in the Philippines we never saw them I think the practice 
at the time was to move the civilian population and keep them separate and 
apart from the military population, at least that was my impression.

Interviewer: What islands were you closes to, where were your bases.

Dent: In the Solomon Islands, patrols out of Green Island, out of Bougainville, 
Treasury, Guadalcanal, Chiradi.  Then we went to a place which we finished 
north of the Solomons and heading to the Philippines to a little bit of land 
called New York’s Wendy.  And two things happened there, there was recreation 
there played softball and so forth.  And they who wanted it were given the 
opportunity to go to either Australia or New Zealand I’m not sure which for 
leave.  I had no money, so I didn’t go, but some did.  In those days, an ensign 
received a pay of salary of twenty dollars in World War II…150 dollars a month.  
When you went overseas on sea duty, you got a bonus of ten percent.  When I 
went overseas, not knowing what my father’s situation would be, I send $150 
dollars a month to my mother and brothers and kept $15 dollars for myself.  
And that’s why I couldn’t afford to go to New Zealand.

Interviewer: Did you receive and send mail regularly?  Was your mom…?

Dent: Yeah, we got mail.  Maybe two times a month something like that.

Interviewer: So you were in contact with your mom back home.  Did she keep 
you up to date with what was going on?

Dent: Well she told me how she was making out and my brothers were making it out.  
I had more contact with other women.

Interviewer: *laughs* That was one of my questions.  You said you left and you 
came back and you didn’t get married.  So I was wondering if you had a sweetheart 
when you went overseas.  *laughs* Don’t count on your fingers…how many did you have?

Dent: They weren’t sweethearts; there were girlfriends I responded to…about four or 

Interviewer: What did you guys talk about?

Dent: We didn’t talk, we loved.

Interviewer: *laughs* That’s what I meant.

Dent: Told them I was well, couldn’t tell them where I was, couldn’t tell them 
what I was doing.  One girl later told me, ‘you wrote the silliest letter, we 
couldn’t say anything!’  But you know back home, if they were doing well, how 
they were doing.

Interviewer: Where did you meet them?

Dent: Most of them met…well I met three or four of them in college, I met one of 
them in Midshipman school, I met one of them in Corona, and one was a sister of 
a fellow midshipman.  He met his sister and told me who was that guy?

Interviewer: So mail was a great spirit lifter.

Dent: Meh, not really.

Interviewer: So you said that Tokyo Rose was ridiculous.  Was it ridiculous so 
much so that you just didn’t care, that it didn’t matter to you?

Dent: We didn’t believe anything she said.  She said something about the bottom 
of ships being bullet holed and being sunk.  We heard stories of the president 
in Washington being overhauled.

Interviewer: So it didn’t matter because you knew it was wrong.

Dent: Lots of factors as far as pilots concerned as far as the people were 

Interviewer: So your combat was limited to the Pacific and the Philippines and 
it was against the Japanese.  Did you have any views on the other countries in 
the Axis powers like the Germans and the Italians.  What did you think of them 
since you were mostly fighting the Japanese.

Dent: We had virtually very little knowledge of what was happening in Europe, so 
that we had to worry about what we were doing but not about anything else.  I 
mean that was over there, we were over here.  We had to do what we had to over 

Interviewer: So you seem very happy about the attacks on your unit that were put 
upon you.  What did you attribute to the satisfaction?  Was it the training, was 
it the people?

Dent: It was the way that the people reacted, almost everybody's reaction reacted 
with determination and wanted to get these guys and fight back.

Interviewer: Now you were wounded and out of combat for two to three weeks, what 
was your injury?

Dent: A piece of shrapnel penetrated my back 

Interviewer: And how was your recovery process?

Dent: No big deal, I was very lucky.  The man who was standing next me was also 
hit by a piece of shrapnel which traveled through most of his left elbow, he was 
hit by a very large piece of shrapnel.  I met a man on the boat who was hit to 
the right, but it was a superficial wound.  I was back in about two weeks, he 
was back on the boat in about four weeks.  And he was one of the men who showed 
up at the reunion I mentioned earlier, fully recovered.

Interviewer: You said that you delivered Australian coast watchers to Japanese 
occupied islands.  What does that entail?

Dent: These things all happened at night.  What it entailed was getting fairly 
close to the island setting down two of the ensigns the boats had getting them 
as close to the shore as possible.  Sometimes, the natives would come out 
alongside the coast watchers would get off the boat and into the canoe and they 
would take them in.  Sometimes, there were no natives and you were supposed to 
get as close to the shore as you could without getting grounded and then they 
would jump in and wade to shore.  Of course you would sneak out and get out of 

Interviewer: What were the Australian coast watchers doing?  What was their job?

Dent: My impression and recollection was that most of them were civilians and 
they were men who spoke the native languages.  And their job was to stay out of 
sight, number one.  But to be very observant, number two and communicate by radio 
about what they had heard with the Allies.  They were there for intelligence and 
our job was to deliver and pick them up.

Interviewer: You said that the Japanese were courageous?  Did you see them as 
soldiers fighting for their country or did you see them as enemies or both?

Dent: Well strictly they were the enemy.  But I saw them commit suicide in 
efforts to hit a Navy ship with an airplane.  They weren’t messing around and 
when we attacked in a small boat…a PT boat of course, they would fight back.  So 
I had no reason to think they were less than courageous.

Interviewer: How did V-E Day affect you and your comrades?

Dent: I can’t speak for my comrades, but I thought it was very good.

Interviewer: Did it affect you directly?  I mean you were fighting in the Pacific.

Dent: We were fighting the Japs, they were thousands of miles away.

Interviewer: So how did V-E Day affect you, was it like a personal victory?

Dent: Oh sure.

Interviewer: How did you feel on that day?  Did you feel it was over?

Dent: Oh, I thought we were going to States at the time.  I had picked a school 
in Bellville, Long Island. 

Interviewer: So the Atomic Bomb is a tricky subject for a lot of people.  Do you 
still believe that it was the best decision at the time?

Dent: Yes, I do.

Interviewer: A lot of people have changed their minds about it.  What makes you 
so sure in your decision.

Dent: It was the invasion of Japan which would have resulted in a tremendous loss 
of American life.  Tremendous loss of soldiers, loss of Marines and loss of Naval 
personnel.  They started it, at that time I  didn’t have any regrets about using 
the bomb.  If the bomb had not been use, I suspect the marines would be involved 
in the invasion of Japan because they just about…We came back in and went back to 
PT training school as instructors.  And that was to last two months until I went 
out.  So I think I had maybe about a month as an instructor…three or four weeks 
before going back again to the Japan invasion.  Of course it was a big decision…

Interviewer: So that was the next move to go out and invade Japan as far as you 

Dent: Yeah.

Interviewer: You said the point system was unfair to you.  How would like to have 
seen the demobilization of troops happening.

Dent: Well, I think it should have been some points for combat, some points for 
being wounded, lesser points for age and lesser points for being married.  Well at 
least the age of marriage being decreased.  We had three separate departments in the 
AV, the army department, the navy department, and the treasury department which was 
the Coast Guard. And each department ran its own operation.  So what the army did and 
the coast guard did I had no idea and so the Navy one I’m telling to you.

Interviewer: So out of wartime questions, is there anything else about your wartime 
experiences or stories you want to tell me that you think it is important?

Dent: I tell you this, whether it’s important is up to you.  One of the islands in 
the Philippines is called Mendoro.  It’s a fairly large island in the southern part 
of the Philippines.  Now the invasion of Mendoro turned out to be itself a joke.  
There was largely no resistance to it.  But the invasion of Mendoro started in Leyte, 
which was one of the southernmost islands in the Philippines.  So we went to this 
convoy, it was a large convoy of Naval vessels, cruisers, destroyers, ammunition 
carriers, PT boats.  On this convoy and trip, the Japanese in my observation 
first adopted kamikaze as a formal tactic.  Now kamikaze is where an airplane 
crashes itself deliberately into a vessel.  Now we had isolated incidents of 
this before, but they were isolated. But this was to my knowledge and observation 
the first time they used this maneuver where they send out twelve planes and did 
not expect those twelve planes to get back.  That was the first time in my 
observation that they use it as a tactical maneuver.  

In one shot, they landed smack on a munition ship.  Tremendous explosion, we 
were pretty far from the munition ship but some of the debris from the munition 
ship fell on our boat and there were unfortunately several casualties of that 
nature in the convoy.  But if there were any more hit munitions hips, I don’t 
know but there were several Navy ships that were successfully hit and destroyed 
by the kamikazes.  Now we went to the Philippines south and it was a breeze.  
However, one of them hit the bay and we arrived that morning there was an air 
raid and PTs were travelling what they called a tender.  A separate entirely, 
in many cases a ship converted to carry gasoline supplies, munitions, etc, to 
maintain the PT boat squadron.  There was this tender there called the Orestes 
and we were told to refuel from the Orestes.  So we followed the order and we 
were the third boat pulled up alongside the Orestes and take on the necessary 
gasoline.  I did not care to do this, the gasoline was highly explosive.  So I 
fill up the boat, the boat is almost filled up and I pulled away the air raid 
started and I look back one of the Japanese planes hit the Orestes.  I was 
approximately a couple 100 yards away at most and I turned around and went 
back to the Orestes.  A number of men had been blown off the ship and were in 
the water.  And we pulled as many out as we could.  Then along the side of the 
Orestes and took off as many wounded as we could.  

Elsewhere in the bay, there was a seaplane tender which a regular good sized 
ship with identical personnel, so we went to the seaplane tender and request 
permission to pull alongside and deliver the wounded…no one was going to say no 
to that.  So we pull alongside and all of the wounded picked up from the water 
and the boat we delivered to the seaplane tender.  And then we still had a 
number of men who were uninjured thank god and we would take them to the beach 
and the shore.  By then they had a dozen ships lined up to do what I had done 
so I didn’t go back.

Interviewer: But your boat wasn’t hit by the air raid, why do you think that 
was?  Because you were a smaller boat?

Dent: Because we were a PT boat and they were going for something more 
substantial.  Besides we were too small to hit.

Interviewer: Is there anything else you want to share?

Dent: I wound up after the war was over being sent to Great Lakes Training 
Station in Illinois outside of Chicago to be trained in insurance, veterans’ 
benefits, and something else and I was sent out to Rego Beach to conduct 
discharge ceremonies otherwise to advise sailors being discharged of their 
rights and benefits.  And I was there until October ’46.  That was good 

Interviewer: Well that brings us to our postwar questions.  Postwar 
experiences did you wish to stay in the service once you got home or did 
you want to go back to civilian life?

Dent: I did not have much choice as much as staying the service was concerned.  
We were sailors; they wanted to get us off the payroll as soon as possible.  
If I could have stay at Rego Beach and go to law school at the same time I 
would have stayed there.  I told you I had the one year scholarship and I used 
up half of it.  Good duty, swimming at the beach every day in the summer time 
and in February of ’46 I called up Brooklyn Law School and they told me I 
could resume my six months out of my one year scholarship.  So everyday 
starting February first, every day I finished at Rego Beach I took the Long 
Island Rail Road and went to Brooklyn and resumed law school.  So I was able 
to finish that other half semester coming to me.  If I had a deal like that 
it would be good, good salary good living.  But otherwise from that I was 
more anxious to get back to real life and go to law school and hopefully 
become a lawyer some day.

Interviewer: Did you go to law school as soon as you got home? You said you 
went to Rego Beach for the discharge duties?

Dent: GI Bill.

Interviewer: So with the GI Bill you could go to law school.

Dent: The GI Bill paid for law school.

Interviewer: Did the GI Bill meet your expectations?

Dent: I would say yes.  I mean I didn’t have great expectations.  As long as it 
paid for law school that was all I wanted.

Interviewer: So you practiced law for over sixty years and then you remained in 
the reserve for twenty years.  What made you remain in the reserves?

Dent: There were certain perks number one.  And if there was another war, I 
didn’t want to start from scratch.

Interviewer: So you were on the American Veteran Committee.  What did you do?

Dent: Pay my dues.

[End of Tape]