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Former Crew Members Gather for USS North Carolina Reunion

Black Navy veteran recalls days of segregation aboard USS North Carolina.

WILMINGTON — As a seaman on the USS North Carolina during World War II, John Seagraves weathered a Pacific typhoon and helped shoot down a Japanese kamikaze bent on attacking the battleship. But his most harrowing memories of his days as a sailor are of the way the Navy treated black soldiers such as him.

“I thought it would be an adventure,” Seagraves said this week, recalling why he enlisted in the Navy just before he turned 17, when so many people he knew were heading off to war.

Only in the past few years has Seagraves, 85, had any desire to visit the ship that was his home at sea from 1944 to 1945. He’s here this week for the annual Battleship Association Crew Reunion, which []

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May 18, 2012

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