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Norfolk, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Navy Mess Attendant School
 
Navy Mess Attendant School Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller (HMC, USN, Ret.), October 10, 2005
1. Navy Mess Attendant School Marker
 
Inscription. From 1933 to 1942, Navy recruits of African descent attended this school, located in barracks at Unit “K-West” and later at “B-East.” Advancement opportunities for these sailors and counterparts of Asian-Pacific Island heritage were then limited to serving as officer’s cooks or stewards. The school moved to Unit “X” in 1942 before training was relocated to Bainbridge, Maryland, and elsewhere. Though racial segregation continued, all job ratings were re-opened to qualified personnel in 1942. Mess attendants were re-designated “steward’s mates” in 1943, and more than 1,100 members of the messman/steward branch were killed during World War II. Norfolk trainees decorated for heroism include Navy Cross recipients Doris Miller, William Pinckney and Leonard Harmon.
 
Erected 2005 by Units K-West and B-East (USN) Mess Attendants Association. (Marker Number KV 16.)
 
Location. 36° 56.769′ N, 76° 18.98′ W. Marker is in Norfolk, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of Bacon Avenue and Morris Street, on the right when traveling north on Bacon Avenue. Click for map. The marker is inside the U.S. Naval Station, Norfolk. Enter Gate Two from Hampton Blvd/VA Rte. 337; go two blocks north on Maryland Ave. (i.e. the extension of Hampton Blvd inside the base); turn right (east) on Morris St. and go one block to Bacon Ave. The marker is at the southwest corner (i.e. the northwest corner of building “K-J”). Marker is at or near this postal address: U.S. Naval Station, Building K-J, Norfolk VA 23511, United States of America.
 
The unveiling. Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller (HMC, USN, Ret.), October 16, 2004
2. The unveiling.
 

 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Naval Air Station Norfolk (approx. 0.6 miles away); USS Cole DDG 67 (approx. 0.6 miles away); USS Cole (DDG 67) Memorial (approx. 0.7 miles away); Birthplace of Naval Aviation (approx. 0.7 miles away); Virginia and Monitor (approx. 0.7 miles away); We remember turret two ... (approx. 0.7 miles away); U.S. Submarine Veterans W.W. II Memorial (approx. 0.8 miles away); Naval Aviation Depot, Norfolk (approx. 1.1 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Norfolk.
 
More about this marker. The marker was authorized by the state of Virginia and the U.S. Navy, and it was dedicated on Veterans’ Day weekend, 2005, following the approval of my own proposal by the Units K-West and B-East (USN) Mess Attendants Association. Funding was provided mainly by the Navy Federal Credit Union, thanks to the efforts of Rear Admiral Daniel McKinnon, SC USN, Ret. Several veteran messmen and stewards attended the dedication, including Lloyd Prewitt (SDC, USN, Ret.) a member of the first graduating class in 1933.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
 
Also see . . .
1. Cook Third Class Doris Miller, USN (1919—1944). (Submitted on September 27, 2007.)
 
Former Navy messmen and stewards await marker's unveiling. Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller (HMC, USN, Ret.), October 16, 2004
3. Former Navy messmen and stewards await marker's unveiling.
 

2. Navy Cook First Class William Pinckney (1915–1975). (Submitted on September 27, 2007.)
3. Leonard Roy Harmon, Mess Attendant First Class, USN, (1917–1942). (Submitted on September 27, 2007.)
4. A Room Full of Heroes. 2005 article by Jeff Edwards. (Submitted on September 27, 2007.) 

5. The Messman Chronicles: African-Americans in the U.S. Navy, 1932–1943. Book by Richard E. Miller on Amazon.com. (Submitted on October 10, 2007, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.) 
 
Additional keywords. Asian-Pacific Island Americans
 
Richard E. Miller poses with Lloyd Prewitt Photo, Click for full size
By Melvin Williams, MSCM (SS), U.S. Navy, Ret., October 16, 2004
4. Richard E. Miller poses with Lloyd Prewitt
 
 
Graduation photo, Navy Mess Attendant School Class # 1, 1933 Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller (HMC, USN, Ret.), November 10, 2005
5. Graduation photo, Navy Mess Attendant School Class # 1, 1933
Photo provided by Lloyd Prewitt of San Diego, California, the last surviving member of Class #1.
 
 
Lloyd Prewitt of Mess Attendant Class #1 is interviewed by the press. Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller (HMC, USN, Ret.), November 10, 2005
6. Lloyd Prewitt of Mess Attendant Class #1 is interviewed by the press.
 
 
Veteran messmen, their families and supporters at marker dedication. Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller (HMC, USN, Ret.), November 10, 2005
7. Veteran messmen, their families and supporters at marker dedication.
 
 
Rear Admiral Daniel McKinnon, SC, USN, Ret. addresses the audience. Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller (HMC, USN, Ret.), October 16, 2004
8. Rear Admiral Daniel McKinnon, SC, USN, Ret. addresses the audience.
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on September 27, 2007, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 3,199 times since then. Last updated on November 17, 2013, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos:   1. submitted on September 27, 2007, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on October 8, 2007, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
 
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