Nathan White Bemis Interview, November 16, 2019


Nathan White Bemis


Connor Joel Bemis



Download Audio Interview (54.1 MB)

Download Transcript of Nathan Bemis interview (229 KB)


Nathan Bemis describes his time serving in the U.S. Navy from 1960 to 1964, narrowly missing deployment to Vietnam. Bemis discusses how he came to be a gunner’s mate after originally joining the Navy in order to become a Seabee. He talks about what life was like aboard a naval vessel on the West Coast of the United States and sailing around Cape Horn on the USS Lexington en route to Pensacola, Florida. Bemis details his daily duties including mopping the deck of the ship each morning for three years, polishing all of the brass on the ship’s four five-inch guns, and serving as the gunner’s mate each time one of the guns was fired for training operations. He describes the ship’s role in Florida training pilots to land on a carrier. He also notes how much he enjoyed photography and took the opportunity to photograph the places and scenes each time the carrier docked. Bemis describes getting out of the Navy two weeks before the Lexington headed for Vietnam. He states that he enjoyed his military service but decided to leave because he wanted to go to Bible school. He concludes by reminiscing about the friends he made and how they encouraged him to stay out of trouble.


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Document Type

Oral History

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage

California; Japan; Florida



Original Collection

The Veteran’s Experience Oral History Project, OH 472

Holding Institution

University of Montana. Mansfield Library. Archives and Special Collections

Digital Publisher

University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Holder

Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections at the University of Montana, Mansfield Library.

Oral History Number

OH 472-003

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

1 MP3 file (00:33:10): digital + 1 transcript (8 pp.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

00: 33:10 minutes

Local Filename

OH_472_003.mp3; OH_472_003.pdf

Nathan White Bemis Interview, November 16, 2019