Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: Cold War; World War, 1939-1945
  • Branch of Service: Navy
  • Unit of Service: USS Talamanca (AF 15); USS Comstock (LSD 19); USS Stone County (LST 1141); USS Hancock (CV 19)
  • Location of Service: Bainbridge, Maryland; Camp Shoemaker, California; Guadalcanal (Solomon Islands); Philippines; Pacific Theater; Pacific Ocean; Enewetak Atoll (Marshall Islands)
  • Highest Rank: Petty Officer Third Class; Seaman First Class

View full service history

“I went in to serve my country. What I was doing--mess attendant--I was still serving my country.” (Video interview 1:26:50)

While many northern-born African Americans, particularly those serving in the south, were taken aback by the racism they found in the military during World War II, Silas Gross was well acquainted with segregation and limited opportunities by the time he entered the Navy. Growing up in Lutcher, Louisiana, where Jim Crow was a fact of life, he worked harvesting rice and sugar, and then in the Higgins boat factory in New Orleans, before he was drafted in 1943. Restricted to serving as a cook, he helped feed the troops aboard the USS Talamanca, a supply ship, as it moved through the Pacific Theater, and established field kitchens on Guadalcanal and in the Philippines.

About this Item

Title

  • Silas Gross Collection

Names

  • Gross, Silas
  • Veterans Museum at Balboa Park
  • Appleton, Rick

State of Birth

  • LA

Home State

  • CA

Headings

  • -  Gross, Silas
  • -  World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Navy.
  • -  Cold War -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Navy.

Repository

  • Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Gender

  • Male

Race

  • Black or African American

Status

  • Veteran

Service History

  • World War, 1939-1945

    • Branch of Service: Navy
    • Unit of Service: USS Talamanca (AF 15); USS Comstock (LSD 19)
    • Location of Service: Bainbridge, Maryland; Camp Shoemaker, California; Guadalcanal (Solomon Islands); Philippines; Pacific Theater
    • Highest Rank: Seaman First Class
    • Dates of Service: 1943-1946
    • Entrance into Service: Drafted
    • Military Status: Veteran
  • Cold War

    • Branch of Service: Navy
    • Unit of Service: USS Stone County (LST 1141); USS Hancock (CV 19)
    • Location of Service: Pacific Ocean; Enewetak Atoll (Marshall Islands)
    • Highest Rank: Petty Officer Third Class
    • Dates of Service: 1946-1966
    • Entrance into Service: Enlisted
    • Military Status: Veteran

Materials

  • Manuscript: Transcript [1 item] -- Typewritten document (collected 03/2013)
  • Computer File: CD [1 item] -- Electronic file of manuscript (collected 2013)
  • Video: DVD [1 item] -- Oral history interview (collected 07/23/2012)

Collection Number

  • AFC/2001/001/90449

Cite as

  • Silas Gross Collection (AFC/2001/001/90449), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Online Format

  • image
  • video
  • pdf

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

Using VHP Material in Publication or Exhibition

The Veterans History Project (VHP) at the Library of Congress collects, preserves and makes accessible the firsthand recollections of U.S. military veterans who served from World War I through more recent conflicts and peacekeeping missions, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand what they saw, did and felt during their service. The Veterans History Project Collection includes oral histories along with documentary materials such as original letters, diaries, photographs, and memoirs.

Veterans and interviewers contribute these materials to the Library for scholarly and educational purposes, retaining any copyright they may hold. Therefore, permission must be obtained before using the interview or other materials in exhibition or publication. Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these materials should contact the Veterans History Project for assistance.

As a publicly supported institution, the Library generally does not own rights to material in its collections. Therefore, it does not charge permission fees for use of such material and cannot give or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material in its collections. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item from the Library’s collections and for securing any necessary permissions rests with persons desiring to use the item.

Please contact us with questions.

Obtaining Copies of VHP Materials

In order for VHP materials to be duplicated, we must receive written permission from the interviewee for you to obtain a copy of the recording unless the proposed use is limited to personal use, research, or other uses permissible by copyright law. If the interviewee is deceased, their next-of-kin may grant written permission.

Please contact VHP for assistance if you need to contact a veteran for permission to use their materials in exhibition or publication, or if you have received permission from the veteran and need access to high-resolution copies of VHP collection materials.

Citing VHP Materials

Please use the following formats when citing Veterans History Project materials (substituting the appropriate name and collection ID number).

Materials as a whole:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Manuscript material:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Memoirs (MS02), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Transcript (MS04), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Correspondence (MS01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Recording:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Audio recording (SR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Video recording (MV01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Photograph:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Photographs (PH01), photographer unknown, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Photographs (PH03-PH14), Ralph Williams photographer, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Computer file:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Computer file (CF01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Artifact:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Artifact (AR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Gross, Silas, Veterans Museum At Balboa Park, and Rick Appleton. Silas Gross Collection. 1943. Personal Narrative. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.90449/.

APA citation style:

Gross, S., Veterans Museum At Balboa Park & Appleton, R. (1943) Silas Gross Collection. [Personal Narrative] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.90449/.

MLA citation style:

Gross, Silas, Veterans Museum At Balboa Park, and Rick Appleton. Silas Gross Collection. 1943. Personal Narrative. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.90449/>.