Meet Navy Veteran Bernard Oliver Scott, a remarkable individual who served his country with dedication and valor. Born on August 17, 1917, in Richmond’s Church Hill neighborhood, Scott enlisted in the Navy at the age of 18, joining the crew of the battleship Oklahoma. As a Mess Attendant, Scott served officers and was part of the Messman Branch, which consisted primarily of Black sailors. Tragically, Scott lost his life during the attack on Pearl Harbor when the Oklahoma was struck by torpedoes and capsized. His remains were returned home in 1947, and he was laid to rest at Richmond National Cemetery. Let’s honor and remember the service and sacrifice of this courageous Navy Veteran.
#VetOfTheDay Navy Veteran Bernard Oliver Scott
Today, we honor Navy Veteran Bernard Oliver Scott as the #VeteranOfTheDay. Scott was born on August 17, 1917, in Richmond’s Church Hill neighborhood, a community with a vibrant African American heritage. He grew up in a loving family, with his father working in a tobacco factory and his mother as a chambermaid at a local hotel.
In 1936, at the young age of 18, Scott left his hometown of Richmond to enlist in the Navy. He joined the crew of the battleship Oklahoma as a Mess Attendant, a rank that would later be changed to Steward’s Mate during World War II. Scott, along with other members of the Messman Branch, was responsible for serving officers on the ship. It is important to note that the Messman Branch was predominantly made up of Black sailors, as white sailors were prohibited from serving in this branch.
Scott’s dedication to his service led him to re-enlist in 1940. Unfortunately, tragedy struck on December 7, 1941, when the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor occurred. At the time of the attack, Scott was stationed aboard the Battleship Oklahoma. The ship was struck by several torpedoes, causing it to capsize. Tragically, Scott did not survive the attack. Along with him, 429 crew members lost their lives on the USS Oklahoma.
After the attack, Scott’s remains were repatriated in 1947. He was laid to rest at the Richmond National Cemetery, in Section 1B, Site 5524. His bravery and sacrifice will forever be remembered. We invite you to honor his service by visiting his Veterans Legacy Memorial page.
The story of Bernard Oliver Scott is part of the Veterans Legacy Program, where we strive to share the stories of veterans interred in our national cemeteries. By sharing these stories, we aim to preserve their legacies and educate future generations on the sacrifices made by our veterans.
Do you know a special veteran whose story deserves to be highlighted? You can nominate them for #VeteranOfTheDay. Visit our blog post on nominating a veteran to learn more about the process and how you can create the best submission.
In conclusion, we pay tribute to Navy Veteran Bernard Oliver Scott for his service and sacrifice. His story serves as a reminder of the bravery and dedication of our veterans. Let us continue to honor and remember their contributions to our nation.
Early Life and Background
Birth and Family
Bernard Oliver Scott was born on August 17, 1917, in Richmond, Virginia. He was the second of six children in his family. His father, Joseph Scott, worked at a tobacco factory, while his mother Sadie served as a chambermaid at a local hotel. With loving parents and a supportive family, Scott grew up in a nurturing environment.
Community of Richmond’s Church Hill
Scott’s childhood was spent in the Church Hill neighborhood of Richmond. This community had a vibrant African American heritage and played an important role in shaping Scott’s upbringing. The strong sense of community and cultural richness in Church Hill would later influence Scott’s life.
African American Heritage
Growing up in a predominantly African American neighborhood, Scott was immersed in his community’s rich heritage and culture. This exposure fostered a sense of pride in his roots and instilled in him the values of resilience and determination that would guide him throughout his life.
Enlistment and Service
Enlistment in the Navy
In 1936, at the age of 18, Scott made the decision to leave his hometown and enlist in the Navy. This marked the beginning of his dedicated service to his country. Scott’s enlistment showcased his commitment to making a difference and serving something greater than himself.
Rank as Mess Attendant
Upon joining the Navy, Scott was assigned the rank of Mess Attendant. This position involved serving officers on the ship and assisting in various tasks related to food service. Scott’s rank would later be changed to Steward’s Mate during World War II.
Responsibilities as a Mess Attendant
As a Mess Attendant, Scott played a vital role in providing nourishment and support to the officers he served. He ensured that meals were prepared and served with care, and he maintained cleanliness and efficiency in the mess area. Scott’s responsibilities demanded attention to detail and dedication to his duties.
Composition of the Messman Branch
The Messman Branch, to which Scott belonged, was primarily made up of Black sailors. They were responsible for serving officers and were known for their skill and professionalism in their roles. This branch played a crucial role in the functioning of the Navy, and its members, including Scott, made significant contributions to the overall mission.
Prohibition of White Sailors in the Messman Branch
During Scott’s service, the Messman Branch was exclusively comprised of Black sailors. White sailors were prohibited from serving in this branch, highlighting the racial segregation and discrimination pervasive at the time. Despite these obstacles, Scott and his fellow Mess Attendants demonstrated their capabilities and dedication to their duties.
Re-enlistment in 1940
Scott’s commitment to his service led him to re-enlist in 1940. His decision to continue serving his country amidst the escalating global tension showcased his bravery and resolve. Scott’s re-enlistment would ultimately lead to his tragic involvement in the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Attack on Pearl Harbor
Stationed aboard the Battleship Oklahoma
At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Scott was stationed aboard the Battleship Oklahoma. This ship played a significant role in the events of that fateful day, as it was one of the primary targets of the Japanese assault. Scott, along with his fellow crew members, found themselves facing a grave and unexpected threat.
Torpedo Strikes and Subsequent Capsizing of the Ship
During the attack, the Battleship Oklahoma was struck by several torpedoes. The impact of these strikes caused the ship to capsize, leading to chaos and destruction. The rapidity of the attack left little time for the crew to respond, and tragically, Scott’s shipmates and himself were faced with overwhelming odds.
Death of Bernard Oliver Scott
Bernard Oliver Scott, along with 429 crew members, tragically lost his life during the attack on the USS Oklahoma. Their sacrifice and bravery in the face of adversity will forever be remembered. Scott’s life was cut short at the young age of 24, but his memory lives on as a testament to his dedication and service.
Total Casualties on the USS Oklahoma
The attack on Pearl Harbor resulted in devastating losses, with the USS Oklahoma being one of the hardest-hit ships. A total of 429 crew members lost their lives on the battleship, including Bernard Oliver Scott. The casualties sustained on the USS Oklahoma serve as a solemn reminder of the human cost of war.
Return Home and Burial
Repatriation of Remains
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, efforts were made to repatriate the remains of those who had lost their lives. In 1947, Bernard Oliver Scott’s remains were returned home to Richmond, Virginia. The repatriation process allowed his family and community to honor his memory and find solace in his return.
Interment at Richmond National Cemetery
Upon his return to Richmond, Bernard Oliver Scott was laid to rest at the Richmond National Cemetery. This final resting place stands as a testament to his sacrifice and service to his country. It serves as a place where family, friends, and future generations can pay their respects and honor his memory.
Location of Grave – Section 1B, Site 5524
Scott’s grave is located in Section 1B, Site 5524 of the Richmond National Cemetery. This specific location serves as a permanent tribute to his life and contributions as a Navy veteran. It carries immense significance for his loved ones and the community that continues to honor his memory.
Honoring Bernard Oliver Scott
Veterans Legacy Memorial Page
Bernard Oliver Scott’s service and sacrifice are commemorated on his Veterans Legacy Memorial page. This online platform ensures that his story will be preserved and shared for generations to come. Through this page, individuals can learn about his life, leave tributes, and keep his memory alive.
#VetOfTheDay from the Veterans Legacy Program
Bernard Oliver Scott’s story has been recognized by our #VetOfTheDay. This program seeks to highlight the lives and legacies of veterans interred in national cemeteries. By sharing Scott’s story, the program honors his service and ensures that his sacrifice is not forgotten.
Sharing the Stories of Veterans in National Cemeteries
The Veterans Legacy Program is dedicated to sharing the stories of veterans laid to rest in national cemeteries. By preserving their legacies and educating others, the program honors the sacrifices made by these brave men and women. The stories of veterans like Bernard Oliver Scott serve as a reminder of the profound impact that individuals can have on their country.
Nominate a Veteran for #VetOfTheDay
Highlighting Special Veterans
The #VetOfTheDay social media feature provides an opportunity to highlight special veterans and their service. It allows individuals to express gratitude and appreciation for the sacrifices made by these individuals. By nominating a veteran, you can help light up the face of a deserving individual and show them how much they mean to you.
Process of Nominating a Veteran
Nominating a veteran for #VetOfTheDay is a straightforward process. To create the best submission, visit our blog post on nominating a veteran to learn more about the process and guidelines. This is a wonderful opportunity to honor a veteran in your life and share their story with a wider audience.
Navy Veteran Bernard Oliver Scott’s life and service are a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by our veterans. From his early life in Richmond’s Church Hill neighborhood to his tragic loss during the attack on Pearl Harbor, Scott exemplified bravery and dedication. His memory lives on in the hearts of his loved ones and in the eternal resting place at the Richmond National Cemetery.
Through initiatives like the Veterans Legacy Program and the #VetOfTheDay campaign, we honor the legacies of veterans like Scott and ensure that their stories are told. By sharing these stories, we educate future generations about the sacrifices made by our military heroes.
As we reflect on Bernard Oliver Scott’s life and service, let us remember the profound impact that each veteran has had on our country. Their bravery, selflessness, and dedication deserve our utmost respect and gratitude.