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McPhatter, Thomas Hayswood  

Yvonne Latty

U.S. Marine Corps sergeant, U.S. Navy captain, World War II and Vietnam veteran, Montford Point marine, and Iwo Jima survivor, was born in Lumberton, North Carolina, the eleventh and last child and only son of Elizabeth Morrissey and Thomas Matthew McPhatter, a master barber. During the Depression his family lost everything they had in the bank and they struggled for food and clothing. On 19 May 1941 he graduated from high school, registered for the draft, and enrolled at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina, intending to study history. His parents could not afford to pay his tuition so he worked summers and during the school year.

When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941 McPhatter did not want to go to war He was exempted as an only son and had a deferment as a pre theological student because he ...