Theophile N. Scott
U. S. Marines
WWII US Military
Dates of Service: 08/20/1943 - 3/1/1946

"Everybody was miserable together," is how Theophile describes his overseas experience. Born in Natchitoches, Louisiana, Theophile was attending Louisiana Normal State College (now Northwestern State University) on a football scholarship when America entered World War II. He joined the Navy Reserves on December 6, 1941, but later resigned when he entered the U.S. Marine Corps, wanting to fly. In Marine boot camp, however, he was told his nose "was busted" and he needed an operation. "I wasn't about ready to get operated on," he says, laughing, a decision that cost him a chance to fly. Sent to Cherry Point, North Carolina, he worked in ordnance until he shipped out to the Pacific in December of 1944. He participated in the campaign for Luzon, the main island of the Philippines. He recalls Japanese sabotaging P-38 aircraft by inserting something into the gas tanks. "Every time one would go up, it would go down," he recalls, adding that they lost seven aircraft one day. Another time, a Japanese plane bombed an ammunition dump. The repercussion of the explosion "picked me up and put me in the air and set me down," he says. After his discharge he returned to Northwestern for a refresher course, and then coached and taught at Lake Providence, Louisiana and at St. John's in Shreveport. He then earned his master's degree from the University of Arkansas and worked on a doctorate. A heart attack at age thirty, however, ended his schooling. He returned to Louisiana and began teaching in Monterey.