Ottis Littlejohn
Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class
U. S. Navy
WWII US Military
Dates of Service: 11/04/1941 - 11/19/1946
Served on minesweeper USS Long, USS Long

Born on an antebellum plantation north of Jefferson, Texas, Ottis was the son of a sharecropper and one of eleven brothers and sisters. "You're raised to work and you work," Ottis recalls of families during the Great Depression era. He toiled on the farm and graduated from Linden High School in Linden, Texas, in 1939. In January of 1940 he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and was sent to Grand Junction Colorado to help build Colorado National Monument. He recalls being paid $45 a month while serving as a mess sergeant. Ottis left the CCC in July of 1941 and joined the U.S. Navy that fall. He never finished boot camp. Five weeks into his initial training, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Ottis was quickly shipped over to Hawaii on a converted luxury liner. By January 10, 1942 he was on submarine patrol duty aboard a destroyer minesweeper, the USS Long (DMS-12). The Long worked in waters near New Guinea, Guadalcanal, and Los Negros. Ottis returned to the States for a thirty-day leave. By September of 1944 he was sailing in Alaskan waters, and recalls the bitter cold above deck when he stood gun watch in sleet, snow, and wind. In September of 1945 he was sent to Great Lakes Navy Training Center where he was assigned to security watch and other duties. He was discharged September 19, 1945. He married and stayed in the Chicago area until 1954 when he and his wife came to Shreveport. Ottis worked for Custom-Built Cabinet & Supply for more than twenty-five years. He retired in 1983.