John E. Haygood
U. S. Marines
WWII US Military
Dates of Service: 06/30/1941 - 11/10/1945
Rifleman/communications, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division

John was born in Shreveport to Claude Lee and Lillian Dale Taylor Haygood. Claude, a bill collector for Home Furniture Company, lost his job in the Depression, and moved the family to Frierson, Louisiana, where he worked in the pulpwood industry. John cut pulpwood, too, while the family lived in a converted chicken house. Instead of finishing high school, he earned a GED for his diploma, and left with a friend for Corpus Christi where he worked as a soda jerk in a drugstore and a short order cook in a cafe. John first joined the U.S. Navy while in Texas, but needed his parents' authorization. He went home, changed his mind, and joined the U.S. Marine Corps on June 30, 1941. "I liked the macho image and the dress blues," he says of his reasons to join the Marines. He sailed on the USS Monterrey on January 6, 1942 to Pago, Pago, Samoa, remaining there for eight months before shipping out to Guadalcanal. He recalls only one incident of close contact--an ambush in which his company fell under mortar attack. His unit was sent to New Zealand on February 8, 1943 to "rest and retrain." He remained in that country for "three or four months" suffering from malaria. He was sent to a hospital in San Diego. On a thirty-day leave, he married Janice Attaway on June 30, 1943. The couple would have four children, four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. John was stationed at Camp Pendleton for "six or eight months." He was then sent on to Pearl Harbor as part of a replacement unit, and from there to Guam. There they were training for the invasion of Japan when the war ended. Returning to America, John was discharged on November 10, 1945. He worked as a lineman for the telephone company and joined the Navy reserves. Called to active duty in the Korean War, he served at a naval training station in Dallas, then worked in supply in San Francisco. John returned to the telephone company, retiring in May of 1982.