Sandra Stewart Holyoak: This begins an interview with Mr. Frank J. McIntosh on May 14, 1999 in Bishop House of the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers University. I am Sandra Holyoak and assisting in the interview is my intern …
Shaun Illingworth: Shaun Illingworth.
SSH: Thank you for coming, Mr. McIntosh. I understand you live in Connecticut.
FM: Yes. Yes, Groton, Connecticut, which is also known as the "Submarine Capital of the World." And you told me on your way over here that your husband had been a submariner, and therefore he was familiar with it. And I suppose you are familiar with Groton, too?
SSH: Yes, we lived there about eight months, or almost a year, I think.
FM: Probably in Navy housing?
SSH: No, actually we lived in a place called Canterbury Green, which is in a little village about forty miles north, near Norwich.
FM: Oh, yeah.
SSH: So housing was really tight while we were there. There were several boats, at Electric Boat, so we were low man on the totem pole. [Laughs] To begin the interview, I'd like to ask you to tell us a little bit about yourself. Where you were born and when?
FM: Yes, I was born along with my twin brother, Mike, in St. James Hospital in Newark, New Jersey on February 27, 1922. My mother was Kathleen Crowley McIntosh, born in Ireland, and immigrated to the United States with her family. My father was James McIntosh, who had been born in Paisley, Scotland, and had immigrated with his family to the United States. And they met and married in the United States, and of that union, Mike and I were born in Newark, New Jersey in February 1922.
SSH: Can you tell us a little bit about your father's background in Paisley and why the family decided to immigrate?
FM: Yes. My dad came from a family of twelve, and he was either the youngest, or next to the youngest. In speaking with him, I learned that things were financially and economically very tough for the family, especially a family with twelve children. And I gather that they stuck it out as long as they could as a family. At the same time, while they were in Scotland, my dad was growing up. He became interested in the bagpipes. He became a very, very skillful bagpipe player and when he was about the age of seventeen or eighteen, he was known as the national bagpipe champion of Scotland.
SSH: That is an honor.
FM: Yes, yes. And he's got dozens and dozens of medals and trophies from his years as a bagpiper. As a matter of fact, there was a poem written about him called the "Piper Paisley" by, I assume, a Scottish poet laureate, Archibald McPhee. And it starts: [Recites poem in Scottish dialect]. In other words, "Yesterday I saw a strapping child who played the bagpipes very well." And it goes on for a number of stanzas. I still have the poem alongside my dad's picture, showing all his medals as a young bagpipe player. In coming to this country and after marrying my mother, my dad continued his interest in the bagpipes, certainly not as an occupation or an income producing venture. He became an automotive mechanic for the United States Post Office. He would work on the mail trucks. And I recall boasting, falsely by the way, boasting to my classmates that my dad worked on airmail trucks only. [Laughs] He didn't work on the ordinary mail trucks you'd see driving around the streets. So, he continued in that work for the United States Post Office until his retirement, which I suppose was around the early 1950s. We lived in Kearny, New Jersey, which is north of Newark. Mike and I attended St. Cecelia's Grammar School and High School. We had an older brother, James, Jr., who also had gone through that school. He was about four and a half years our senior. About the time my dad retired from the post office, the family, in the meantime, Mike and I had gone off to Rutgers. And then we were in the war, married shortly afterwards, and so we were no longer living at home. My parents had sold the house in Kearny, New Jersey and with my older brother, who had not married, moved to Ridgewood, New Jersey. My older brother went to Fordham University and got his undergraduate degree and also became a lawyer through Fordham University. And although he lived all his life in New Jersey, he was not able to be admitted to the New Jersey Bar because, at least in those days, you would have to have had, so to speak, interned in a law office in New Jersey for a very, very nominal salary for a certain number of months or years, and then be admitted to the bar, something he couldn't afford to do. But New York, where Fordham was located and from which law school he graduated, their rules were different. So he was able to be admitted to the New York Bar. And his law practice centered in New York City. So he'd commute from Ridgewood, New Jersey to New York City, and back and forth daily. Following our, Mike and I, attendance at Rutgers, we joined, I guess it was, late in our sophomore year, we joined the V-12 Unit of the Navy. We continued on at Rutgers through our junior year, and then the Navy called us to active duty. Under the V-12 Program, you would be sent to college if you hadn't graduated, as Mike and I had not. We were sent to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia for a semester, where we had to take certain courses mandated by the Navy. Draftsmanship was one, and a course in geography, that was another. I've forgotten the third one. But then to the extent that you were able to devote more time, you could also take elective subjects. And I remember taking a pre-law course while I was at the University of Pennsylvania. We were there from about July '43 through Thanksgiving of '43. Then we were sent briefly to Norfolk, Virginia for pre-midshipmen school training that lasted about two weeks. We were, at that point, in enlisted uniforms. We were "seaman recruits," I think was the phrase. Lowest of the low. A little before Thanksgiving of 1943, we were sent to Abbott Hall in Chicago, Illinois. That was part of Northwestern University. Abbott Hall was actually an apartment building for medical and dental students. But it was taken over by the Navy and converted into dormitories for the V-12 students, or we should now call ourselves midshipmen. We were now on our way to being commissioned as ensigns, which happened on St. Patrick's Day in 1944. Mike and I were commissioned ensigns in the Navy. While we were there, there were, as you are probably aware, many organizations that would have dances for the service people on Saturday nights or Sunday afternoons. And I recall one interesting situation. Mike had gone to one of the dances. There was a club on Lake Michigan where he met a girl by the name of Eileen Muldoon. This was a Saturday afternoon. I was not with him. And he told her he would be back the following Saturday and he wanted to see her. That was a Saturday, as I say. The very next day, Sunday, he went to another dance where he met another girl, and actually this is the girl he later married, Gene Smith. She was from the Chicago area. So coming back to the room, and as we approached the following Saturday, he told me he had promised to see Eileen Muldoon, but he now had made a date to see Gene Smith, and would I go and meet Eileen Muldoon? Well, being twins, of course, we looked somewhat alike. But certainly when we were in uniform there was virtually nothing to distinguish us. And he told me she had black hair, and that she'd be wearing a name tag with Eileen on it, and I would have my name tag, McIntosh. And all I had to do was wait at the front door until I saw this black haired girl walk in, and that was it. And that's the way it worked out. I saw Eileen, I swept her in my arms, and away we danced. This went on all afternoon. And I took her out to dinner. On taking her home, we got aboard a bus or trolley car. I had no change, I had to take my wallet out. She was standing next to me. As I took my wallet out, she looked at the ID card and saw that I was not Mike McIntosh, but Frank McIntosh. She was somewhat upset. She felt she had been deceived somehow, I don't know just how. I took her home and told her what the circumstances had been. But I didn't get to kiss her goodnight. [Laughs] I assure you of that. It was, oh, probably a year and a half later when war in the Atlantic was over and I was going to the Pacific to catch my second ship, I stopped in Chicago and Eileen came and met me for dinner. And that was the last time I saw her. I guess Mike never did see her. So that was an interesting situation that happened at midshipmen's school. After midshipmen school, Mike and I were put under the direction of the Third Naval District, which was on Pine Street, as I recall, in New York City, and assigned to the Armed Guard Unit. The Armed Guard was a contingent of naval personnel to man the guns on the Merchant Marine ships. These merchant marine ships were run by the Merchant Marines. They had a Merchant Marine captain and crew. But they did not have trained communicators or gunnery people. So the Navy put a communications crew and a gunnery crew on the "Liberty ships" or "Victory ships," as they were called. There were two types of ships. The Liberty ships went about nine knots, very slow. But of course, they sailed in convoys of 100 and 120 ships at a time. The Liberty ships were somewhat faster. They would still sail in convoys. Mike and I, as I said, were assigned to the Armed Guard Units. I went aboard the SSThomas R. Marshall as communications' officer. Mike went aboard the SS Walter Reed, also as a communications' officer. And we had a radio staff and signal men. They would be the ones who used signal flags and, of course, the blinking lights. And the radio men, of course, would man the radio shack. There was also, as I said before, a gunnery officer with gunners aboard to man the five inch 38s, forward and aft, and the twenty millimeter gun tubs. This gave Mike and me a chance to communicate even though we were at sea. Not by radio, but in the daytime we could, using some of the flashing lights. We had learned the Morse Code and we could signal each other. I would get on the bridge and I'd just flick out "Mike." "Da da did it, da da da." And one of his signal men would see that and they'd call Mike to the light so we could chat over the distance. Very often it was hard to find him, because we didn't know where each ship was. But we'd locate each other that way. And then we'd arrive in Oran, Marseilles, and Naples. Unfortunately at one point, Mike's ship, in entering Antwerp, either was torpedoed or hit a mine. Fortunately Mike was not injured, but his ship was damaged, greatly damaged. And it was at that time that he was then transferred to a Victory ship, and so we no longer sailed in the same convoys. But, of course, we did keep in touch with each other by mail. In 1945, when the war ended in Europe, we were then relieved or sent from the Armed Guard Division of the Navy back into the Third Naval District for further assignment. I was assigned to the USS Henrico (APA 45), which was an attack transport in the Pacific Theater. And it was then stationed at Treasure Island in San Francisco, California. I was surprised when I reached there to find that the Henrico had just taken some weeks or some months before Kamikazes down her stack, and she was tied up at Treasure Island for repairs. While I was assigned to the Henrico, I could not get aboard. I was living either in the officers' quarters at Treasure Island, or I remember living in a hotel in San Francisco. As a matter-of-fact, it wasn't very far from where the United Nations was being organized. I believe it was the United Nations, in San Francisco. I never attended any of the hearings or sessions or get togethers that they had, but I remember reading about it and being aware that I was near their formation quarters. Going back a few months, I was in New York City when the European war ended. And I was sent to San Francisco. I was in San Francisco because of the Henrico, not being able to get underway when the Japanese war ended. So I thought that was a rather fortuitous situation, being in New York for VE Day and being in the San Francisco for VJ Day. When I got aboard the Henrico, I learned that we were then on our way out to Eniwetok for testing of the hydrogen bomb or atomic bomb, but we were going to stop in Pearl Harbor on our way. By the time we got to Pearl Harbor, I had acquired enough points, which were based upon the number of months I had been in service, the number of months I had been at sea, and other factors. You got points, and when you reached a certain number of points, then you were eligible for separation. The war was over and they didn't need you anymore, so to speak. So I was able to get off the USS Henrico at Pearl Harbor. Yeah. In Oahu. This would have been around January or February of 1946, yeah. I had no particular duties assigned to me other than to check in with the port director each morning to see if there was a ship going back to the United States that would take me back. And I was told, "No. Come back tomorrow." I would go to the motor pool and get a Jeep and drive around Oahu. I found there were some nice places to go. Before leaving the States, aboard the Henrico, the ship had gone to Portland, Oregon. And there was a club there known as the Aero Club. And I learned that, now this was in December of 1945, that service people, particularly officers, were invited to use their indoor swimming facilities. So another officer and I went and had a date at the swimming pool, and while I was in the water, I saw this pair of legs walking along the side of the pool. The friend and I were the only ones swimming, and so I got out of the water. I had talked to the girl who was in charge of the swimming pool earlier. And this girl that I saw walking along was coming to meet the gal that was in charge of the swimming pool. And through her, the girl in charge of the swimming pool, I was introduced to Lynn, whom I later married. We struck up an acquaintance there at the side of the swimming pool. I asked her if she'd like to go out to dinner. "Sure." "See a movie." "Sure." And then we started corresponding. And when I got to Pearl Harbor, I had a letter from Lynn telling me that she had a friend named Beth Boyle at Pearl Harbor. She was in … Fort … I've forgotten the name of the installation. It was an Army installation. And her friend, Beth, was in encoding cryptographic work. Incidentally, as communication's officer, I was a cryptographer, too.
FM: But anyhow, through my wife-to-be, I met Beth, and we had many pleasant days picnicking, swimming, depending on her schedule, going to the movies, dances, and things like that. This went on for four months, believe it or not, my trip to Hawaii, without being able to get a ship back to the United States. It wasn't until around April or May that I finally got a ship back. One thing I can recall. When we were at the University of Pennsylvania, we ran into a fellow … Mike and I had been very interested in and were very active with the Glee Club here at Rutgers. And there was a fellow at the University of Pennsylvania who had been active with the Glee Club in whatever his college was, and he organized a Glee Club among the V-12 students at the University of Pennsylvania. We'd sing at USO clubs and other gatherings. And we enjoyed his company. Nick was his name. I remember he was of Greek descent. And, as a matter-of-fact, he went to Norfolk, Virginia with us after we left the University of Pennsylvania. And I remember Mike and I spent an afternoon with him. He said he was going to go around and meet his relatives. I think we went to every restaurant in Norfolk, Virginia, all owned by Greeks, and he was quite sure he'd find some relatives. [Laughs] And we finally did, and I think we got a cup of coffee and a piece of pie after stopping in about ten different restaurants. He would disappear into the back and talk to the manager and, as I say, we finally got a cup of coffee and a piece of pie. I ran into him again at Pearl Harbor. While I was there, I was out with Beth Boyle, and ran into Nick. I introduced Nick to Beth Boyle. This was about two weeks before I left, coming back to the United States. And of course, I told Beth I'd be leaving the next day or whatever it was. And she said she'd come down to the ship to see me off. And sure enough, while I was aboard, I went up onto the weather deck. And sure enough, there was Beth, and we waved goodbye. And then, sure enough, there was Nick, who came up and put his arm around her and he waved goodbye, too. [Laughs] He moved right in. [Laughs] I always laugh about that. I didn't keep in touch with Beth Boyle very much, not because of that incident, but because there was nothing between us other than the friendship that we both had with Lynn Cary. And then, when I got to the States and got off the ship in San Francisco, then I took the train heading east and stopped at Dayton, Ohio where Lynn's father was a brigadier general in the Air Force. At this point, he was stationed at the Wright Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. So I spent a couple of days there and enjoyed the stay. It was now late May or early June. I had applied for admission to law school. I applied for admission at several law schools, and was informed that NYU would accept me, but not until late September or early October. Classes didn't start until then, and here it was around June. I had an option. I could have been separated right away. On the other hand, I had nothing to do. And I had no income, so I opted to stay on in the Navy. I was sent out to Long Island to a separation center there. Lido Beach, Long Island, sometimes known as Long Beach. And I was there as what was called a separation officer. I would go to Grand Central or Pennsylvania Station as servicemen were being transferred from whatever base that they had been on to the separation center. And I would escort that group of sailors back to Long Island, and get them into their barracks, and report them to the commanding officer, etc. That duty would take me through the end of September, and I'd have a couple of weeks off before I'd start law school. So when I realized what a nice place Lido Beach was in the summer months, right on the water, on the southern shore, I invited Lynn to join me at Lido Beach. I rented an apartment for her and she came out, and two weeks later we were married. Fast. The way that happened was that in New York City, when her father, as I said before, he was a brigadier general in the Air Force. When her father and mother were in New York City during the war, they met a lady known as Edmee Busch Greenhaugh. She was an heir to the Busch Beer millions. And they became good friends with her. Edmee Bush Greenhaugh lived in the St. Regis Hotel, Fifth Avenue and Fifty-Fifth Street, a very wealthy lady. And every Sunday, she would have, I guess you'd call it a coffee hour or tea, a luncheon. And she'd have guests, very notable people, come to her apartment for a glass of wine or whatever. And then we'd all go down to the main dining room of the St. Regis Hotel for lunch. I learned this after meeting her, of course, but this is what I've been told as to how my wife's parent got to know her. And she was able, although lace and other imported items were very, very difficult to find, she was able to get a wedding gown. A very, very fashionable, and pretty, and expensive one, I guess. So she provided my wife with a wedding gown. And the reception was at the St. Regis Hotel, following the wedding. And the only trouble was, now that we were married, all we had was that little apartment, one room. It was a small apartment at Lido Beach. But, of course, I still had my parents in Kearny, New Jersey, where they were then living. So we stayed on at Lido Beach until my time was up. I was separated for the first time. And then we went to Kearny, New Jersey, where my folks were still living, and then moved into a place called North Brother Island in New York City. That had been the home of Typhoid Mary. I'm sure everyone has heard of Typhoid Mary. North Brother Island was an island, obviously reached only by ferry, in which communicable disease patients were kept, including Typhoid Mary. They were isolated from the mainland. Typhoid Mary, I learned, was not herself sick, but she was a carrier of typhus. And she would leave when she could, and take a job in a restaurant or some other institution, where she would be in contact with individuals and transmit the disease to them, although she herself wasn't affected by it. It took them a long, long time to discover that that was what was happening. At the beginning of the war, North Brother Island was deserted or closed down as a hospital facility. I think there were about eight buildings, four stories high, each story containing one ward. Those buildings and the individual wards were remodeled into small apartments for veterans returning to schools of higher learning. If you were coming back and going to medical school, dental school, Julliard School of Music, law school, or journalism school, you were eligible for an apartment on North Brother Island. It was opposite East 138th Street in the Bronx. I found very quickly that sometimes the ferries didn't run, usually if it was foggy. And when I'd have an examination at law school, I would rent a room downtown near Greenwich Village where NYU School of Law was located so that I would be sure to be there for the examination the next morning. Because after the war, as you can probably realize, there had been such a slow down in graduates from college getting into a school of higher learning because of their service, either in the Army, Navy or Air Force, that now, all of a sudden, the floodgates were open when the war ended and they were all discharged. And this put quite a strain on the schools that were admitting the students. They didn't want to turn anyone down if they could avoid it. On the other hand, they had admitted more than they felt that would graduate. As a matter-of-fact, I remember Dean Vanderbilt, the Dean of the law school, coming in and telling our class that there were at least three hundred or three hundred and fifty in the freshman law school class. And I remember him telling us, "Look to your left or look to your right, 'cause one of you is not going to graduate." And that's about the way it worked out. So if you missed an examination, you did not get a chance to take it over again. And no excuse that you gave them was satisfactory. You just flunked that examination, and therefore you took a very good chance of flunking the course. So rather than taking those chances, as I say, living on North Brother Island, and afraid of the fog in the morning, I'd rent a room in a hotel down near NYU and make sure I was there for the examination. So I graduated from NYU in '49. As a matter-of-fact, this year is our fiftieth reunion. I did not attend the reunion. One of the reasons, of course, would be that although I was going to law school during the daytime, I was really commuting. And there was no campus life. It wasn't like living in Winants Hall when Mike and I were here, and being part of the Glee Club, the Scarlet Rifles, and the football team. There was no camaraderie, except maybe you'd have a cup of coffee with one of the other students. So I felt no great fondness as an alumnus for NYU, although I'm grateful for the education I received. My wife and I have two children. Our first child was born when I was recalled by the Navy, when Congress adopted UCMJ [Uniform Code of Military Justice] and they needed lawyers in uniform. She was born at Rome, New York where my father-in-law, her grandfather, was then commanding officer of Griffins Air Force Base. My older child is named Edmee. Guess who she is named after? Edmee Busch Greenhaugh. And our second child is Frankie, guess who she's named after? My older child, is living in Mystic area near Groton. My younger child is out in Colorado. As far as the Navy is concerned, when I was recalled the second time, I went to the School of Justice in Newport Rhode Island, where I took the course and I taught a course in what's called Charges and Specifications. And then I was sent to the submarine base as assistant legal officer in Groton, Connecticut. As I said before, my first child was born at Griffins Air Force Base. And shortly thereafter, my father-in-law retired. And then of course, I got my wife and my first born together and brought them down to Groton, and we bought a house and settled there. And against that background, I decided that I didn't want to go back to New York, although I had practiced there for about a year and half. I decided to try to make a career out of practicing law in Connecticut. As a matter-of-fact, I was admitted while I was still in uniform and the assistant legal officer of the submarine base. One of my duties as assistant legal officer was to be a legal assistance officer. In other words, I would help fellows who were having difficulties of a civil nature as well as a military nature. They might be facing a court-martial or mast. A mast is non-judicial punishment. But for the most part, I was dealing with the sailors' problems with landlords. Sometimes divorce, thinking about divorce, or custody, automobile accidents. When I had decided that I would open a practice in Connecticut, New London actually, and these servicemen were coming in to see me during the last two months before I'd be separated from the Navy, I said, "You know, if you can wait for a month, or two months, "whatever the circumstances were," I'll see you in my office on State Street in New London." So when I opened my office, I had eight clients the very first day, which helped a great deal. I still retained my reserve commission. I'm now a full Lieutenant, USNR retired, although I'm not active with the Navy any further. I do an occasional court martial as a civilian lawyer. I will be called in by a naval person to defend him in a court martial. But most of my practice is general and in the civil courts. So I don't know that there's much more I can add, but if you have any questions I'll be glad to try to answer them.
SSH: Well, we're full of questions, I'm sure. Go ahead Shaun.
SI: Well, just to jump back to the beginning, we spoke a little bit about your father, but do you know anything about why your mother came to the United States?
FM: Again, it was because of the hard times in Ireland. There had been a potato famine, as I remember it being talked about. She came from a big family. I think there were six children. Her mother was a teacher and widowed. And I think they found it difficult to make a living in Ireland. I think religious bias may have had something to do with it, too. My mother's family was Catholic. They lived in Belfast. And I can remember quite clearly my mother telling me how on, I've forgotten what month or day it was, but there was a day when the Orangemen would march through Belfast, and they would, not threaten, but make fun of the Catholics that were there. And the Catholics were somewhat frightened of them. They would stay indoors. They would carry what we called "orange lilies" and shake them at someone that they knew was Catholic. I think that had something to do with it. You know, Catholic, or religious oppression. The fact that my grandmother was widowed and the famine had struck, I suppose it affected Scotland to some extent, too, but Ireland particularly.
SSH: Did the family come all together?
FM: In my mother's case I think that was so. Yeah.
SSH: Was there family here in the States?
FM: Not that I'm aware of. No. Nor did my father's family have any relatives in the
States. I know my father's family, remember I said there were twelve children. They came over in maybe three or four groups. I believe my mother and her family came over as a unit. They settled in Newark, New Jersey. That's where my mother, of course, was first living until she met my father. After their marriage, they moved to Kearny, New Jersey where they bought a house. And my older brother was born about 1918, and Mike and I came along in 1922.
SSH: Did your father talk about any of the prejudice against Catholics in Scotland, in Paisley?
FM: No, no, I don't recall his ever complaining. Maybe because he was male, and possibly, in Paisley I don't recall there was any religious intolerance among the Scots. But there certainly was in Ireland among the Irish. And I'm sure the Catholics felt as strongly against the Protestants as the Protestants seem to feel against the Catholics. And even today there's that animosity, as we know.
SSH: The McIntosh of your name is an Irish spelling, is it not?
FM: 'Cause it doesn't have an A in it. Oh, yes. I told my dad that. I said, "Pop, how come we don't have an A in McIntosh?" He said, "Well, of course, years ago we did. But when we moved to Ireland, we dropped the A. But we didn't like Ireland, and came back to Scotland and forgot to put the A in." [Laughs]
SSH: That's a good story. [Laughs]
FM: There was always a humorous criticism between my mother and father. My mother would often say, "What a beautiful view it is across this bay." And my dad would say, "Yeah, that's 'cause you're looking at Scotland." [Laughs] She called him "Scottie." She never called him "Jim" or "Mac." It was always "Scottie."
SSH: Well, Kearny is quite an enclave for Scots.
FM: How do you happen to know that?
SSH: Well, my maiden name is Stewart.
FM: Oh, S-t-e-w?
FM: I see. Yeah, it was known as "Little Paisley." We were that. I can recall as a kid, maybe I was seven, a neighbor's child came up to me, and we were sitting in the backyard, and suddenly there was this creature running along the ground …
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FM: He said, "What is that?" I said, "That's a squiddel." He said, "A what?" I said, "A squiddel." He said, "No, I think it's a squirrel." And all of a sudden it dawned on me that I had never heard the word except out of my father's mouth before. And he pronounced it "squiddel," and now I'm corrected by the neighbor who told me, "It wasn't a squiddel. It was a squirrel." There were a number of little things like that based on the way the dialect in Scotland was.
SSH: Was there a difference in the brogue that your father had and the lilt that your mother had?
FM: I wasn't aware of it except if I talked to my dad on the telephone. I was aware of his Scottish brogue. But in talking to him face-to-face I was never aware of it. Nor did I have any awareness that my mother had a brogue. Now I would doubt that she did have a brogue. None of my aunts or uncles that I can recall had a brogue, possibly because they were fairly young when they got to this country, although they had finished school in Ireland, or in Scotland, but they weren't set terribly in their language habits.
SSH: Did your mother work when she came to the States?
FM: Yes, she and her sisters worked in Clark's Mill in Newark. No, I believe it was either East Newark or Harrison, New Jersey. Many, many young ladies were hired for either making thread or sewing clothes. I'm not just sure exactly what they all did. But Clark's Mill, I can recall, was a very big factory-like building, red brick, and it seems like hundreds and hundreds of square feet, three or four stories high. They didn't pay very much, certainly not by our standards today, but if the two or three sisters were working, as my mother and her sisters did, I guess they were bringing home, among the three of them, a fairly decent salary. Because my grandmother, I know, after coming to this country, didn't work. They had bought a home in Newark, New Jersey and, I can recall as a kid, they rented out rooms to single men by the week. Some of them would be there for several years, others maybe only for a couple weeks, depending on what their employment was and what their reason for being in Newark was. I don't recall any single women living in my grandmother's home. At the same time, I recall my parents renting out an attic apartment in our house in Kearny, New Jersey once or twice. And there was some Scottish friends, I don't think they were relatives, that stayed with us for a month, two or three, now and then. And we had, from my father's side, relatives in Brooklyn, on Kings Highway in Brooklyn, where we'd spend very often New Year's Day. McGuire was their name. And my mother's name was Crowley, and they were in Newark as I said before.
SSH: As a kid growing up, did you have a large extended family, too?
FM: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah, Mike and I, and sometimes my older brother, but usually just Mike and I, would spend two weeks in my grandmother's home in Newark, New Jersey. And throughout the year, we would very often have Sunday dinner. Our whole family would come from Kearny to Newark for Sunday dinner with my grandmother. She passed away when I was only about seven, so I don't remember her too well. But my maiden aunts, Aunt Lizzy and Aunt Mary, lived together with a single brother, John. And my maiden aunts, with my mother's help, of course, they would cook turkey for Thanksgiving, leg of lamb, or roast beef for Sunday dinner or on holidays. Yeah, it was very, very pleasant. And my dad, of course, had sisters and brothers living near. We weren't as close to my father's family in the sense of joining them for meals. Occasionally visiting occurred, but otherwise we weren't as close as we were with my mother's family. Yeah.
SSH: Do you know how your parents met?
FM: No. I really don't, no.
SSH: When you were going to high school in Kearny, did you and Mike like the same subjects in school?
FM: Well, of course, we had to take the same subjects.
SSH: Right, but I mean were there favorites, or favorite mentors?
FM: I can't recall anything like that. Mike and I graduated one and three in our class. There was a girl that got between us. Yeah.
SSH: Were you involved in athletics or special clubs or anything in high school?
FM: We went to, as I said before, a Catholic high school, and there was very little athletics except for a basketball team. We had no football, and the athletics that we would be involved with were pick-up teams among the students, but not part of a high school program. I do recall, it wasn't funny at the time, but it's interesting to recall at this point. Mike and I were freshman in high school and we did have a high school basketball team that was involved in some sort of a schedule. And one of the games was scheduled for what was called a Holy Day of Obligation. In the Catholic Church, that's a day that's similar to a Sunday, when you're supposed to attend mass and stay away from certain activities. And the pastor who was in charge of the school, St. Cecelia's, forbade the basketball team to play, although it was a scheduled game to play that evening. And this upset the St. Cecelia's basketball players, very, very, very much. And of course, they forfeited the game. The next morning following that, the senior members of the basketball team decided that they were going to call a strike of the students. And we were ushered out by the basketball team. We were just freshman, and there was a feeling, I suppose, among the other students, that we ought to stick up for our heroes, the basketball players. So we all went out on strike. And Father Preston was advised through the principal. The students walked to a nearby park, and it was decided that we would have a representative from each class go and meet with Father Preston and see if we couldn't work something out. And Mike was appointed the speaker for our freshman class. And he and the other three representatives, senior, junior, and sophomore, walked ahead and the rest of the student body followed them back to the school. And I can recall them walking through the rear door of the school to meet Father Preston, and in about two minutes they came flying out. They were kicked out. [Laughs] He wouldn't listen to them. And then what was a strike became a lockout. We could not get back into school without our parents going to meet with Father Preston or Sister Margaret Theresa, who was the principal. We were the last class to graduate that had been involved in that strike, and I remember Father Preston, during the graduation ceremonies, telling everyone there that he was glad to see this class finally get out. [Laughs] So yeah, that strike, as I say, was probably one of the first strikes, certainly I ever heard of, by school children.
SSH: How did your parents take that, that they had to come and speak for you to get you back in school?
FM: My dad didn't seem to have any reaction. And my mother, of course, being a firm Catholic believer, felt that Father Preston was doing the right thing. So she went. I don't recall that Mike or I had to go with her, but maybe Mike went. But anyhow, there was a conference and everything was worked out. I think, being freshmen, was seen, at least by the principal of the school, as something we were forced into rather than willingly participated in.
SI: So you would say your family was quite active in the church?
FM: Oh, yeah. Yeah. My mother went to mass almost every day, as I recall. My father was faithful in attending mass every Sunday. And of course, being in a Catholic school, we became altar boys and very involved in all the church activities as well as school activities. Yeah.
SSH: As young men growing up, did you and your brother dress alike? As twins, did you take advantage of this?
FM: As you may be aware, particularly in parochial schools, they do have dress codes. And that was true when Mike and I were going. We made no effort to dress alike, but on the other hand, if Mom was going to buy a pair of trousers, she'd buy two pairs, and very often they would be alike, maybe a little difference in size. I was always a little bit bigger than Mike. We'd have to wear a shirt and a tie, but they wouldn't look alike. So I'd say no, there was no effort made to look alike in the usual sense of the word, although we did have to follow a dress code. Of course, in those days, knickers were worn. I guess you had to wait 'til you were about fifteen or sixteen before you'd get long trousers. Otherwise, we were wearing knickers. But we looked forward to wearing long trousers.
SSH: How did Rutgers become your choice of further education?
FM: Through the scholarship that we won. Again, as I said before, if one of us needed a pair of shoes, my dad had to buy two pair, two suits, and two of everything. And going to college would have been impossible without a scholarship. My older brother, who had worked his way through night school at Fordham and law school at Fordham, became aware that scholarships were available to graduating high school students. And with his encouragement and assistance, we sent out applications for scholarship examinations to … I remember St. Peter's in Jersey City, Rutgers, Villa Nova, I think Seton Hall, I've forgotten all of them. We sent out six or eight, maybe ten, letters asking for information concerning scholarships and how to go about applying for them. And Rutgers was one of them. And we received, individually, approvals that we were eligible for a scholarship. But Rutgers was the only one that would give both of us a scholarship. So, against that background, we decided, especially since it was fairly close to home, that Rutgers was where we'd get our education. So it was due to scholarships that we were able to be here.
SSH: When you came here, what was your focus, what were your majors?
FM: History, liberal arts, because I had already felt that I would like to follow my older brother and become a lawyer. And I think Mike felt the same way, so we majored in liberal arts and we got a Bachelor of Arts, yeah.
SSH: Now, when you came to Rutgers, did you live on campus?
FM: The first semester we lived on, I've forgotten the name of the street, but it was off campus, a place owned by Mrs. Talley. My older brother used to call it Talley's Hole. And we lived there for the first semester. And then we were able to get into Winants. We were here too late to find room in one of the campus dormitories. But by the second semester, we were able to move into Winants Hall. And then I was able to be named a preceptor there, so I had my room free. And then I worked in the cafeteria, and I got my meals free. Mike worked, I don't think it's there anymore, at a restaurant down the street called Thode's. Have you ever heard of it?
SI: No, I don't think it's there anymore.
FM: Thode's, that was a restaurant down on George Street. He was a busboy there. He'd get his meal, plus a nickel from each of the waitresses. He'd get about twenty-five or thirty cents, plus his meal at Thode's. We also delivered newspapers for The New York Times and the Herald Tribune, getting some walking around money. And we were on the football team, the freshman and varsity team, although we didn't play very much. And, as I say, we never did get to finish the full four years at Rutgers. What had happened, as I said before, when we went to the University of Pennsylvania, besides taking the mandatory courses that the Navy required, we could also take other courses. And I would have, Mike did the same thing, the school send back our transcript to the registrar here at Rutgers. And after leaving the University, well, after being commissioned at Abbott Hall in Chicago in 1944, we were then sent to Harvard for communication school. And we had the school send back the transcript so that Mike and I were able to qualify for graduation with the class. Although we weren't there, my dad picked up our diplomas.
FM: We were getting ready to go to sea with the Armed Guard at the time of graduation. Yeah.
SSH: Do you remember initiation here on campus as a freshman?
FM: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Well, there were several different things. First of all, you had to tuck your trousers into the top of your socks. Yeah, I think they had to be a certain color. Also, your schoolbooks, or anything else you were carrying, had to be in a market bag. You know one of those paper market bags. And I mentioned it to Eloise, Mike's wife, last night, that, these were during our first days on campus, and we had our market bags with us. And we decided we were going to town for lunch, I think at the Five and Ten Cents store on George Street. And we went in there carrying our market bags. Well, the manager got suspicious, I think he thought we might be shoplifting. So he came around and was looking at our bags, like this. He never accused us, but I remember feeling that is what he thought, because none of the other students would go into town with their market bags, but Mike and I did. That's one thing I recall. But I don't recall any harassment or hazing, and possibly one of the reasons was that we were living off campus at the time. Later on, I recall that when we were living in Winants, they would gather the freshman. They would be on this end of the dormitory. Some of the upperclassmen would go up on the top floor where there was a bit of a balcony. They'd have the freshman stand on the steps leading onto the first floor onto the campus. They'd have them stand there, and the other classmates up on the third or fourth floor would then get a bucket of water, or several buckets of water, and would have the freshmen sing, "For has she not stood, since the time of the flood?" And then they'd pour the water on top of them. And Mike and I missed being the subject of that initiation, but I can recall it being visited on other students. Yeah.
SSH: Did you have to wear the Dink, I think they called it, the little hat?
FM: Yeah, that's right, there was some sort of little cap that we were supposed to wear. And we did wear it for a while, two or three days maybe, but I remember tucking our trousers into our socks and carrying that market bag.
SSH: To go ahead now to your Navy career, and after your father came to pick up your diploma, while you're getting ready to ship out, how many crossings of the Atlantic did you make in convoy?
FM: Round trips, I think four. Four. I remember going to Naples and returning. I remember going to Antwerp and returning, Marseilles. At least three, and possibly four. Each crossing would be about eighteen days, 'cause, as I said before, the Liberty ships were rather slow. So it would take about eighteen days to get across. And then we'd be there for maybe four or five days, at the most a week, and then we'd come back. Very often, we would bring service people back while we would be taking machinery over to Europe. Sometimes railroad tracks and railroad ties, bulldozers. Coming back, we very often would be bringing back service people who were being shipped back to the United States. I remember one incident, this would be my second convoy. Following the first, we put into Baltimore, and it was just before Christmas. I was able to get off the ship and get home for Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve, and I had to be back aboard by noon on Christmas Day. So we had our Christmas dinner. Mike wasn't with me at that time, I don't know just where he was, but he didn't come home anyhow. We had our Christmas dinner, which I enjoyed very much, and I was back aboard ship by noon. We got under way. In leaving Baltimore, and going out in Narragansett Bay, we had high, high rollers, not waves, but very high rollers. And the ship was very heavily laden, and it would lay over one side, and then it would go back to the other side. And I became sick. I wasn't able to have dinner that night and I didn't feel well for maybe two days. And I was very disappointed with myself. I said, "I shouldn't be seasick." As kids, we had gone fishing with my father a good deal out on boats, and I prided myself on never having been seasick. Well, when we got to wherever it was, Naples perhaps, we had mail call. And I found out that the whole family had been sick. Apparently, what had happened, they had gotten a turkey that had been thawed, for Thanksgiving, and then refrozen. And then my mother cooked it and everybody in the family was sick. And I thought I was seasick. But I had ptomaine poisoning. They had to have a doctor for my maiden aunt, Mary, and my mother. Yeah, they were very sick. So I was relieved to know that I wasn't seasick. I was sorry to hear about the rest of the family. [Laughs] It was one of those things.
SSH: How long would you be in port overseas before you'd turn around and come back?
FM: Oh, at the most a week. Sometimes we might make two short ports. I'd go from Sicily to Livorno, Leghorn, up the Italian coast. But usually the whole stay would be about a week, even if you made two ports.
SSH: Did you get to do any sightseeing at all, or were you basically confined to the ship?
FM: No, but there was little or no opportunity to do any sightseeing. We were always in a port city. And of course, the war was still going on. It was dangerous to travel, especially if you were going on your own, so to speak. I can recall being in Livorno, which is also known as Leghorn, and I wanted to see a certain fellow in the port director's office, another naval officer, and I was told to take a certain path. "But, be sure you don't walk off that path, because of land mines." Simple as that. Yeah. They had cleared this one path. So there was little public transportation, at least for sightseeing. For business, it would be one thing, and certainly for the military. The military had it's own system of transportation. But there was very little opportunity for recreation, you might say, or sightseeing. Yeah. I can recall … I had two years of French in high school, and two years of French at Rutgers. And I felt I was quite proficient in French. So as soon as we got into Marseilles, which I think was one of the first French ports that we hit, I saw one of the dock workers. And I knew he was French, so I went up to him and said, "Ou est le telephone?" You know what that means?
SI: No, I do not.
FM: "Where is the telephone?" He said, "Right up there at the end of the dock." He spoke to me in perfect English. [Laughs] I soon realized that throughout, especially in the port cities where they have so much contact with English speaking people, they all speak English, sometimes better than we do. And just because I spoke to him in French, he wasn't going to let me get away with that. He gave it back to me in English. Yeah, I remember feeling, surprised, I guess. Yeah. It didn't dawn on me that he'd speak English. And yet I was going to impress him with my knowledge of French.
SI: When you were in port in Antwerp, was this the same time that your brother's ship either hit the mine or …
FM: No, no. I think it was maybe six to eight weeks before I got there. That's another thing, as I think about it, as we traveled across the world, really … I'm thinking now of an episode on Market Street in San Francisco. I was walking along when I was waiting for the Henrico. Another officer come up to me and he said, "Mac, Mac, I haven't seen you since Antwerp." I looked at him, and I didn't want to be impolite and say, "Who are you?" I said, "Yeah, yeah. Some time since I've been there." It was sort of a general statement. Well, it turned out, of course, that he had met Mike in Antwerp. And here we are, clear across the other side of the world, and he's addressing me as if we had met, and of course, it was Mike that he had met. And I had another similar incident in Pearl Harbor, walking to the officers' club. A Jeep pulled up and says, "Hey, jump in, Mike, or Mac. Jump in." And he started to tell me he hadn't seen me since such and such a place, and it turned out that he was thinking of Mike. He had met him elsewhere. Yeah. I kept thinking, "What a small world this is."
SSH: Had you done much traveling as a young man growing up in Kearny, or was this your first?
FM: We traveled somewhat, but no great distances. We'd go to Asbury Park, or Ocean Grove, very often on a weekend or for a day, Saturday or a Sunday. And then my dad would very often rent a little house in Ocean Grove for two weeks where we'd summer. But our travels were limited, for the most part, to the summer beach resorts that I just mentioned. In the winter, my dad was very good about taking us to the Natural History Museum or of Art in New York City, to the zoo, to the aquarium, to a number of educational places, really. Topped off with a visit to the Automat.
SSH: Did they talk about, or do you remember, how the Depression affected your family and what their thoughts were on Franklin Roosevelt?
FM: My folks didn't talk very much about politics. When you mentioned Franklin Roosevelt, that makes me think of politics. I know my dad was a mechanic for the post office department. He took a ten percent pay cut in the middle of the Depression. And at that time, he was giving Mike and me ten cents a piece spending money. When he got a ten percent pay cut, he cut us back to nine cents. He wanted us to understand what it meant to get a pay cut. I remember that very, very clearly. Now we could no longer buy a ten-cent bar of candy, or anything that cost ten cents. We had to wait 'til the following week, 'til we got that extra penny. But we weren't, thank goodness, very much affected by the Depression because of my dad's steady job working for the government. I don't recall ever being without, although again we had no great frills in our life. And my dad, being Scottish, was naturally, I won't say stingy, but thrifty.
SI: Did you notice any changes during the Depression in Kearny itself, in your neighborhood?
FM: Did I notice any changes?
SI: Did the Depression cause any changes in Kearny among the local families?
FM: I cannot recall any, no. No, I can't. The family that lived next door to us, he was employed by Kopper's Coke and that seemed to be a steady job for him. I can't recall any other families that were affected, at least adversely. 'Cause as I said before, my folks weren't politically oriented in any way. I've forgotten whether my dad was a Republican or a Democrat. I suspect he was a Democrat. He never talked very much about it.
SSH: Did they talk about the events in Europe? I mean, were you aware of what was going on in Europe as a young man before you entered college? And how aware were you here at Rutgers?
FM: There was little said in the family about contemporary happenings in Europe. What I learned, I read in the newspaper or magazines. But there was little conversation at home. And even when I came to Rutgers and learned more, particularly about history, it seemed remote. Even at the beginning of World War II, which involved only the European nations at the time, there was a considerable confidence in the American people that we were not going to be involved. And it was only after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that we did get involved. So, as I said before, we felt our lives were not being affected one way or another by World War II, and that we would remain isolated, so to speak. Of course, it didn't happen. I do recall, when Japan attacked us at Pearl Harbor, that there was an immediate fear of all Asiatics in this country. Whether they were Japanese or Chinese, they were rounded up and put into concentration camps in California. And I recall, when I first moved into the practice of law in the early '50s, and bear in mind that this was only six or seven years after the war ended, stories about how the Chinese restaurants were suddenly closed down because their owners were taken by the police into custody. They didn't know whether they were Chinese or Japanese, and they weren't going to take a chance. They felt that there was some sort of conspiracy among all the Asiatics to somehow or another damage this country from within. And there was considerable antipathy towards them. But as I said earlier, as a child growing up, or even being in high school and later in Rutgers, we all felt the war was rather remote, and wouldn't affect us except perhaps economically.
SI: Were you actually on campus when Pearl Harbor happened?
FM: Yes, yes. Yeah.
SI: What was the atmosphere like that day or, December 8th, the next day?
FM: Can you ask me that again?
SH: What was the atmosphere like here on campus after everyone found out?
FM: Quiet, very quiet. I can recall we were at dinner at Winants in the cafeteria, and this was about five o'clock. Of course, it got dark early in December. There was a Japanese fellow who was at the table with us. (Tasio Tasisumi?). And we heard it. I think it was over the loud speaker. We didn't have individual radios. But the radio was on, and we heard that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. And I remember that he just got up and walked away. I don't recall seeing much of him after that, he just withdrew. And there was no immediate reaction, as I can recall, on campus among the students in the response to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Life went on as usual. Of course, things among the ROTC became very active. And drills were more important than they ever were before.
SSH: Well, you were part of ROTC. It was mandatory at that point, wasn't it?
FM: Yeah, the first two years were mandatory, yeah. The second two years, if you wanted to stay in, you had to apply for further training. And then of course, you had to be accepted, too. But as I said before, Mike and I went into the V-12 program with the Navy. My dad said, as Mike told us earlier, you'd get sleeping conditions and better food. Of course, the trouble is, if your ship is shot out from under you, you don't have a doggone thing. But we were fortunate that didn't happen to us.
SSH: Another thing that was mandatory here that we like to ask about is what did you think of having to go to chapel?
FM: Oh, on campus?
FM: I don't recall that we were required to go to chapel, except that as part of the Glee Club and we were required to be part of the choir. Do you mean from a religious point of view?
SSH: Well, some people have protested that they had to sit through these lectures and speakers, and some have said that they actually enjoyed it. So I just wondered what your opinion was.
FM: Mike and I felt, having been raised Catholics, some misgiving. But also, if we kept our faith in the sense of going to mass when we were required to do so, and observing holy days of obligation, and other commandments of the church, that it was just another part of college life. We might not like history, but we were going to have to take it, and physics the same way. And as a matter-of-fact, a curate at St. Peter's Church told us the same thing. We had discussed it with him. So we had no problem in that regard.
SI: I noticed, just by looking at your survey, that you also belonged to the Newman Club, which was the Catholic organization. What kinds of activities would you do with that club?
FM: It was strictly a social club. I can recall no particular activity. Maybe a dance or a small luncheon. I think they met once a month, possibly with a prayer to open a meeting. Frankly, I can't recall very much happening with the Newman Club. There was an opportunity to meet other Catholics, boys and girls. That was one thing, if we were looking for fellow religious, we'd find him or her there. But I don't recall it played a big roll in our social life.
SSH: Did you go to the dances at NJC at all?
FM: Not to the dances at NJC. I don't recall that NJC had dances, but we'd certainly invite the girls from NJC to the prom or whatever dances we had. Yeah. But I don't recall NJC having dances, or at least I was never invited, let's put it that way. Did you have some contact with NJC?
SSH: We do. We've done some interviews of women who've graduated from NJC during the war years.
FM: I meant, do you personally have a connection with NJC?
SSH: No, no. I'm a Rutgers College graduate.
FM: Yes, yes, you told me that. Yeah. Yeah.
SSH: Now this is to take it forward, from when you were talking about the Newman Club, when you were in the Navy, how prevalent were the chaplains in the areas that you served?
FM: Oh, aboard the merchant marine ship, the Thomas R. Marshall, we did not have a chaplain. If we were going to go to church, we had to wait until we got to port. And I cannot recall, aboard the APA 45, that we had a chaplain either. One thing I failed to mention, although it's got nothing to do with my military career. After I was in the practice of law for possibly fifteen years, this would have been about 1967, I received an invitation from the Chief of Naval Personnel to go aboard the Carrier Wasp, as the guest of the Secretary of the Navy. It may have been related to the fact that I was the president of the Groton Chamber of Commerce at the time. I remember there were six civilian men from Boston, well from Connecticut and Massachusetts, who were invited aboard the Carrier Wasp, leaving Boston and heading towards New Orleans. And off Cape Hatteras, the Carrier Wasp engaged in anti-submarine activities. The airplanes would take off and hunt submarines and so on. As I said, we were aboard in a civilian capacity. When we got to New Orleans, then we learned, if I hadn't learned it before, that when the ship got there, it was then going to be like a dormitory for all the naval bands that would take part in Mardi Gras. And that's exactly what happened. I got off the ship at that point, and took a hotel room in New Orleans. So I was there for Mardi Gras. And then I flew, from there I flew to Dallas, Texas, to join Mike. He had moved to Dallas, Texas at that point. What got me started on that was a question you asked. Now I've forgotten.
SSH: I had asked about the activities and how often you saw a chaplain.
FM: Oh, oh, yeah. Well aboard the Carrier Wasp they had a chaplain, yeah. I remember, Father Kelly. But the other vessel, I don't recall … certainly not the SS Thomas R. Marshall, the merchant marine ship, it didn't have a chaplain. And I don't recall the APA 45 had a chaplain, either. But the Wasp, well, the Wasp had about four thousand crew members, a very, very large crew. And they had a chaplain.
SSH: Did you used your GI benefits to go on to law school?
FM: Yeah, yeah.
SSH: Were most of the other students in law school at that point also using the GI Bill?
FM: Certainly the males, I would say, were. We had females, of course. Some of them were possibly on a scholarship, although I wasn't aware of whether that was the case, or whether they were paying tuition. But we had a number of females in law school, even in those days. The first job I had as a lawyer was as a result of two women. One of them worked in the personnel office at NYU, and I had let her know that if there were any people looking for prospective lawyers, you know, someone that they wanted to interview …
---------------------------------END OF TAPE ONE, SIDE TWO-----------------------------
SSH: This is side one, tape two of an interview with Mr. Frank J. McIntosh at Rutgers University on May 14, 1999. You were telling us about your first job.
FM: Yes, I told the young lady at the personnel office at NYU that if anyone wanted to interview a prospective employee as a lawyer, I would certainly be willing to oblige. About a week later, she called me in and sent me down to a firm known as Mendes and Mount, which was located on Wall Street and Williams Street in lower Manhattan. And there I was interviewed by Jane Gardner. She was a lawyer. And there weren't very many female lawyers in those days. And I recall Jane Gardner, as part of the interview, asked me for my social security number. And when I was able to tell it to her without having to look it up or say I didn't remember, she was impressed. And I got the job. As a matter-of-fact, I hadn't even graduated from law school, or I was about to graduate, but I hadn't passed the bar examination. They hadn't given the bar examination at that time. This would have been in late '49, that I was hired by Jane Gardner. And as I said, I stayed on there for a year and a half. I was admitted to the bar in New York State in 1950. I know I was recalled by the Navy in very early 1951, after Congress had adopted the Uniform Code of Military Justice. And I then put in another eighteen months. At that time, even though I was considered a legal, or a law officer, I still wore a star on my sleeve above the rank markings. This meant that I was deck officer. And as I said before, although I was now practicing law and trained in the law, I could be going back to sea as a gunnery officer, as a navigator, as a deck officer, or any seagoing capacity that I could think of, I could be transferred to. And yet I had decided that I wanted be a practicing lawyer. I had a second opportunity to stay in the Navy after being recalled as a law officer, and again I decided to get out and pursue the practice of law. It wasn't until 1962 or 1963, that the Navy established a JAG Corps, Judge Advocate General Corps. But previously, as I say, we were just part of the line officers, as they were called. I still retained my commission in the Reserves.
SSH: Now your home is still in Groton, where you established your practice?
FM: Yes, yeah.
SSH: Were you involved in politics at all?
FM: Yes, in the early days of my practice I got involved in politics. I was the chairman of the Democratic Town Committee for eight years. During that period of time, although I had nothing to do with it, the town of Groton's charter was revised. And instead of having simply a town meeting where the residents of the town could turn out to be heard before the Selectmen. The Selectmen, there were three of them, were the governing body of the town. But they would have a town meeting once a year, or perhaps more frequently as needed, to learn how the people wanted the things to be run. Against that background, the town charter was amended and established a town council comprised of seven members, and also an RTM, a representative town meeting. All these people would be elected, and they would represent the town's people. And I was on the first town council that was elected in the town of Groton. That would have been in 1957 through '59. So I was active in politics as Democratic chairman from about 1954 through '59, and I was also active in town government as a member of the town council from '57 to '59. And later on, I was appointed the attorney for what was at one time known as the Sewer Commission, later it was known as the Water Pollution Control Authority. I served as attorney for that group from 1977 through 1987. Ten years. But I have not been active in politics, other than voting, locally since then. And it was a great help to me in the practice of law to be active in both the Chamber of Commerce as well as in politics. Although, as you're probably well aware, you not only make friends in politics, you make enemies, too. I remember I was fairly new in town, and certainly in the practice of law. Although I had registered as a Democrat, I wasn't seeking any active role as a Democrat. But there had been a fight in the Democratic party at that time between two different fellows and their factions. And it was a rather bitter fight. One Democrat, who was trying I guess to remain neutral, came up to me one day. I remember I was walking down State Street in New London. And he said to me, "Why don't you run for town chairman of the Democratic party? You know, this guy and that guy, they have enemies. But you have no enemies, being fairly new." So I said, "All right." And in those days, the election was held by a gathering of, registered Democrats, who would all get together in the town hall and vote on who is to be the town chairman. Let me just back up a little bit. Prior to my getting involved, what had happened was there had been these two factions, and at the time of the election, which was by referendum, one faction pulled out and opened up and went into another room, and they held their election while the other faction held their election. We wound up with two town chairmen. The state central committee of the Democratic party decided that the only way they could handle this situation was to name them both co-chairman. But of course, they couldn't work together. And it was against that background I was told that I didn't have any enemies, and therefore, I should run, which I agreed to do. The trouble with that, I found out almost immediately, came about when I was asked, after having been elected town chairman, "Who do you want for your committee people?" because the town chairman in those days would then select his committee. I found out that while I didn't have any enemies, I didn't have any friends. [Laughs] I didn't know a dozen Democrats. I had to get some of the other Democrats, who had befriended me earlier, to help me pick out the town committee. And that's how I got involved in politics. And later on, the state statutes were modified, so that today, the town committee chairman and the committee personnel are elected by ballot at the meetings. The town is divided into districts, and now they're elected by district.
SSH: Do you have any questions Shaun?
SI: I can't think of anything else.
SSH: All right. Do you have any thoughts that you would like to leave us with on education, or the GI Bill? What are your passions now?
FM: Frankly, I'm looking for someone to turn over my law practice and office. I own my own building, and I think if I didn't, I'd probably close the office, which I could do, owning my own building. But I'd rather have another lawyer move in, or a larger law firm that wanted to open up a branch office. So I'm just going on a day-to-day basis along those lines. I've put announcements in the newsletters, or the placement letters, of the law schools in the Connecticut and Massachusetts law schools, about eleven of them. But I haven't had any response to those announcements yet. And also, in our local bar association newsletter, I've put an announcement in. So I'm hoping, not that I want to retire one hundred percent, to have the day-to-day burden lifted.
SI: You still … I'm sorry go ahead.
FM: I was just going to say one thing I deeply, and Mike feels the same way, deeply appreciate the opportunity that Rutgers gave us for our education, getting scholarships here. And that led us to the opportunity to join the V-12 Program, and in that manner become officers in the Navy, and then of course, the GI Bill of Rights gave us opportunities for further education. Considering my dad's employment and income, the family could never have afforded an education such as we received if my dad had to pay for it. As I say, it was tough enough buying one pair of trousers, but when he had to pay for two pairs, or two pairs of shoes, it was a double burden. And it would have been an impossible burdened, without this scholarship, to have attended Rutgers. And likewise, without the GI Bill of Rights, it would have been impossible to have gotten through law school, although my older brother did it by working days and going to school at night. This gave us an opportunity to more fully enjoy life while we were getting our education, than it was possible for him. And I want to thank both of you for taking the time, and being so attentive and courteous to me in giving you my background, educationally, historically, and militarily.
SSH: Well, we thank you so much for taking time out of your busy weekend to talk with us. And this concludes an interview with Mr. Frank J. McIntosh.
FM: Thank you.
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Reviewed by Erin Gimbel on 11/4/00
Edited by Sandra Stewart Holyoak 11/10/00