Skip to main content

Chief Specialist Sousa

Chief Specialist M.G. Sousa, US Navy

Chief Specialist M.G. Sousa


Chief Specialist Manuel George Sousa arrived at MSTC in August of 1943 and served during the entire program. His training at the Norfolk Training Station in Virginia prepared him as a Physical Training Instructor and Drill Master; he was also versed in naval commando tactics. Previous to his assignment with the V-12 program, he served as Chief Petty Officer in Charge of an ammunition depot on Mare Island Naval Shipyard, California.

During his tenure at MSTC, Chief Sousa served as the V-12 Master-At-Arms, a position generally responsible for discipline and housekeeping of crew areas. He oversaw the V-12 drill team and the Navy band and spearheaded on-campus boxing events called "Smokers."

Possibly his most lasting contribution to MSTC was his work as the unofficial V-12 photographer. Chief Sousa captured over a hundred photos of V-12 activities during the program’s lifetime. Before the program dissolved, he built an album chronicling the lives of the Cadre and Sailors at MSTC.  This album was discovered after years in a campus closet; its photographs comprise a majority of the images in this exhibit.  Upon termination of the V-12 program, Chief Sousa received a discharge and returned to his home state of California.