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National Naval Officers Association Extends Scholarship Deadline

Commander Adolph Keyes, USCG (retired). (National Naval Officers Association Website)

Commander Adolph Keyes, USCG (retired). (National Naval Officers Association Website)

The local chapter of the National Naval Officers Association, based on Coast Guard Island, Alameda, has extended the application deadline for its Hadwick and Lily Thompson Scholarship.

According to Commander Adolph Keyes, USCG (retired), public affairs officer for the local chapter, the National Naval Officers Association (NNOA) was created in 1972, with a mission to recruit and develop minority offers in the sea services, such as the coast guard and navy.

Keyes told Action Alameda News that the local chapter is made up primarily of coast guard officers, now that the coast guard is the largest sea service represented in the Bay area.

The local chapter has a foundational membership of eight navy and reserve coast guard officers that live here, like Keyes, in the Bay area and sustain activities, such as the scholarship, which is awarded twice per year two of which are awarded annually. Activities at the other 28 chapters across the country can wax and wane as officers are transferred between commands, Keyes said.

“The scholarship is named after Hadwick Thompson, and his wife Lily, who was an educator,” Keyes explained. “They opened the doors to their home for local chapter meetings in the late nineteen-eighties, when I was just an ensign under Manson Brown.”

In May of this year, Vice Admiral Manson Brown retired from the coast guard as its highest ranking black officer, after 36 years of service.

According to a biography of Hadwick Thompson published on the local chapter website, Thompson saw combat on a destroyer during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II, and became one of the first African-American submariners, completing five war patrols.

In 1947, he became one of the first black police officers with the Oakland Police Department hired through the Civil Service Registry.

The local National Naval Officers Association chapter raises money for the scholarship through volunteer efforts by members, and its annual crab fest, in March. The scholarship amount started out as $500 and has risen to $1,000.

In 2012, sisters Joan and Jill Barcelona of Alameda High School won the scholarship. According to the Boys and Girls Club of Alameda web site, both women went on to college at the University of California at Berkeley, and won additional Girls, Inc. scholarships this year.

Would-be applicants for the Hadwick scholarship can find the application online here.

The application deadline has been extended to September 30th.

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