How Hawkeye Got His Name

Hunter Huberdeau

Jim Mack was born in April of 1949 in Salem New Hampshire. Mack is part of a family of six with three younger sisters, himself, mother, and father. Mack’s father worked at Lucent Tech. and his mother stayed at home most days working at the local school when needed. Growing up, Mack enjoyed sports and getting into trouble. He enlisted into the Navy at age 18 right out of high school. Mack had no interest in going to college and saw the Navy as an escape from home.


Having never been away from home before the Navy was a lot to take in. After a few months of simple training he was traveling the world by boat. To Mack it was like there was no war. He saw this as a traveling adventure with like minded people. He spent most of his time looking out for ships or washing cloths for everyone on the ship.


Jim’s experience with war was positive. He never experienced combat up close and found that the good times outweighed the bad. He loved being on the ocean with the people he was with and made a lot of good memories. He told me a story about being on watch: “ I could spot a ship before any radar could,” he would yell he sees a ship and then after he yelled it the people watching the radar would confirm and he was nicknamed “Hawkeye” because of this.


Jim spent the majority of his time in the Navy in the Pacific Ocean, however they returned North Carolina several times while serving. When asked what memories he had from serving abroad he responded, “women and drinking.” Furthermore, he claims everyone on the shipped loved him and he was funniest person on the boat. He received few letters while serving and mainly wrote to his soon to be wife living at home.


When the war ended, Mack was off the shore of the United States. He had planned to leave the service earlier but when the war escalated and people were starting to be drafted he decided to stay until he was encouraged to leave. After Mack’s return, he kept being in the Navy somewhat of a secret to the community because he did not want people to think differently of him. To readjust to civilian life he got a job and is still working at UPS for his 40th year. Since separating from the army, he likes to spend time with his family camping and at cook outs and working because he loves his job.