Em 1945 (dizem que no mesmo dia em que os Estados Unidos atacaram Hiroshima, seis de agosto daquele ano), John Coltrane, prestes a completar 19 anos, se alistou na marinha norte-americana. O registro tá aí em cima.
Diz o Open Culture, baseado em uma biografia sobre ele:
According to Lewis Porter in John Coltrane: His Life and Music, only limited numbers of black men served as seaman after 1942. Prior to that, they were only allowed to work as kitchen help. The Navy was segregated, and Coltrane was sent to boot camp at the black section of Sampson Naval Training Center in upstate New York. By the time he finished training, World War II was over. In late November of 1945, after a transitional month at Camp Shoemaker near San Francisco, seaman second class Coltrane was assigned to active duty in Hawaii.
No Havaí, ele tocou clarinete e sax, além de ter feito parte da Melody Masters, uma big band naval.
With the war over, bands were no longer needed to boost morale. So on August 11, 1946–just over a year after his enlistment–Coltrane was discharged from the Navy and sent home.
(Melody Masters | Ao que tudo indica, sentado, o primeiro à direita, Coltrane antes de virar Deus)