The Korean War was almost over when Robert Nave was drafted and sent to Kyushu, the southernmost of the four main islands of Japan. Because he had two college degrees, Nave was able to land a desk job, working first as a cryptographer and later as a legal analyst reviewing court martials.
Nave said he was supposed to serve three years, however, he received an early out, because the war was winding down, and after two years was discharged and sent home.
He was first drafted for service during World War II, but was just getting over rheumatic fever when he received the call. “I was turned down because of a heart issue, but by the time the Korean War broke out, I had recovered enough to serve,” he shared during a recent visit to Ivy Hall Nursing Home, where he was a resident. He has since been moved to Hermitage Health Care Center by the Veterans Administration.
Nave was working on his doctoral degree at the University of Tennessee when he was drafted into the Army. He had finished his coursework, but never did write his thesis. However, he holds a master’s degree in both education and history and has a degree in library and archives.
An Elizabethton native, Nave has lived in Johnson City for a number of years. He is best known for his work in genealogy and has researched numerous Carter County families. His interest in genealogy stems from the time when he was a young boy and heard stories told by his grandfather, Joe Nave, who was sheriff of Carter County in the 1920s. “He had a lot of stories to tell about everyone,” Nave said.