While serving in the US Navy, John Coltrane produced his debut recording on the alto saxophone in July 1946. On August 6, 1945, Coltrane joined the Navy, one day after the United States had dropped the first atomic bomb on Japan.
He was sent to Pearl Harbor as an apprentice seaman in late 1945. John joined the base’s swing band and became one of the few musicians in the Navy. He performed as a guest because band membership was reserved exclusively for white folks. Sadly, John passed away at just 40 years old from liver cancer.