ALONG THE ROAD TO TOKYO
Fit to be Tied
When the USS Franklin was hit by a Jap suicide plane, the USS Hickox came alongside to rescue some survivors who were isolated on the carrier's deck by fire. The destroyer also dropped her whaleboat into the turbulent waters to pick up men who had been blown overboard or forced to jump. Among the men in the whaleboat were Dick Lechler, Cox, USNR, and Irving Levine, Sic, both of Brooklyn. They spied a man swimming in the water and flipped him a line.
"Here," they shouted, "tie yourself to this line and we'll haul you in, sailor!"
"I'm no sailor," growled the man in the water. "I'm a marine-and I don't know much about knots."
Then, after a thoughtful pause, the leatherneck added : "But, I'm learnin' fast. . . ."
Three Seats Up Front
The three Seabees volunteered to take a bulldozer ashore on Okinawa's L-day and dig a gas dump revetment somewhere up at the front. They hit the beach about four hours after the first assault waves. Earl R. Leytham, Ptr2c, USNR, was at the wheel, while Egbert H. Vaughan, S1c, USNR, and Byron R. Hunt, MM2c, USNR, trudged alongside, their carbines at the ready. On the beach, they asked directions. An MP tiredly waved them inland.
"Just head that way, mates," he yawned, "and just keep askin'."
So they kept heading inland. And kept asking. And kept getting waved on. After they had gone quite a ways, Leytham wheezed the bulldozer to a halt. There weren't any MPs around, and none had been seen for quite a while. In fact, there weren't any marines at all. Just trees.
The three Seabees wondered a bit about that, but decided to keep going. Just then, a Marine patrol scout overhauled them.
"What the hell," he bawled breathlessly, "are you guys doing up here with that thing?"
"We're supposed to dig a gas dump," Leytham answered. "We're lookin' for the spot. It's somewhere up near the front. . . ."
"Front!" yiped the marine. "Up near the front! Why you idiots (Ed. Note: Or words to that effect.) you just passed the last advance scouting parties about 200 yards back!"
Mutual Admiration Society
Here's what flyers think of sailors . . and vice versa:
Shot down off Ahami Shima, 1st Lt. Junie Lohan, USMCR, was picked up by a light warship. He was drying out in the wardroom over a cup of jamoke when general quarters sounded. He skipped topside and found the lads somewhat engaged in beating off Jap suicide planes. Trying to earn his room and board, Lohan went to the bridge and helped out on identification until the tiny ship was mortally wounded by four suicide hits. Into a landing craft piled crew survivors, Lt. Lohan with them.
When they all had reached eventual safety, you couldn't get the Marine flyer to talk about anything except the bravery of the sailors with whom he had worked side by side in those wild minutes aboard the ill-fated rescue ship. He was most impressed by the way they stayed at their gun mounts in the face of attack after attack.
"They didn't even duck," he said with awed admiration. "They just kept on firing. Boy, they've got more guts than I have!"
But, on the other hand . . .
Off Okinawa, an underwater explosion blew the PGM 18 four feet out of the water and she sank within three minutes.
As survivors struggled dazedly in the water, combat air patrol flyers dipped low over them and dropped their own lifejackets and a rubber life boat into the surf. Aided by this manna-like life-saving equipment, the survivors managed to stay afloat until picked up by minesweepers.
"Imagine that," said Lt. Cyril Bayly, USNR, Clearwater, Fla., the PGM's skipper, after he had been picked up. "Imagine those fellows dropping that equipment to us when they didn't know how soon they might be needing it desperately themselves. Man, that's guts! I never saw such sheer guts!"
'Among My Souvenirs . . .'
On night picket duty off the entrance to Nakagusuku Wan - now Buckner Bay - on Okinawa's east coast, the crew of LCI(G) 82 spied an enemy Kate afloat on the water. The plane sank quickly in their blast of gunfire. Then they turned their attention to a life raft bearing three crewmen from the Jap bomber. The gunboat skipper, Lt.(jg) Theodore Arnow, USNR, of the Bronx, N. Y., hoped to capture them, but one pulled a hand grenade and all three were killed.
The riddled raft was hauled aboard the little gunboat as a souvenir.
It was, however, destined for more than just a dusty resting place on some mantlepiece. Minutes after the gunboat had sunk the plane, an enemy suicide boat bore down at high speed and hit the U. S. craft just forward of the conning tower. Holes were torn in her side and deck; fires were started in two fuel tanks; and the craft listed dangerously. Lt. Arnow ordered the ship abandoned.
The executive officer, Lt.(jg) Sheldon A. Briggs, USNR, of Cambridge, Mass., helped wounded men over the side and then, looking about for something to help keep him afloat, spotted the Jap raft. He snatched it up from the deck, bulged it under his arm to form an air pocket and jumped in. He was followed by Lt. Arnow and Raymond R. Haut, S1c, USNR, of West View, Pa., and the three of them, lending a hand at the same time to one of the wounded men, Alonzo Carmel Vigil, S1c, USNR, of Bueyeros, N. M., who had been lowered over the side in a life jacket, clung to the "souvenir" raft for 20 minutes until rescued.
Plane on the Surface
The barge and the tug were both well hidden as they rode at anchor in the shadow of tall jungle trees at the water's edge of Noenoekan Island, Borneo. But, peering down from his patrolling PBM Mariner, Lt. V. L. Flint, USNR, of Milton, Mass., managed to pick them out.
The high trees, Lt. Flint quickly and rightly figured, prevented successful low-level bombing or strafing attacks on the Jap craft, and the chance of wasting a bomb from high level didn't seem worthwhile. Yet the Mariner pilot didn't want to let the craft go unscathed.
For a moment, he pursed his lips and knitted his brows in thought .. then, his decision made, he dipped his wings, wheeled his plane and set the huge flying boat down on the calm seas. Taxiing back and forth, much the same as a bombarding warship, Lt. Flint let his aircrew gunners go to work.
In no time at all, the plane's machine-gun fire sank both the barge and the tug. Easy victor in this strange sea battle, the PBM then took off and went back to its more normal business of seeking out and destroying enemy shipping . . . from the air.
Elmer E. Ashley was a welder in a shipyard at Evansville, Ind., when he decided to join the Marine Corps. The day before he left his shipyard job he welded his initials on the side of a winch frame that was to become part of an LST. That was back in March 1943.
Ten months later, Ashley, who had become a bulldozer operator in the 1st Engineering Btn. of the 1st Marine Division, boarded an LST bound for Peleliu and right away went prowling around the ship looking at winch frames.
Yeah, sure, you've guessed it - right there on one of the LST's winch frames were his initials: "E. E. A."
Thomas B. Scott, WT2c, USNR, of Mt. Holly, N. J., loves eggs - fried, scrambled, boiled. But in more than two years overseas the best he could get were the powdered variety. And he was mighty unhappy.
Then fortune smiled - for a brief moment. Scott found a hen. A Japanese hen, to be sure, but her production was like clockwork: an egg a day. If she could do that on her diet of land crabs, small tree lizards and saki, Scott figured, what would she do when she ate good solid Navy food! The possibilities were unlimited. Almost.
Anyway, Scott carefully set out the best food he could find for his little protege. But egg production, strangely, declined. From an egg a day the hen slumped to one every other day, one every third day, finally maybe an egg on Sundays and holidays.
Then one morning when Scott awoke the hen was gone. A hole in the side of her coop told its own story. Scott wasn't surprised that night when some of his Seabee mates invited him over for a fried chicken dinner. And it wasn't too hard for him to conclude that an enemy saboteur had met her deserved fate.
Scratch One Jitney
A motorist down in Australia holds a distinction probably unique in the annals of maritime believe-it-or-nots: He collected insurance for damages suffered when his automobile was hit by an aircraft carrier.
Seems he parked the car one day near the edge of a Sydney wharf where a visiting U. S. flattop was tied up. While he was away, the tide went out. As it fell, a part of the carrier, projecting over the wharf, descended irresistibly upon the parked car.
Result: two flattops.
Navy Weekly, Dailies Starting as Part Of New Informational Services Program
Two new publication projects - a yet unnamed weekly magazine comparable to the Army's Yank and the Marine Corps' Leatherneck, and a chain of daily newspapers in the Pacific to be known as Navy News - will appear shortly as part of an expanded and integrated informational services program.
Another phase of the program, Ships' Editorial Association (SEA), the Navy's own news and feature service, began operation last month.
The new comprehensive program also includes:
- A field office in San Francisco, which will combine and edit the news reports of the world and news of the Navy for use in the Pacific.
- A Navy News Bureau (NNB), to obtain news of the Navy from Washington for use of all media.
- ALL HANDS, the Navy's service magazine.
The new setup is to serve the needs of naval personnel, especially overseas, for Navy newspapers and magazines. Service will include news and features - local, world-wide, and Navy news, features, stories, pictures, cartoons, comics and aid to editors.
The new large daily newspapers are designed to satisfy, in localities where publication is practicable, the needs of men overseas for complete coverage of news in a Stateside manner. Where such dailies cannot be published, present "daily press" papers will get help.
The new magazine will fill the need for a weekly publication for general Navy reading and entertainment.
Ship and station newspapers, which fit into the over-all picture as the local weekly news and feature papers (see ALL HANDS, July 1945, p. 17), will be given all possible help.
ALL HANDS will continue to meet the need for a monthly publication providing comprehensive information to the Navy.
The program, developed in accord with the personal interest of Secretary Forrestal, is under a new Informational Services Section of the Welfare Activity, BuPers.
Navy News (Guam Edition) began publishing last month on a tentative basis on a small press and in limited quantity until its big press arrives. Equipment and personnel are being gathered for the Philippines and Okinawa editions, and these papers are expected to begin mass production within the next few months. Other editions may be published where there are large concentrations of personnel and no civilian newspapers.
Navy News will be an 8-page, 5-column, offset-printed tabloid newspaper, distributed free, and will include everything that the men used to see in their home-town papers - comic strips, columnists, photographs, sports, domestic news, world news, crossword puzzle. A 12,000-word news report, a composite of the civilian news service reports and Navy Department news from NNB, will be furnished by SEA through the San Francisco field office; the syndicated features will come through SEA in Washington. A special Sunday supplement will include color comics.
Because all personnel will not have access to Navy News, even though it will be distributed as widely as possible, emphasis also is being placed on the small "daily press" papers aboard ship. SEA will transmit to Guam a condensation of the 12,000-word basic news report, for sending to ships and outlying bases by hour-long plain Morse code radio broadcasts at 12-hour intervals, supplemented by 15-minute broadcasts at 6-hour intervals and news flashes and bulletins.
A plan is underway to make the same comic strips appearing in Navy News available to the "daily press" papers by means of pre-cut mimeograph stencils, which would provide a "comic page" six days a week. Effort also will be made to provide the color comics for the seventh day.
The new Navy weekly has just been authorized by the Secretary and tentative plans call for a 32-page large-size magazine in two colors, with eyewitness articles, humor, fiction, pinups, photographs, sports, cartoons, the straight dope and "gripes." Staffed by professionally qualified personnel, it will be printed in the continental United States as is Leatherneck to insure a high quality publication, and will be rushed to sailors, marines and coastguardsmen throughout the world, including the U. S. It will sell probably for 10 cents a copy.
INCLUDED in the new program are the SEA Clipper (a clipsheet of material for use in ship and station papers) and the SEA Watch (an editors' trade journal) which began going out last month to more than 750 Navy papers.
SEA, the Navy's news and feature service, began issuing the SEA Clipper (a weekly clipsheet) and the SEA Watch (a monthly "trade journal" for editors) within the past month. More than 750 ship and station newspapers have already been enrolled as members in accordance with BuPers Circ. Ltr. 70-45.
Membership in SEA is of two types, in order to insure the ship and station newspapers that their material will be exclusive and not duplicated in the large "multiple-activity" publications.
Full members are those papers published in accordance with EXOS Circ. Ltr. 45-611 - or those papers serving specifically as one-ship or one-station needs. These papers, if SEA members, get special original Navy cartoons and feature material, as well as news, through the SEA Clipper. Mats or pre-cut stencils are provided as required. Through the SEA Watch and through individual service where practicable, the papers will also be given editorial aid in improving their content and appearance. A Navy Editors' Manual also is being prepared.
"Affiliate members," the multiple-activity papers such as Navy News, will be provided with their special news and feature materials by SEA but they will not receive the SEA Clipper or material designed for the ship and station newspapers. All service publications overseas - especially the "daily press" papers - may use the SEA news as broadcast, without receiving special permission, but the special 12,000-word news report and feature material will be available only by arrangement with BuPers (Informational Services Section). Insofar as practicable, special services will be provided multiple-activity "affiliate-member" publications on request.
NEW BOOKS IN SHIPS' LIBRARIES
Knowing Your Pacific
"The Pacific World Series" is not what it may sound like - the autumn baseball classic on an island-hopping tour. But it might very well prove to be just as interesting. It is a set of paper-bound books just released by The Infantry Journal and also available from regular commercial publishing houses in hard-backed form. For those of you stuck on some Pacific island they are heartily recommended. The dragging days out there might be brightened a bit and shortened somewhat.
Don't get us wrong: We don't guarantee these books will make you stop day-dreaming about the end of the war or push away a one-way ticket to Stateside. But once you settle down with these books, your island prison no longer need be merely a sunbaked, rain-drenched lump of land peopled with pesky insects, freakish, frightened animals and strange-looking folk whose customs are as unfathomable as their language. Instead, it could become a fascinating wonderland; still not as good, of course, as a sidewalk in Flatbush or a cornfield in Iowa ... but definitely something to talk about wisely and well when you get gack home.
In these books you will learn all about the Pacific isles, from Magellan to Dorothy Lamour. You will read about lizards that fly, and birds that cannot; of kangaroos that live in trees and mammals that lay eggs. These books will tell you all there is to know about the Pacific Ocean area . . its birds and peoples, its fishes and shells, its animals and plants.
The Starting Point
First of the series on your reading list should be "The Pacific World," edited by Fairfield Osborn, president of the New York Zoological Society, with an introduction by William Beebe.
Figure It Out For Yourself
While the three bluejacket brothers were at sea, a wealthy Mohammedan they had met in London died and left them his harem of 17 beautiful ladies. However, his will read that the eldest brother was to have one half of the ladies, the next one third, and the youngest one ninth. The three sailors were in despair, for they obviously could not divide 17 ladies this way without calling in the butcher. They finally cabled an old and wise Arab friend who promised to help them. When they arrived at the home of their dead friend they found that the wise Arab had sent a member of his own harem to solve the problem in a jiffy. How? (Answer on page 73.)
This volume presents a skimming over-all picture of the Pacific - its vast distances and depths, strange lands, the life upon them and its peoples. This information was gathered by men of nine educational and scientific institutions. They tell you of the migrations of humanity that swept over the islands; of the discovery of the ocean and its lands by the adventurous old mariners of Spain and Portugal; of the swashbuckling pirates and sailors who fought over its treasures and brought the sins and diseases of civilization to these island paradises; of all the fascinating animal life; and a thousand and one other things. Read this one, and in a couple of sittings you'll be able to sound like a Fitzpatrick travelogue when you get back to the general store or McGuire's Scotch and Soda Fountain.
"The Pacific World" contains detailed descriptions of the nine important Pacific regions - Australia and New Zealand, Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia, the East Indies, the Philippines, the Aleutians, the Galapagos and Japan. It's both authoritative and readable.
People of the Pacific
Perhaps the most popular of the other books in the series will prove to be Felix Keesing's "Native Peoples of the Pacific World." In this book you will learn what lies behind the customs of the new people you are meeting. Dr. Keesing tells you of their languages and governments, their food, their trading methods, their likes and their dislikes. From these penetrating, interesting studies, you will find that these people, deep down, are not so different from you. Dr. Keesing, who is professor of anthropology at Leland Stanford University, was born in Malaya and his family has long moved around in the Pacific regions.
Wallabies and Wombats
Useful to you both for reading matter and as a sort of almanac for quick reference will be "Mammals of the Pacific World." Written by three distinguished authorities of the American Museum of Natural History - T. D. Carter, J. E. Hill and G. H. H. Tate - this is one of the most inclusive books ever published on animal life in the Pacific.
It features a parade of fugitives from the crossword puzzle pages such as the wallabies, wombats, bandicoots, warrigals and koalas. It tells of such strange creatures as the half-bird, half-animal Duckbill, which lays eggs and suckles its young.
The book lists the animals by families with excellent descriptive notes. It also features an island checklist which tells you at a glance what animals you'll find in your own immediate vicinity-in addition, of course, to chowhounds and liberty hounds.
Snakes . . .
Snakes and reptiles are not neglected in the series. Arthur Loveridge of the Museum of Comparative Zoology in Cambridge, Mass., has contributed "Reptiles of the Pacific World." It is full of really exciting information about giant turtles eight feet long and weighing half a ton; of pythons, 30 or more feet long, that can swallow a man; of vicious lizards with lashing powerful tails.
Plants . . .
You may be Robinson Crusoed on some barren sand bar where nothing but your beard and your boredom grow, but in "Plant Life of the Pacific World" you will learn that there are 45,000 different kinds of plants existing in the Pacific Ocean area and that scientists still believe there are many more as yet unidentified. Look about you . . maybe you'll discover a long-hidden wonder and you will have some type of orchid or dandelion named after you. Dr. E. D. Merrill of Boston's Arnold Arboretum has done a masterful job on this book.
. . . And Sea Shells
Breathes there a man with sole so thin that he hasn't kicked up a seashell here and there? One of the most interesting in this series is "Fishes and Shells of the Pacific World." Written by John T. Nichols of the American Museum of Natural History and Paul Bartsch of the Smithsonian Institute, this is the only book on both fishes and shells, although Walter Webb's "Handbook for Shell Collectors" is on its way to you. In "Fishes and Shells" you will be introduced to rays, coral-reef fishes, sharks, seahorses, pilotfish, Portuguese men-of-war, mudskippers and all the rest of the inhabitants of the Pacific's blue waters.
HOW DID IT START
This word for the bugle call preparatory to taps comes from the old Dutch word, "taptoe," which meant the time to close the taps or taverns in garrisoned towns - the Dutch word "tap" meaning faucet, or tap, and "toe" meaning, to shut. At the appointed hour, drummers marched from post to post in the town beating, their drums. They beat "first post" as a signal they had taken their places and were ready to start their rounds. When they reached the end of their rounds "last post," or "taptoe," was sounded, and the merry drinkers should have been on their way home. In Revolutionary times, tat-too was the signal for soldiers to retire to their barracks or quarters, put out their fire and candle, and go to bed; at the same time public houses were to shut their doors and sell no more liquor that night. Today "tattoo" has nothing to do with alcoholic activity, applying entirely to the matter of turning in. Our word "taps" comes from the same source.
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