|Subject: Re: pics
from CVE-77 website
Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2001 17:35:18 EST
I passed on your
letter to my dad. When I told him about the web site and the pics
I discovered I made his day. I'm sure he would love to call one of you fellas
or have one of you call him.
Subject: Elmer Oberlies
Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2001 22:12:42 EST
Just noticed the
picture of Lt. (jg) Elmer Oberlies lists him in the V3 division.
He was our catapult officer, and we were in V1 division. Just
wondering if this is an error.
Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2001 22:09:00 EST
Saw you web site. Attached are a couple of the pics I found on your
web site. My dad who is very much alive and loved is one of those
sailors you don't remember. I know because he has one of these pics
in his living room. His name is Lee Klarer. In the beach pic, he is
the second sailor standing from the left. And in the ship photo I believe
he is the ninth from the left on the bottom. I'm sure he would love
to hear from you, His Email adress is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subject: Re: pics
from CVE-77 website
Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2001 17:35:18 EST
I passed on your
letter to my dad. When I told him about the web site and the pics
I discovered It made his day. I'm sure he would love to call one of
you fellas or have one of you call him.
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2001 22:40:19 -0700
From: "Leonard T Scott" <email@example.com>
I have almost all the Galloping Ghost News Papers from the time I was
on the Marcus untill I got off in Boston, I just thought you might be
interested in these, Let me know if you would like a copy of them ???
Thanks for the Great web page you have on the computer..
Subject: Fw: Interesting
Facts of WW-II
Date: Sat, 8 Dec 2001 08:16:50 -0800
From: "Leonard T scott" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
1. The first
German serviceman killed in WW II was killed by the Japanese (China,
1937), the first American serviceman killed was killed by the
Russians (Finland 1940), the highest ranking American killed was Lt.Gen.
Lesley McNair, killed by the US Army Air Corps. . . . So much for allies.
2. The youngest
US serviceman was 12 year old Calvin Graham, USN. He was wounded and
given a Dishonorable Discharge for lying about his age. (His benefits
were later restored by act of Congress)
4. More US
servicemen died in the Air Corps than the Marine Corps. While completing
the required 30 missions your chance of being killed was 71%.
speaking there was no such thing as an average fighter pilot. You were
either an ace or a target. For instance Japanese ace Hiroyoshi Nishizawa
shot down over 80 planes. He died while a passenger on a cargo plane.
6. It was
a common practice on fighter planes to load every 5th round with a tracer
round to aid in aiming. This was a mistake. Tracers had different ballistics
so (at long range) if your tracers were hitting the target 80% of your
rounds were missing. Worse yet tracers instantly told your enemy he
was under fire and from which direction. Worst of all was the practice
of loading a string of tracers at the end of the belt to tell you that
you were out of ammo. This was definitely not something you wanted to
tell the enemy. Units that stopped using tracers saw their success rate
nearly double and their loss rate go down.
TO LOVE THIS ONE....
7. When allied armies reached the Rhine the first thing men did
was pee in it. This was pretty universal from the lowest private to
Winston Churchill (who made a big show of it) and Gen. Patton (who had
himself photographed in the act).
Me-264 bombers were capable of bombing New York City but it wasn't worth
the first "Germans" captured at Normandy were several Koreans. They
had been forced to fight for the Japanese Army until they were captured
by the Russians and forced to fight for the Russian Army until they
were captured by the Germans and forced to fight for the German Army
until they were captured by the US Army.
AND I SAVED
THE BEST FOR LAST....
11. Following a massive naval bombardment 35,000 US and Canadian
troops stormed ashore at Kiska, in the Aleutian Islands. 21 troops were
killed in the firefight. It would have been worse if there had
been any Japanese on the island.
Subject: Ben C. Jordan
Date: Wed, 05 Dec 2001 14:33:18 -0600
From: Jim Jordan <email@example.com>
I would like to
take this time to give my heartful thanks to those who have made me
feel great. I have gotten information on my father I never thought I
would. I appreciate it. HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS. ANCHORS!
Subject: change of
Date: Wed, 05 Dec 2001 20:51:30 -0500
From: George Willer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I'm George ( Jack
) Willer. My email address has changed to:
Thanks for your work on the website.
Subject: Dewey Carter
Janes aviation machinist
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2001 23:01:48 -0800
From: "Jerry Janes" <email@example.com>
Sir, I have
just discovered your information site and think you're doing agreat
job. I am the #1 son of the above (now deceased some years ago)
and find in family records that our dad was aboard during
battle for Leyte Gulf and would ask if you have any information I could
pass on to rest of family. Thanks.
Jerry Carter Janes
US Army RA 18205685
SP2 - discharged July
Subject: Ben C. Jordan
Date: Fri, 09 Nov 2001 09:01:59 -0600
From: Jim Jordan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
He was my father.
He and my mother divorced when I was 2. I only met him about 5 times
for short periods. He was on the "Galloping Ghost." I have pictures
of him As PH1 doing an emergency Apendectamy on a sailor during a mission.
If at all possible I would appreciate any information you could supply
me with about my Father.
Jim Jordan RM3 USN (Vietnam)
Subject: Previous article
Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2001 01:13:12 EDT
Hi again Brian,
I need a favor...I'm sending you a revised copy of, "THE WEATHER AND
A BIT OF HISTORY." I'd appreciate it if you'd delete my original
and replace it with the attached article. Sam sent me documentation
showing that MacArthur was in fact on the Cruiser,Nashville, at Leyte,
and not on a Freighter as I had heard. So, in the interest of truth,
it would be appropriate to replace the article. Hopefully you haven't
gone to press yet and it will all work out. I know that changes like
this don't make your job any easier.
My sincere apology and thanks, Hardy Pratt
MIRA STORIES #2
THE WEATHER AND
A BIT OF HISTORY:
It was October 1944.
We had cut our teeth on the battles to take the Palau Islands. Now we
were to join a Task Force that was destined for bigger things. Leyte,
eighth largest of the Philippines Islands, was of major importance in
the long string of events that ultimately lead to the defeat of the
Japanese. It was the beginning of our effort to take back the Philippines.
There was a lot riding on this operation. It was one stepping-stone
closer to Japan. Though we weren't aware of it at the time, it was to
be the staging area for a naval battle that was to virtually wipe out
the remnants of the Japanese Navy; and we were there.
We were getting in position for the attack on Leyte Gulf. However, Mother
Nature stepped in with plans of Her own; she dumped a heavy storm down
on the convoy. It was to delay us about 3 days, as I recall.
The top brass was concerned that the delay would make us vulnerable
to discovery by the enemy. We laid some 50 miles off the coasts of Samar
and Leyte biding out time. It was worrisome. We were a sizable convoy
with Battleships, Cruisers, three Escort Carrier Groups, Destroyers,
Freighters, Tankers and Troopships etc. As I recall, General McArthur
was on one of the Freighters, awaiting his promised return. Unbeknown
to us was the fact that the storm also raised havoc with the Japanese
forces on Leyte. It forced them away from the beaches and made them
take to the higher ground of the foothills. Ironically the Army and
Marines had an easier time establishing a beachhead than was anticipated.
This in no way is meant to imply that their task was a simple one, far
from it! This remembrance is submitted only to show how a quirk of nature
can change the events of history.
That is, at first analysis, the storm had seemed to doom an otherwise
well planned operation. In the long run, it provided a big assist to
With the success
of Leyte, U.S. forces were able to move on and take back the Islands
of Mindoro and Luzon. That would be a while off yet. Ultimately, with
the Philippines back in U.S. possession, there would be two more Islands
to conquer, Iwo Jima and Okinawa, before attacking the final target,
CHECK OUT THIS SWIMMING
We were out in the middle of nowhere when we heard the ship's engines
come to a stop. Before we could ponder the situation, we got an announcement
over the speakers telling us, "Swim Party," or words to that effect.
Apparently, Captain Greber had decided that the crew needed a little
R&R. Though we weren't in a war zone, it was a spooky feeling to
be like sitting ducks, dead in the water. Thoughts of enemy subs crept
into our thoughts. Apprehension turned to delight when we saw two motor
whaleboats towing cargo nets out about 30 yards. The near ends were
fastened to the ship and the two far end-corners were held taught by
the whaleboats. The nets dangling, down about 10 feet gave us a fairly
safe swimming area. Shark guards, with machine guns, were posted on
the two sponsons.
Most of us donned our highly fashionable, Navy issue, black woolen swim
I recall feeling delighted...as long as it was other guys playing in
the shark's back yard. I did finally summon up the courage to take the
plunge. What a great feeling and what a great memory...thanks to Capt.
We were in the Solomon Islands, somewhere north of Guadacanal. About
three or four of us from the V3 division decided to take a swim. We
found that a coconut stuffed into the front of our swim trunks served
as good floatation devices. We were, about 75 yards out from the beach
and feeling pretty good. Well, that was until we heard a 2nd class Bos'n
mate screaming and waiving frantically for us to get to shore.
We unloaded our coconuts and made for the beach like Olympic swimmers.
A screaming Bos'n mate has that affect on you.
We presumed there was an emergency and that we were needed back aboard
ship immediately. Those thoughts were short lived. Still yelling, he
gave us holy-hell. "Didn't we know that these were shark infested waters?"-"What,
in the world, do you think you are doing?" Well, I've modified his words
just a bit.
It's times like that, that support the theory that there are indeed
Guardian Angels watching over us men. Yeah, that's what he called us
all right, men. Yeah, uh-huh.
FIRE AT PEARL HARBOR
The war was over and we were in Pearl for the last time. We were unloading
Ordinance, amongst other things, before heading stateside.
It was a time when the main talk was about how many points you had and
when you were going to get out of the Service...or to possibly reenlist.
War was the last thing on our minds.Then one morning at around the crack
of dawn, we were awakened by the bugler blaring General Quarters over
the Ship's speakers. Maybe the war was over, but that is a sound one
doesn't easily forget.We heard the Bos'n pipe and a commanding voice,
"All hands, report to your battle stations, all hands, report to your
battle stations." This was the real thing!
I was in a top bunk
and it seemed that I was in my dungarees and shoes as I hit the deck.
We scrambled off to our battle stations, the adrenaline flowing and
minds churning. We wondered what the hell was going on! Is this another
Pearl Harbor? If so, how could it be? It wasn't a time to think. It
was a time to get where we were going.When we got to our stations we
were told, "There is big oil-slick fire approaching us and we were needed
on the flight deck to lend a hand.... now!"
The ship was tied to an L-shaped dock. We had a Carrier docked in front
of us. The base, or short end of the L-shaped dock, was about 25 yards
from our stern. There was no way out!Bombs and depth charges were stacked,
like banana squash, on the flight deck and fantail. At least 50 guys
were there ahead of us and throwing everything overboard at a frantic
My first thought was, "This is madness, what if those things explode?"
I hadn't thought that the bombs and depth charges weren't armed. It
was a scary sight...complete havoc!
The fire was closing in and so were about four fireboats. The fire was
getting very close to us now and was approaching the dock off our stern.
It looked like the dock was going to be destroyed.
Those fireboats were fantastic to watch. With their deck-mounted water
guns blasting, they drove the fire past us and right under and through
the dock and out into the open bay beyond. They kept it contained in
a circle (which was about 50 yards in diameter) till it burned itself
It was a lousy way to be awakened, but what we witnessed was a first
class disaster in the making. It was avoided only because of the fireboats
that were manned by sailors that knew their job and did it well.
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2001 11:37:22 EDT
From: Hardy D. Pratt <Eyeque1@aol.com>
Good morning Brian,
as I agreed to do, attached are some memory
contributions. I hope you find them appropriate.
Yours in friendship, Hardy
Brian, when I was
added to the roster, you asked if I'd contribute some
articles or memories. Well actually, you did a bit of friendly arm twisting.
Heh-heh-heh. I said that I would, in time. So, here's a start.
First, it's amazing that MIRA exists...that there is actually
a place to
connect with old shipmates and the memories that go with them. I don't
to throw unwarranted bouquets, but you and Sam have done one heck of
and are providing a real nice service. With the Internet, the MIRA website
will last indefinitely and could contribute to a part of history. Future
generations will be able to view sites like this and verify that a relative
did in fact serve in WWII, or any war, and get a first hand look at
was all about at that time and from the viewpoint of those involved.
small thing, that.
I'm a bit reticent to reveal my thoughts because they represent my
perspective of any given incident or situation and too, I'm not sure
to 57 years has done to my recall.
I do have some memories to share and they sort of fall into two
1.Non combat situations and relationships. 2. Comments about some of
combat situations that weren't given media attention at the time; kind
I'll let you be the judge as to whether you wish to print them.
Image from the USS
RAINIER (AE-5) web site.
THE MT. HOOD EXPLOSION
On November 3, 1944, we had returned to Manus Island and Seeadler harbor
following the Leyte Gulf action.
On 10 November, two of us were taking a smoke break from CIC.
We were on
the starboard catwalk, just forward of the Island.
I was leaning on the railing and staring out at nothing in particular.
there was a tremendous explosion and cloud of smoke. It was about two
(guesstimate) from us. We were to learn that it was the ammunition ship,
Hood. We were told that there were eight survivors...all on a mail party
It was really something to witness. Simultaneously, with the explosion,
saw a motor whaleboat get turned a full 90 degrees from its course.
The explosion sent debris and 4' X 8' steel plates perhaps 2000 feet
air. The stuff fluttered down like they were mere matchbox pieces. The
that it produced was similar to we what were to later recognize as the
signature "mushroom cloud" identified with the atom bomb.
We knew that other ships, anchored near her had to have been seriously
damaged and perhaps even some Island facilities as well. We wondered
all the debris would land and what damage it would cause.
To my knowledge, it was never discovered what caused the explosion,
there was no inference as to enemy involvement.
I often wonder who was with me at that time? Perhaps Robert Rainville,
not sure. I do know that there are many others who saw the happening
like me, will remember it well. It represented a great loss of human
It makes you wonder what type of person crews on an ammunition ship?
surely possess a brand of courage that I lack. If I were serving on
ammunition ship, I'd have the perpetual "Don Knots" shakes.
Our daughter, Cori, found a couple of websites, for those who
to Internet. They are:
shows some fairly good shots of the incident.
* http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/3535/mthood.html This gives
varied eyewitness accounts and provides the results of the Official
TYPHOON IN THE SOUTH
I'd guess it was late September or early October of 1945. We left Hudson
Bay, Okinawa, to head to Manila. They had been hit hard by a storm and
their power knocked out. We were to supply them with electricity from
our generators. We never made it.
We got caught in a typhoon; an experience I will never forget. It seemed
like all the wrath in the world was being thrown at us. For those who
never experienced a typhoon at sea, there are just no words adequate
Maturity wise, a lot of us could be classified somewhere between adult
and young men. It was a serious business we were involved in but the
us had the adrenaline flowing with the excitement. It was awesome and
frightening. Had I not been there, I would classify it as unbelievable.
I still wonder: Just how high were those swells and waves? Was it my
imagination or did they seem to make us feel like our Carrier was being
tossed around like a cork?
I think that we were told that our ship could handle a maximum of a
list. There was a gauge just above the DRT (Dead Reckoning Tracer) Table.
recorded a 37( list! Why we didn't capsize or flip over is anyone's
There were about 105 naught winds and the swells towered over us. That
combination apparently worked in our favor and kept us upright.
There were welders on the catwalks, mid-ship, where the U expansion
were. The expansion joints were splitting down about 12 to 18 inches.
welders were welding metal plates over the joints in an effort to hold
together. We'd crest over another wave and the plates came clanging
down on the catwalk. They stuck to it and re-welded them many times.
a sight to behold. Someone jokingly asked, "Which end of the ship do
want to be on when she splits in half." The remark got a few nervous
I heard that you could see 100 feet of daylight, back from the bow,
crested another swell. And I guess we all remember the shuddering of
ship after she had plunged into a wave and then struggled to get herself
back on even keel.
We survived the ordeal and lived to tell about it, but we weren't sure
whether of not that would be the outcome at the time. :)
Hardy, I'm certain that your stories will be welcomed by all. - Brian
Subject: Shipmate, Curtis Tolley
Date: Mon, 06 Aug 2001 16:34:49 -0400
From: DONALD LOUDERMILK <email@example.com>
Tom and Ron,
One of the "Blackgang"
from the Marcus Island passed away on Saturday, August 4, 2001.
A friend of mine, Dom Pendola from the Kadashan Bay, and I attend the
visitation for Curtis O. Tolley on Sunday afternoon.
Here is a partial obit from the Charleston Gazette on Sunday, Aug. 5th.
Curtis O. Tolley,
78, of Quick, WV, went home to be with God, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2001,
at Thomas Memorial Hospital in South Charleston.
He was retired from maintenance at Charleston Area Medical Center.
He was a retired chief petty officer with the Navy for 22 years of service.
He was a World War II and Korean War veteran. He is survived by his
wife, Lucille Reed Tolley, etc. The funeral is being held as I write
this e-mail to you.
What the obit does
not say is that Curtis served aboard the USS Marcus Island from the
day it was comissioned until it was de-comissioned. He then served
on the Big Mo during the Korean Conflict. He had also served on
another ship before coming aboard the Marcus Island. Curtis was never
physically able to attend any of our reunions but he would love to have
been a part of it. I always tried to fill him in when I returned.
I also was able to present him with the Philppine Liberation Medal which
we all received in St. Louis. He was deeply moved by that action.
We have lost another good sailor from the Marcus Island.
I will be remembering all of the the good friends from the ship when
you meet for a special reunion in San Antonio in September. I
would love to be there, especially for the dedication of the memorial
plaques at the Nimitz Memorial. I know that will be very special.
I want to add my special thanks for those responsible for adding the
recognition of the squadrons who served aboard.
I will represent
our ship and VC-21 at the ECSAA reunion in Washington, DC August 25
-29, 2001. I will be combining this reunion with a visit with
my sister-in-law, Ruth Loudermilk, who lives in Falls Church, VA. Kay
will visit with Ruth while I attend the reunion.
I have been in touch
with some of VC-21 men and the report of health is not good. Al
Austin is in a wheelchair and attached to ogygen. Charles "Brad"
Bradford is in a wheelchair and attached to oxygen. Willy Balk
does not go beyond where he can drive. He and Betty just cannot
do the walking anymore. Nick Charles is okey but stays very close
to Cindy because of her sight degeneration. At 80, I am still doing
very well but Kay cannot walk any distance.
I think I gave you Bob and Bobbie Clarkes' address. If not, here
----------, Midland, TX ---. I do not have a new phone number
yet but their e-mail address stays the same. They do not travel
except on short trips to visit family.
Ron, thanks for
the story in the Galloping Ghost. I appreciate the thoughtfulness.
Have a great reunion.
Subject: Re: MIRA Roster
Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2001 17:17:37 EDT
From: eyeque1@aol. com (Hardy Pratt)
Hi, my name is Harden
D. Pratt (Hardy). I don't know if I'm contacting the right person
or not. I'm trying to get added to the MIRA Roster. I was on the
ship from may of '44 to March of '46. I was a Radarman 3/C in CIC. Tom
Sahm referred me to this E-mail address, but I don't know if it's
correct or not. He's away for the next week. I contacted him around
the 1st of July. He's sent me the reunion info for San Antonio
and I'm trying to see if I can arrange for that trip.
I can hardly believe that you folks have found so many of us Marcus
Island guys. Amazing. Just to know some are still around and have
a chance to reconnect is fantastic.
I'll give you my data and if it should be sent to someone else, please
let me know.
My daughters and grandkids keep bugging me as to when I'll be added
to the roster.
If you are the right person, could I get you to acknowledge this E-mail.
My sincere thanks,
Harden D. Pratt (Hardy) V3 Div.
E-mail: eyeque1@aol. com
From: Kay Elay <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I was searching the internet today for info on VB-20 (of which there
virtually none), and came across the MIRA page. I was very intrigued
the photograph you have kindly reproduced in large format (thank you!),
as a relative of mine may be present in it (Robert B. Kleinfelder).
you know exactly when it was taken?
I believe that VB-20
served on CV-6 Enterprise in late '44. As I have
had no luck finding any further information, and your Dad served with
them, could you kindly you fill me in a little on what happened to the
group both before and after that tour please?
Thanks very much,
wish I had more information about VB-20 and CASU-7 as well. - Brian
Subject: Re: MIRA Roster
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2001 16:51:20 EDT
Hi Brian, sorry
to bother you but Sam says that you are the head honcho for getting
added to the Roster. I bet you are busy, but I connected up with Sam
on the 1st of the month and am interested in getting added to
I think that what you guys are doing is fantastic. I have wondered for
years if any of us were still around and if so, where.
I have written to four of my ol' friends and am anxiously waiting for
Oh, are you also the one we send to if we have worthwhile stories to
Thanks for your time, Hardy
Hardy D. Pratt
( V3 )
do send any stories that you have! Send them to CVE77@marcusisland.org
Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2001 09:57:07 -0700
From: Thomas Sahm <email@example.com>
Sorry to report two more deaths:
J. Fred Belew, April
Edward E. Drzewiecki
June 9, 2001
Subject: New Member
Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2001 10:32:49 -0700
From: Thomas Sahm <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Richard A. Winterrose
Cedar City, UT 84720
I sent him a letter
in Mar. of '98, slow response.
Ron, please send him a Ghost.
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2001 12:15:21 EDT
Hi Mr. Brian !!!
Well, I finally
got a bunch of the Marcus Island memorabilia together and off via UPS
Monday. My file drawer is still almost half full. Hope it will
be of some use to you.
Look through the materials at your leisure. Some may interest you and
some may not. The communications file is discardable I have to clean
it out every so often. If I run on to something I might want,
I'll give you a holler.
The following is a list of the materials sent:
3 ring binder
U S S MARCUS ISLAND CVE - 77 HISTORY
3 ring binder Copies of the Galloping Ghost Published since
Folder Reunion 1994
Folder Reunion 1995
Folder Reunion 1996
3 ring binder Reunion 1997
Folder Reunion 1998
Folder In Respectful Memory of Shipmates
Folder Marcus Island File Roster June
Folder Marcus Island Ship's Company September
Folder History Marcus Island by Bob Young
Pamphlet Loose Ends VC-21 Reunion 1996
Pamphlet Marcus Island History - Reunion Issue 1998
File folder Marcus Island documents and stories
File Folder Communications
I hope you get as
much fun and pleasure out of working with this memorabilia as I have.
I see your wearing
that Nebraska corn husker's smile. That's the one where your smile splits
from ear to ear and you white teeth look like a cob of white sweet corn.
Enjoy life and have
Subject: Edward P. McCann
Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2001 02:03:41 EDT
I am the only son of Edward P. McCann, who served on the USS
Marcus Island, during W.W.II. Please correct his name on the roster.
He is listed incorrectly as " Edgar". He passed away in 1982.
He was a gunner on an Avenger, flying primarily with Anthony
Peyou. I have his flight log book and some pictures of him and other
crew members. Are you interested in these photos?
My father was very proud of his ship and shipmates. He
always spoke of them with respect. I would be interested in hearing
from you. By chance, did you know my father?
Mr. McCann's photos have been posted in the PHOTOS
section of this website. - Brian
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2001 02:13:27 -0500
From: Nina Whisman <email@example.com>
My name is Michael J. Whisman. My father was Frank Whisman
and served on the Marcus Island from soon after the launching until
he was wounded by a near miss of a Kamikaze. It was the same aircraft
that killed Hartman? I think that was his name.
He passed away in 1988 but I would love to attend the reunion
and see some of the people that served with him even though they may
not remember him.
Would it be possible for me to attend?
Michael J. Whisman
Please check the REUNION page
for details. - Brian
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2001 15:34:47 -0400
From: Jack Willer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: CVE77 webmaster <CVE77@marcusisland.org>
Just looked at the snapshots as sent by email. Don't look
too bad but don't know if you can use them. Can't identify many
of the guys but here is a little info. The top two were taken in Honolulu
between July 1945 and February 1946 The ship was in and out of
Pearl several times during that period.. The bottom one was taken in
Panama in about March 1946 on the way from the Pacific to the
South Boston Annex Navy Yard.
Top picture: left
to right- Leber, Willer, Homer Cruikshank, Marion (Tex) Wills.
All "E" Division
back row- Cruikshank, ?, Leber, Wells front row- ?, ?, McCreary(?),
Don't know many of these guys. I think we just ran into each other in
this high class joint. I'm on the far left and I think that's Scott
next to me in the back row. I think the fourth guy in the back row with
his hat over his eyes is Grant Sharpe. Don't know the Ensign with his
hand on the waitresses boob. Looks like we were having a good time.
Willer's photos have been posted in the PHOTOS
section of this website. - Brian
for the Newsletter
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2001 10:21:06 -0600
From: "B. J. Williams" <email@example.com>
I received your newsletter and welcome each
one of them so very much. Though I do not know any of you and
not a lot about the time you spent together, I enjoy reading your letter.
My wish is that the organization had been active when my husband, Seth
Williams, was alive. He would have been pleased to have re-united
with you all. He spoke often about the experiences during the
time you were together.
If anyone remembers him and would like to write to me,
I would be happy to bring some pieces together that were lost or put
on a different track since 1945. Seth (family called him Buddy)
was probably one of the youngest in the group since he left high school
to join the Navy. He later went back and finished high school and college
for a Masters Degree. I could write much about how great he was, but
I will spare you that at this time.
I visited your website and found it very interesting. I plan to
go back to it for more of your well-prepared information. It is very
attractive and easy to follow.
Keep up the good work and please keep sending the newsletter.
I will send a contribution later to cover the cost of mailing it. I
know that can be expensive as I, also, have been editing a newsletter
for the El Paso Retired Teachers Association.
Betty Williams (widow of Seth A. Williams) firstname.lastname@example.org
The signature web-site
listed below is one I am hosting. If you are interested you may click
on to it. http://mywfportal.com/?70021992
Date: Mon, 11 Jun
2001 17:17:43 -0700
From: Thomas Sahm <email@example.com>
Subject: Photo Collections
You are correct, the pictures need captions describing " who, what,
why and where" they were taken. I shall promptly narrate each one. I
also hope this breaks the ice for others to send their photos. If anyone
needs help in converting their photos or documents internet use send
them to me and I'll convert them and return the originals. Let' share
our generation and our experiences with everyone.
[I can scan your photos and other memorabilia
here at home as well, or help you to find someone in your area that
can help you. One really good source is the graphic design department
of your local high school or college. They'd probably do it for free
if they know the cause. - Brian]
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2001 12:33:54 EDT
Subject: Mutinous Action
To M.I. Shipmates:
Did you ever hear of the dispute the catapult crew
had with Air Officer Comdr. McElroy?
Some time before we left
the states for action in the South Pacific, Joe Berecek, one of
the catapult crew, brought aboard a small record player and a
BUNCH of records to entertain us in the catapult "shack."
Somehow, word got around to McElroy about it and
he quickly informed us we couldn't use it because of its supposed electronic
emissions, which might be received by enemy submarines or other enemy
receivers and indicate our position.
We put up a fuss about it and eventually all six
of us put in for transfer. That resulted in McElroy calling
each of us into his office for individual interviews, which of
course gave us a chance to voice our complaints about the record
Apparently we were successful because within a couple
of days we got permission to use the record player. During
those 17 months of continuous sea duty those records provided
us with many hours of a wide variety of music, from jazz and swing
to some of the classics.
One problem: The crystal pickup was defective.
Sometimes it would work and sometimes not. I had a friend
in the states who was a civilian radio technician for the air
force at Warner-Robins Base in Georgia (he was 4-F because of
a polio-withered arm) and I got him to send us a new pickup.
After that the record player worked perfectly.
Charlie Dare, AMM2/c
Elk River, Minnesota
From: Tom Sahm firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Sun., 10 Jun 2001 3:46 PM
finished sending Brian Osborn some pictures to post on our site. Watch
for them. Now how about the rest of you? Letters, newspaper articles,
Log Book entries. I'm mailing him the Marcus Island War Diary, some
200-300 pages which he will begin posting. How about it? Tell your friends!
Ron O'Riley send him copies of all the past Ghosts, Leonard
Scott send him all those original ship's newspapers. Make copies and
send if you want to keep the originals
Subject: Re: The
Marcus Island Mailbag - news about the website
Date: Wed, 6 Jun 2001 16:05:03 EDT
for the info. I'll be getting back to you with a couple of stories
about my duty on the ship.
Date: Sat, 2 Jun 2001 01:27:06 -0400
From: "Michael A. Cocca Sr." <email@example.com>
To: "Tom Sahm" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
CC: "Brian Osborn" <email@example.com>
Recently I have tried to get onto the website that Ed Osborn has set
up and can't seem to get into it. I'm using the address http://marcusisland.50g.com
but it won't work for me. Is there something changed since I received
the last newsletter? I am copying Brian for this letter also,
in the event he might be able to help me on this one.
Second question. I recently tried to reach
Mrs. Adams with an e-mail note because I was hoping to get some information
on ordering some MIRA caps and/or shirts. Is she still handling
this, or should I be writing to someone else?
Really appreciate your help on these and hope to
hear from you soon. Also have to add, you guys are doing a great
job with the association activities. Thanks again.
We've had a lot happening with
the web site. Thanks to the good work of Tom Sahm and the gang I was
able to set it up on a server that not only is much faster, but also
has several features not available on the "freebie" site. The
best part is... there are no advertisements to suffer through.
Our NEW address for the web site
Please do check it out
and encourage everyone you know that has internet access to do so as
well. I have put together these pages as my way of honoring the
great men that served aboard the "Galloping Ghost" with the hopes that
it serves to educate many others about the sacrifices those men made
in order to keep freedom alive.
Thank you very much for your interest
in the site.
Osborn (son of the late Eddie Osborn, ARM/2c USN)
Thanks for the response. I have been able to bring
up the site now and am really impressed by the job you've done.
Im sure all of the others feel the same way and we are indebted to you
for making the effort to honor your father and all of us. I haven't
been through everything on the site yet but I will continue to visit
it. Perhaps at some point I may be able to provide and anecdote
also, but I will also be encouraging a few of the others with whom I
am in contact, to do the same. Meanwhile, keep up the good work
and be aware that there are a lot of people out here who are very grateful
Mike Cocca, former
ARM 3/c Squadron VC 21
Subject: Fwd: Pearl
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2001 10:51:09 EDT
For those who remember:
years ago, while leading a church group on a tour of Pearl Harbor, I
stood among the clergy and their spouses in the gleaming white-arched
and covered Memorial above the USS Arizona. One minister in our group,
a man from Maine, had been there on December 7th, 1941 - the day the
Japanese flew in to sink our Pacific Naval Fleet. He had not been aboard
the Arizona, buthis ship had also been hit. He described vividly the
horror of being aboard the flaming and sinking vessel as bullets flew
and bombs roared. As I listened, out of the corner of my eye I noticed
a Japanese tourist enteringthe Memorial.
It was the man's fine clothes - long tie, buttoned sports
jacket, and shiny brown lace-up shoes - that initially attracted my
attention. In Hawaii, professionals like lawyers, corporate executives,
soldiers and ministers seldom, if ever, wear ties or jackets. Even network
television news anchorswear open-collared aloha shirts. This man, dressed
as he was, stood out.
Two women walked with him. The older one I took to be his
wife, the other perhaps an older daughter. Both wore conservative dresses
and fancy shoes.The man appeared to be in his sixties, and while he
may have spoken English, I only heard him speak Japanese. In his left
hand, he carried, almost shyly,an ornate and obviously costly multi-flowered
wreath about eighteen inches across.
Our group's veteran continued to speak as we clustered
around him. He described being caught below deck: feeling disoriented
as the ship took on water where he stood, fire coming from above and
the smoke stealing his breath. His buddy lay dead at his feet as the
young sailor struggled in the darkness to escape, fear and adrenaline
propelling him to the surface.Everyone in our group was so engrossed
in his story, that no one, except for me, noticed the Japanese tourist
and his family who walked quite near to us.
As I watched, the tourist stopped, turned to his wife and
daughter and spoke to them. They stood quietly, almost solemnly. Then
the man straightened his tie, first at the neck and then near the belt,
and tugged at the hem of his jacket. As if in preparation, he squared
his shoulders, took a deep breath,and then exhaled. Alone, he somberly
stepped forward toward the railing at the water's edge above the sunken
The other tourists swirled around him. From what I could
see and hear, they were apparently all Americans. They were talking,
laughing, looking, asking questions; some were listening to our minister's
story, but none seemed aware of the tourist who had captured my attention.
I don't believe the Japanese man understood the minister's
words. As I listened to one man and watched the other, the Japanese
tourist came to the rail, bowed at the waist, and then stood erect.
He began to speak; I heard his words but could not comprehend then.
However from his tone and the look on his face, I felt their meaning.
His manner conveyed so many things at once - confession, sorrow, hurt,
honor, dignity, remorse and benediction.
When he had finished his quiet prayer, he gravely dropped
the flowered wreath into the seawater - the same water the minister
kept mentioning in his reminiscence - and watched as the wreath floated
away on the tide. The man struggled to remain formal, to keep face,
but his tears betrayed him. I guessed he must have been a soldier, a
warrior of the air, whose own plane had showered the bombs and bullets
that had torn through our soldiers, sinking their ships. It struck me
that he had come on a pilgrimage of repentance, not to our government,
but to the gravesite of those young men whose lives he had taken in
the name of war.
Stepping backward one pace, the Japanese veteran then closed
his eyes and bowed again, very deeply, and very slowly from the waist.
Then he stood tall, turned around and rejoined his family. His deed
done, they began to leave. All the while, our minister veteran continued
his narrative. He and the group were oblivious to the poignant counterpoint
occurring behind them.
But I was not the only American to witness the Japanese
man's actions. As I watched his family leave, I noticed another American
step away from the wall on which he had been leaning. He was dressed
casually, and wore a red windbreaker with the VFW emblem on it. He had
a potbelly, thinning hair and held his hat in his hand. I assumed the
man was a WW II veteran. Perhaps he had served in the Pacific, I thought,
and was himself on a pilgrimage.
As the Japanese family walked by him, the American stepped
directly into their path, blocking their way. I immediately tensed,
fearing a confrontation. The startled Japanese tourist, who had been
deep in thought, stopped short, surprise and sorrow mixed on his face.
His family, eyes on the ground, stopped abruptly, then crowded closer
But the American simply stood at attention, once again
a strong, straight-backed soldier. Then he raised his right hand slowly
and stiffly to his forehead, saluting his former enemy.
The American remained in salute until the Japanese, with
dawning understanding, returned the gesture.
As the tourists milled by, the two men stood as if alone,
joined by their shared pain, glories, honors and memories, until the
American, while remaining at attention, slowly lowered his arm and formally
stepped backward one pace. The Japanese tourist, when his arms were
both once again at his side, bowed formally to the man in front of him.
To my surprise, the American returned the honor.
Neither said a word. Neither had to. Their solemn faces
wet with tears, expressed to each other in a universal language what
could never have been said in words.
I watched as the two men, their reconciliation complete,
went their separate ways, united in a way I had never imagined possible.
By Peter Baldwin Panagore
Date: Tue, 1 May 2001 19:02:57 -0500
From: "Georgene Powell" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
are very interested in your webb site. My father, George
McManus, is here with me now while I go through the site. He was
on the USS Marcus Island from the time it was commissioned until they
got off at Guam when the war was over. We were going over all
the names and there was one he could not find, ISOM.
He can't remember the first name. He has some good stories to
tell and I am encouraging him to put them in writing and I will forward
on to you.
keep in touch. My father celebrated his 77th birthday on the 26th
Sent: Saturday, April 28, 2001 4:30 PM
My dad is a veteran of the
Marcus Island (his name is Bruce Potts)and is interested in the reunion
in Texas in May and would like to get more information. Specifically,
is the captain (not sure if he is alive) or the executive officer going
to be there.
Thanks for the help
check out the REUNION page.
Everything you need is there. - Brian ]
Thanks from an M.I. Sailor!
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 15:05:56 EDT
Thanks much for putting together
the Marcus Island site. You're doing a great job. Keep up
One suggestion: Mark
deceased crew members on the roster with an asterisk, at least the ones
known to be deceased. I think Tom Sahm probably has those.
Catapult crew from commissioning until June 1945.
Done did it - Brian]
New e-mail address
Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2001 15:19:33 -0800
From: Thomas Sahm <email@example.com>
Another DSL horror story. Lost my DSL and all
of my e-mail address book. Just in a days work. Please send me your
other E-mail address. My new e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Did the roster come through in useable form?
or email@example.com - Brian]
Re: [Fwd: Marcus Island's NEW web site]
Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2001 20:15:16 EST
TOM & BRIAN - THANKS TO YOU
BOTH FOR THE GOOD WORK ON OUR BEHALF
IN SETTING US UP FOR REAL GOOD COMMUNICATIONS
(IN THE NAME OF ALL OUR SHIPMATES).
HOPE TO SEE YOU IN
A FEW MONTHS.
Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2001 17:06:54 EST
Nice going on the MIRA page.
I saw what you have done so far and it's great! Thanks much
from one of the crew. I take it your Dad or grandfather
was aboard. . .
Dare, catapult crew
Elk River Minnesota
Dad was aboard during the ferry run to the South Pacific (19 May - 1
July, 1944). He was a radioman 2c, flew in the SB-2C, TBF and
others. I believe he was attached to VB-20 at the time. -Brian]
(I have since found that Dad was attached to CASU-7
around that time and may have been part of the Flag crew. - Brian)