I’m currently reading Theodore Roscoe’s United States Submarine Operations In World War 2. This particular edition was probably a first edition published in 1949(!) by the United States Naval Institute Press. It’s even looks like it was published in 1949:
From the preface:
This volume is not the official operational history. Strictly speaking, it is not a history, nor is it to be studied as such. Herein, in the narrative form, the reader will the inspiring saga of submarining. For the student, the technical side is featured. And many aspects of submarine warfare which would ordinarily be excluded from a purely historical text are detailed and discussed.
It’s in my care for now, on loan from the Pritzker Military Library. I wanted to see if there are historical parallels between the sub campaign in the pacific to seeing how reasonable it would be to use SSNs/SSKs to contain the PLAN within the first island chain.
Going through the first chapter I found this enclosed in the book:
It’s an unknown newspaper clipping detailing the moorings of Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941 at 7:55am.
The other side of the clipping features an ad for a book called “Home Before Dark” by Eileen Bassing. According to a quick Google search it was first published in 1957.
That leads me to believe the map and newspaper were published in 1957.
The map itself is very interesting as it details most of the ships in port and even tells I what some witnesses were doing moments before the attack.
Even more unusual, the paper left a stain on the page which makes me believe maybe it hasn’t been seen since 1957. Who knows.
Anyway, this is a treasure map and maybe, if the reader know more than I, of some historical significance.
Just amazing…you never know what you’re going to in and on these books.
We had a great time there last night, with Mary, Beth, her husband Armando, Padre Harvey and his bride Tamara, Dwight, and Patrick. I only got two pics to come out, but hopefully Beth can get the pics Mary took, and Patrick needs to forward a few. Dwight too, for that matter.
Much Guinness and a fair amount of Jameson (and the odd gin and tonic) and some fantastic stories from Mary. Lots of hugging, laughing, and just plain fun.
It was a hoot. I’ve been to quite a few blog inspired meet ups over the years, and it’s always amazing how you meet people for the first time, and you pick up your previous online conversations without a break. If you’ve never done one, you really should do so.
Padre Harvey kicked it off with a very nice invocation. He also said something that touched Mary. Pointing to the seemingly sparsely populated venue, he stressed that every seat there was filled, by you, dear Lexicans, in spirit.
And I’ll never hear the song “Roxanne” the same way again (inside joke).
There I was sat up in bed this morning, reading my current bedtime read of Patrick O’Brian, when I came upon a passage that I thought I must share with my Lexican pals, for t’was they – well the Navy guys anyway - it made me think of and smile when I read it:
Picture the time, it is 1812 during the reluctant Britain/America `war that should never have happened` and a British warship under the command of the legendary Captain Jack Aubery (aka “Lucky Jack”) is on the trail of an American warship that has been raiding whalers in the South Atlantic. A sail is spotted on the horizon and crafty Captain Jack reduces sail to remain just below the horizon, plotting a course to intercept the next day.
At first dawn there she lay, placidly holding her course under the low grey sky……. Jack was on deck in his nightshirt……his whole heart and soul had been turned to the chase – he had been engaged in naval war for more than twenty years and he was very much of a sea-predator, perfectly single-minded when there was the near liklihood of violent action – and now in his most natural voice in the world he said, “Good day to you, master gunner. I fear there will be no great chance of expending your stores this morning.” The rising sun proved that he was right: It showed a line of figures leaning along the stranger’s rail in easy attitudes, some with moustaches, some smoking cigars. The United States Navy, though easy-going and even at times verging upon the democratic, never went to such extremes as this; and indeed the chase turned out to be the `Estrella Polar`, a Spanish merchantman from Lima for the River Plate and Spain.
Yes, `easy going verging upon the democratic` is one thing, but leaning along the rail, moustachio’d and smoking cigars? No, not The United States Navy.
I enjoyed that.
Originally published March 26, 2009.
OK, Sarge. I’ll try one…
Originally published March 25, 2009.
Somebody Say Something Funny
… Lex “re-posted” on that day.
This story is from the Neptunus Lex Facebook page.
On Christmas Eve, 1981, my ship, USS Truxtun (CGN 35) was about three months into what turned out to be about an 8 month WestPac/IO cruise. I was somewhat stressed as it was my first ship as a chaplain, I was a JG in a Commander billet, and the Chief of Chaplains (2 star) stayed about 10 days in our Flag quarters while he hopped around visiting other ships in the Battle Group. We set up Christmas Eve service in the helo hangar with chairs facing aft. It was a pretty good service but the best part was the closing hymn, Silent Night. Just as we started singing, my assistant turned off the lights and opened the hangar door. We were transfixed looking out at all the stars visible in the black sky of Northern IO. Our XO was as no-nonsense a nuke officer as you can imagine but I saw that even he had a little tear on his cheek.