Kilroy WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean
Miscellany—page 2

Gremlins, Foo Fighters, book reviews, even Lena the Hyena. Here are the sidebars to history. Interesting, wonderful stories, myths and mysteries. The best of the books about the war years - then and now.

Horizontal bar WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean

Kamikaze!
Kamikaze!
 
Kamikaze pilot's headband
 

1n 1570, the Emperor of China organized a great fleet to invade Japan. Japan was poorly prepared and expected to be defeated. The gods intervened by sending a typhoon that destroyed the Chinese fleet. This became the legend of the "Divine Wind" or Kamikaze.

The later years of WWII were a desperate time for the Japanese Imperial Navy. The increasing competence of American aviators coupled with better equipment and proximity fuses that would explode when near an enemy aircraft made it almost impossible for Japanese bombers to get near enough to a ship to bomb it effectively. To solve this, Japanese Rear Admiral Arima formed a suicide corps named after this Divine Wind -- the Kamikaze Corps. This suicide corps had advantages. They could (1) use any aircraft even obsolete biplanes and Vals (2) they could use poorly trained pilots and (3) even if hit by AA fire, their momentum would often lead them on to their target. Kamikaze corps soon used mini subs and small boats as well.

Soon some 2,500 men were to spend their last terrifying moments as human bombs; their first determined, accurate attacks took the lives of more than 7,000 allied servicemen -- and there were still another 4,500 more being trained. The effectiveness of these human weapons became a critical factor in the United States' decision to avoid an invasion of the Japanese mainland and, instead, drop the atomic bomb. (See Trinity, The Destroyer of Worlds).

Kamikazi on Attack! Click image for larger view. National Archives

The Results of the Poll

The answer: This was a tough one. Not many answered but if you selected either the battle of Leyte Gulf or the Battle off Samar Island, you are correct! The Battle off Samar island was a part of the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Which Taffy Escort Carrier squadron was attacked, however, is in some doubt. In PBS's, Battlefield, Battle of Leyte Gulf, they said it was Taffy 3. Samuel Eliot Morison says it was Taffy 1.


The Battleground! Click for larger view
The Battle

The Battle of Leyte Gulf

MacArthur originally planned on landing on Mindanao and using it to support further landings on Leyte and Luzon but in the softening up, Admiral Halsey reported that defense was weaker on Leyte than expected. A swift change of plans brought the Leyte landings on 17-20 October 1944. The defenders knew by the 10th that the landings were about to start so they implemented Sho-1, the first of four major plans for the defense of Japan. The landings were relatively easy and by midnight 132,400 men and 200,000 tons of supplies were ashore.

In accordance with Sho-1, Japanese naval forces sallied forth to turn back the landings. They came from as far away as the Inland Sea of Japan and Lingga Roads off Singapore. The battle for Leyte Gulf that followed included every form of naval engagement including land-based aircraft from the Philippines, Formosa and Japan. The final result was that the Japanese Navy was no longer a effective fighting force.

The Japanese had carefully planned for this "decisive battle" their war plans always hoped for. They sent five carriers in a Northern Force to decoy Halsey's defending Third Fleet - he fell for it. Their Center force with their two super battleships Musashi and Yamato (see Sink the Yamato) would attack through the San Bernardino Strait. The third or Southern force would attack through the Surigao Strait. They planned that the Center and Southern forces would converge on the Leyte Gulf and the unprotected landing ships and Escort carriers.

The Central Force was spotted first in the Sibuyan Sea by Halsey's aircraft. By this time the Japanese land based aircraft had been virtually destroyed (over 500 losses). Halsey's aircraft attacked but the pilots exaggerated the damage they actually did. Because of this and a routine temporary course change by the Japanese fleet, Halsey assumed that the fleet had retreated. But the Central Force remained powerful and resumed it's run to the San Bernardino Strait.

MacArthur "Returns"! Click image for larger view. Nat'l Archives

The Northern Force, meanwhile, had gone undetected. With the last of Japan's carriers they launched the last Japanese naval air attack of WWII with only 76 aircraft - none of which did any damage but they succeeded in luring Halsey away from protecting the landing fleet. Halsey, believing that the Central Force had been turned back in the Sibuyan Sea, left his landing ships unprotected and went after the Northern Force. The Central Force, however, did not turn back but pushed on through the San Bernardino Straits unopposed! They, then turned South toward the unprotected landing! There was nothing between his powerful force and the helpless landing ships except two escort carrier groups named Taffy 2 and Taffy 3.

Just east of Samar Island Taffy 3 was the first to engage. When they spotted the Central Force, they launched all aircraft armed with whatever was available including depth charges, and ran for it. Taffy 2 and 3 put up a furious fight - so much so that the Japanese admiral began to think it was a larger force than expected and that, perhaps, he had stumbled across Halsey's Task Force 38. Alternatively he had also heard the pleas for help from the Americans and worried that Halsey would return. By this time, he was notified that the Southern Force was turned back at the entrance to Surigao Strait in a classic night surface action.- he was alone. He turned back missing the opportunity to destroy the unprotected landings. During this Battle off Samar Island, Taffy 3 certainly bore the brunt of the Japanese attack but Taffy 1, almost 130 miles away, has the dubious distinction of being the recipient of the very first Kamikaze Corps attacks. This attack sunk one carrier and damaged six.

American Caesar, Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964, William Manchester, Little, Brown and Company, 1978

Battlefield, Battle of Leyte Gulf, Corporation for Public Broadcasting

History of the Second World War, B. H. Liddell Hart, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1970

The Rising Sun, The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, John Toland, Random House, 1970

The Two Ocean War, A short History of the United States Navy in the Second World War, Samuel Eliot Morison Little, Brown and Company, 1963

Elizabeth and Bob Cook wrote

Bob scanned the following ad that we thought you'll might enjoy. It is on the back of a Life magazine dated April 5, 1943. I am going to type what is written on the back as we are worried that you'll can't read it. It is excellent and timely. We are attaching the ad in full. It covered the whole back cover.

"I speak for the pleasant, happy things in life . ..all the things we necessarily now have less of. You know . . . tires, radios, gas, fuel, food, fun, leisure and all the like. In its own way, your bottle of ice-cold Coca-Cola, or your glass of Coke at the soda fountain, is almost a casual symbol of such pleasant things.

"Everybody eagerly accepts war time restrictions. We'll have the good things, again, someday. But now it's work harder and fight, too. We've got a tough war to win. And no matter what anybody is doing to help (this doesn't go for fighting men) nobody is doing his full share if he's not buying U. S. War Bonds and War Stamps regularly. Are you buying them? Are you buying your share in Victory and in the good American way of life?"

Buy Coke ad WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean
Click the image for a larger view

Marine veterans from the 3, 4, and 5th Marines were honored guests

Iwo Jima program WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean

Commissioning Program. Click for larger view

The Commissioning of the
USS Iwo Jima LHD7

Editor's note: On June 30, 2001, I was triply honored. First because of an invitation from an Iwo Jima veteran, Col. Norm Gertz, (See his contributions to Kilroy below) I was allowed to sit with the honored guests, veterans from the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Marine Divisions. These were the Guys who took Iwo Jima. Second I was with my brother, a WWII veteran (see his contributions to Kilroy below) and third, I was able to renew and old friendship with a hero of Viet Nam. Colonel Bob Pappas (See his contributions to Kilroy below.)

During the Ceremony, they first honored the Marines of the 3rd 4th and 5th Divisions. They had them stand while everyone clapped (11000 strong even though it steadily rained all morning.) After the speeches, the new skipper set the watch and told the OD to "Bring the ship alive." The sailors ran aboard and stood at attention on the rail. The Marines then strode up from behind and stood every other one. All the radars started turning and, in a goose pimple moment, she "came alive." There was a very low flyover by five Marine helicopters (very low because the ceiling couldn't have been over 500'.. Then they shot fireworks from the bow. It was indeed impressive.

Other c ontibutions from Norm Gertz:
The Flies of Saipan, On Tokyo Rose, P-51s On Iwo Jima, Saipan Battle Sites, Found! Corporal Tommy Iradi,
Found! Robert Hudgins

Other c ontributions from Joe Tillery:
B-24 Training, On VD films, USS Westpoint, Short Arm Inspections, Search for Melvin Stokes,

The Battle

February 1945. ". . . uncommon Valor Was a Common Virtue."*

Iwo Jima (Sulfur Island in Japanese) was very important to the US because it was close enough to Japan to allow fighter escort for bombers and to provide emergency landing space for crippled B-29s. The island was declared secure on March16. Only eight square miles in size, it was fiercely defended by the Japanese from extensive underground tunnels that were sometimes four stories deep. 6281 Marines and an estimated 20,000 Japanese lost their lives. This is almost one third of all the casualties suffered by the USMC during WWII. It was the USMC's most savage and costly battle. The battle was so brutal and the Japanese so tenacious that it was considered in the decision to drop the Atomic bomb. If they would fight this hard for Iwo Jima, imagine the human loss in invading their homeland.

*Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, Commander of the Pacific Fleet.

Bob Pappas wrote:

The commissioning ofthe Iwo Jima was one of those most memorable moments in ones life. No, no bombs were falling, there was no strafing, no mortars, no machine gun fire, only the cloudy skies and seasonal rain that drizzled or poured depending on whether or not you were one of the lucky ones with an umbrella. But rain or shine, the commissioning of the USS Iwo Jima, the Navy's newest warship that has power projection capability unmatched, with its compliment of trained Marines, fits well into the "memorable moments" category.

If it had not been raining the tears of pride and patriotism would have been more noticeable, for in the audience that numbered well over 10,000, were Iwo Jima veterans and on the platform, seated with the captains of industry, government, of the Navy and Marine Corps was the real giant, really, the only one who counted was Jack Lucas, who at age 17, and who had enlisted in the Corps at 14, received the Medal of Honor for Extraordinary Heroism and Valor during the battle for Iwo Jima over 56 years ago.

Sports figures are too often described by an ignorant media commentators as "warriors;" they are not warriors, only metaphors for the real thing; Jack Lucas, and the thousands of Marines who fought at Iwo Jima are the real warriors to whom this nation owes a lasting debt of gratitude and homage.

At the end of the day, when the excitement of the Iwo Jima commissioning had subsided, Kayty and I walked away with a red, white and blue feeling and a big lump in our throats at seeing that great ship come to life. We raise our prayer to Almighty God that He will keep Captain John Narwocki and his crew safe from harm as they go in harm's way to protect the greatest nation that has ever existed upon the earth, the United States of America. May God bless her and the fruit of her womb.

Semper Fidelis,

Bob Pappas

Other contributions by Robert Pappas:

In 2002 A Special July 4th Message
In 2001 The Iwo Jima Commissioning
In 2000 A Kind Letter
In 2000 A Special July 4th Message
In 2000 A Tribute to a Great Marine

 

Robert Pappas WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean

The Ship

This Iwo Jima LHD7 is the seventh of the Wasp class amphibious assault ships. She cost 1.2 billion dollars. Length 844', beam 106', 40,000 ton displacement, speed 22+ knots. She is designed to maintain a smooth transition from sea to land battle. She carries assault helicopters, Six to eight Harriers, amphibious assault vehicles and air cushioned landing craft.

She is defended by Phalanx close in weapons systems. They are aimed by radar and put out 2000 20mm rounds per minute, two eight-cell Sea Sparrow missile launchers that can fire one round every two seconds, two Rolling Airframe Missile Systems, four 50-caliber machine guns, and three 25mm machine guns. She has hospital facilities second only to hospital ships designed for that purpose.

The first Iwo Jima LPH 2 is best known for fishing the ill-fated Apollo 13 from the sea. She was decommissioned in 1993.


Eric Shackle directs his considerable talent toward Kilroy and Chad. Eric continued his prolific writing career after he retired. Don't miss his "Life begins at 80 ... on the Internet." Eric applies his wit and wisdom to such diverse subjects as British slang for money and this Kilroy story.

KILROY AND CHAD WERE EVERYWHERE

By Eric Shackle

If you remember World War II, you will probably recall seeing graffiti of a funny little man with wide-open eyes and a huge U-shaped nose, peering over a wall. Britain knew him fondly as Chad or Mr. Foo, while Americans called him Kilroy. In Britain, he appeared on walls of buildings, on shop windows, and in newspaper cartoons. Below him were the words: WOT - no sugar? (or Tea, or Cigarettes, or whatever else was in short supply). In the United States, the caption just read KILROY WAS HERE. Americans serving in the armed forces took him
with them wherever they went.

In Britain, he appeared on walls of buildings, on shop windows, and in newspaper cartoons. Below

Eric Shackle WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean

Eric Shackle, then 20, wears the uniform of one of Australia's
few remaining cavalry units at the outbreak of World War II. Army
commanders soon decided that horses had no role in mechanized warfare, so the troopers had to swap their horses for armored vehicles, and their emu-plumed hats for berets

him were the words: WOT - no sugar? (or Tea, or Cigarettes, or whatever else was in short supply). In the United States, the simple caption was KILROY WAS HERE. Americans serving in the armed forces took him with them wherever they went. Kilroy was everywhere. "The outrageousness of the graffito was not so much what it said, but where it turned up," says trivia master and best-selling author Charles Panati He cites the torch of the Statue of Liberty, the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the Marco Polo Bridge in China, huts in Polynesia, and a girder on the George Washington Bridge in New York. There were contests in the Air Force to beat Kilroy to isolated and uninhabited places around the globe.

Panati says "The most daring appearance occurred during the meeting of the Big Three in Potsdam, Germany, in July 1945. Truman, Attlee, and Stalin had exclusive use of an opulent marble bathroom, off limits to everyone else. On the second day of the summit, an excited Stalin emerged from the bathroom sputtering something in Russian to one of his aides. A translator overheard Stalin demand, 'Who is Kilroy?'

Yank and Aussies WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean

Yanks and Aussies meet as mates at Aitape, New Guinea, in 1943. From left: John Hershey (U.S.), Norm Terrey (Oz), Fred ("Nis") Nisley (US), Eric Shackle (Oz) and Lloyd Thomson (Oz). Where are you now, John and Nis?

Civilians too spread the Kilroy message. On several occasions, newspapers reported pregnant women being wheeled into the delivery room, with the hospital staff finding "Kilroy was here" written across their stomachs.

In December 1946 the New York Times credited James J. Kilroy, a welding inspector at the Bethlehem Steel shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts, with having given birth to the craze that swept the world. Usually, it said, inspectors made a small chalk mark, which welders used to erase to get paid double for their work. To prevent this, Kilroy marked work he had inspected and approved with the phrase "Kilroy was here" in more durable crayon.

The graffito became a common sight around the shipyard and was imitated by workers when they were drafted and sent around the world. As the war progressed, people began opening void spaces on ships for repair, and the mysterious Mr. Kilroy's name would be found there, in sealed compartments "where no one had been before."

Also in 1946, the Transit Company of America held a contest offering a prize of a real trolley car to the person who could prove himself to be the "real" Kilroy. James Kilroy, one of 40 contestants, took with him officials from the shipyard and some of the riveters to help prove his case. He won the trolley car, which he gave it to his nine children as a Christmas gift and set up in their front yard for a playhouse.

Mr. Foo was the British services' counterpart of Kilroy. He was also known as Phoo, Chad, Flywheel, Clem, Private Snoops, and the Jeep. "The cartoon usually associated with Kilroy... is originally British, named Mr. Chad, and apparently predates the Kilroy phrase by a few years," says etymologist Dave Wilton.

"Sometime during the war, Chad and Kilroy met and in the spirit of Allied unity merged, with the British drawing appearing over the American phrase. The OED2 lists Chad's origin as 'obscure,' but it may have been created by George Edward Chatterton, a cartoonist in civilian life who spent the war years in the Royal Air Force."

Chris Mullen who conducts an MA and PhD course on illustration at the University of Brighton in southern England, quips: "I wondered about the pregnant Chad in the US elections and thought we were not being told something wonderful..."

FOOTNOTE: Patrick A. Tillery has devoted a whole page of his Web site to Kilroy
Legends and Sightings at http://www.kilroywashere.org/(select Site 1). And there's a long, interesting article about Kilroy at http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mkilroy.html.
That page is described as "the authorized WWW home of legendary answer-man Cecil Adams, World's Smartest Human, whose syndicated column has been enlightening readers of the [Chicago] Reader and other alternative newspapers since 1973. No question too weird!"


Eric Shackle is a retired journalist who spends much of his spare time surfing the
Internet and writing about it. His articles have been published by the New York Times (US), Toronto Globe and Mail (Canada), Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), and Straits Times (Singapore).

See Site 1, The Legends and Sightings for an example of "Wot no Engines" seen on a war time British Glider. Click here to go direct




 Recommended Books about WWII and The Korean War


 

These books are available at . . .

 

 


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Cobras Over The Tundra
. by Everett A. Long

A book recommendation by
Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK)


Everett A. Long and the mayor of Yakutsk, Russia, Pavel Borodin in front of his Cessna on the Yakutsk airport
Dear Ev:
I continue to marvel at all the work you do for Alaska, to present our aviation history. That's a marvelous edition "Cobras Over The Tundra."

You know, I was trained in the AT-9, which made me believe I'd get Cobras or P-38s. But, as you know the bead pushers then moved people by lot, instead of by computer, so I flew transports.

Future Alaskans will know the contribution aviation has made to our state and nation
because of your efforts. Thanks again,
Regards
Ted

(Senator Ted Stevens, Alaska)



Normandy Cover WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean

Normandy:

The Search for Sidney

By Thomas J. Bates/Eric Lummis

Tom Bates WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean


Many of us dream of visiting the sites of great battles of WWII or Korea. That is, indeed, the reason KilroyWasHere was started. See the Foreword (Volume 2). Tom has actually done it and written a gripping, historic book about his adventure. We have read a lot about the landings at Omaha (USA 1st Div.), at Utah, (USA 4th Div.), but little about the landings at Gold (British 50th Div.), Juno (Canadian 3rd Div.), or Sword (British 4rd Div.) This great book changes that about Sword in an up close and personal way.

It is really three books. Each could be a book by itself and well worth the read! The first is Tom's own. He discovered and was intrigued by Corporal Sidney Bates (same last name but not related) whose single-handed efforts, firing a Bren gun from the hip, stopped an attack by panzer grenadiers after D-day. For this he won The Victoria Cross, ". . . his sovereign's highest decoration for valour . . . " Tom's search is for the exact place where Sidney gave his all. Tom, himself a WWII veteran in Burma, was helped by two Sword survivors and many French locals who ". . . gladly gave their liberators the ‘freedom of their fields' in return for the blood their comrades had spilt there."

An interesting aside is that the book is written in English and French side by side in two columns per page. It is done this way as a tribute to a very brave French woman, Madam Lenauld whose story is told in the second book. Her father was the gallant French mayor maligned in the Movie "The Longest Day."

The third book is a detailed battlefield account of the 1st Battalion, The Suffolk Regiment who, having survived Dunkirk, landed at Sword.

All three are worthy of being stand alone books but together, they make an outstanding addition to any library.

You can order this bookdirectly from Bates Books
or from Amazon or Barnes and Noble


Wesley Hall WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean

The Splendid Five

A True Story about the
Splinter Fleet during WWII

by Wesley Hall

The Splendid Five Cover

A splendid story about WWII! Wesley has a gift for dialog and character building. His book reads like a novel as he finds himself in a safe backwater trying to get into the war. His antics are reminiscent of Catch 22 as two old salts get him into all kinds of trouble which leads to their being assigned to Splendid Five, a pre-WWI wooden ship shorter in length than the wingspan of a B-29. It was a subchaser "built to chase submarines but which could not defend herself from one."

Splendid Five and her sister ships were assigned to the Army to support MacArther's island hopping campaign to the Philippines. It starts in a light-hearted way but rapidly becomes grim as they enter their first battle off Pelelui*. The author got his first kill but learned: "Death for us would never hold the terrors it once had for we had seen it up close and knew it for what it was: The inevitable calling in of one's number."

We here at www.kilroywashere.org were delighted when they spotted a Kilroy Was Here sign on the beach where " . . . no American could have done that and no Jap would do it . . . " He never explained how it got there. See followup from Wesley in Volume 1, Sightings page 2.

A splendid read indeed. Don't miss it!

*Editor's note:"Bloody Peleui" cost nearly 2000 American lives and eight thousand wounded.

To prepare for these landings at Pelelui, Halsey's TF38 started a softening up campaign. Four TBFs off the light carrier San Jacinto took off to strike the radio station at Chichi Jima in the Bonins. A young, unknown Lt (j.g.) got shot down but was picked up by the American submarine, Finback. The Lieutenant's name was George H. Bush.

You can order this book at: Amazon or Barnes and Noble

Hap's War Cover Hap Halloran WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean
All right, right up front, let me say that no veteran of the Pacific War and no one who was deeply moved by it should miss this book! First, Hap, the navigator/bombardier, introduces you to the eleven crew members on his B-29, the Rover Boy, the five that survived the war and the six who didn't. The theme throughout the book is "completing the circle."He completes the circle with his crew. He finds where each is buried and what happened to each that survived. After that he completes the circle with the Japanese people and the mission over Tokyo that he didn't finish because he was shot down. He actually finds one of the "good guards" and a "good interpreter" that he knew when he was a prisoner. He finds the actual fighter pilot who shot him down. Two honorable warriors on opposite sides meeting after the war is always poignant. Thankfully, he only included the honorable ones. In fact, he says: ". . . I felt at ease being with the families and children and grandchildren of our former enemy. I do not feel that my feelings would be the same had some former despicable guards (Horseface, Watanabe, and several others) appeared in my range of vision." He also does not succumb to the revisionists who claim we were wrong to drop the atomic bomb. He quotes an actual document from the National Archives that proves that the Japanese planned to kill all prisoners. "Had an invasion (of Japan) taken place, every Allied POW of the

Japanese would have been killed immediately. We knew that and sweated out each day. The atomic bomb drops on Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved our lives." A great book! Don't miss it.

 

You can get this book at Hap's own site
http://www.haphalloran.com/
or at Amazon or Barnes and Noble

B-29 brick WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean
Brick at B-29 Memorial in Great Bend, KS. Hap spoke there

The Leathernecks Cover WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean

The Leathernecks
An informal History of the
US Marine Corps

Selected by Karl Schuan

Book supplied by Bob Cook

Marine Globe and Anchor WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean

Quizlet Results: The question was: The USMC is noted for it's amphibious Landings. Where and when was the first?

Quizlet WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean

This is a surprise! Congratulations to those who knew it was in the Bahamas! As you can see, most of us got it wrong but more than expected got it right! . The answer is Nassau in the Bahamas according to The Leathernecks, An Informal History of the US Marine Corps, selected and edited by Karl Schuon. This is a book well worth reading! It has readable stories from the American Revolution to the Cold War. It is out of print now but readily found at Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Half.com (see above or below. The details of each of the below stories are well worth the read.

Nassau in the Bahamas was #1: The first USMC amphibious landing took place at New Providence island in the Bahamas in 1776. The British Royal Navy had large quantities of gunpowder and other war materials stored there. In the process, they took "Ft. Nassau" without firing a shot.

The Shores of Tripoli, 1805 (not a landing): "In 1805, a young Marine Lieutenant, Presley O'Bannon and six enlisted Marines led the most bizarre army in history across 500 miles of desert sand to attack a fortress and place a rightful ruler on his throne. In gratitude, the new potentate presented O'Bannon with a Mameluke sword. This is the same type sword carried today by Marine officers — and the oldest weapon in continuous use in the armed forces of the United States."*

Sumatra, 1832 The Quallah Battoo corsairs (not a landing): "With the realization that spice-trading merchantmen could yield wealthy booty, the natives of Sumatra in 1831 had begun the piratical practice of rowing out to ships, murdering the officers and crew and stealing whatever they could carry in their slim canoes.

Finally, word from an American sea captain prompted the Secretary of the Navy to take action. The story recounts how the Marines ended, for all time, the skull-and-crossbones activities of the Quallah Battoo corsairs."*

From the Halls of Montezuma 1847 (not a landing): "In the Mexican war, Marines fought a formidable obstacle on their way to Mexico City — it was the Citadel of Chapultepec, the West Point of Mexico since 1773. The cadets called its corridors "The Halls of Montezuma."*

Belleau Wood, June 6, 1918 (not a Landing): "On this bloody battlefield, the Germans met their nemesis in man-to-man combat with Marine bayonets, rifles, pistols and grenades."*

Guadalcanal, 7 August 1942 (1st Marine Corps landing of WWII): "There were to be many D-days from then on — many H-hours, but it was the first, the Guadalcanal D-day remains Number One in the memories of many Marines."*

*The Leathernecks, An Informal History of the U.S. Marine Corps,
selected and edited by Karl Schuon

Kilroy Was Here Cover WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean

Kilroy Was Here

The Best American Humor from WWII

Edited by Charles Osgood

Osgood's Kilroy

Charles Osgood's Kilroy

". . . Dogface infantryman digging in with battle sounds of shells and grenades exploding around them and bullets whizzing overhead. The field telephone rings and a helmeted GI reaches for it, picks it up the receiver and answers: ‘WORLD WAR TWO.'" Charles Osgood starts his introduction with this story which, in my mind, typifies the absolutely amazing GI humor that was a part of WWII!

There are also quotes from entertainers of that era: "I've learned to say Kaopectate in nine languages . . . ," Bob Hope; ". . . and it was also how anxious all of us were to laugh," Ritz Brother, and "If they have the strength to smile, they smile. It makes a guy proud," Humphrey Bogart while visiting a hospital in Naples. Even Banzai charges and "Dear John letters" were not spared. "Jilted GIs in India organize the FIRST BRUSH OFF CLUB." Kilroywashere.org has often taken note of this humor (see links below for a sampling.) Now, to my delight, so has Charles Osgood (and who could do it better!) GIs during periods of great stress, that we can only imagine, managed to find humor wherever they found themselves. Charles Osgood refers to this directly in the dedication.

All in all, this is my kind of book. It kept me rocking back and forth between amusement, amazement and outright thigh slapping. At last, another recognition of the amazing humor that came out of GIs during that time. Don't miss this one!

See the publisher's listings for more information: Hyperion Books

Or order at: Amazon or Barnes and Noble

For more humor on Kilroy Was Here, see Kilroy LegendsSelect Star WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean Sgt Joe Tillery's storiesSelect Star WWII Kilroy Was Here KoreanMarion Hess' storiesSelect Star WWII Kilroy Was Here KoreanGremlinsSelect Star WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean Foo FightersSelect Star WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean See Here Private HargroveSelect Star WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean Bent WingsSelect Star WWII Kilroy Was Here KoreanBelieved to be AliveSelect Star WWII Kilroy Was Here Koreanand LettersSelect Star WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean

Damon "Rocky" Gauze

Major Damon
"Rocky" Gause

War Journal of Major Damon "Rocky" Gause

By "Rocky" Gause

War Journal Cover WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean Book Cover
Click image for a larger view

Book Review
Written by Charles Martin,

The War Journal of Major Damon "Rocky" Gause is more than one story. Captain Damon Gause was a fighter pilot without an airplane, in the Philippines, when World War II broke out. This is a day to day recounting of Rocky Gause's remarkable escape from the Japanese at Bataan and Corregidor. While others were forced into the famous Bataan Death March, Rocky and a fellow officer chose to take their chances against the sea and made their way over 3200 miles to Australia in a small native boat. Hundreds of people risked their lives to help these two men. Along the way they were given a camera and a few rolls of film. Rocky kept notes and wrote the whole story down. Captain Gause got home to see his new son at the hospital before shipping out to resume fighting the war in Europe. He never returned. For 50 years his journal was a prized possession of the family he left behind. Therein lies the second story. Now his son, Damon Gause of Jefferson, Georgia, has gotten the story published. He has been invited all over the country to speak about his father's story. February 27, 2001, Damon Gause spoke to the Georgia Legislature to tell them of his father's valor. If Rocky Gause had survived the war he would no doubt have been a writer -- his one effort was indeed remarkable and cannot be put down. I would love to see Bruce Willis in the movie.

Charles A. Martin
Author of "TheLastGreatAce"

 

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