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Today's Features

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    Planning and Training on Guadalcanal

    In January 1944, having returned from a successful Bougainville campaign, we began intense training for our next campaign, planned initially as an invasion of Kavieng, New Ireland, in Papua, New Guinea, 300 miles north of Bougainville.

    However, in February, the outer screen of Japanese island defenses had been penetrated by the seizure of bases in the Marshall Islands, including Kwajalein and Eniwetok. In March and April, landings in the Admiralty Islands and Hollandia established additional shore bases.

  • Later on Bougainville, while the Executive Officer (second-in-command) of the 1st Battalion, Major Eugene Strayhorn, a former Vanderbilt football star, and I were occupying our rudimentary advanced command post, a small mortar shell, the size of a hand grenade dropped into our hole.

    Fortunately after striking my carbine, and breaking its stock, it did not explode, so my Marine Corps career was not terminated. Strayhorn’s immediate reaction was “Van, they’ve got the range. Let’s get the hell out of here.”

  • The First Battalion continued its westward advance beyond the front lines to reach its objective where a stream was in front and the sea on the left flank. It then placed into effect it’s long-practiced SOP (Standing Operating Procedure) for jungle perimeter defense. Each of the three rifle companies, supported by one of my machine gun platoons to form the framework of the defense, occupied a third of the circle. I toured the front lines, tying in the fire plans of all automatic weapons so that continuous bands of grazing fire could be interlocked about the perimeter.

  • On September 27, 1943, while still based on Guadalcanal, we were informed that the Third Marine Division would land in the vicinity of Cape Torokina, Empress Augusta Bay, Bougainville, and seize and defend a beachhead between the Torokina and Laruma rivers. This was a lightly defended area, on the eastern shore, far from the main Japanese forces.

  • Introduction to a new series

    I have just concluded a 31-part series of columns covering my initial five years of service as a commissioned officer in the regular U. S. Marine Corps. It was based upon my Marine Corps Journal, which I kept in long hand from 1937 until journals were prohibited for security reasons in 1942.

    This series had been well received by readers of diverse interests, including a preeminent frontier painter, a senior financial consultant, and a friend who has delivered my daily newspaper for years.

  • Sculptor Jenny Hager-Vickery is proud of her latest creation.

    At 20 feet tall, Gypsy the Giraffe, a life-sized sculpture she created for the Jacksonville Zoo, is the largest she has ever done.

    “My husband actually worked on it with me as well; it was a daunting task – the largest I had made up to now was fifteen feet tall,” she said. “I call her Gyspy – that's her pet name – I name things with alliteration, so she got a ‘G’ name.”

  • Sculptor Jenny Hager-Vickery is proud of her latest creation.

    At 20 feet tall, Gypsy the Giraffe, a life-sized sculpture she created for the Jacksonville Zoo, is the largest she has ever done.

    “My husband actually worked on it with me as well; it was a daunting task – the largest I had made up to now was fifteen feet tall,” she said. “I call her Gyspy – that's her pet name – I name things with alliteration, so she got a ‘G’ name.”

  • Shelby County and Collins High Schools both held commencement exercises on Saturday.

  • The First Battalion continued its westward advance beyond the front lines to reach its objective where a stream was in front and the sea on the left flank. It then placed into effect it’s long-practiced SOP (Standing Operating Procedure) for jungle perimeter defense. Each of the three rifle companies, supported by one of my machine gun platoons to form the framework of the defense, occupied a third of the circle. I toured the front lines, tying in the fire plans of all automatic weapons so that continuous bands of grazing fire could be interlocked about the perimeter.

  • You have probably seen some of Shelby’s 15 members of the Stubblefield Repeater Radio Club out in the community performing various communications services without ever realizing it.

    “Emergency management calls on us quite frequently to do events for back up communications in Shelby County,” said Marvin Bowman, president of the club. “You can use ham radio if the internet is not available or if it’s down. During severe weather, we have storm spotters out relaying information to the national weather service.”