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Today's Features

  • Editor’s note: This column was originally published on May 1, 2009, and is being republished because of the recent death of former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

    General David M. Shoup, Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, a friend of mine, had more serious challenges to face in 1962. Before that year was out, a crisis of the greatest magnitude had developed.

    Soviet missile bases in Cuba

  • “AIR RAID ON PEARL HARBOR X THIS IS NOT DRILL HOSTILITIES WITH JAPAN COMMENCED WITH AIR RAID ON PEARL” – ALNAV (Naval Message sent to all U S. Navy ships and stations)

    Sept 23, 1941

  • July 24, 1941

    This morning we have been taking on Army pursuit planes (P-40). My guess is that we will transport them to within flying distance of Iceland, head into the wind, launch them with their own pilots, and then turn around and run back to the States.

    July 28, 1941

    Fire at any Periscope Sighted

  • April 28, 1941

    At sea – two days East of Norfolk. Today at Tactical school Capt. Reeves [Wasp’s Commanding Officer] told us our mission, the first word we have had of our destination. We are to patrol the area between Bermuda and the Azores from latitude twenty to forty, taking a triangular course lasting fourteen days and then spending five days in Bermuda – and then doing the same thing all over again. We are to scout with our planes and report any German warships or suspected raiders in the area.

  • Two Shelby County men are still reflecting upon a week they spent in Alaska last month – not on vacation, but as part of a volunteer effort to build a church there.

    This was the third time that Bob Walters and Bob Perkins have participated in a project with Samaritan’s Purse, a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization that provides spiritual and physical aid to people around the world.

    The experience was much more than just helping to construct a building and parsonage for the Moravian Church in Togiak, Alaska, they both agreed.

  • Two Shelby County men are still reflecting upon a week they spent in Alaska last month – not on vacation, but as part of a volunteer effort to build a church there.

    This was the third time that Bob Walters and Bob Perkins have participated in a project with Samaritan’s Purse, a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization that provides spiritual and physical aid to people around the world.

    The experience was much more than just helping to construct a building and parsonage for the Moravian Church in Togiak, Alaska, they both agreed.

  • March 12, 1941

  • September 17, 1939

  • My last column constituted a diversion from the series based on my Marine Corps Journals. It described the harrowing experiences endured by a young marine who was crammed with other prisoners of war in the hold of a Japanese freighter. Despite this unimaginable stress, he survived and possessed the strength of character to live a full and productive life.

    Now I return to the routine barracks life in the Marine Corps in 1939, on the cusp of World War II.

  • Prison Interlude

    Alton Halbrook, a Marine enlisted man from Texas, reported to the Marine Barracks to serve in Artillery at about the about the same time in 1939 that I arrived to serve in the Infantry. In 1940, he was sent to Shanghai where he joined the 4th Marine Regiment, and later to the Philippines, where, in May 1942 he was one of thousands of prisoners interned by the Japanese.