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Today's Features

  • May 3, 1942

    Yesterday, we unmoored and stood down the Clyde, anchoring in Greenock. The weather was perfect and the green hills were very tempting. I went ashore for a few hours in that famous old shipbuilding town, drank a couple of beers, walked miles, and noticed some ruins from last year’s air raids. It’s amazing the difficulty one has in buying whiskey in Scotland. Underway at 0530 this morn.

    May 7, 1942

  • April 22, 1942

    The Wasp’s second “campaign” is nearly over – the “Battle of the Mediterranean,” the first having been our “conquest” of Martinique. [An attempt at jest]

    The morning of 19th we passed through the Straits of Gibraltar on my mid watch. The lights of Tangier and Ceuta were illuminating the African shore, but the Gibraltar side was blacked out except for navigational lights.

  • As he gave a haircut and a shave to a customer, Robert Marshall talked about how the thriving African American business community on Henry Clay Street has all but disappeared since he opened his barbershop there in 1960.

    “We’re were just discussing that at the Martin Luther King service a few weeks ago, the way it was, compared to how it is now,” he said, expertly using a comb to shape the customer’s new do.

  • As he gave a haircut and a shave to a customer, Robert Marshall talked about how the thriving African American business community on Henry Clay Street has all but disappeared since he opened his barbershop there in 1960.

    “We’re were just discussing that at the Martin Luther King service a few weeks ago, the way it was, compared to how it is now,” he said, expertly using a comb to shape the customer’s new do.

  • Caught up in a whirlwind of festivities from balls to parades to concerts to the swearing in of the 45th president of the United States on the West Lawn of the Capitol, some Shelby Countians who attended the 58th Presidential Inauguration in Washington D.C. over the weekend expressed awe and pride at having seen history in the making.

    For some, such as the Justice family, being there was a matter of pride in a military background, said Selina Stratton, who attended with her parents, James and LaGeni Justice and her brother, Jacob Justice.

  • April 6, 1942

    Yesterday afternoon and evening I was the guest of Captain Bell, R. M. [Royal Marines] on the Duke of York, most recently- commissioned British battleship. I made a complete tour of the ship and noticed that she is not a clean ship, but a happy one. I had previously met Bell in Norfolk and it seemed very strange to meet him again, here, 3,000 miles away.

  • March 20, 1942

    [Message to Wasp, dated March 20, from Headquarters, Marine Corps, ]

    YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO MODIFY ORDERS CAPT R R VAN STOCKUM TO DETACH HIM PRIOR TO REPORTING HIS RELIEF CAPT BUTTERFIELD PROVIDED YOU SO DESIRE

    [I had written across this message in long hand “So near and yet so far.”]

    March 22, 1942

  • A Reminder: I have included only significant quotations from my journals and these appear in plain text. My current comments and explanations are in bold type between brackets.

    Create a nuisance by attempting escape

    January 22, 1942

    The item attached is rather amusing to me. I can see myself in a German prison camp with a guard to every hundred yards of barb wire fence, attempting to escape in order to create a nuisance.

    [Here I pasted an item apparently clipped from the Wasp’s Plan of the Day:

  • December 8, 1941 (Continued)

  • 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