Features https://www.sentinelnews.com/features/todaysfeatures en VAN STOCKUM: Close calls during World War II, Part 9: Comments from Great Britain and Sri Lanka relating to my service aboard USS Wasp https://www.sentinelnews.com/content/van-stockum-close-calls-during-world-war-ii-part-9-comments-great-britain-and-sri-lanka-rela <img src="https://www.sentinelnews.com/sites/www.sentinelnews.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/genvanstockumclosecalls9-mccampbell.jpg" alt="David McCampbell, shown here as the Wasp’s Landing Signal Officer, later became the United States Navy&#039;s all-time leading flying ace with 34 aerial victories." title="David McCampbell, shown here as the Wasp’s Landing Signal Officer, later became the United States Navy&#039;s all-time leading flying ace with 34 aerial victories." align="left" hspace="6" /><p> I &lsquo;d read with a great deal of interest &ldquo;The Epic Hunt for a Lost World War II Aircraft Carrier&rdquo; by British author Ed Caesar in the New York Times Magazine of March 13. It described the discovery of USS Wasp at the bottom of the Coral Sea, not far from Guadalcanal. As I had served in Wasp before she left on her fatal voyage for the Southwest Pacific, I was very much interested.</p> VAN STOCKUM: Close calls during World War II, Part 8: The last day afloat –USS Wasp https://www.sentinelnews.com/content/van-stockum-close-calls-during-world-war-ii-part-8-last-day-afloat-%E2%80%93uss-wasp <img src="https://www.sentinelnews.com/sites/www.sentinelnews.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/genvanstockumclosecalls8-ussorrien.jpg" alt="The USS O’Brien after being torpedoed. The USS Wasp is in the background, on fire." title="The USS O’Brien after being torpedoed. The USS Wasp is in the background, on fire." align="left" hspace="6" /><p> A Japanese Submariner&rsquo;s Dream</p> <p> On September 15, 1942, while patrolling south of the Solomon Islands during the Guadalcanal campaign, I-19, a Japanese submarine, sighted and attacked the American aircraft carrier USS&nbsp;Wasp, which was part of a task force transporting the 7th Marine Regiment to Guadalcanal.</p> VAN STOCKUM: Close calls during World War II, Part 7: Eureka! https://www.sentinelnews.com/content/van-stockum-close-calls-during-world-war-ii-part-7-eureka <img src="https://www.sentinelnews.com/sites/www.sentinelnews.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/genvanstockumclosecalls7-waspgun.jpg" alt="A five inch, 38-caliber gun on submerged the Wasp. This was one of the anti-aircraft guns Ron Van Stockum controlled remotely from the Wasp’s elevated “island” structure." title="A five inch, 38-caliber gun on submerged the Wasp. This was one of the anti-aircraft guns Ron Van Stockum controlled remotely from the Wasp’s elevated “island” structure." align="left" hspace="6" /><p> Ed Caeser in his New York Times article, &ldquo;The Epic Hunt for a Lost World War II Aircraft Carrier,&rdquo; described further the search for the sunken USS Wasp (C-7). He was actually aboard the research vessel Petrel, during the search.</p> VAN STOCKUM: Close calls during World War II, Part 6: The cruel sea https://www.sentinelnews.com/content/van-stockum-close-calls-during-world-war-ii-part-6-cruel-sea <img src="https://www.sentinelnews.com/sites/www.sentinelnews.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/genvanstockumclosecalls6-petrel.jpg" alt="The Petrel" title="The Petrel" align="left" hspace="6" /><p> &ldquo;The Epic Hunt for a Lost World War II Aircraft Carrier,&rdquo; by Ed Caesar that appeared in the New York Times Magazine of March 13, 2019 aroused my interest. It described the search at the bottom of the Coral Sea for the sunken U.S.S. Wasp (CV-7), in which I had served during World War II before her sinking.</p> <p> After reading Mr. Caesar&rsquo;s fascinating article, I contacted him in England by email and telephone. He expressed considerable interest in my first hand knowledge of the Wasp, and we had a most productive conversation.</p> <p> Farewell letter of</p> VAN STOCKUM: Close calls during World War II: Part 5; By rail across the country to San Diego; by converted merchant cargo ship to the South Pacific https://www.sentinelnews.com/content/van-stockum-close-calls-during-world-war-ii-part-5-rail-across-country-san-diego-converted-m <img src="https://www.sentinelnews.com/sites/www.sentinelnews.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/genvanstockumclosecalls5.jpg" alt="By Loren Haffner, comrade-in-arms, who served with distinction in the Pacific campaigns. However, his greatest contribution to Corps and Country may have been a special reconnaissance mission to Laos. " title="By Loren Haffner, comrade-in-arms, who served with distinction in the Pacific campaigns. However, his greatest contribution to Corps and Country may have been a special reconnaissance mission to Laos. " align="left" hspace="6" /><p> In mid-August 1942, having completed my two week assignment as Commander of the beach guard on Onslow Beach at the Marine Base at New River, N.C., later named Camp Lejeune, I brought my company back to the main base where we continued to train for combat.</p> VAN STOCKUM: Close calls during World War II: Part 4; Guarding Onslow Beach, N.C. https://www.sentinelnews.com/content/van-stockum-close-calls-during-world-war-ii-part-4-guarding-onslow-beach-nc <img src="https://www.sentinelnews.com/sites/www.sentinelnews.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/genvanstockumclosecalls4-jeep.jpg" alt="Major Ron Van Stockum drives a jeep in August of 1942 while serving as the commander of the Onslow Beach Guard." title="Major Ron Van Stockum drives a jeep in August of 1942 while serving as the commander of the Onslow Beach Guard." align="left" hspace="6" /><p> A few days after my replacement as Commander of the Marine Detachment of USS Wasp on 25 June 1942, the ship departed for the South Pacific, with my replacement, Marine Captain John Kennedy.</p> <p> Having been promoted to the rank of major, I spent the first two weeks of August 1942 organizing and establishing the Onslow Beach guard of some 150 men.</p> LIFE AND LANDSCAPES: The Dzungarian Gate https://www.sentinelnews.com/content/life-and-landscapes-dzungarian-gate <img src="https://www.sentinelnews.com/sites/www.sentinelnews.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/genreggie-dzungarian.jpeg" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" /><p> By Ronald R. Van Stockum Jr.</p> <p> Timing is everything! And what it is not, location is.</p> <p> And here is the place, a 3,000-mile, nearly impenetrable chain of mountains blockading China from the rest of Eurasia &ndash; more than 1.4 billion people, and all looking to get out. Or at least to expand a little, like they did in 471 A.D.</p> <p> The Tian Chan Mountains</p> VAN STOCKUM: Close calls during World War II: Part 3; Return to the Marine infantry https://www.sentinelnews.com/content/van-stockum-close-calls-during-world-war-ii-part-3-return-marine-infantry <img src="https://www.sentinelnews.com/sites/www.sentinelnews.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/genvanstockumclosecalls3-refuelingatsea_1.jpg" alt=" Refueling at sea, as the aircraft carrier USS Bunker Hill (CVA 17) provides a full tank to destroyer USS Bullard (DD 660). " title=" Refueling at sea, as the aircraft carrier USS Bunker Hill (CVA 17) provides a full tank to destroyer USS Bullard (DD 660). " align="left" hspace="6" /><p> After my detachment from Wasp on June 25, 1942, having been promoted to major, I reported to a Marine infantry unit at a Marine Corps base near Jacksonville, N.C. that was later named Camp Lejeune. Here I took command of the Heavy Weapons Company of the newly formed 1st Battalion of the 21st Marines (an infantry regiment).</p> <p> My company, the largest of the battalion, had the strength of nine officers and 281 enlisted men. It consisted of three .30 caliber machine gun platoons, an 81mm mortar platoon and an anti-tank section of .50 caliber machine guns.</p>