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The FReeper Foxhole Remembers The Battle for Torpedo Junction (1942) - May 20th, 2003
The Island Breeze ^ | December 2000 | Kevin Duffus

Posted on 05/20/2003 5:35:30 AM PDT by SAMWolf

Dear Lord,

There's a young man far from home,
called to serve his nation in time of war;
sent to defend our freedom
on some distant foreign shore.

We pray You keep him safe,
we pray You keep him strong,
we pray You send him safely home ...
for he's been away so long.

There's a young woman far from home,
serving her nation with pride.
Her step is strong, her step is sure,
there is courage in every stride.
We pray You keep her safe,
we pray You keep her strong,
we pray You send her safely home ...
for she's been away too long.

Bless those who await their safe return.
Bless those who mourn the lost.
Bless those who serve this country well,
no matter what the cost.

Author Unknown


FReepers from the The Foxhole
join in prayer for all those serving their country at this time.



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The Battle for Torpedo Junction

In 1942 the United States fought and suffered one of its greatest defeats of World War II, not in Europe or the Pacific but along the eastern seaboard. As men and war materials were dispatched to foreign fronts the enemy, unchallenged, entered America's front door. Columns of black smoke and orange flames of torpedoed merchant vessels stretched from New England to New Orleans. Explosions offshore rattled windows and the nerves of startled coastal residents. From the surf floated oil, debris, and bodies.

Concealed by censorship, it was a crisis that embarrassed Washington, panicked Britain, frightened coastal communities and nearly changed tile course of history. Three hundred ninety-seven ships -- tankers, freighters and transports --- were sunk or damaged in just half a year. Nearly 5,000 people burned to death, were crushed, drowned, or simply vanished into the vast, endless sea. The largest concentration of losses took place in the waters off North Carolina's Outer Banks, all area notorious for centuries as a graveyard of ships.

These are the memories of 1942-- a time of infamy, of irony, and of innocence lost, a time when the Outer Banks became a War Zone.

Illuminated by brightly lit beach towns, ships became easy prey for U-boats, while government propaganda kept U.S. citizens in the dark. Merchant seamen who risked their lives to deliver vital, war effort cargoes sailed in constant peril at the mercy of a naive public and an ambivalent government.

America hastily mounted a defense to the U-boat assault. Boys from the fields of the nation's heartland were dispatched into deadly waters. Against well-trained, battle-tested Germans, they bravely took up the fight with small arms, in small boats and on small horses.

Forty years after the radio was pioneered by inventor Reginald Fessenden on the Outer Banks, it became the islanders= bridge, their link to the world that lay over the horizon. The radio played music, and it delivered news of troubled times far away. 1941 had been a quiet year on the Outer Banks. There were no shipwrecks and few storms. Coast Guard surfmen at stations from cape Lookout to Currituck caught up on their repairs, training and sleep. Up and down the the beach miles of telegraph lines that linked the lifeboat outposts hung in relative silence. At once, it all changed.

On Dec. 7. 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and on the radio, Outer Banks families heard president Franklin Roosevelt call it "a date which will live in infamy."

"It was all over the radio," remembers Gibb Gray of Avon. "In fact, when we turned it on. it interrupted NBC Symphony, it interrupted that whole thing. All military personnel were ordered to their bases everywhere."

In those first few months of the war, old-timers on the Outer Banks knew what the radio commentators weren't reporting -- what happened in the last war. They remembered the August, 1918, sinking of Diamond Shoals Lightship 71 and when the Chicamacomico Coast Guard station crew rescued the victims of the British tanker Mirlo. German U-boats would soon appear off the Outer Banks. As it turned out, the old-timers remembered, but the U.S. Navy did not.


In Nazi-occupied France, Admiral Karl Donitz, commander-in-chief of the U'-boatwaffe, heard the news he had hoped for. Donitz steadfastly believed Germany could win the war entirely by the might of his U-boat fleet. Now he could finally wage unrestricted warfare on ships congregating along America's East coast. Donitz quickly organized an operation he dubbed "Paukenschlag," or Drumbeat, intended to have the same startling impact as a sharp beat on a kettledrum.

U-123, led by Reinhard Hardegan, took part in the highly successful 'Operation Drumbeat'

University of Florida Professor Michael Gannon, author of "Operation Drumbeat," is the pre-eminent historian on Germany's attacks in the Western Atlantic.

"At the beginning of the war," he says, "Admiral Donitz estimated that he would have to sink 700,000 gross registered tons of shipping per month in order to starve the British into submission. The tonnage war was conducted whenever you had a chain of ships bringing food, raw materials, fuel oil and gasoline. That chain could be broken at any point, and in the first six months of 1942, the point where it was broken was along the American coast.

Donitz' new Type IX U-boats carried just enough fuel to reach America, hunt tonnage for about a week, and return to port six weeks later. The Type 1X and its smaller predecessor, the Type VII, were, in their day, the most seaworthy ships ever built. Not submarines, as commonly believed, but submersible boats, they dived only to attack and evade the enemy or the worst ocean storms. Maximum range underwater was just 64 miles. Every inch of the 251-foot long Type IX boat was devoted to its mission. Food and the crew's personal effects were stowed only after every practical space had been filled with torpedoes, artillery shells and spare parts.

Donitz chose five aggressive young commanders lo assure Paukenschlag's success. They included Reinhard Hardegen of the U- 123 and Richard Zapp of the U-66. A few days before Christmas, 1941, the Paukenschlag boats quietly slipped their dock lines in France. In three weeks, they would arrive in American waters. But before they engaged the enemy, they had to battle the North Atlantic in winter.

"They were driven men," Michael Gannon says. "They had been given a mission by a man they admired greatly -- the Commander-in-Chief of U-boats, Admiral Karl Donitz. And Donitz had developed these men into teams of ship killers, and they went at it with a passion. And I had the occasion lo meet the three officers other than the chief engineer on board U-123. to talk to them, to take the measure of them, and I find that they were very professional men who pursued their goals with keen enthusiasm and with enormous skill. I think Reinhard Hardegen was particularly driven by his desire to sink ships."

Twelve hundred miles from their base, Hardegen briefed his officers. He expected his U-boat to repeat the well-known successes of U boats 23 years earlier, especially U-117 off North Carolina. But the watches on deck had to be vigilant, for the Americans would surely remember their shipping losses in 1918. Presumably worse for the success of Paukenschlag, British cryptanalysts in London knew where the U-boats were and anticipated where the they were headed. Yet this intelligence, passed on to U.S. Naval commanders, was hugely dismissed as insignificant. Five hundred helpless merchant sailors died in the next month as a result.

"It's an odd thing to say that the United Stales Navy was very well prepared in the abstract for a German invasion,'' says Gannon, "but when the attack actually came, the Navy failed execute. On the 15th of January when Reinhard Hardegen had arrived off New York harbor, there were 21 ready-status destroyers, fueled and armed am ready to go at him and the other five boats in the Paukenschlag, the Drumbeat fleet. And yet not a single one of these destroyers went to sea to meet the German invader.


By mid-January, amidst heavy snow squalls, U-123 and U-66 entered U.S. waters. The drumbeat commenced. Seventy-five miles east of Cape Hatteras, with no moon to betray their presence, U-66 waited patiently. Soon, a darkened shape appeared moving left to right across the U-boat's bow. At 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 18, two torpedoes tore into the hull of the Allan Jackson, a tanker laden with 72,000 barrels of oil bound for New York. Twenty-two men perished. Eight oil-soaked survivors escaped in a lifeboat only to be pulled toward the grinding ship's propeller.

After claiming five vessels in six days to the north, Hardegen was eager to reach the busy shipping lanes off the Outer Banks, and U-123 groped its way southward. Groped, because they had no charts.

"The German submarine force was not prepared to equip five boats that sailed under Operation Drumbeat with all the maps that would be required to make effective attacks," Gannon says. "The U-boat officers had no sectional nautical maps, had no sailing directions, had no harbor maps. But actually, Hardegen was able to make his way around rather successfully using the large map that was used for the Atlantic Ocean generally. He saw that he had several Capes that he would be able to identify, inlets as he moved south to Cape Hatteras. The Outer Banks would be easily recognizable. When it became difficult finding his way along the coastline, he followed the automobile on shore and just kept abreast of them. At one time he nearly ran aground doing that, but by and large he was just able to move with the traffic as he came in."

On Jan. 18, 23 miles east of Kitty Hawk, the U-123 crew saw an orange glow to the southeast followed by two muffled explosions. Il was U-66 sinking the Allan Jackson. With just three remaining torpedoes aboard, U-123 still had its most destructive night lay ahead. At 2 o'clock on Monday morning, Hardegen chased down the passenger-freighter, City of Atlanta, only seven miles east of Avon.

"We went to bed about 10 o'clock," remembers Gibb Gray, "and about 2 o'clock a violent explosion shook our house all over. And we all got up to the windows, and there was a red, bright red glow."

Of the 47 men on City of Atlanta, only three survived. U-123 found itself in a shooting gallery at Cape Hatteras. Shore lights made the sighting of targets appallingly simple, an experience the crew of the U-boat never forgot

"Von Shroeter, who was a member of Hardegen's crew on the 123, was asked if he remembered Hatteras," savs Joe Schwarzer. "And he said, 'Remember Hatteras? Of course I remember Hatteras. It was remarkable. We would surface at night, we would see the lights on the beach, the targets Would be silhouetted perfectly. The tankers would go by, we'd look at it. We'd say that one's too small. We really want a bigger target.' I think most of the sub commanders could not believe their luck. That they were in an area where not only were the targets post-lively ubiquitous, but there was little danger of being attacked."

Hardegen turned his attention next lo the 8,000-ton SS Malay, a tanker that typically carried 70,000 barrels of crude oil. But unknown to the Germans, Malay was steaming in ballast with no oil in her hold to assist in her demise. The flat seas off Diamond Shoals that night offered Hardegen a rare opportunity to sink a ship with his 10.5-centimeter deck gun. Only Malay wouldn't sink. The next day, news of the shelling spread rapidly up the Banks from an eyewitness out of Hatteras Inlet station.

"He told us in the store they had to go out the next morning to it, it was the Malay," Gibb Gray says. "A submarine had shelled it with deck guns, and he said that looking in the side of the ship, there was such a big hole that the bedding, the mattresses was hanging out side. But they saved her, took her into Norfolk."

Just minutes after shelling Malay, U-123 torpedoed the Latvian freighter, Ciltvaira, which for a while also seemed to resist the pull of the ocean floor. It was towed briefly by the Navy tug, Scieta, but then abandoned to the sea. No less abandoned after U- 123's reign of terror were the merchant sailors clinging to wreckage in the frigid winter waters of the Graveyard of the Atlantic. The American Navy was nowhere to be found. But in Washington, a statement was released that U-boats had been engaged and destroyed.

From a newsreel at the time: "U-boats attack ! German U-boat claims of Allied shipping losses are vast exaggerations, Hitler=s U-boats strike desperately, sinking six ships in one ,week. Hardest hit was the steamship City of Atlanta. The United States Navy announces that some U-boats were sunk and emphasizes the importance of secrecy about counterblows."

Tile Navy emphasized secrecy because there were no counterblows, no U-boat sinkings. Months would pass before a U.S. destroyer sank the first U-boat off Nags Head. Hearing the evening's broadcasts from American radio stations, the irony of the ruse was not lost on the crew of U-123. Theirs was among the U-boats reported to have been sunk.

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On Jan. 5, 1942. a boat landed at the north end of Ocracoke Island with two fresh-faced Coast Guard boys from New York and Tennessee. Fate and an International Harvester truck delivered Ted Mutro and Mack Womack to the village. They could hardly believe their good fortune, having been led to believe they'd be spending the war at a beach resort. But at the end of their 13-mile drive to the village, their excitement quickly turned to gloom.

Ted Mutro thought Ocracoke was "the last stop in civilization."

AIn the village, curiosity got the best of me," remembers Mutro. "I asked him (the driver), I says. 'Where's the heart of town at'?' I was right behind the Community Store there. I says, 'Where's the heart of town at?= He says, AYou're right on the main drag now. Do you want to get out and look around?= I says 'No, I've seen everything.' I went in the new station, went up in the tower. 'Damn,' I said, 'this is an island?' And the chief said to me, 'Where'd you think you were at, New York City'?' He said, 'You think this is bad, you ought to go to Portsmouth. We have 12 men over there, no electricity, no nothing. Got 12 men over there, they come up once a week, get their groceries, kerosene and everything on Portsmouth Island there.'"

Womack and Mutro thought the only things they'd be fighting in the war on Ocracoke were mosquitoes and boredom. Three Weeks into their assignment they found out otherwise. Just after dark on Jan. 23, the Empire Gem nervously approached the Diamond Shoals light buoy. It was a dangerous time to be there. The British tanker, the largest in the world at the time. Was loaded with over I0,000 tons of refined gasoline, one quarter of Great Britain=s daily consumption. But standing between the Empire Gem and English petrol pumps was the U-66. At 7:40 p.m., two torpedoes slammed into the starboard holds and ignited a hellish inferno. A frantic SOS was tapped out by radio operator and was received at the Coast Guard station at Ocracoke. Mmro and Wornack got their first trip into the war.

"We started out there," remembers Mulro. "The wind started kicking up and everything. We found it, all right, oil and everything burning out. You couldn't get along side or nothing like that because the water was burning."

"Then all we could do is just go around and around, hoping to pick up somebody that was alive," Womack says. "It's a terrible feeling. Especially when you see them jump overboard with flames on to 'em and know that they was gone into the fire just as quick as they hit. It really had a bad smell to it. It was all oil burning."

Fifty-five men died on the burning Empire Gem. Only Captain Broad and his radio operator were rescued by a lifeboat from Hatteras inlet station. Womack and Mutro might have thought Ocracoke as the last in civilization, but compared to being a merchant seaman, the isolation, boredom, and mosquitoes on the island suddenly didn't seem all that bad. In fact, their opinion would change so dramatically that more than 50 years later they would still be living on the island. (Mack Womack passed away last February.)


Operation Paukenschlag officially concluded ill the end of January when the first five U-boats, out of torpedoes and Iow on fuel, returned to their ports in France. Admiral Donitz' surprise attack (even if not in unison) exceeded his expectations. Forty Allied ships were sunk in American and Canadian waters in January. Five hundred seamen and civilians died tile largest concentrated loss of merchant mariners' lives in that service's history. One fifth of the dead were off City of Atlanta and Empire Gem. The coming months would only get worse. The psychological impact of January's attack was devastating to merchant sailors who had to pass through the U-boat gauntlet as ships burned, their friends drowned, and America looked the other way.

"You'd see cars going along the road and you'd see houses lit up, and as I say, down in Florida those hotels were lit up beautifully for submarines just to sit there and knock 'em off," says Bowker. "What were we going to do? They had to run these ships, and we were getting paid to do it, and if we ran off we were deserters just the same as it we were in the Navy. So we had to go."

Michael Gannon adds: "Merchant mariners were put down by the people in the military and people in the government at large. But who was facing the major danger and losing liver by the thousands during the first six months of 1942 in the Atlantic? It was the merchant mariners. And they were not given their due as men of courage, as men of patriotism."

Again, Navy propaganda, not action, served to buck up the civilian sailors.

Again, from a government newsreel: "The U-boat was beaten in the last war. It can be beaten again. But every Nazi sub surfaced for the night kill postpones our victory over Hitler. American action now will keep the Atlantic convoys sailing. American merchant seaman know the U-boat's sting, but they sign to sail again. Army and Navy air patrols guard the convoys. The Navy hunts the U-boats. Teamwork America. teamwork now, and in the Fuhrer's face !"

Many merchant seaman didn't sign to sail again. Some joined the Army, thinking they had a better chance in foreign foxholes than within sight of American beaches. At least GI's and their families back home were eligible for veteran benefits. The men in the Merchant Marine only got a pat on the back. It look more than 35 years for their wartime sacrifice to be acknowledged when Congress awarded them combatant status and veteran benefits. Even then, the gesture was contested by the Defense Department.

Following Paukenschlag, an emboldened Donitz dispatched a steady stream of U-boats to America, including the smaller Type Vll=s. February brought fewer sinkings, but March passed into history as the most deadly off the Outer Banks. Meanwhile, the residents of the Outer Banks had no choice but to watch as war was waged on their doorstep.

"I don't remember being frightened or feeling any fear of anything it just, it was just something that was going on offshore," remembers Ormond Fuller of Buxton. "That summer we had to almost give up going swimming in the ocean, it was just full of oil. You'd get it all over you. I think most families around had this bucket or can with this brash on it that you kept at the front door that you just cleaned your feet, the oil off everytime you came in if you'd been to the beach. Oil was everywhere."

"We sorta got used to it, you know, hearing it," says Gibb Gray. "It would mostly be in the distance, a distance away the explosions were. We wasn't too scared!."

Adds Manson Meekins: "It was a lackluster type of feeling. People knew what was going on, and they were making statements of sympathy while the merchant seamen but they was being torpedoed and drowned and burned in the oil. But no one seemed to be afraid or worried. It was just something that was happening. They'd go about their business as if nothing was going on."


If it was business as usual the usual business oil tile Outer Banks was keeping a watchful eye on strangers.

"People were frightened to death," says Blanche Joliff. "And if they saw anything strange...people would think they were Germans. There weren't nothing that escaped them around here. They noticed. They still do -- they notice everything. They know everything going on."

Mack Womack remembered: "We thought they might try to land somebody here, and we had a few scares that had been reported to 'em that they were going to be landing somewhere oil tile beach; and they put more people on the beach. We wasn't walking then. We just found the highest dune and got on top of it and dug us out a little place to lay where we could look both ways tip and down the beach. Stay there all night, but nothing happened that we know of..

Rumors spread like brush fires. It was said that captured U-boat sailors had American movie theater tickets in their pockets. People whispered about local sympathizers who might have provided U-boats with food or the time a U-boat took provisions off the Diamond Shoal, lightship. None of the rumors were true.

An obvious reason spies or sympathizers had no contact with U-boats was that the Germans simply didn't need any help. !n early '42 the U-boats had only to sit and wait for their prey like a hunter in a blind. One hundred thirty ships passed the east coast every day -- as many as 50 were off the North Carolina capes. Still contrary to conventional wisdom, the stories persisted "They claimed they were stopping what you call pogey boats" says Ted Mutro. "The government look them over during the war, the menhaden boats. They claimed the submarines got the fuel off one of them out here, the diesel fuel he was burning. The submarine was burning diesel fuel.' Historian Gannon refutes these stories.

"There is no substance to the stories that U-boats stopped fishing vessels at sea to obtain their diesel oil. A fishing vessel would not have nearly enough diesel oil in the first place to take care of the needs of a U-boat. I interviewed the chief of U-boat communications, and I asked him about each one of those cases and he said, 'No, we never stopped other vessels to get oil from them. No, we never sent men ashore to get fresh vegetables or to go to the movies.' He said, 'I was in charge of all the communications, I would have known.= There is almost always someone who comes up to me, and sometimes in a whisper tells me, 'You know, U-boat men came ashore here and I can show you the place where the grocery store stood that they used.' In Palm Beach I was even shown the restaurant where they went into to eat. And I told that individual, I=m sorry, that story could not possibly be true -- such a man going against that order would be shot upon his return to the French bases.' But then I said, 'Think of what these men would have looked like going into this elegant restaurant.' They would have been in their coveralls covered with grease, their hair arid beards matted with grease, smelling of all the foul odors that permeated the interior of a U-boat hold. If a group like that had walked into a restaurant someone would have grabbed for a phone and call for the police.

Yet, with so many ships going down blame had to fall somewhere. Rather than questioning the Navy's coastal defense strategy, the media was used to point a finger at talkative civilians and men of the merchant marine.

"When we had all of these huge shipping losses there was a certain amount of hysteria,'' says Gannon, "some of it created by the United States government. Anyone who was alive at that time and going to the local post office remembers posters reading, 'Loose Lips Sink Ships.' But that was never the case. The Germans never needed to know what a sailing date was. There were so many ships out there going north and south in coastwise traffic there was no need to know when a sailing date was or what was a projected arrival date in port. So this was a relatively useless campaign carried on by the propaganda organs of the United States government."

In 1942, the Cape Hatteras lighthouse stood abandoned, having been given up to the encroaching sea and darkened for the previous six years. A steel tower had been erected, and it was from here that the light from the Cape flashed. It mattered little to Reinhard Hardegen -- both marked his objective for U-123's second American war cruise, and in March he set a course straight for the "turkey shoot" off Cape Hatteras. Out on the ocean the airwaves were jammed with distress calls from burning and sinking ships. Lifeboats and wreckage, ferrying forlorn victims, bobbed about, swept far out to sea by Gulf Stream currents.

Small lifesaving stations were overwhelmed with the wet, wounded and hungry. On Ocracoke, barracks for survivors were hastily erected to house those lucky enough to be found. Many lifeboats washed up on the beach, empty and filled with bullet holes which produced angry rumors that the Germans were shooting survivors -- another rumor that Gannon refutes as an "urban legend.

"There was a camaraderie among men who went to sea and no seaman, even in conditions of war. would shoot an innocent, helpless person in the water. A second reason for this was a directive that went out from Admiral Donitz to all his U-boat fleets -- they were not to harm survivors in the water or in lifeboats. First, because it would be inhumane, and second because then the U-boat crews would think that tile same might happen to them someday and that would cause a loss of morale."

1 posted on 05/20/2003 5:35:31 AM PDT by SAMWolf
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The March roll call of torpedoed ships continued. Ario, Australia, Acme, Kassandra Louloudi, E.M Clark, Papoose, W.E. Hutton, Esso Nashville, Atlantic Sun, Naeco, Atik, Equipoise.

Visions of a Knight's Cross for sinking more than 100,000 tons drove men like Johann Mohr to unprecedented risks. Off the North Carolina capes in mid-March, Mohr sank or damaged nine ships in seven days. No longer did the insolent U-boats retreat to the ocean floor at the first blush of daylight. No longer could merchant sailors breathe a sigh of relief at dawn. When the sun rose on the 8,000-ton oil tanker Dixie Arrow on March 26, the ship had just survived a dangerous night crossing the bloody waters of Raleigh Bay. Bul death was still lurking close by.

At 9 am., two torpedoes from U-71 slammed into the ship causing a monstrous conflagration of burning oil. The fire whipped up a raging wind and cast skyward a towering cloud of black smoke seen up and down the Outer Banks.

"I was on my way to school," Gibb Gray remembers, "and the whole ground shook, a violent explosion. When we looked down toward the lighthouse, it was south of the lighthouse but a little bit to the east where the smoke was coming from. That was the Dixie Arrow. And we skipped school then."

"We didn't go to school. We went right over to the beach and started running down and was watching the life boats."

On the ship, quick thinking helmsman Oscar Chappel saved many of the crew who had escaped toward the bow, by turning the crippled tanker into the wind. The reversing flames raced aft, consuming Chappell on the bridge. When seaman Frederick Spiese jumped overboard, be revealed to his best! friend Alex that he didn't know how to swim. Spiese then proceeded lo vanish into the sea 'of burning oil. When the survivors were plucked from the water by the USS Tarbell, 11 of the 33 crew members had not survived. But Freddy Spiese did. On the morning of March 26, Spiese learned how to swim.


When U- 123 surfaced alter twenty-eight days at sea within sight of the Cape Hatteras lighthouse, Hardegen and his watch officers at once sensed a change from their last visit to the Outer Banks.

"By the time Hardegen returned to U.S. shores at Cape Hatteras on March 30, 1942, says Michael Gannon "he was surprised at how many ships, most of them small, were cruising around the Outer Banks. There were British motor torpedo boats manned by Canadian crews. There were U.S. cutters. There were overhead planes with lights flying about. And he knew that at long last the American coast was alert but still had not doused its lights."

After months of meetings. memos, and 122 vessels lost or damaged, tile U.S. Navy implemented a series of defensive measures. They first moved to dim the lights.

Hatteras and Ocracoke residents well understood the effect of distant lights reflecting off the often present sea haze and dutifully hung thick drapes on their windows. Cars, trucks and buses were required to have black tape covering headlights, leaving a narrow opening to light the way. Beach driving at night was restricted. Outer Bankers took their war responsibilities to heart, even peeking around window shades when far off rumblings meant another ship had been attacked well out sea.

Without enough heavily armed destroyers and escort craft for organized convoys, the Navy devised a relay system. Ships stopped overnight at harbors and mined anchorages, including Cape Lookout, in a procedure called Bucket Brigades. Aftet sunrise, patrol craft would shepherd ships on the dash to the mined anchorage within Hatteras bight. And so on, up the coast.

"One hundred twenty miles is roughly the distance that a freighter or tanker would travel during daylight hours," says Joe Schwarzer. "It was a way of having a group of ships in relatively protected circumstances making their way up the coast and thus avoiding attacks by U-boats at night."


Merchant ships faster than the U-boats' maximum of 18 knots had heavy guns mounted fore and aft. The Navy formed a unit known as the Armed Guard and stationed these men on the larger, faster tankers. A recruiter convinced Wallace Beckham of Avon to join the Armed Guard because he would be served lavish meals by uniformed waiters. Only after he signed the papers did his friends offer their opinion.

"They said, 'Oh my God, that's a suicide outfit!'" Beckham says. "I didn't know what to think then, just being a young boy. I was assigned to a merchant tanker. And I made six trips by Cape Hatteras on this merchant tanker in WW II. It was a fast tanker. It would do 21 knots, and, of course, we always traveled by ourselves because we were fast. They didn't lie to me when they told me I would eat good, and I'd have a man wait on my table."

In addition to the Armed Guard and Bucket Brigades, the Hooligan Navy was born of the government's desperation in the spring of '42.

"The American Navy," says Schwarzer, "took a tip from the British at Dunkirk and started to requisition private pleasure craft, yachts, motor launches, whatever could be used, and these were adapted lo carrying depth charges."

In all, nearly 2,000 vessels were signed into service. Orders called for at least four, 300-pound depth charges, one 50-caliber machine gun, and a radio transmitter to be on board. There was no specified limit of good fortune that would be required.

"We were on a wooden sailboat," remembered Mack Womack. "The one I was on was 70 feel long, I remember that. And it was equipped with six or eight depth charges on the stern .... We didn't have a gunner's mate, so the first class bos'n's mate was in charge of the ship. He had to set whatever he thought the depth of it was. I mean, but we was lucky. We didn't find one. It'd probably would have done more damage to us than it would the submarine."

In every war, there are paradoxes of human folly and frailty in the face of overwhelming odds. Off the Outer Banks in 1942, none were greater than America's Hooligan Navy.

A less dangerous method of tracking the movements of U-boats was installed about a mile to the northeast of Ocracoke Village. The top secret "Loop Shack," as named by the locals, employed new underwater magnetic indicator loops, sound modulated radio sentinel buoys, listening equipment controlled from shore and radio direction finding technology. Along with other stations along the coast, including Poyners Hill near Corolla, RDF receivers could intercept and triangulate the location of the U-boats when they transmitted their daily reports back to France.

Ultimately, an organized convoy strategy was extended along the entire eastern seaboard and succeeded in disrupting tile domination of U-boats.

"The convoy system that the U.S. Navy organized in May of 1942 dramatically changed the condition of the U-boat war," Gannon says. "This was something Admiral King very belatedly and reluctantly come to an understanding of the importance of convoy. Prior to his establishment of convoy, he argued that an inadequately defended convoy is worse than no convoy at all. And this was against all of the experience that the British had acquired in two years of opposing the U-boats. Finally, Admiral King was forced to consider the convoy. And when he finally established convoys in May there was a noticeable, immediate drop in sinkings. And Admiral King started saying instead. 'Convoy is the only way to defeat the U-boat.' Too bad he came to that conclusion too late, after the loss of much steel and flesh,"


The battle of torpedo Junction, as it came to be known, was soon over, By July, four U-boats had been sunk in the Graveyard of the Atlantic. As more of his U-boats failed to report from their American patrols, Admiral Donitz moved his forces back to the North Atlantic and Mediterranean theaters. He hardly felt defeated.

Says Michael Gannon: "During the first six months of 1942, 5,000 merchant mariners and some other merchant passengers were lost at sea along the American seaboard, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Five thousand. Twice the number who were lost at Pearl Harbor. A total in six months of 397 vessels sunk in what has to be counted as one of the great maritime disasters of all time. And as the long-lime professor of history at the University of North Carolina, Gerhard Weinberg, has said. 'That maritime disaster has to go down as the greatest single defeat ever suffered by American Naval power.'"

Upon Adolph Hitler's suicide in late April of 1945, Grand Admiral Karl Donitz was promoted above Goring and Himmler to become the next Fuhrer. One Week later, Donitz initiated Germany's unconditional surrender. Serving on Donitz' staff at the time of the surrender was Reinhard Hardegen.

With Germany's surrender, the servicemen and the civilians on the Outer Banks could finally let down their guard.

Arnold Tolson was on Ocracoke, the skipper of the 63-067 air and sea rescue craft, when the end of die war came, and there was "one hell of a big party." Blanche Joliff and her mother were standing on their Ocracoke porch when they heard. Calvin O'Neal says a group of islanders got in a jeep and rode up and down the island "just whooping and hollering and having a great time. It was wonderful, the war was over."

The fears and worries of war were soon obscured from memory. Island life, although a different one. slowly returned to normal. The next summer. "The Lost Colony" outdoor drama reopened for the first time in five years. Beach hotels and cottages refilled. On Ocracoke, the once bustling Navy base was empty. Barracks and buildings were torn down, dismantled for materials or moved lo other spots in the village. Beyond the oil stained beaches, the ocean bottom was littered with unexploded depth charges, contact mines and the debris of more than 60 ships.

The Outer Banks was no longer apart from tile rest of the world, in a couple or' years, an asphalt highway would wind its way south, a ribbon of promise, a lifeline, a long awaited signature of change. The islands would never be thc same.

"Things never got back to normal," says Ocracoke's Calvin O'Neal. "because we lost our innocence. Before that, we just were not part of the rest of the world, isolated as we were. But it did change things. Your outlook on life was different. You had experienced something close hand that normally would change your attitude, your life, your everything."

Additional Sources:

2 posted on 05/20/2003 5:36:17 AM PDT by SAMWolf ((A)bort (R)etry (T)ell your boss it was a virus....)
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To: All
'There was deep concern. You would peek through the windows and see the explosions at night'

-- Stocky Midgett, Hatteras village

'It would shake the houses and sometimes the exploxions cracked the cistern and damaged the sheet rock and plaster in some of the houses'

-- Blanche Joliff, Ocracoke

'I think the people on the Outer Banks saw more of the war in this country than anybody else.'

-- Arnold Tolson, Manteo

'You'd hear an explosion go up, and somebody would say 'there goes another one'

-- Mattson Meekins, Avon

'It was if there was no war going on at all. The Germans surfaced off of the coast and they marveled that they could sit there in their submarine and watch cars drive up and down the road, see streetlights, smell the pine forests in the breeze coming off the land. It was incredible.'

-- Joseph Sehwarzer,
executive director, Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum

'I tell you it was the damndest thing you ever saw. Automobiles were going by. The hotels wouldn't put their lights out. They just didn=t take it seriously. I tell you it was terrible.'

-- Francis Bowker,
merchant seaman, Sea Level, N.C.

'So much of it was concealed from the public. Not many people knew that we were having all of this carnage, damage, ships sinking and people being killed simply because it was not publicized'

-- Russell Twiford, Manteo

'All we had on board, I think, was six rifles and one pistol. We couldn't do much, but they had us out there. We had to go.'

-- Mack Wornack, Ocracoke

'When we'd get a call. the cook would make up a batch of groceries, grab the groceries, and away we=d go --putt, putt, putt, putt...'

-- Theodore Mutro, Ocracoke

'Everybody's emotions was high You know when you ride over to the beach, hear an explosion that night and ride over to beach and see men washing up, everybody=s emotions was high, very high.'

-- Arnold Tolson

'I heard one young man say how terrible it was to be out there and watch those men jump off the burning tanker: '

-- Blanche Joliff

'They was sittin' ducks, was what they was. Just waiting to be shot. And that's a terrible death, burnin' to death. You just feel useless, which you are, there's nothing you can do ..... All we could do is just go around and around, hoping to pick up somebody that was alive. It was a terrible feeling'

-- Mack Wornack

3 posted on 05/20/2003 5:36:46 AM PDT by SAMWolf ((A)bort (R)etry (T)ell your boss it was a virus....)
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To: SAMWolf
The State of the Union is Strong!
Support the Commander in Chief

Click Here to Send a Message to the opposition!

4 posted on 05/20/2003 5:37:05 AM PDT by SAMWolf ((A)bort (R)etry (T)ell your boss it was a virus....)
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To: All

5 posted on 05/20/2003 5:37:32 AM PDT by SAMWolf ((A)bort (R)etry (T)ell your boss it was a virus....)
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To: SAMWolf

Today's classic warship, USS Montana (ACR-13)

North Carolina class armored cruiser
Displacement: 14,500 t.
Length: 504’6”
Beam: 72’11”
Draft: 25’0”
Speed: 22 k.
Complement: 859
Armament: 4 10”; 16 6”; 22 3”; 12 3-pdrs.; 4 1-pdrs.; 4 21” torpedo tubes

The USS MONTANA (ACR-13), was laid down by the Newport News Shipbuilding Co., Newport News, Va., 29 April 1905; launched 15 December 1906; sponsored by Miss Minnie Conrad; and commissioned at the Norfolk Navy Yard 21 July 1908, Capt. Alfred Reynolds in command.

Assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, MONTANA departed Norfolk 5 August to cruise off the east coast until 25 January 1909 when she sailed from Charleston, S.C., for the Caribbean, arriving off Colon, Panama, the 29th. While operating with the Special Service Squadron, MONTANA departed Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, 2 April for the Mediterranean to protect American interests during the aftermath of the Turkish Revolution of 1908. Leaving Gibraltar 23 July, she arrived Boston, Mass., 3 August, and resumed east coast operations.

On 8 April 1910 the armored cruiser sailed from Hampton Roads, Va., to take part in the Argentine Centennial Celebration, calling at Uruguay, Argentina, and finally Brazil before heading for home 30 June, arriving Hampton Roads 22 July. MONTANA left Charleston, with President Taft and his party embarked, 10 November for a visit to Panama, returning her passengers to Hampton Roads, 22 November.

MONTANA was placed in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet 26 July 1911 for major overhaul at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H., until 11 November 1912. In December, she departed on a second trip to the Near East, stopping at Beirut, Syria (now Lebanon), and Alexandretta (now Iskenderun) and Mersin, Turkey. Returning to the United States in June 1913, MONTANA operated off the east coast and made training cruises to Mexico, Cuba, and Haiti until the United States entered World War I.

During the first months of the war, MONTANA conducted training exercises and transported supplies and men in the York River area and along the east coast. Assigned to the Cruiser and Transport Force 17 July 1917, she did convoy and escort duty out of Hampton Roads; New York, N.Y.; and Halifax, Nova Scotia, through most of 1917 and 1918. The armored cruiser also performed as a Naval Academy practice ship in the Chesapeake Bay area early in 1918. Ordered to France in December, between January and July 1919, MONTANA made six round trips from Europe, returning 8,800 American troops.

Following her arrival at Puget Sound Navy Yard, Seattle, Wash., MONTANA remained there from 16 August 1919 through her decommissioning 2 February 1921. On 7 June 1920 MONTANA was renamed MISSOULA for a city of Montana and classified CA-13 on 7 June 1920. She was struck from the Navy list 15 July 1930 and sold to John Irwin, Jr., 29 September 1930. In October 1935 the armored cruiser was scrapped in accordance with the London Treaty for the reduction of naval armament of 31 December 1930.

Trivia fact: Montana is the only one of the lower 48 states that has never had its name given to a battleship.

6 posted on 05/20/2003 5:37:48 AM PDT by aomagrat (IYAOYAS)
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To: SAMWolf; snippy_about_it; *all
Good morning SAM, snippy, everyone in the FOXHOLE!
7 posted on 05/20/2003 5:39:29 AM PDT by Soaring Feather
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To: AntiJen; Reaganwuzthebest; weldgophardline; Mon; AZ Flyboy; feinswinesuksass; Michael121; ...
FALL IN to the FReeper Foxhole!

To be removed from this list, please send me a blank private reply with "REMOVE" in the subject line! Thanks! Jen
8 posted on 05/20/2003 5:39:41 AM PDT by SAMWolf ((A)bort (R)etry (T)ell your boss it was a virus....)
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To: aomagrat
Trivia fact: Montana is the only one of the lower 48 states that has never had its name given to a battleship.

Interesting. Unless we decide to start building BB's again looks like Montana is out of luck.

9 posted on 05/20/2003 5:46:12 AM PDT by SAMWolf ((A)bort (R)etry (T)ell your boss it was a virus....)
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To: bentfeather
Good Morning Feather
10 posted on 05/20/2003 5:48:07 AM PDT by SAMWolf ((A)bort (R)etry (T)ell your boss it was a virus....)
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: SAMWolf
On This Day In History

Birthdates which occurred on May 20:
1364 Henry Percy [Harry Hotspur], British soldier/politican
1470 Pietro Bembo cardinal/theologian
1537 Hieronymus Fabricius Ab Aquapend Italy, physician (De Formato Foetu)
1547 Melchior Bischoff composer
1554 Paulo Bellasio composer
1593 Jacob Jordaens Flemish barok artist
1743 [François D] Toussaint L'Ouverture (à Breda), leader (Haiti)
1750 Stephen Girard bailed out US bonds during War of 1812
1754 Hans Gram composer
1759 William Thornton architect (Capitol building, Washington DC)
1764 J Gottfried Schadow German sculptor/cartoonist/lithographer
1768 Dolley Dandridge Payne Madison US 1st lady (1809-17)
1772 William Congreve English officer (design fire rocket)
1799 Honoré de Balzac France, novelist (Pere Goriot, Human Comedy)
1806 John Stuart Mill UK, philosopher/political economist/Utilitarian
1812 Gustav Adolf Mankell composer
1815 Barthélémy Menn Swiss graphic artist/painter
1818 William George Fargo founder (Wells Fargo)
1822 Emile Erckmann [E-Chatrian] French writer (Waterloo)
1822 Frédéric Passy French economist/pacifist; co-winner of 1st Nobel Peace Prize (1901)
1825 Antoinette Brown Blackwell clergy (1st ordained US female minister)
1828 James William Reilly Brigadier General (Union volunteers), died in 1905
1830 Amalia princess of Saxon-Weimar-Eisenach/wife of prince Henry
1830 Hector H Malot French writer (Without Family)
1841 Sara Louisa Oberholtz social reformer, anti-smoking advocate
1844 Henri Julien Felix Rousseau French ambassador/painter (The Dream)
1850 Eaton Faning composer
1851 Emile Berliner Germany, inventor (flat phonograph record)
1851 Rose Hawthorne Lathrop US, nun/daughter of Nathaniel Hawthorne
1856 Henri E Cross [Delacroix] French painter
1872 Albert Steinrück German actor (Golem)
1874 Folkert E Posthuma Dutch minister of Agriculture/Industry
1876 John Owen Jones composer
1881 Wladyslaw Sikorski premier Poland (WWII general)
1882 Sigrid Undset Norway, novelist (Kristin Lavransdatter, Nobel 1928)
1883 Paul Arntzenius painter/graphic artist/etcher
1889 Felix Arndt composer
1889 Margery Allingham detective story writer
1889 William Lawther union leader
1890 Beniamino Gigli Italy, tenor (Enzo-La Gioconde)
1894 Adela Rogers St John journalist/author (Foreign Correspondent)
1895 Reginald J "R" Mitchell English aviation manufacturer (Spitfire)
1899 Estelle Taylor [Boylan] Wilmington DE, actress (8 Commandments)
1899 John M Harlan Chicago IL, 91st Supreme Court justice (1955-71)
19-- Jay Schellen rocker (Hurricane-I'm On To You)
19-- Pete McClanahan rocker (Warrior Soul-Last Decade of The Century)
1901 Max Euwe Netherlands, world chess champion (1935-37)
1901 Otto Waldis Austria, actor (Port of Hell, Unknown World)
1902 Hans Sahl writer
1903 Jerzy Fitelberg composer
1904 Russell Hardie Buffalo NY, actor (Sequoia, In Old Kentucky)
1905 Gerrit Achterberg Dutch poet (Sailing)
1905 Harry Campion statistician/founder (British Central Statistical Office)
1908 Jimmy [James Maitland] Stewart Indiana PA, actor (Mr Smith Goes to Washington, It's a Wonderful Life)
1909 Edward Moss Hutchinson educationalist
1909 John Arkell director of administration (BBC)
1911 Annie M G Schmidt writer (Fam Doorsnee, Jip & Janneke)
1911 Gardner F[rancis] Fox US, sci-fi author (Kothar-Barbarian Swordsman)
1912 Joseph Proce 3rd victim of NYC's Zodiac killer (survives)
1913 Henry Cadbury Brown architect
1913 Ion Dumitrescu composer
1913 William Hewlett cofounder of Hewlett-Packard Co
1915 Moshe Dayan Israeli general/minister of Defense
1915 Peter Copley actor (Victim, King & Country)
1916 Cornelie Coposu politician
1916 John McIntyre theologian
1916 Owen Chadwick chancellor (U of East Anglia)
1917 Enyss Djemil composer
1917 Richard Charles Cobb historian
1919 George Gobel Chicago IL, comedian/TV personality (I Love My Wife)
1920 Betty Driver England, actress (Coronation St, Pardon the Expression, Penny Paradise)
1920 John Cruickshank banker
1920 William Simpson British trade union leader
1921 John Harrison British Vice Admiral/surgeon
1921 John Marchi (Representative-R-NY)
1921 W Borchert writer
1922 Clifford Butler vice chancellor (Loughborough University of Technology)
1923 Edith Fellows Boston MA, actress (Pennies From Heaven, City Streets)
1923 Hugh Beach British General
1923 Samuel Selvon author
1924 Peter Shore MP (Labour)
1925 D French Slaughter Jr (Representative-R-VA, 1985- )
1926 John Lucarotti scriptwriter
1926 Vic Ames rocker (Ames Brothers)
1927 [Harold] Bud Grant Wisconsin, CFL/NFL player/coach (Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Minnesota Vikings)
1927 David Frederick Barlow composer
1927 David Hedison Providence RI, actor (Colbys, Voyage to Bottom of Sea)
1927 Walter Aschaffenburg composer
1928 David Berriman CEO (Rose Thomson Young group of Lloyds Trustees)
1929 André Carolus Cirino Suriname/Indian poet
1930 James McEachin Pennert NC, actor (Harry-Tenafly)
1930 Robert Bunyard Commandant (British Police Staff College)
1931 Chiharu Igaya Japan, slalom (Olympics-silver-1956)
1933 Constance Towers actress (Capitol, Shock Corridor, Naked Kiss)
1933 Danny Aiello New York NY, actor (Moonstruck, Do the Right Thing)
1934 Alexei A Leonov cosmonaut (Voskhod 2, Apollo-Soyuz)
1936 Anthony Zerbe Long Beach CA, actor (Harry-O, Centennial, They Call Me Mr Tibbs)
1937 Dave Hill Jackson MI, PGA golfer (1967 Memphis)
1937 Lord "Benjie" Earl of Iveagh British brewer (Guinness)/large landowner
1937 Teddy Randazzo song writer (I'm on the Outside Looking In)
1938 Alan Smithers British professor
1938 Christina Bass-Kaiser Dutch 3K speed skater (Olympics-gold-1972)
1939 Gro Harlem Brundtland Norway, PM/feminist/conservatist
1940 Sadaharu Oh of Yomiuri Giants (Japan), hit 868 career homeruns
1940 Shorty Long soul singer/pianist (Here Comes the Judge)
1940 Stan Mikita NHL center (led NHL in scoring 4 times)
1941 Goh Chok Sole premier of Singapore (1990- )
1941 Maria Liberia-Peters premier of Dutch Antilles (198?-93)
1942 Jill "Paula" Jackson McCamey TX, singer (Paul & Paula-Hey Paula)
1942 Lynn Davies long jumper
1942 Simon Keswick British financier/merchant (Hong Kong)
1943 Deryck Murray cricket wicket-keeper (West Indian 1963-80)
1943 Ian Vallance CEO (British Telecom)
1943 Tison Street composer
1944 Boudouin de Groot Dutch singer (Good night mister president)
1944 Cipa Dichter Rio de Janeiro Brazil, pianist/wife of Misha Dichter
1944 David M Walker Columbus GA, Captain USN/astronaut (STS 51-A 30, 53, 69)
1944 Joe Cocker Sheffield England, rock vocalist (You are so Beautiful, Little Help From My Friends)
1944 Keith Fletcher cricket captain (Essex & England)
1945 Harold E Ford (Representative-D-TN, 1975- )
1945 Lord Hollick CEO (MAI)
1945 Nikolai Nikolayevich Fefelov Russian colonel/cosmonaut
1945 Wally Herger (Representative-R-CA)
1946 Bakhaavaa Buidaa Mongolia, wrestler (Olympics-silver-1972) disqualified
1946 Cher [Cherilyn Sarkisian LaPierre] El Centro CA, rocker/actress (I Got You Babe, Jack Lalane, Mask)
1946 Craig Patrick NHL coach
1947 Iain Vallance CEO (British Telecom)
1948 John Amiel director (Queen of Hearts, Tune in Tomorrow)
1948 John R McKernan Jr (Representative-R-ME, 1983-86/Governor-ME)
1948 Samuel Gejdenson (Representative-D-CT, 1981- )
1949 Dave Thomas St Catharines Ontario, comedian (SCTV, Grace Under Fire)
1949 Nick Joe Rahall II (Representative-D-WV, 1977- )
1951 Michael D Crapo (Representative-R-ID)
1951 Thomas D Akers St Louis MO, Major USAF/astronaut (STS 41, 49, 61, 79)
1951 William Cullen Bryant actor (Hell Squad)
1952 Warren Cann Victoria British Columbia, rock drummer (Ultravox)
1954 Galina Vasilyevna Amelkina Russia, doctor/cosmonaut
1954 James Henderson country singer (Black Oak Arkansas)
1955 Nigel Griffiths MP (Labour)
1955 Steve George rock keyboardist (Mr Mister)
1956 Andrew Hilditch cricketer (Australian opening bat 1979-85)
1956 Tomas Smid Czechoslovakia, tennis star
1958 Jane Wiedlin Oconomowoc WI, singer/guitarist (GoGos, Fur, Rush Hour)
1958 Mike Engleman Sonoma CA, cyclist (Olympics-96)
1958 Ronald Prescot Reagan Los Angeles CA, President's son/TV host (Ron Reagan Show)
1959 Bronson Pinchot New York NY, actor (Perfect Strangers, Beverly Hills Cop)
1959 Peter Greene Brooklyn NY, producer (After Midnight)
1960 Susan Cowsill Newport RI, rock vocalist (Cowsills-We Can Fly)
1960 Tony Goldwyn Los Angeles CA, actor (Ghost, Kuffs, Traces of Red)
1961 Clive Allen WLAF kicker (London Monarchs)
1961 Kit Clarke rocker (Danny Wilson-Mary's Prayer)
1961 Nick Heyward guitar/vocals (Haircut 100-Favourite Shirts)
1961 Sally Quinlan LPGA golfer
1961 Vaughn Jefferis Matangi New Zealand, equestrian 3 day event (Olympics-bronze-96)
1962 Lydia Cheng New York NY, Ms Big Apple bodybuilder (1982) (Pumping Iron 2)
1962 Sylvie Rauch Munich German Federal Republic, nude model/actress
1963 Brian Nash Glendale CA, actor (Joel-Please Don't Eat Daisies)
1963 David Wells Torrance CA, pitcher (Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees)
1963 Dipak Chudasama cricketer (Kenya opening batsman 1996 World Cup)
1964 Earl Charles Spencer Sandringham England, brother of Princess Diana
1964 Jeff Schwarz US baseball pitcher (California Angels, Chicago White Sox)
1964 Paul W Richards Scranton PA, astronaut
1964 Todd Peat WLAF guard (Frankfurt Galaxy)
1965 Bruno Marie-Rose French runner (world record 200 meter indoor)
1965 Fia Porter Mexia TX, actress (Audrey Ames-One Life to Live)
1965 Joe Cioe Cranston RI, Canadian Tour golfer (New Hampshire Open-1992, 93)
1965 Todd Stottlemyre Yakima WA, pitcher (St Louis Cardinals, Blue Jays)
1966 Lawyer Tillman NFL tight end (Green Bay Packers, Carolina Panthers)
1966 Liselotte Neumann Finspang Sweden, LPGA golfer (1988 US Women's Open)
1966 Mindy Cohn Los Angeles CA, actress (Facts of Life)
1966 Paolo Seganti actor (Damian-As the World Turns)
1967 Beate Reinstadler Stuttgart Germany, tennis star (1989 Futures Israel)
1968 Damon Mays NFL wide receiver (Pittsburgh Steelers)
1968 Phil Hansen NFL defensive end (Buffalo Bills)
1969 Alberto Mancini Argentina, tennis star
1969 Suzanne Lawrence Humble TX, Miss Texas-America (1991) (4th)
1970 Jason York Nepean, NHL defenseman (Anaheim Mighty Ducks)
1970 Missy Cress Burbank CA, female catcher (Colorado Silver Bullets)
1970 Niklas Andersson Kungalv Sweden, NHL forward (Team Sweden, New York Islanders)
1970 Terrell Brandon NBA guard (Cleveland Cavaliers, Milwaukee Bucks)
1971 Jonas Berqvist Angelhorn Sweden, hockey forward (Team Sweden, Olympics-98)
1971 Niklas Andersson Kungalv Sweden, NHL left wing (New York Islanders)
1971 Sandy Schreur Dutch soccer player (NEC)
1972 Michael Cox Hannibal MO, 1.5k runner
1974 Brandon Jessie tight end (New York Giants)
1977 Angela Goethals actress (VI Warshawski, Heartbreak Hotel)
1979 Tamika Thomas Miss Michigan Teen USA (1996)

Deaths which occurred on May 20:
1277 John XXI [Petrus Juliani/Hispanus] Port Pope (1276-77), dies
1444 Bernardinus van Siena Italian saint, dies at 63
1449 Peter Prince/regent of Portugal/writer (Virtuosa Benfeitoria), dies
1471 Henry VI king of England (1422-61, 70-71)/France (1431-71), dies
1506 Christopher Columbus explorer, dies in poverty in Spain at 55
1509 Catharina Sforza Italian duchess of Forli, dies at 45
1597 Matthijs Heldt dies in battle
1622 Osman II sultan of Turkey (1618-22), dies
1648 Wladyslaw IV Wasa King of Poland, dies
1650 Francesco Sacrati composer, dies at 44
1669 Joris van der Hagen landscape painter, dies
1751 Domingo Miguel Bernaube Terradellas composer, dies at 38
1782 Carlo Giovanni Testori composer, dies at 68
1782 Christoph Gottlieb Schroter composer, dies at 82
1795 Ignác Martinovics Hungarian physicist/revolutionary, beheaded
1834 Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert de Motier nobleman, dies
1834 Marquis de Lafayette French general, dies
1841 Joseph Blanco White theological writert, dies
1847 Mary Lamb writer, dies
1864 John Clare English poet (Little Trotty Wagtail), dies at 70
1875 Amalia wife of King Otto of Greece, dies at 58
1876 Harold grandson of English queen Victoria, dies at 8 days old
1876 Khristo Botev Bulgarian poet, dies
1880 Eugène prince the Ligne Belgian prince of Ambise, dies at 76
1883 William Chambers author/publisher, dies
1895 Ratu Agung-Agung Gdé Ngurah radja van Mataram, Lombok, dies
1896 Clara Josephine Wieck Schumann composer/pianist, dies at 76
1900 Gustav Heinrich Graben-Hoffman composer, dies at 80
1910 Jean-Baptiste Theodore Weckerlin composer, dies at 88
1911 E M Grace cricketer (one Test vs Australia 1880, 36 & 0), dies
1919 Jacob Verdam philosopher, dies
1923 Hans Goldschmidt German chemist, dies
1926 Dick Pougher cricketer (17 & 3-26 in only Test for England 1892), dies
1935 Ivans [Jacob van Schevichaven] lawyer/detective writer, dies at 68
1939 Joe Carr NFL hall of famer/NFL president (1921-39), dies at 59
1940 Amar Singh cricketer (of pneumonia Indian pace bowler 1932-36), dies
1940 Joris [Georges] van Severen Flem fascist/Member of parliament, dies
1956 André Eugene Maurice Charlot actor (Summer Storm), dies
1956 Max Beerbohm caricturist/writer (Yet Again), dies
1959 Alfred Schutz Austrian/US architect/philosopher, dies at 60
1968 Albert Hartkopf cricketer (one Test for Australia), dies
1968 Kees van Dongen Dutch/French painter, dies at 91
1969 Fred Sherman actor (Chain Lightning), dies after a stroke at 64
1969 Royal Beal actor (Death of a Salesman), dies of cancer, at 69
1972 Cornelis J van der Klauw Dutch biologist/zoologist, dies at 78
1972 Walter Winchell columnist/narrator (Untouchables), dies at 75
1975 Dame Barbara Hepworth English sculptor, dies in fire at 72
1975 Jacques Stehman composer, dies at 62
1980 Jack Walsh cricketer (at Wallsend)/commentator (NBN), dies
1984 Peter Bull British actor (Dr Doolittle), dies of a heart attack at 72
1985 George Memmoli actor (Earl-Hello Larry), dies at 46
1986 Bernard Naylor composer, dies at 78
1986 Willem Pée Belgian linguistic, dies at 83
1989 Anton Diffring actor (Zeppelin, Fahrenheit 451), dies at 70
1989 Gilda Radner comedienne (Saturday Night Live, Haunted Honeymoon), dies of ovarian cancer at 42
1989 John R Hicks English economist (Nobel 1972), dies
1991 Julian Orbon De Soto composer, dies at 65
1993 Max Klein inventor (paint by numbers), dies at 77
1994 Dallas Pratt collector, dies at 79
1994 Ronald Russell actor/manager (We Are Angels), dies at 83
1994 Vivien John artist, dies at 79
1996 Eric Davidson comedy scriptwriter, dies at 65
1996 George Malcolm Thomson journalist, dies at 96
1996 Jack Wyngaard dancer, dies at 37
1996 Janaki Ramachandran PM of Indian state of Tamil Nadu (1988), dies
1996 John Pertwee actor (Dr Who), dies at 76
1996 Julius Marmur biochemist/geneticist, dies at 70
1996 Lewis B Combs naval commander/civil engineer, dies at 101
1997 Virgilio Boat President of Colombia (1986-90), dies


(06/10/68 RELEASED)

POW / MIA Data & Bios supplied by
the P.O.W. NETWORK. Skidmore, MO. USA.

On this day...
0325 1st Christian ecumenical council opens at Nicæa, Asia Minor
0526 Earthquake kills 250,000 in Antioch, Syria
1293 Earthquake strikes Kamakura Japan, 30,000 killed
1303 Treaty of Paris restores Gascony to British in Hundred Years War
1310 Shoes were made for both right & left feet
1347 Rienzo calls Rome for people's tribunal
1495 French King Charles VIII leaves Naples
1498 Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama arrives at Calcutta India
1501 Joao da Nova Castell discovers Ascension Islands
1521 Ignatius Loyola seriously wounded by a cannon ball
1524 Duke of Albany leaves Scotland
1570 Egidius Coppens publishes Abraham Ortelius' "Theatrum Orbis Terrarum"
1571 Venice, Spain & Pope Pius form anti-Turkish Saint League
1591 Spanish troops in Zutphen surrenders to Willem Louis/Mauritius
1631 German army under earl Johann Tilly conquerors Maagdenburg
1639 Dorchester MA, forms 1st school funded by local taxes
1690 England passes Act of Grace, forgiving followers of James II
1704 Elias Neau forms school for slaves in New York
1734 1st Jockey Club forms in South Carolina
1774 Britain gives Québec, Labrador & territory north of the Ohio
1775 Citizens of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina declare independence of Britain
1784 England & Netherlands signs peace treaty (Peace of Paris)
1825 Charles X becomes King of France
1830 1st railroad timetable published in newspaper (Baltimore American)
1845 1st legislative assembly convenes in Hawaii
1861 Cornerstone of University of Washington laid in Seattle
1861 Kentucky proclaims its neutrality in Civil War
1861 North Carolina becomes 11th & last state to secede from Union
1862 Homestead Act provides cheap land for settlement of the West
1864 Battle at Ware Bottom Church VA, 1,400 killed or injured
1864 Spotsylvania-campaign ends after 10,920 killed/injured person
1867 British parliament rejects John Stuart Mills law on women suffrage
1867 Royal Albert Hall foundation laid by Queen Victoria
1868 Republican National Convention, meets in Chicago, nominates Grant
1870 Second Chamber abolishes capital punishment
1874 Levi Strauss markets blue jeans with copper rivets, price $13.50 doz
1875 International Bureau of Weights & Measures established by treaty
1879 5th Kentucky Derby: Charlie Shauer aboard Lord Murphy wins in 2:37
1882 Henrik Ibsen's "Ghosts" (Gengangere) premieres in Chicago
1882 St Gotthard-railroad tunnel between Switzerland & Italy opens
1892 George Sampson patents clothes dryer
1892 Triple Alliance between Germany, Italy & Austria-Hungary forms
1895 1st commercial movie performance (153 Broadway, NYC)
1900 2nd modern Olympic games opens in Paris France (lasted 5 months)
1902 US military occupation of Cuba (since Jan 1, 1899) ends
1910 Funeral for Britain's King Edward VII
1911 Edwin Boaler Alletson hits 189 in 90 minutes Notts vs Sussex
1913 38th Preakness: James Butwell aboard Buskin wins in 1:53.4
1915 Bataafsche Petroleum begins oil extraction of Maracaibo
1916 Codell KS hit by tornado (also on same date in 1917 & 1918)
1916 Saturday Evening Post cover features Norman Rockwell painting
1917 Turkish Government authorizes Jews to return to Tel Aviv & Jaffa
1918 1st electrically propelled warship (the New Mexico)
1919 Volcano Keluit on Java, erupts killing 550
1920 Policemen raid the Cubs' bleachers & arrest 24 fans for gambling
1922 "Egypt" sinks off Ushant after colliding with "Seine" killing 90
1922 Babe Ruth & Bob Meusel, suspended on October 16, 1921, by Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis, return to the New York lineup & go hitless
1923 Stanley Baldwin, becomes PM of UK
1926 Belgian Government of Jaspar takes power
1926 Congress passes Air Commerce Act, licensing of pilots & planes
1926 Railway Labor Act became law
1926 Thomas Edison says Americans prefer silent movies over talkies
1927 At 7:40 AM, Lindbergh takes off from New York to cross Atlantic for Paris
1927 Saudi Arabia becomes independent of Great Britain (Treaty of Jedda)
1930 1st airplane catapulted from a dirigible, Charles Nicholson, pilot
1930 University of California dedicates $1,500 to research on prevention & cure of athlete's foot
1932 Amelia Earhart leaves Newfoundland 1st woman fly solo across Atlantic
1932 Engelbert Dollfuss becomes chancellor of Austria
1939 "3 Little Fishies" by Kay Kyser hits #1
1939 Pan Am begins regular transatlantic airmail and passenger service across the North Atlantic
1940 General Guderians tanks reach The Channel (British expeditionary army)
1940 Igor Sikorsky unveils his helicopter invention
1940 Soccer team HZVV forms in Hoogeveen
1940 Trailing 7-1 in the 9th to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia wins 8-7
1941 Archer's "The Christian Calendar & the Gregorian Reform" published
1941 Former Dutch PM Colijn says Netherlands Indies not ready for independence
1941 Germany invades Crete
1941 White Sox Taft Wright sets American League record of RBIs in 13 consecutive games
1942 US Navy 1st permitted black recruits to serve
1943 French, British & US victory parade in Tunis Tunisia
1944 US Communist Party dissolves
1945 Keith Miller scores 105 in the 1st Victory Test Cricket at Lord's
1946 Cubs Claude Passeau makes his 1st error since September 21, 1941, ending pitcher's fielding record of 273 consecutive errorless chances
1948 1st use of Israeli Air Force & 1st war victory, defeating Syrian army
1948 Cleveland Indians tie American League record of 18 walks (beat Red Sox 13-4)
1950 76th Preakness: Eddie Arcaro aboard Hill Prince wins in 1:59.2
1954 Chiang Kai-shek becomes president of Nationalist China
1955 Argentine parliament accepts separation of church & state
1956 Atomic fusion (thermonuclear) bomb dropped from plane-Bikini Atoll
1956 Jordan government of Samir resigns
1958 US performs nuclear test at Enwetak (atmospheric tests)
1959 Ford wins battle with Chrysler to call its new car "Falcon"
1959 Japanese-Americans regain their citizenship
1959 Shah of Persia visits Netherlands
1959 Yankees sink to last place, 1st time since May 25, 1940
1960 Baseball game in Milwaukee postponed due to dense fog
1961 87th Preakness: Johnny Sellers aboard Carry Back wins in 1:57.6
1961 Henzes opera "Elegy for Young Lovers" premieres in Schwetzingen
1961 Mauritania adopts constitution
1961 White mob attacks "Freedom Riders" in Montgomery AL
1962 Patty Berg wins LPGA Muskogee Civitan Golf Open
1963 Sukarno appointed President of Indonesia
1964 Buster Mathis defeats Joe Frazier to qualify for US Olympic team
1965 Pakistani Boeing 720-B crashes at Cairo Egypt, killing 121
1965 Yorkshire all out for 23 vs Hampshire at Middlesbrough
1967 10,000 demonstrate against war in Vietnam
1967 93rd Preakness: Bill Shoemaker aboard Damascus wins in 1:55.2
1967 BBC bans Beatle's "A Day in the Life" (drug references)
1969 US troop capture Hill 937/Hamburger Hill Vietnam
1970 100,000 march in New York supporting US policies in Vietnam
1970 2 die in a NYC subway accident
1970 The Beatles' "Let it Be" movie premieres in UK
1971 Pentagon reports blacks constitute 11% of US soldiers in SE Asia
1972 "Different Times" closes at ANTA Theater NYC after 24 performances
1972 "Hard Job Being God" closes at Edison Theater NYC after 6 performances
1972 5th ABA Championship: Indiana Pacers beat New York Nets, 4 games to 2
1972 98th Preakness: Eldon Nelson aboard Bee Bee Bee wins in 1:55.6
1972 Republic of Cameroon declared as constitution is ratified
1973 "2 Gentlemen of Verona" closes at St James Theater NYC after 613 performances
1973 25th Emmy Awards: Waltons, All in the Family & Mary Tyler Moore win
1973 Donna Caponi Young wins LPGA Bluegrass Golf Invitational
1974 Soyuz 14 returns to Earth
1976 USSR performs nuclear test at Sary Shagan USSR
1977 "Beatlemania" opens on Broadway
1978 104th Preakness: Steve Cauthen aboard Affirmed wins in 1:54.4
1978 3 PFLP members kill a cop near El Al airlines in Orly Airport, Paris France
1978 US launches Pioneer Venus 1; produces 1st global radar map of Venus
1979 "I Love My Wife" closes at Barrymore Theater NYC after 864 performances
1979 Nancy Lopez wins LPGA Coca-Cola Golf Classic
1980 710 families in Love Canal area (Niagara Falls NY) are evacuated
1980 Drummer Peter Criss quits Kiss
1980 Fire in nursing home in Kingston Jamaica, kills 157
1980 In a referendum, 59.5% of Québec voters reject separatism
1981 Ipswich Town wins 10th UEFA Cup at Amsterdam
1983 Larry Holmes beats Tim Witherspoon in 12 for heavyweight boxing title
1983 Michael Dokes & Mike Weaver fight to a draw in 15 for heavyweight boxing title
1983 Phillies Steve Carlton passes W Johnson with 2nd most strike outs
1984 "On Your Toes" closes at Virginia Theater NYC after 505 performances
1984 Barb Bunkowsky wins LPGA Chrysler-Plymouth Charity Golf Classic
1984 Boston's Roger Clemens beats Twins, 5-4, for his 1st victory
1985 Dow Jones industrial average closes above 1300 for 1st time
1985 FBI arrests John A Walker Jr, convicted of spying for USSR
1985 Indians-Brewers game at Cleveland Stadium is 1st rain-out of 1985, ends record string of 458 ML games since Opening Day without a rain-out
1985 Israel exchanges 1150 Lebanese/Palestinian prisoners for 3 Israeli soldiers
1985 Larry Holmes beats Carl Williams in 15 for heavyweight boxing title
1985 US began broadcasts to Cuba on Radio Marti
1986 Christy Fichtner, 23, (Texas), crowned 35th Miss USA
1986 Flintstones 25th Anniversary Celebration airs on CBS-tv
1987 Götenborg wins 16th UEFA Cup at Dundee
1987 Wrestler Jerry Lawler sues WWF & Harley Race for trademark name "king"
1988 Howard Stern fans disrupt WMMR's & John DeBella's "Louie Louie" parade
1988 Mike Schmidt hits his 535th homerun, moving into 8th place
1989 115th Preakness: Pat Valenzuela aboard Sunday Silence wins in 1:53.8
1989 China declares martial law in Beijing
1989 Toonces The Cat takes the wheel on Saturday Night Live
1989 Walter McConnel, 57, is oldest to reach 27,000' Mount Everest top
1990 "Truly Blessed" closes at Longacre Theater NYC after 33 performances
1990 Cindy Rarick wins LPGA Planters Pat Bradley Golf International
1990 Hubble Space Telescope sends 1st photographs from space
1991 Chicago Bull Michael Jordan, named NBA's MVP
1991 Jeff Reardon gains his 300th career save
1991 Soviet parliament approves law allowing citizens to travel abroad
1992 FC Barcelona wins 373 Europe Cup 1 at London
1992 India launches its 1st satellite independently
1992 Rap singer raps 597 syllables in 55.12 seconds
1993 10 meter meteor comes within 150,000 km of Earth (1993KA)
1993 274th & final "Cheers" on NBC
1993 Ukraine Premier Leonid Koetsjma resigns
1994 Bobcat Goldthwait charged with misdemeanors for fire on Tonight Show
1994 Sony Theaters & Cineplex (NYC) hike movie ticket prices to $8.00
1995 121st Preakness: Pat Day aboard Timber Coutry wins in 1:54.4
1995 CBS News fires co-anchor Connie Chung
1995 Twins Marty Cordova ties rookie record of homeruns in 5 consecutive games
1997 Cosmos Zenit-2 Launch (Russia), Failed
1997 Thor-2A Delta 2 Launch (Norway/USA), Successful
1997 White Sox Frank Thomas reaches base safely for 15th straight time

Note: Some Holidays are only applicable on a given "day of the week"

Bulgaria : Botev Day
Cambodia : Martyrs Day (1979)
Cameroon : Constitution Day (1972)
Cuba-1902, Saudi Arabia-1927 : Independence Day
Massachusetts : Lafayette Day (1834-anniversary of his death)
North Carolina : Mecklenburg Day (1775)
Zaïre : Revolution Day
Canada : Victoria Day (1819) - - - - - ( Monday )
US : Armed Forces Day - - - - - ( Saturday )

Religious Observances
Anglican : Commemoration of Alcuin, deacon & abbot of Tours
Roman Catholic : Memorial of St Bernardine of Siena, priest (optional)

Religious History
1530 German reformer Martin Luther wrote in a letter: 'God's friendship is a bigger comfort than that of the whole world.'
1690 Death of John Eliot, 86, colonial missionary to the American Indians of Maryland. Eliot arrived in America from England in 1631; by 1663 he had translated the entire Bible into the Algonquin Indian language.
1754 Columbia University in New York City was chartered as King's College, under sponsorship of the Episcopal Church. The institution adopted its present name in 1896.
1878 William R. Featherstone died at the age of 32. A Canadian Methodist who spent his life in Montreal, it was Featherstone who authored the hymn, "My Jesus, I Love Thee."
1937 Following a lifelong call to establish a worldwide evangelistic ministry to children, missions pioneer Jesse Overholtzer, 59, founded Child Evangelism Fellowship, in Chicago.

Thought for the day :
"Where facts are few, experts are many."
12 posted on 05/20/2003 6:05:15 AM PDT by Valin (Age and deceit beat youth and skill)
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To: SAMWolf
13 posted on 05/20/2003 6:06:00 AM PDT by E.G.C.
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To: bbshackleforth
OK. Will Do Thank you.
14 posted on 05/20/2003 6:25:10 AM PDT by SAMWolf ((A)bort (R)etry (T)ell your boss it was a virus....)
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To: Valin
1941 Germany invades Crete

Now there's an interesting battle.

15 posted on 05/20/2003 6:35:23 AM PDT by SAMWolf ((A)bort (R)etry (A)sk 12 Year Old?)
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To: SAMWolf; snippy_about_it
Something to think about?

Nietzsche said, "Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies."
16 posted on 05/20/2003 6:41:16 AM PDT by Soaring Feather
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To: bentfeather
It's too early in the morning for Nietzsche.

How about some Pogo?

"We have met the enemy and he is us"
17 posted on 05/20/2003 6:56:52 AM PDT by SAMWolf ((A)bort (R)etry (A)sk 12 Year Old?)
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To: *all

Air Power
Lockheed P-3 "Orion"

In February 1959, the Navy awarded Lockheed a contract to develop a replacement for the aging P2V Neptune. The P3V Orion, derived from Lockheed's successful L188 Electra airliner, entered the inventory in July 1962, and more than 30 years later it remains the Navy's sole land-based antisubmarine warfare aircraft. It has gone through one designation change (P3V to P-3) and three major models: P-3A, P-3B, and P-3C, the latter being the only one now in active service. The last Navy P-3 came off the production line at the Lockheed plant in April 1990.

The P-3C is a land-based, long-range, anti-submarine warfare (ASW) patrol aircraft. It has advanced submarine detection sensors such as directional frequency and ranging (DIFAR) sonobuoys and magnetic anomaly detection (MAD) equipment. The avionics system is integrated by a general purpose digital computer that supports all of the tactical displays, monitors and automatically launches ordnance and provides flight information to the pilots. In addition, the system coordinates navigation information and accepts sensor data inputs for tactical display and storage. The P-3C can carry a mixed payload of weapons internally and on wing pylons.

The P-3 remains the US Navy's sole land-based antisubmarine warfare aircraft

Primary Function: Patrol (Antisubmarine warfare)
Contractor: Lockheed
Crew: 5 minimum, 21 maximum, 11 normal
Unit Cost: $36 million
Powerplant: Four Allison T-56-A-14 turboprop engines (4,900 shaft horsepower each)

Length: 116 feet 7 inches (35.57 meters)
Wingspan: 99 feet 6 inches (30.36 meters)
Height: 33 feet 7 inches (10.27 meters)
Maximum Takeoff weight: 139,760 pounds (63,394.1 kg)

Speed: 466 mph (411 knots, 745 kmph)
Ceiling: 28,300 feet (8,625.84 meters)
Range: 2,738.9 miles (2,380 nautical miles)
Armaments: 20,000 pounds (9 metric tons) of ordnance including:
Harpoon (AGM-84D) cruise missile,
SLAM (AGM-84E) missiles,
Maverick (AGM 65) air-to-ground missiles,
MK-46/50 torpedoes,
rockets, mines, depth bombs, and other special weapons

All photos Copyright of Global Security.Org
and Copyright of Global Aircraft.Org

18 posted on 05/20/2003 7:05:52 AM PDT by Johnny Gage (Support BACTERIA - It's the only culture some people have!)
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To: Johnny Gage; Long Cut

Hey, LC, look what JohnnyGage brought to us this morning!

19 posted on 05/20/2003 7:15:18 AM PDT by HiJinx (The right person, in the right place, at the right time...)
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To: Johnny Gage
Thanks Johnny. Good plane to fit the theme of the Thread.

HAd a great time watching he P-3's working out of Whidbey Island last year. Love the souind of theose propjobs
20 posted on 05/20/2003 7:17:43 AM PDT by SAMWolf ((A)bort (R)etry (A)sk 12 Year Old?)
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