“To my fellow soldiers in the Philippines and America:” Manila, January 1942

In January 1942, fighting between the invading Japanese and the America/Philippine Army was raging. Because of the decision made in 1922 by America to limit their growth of military infrastructure in the Pacific, the Allied forces were playing a game of catch up when the Japanese launched their surprise attacks. In 1921-22, the United States […]

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The Loss of the SS-233 USS Herring

With Pearl Harbor fresh in the minds of the American public, any good news was welcomed by the American people. In January 1942, the news was not encouraging. The Japanese war machine was continuing its relentless march down the Malay Peninsula, Manila had fallen, and Bataan was being threatened, and newspaper reports of catastrophe after […]

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Losing the World’s Largest Submarine – The Unsolved Mystery of the Surcouf (1942)

Losing the World’s Largest Submarine – The Unsolved Mystery of the Surcouf The Washington Times had a picture of an odd-looking French submarine on page A-3 of the January 20, 1942 edition. The caption read: Free French Operate World’s Largest Sub. I had previously written a story about a French submarine that escaped Germany’s clutches […]

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Holiday Routine – U.S.S. Vestal Daily Employment Schedule for Sunday, 7 December 1941

Holiday Routine – U.S.S. Vestal Daily Employment Schedule for Sunday, 7 December 1941 The document I discovered during my research on Cassin Young was yellowed and tattered with age. Some sailor had the presence of mind to keep a copy of it in his personal possession as a reminder of the day that would live […]

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Christmas in Manila – 1945

Merry Christmas. Simple words of greeting that have been shared all over the world in so many languages. But often the greeting is sent from far away from home. In December 1945, my Dad was working as part of the post war draw down in Manila. He had entered the war on March 8th, 1945 […]

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