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Subject: Re: pics from CVE-77 website
Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2001 17:35:18 EST


I passed on your letter to my dad. When I told him about the web site and the pics I discovered I made his day. I'm sure he would love to call one of you fellas or have one of you call him.

Subject: Elmer Oberlies
Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2001 22:12:42 EST


Just noticed the picture of Lt. (jg) Elmer Oberlies lists him in the V3 division.  He was our catapult officer, and we were in V1 division.  Just wondering if this is an error.
Charlie Dare  (

Subject: pics
Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2001 22:09:00 EST


Good Evening,
Saw you web site. Attached are a couple of the pics I found on your web site.  My dad who is very much alive and loved is one of those sailors you don't remember. I know because he has one of these pics in his living room. His name is Lee Klarer. In the beach pic, he is the second sailor standing from the left. And in the ship photo I believe he is the ninth from the left on the bottom. I'm sure he would love to hear from you, His Email adress is

Subject: Re: pics from CVE-77 website
Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2001 17:35:18 EST


I passed on your letter to my dad. When I told him about the web site and the  pics I discovered It made his day. I'm sure he would love to call one of you  fellas or have one of you call him.

Subject: Information

Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2001 22:40:19 -0700

From: "Leonard T Scott" <>

I have almost all the Galloping Ghost News Papers from the time I was on the Marcus untill I got off in Boston, I just thought you might be interested in these, Let me know if you would like a copy of them ???

Thanks for the Great web page you have on the computer..


Subject: Fw: Interesting Facts of WW-II
Date: Sat, 8 Dec 2001 08:16:50 -0800

From: "Leonard T scott" <>

 1. The first German serviceman killed in WW II was killed by the Japanese (China, 1937), the first American serviceman killed was killed  by the Russians (Finland 1940), the highest ranking American killed was Lt.Gen. Lesley McNair, killed by the US Army Air Corps. . . . So much for allies.

 2. The youngest US serviceman was 12 year old Calvin Graham, USN. He was wounded and given a Dishonorable Discharge for lying about his age. (His benefits were later restored by act of Congress)

 4. More US servicemen died in the Air Corps than the Marine Corps. While completing the required 30 missions your chance of being killed was 71%.

 5. Generally speaking there was no such thing as an average fighter pilot. You were either an ace or a target. For instance Japanese ace Hiroyoshi Nishizawa shot down over 80 planes. He died while a passenger on a cargo plane.

 6. It was a common practice on fighter planes to load every 5th round with a tracer round to aid in aiming. This was a mistake. Tracers had different ballistics so (at long range) if your tracers were hitting the target 80% of your rounds were missing. Worse yet tracers instantly told your enemy he was under fire and from which direction. Worst of all was the practice of loading a string of tracers at the end of the belt to tell you that you were out of ammo. This was definitely not something you wanted to tell the enemy. Units that stopped using tracers saw their success rate nearly double and their loss rate go down.

 7. When allied armies reached the Rhine the first thing men did was pee in it. This was pretty universal from the lowest private to Winston Churchill (who made a big show of it) and Gen. Patton (who had himself photographed in the act).

 8. German Me-264 bombers were capable of bombing New York City but it wasn't worth the effort.

 10. Among the first "Germans" captured at Normandy were several Koreans. They had been forced to fight for the Japanese Army until they were captured by the Russians and forced to fight for the Russian Army until they were captured by the Germans and forced to fight for the German Army until they were captured by the US Army.

 11. Following a massive naval bombardment 35,000 US and Canadian troops stormed ashore at Kiska, in the Aleutian Islands. 21 troops were killed in the firefight. It would have been worse if  there had been any Japanese on the island. 

Subject: Ben C. Jordan
Date: Wed, 05 Dec 2001 14:33:18 -0600

From: Jim Jordan <> 

I would like to take this time to give my heartful thanks to those who have made me feel great. I have gotten information on my father I never thought I would. I appreciate it. HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS. ANCHORS!

Jim Jordan

Subject: change of address
Date: Wed, 05 Dec 2001 20:51:30 -0500

From: George Willer <>

I'm George ( Jack ) Willer. My email address has changed to:

Thanks for your work on the website. 


Subject: Dewey Carter Janes  aviation machinist
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2001 23:01:48 -0800

From: "Jerry Janes" <>

Sir,  I have just discovered your information site and think you're doing agreat job.  I am the #1 son of the above (now deceased some years ago) and  find in family records that our dad was aboard  during battle for Leyte Gulf and would ask if you have any information I could pass on to rest of family. Thanks.
Jerry Carter Janes

US Army RA 18205685

SP2 - discharged July 1957

Subject: Ben C. Jordan
Date: Fri, 09 Nov 2001 09:01:59 -0600

From: Jim Jordan <>


He was my father. He and my mother divorced when I was 2. I only met him about 5 times for short periods. He was on the "Galloping Ghost." I have pictures of him As PH1 doing an emergency Apendectamy on a sailor during a mission. If at all possible I would appreciate any information you could supply me with about my Father.

Jim Jordan RM3 USN (Vietnam)

Subject: Previous article
Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2001 01:13:12 EDT


Hi again Brian, I need a favor...I'm sending you a revised copy of, "THE WEATHER AND A BIT OF HISTORY." I'd appreciate it if you'd delete my original  
and replace it with the attached article. Sam sent me documentation showing that MacArthur was in fact on the Cruiser,Nashville, at Leyte, and not on a Freighter as I had heard. So, in the interest of truth, it would be appropriate to replace the article. Hopefully you haven't gone to press yet and it will all work out. I know that changes like this don't make your job any easier. 
My sincere apology and thanks, Hardy Pratt 



It was October 1944. We had cut our teeth on the battles to take the Palau Islands. Now we were to join a Task Force that was destined for bigger things. Leyte, eighth largest of the Philippines Islands, was of major importance in the long string of events that ultimately lead to the defeat of the Japanese. It was the beginning of our effort to take back the Philippines. There was a lot riding on this operation. It was one stepping-stone closer to Japan. Though we weren't aware of it at the time, it was to be the staging area for a naval battle that was to virtually wipe out the remnants of the Japanese Navy; and we were there. 

We were getting in position for the attack on Leyte Gulf. However, Mother Nature stepped in with plans of Her own; she dumped a heavy storm down on the convoy. It was to delay us about 3 days, as I recall. 


The top brass was concerned that the delay would make us vulnerable to discovery by the enemy. We laid some 50 miles off the coasts of Samar and Leyte biding out time. It was worrisome. We were a sizable convoy with Battleships, Cruisers, three Escort Carrier Groups, Destroyers, Freighters, Tankers and Troopships etc. As I recall, General McArthur was on one of the Freighters, awaiting his promised return. Unbeknown to us was the fact that the storm also raised havoc with the Japanese forces on Leyte. It forced them away from the beaches and made them take to the higher ground of the foothills. Ironically the Army and Marines had an easier time establishing a beachhead than was anticipated. This in no way is meant to imply that their task was a simple one, far from it! This remembrance is submitted only to show how a quirk of nature can change the events of history.


That is, at first analysis, the storm had seemed to doom an otherwise well planned operation. In the long run, it provided a big assist to the plan.

With the success of Leyte, U.S. forces were able to move on and take back the Islands of Mindoro and Luzon. That would be a while off yet. Ultimately, with the Philippines back in U.S. possession, there would be two more Islands to conquer, Iwo Jima and Okinawa, before attacking the final target, Japan.


We were out in the middle of nowhere when we heard the ship's engines come to a stop. Before we could ponder the situation, we got an announcement over the speakers telling us, "Swim Party," or words to that effect. Apparently, Captain Greber had decided that the crew needed a little R&R. Though we weren't in a war zone, it was a spooky feeling to be like sitting ducks, dead in the water. Thoughts of enemy subs crept into our thoughts. Apprehension turned to delight when we saw two motor whaleboats towing cargo nets out about 30 yards. The near ends were fastened to the ship and the two far end-corners were held taught by the whaleboats. The nets dangling, down about 10 feet gave us a fairly safe swimming area. Shark guards, with machine guns, were posted on the two sponsons.


Most of us donned our highly fashionable, Navy issue, black woolen swim trunks.


I recall feeling long as it was other guys playing in the shark's back yard. I did finally summon up the courage to take the plunge. What a great feeling and what a great memory...thanks to Capt. Greber. 


We were in the Solomon Islands, somewhere north of Guadacanal. About three or four of us from the V3 division decided to take a swim. We found that a coconut stuffed into the front of our swim trunks served as good floatation devices. We were, about 75 yards out from the beach and feeling pretty good. Well, that was until we heard a 2nd class Bos'n mate screaming and waiving frantically for us to get to shore.


We unloaded our coconuts and made for the beach like Olympic swimmers. A screaming Bos'n mate has that affect on you.


We presumed there was an emergency and that we were needed back aboard ship immediately. Those thoughts were short lived. Still yelling, he gave us holy-hell. "Didn't we know that these were shark infested waters?"-"What, in the world, do you think you are doing?" Well, I've modified his words just a bit.


It's times like that, that support the theory that there are indeed Guardian Angels watching over us men. Yeah, that's what he called us all right, men. Yeah, uh-huh. 


The war was over and we were in Pearl for the last time. We were unloading Ordinance, amongst other things, before heading stateside.


It was a time when the main talk was about how many points you had and when you were going to get out of the Service...or to possibly reenlist. War was the last thing on our minds.Then one morning at around the crack of dawn, we were awakened by the bugler blaring General Quarters over the Ship's speakers. Maybe the war was over, but that is a sound one doesn't easily forget.We heard the Bos'n pipe and a commanding voice, "All hands, report to your battle stations, all hands, report to your battle stations." This was the real thing!

I was in a top bunk and it seemed that I was in my dungarees and shoes as I hit the deck. We scrambled off to our battle stations, the adrenaline flowing and minds churning. We wondered what the hell was going on! Is this another Pearl Harbor? If so, how could it be? It wasn't a time to think. It was a time to get where we were going.When we got to our stations we were told, "There is big oil-slick fire approaching us and we were needed on the flight deck to lend a hand.... now!" 

The ship was tied to an L-shaped dock. We had a Carrier docked in front of us. The base, or short end of the L-shaped dock, was about 25 yards from our stern. There was no way out!Bombs and depth charges were stacked, like banana squash, on the flight deck and fantail. At least 50 guys were there ahead of us and throwing everything overboard at a frantic pace.


My first thought was, "This is madness, what if those things explode?" I hadn't thought that the bombs and depth charges weren't armed. It was a scary sight...complete havoc!


The fire was closing in and so were about four fireboats. The fire was getting very close to us now and was approaching the dock off our stern. It looked like the dock was going to be destroyed. 


Those fireboats were fantastic to watch. With their deck-mounted water guns blasting, they drove the fire past us and right under and through the dock and out into the open bay beyond. They kept it contained in a circle (which was about 50 yards in diameter) till it burned itself out.


It was a lousy way to be awakened, but what we witnessed was a first class disaster in the making. It was avoided only because of the fireboats that were manned by sailors that knew their job and did it well. 

Subject:  Some Memories
Date:  Tue, 21 Aug 2001 11:37:22 EDT

From:  Hardy D. Pratt <>

Good morning Brian, as I agreed to do, attached are some memory 
contributions. I hope you find them appropriate. 

                                   Yours in friendship, Hardy 

Brian, when I was added to the roster, you asked if I'd contribute some
articles or memories. Well actually, you did a bit of friendly arm twisting.

Heh-heh-heh.  I said that I would, in time. So, here's a start.

 First, it's amazing that MIRA exists...that there is actually a place to

connect with old shipmates and the memories that go with them. I don't want

to throw unwarranted bouquets, but you and Sam have done one heck of a job

and are providing a real nice service. With the Internet, the MIRA website

will last indefinitely and could contribute to a part of history. Future

generations will be able to view sites like this and verify that a relative

did in fact serve in WWII, or any war, and get a first hand look at what it

was all about at that time and from the viewpoint of those involved. No

small thing, that.

I'm a bit reticent to reveal my thoughts because they represent my

perspective of any given incident or situation and too, I'm not sure what 55

to 57 years has done to my recall. 

 I do have some memories to share and they sort of fall into two categories:

1.Non combat situations and relationships. 2. Comments about some of the

combat situations that weren't given media attention at the time; kind of an

insider's perspective.

I'll let you be the judge as to whether you wish to print them.

Image from the USS RAINIER (AE-5) web site.

On November 3, 1944, we had returned to Manus Island and Seeadler harbor

following the Leyte Gulf action.

On 10 November, two of us were taking a  smoke break from CIC. We were on

the starboard catwalk, just forward of the Island. 

I was leaning on the railing and staring out at nothing in particular. Then

there was a tremendous explosion and cloud of smoke. It was about two miles

(guesstimate) from us. We were to learn that it was the ammunition ship, Mt.

Hood. We were told that there were eight survivors...all on a mail party on


It was really something to witness. Simultaneously, with the explosion, we

saw a motor whaleboat get turned a full 90 degrees from its course. 

The explosion sent debris and 4' X 8' steel plates perhaps 2000 feet in the

air. The stuff fluttered down like they were mere matchbox pieces. The cloud

that it produced was similar to we what were to later recognize as the

signature "mushroom cloud" identified with the atom bomb.

We knew that other ships, anchored near her had to have been seriously

damaged and perhaps even some Island facilities as well. We wondered where

all the debris would land and what damage it would cause.

To my knowledge, it was never discovered what caused the explosion, but

there was no inference as to enemy involvement.

I often wonder who was with me at that time? Perhaps Robert Rainville, I'm

not sure. I do know that there are many others who saw the happening and,

like me, will remember it well. It represented a great loss of human life. 

It makes you wonder what type of person crews on an ammunition ship? They

surely possess a brand of courage that I lack. If I were serving on board an

ammunition ship, I'd have the perpetual "Don Knots" shakes. 

Our daughter, Cori,  found a couple of websites, for those who have access

to Internet. They are:

*  This one

shows some fairly good shots of the incident.

* This gives some

varied eyewitness accounts and provides the results of the Official


I'd guess it was late September or early October of 1945. We left Hudson

Bay, Okinawa, to head to Manila. They had been hit hard by a storm and had

their power knocked out. We were to supply them with electricity from one of

our generators. We never made it. 

We got caught in a typhoon; an experience I will never forget. It seemed

like all the wrath in the world was being thrown at us. For those who have

never experienced a typhoon at sea, there are just no words adequate to

describe it.

Maturity wise, a lot of us could be classified somewhere between adult kids

and young men. It was a serious business we were involved in but the kid in

us had the adrenaline flowing with the excitement. It was awesome and

frightening. Had I not been there, I would classify it as unbelievable. 

I still wonder: Just how high were those swells and waves? Was it my

imagination or did they seem to make us feel like our Carrier was being

tossed around like a cork?

I think that we were told that our ship could handle a maximum of a 32(

list. There was a gauge just above the DRT (Dead Reckoning Tracer) Table. It

recorded a 37( list! Why we didn't capsize or flip over is anyone's guess.

There were about 105 naught winds and the swells towered over us. That

combination apparently worked in our favor and kept us upright.

There were welders on the catwalks, mid-ship, where the U expansion joints

were. The expansion joints were splitting down about 12 to 18 inches. The

welders were welding metal plates over the joints in an effort to hold them

together. We'd crest over another wave and the plates came clanging back

down on the catwalk. They stuck to it and re-welded them many times. It was

a sight to behold. Someone jokingly asked, "Which end of the ship do you

want to be on when she splits in half." The remark got a few nervous laughs.

I heard that you could see 100 feet of daylight, back from the bow, as we

crested another swell. And I guess we all remember the shuddering of the

ship after she had plunged into a wave and then struggled to get herself

back on even keel.

We survived the ordeal and lived to tell about it, but we weren't sure

whether of not that would be the outcome at the time. :)

Thanks Hardy, I'm certain that your stories will be welcomed by all. - Brian

Subject: Shipmate, Curtis Tolley

Date: Mon, 06 Aug 2001 16:34:49 -0400


Tom and Ron,

One of the "Blackgang" from the Marcus Island passed away on Saturday, August 4, 2001.   A friend of mine, Dom Pendola from the Kadashan Bay, and I attend the visitation for Curtis O. Tolley on Sunday afternoon.
Here is a partial obit from the Charleston Gazette on Sunday, Aug. 5th.

Curtis O. Tolley, 78, of Quick, WV, went home to be with God, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2001, at Thomas Memorial Hospital in South Charleston. 
He was retired from maintenance at Charleston Area Medical Center.  He was a retired chief petty officer with the Navy for 22 years of service. He was a World War II and Korean War veteran. He is survived by his wife, Lucille Reed Tolley, etc. The funeral is being held as I write this e-mail to you. 

What the obit does not say is that Curtis served aboard the USS Marcus Island from the day it was comissioned until it was de-comissioned.  He then served on the Big Mo during the Korean Conflict.  He had also served on another ship before coming aboard the Marcus Island. Curtis was never physically able to attend any of our reunions but he would love to have been a part of it.  I always tried to fill him in when I returned.  I also was able to present him with the Philppine Liberation Medal which we all received in St. Louis.  He was deeply moved by that action.  We have lost another good sailor from the Marcus Island. 
I will be remembering all of the the good friends from the ship when you meet for a special reunion in San Antonio in September.  I would love to be there, especially for the dedication of the memorial plaques at the Nimitz Memorial.  I know that will be very special.  I want to add my special thanks for those responsible for adding the recognition of the squadrons who served aboard. 

I will represent our ship and VC-21 at the ECSAA reunion in Washington, DC August 25 -29, 2001.  I will be combining this reunion with a visit with my sister-in-law, Ruth Loudermilk, who lives in Falls Church, VA. Kay will visit with Ruth while I attend the reunion. 

I have been in touch with some of VC-21 men and the report of health is not good.  Al Austin is in a wheelchair and attached to ogygen.  Charles "Brad" Bradford is in a wheelchair and attached to oxygen.  Willy Balk does not go beyond where he can drive.  He and Betty just cannot do the walking anymore.  Nick Charles is okey but stays very close to Cindy because of her sight degeneration. At 80, I am still doing very well but Kay cannot walk any distance. 
I think I gave you Bob and Bobbie Clarkes' address.  If not, here it is.

----------, Midland, TX ---.  I do not have a new phone number yet but their e-mail address stays the same.  They do not travel except on short trips to visit family. 

Ron, thanks for the story in the Galloping Ghost.  I appreciate the thoughtfulness.

Have a great reunion. 

Don L

Subject: Re: MIRA Roster
Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2001 17:17:37 EDT

From: eyeque1@aol. com (Hardy Pratt)

Hi, my name is Harden D. Pratt (Hardy). I don't know if I'm contacting the  right person or not. I'm trying to get added to the MIRA Roster. I was on the  ship from may of '44 to March of '46. I was a Radarman 3/C in CIC. Tom Sahm  referred me to this E-mail address, but I don't know if it's correct or not.  He's away for the next week. I contacted him around the 1st of July. He's sent me the reunion info for San  Antonio and I'm trying to see if I can arrange for that trip.
I can hardly believe that you folks have found so many of us Marcus Island  guys. Amazing. Just to know some are still around and have a chance to  reconnect is fantastic.

I'll give you my data and if it should be sent to someone else, please

let me  know.

My daughters and grandkids keep bugging me as to when I'll be added to the  roster.

If you are the right person, could I get you to acknowledge this E-mail.

My sincere thanks, Hardy
Harden D. Pratt (Hardy)   V3 Div.

E-mail: eyeque1@aol. com   or,

From: Kay Elay <>
Subject: VB-20


Dear Sir,
I was searching the internet today for info on VB-20 (of which there is

virtually none), and came across the MIRA page.  I was very intrigued by

the photograph you have kindly reproduced in large format (thank you!),

as a relative of mine may be present in it (Robert B. Kleinfelder).  Do

you know exactly when it was taken?

I believe that VB-20 served on CV-6 Enterprise in late '44.  As I have
had no luck finding any further information, and your Dad served with

them, could you kindly you fill me in a little on what happened to the

group both before and after that tour please?

Thanks very much,


I wish I had more information about VB-20 and CASU-7 as well. - Brian

Subject: Re: MIRA Roster
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2001 16:51:20 EDT


Hi Brian, sorry to bother you but Sam says that you are the head honcho for  getting added to the Roster. I bet you are busy, but I connected up with Sam on the 1st of the month and  am interested in getting added to the Roster.
I think that what you guys are doing is fantastic. I have wondered for years if any of us were still around and if so, where.

I have written to four of my ol' friends and am anxiously waiting for their  replies.

Oh, are you also the one we send to if we have worthwhile stories to relate?

Thanks for your time, Hardy

Hardy D. Pratt  ( V3 )
Merced CA 

Please do send any stories that you have! Send them to

Subject: Deaths

Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2001 09:57:07 -0700

From: Thomas Sahm <>

Hi Brian,
Sorry to report two more deaths:

J. Fred Belew, April 7, 2001

Edward E. Drzewiecki June 9, 2001

Thanks, Tom

Subject: New Member

Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2001 10:32:49 -0700

From: Thomas Sahm <>

Richard A. Winterrose
Cedar City, UT 84720

I sent him a letter in Mar. of '98, slow response.
Ron, please send him a Ghost.


Subject: Material

Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2001 12:15:21 EDT


Hi Mr. Brian !!!

Well, I finally got a bunch of the Marcus Island memorabilia together and off via UPS Monday.  My file drawer is still almost half full. Hope it will be of some use to you.
Look through the materials at your leisure. Some may interest you and some may not. The communications file is discardable I have to clean it out every so often.  If I run on to something I might want, I'll give you a holler.

The following is a list of the materials sent:

3 ring binder   U S S MARCUS ISLAND  CVE - 77  HISTORY
3 ring binder   Copies of the Galloping Ghost Published since July 1996

Folder      Reunion 1994

Folder      Reunion 1995

Folder      Reunion 1996

3 ring binder   Reunion 1997

Folder      Reunion 1998

Folder      In Respectful Memory of Shipmates

Folder      Marcus Island File Roster June 2001

Folder      Marcus Island Ship's Company September 20, 1945

Folder      History Marcus Island by Bob Young

Pamphlet    Loose Ends VC-21 Reunion 1996

Pamphlet    Marcus Island History - Reunion Issue 1998

File folder Marcus Island documents and stories

File Folder Communications

I hope you get as much fun and pleasure out of working with this memorabilia as I have.

I see your wearing that Nebraska corn husker's smile. That's the one where your smile splits from ear to ear and you white teeth look like a cob of white sweet corn.

Enjoy life and have fun.


Subject: Edward P. McCann

Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2001 02:03:41 EDT



  I am the only son of Edward P. McCann, who served on the USS Marcus Island, during W.W.II. Please correct his name on the roster. He is listed incorrectly as " Edgar". He passed away in 1982. 

  He was a gunner on an Avenger, flying primarily with Anthony Peyou. I have his flight log book and some pictures of him and other crew members. Are you interested in these photos? 

   My father was very proud of his ship and shipmates. He always spoke of them with respect. I would be interested in hearing from you. By chance, did you know my father? 

Dan McCann 

   Mr. McCann's photos have been posted in the PHOTOS section of this website. - Brian

Subject: Reunion
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2001 02:13:27 -0500

From: Nina Whisman <>


   My name is Michael J. Whisman. My father was Frank Whisman and served on the Marcus Island from soon after the launching until he was wounded by a near miss of a Kamikaze. It was the same aircraft that killed Hartman? I think that was his name.

   He passed away in 1988 but I would love to attend the reunion and see some of the people that served with him even though they may not remember him.

   Would it be possible for me to attend?

Michael J. Whisman

  Certainly! Please check the REUNION page for details. - Brian

Subject: Snapshots 2
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2001 15:34:47 -0400

From: Jack Willer <>

To: CVE77 webmaster <>

Hello Oz,
   Just looked at the snapshots as sent by email. Don't look too bad but don't  know if you can use them. Can't identify many of the guys but here is a little info. The top two were taken in Honolulu between July 1945  and February 1946 The ship was in and out of Pearl several times during that period.. The bottom one was taken in Panama in about March 1946 on the way from the Pacific to the  South Boston Annex Navy Yard.

Top picture: left to right- Leber, Willer, Homer Cruikshank, Marion (Tex) Wills.  All "E" Division

Middle picture: back row- Cruikshank, ?, Leber, Wells front row- ?, ?, McCreary(?), Scott, Willer

Bottom picture: Don't know many of these guys. I think we just ran into each other in this high class joint. I'm on the far left and I think that's Scott next to me in the back row. I think the fourth guy in the back row with his hat over his eyes is Grant Sharpe. Don't know the Ensign with his hand on the waitresses boob. Looks like we were having a good time.

Jack Willer

   Mr. Willer's photos have been posted in the PHOTOS section of this website. - Brian

Subject: Thanks for the Newsletter
Date:  Fri, 15 Jun 2001 10:21:06 -0600

From: "B. J. Williams" <>

To: <>

Good Morning,
     I received your newsletter and welcome each one of them so very much.  Though I do not know any of you and not a lot about the time you spent together, I enjoy reading your letter. My wish is that the organization had been active when my husband, Seth Williams, was alive.  He would have been pleased to have re-united with you all.  He spoke often about the experiences during the time you were together.

   If anyone remembers him and would like to write to me, I would be happy to bring some pieces together that were lost or put on a different track since 1945.  Seth (family called him Buddy) was probably one of the youngest in the group since he left high school to join the Navy. He later went back and finished high school and college for a Masters Degree. I could write much about how great he was, but I will spare you that at this time.

I visited your website and found it very interesting.  I plan to go back to it for more of your well-prepared information. It is very attractive and easy to follow.

Keep up the good work and please keep sending the newsletter.  I will send a contribution later to cover the cost of mailing it. I know that can be expensive as I, also, have been editing a newsletter for the El Paso Retired Teachers Association.

Betty Williams (widow of Seth A. Williams)

The signature web-site listed below is one I am hosting. If you are interested you may click on to it.

Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2001 17:17:43 -0700
From: Thomas Sahm <>

Subject: Photo Collections


You are correct, the pictures need captions describing " who, what, why and where" they were taken. I shall promptly narrate each one. I also hope this breaks the ice for others to send their photos. If anyone needs help in converting their photos or documents internet use send them to me and I'll convert them and return the originals. Let' share our generation   and our experiences with everyone.


[I can scan your photos and other memorabilia here at home as well, or help you to find someone in your area that can help you. One really good source is the graphic design department of your local high school or college. They'd probably do it for free if they know the cause. - Brian]

Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2001 12:33:54 EDT

Subject: Mutinous Action


To M.I. Shipmates:
    Did you ever hear of the dispute the catapult crew had with Air Officer  Comdr. McElroy?

    Some time before we left the states for action in the South Pacific, Joe  Berecek, one of the catapult crew, brought aboard a small record player and a  BUNCH of records to entertain us in the catapult "shack."

    Somehow, word got around to McElroy about it and he quickly informed us we couldn't use it because of its supposed electronic emissions, which might be received by enemy submarines or other enemy receivers and indicate our position.

    We put up a fuss about it and eventually all six of us put in for  transfer.  That resulted in McElroy calling each of us into his office for  individual interviews, which of course gave us a chance to voice our  complaints about the record player.

    Apparently we were successful because within a couple of days we got  permission to use the record player.  During those 17 months of continuous  sea duty those records provided us with many hours of a wide variety of  music, from jazz and swing to some of the classics.

    One problem:  The crystal pickup was defective.  Sometimes it would work  and sometimes not.  I had a friend in the states who was a civilian radio  technician for the air force at Warner-Robins Base in Georgia (he was 4-F  because of a polio-withered arm) and I got him to send us a new pickup.   After that the record player worked perfectly.

        Charlie Dare, AMM2/c
        Elk River, Minnesota

From: Tom Sahm
Date: Sun., 10 Jun 2001 3:46 PM

Subject: Memorabilia

   I just finished sending Brian Osborn some pictures to post on our site. Watch for them. Now how about the rest of you? Letters, newspaper articles, Log Book entries. I'm mailing him the Marcus Island War Diary, some 200-300 pages which he will begin posting. How about it? Tell your friends!
   Ron O'Riley send him copies of all the past Ghosts, Leonard Scott send him all those original ship's newspapers. Make copies and send if you want to keep the originals

Subject: Re: The Marcus Island Mailbag - news about the website
Date: Wed, 6 Jun 2001 16:05:03 EDT



   Thanks for the info. I'll be getting back to you with a couple of stories 
about my duty on the ship.

JJ Hall 

Subject: help
Date: Sat, 2 Jun 2001 01:27:06 -0400

From: "Michael A. Cocca Sr." <>

To: "Tom Sahm" <>

CC:  "Brian Osborn" <>

   Tom:  Recently I have tried to get onto the website that Ed Osborn has set up and can't seem to get into it.  I'm using the address but it won't work for me.  Is there something changed since I received the last newsletter?  I am copying Brian for this letter also, in the event he might be able to help me on this one. 
    Second question.  I recently tried to reach Mrs. Adams with an e-mail note because I was hoping to get some information on ordering some MIRA caps and/or shirts.  Is she still handling this, or should I be writing to someone else? 

    Really appreciate your help on these and hope to hear from you soon.  Also have to add, you guys are doing a great job with the association activities. Thanks again.

Mike Cocca

Hello Mr. Cocca, 
    We've had a lot happening with the web site. Thanks to the good work of Tom Sahm and the gang I was able to set it up on a server that not only is much faster, but also has several features not available on the  "freebie" site. The best part is... there are no advertisements to suffer through. 

   Our NEW address for the web site is: 

     Please do check it out and encourage everyone you know that has internet access to do so as well. I have put together these pages as my way of honoring  the great men that served aboard the "Galloping Ghost" with the hopes that it serves to educate many others about the sacrifices those men made in order to keep freedom alive.

   Thank you very much for your interest in the site. 

Brian Osborn (son of the late Eddie Osborn, ARM/2c USN) 

Hi Brian:
   Thanks for the response.  I have been able to bring up the site now and am really impressed by the job you've done.  Im sure all of the others feel the same way and we are indebted to you for making the effort to honor your father and all of us.  I haven't been through everything on the site yet but I will continue to visit it.  Perhaps at some point I may be able to provide and anecdote  also, but I will also be encouraging a few of the others with whom I am in contact, to do the same.  Meanwhile, keep up the good work and be aware that there are a lot of people out here who are very grateful and pleased.

Mike Cocca, former ARM 3/c  Squadron VC 21

Subject: Fwd: Pearl Harbor
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2001 10:51:09 EDT


For those who remember: Former Enemies

   Some years ago, while leading a church group on a tour of Pearl Harbor, I stood among the clergy and their spouses in the gleaming white-arched and covered Memorial above the USS Arizona. One minister in our group, a man from Maine, had been there on December 7th, 1941 - the day the Japanese flew in to sink our Pacific Naval Fleet. He had not been aboard the Arizona, buthis ship had also been hit. He described vividly the horror of being aboard the flaming and sinking vessel as bullets flew and bombs roared. As I listened, out of the corner of my eye I noticed a Japanese tourist enteringthe Memorial.
   It was the man's fine clothes - long tie, buttoned sports jacket, and shiny brown lace-up shoes - that initially attracted my attention. In Hawaii, professionals like lawyers, corporate executives, soldiers and ministers seldom, if ever, wear ties or jackets. Even network television news anchorswear open-collared aloha shirts. This man, dressed as he was, stood out.

   Two women walked with him. The older one I took to be his wife, the other perhaps an older daughter. Both wore conservative dresses and fancy shoes.The man appeared to be in his sixties, and while he may have spoken English, I only heard him speak Japanese. In his left hand, he carried, almost shyly,an ornate and obviously costly multi-flowered wreath about eighteen inches across.

   Our group's veteran continued to speak as we clustered around him. He described being caught below deck: feeling disoriented as the ship took on water where he stood, fire coming from above and the smoke stealing his breath. His buddy lay dead at his feet as the young sailor struggled in the darkness to escape, fear and adrenaline propelling him to the surface.Everyone in our group was so engrossed in his story, that no one, except for me, noticed the Japanese tourist and his family who walked quite near to us.

   As I watched, the tourist stopped, turned to his wife and daughter and spoke to them. They stood quietly, almost solemnly. Then the man straightened his tie, first at the neck and then near the belt, and tugged at the hem of his jacket. As if in preparation, he squared his shoulders, took a deep breath,and then exhaled. Alone, he somberly stepped forward toward the railing at the water's edge above the sunken warship.

   The other tourists swirled around him. From what I could see and hear, they were apparently all Americans. They were talking, laughing, looking, asking questions; some were listening to our minister's story, but none seemed aware of the tourist who had captured my attention.

   I don't believe the Japanese man understood the minister's words. As I listened to one man and watched the other, the Japanese tourist came to the rail, bowed at the waist, and then stood erect. He began to speak; I heard his words but could not comprehend then. However from his tone and the look on his face, I felt their meaning. His manner conveyed so many things at once - confession, sorrow, hurt, honor, dignity, remorse and benediction.

   When he had finished his quiet prayer, he gravely dropped the flowered wreath into the seawater - the same water the minister kept mentioning in his reminiscence - and watched as the wreath floated away on the tide. The man struggled to remain formal, to keep face, but his tears betrayed him. I guessed he must have been a soldier, a warrior of the air, whose own plane had showered the bombs and bullets that had torn through our soldiers, sinking their ships. It struck me that he had come on a pilgrimage of repentance, not to our government, but to the gravesite of those young men whose lives he had taken in the name of war.

   Stepping backward one pace, the Japanese veteran then closed his eyes and bowed again, very deeply, and very slowly from the waist. Then he stood tall, turned around and rejoined his family. His deed done, they began to leave. All the while, our minister veteran continued his narrative. He and the group were oblivious to the poignant counterpoint occurring behind them.

   But I was not the only American to witness the Japanese man's actions. As I watched his family leave, I noticed another American step away from the wall on which he had been leaning. He was dressed casually, and wore a red windbreaker with the VFW emblem on it. He had a potbelly, thinning hair and held his hat in his hand. I assumed the man was a WW II veteran. Perhaps he had served in the Pacific, I thought, and was himself on a pilgrimage.

   As the Japanese family walked by him, the American stepped directly into their path, blocking their way. I immediately tensed, fearing a confrontation. The startled Japanese tourist, who had been deep in thought, stopped short, surprise and sorrow mixed on his face. His family, eyes on the ground, stopped abruptly, then crowded closer around him.

   But the American simply stood at attention, once again a strong, straight-backed soldier. Then he raised his right hand slowly and stiffly to his forehead, saluting his former enemy.

   The American remained in salute until the Japanese, with dawning understanding, returned the gesture.

   As the tourists milled by, the two men stood as if alone, joined by their shared pain, glories, honors and memories, until the American, while remaining at attention, slowly lowered his arm and formally stepped backward one pace. The Japanese tourist, when his arms were both once again at his side, bowed formally to the man in front of him. To my surprise, the American returned the honor.

   Neither said a word. Neither had to. Their solemn faces wet with tears, expressed to each other in a universal language what could never have been said in words.

   I watched as the two men, their reconciliation complete, went their separate ways, united in a way I had never imagined possible.

   By Peter Baldwin Panagore

Subject: web site
Date:  Tue, 1 May 2001 19:02:57 -0500

 From:  "Georgene Powell" <>

We are very interested in your webb site.  My father,  George McManus, is here with me now while I go through the site.  He was on the USS Marcus Island from the time it was commissioned until they got off at Guam when the war was over.  We were going over all the names and there was one he could not find, ISOM.  He can't remember the first name.  He has some good stories to tell and I am encouraging him to put them in writing and I will forward on to you.

Please keep in touch.  My father celebrated his 77th birthday on the 26th of April.

Sent: Saturday, April 28, 2001 4:30 PM

Subject: Reunion

Tom -
    My dad is a veteran of the Marcus Island (his name is Bruce Potts)and is interested in the reunion in Texas in May and would like to get more information. Specifically, is the captain (not sure if he is alive) or the executive officer going to be there.

    Thanks for the help

David Potts

[Dave,, check out the REUNION page. Everything you need is there. - Brian ]

Subject:  Thanks from an M.I. Sailor!
Date:  Fri, 20 Apr 2001 15:05:56 EDT


    Thanks much for putting together the Marcus Island site.  You're doing a great job.  Keep up the construction.

    One suggestion:  Mark deceased crew members on the roster with an asterisk, at least the ones known to be deceased.  I think Tom Sahm probably has those.

Charlie Dare
Catapult crew from commissioning until June 1945.

[ Done did it  - Brian]

Subject:  New e-mail address
Date:  Sat, 31 Mar 2001 15:19:33 -0800

From:  Thomas Sahm <>

Hi Brian,
Another DSL horror story. Lost my DSL and all of my e-mail address book. Just in a days work. Please send me your other E-mail address. My new e-mail

Did the roster come through in useable form?


[  or  - Brian]

Subject: Re: [Fwd: Marcus Island's NEW web site]
Date:  Sun, 4 Mar 2001 20:15:16 EST




Subject:  Nice Going!
Date:   Sun, 4 Mar 2001 17:06:54 EST


Dear Brian:
    Nice going on the MIRA page.  I saw what you have done so far  and it's great!  Thanks much from one of the crew.  I take it your Dad or  grandfather was aboard. . .

Charlie Dare, catapult crew
Elk River Minnesota

[My Dad was aboard during the ferry run to the South Pacific (19 May - 1 July, 1944).  He was a radioman 2c, flew in the SB-2C, TBF and others. I believe he was attached to VB-20 at the time. -Brian]
(I have since found that Dad was attached to CASU-7 around that  time and may have been part of the Flag crew. - Brian)