*USS SAN JUAN WEEKLY PUBLICATION*
- DOWN PILOT REPORT -
The above is a personal condensed tale of Ensign Milton A. Zehr, USN, of Denver, Colorado who was rescued by the U.S.S. SAN JUAN, on 7 July 1945, just at twilight. The carrier to which Ens. Zehr was attached, sent the SAN JUAN a dispatch thanking the Captain and crew for their splendid performance in the rescuing of their valuable fighter pilot.
Mr. Zehr has been in the service for 9½ years. He entered the Navy as a enlisted man and finally earned his commission along with his wings. The Corsair pilot has 1200 flying hours to his credit. when asked what he thought of flying, he retorted, "Hell, that's the life"!
In summing up the visit of our unexpected guest, we would like to add that we enjoyed his stay aboard. Incidentally, Ens. Zehr, the fellows got quite a few laughs out of your baby's first shoe being attached to your helmet. So it's thumbs up and happy landing to one of the Navy's famous skyman!
TO WRITE HOME ABOUT!!
But there still is plenty to write about. We may mention being as sea for six straight weeks. We may describe shooting down the "twin-engined bomber" 4000 yards off our port bow - how it was coming in low over the water and how, when hit, is simply disappeared, leaving only a patch of burning gasoline on the water and one rubber wheel floating in a sulphurous slick. And we may mention that we saw fifteen or twenty planes shot down by other ships and our fighters, and how most of them burst into flames and how at night the night fighters tracers seemed to reach out and send the Jap flaming into the sea, light up the horizon for an instant. To some of us, the bombardment of Minami Daito will be most memorable, since, although there was no return fire, and consequently no danger, the effect of all our guns going off in salvo was like the last trump of doom.
In addition to the release of the Okinawa Campaign from censorship, we now may also mention that the San Juan was a member of the fast carrier task force which struck Tokyo on 10 July with 1000 planes. We may comment on the pleasantly cool weather, and how, except for irregular hours of sleep, the operation was more like a pleasure cruise than war.
WHO'S TO BLAME?
Will everyone please, just for a little while, quit blaming everything on the War? You're as much the master of your destiny and the captain of your soul today, as you ever were. Which means that you can either toss it to the sea gulls or keep it safe and true. You can say yes or no to temptation. You can do what's right, or you can do what's wrong.
If you stated this war as a pretty good kid, you muster out as a 14-carat bum, don't blame the war or the Navy, or anyone else. Blame yourself. You're the one who kicked over the traces. War or no War there would still be temptations, and there would still be your free will. You are today, and tomorrow what you make yourself, and not what the service made of you. Be honest about that.
We won't go into that, though. All we're pleading for now is a little honesty. Honesty with yourself and with your God. There are only two people it will do you absolutely no good to try to fool. One is yourself and the other is God. So why try to kid them?
Why this plea for honesty? Well, first because it's right. Secondly because if you die during this war, I think God will be much easier with you if you're at least honest enough to make your last words something like this, "God, I haven't been an angel. I've kicked your laws around. But it's not Your fault, and it's not the fault of the war. It's my fault. I did it. I'm sorry."
After a "summer vacation" (?) of a sort, the "mezzumma" column makes a reappearance.
As most of you know the $9.00 clothing allowance is again on the books and will show up on the money list for the 20th of July. CPO's get $18.75.
It might be of interest to know that the leave ration for the fiscal year 1946 has been set at sixty-five cents, the same as last year. That's just in case any of you lucky ones get some leave.
You will note on the money list for the 20th pay day that new "pay numbers" have been assigned. These will change twice a year, January 1 and July 1 when your pay record is renewed.
AlNav 153 was published in the Plan of the Day recently but believe it bear repeating. The AlNav publishes the amendment to the National Service Life Insurance Act which extends the five year term plan for three additional years. No change in the premiums or allotments for the NSI is made and will be continued on the present records without any action on the individual's part. The same policy regarding conversion of the insurance will be followed, as has been the practice in the past.
THAT'S ALL FOLKS!!!
The Harper's Magazine just awhile ago, published an article which we believe interesting -- What do you say?
"The U.S.S. WASHINGTON received a new skipper in the name of Capt. James E. MAHER, better known as "Silent Jim" in the fleet from his habit of never speaking in anything less than a full-gale roar. MAHER had been skipper of the anti-aircraft cruiser SAN JUAN, which shot down so many Jap planes that her bridge looked like a polka-dot dress with the flags painted all over it"!
PLANK OWNER'S PATTER
Well, how do you like your new showers? Nothing like the ones they took the place of but they save water. We don't say we are going to take a shower now, it's "I'm going up to take a fizz". Seriously tho', the fine spray nozzles are a real piece of workmanship, something the "A" Division can be proud of. Somebody ought to make first class!
BELATED APOLOGIES...A little slip-up on our part has been called to our attention and it touches a very sentimental spot in this columnists policy of trying to write-up all the boys who get transferred, especially the Plank Owners. During our last "rest" period, two staunch old salts of the "F" Division left for the home of the free and the brave. Both coming aboard in Boston, three & one half years ago, Gilbert Rufo, FC3c and E.T. Pokorney, FC1c, will be missed by their shipmates in the "F" Division. Rufo was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries sustained during the Battle of Santa Cruz, October 1942. Best of luck in your new assignments!
CONFIDENTIALLY YOURS. . .Saxby, Chief Quartermaster
has gone and done it - yep - he extended for another three years. He
must have been listening to CFC Smith - he has a style all his own when it
comes to arguing for 20 years. He has it all figured out how he will
retire in ten years! When you and I are civilians again, down to the
corner "pub" we'll go, and weep crocodile tears in our beer for
Saxby and Smith. Tsk, tsk. . .At first we thought Uncle Sam had
changed the uniform regulations for officers and had substituted zoot
suits, but upon further investigation we found cut that it was just Lt.
Stofko swimming in a pair of pants inherited from Lt. Sarrey. Pretty
shrewd, for a Philadelphia merchant..$75 a week is good pay for a Navy
yard worker but when a soda jerker in the person of "Chuck" Hamm
gives out with such a story, it's hard to take, brother, it's hard to
take. . .Snipes candidate for the champion letter writer is J.T. Bombolis
who holds forth with his magic pen every chance he gets in the Aft messing
compartment . . . Charlie Farrell and Herman Duhe are very much concerned
over their mutual buddy, M.A. Kennedy and his pet peeve! What about
if, Marvin Albert?? ..What is this Navy coming to with Coxswains and
Shipfitters taking typing lessons?? .. "Maidon Form" Rourke, shapeliest
of all Bos'n's Mates; tipping the scales at a solid 215 lbs., has
been observed raiding the midnite soup line. This wouldn't be of
interest if Rourke stood watch. Attention MAA.
"Hose Nose" Schreeter
Dear "Hose Nose": After your girl friend reads in the CINCPOA communique #419 that the SAN JUAN was present in the raid on Tokyo on July 10th, she will look upon you as a hero and will gladly wait for you. She would be only too happy to have all your hero shipmates at the wedding and reception. What could be better than to have your buddies, who went through hell and the chow line with you, present at your happiest moment? As Ever, "Tony" (Mr. Anthony)
MYSTERY OF THE WEEK: Who starched the Commodore's skivvies and why did George Graziuso do it?
See ya around ------
- ONE MORE STAR! -
* BIRTHDAY GREETINGS *
C.D. AMY, S1c
*- DURATION BLUES -*
Here's to the fighting ship, San Juan,
I'm not afraid of war, or big guns rear,
I've manned my gun in these last three years
We've fill our holds and magazines
You stand your watch and dream ahead
I hear GQ, I grabbed my clothes
We opened fire, we gave them hell.
No Japs were there, no alien ships
I studied hard, I worked my share,
I memorized my progress
So I've settled down in
the same old rut
--- Dawson & Manley, Inc.
More "Panther" Newsletters
15 July 1945 | 2 September 1945 | 30 September 1945 | 7 October 1945
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