Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size
Login

Military Photos



Online
There are 253 users online

You can register for a user account here.
Library of Congress

Military Quotes

It is well that war is so terrible, or we should get too fond of it.

-- Robert E. Lee
Howitzers on ducks8379 Reads  Printer-friendly page

Korea It was July 1951. I was training with the division in Japan on the island of Honshu. The next part of our training was to be a mock invasion on Yokohama Beach. This landing would be exactly like a real invasion. All our vehicles were equipped for land service, but when the orders came down, they were to be retrofitted with snorkels, which would allow them to operate in shallow water such as beaches.

These snorkels were extensions on the exhaust pipe and air intake on the engine carburetor. These pipes stuck out well above the water, allowing the engines to run normally.

My orders were to lead the kitchen crew in an advance party, setup the kitchen on the beach, and serve a roast beef meal to the troops when they arrived.

The day arrived when this big exercise was to take place and we were ready. At ll a.m. the snow started. The fighter planes came swooping down at treetop altitudes. Then the armada came into sight. There were war ships, troop ships, landing-craft, infantry and landing ship tanks. It was quite a spectacle to see.

As the ships drew nearer, we could see a ship unloading our howitzers on to the ducks. The ducks were an amphibious vehicle that could travel on land and water.

They came ashore without any problem, but as the trucks and jeeps started to come ashore their snorkels failed. As time passed all of our trucks and Jeeps were stalled on the beach, Including the general's jeep. This was a great embarrassment for him as he was sitting in water up over his hips.

After he surveyed the disastrous landing, he jumped out of the jeep and stomped angrily and splashed to shore. I could hear him cursing at the top of his voice. A few minutes later a jeep picked him up and drove off.

Later that day several five-ton wrecker trucks came and winched all of our vehicles out of the water, which took considerable time. Had this been a real invasion many men could have met their deaths.

I would have liked to have seen the general's explanation for this disaster on his report.

As for our kitchen, we served the meal of roast beef, mashed potatoes, and gravy, peas and carrots, bread and butter, and cake for dessert. After-the meal we washed our equipment and drove back to camp.

Fourth of July was never like this back home in Wisconsin Rapids.

Note: by Bill Arnold, 143d FA 40th ID


Comments

Display Order
Only logged in users are allowed to comment. register/log in
Related Links

Most-read story in Korea:
Memoirs of a Chosin veteran
Military History
Forum Posts

Military Polls

Should Women Serve in Ground-Combat Jobs?

[ Results | Polls ]

Votes: 250

This Day in History
1779: 300 Continental Marines attacked the British at Fort George, Penobscot Bay.

1812: The USS Constitution escapes from a British squadron after a three day chase off New Jersey.

1862: Nathan Bedford Forrest made his first raid.

1862: A Naval court martial meeting in Richmond acquitted Flag Officer Tattnall with honor for ordering the destruction of the C.S.S. Virginia on 11 May after the evacuation of Norfolk.

1863: Confederate General John Hunt Morgan's raid on the North is dealt a serious blow when a large part of his force is captured as they try to escape across the Ohio River at Buffington Island, Ohio.

1863: After seeking to intercept the troops of General Morgan for some 10 days and 500 miles, the gun-boat squadron under Lieutenant Commander Fitch engaged the Confederate raiders as they attempted to effect a crossing of the Ohio River at Buffington Island. The U.S.S. Moose and steamer Alleghany Belle repeatedly frustrated the Southerners' attempts to cross.

1886: Atlanta, the first steel-hulled American cruiser armed with breechloading rifled guns, is commissioned.

1918: French and Americans advance on Soissons-Thierry line, taking Vierzy (north of Ourcq) and Neuilly St. Front (south of Ourcq).

1918: The U.S. armoured cruiser "San Diego" sunk off Fire Island, off New York, with six lost.

1940: President Roosevelt signs the "Two-Ocean Navy Expansion Act." This orders construction of 1,325,000 tons of warships and 15,000 naval planes. Including the existing ships, the fleet will comprise 35 battleships, 20 carriers and 88 cruisers.