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RE: The Dogs of War - companion AAR to Howlin' At The Moon

 
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RE: The Dogs of War - companion AAR to Howlin' At The Moon - 12/17/2011 12:01:02 AM   
vettim89


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27 December 1941, Iceland

Brett Castlebury was again supervising the building of some additional beach defenses near the port of Reykjavik. The work was going painfully slow compounded by the combined effect of poor weather and the incredibly short work days that were afforded during winter in deep northern latitudes. At 64 degrees N latitude, there were only four hours of daylight in late December. With mandated blackout rules in place, that meant a lot of time was spent in the dark for Brett and his men.

He was beginning to get concerned for the well being of some of his men. He could see in there faces that a few of his Marines were nearly at there end of their endurance. Growing up in Michigan, Brett had gotten used to long winters. The biggest challenge was not the cold or the wintry weather but enduring the gloom. It sapped a man's strength and motivation. He remembered as a high school student that the one thing that helped him more than anything else to get through the winter was basketball. The daily practices and twice weekly games kept his mind and body sharp. He decided maybe that's what his men needed at this moment.

“SGT Wilson”, he yelled over to his platoon sargeant

“Sir”, Wilson replied as he trudged up the hill towards Castlebury.

“I think the boys need a diversion”, Brett smiled. “You ever play basketball?”

_____________________________

"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Commodore O.H. Perry

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RE: The Dogs of War - companion AAR to Howlin' At The Moon - 12/21/2011 1:45:48 PM   
vettim89


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28 December 1941, Treasure Island Naval Station, San Francisco Bay

Lt(jg) Hank Tyler slowly taxied his PBY towards the pier after the long flight from Corpus Christi, TX. VP-51 had departed Norfolk the day after Christmas and flew to Pensacola, FL. The next day they flew to Corpus Christi. Finally they made their longest leg from Texas to California today. Hank was most nervous about this last leg as it was nearly completely over land. While for most pilots that may have been a comfort, it was unnerving when flying a plane that had no landing gear. The PBY-5 was not an amphibian like some flying boats. This was being changed in the newer -5A models. If they had developed engine troubles on the flight, Hank would have either had to “ditch” the plane on a piece of flat ground or find a large enough body of water to put the bird down. Considering they were traversing the “Desert Southwest”, Hank did not hold out much hope for the latter.

As he finshed securing his plane, Hank looked up to see CDR Underwood gently put his plane down into the bay. The skipper's insistence on having every plane in near perfect condition before they left Norfolk paid off. All twelve of VP-51's aircraft were now either moored at the base or taxiing up to the pier. It was no surprise to Hank that the Commander was the last to land. Even though Underwood was demanding; he also was fair. He never asked anything of any of the pilots in the squadron that he didn't ask of himself. Hank never thought of himself as a leader, but if he ever was he wanted to lead like CDR Underwood.

_____________________________

"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Commodore O.H. Perry

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Post #: 32
RE: The Dogs of War - companion AAR to Howlin' At The Moon - 12/21/2011 10:22:47 PM   
vettim89


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29 December 1941, 600 NM East of Sydney Australia

Lt(jg) James West was guiding his SBD on his assigned search zone southwest of Enterprise. He knew it was best to not assume anything but he sincerely doubted that the Japanese Navy would venture this deep into Allied territory. The bits and pieces of infromation that had leaked from the communications section seemed to indicate that the Japanese were mostly occupied far to the northwest in the Dutch East Indies. Enterprise and Lexington were tasked with blocking any moves the IJN might make towards the south Pacific. As of yet, they had only taken Rabaul, the southern tip of Bougainville, and some bases in New Guinea. This area, for now at least, was the backwater of the war.

Suddenly, the radio crackled in James' ear. One of the SBDs from Lexington's Scouting Two had spotted what it thought was a submarine to the northwest. From the chatter, James was pretty sure that the sub had not gotten close enough to threaten either of the carriers. Still, this was bad news. If the sub's commander was able to identify the aircraft type, it wouldn't take a genius to figure out the American carriers were in the neighborhood. There is no way a SBD could make it this far out to sea from a land base

_____________________________

"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Commodore O.H. Perry

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Post #: 33
RE: The Dogs of War - companion AAR to Howlin' At The Moon - 12/22/2011 4:06:56 AM   
vettim89


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30 December 1941, Newport News Shipyard, VA

Captain Lawrence was conducting a meeting with some engineers from Newport News. They were going over the requirements for upgrading the Sims Class Destroyers. This class would be the first of the USN DD's to be upgrade during the war. In truth, the changes to this particular class were modest. The two Y-gun depth charge projectors were to be replaced with four K-gun, and an air search radar was to be added. At present, the discussion centered around modificatiosn to the mast structure to accomate the new radar.

Greg Cummings had already concluded his presentation on the requirements of the K-gun placement. His work on the Fletcher Class made him ideally suited to that task. During a break, one of the engineers approached Greg to discuss the project. Greg was able to explain to him the advantages of the K-gun over the Y-gun both in weight and required space. The engineer remarked that he hadn't really considered the problem of the centerline mounted Y-gun until they had begun discussing the needs for the new radar. Greg explained that the Royal Navy had made that discovery a while ago and that the USN was really in catch-up mode right now. As the meeting restarted, the engineer thanked Greg and made the comment that he was surprised a Navy officer understood so much about the fine points of naval architecture. Cummings realized for the first time that Capt. Evans was right: he was where the Navy needed him the most at this point in the war.

_____________________________

"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Commodore O.H. Perry

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Post #: 34
RE: The Dogs of War - companion AAR to Howlin' At The Moon - 12/23/2011 5:32:09 AM   
vettim89


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31 December 1941, near Shokoku, Japan

LCDR. Smith had moved Swordfish in closer to mainland Japan in hopes of finding something to shoot. The sub had been patroling the waters between the two outlets of the Inland Sea for nearly two weeks. Unfortunately they had not found a thing since the ill fated run in with the AO. The men were chomping at the bit but the Japanese were not cooperating.

Lt(jg) Haskins was sitting on his bunk trying to warm up after finishing his watch. Even though everyone wore heavy slickers while on deck, the sea had a way of finding its was around any man-made attempt to ward it off. DJ stripped to his shorts and peeled off his soaking socks. Just getting the wet clothes off already was having a positive effect. Unfortunately, the sub's salt water evaporator was being a bit balky. This meant fresh water was in short supply and the ships laundry was shut down. DJ carefully hung his wet clothes on the makeshift line he and his bunk mates had rigged up before heading to the ward room for some coffee. He wasn't looking forward to putting them back on later, but he really had no choice


< Message edited by vettim89 -- 12/23/2011 5:39:02 AM >


_____________________________

"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Commodore O.H. Perry

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RE: The Dogs of War - companion AAR to Howlin' At The Moon - 12/23/2011 5:32:53 AM   
vettim89


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1 January 1942, Iceland

It is amazing how resourceful men can be when they put their minds to it. 1StLT Brett Castlebury and MSGT Wilson found a warehouse near the barracks that proved suitable for a basketball court. After getting permission from his company commander (who of course had to get permission from BTN), they cleared a space large enough to serve as a reasonable fascimile of a regulation court. At first they just scrimmaged within the platoon but it didn't take long for word to spread about the games.

So Brett found himself as coach of 3rd Platoons team against a team from 2nd Platoon. MSGT Wilson was acting as his assitant coach. While he was no Benjamin VanAlstyne, his high school experience helped him get the best from his men. It didn't hurt that he has CPL Riggs who was a star guard for his high school team in St. Louis. He finished the game with twelve points as they won easily 26-10. While Brett was certainly happy with the victory, he was even happier to see his platoon as a whole have both pride and considerable more energy.

_____________________________

"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Commodore O.H. Perry

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Post #: 36
RE: The Dogs of War - companion AAR to Howlin' At The Moon - 12/23/2011 11:20:44 PM   
vettim89


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2 January 1942, San Franciso, CA

All LT(jg) Hank Tyler knew about San Francisco was that there was an earthquake here in 1907. He had seen pictures of the destruction in his history classes, and remembered there was a terrible fire after the quake. The squadron had been stood down for a few days and the men granted “shore” leave. Hank mused to himself how men who never boarded a ship were granted shore leave, but then trying to make sense of the Navy was a futile exercise.

The city showed no sign of the disaster that had struck it just 35 years ago. It did, however, show signs that there was a war on. First, you couldn't turn around without seeing a man in uniform. The streets were filled with sailors and soldiers on leave with a healthy present of MPs and Shore Patrol to keep every one in line. Windows were all coverd with blackout curtains.

There was a tension here too. Hank didn't buy into the “invasion” hysteria that had gripped the entire West Coast. His knowledge of geography and naval operations allowed him to hold a more reality based view of the situation. Certainly the Japanese were running wild in the Far East but the sheer distance from Japan to the USA really made invasion nearly impossible. No, if the US were to be threatened, it would be Hawaii or maybe Samoa not here in California.

_____________________________

"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Commodore O.H. Perry

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RE: The Dogs of War - companion AAR to Howlin' At The Moon - 12/23/2011 11:22:29 PM   
vettim89


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3 January 1942, Sydney Australia

To the dismay of all the sailors aboard the ships in the two USN carrier task forces, shore leave was not granted. They were only there long enough to refuel and replenish vital ship's stores. What the men aboard the ships didn't know is that Admiral Halsey was met by the US Naval Attache to Australia as soon as the ships entered the harbor. The mayor of Sydney had requested that the sailors be kept aboard their ships. He had visions of utter chaos if ten thousand sea weary Americans were turned loose on his city. Halsey had no intention of granting leave in the first place, but had to admit the mayor was probably correct in his assessment of the situation. He was also smart enough to let the man believe the USN was being gracious in honoring his request.

So LT(jg) James West and the rest of the pilots and aircrew of VS-6 stayed abaord and stared longingly at the city of Sydney. They were sure the city held untold pleasures that were being unfairly denied them. They only good news was that flight operations were shut down for 48 hours. The RAAF had dozens of aircraft patroling the waters outside the harbor. In addition there were four old WWI era Four-piper USN DD's on ASW patrol. They had escaped the Phillipines before the Japanese hemmed them in.

James was relaxing on the aft flight deck with the Three Bobs. The weather was quite warm which was normal for December. It was hard to adjust one's mind around the fact that it was Summer here at the bottom of the world. Hell, even the toilets flushed backwards. The Three Bobs were taking turns boasting of their romantic exploits in various ports of call. James was no prude but he didn't join in. His mother's words echoed in his mind, “A gentleman never kisses and tells”. He was sure she'd be stunned if she knew that kissing was far from the most squandalous thing our young officer was guilty of doing with a girl.

_____________________________

"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Commodore O.H. Perry

(in reply to vettim89)
Post #: 38
RE: The Dogs of War - companion AAR to Howlin' At The Moon - 12/24/2011 4:35:48 AM   
vettim89


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4 January 1942, Washington, DC

LT(jg) Greg Cummins was back in Washington after his trip to Virginia. He was waiting with Capt. Lawrence outside Adm. King's office. Lawrence was going to brief King on the plans for upgrading the destroyers. He had already assured Greg that he would do all the talking. Cummins was only along to provide any important technical materials Lawrence might need during his presentation.

They were waiting outside the Admiral's office at the moment. King was a busy man to say the least, and there was a constant stream of messengers moving back and forth relaying information both vital and mundane to his staff. Greg was watching all the hubbub with great fascination. Suddenly a door opened near him. A rather non-descript, middle aged man in civilian clothing walked out carrying a yellow legal pad and a coffee cup. He walked over to the pot near the Admiral's secretary's desk and filled the cup. He stopped at the secretary's desk and picked up a folder filled with paper and turned his attention to Greg.

“Who are you?”, he asked.

“Cummins, sir. Gregory L, Lt(jg)”, Greg replied reflexively.

“Hmmm”, the man replied as he flipped through the pages of his legal pad. “Ah, here you are: leadership 58, inspiration 52. I'll need you in a couple of years , Lieutenant. Try not to get yourself killed before then”, he said dispassionately as he walked away.

“Who was that?”, Greg asked the secretary

“Oh, that's Dr. Vettim”, she replied. “He's some supposed military genius they sent here to make sure all the orders get made correctly”

“What does that mean?”, Greg ask incredulously.

“All I know is all the outgoing orders get placed in that folder he just took. He picks them up and I never see them again. From what I heard, he spends part of his day over at Gen. Marshall's office and even stops in at British Military Attache's office almost every day”, she replied in a decidedly disinterested tone.

Greg looked over at the office door he had just went through. It had a frosted glass window so you couldn't see exactly what was going on in the room. The was an odd blue light that Greg could make out on the man's desk. He also could hear a odd set of clicks, knocks and other noises. For a second there, Cummins was almost sure he heard a ship's bell. He could hear the man muttering to himself through the door saying something about some guy named Larry being a sneaky bastard.

“Odd”, Greg said under his breath. He turned to the secretary and asked, “Is it just me, or did that guy smell like a dog?”

The secretary just shrugged


_____________________________

"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Commodore O.H. Perry

(in reply to vettim89)
Post #: 39
RE: The Dogs of War - companion AAR to Howlin' At The Moon - 12/24/2011 6:32:07 PM   
vettim89


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5 January 1942, Southeast of Shikoku, Japan

The boat was beginning to stink. There was just no other way to put it. The four weeks the Swordfish had been at sea would normally have led to a certain amount of staleness, but no laundry and no showers only meant it was reaching the level of putrid. Even though the seas had been rough of late, LT(jg) DJ Haskins looked forward to standing watch on the sub's bridge. At least for four hours every night, he could enjoy some fresh air. Of course that meant going back below decks at the end of his watch only meant the asault on his nasal passages was that much worse.

They had not run across a single Japanese ship for more than two weeks now. The men were getting tired and starting to snap at each other. The news of the war was not helping. Clark Field had fallen on Christmas Eve and Manila was being threatened. In the 29 days since Swordfish had departed Cavite almost the entire island of Luzon had been conquered. It seemed like the Japanese were unstopable.

DJ finished his watch and headed below. After a quick change he joined the rest of the officers for breakfast. As had been the case of late it was very quiet. LT Phelps glanced at LCDR Smith and cleared his throat.

“Mr. Haskins, you have family in San Diego?”

“Yes, sir. My mother and two sisters,” DJ replied wondering where the lieutenant was heading.

“You consider what will happen to them when the Japs invade? You heard what they did at Nanking, didn't you?”, Phelps said staring Dan directly in the eyes.

“Excuse me, sir?”, he replied as he felt himself stiffen.

“Well I'm just saying that with the way the Japs are moving right now, they will probably be on the West Coast by the Fourth of July”, Phelps said coldly. “Personally I'd have some concerns if my family was on the West Coast. If the Nips had their way with the Chinese girls, I'd shutter to think what they would do to our California beauties...”

“With all due respect, Sir, you are way out of line”, DJ blurted as he rose from his seat. “Yes, the Japs caught us with our pants down to start this war, but it is only a matter of time before we kick their butts all the way back to Tokyo! It will be over my dead body that any one of those yellow bastards so much as sets a foot on US soil. Quite frankly, SIR, I am surprised you of all people would be talking like this! The men on this boat need leadership not this defeatist crap.“

Phelps smiled a wry smile at DJ

“Exactly”, LCDR Smith interjected. “LT Phelps and I have both noticed the way some of you have been conducting yourselves over this past week, and if we noticed, you can be damn sure the crew has noticed! I not looking for a bunch of Pollyannas here, but I need to see ALL of you show some purpose and determination in everything you do. “ Every eye in the room was fixed on Smith now.

He continued, “No one ever said this war was going to be easy or quick. Its going to take a lot of hard work and grit. There will be set backs for sure, but that doesn't matter in the long run. What I need from each of you from this point forward is a singular focus on making this boat the best fleet sub in the US Navy. I don't really care what the news is from Luzon on anywhere else because that has no relevance on the operation of this vessel. If the enlisted men see this sort of focus on your part they will follow, trust me on that point. Do I make myself clear?”

“Aye, sir”, came the reply from each man in unison.

“Good. Now get back to work. Dismissed”, Smith said sternly.

The officers all stood and made their way out of the room. As he made his way to the door, DJ felt a hand on his shoulder.

“Lt Haskins, a word?”. LT Phelps said softly. Phelps waited for the room to clear before speaking.

“Look Dan, I am sorry for coming at you like that but I was almost sure I would get the reaction I wanted from you. Trust me, you did not disappoint me”, Phelps said with a smile.

Dj smiled as he said, “I get it lieutenant. The skipper is right: we have been walking around with our tails between our legs for at least a week. I am sure the crew has noticed it too. Just do me a favor”, DJ asked. “Next time you need to make a point, could you keep my mother and my sisters out of it?”

“No problem, Dan”, Phelps replied.

“One more thing sir. Any one ever tell you you're a sonofabitch”, DJ said with a cautious smille.

“All the time”, Phelps smiled back. “Most men just don't have the guts to say it to my face”


_____________________________

"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Commodore O.H. Perry

(in reply to vettim89)
Post #: 40
RE: The Dogs of War - companion AAR to Howlin' At The Moon - 12/27/2011 4:30:14 AM   
vettim89


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6 January 1942, Iceland

Lieutenant Brett Castlebury was leading his platoon on a patrol near the small town of Selfoss. One of the locals reported seeing a stranger wandering the shores the day before yesterday. The platoon had loaded up in trucks yesterday and made the fifty mile trek over what the locals had the guts to call a road. They had spent the night in the town's Lutheran church. Now battered, bruised and stiff from the trip, the men of 3rd Platoon, Foxtrot Coy had spread out to search all the coves and bays that dotted the Icelandic coast.

Brett was in front of a squad heading east when he topped a rise and looked down into a small inlet below him. He held up his hand to stop the men as he spotted a man near a small boat. He peered through his binoculars at the man. He was dressed in heavy weather gear typical worn by sailors and appeared unarmed. Castlebury stepped back off the ridge and ordered his squad to deploy to his left. He then took three men with him as he slowly worked his way down keeping one eye on the unidentified stranger as he made his way through the rocks.

As he approached the man he could hear him softly singing to himself. Brett was no linguist but he didn't think Icelandic was the language of the tune. To his surprise the man either didn't notice the Marines approach or didn't care. He just sat there on a rock singing his little ditty. As they got closer, Brett could make out writing on the boat: SS Nidardal. The name sounded familiar to him, but Castlebury couldn't quite place it. No matter as he was taking no chances. They had been briefed on arrival on a few phrases in German they might need.

Brett raised his 0.45 pistol and said,“Tropfen Sie Waffe und heben Sie Ihre Hände (drop your weapon and raise your hands)”.

The man looked up at the Marine lieutenant with a bewildered look on his face.

“Hei, og hvem er du?”, the man said in a bemused tone.

“That's not German, Lieutenant. I think its Norwegian. My grandparents used to speak it”, commented PVT Olsen from behind Brett.

“Do you speak it?”, Brett said as he turned towards Olsen

“A little, sir. Its been a long time, “ Olsen replied hesitantly. “Hva er ditt nvan?”

“Jarl. Jarl Jonsen”, the main replied in surprise.

“His name is Jarl Jonsen, sir”, Olsen repeated.

“I got that part, Private”, Castlebury sniped. “What is he doing here?”

“Hvordan kom du hit?”, Olsen said brokenly.

The man looked up at Olsen and suddenly stood. Brett stepped back and held up his pistol. Jonsen then went into what must have been an epic tale. Brett couldn't understand a word and Olsen struggled to keep up. The long and short of it was that Jonsen had been aboard the freighter Nidardal when it was torpedoed by a U-boat. He was the only man to make it to the boat before it sank. Now, Brett remembered why the name sounded familiar to him. It had been part of the daily brief one day that she was sunk, but that was around Christmas! From what he could tell this man had spent ten days in the North Atlantic in that dinky lifeboat. He had come ashore three days ago but had no idea where he had landed.

Castlebury signaled the rest of the squad to come come down the ridge. He ordered the men to share some C-rations with Jonsen. He sent two men back to Selfoss to get a truck. He could tell there was no way Jonsen could make there on foot. In spite of his enthusiasm in telling his story, Brett could tell this man was about spent. After an hour or so, SGT Wilson appeared with a truck and they loaded their castway aboard and headed back to town making it there just before dark. They bedded down for the night in the church again. Jonsen, now warmed and well fed just kept talking. The men of the platoon were polite and smiled as he rambled on. They didn't understand a word he said but there were all duly impressed. Brett was too. Ten days lost at sea and all this guy needed was a crappy meal and some hot coffee to set him right. He found himself with a new level of respect for Norwegians.

_____________________________

"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Commodore O.H. Perry

(in reply to vettim89)
Post #: 41
RE: The Dogs of War - companion AAR to Howlin' At The Moon - 12/27/2011 4:31:49 AM   
vettim89


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7 January 1942, Southwest of San Francisco, CA

LT(jg) Hank Tyler was flying his first patrol off the California coast. While there had been no submarine sightings this far south, several ships had been sunk up near Vancover Island. The RCN had lost two corvettes to the Japanese and they were not happy about it. There were also numerous sightings of Japanese float planes up there. Hank knew that the IJN had several submarines capable of launching float planes; he just found it hard to beleive that they actually were using them in a war time setting. A submarine was at its most vulnerable while on the surface. That type of operation would require the sub to remain there for some time.

Judd Stephens appeared between the pilot and copilots seats.

“Coffee, lieutenant?”, Stephens said as he extended a cup toward Tyler.

“Thanks, Judd”, Tyler replied taking the cup.

Hank usually didn't call the enlisted men by their first name but it was different with Stephens. First, he was more than five years Hank's senior, and more importantly, he needed to feel close to the one man who knew this plane better than anyone else including Tyler.

“You'all think were gonna find one of them crazy airplane carryin' Jap subs”, Stephens asked.

“Not likely”, Hank replied. “Between us and VP-44 we have this particular part of the Pacific Ocean well covered. You have to figure they know that as well.”

“How ya figure that, lieutenant?”, Stephens asked

“Well, the entire West Coast is filled with Japanese immigrants,” Hank replied. “ It would be foolish to think that some of them weren't agents. Don't get me wrong, I am sure most of them are good US citizens. Its just too easy for a Jap spy to blend right in is all I'm saying.”

“They out to just round them all up and send 'em packin' as far as I'm concerned”, Judd snarled.

“Really, Judd?”, Tyler interrupted. “They way I see it is that we all came from some where. Maybe these people left Japan because they didn't like the way the country was heading. I am sure most of them are just as loyal to the United States as you or me”

“Maybe so, lieutenant, but a Jap is a Jap to me,” Stephens replied.

“If you say so”, Hank replied knowing he was wasting his breath arguing with the man. “Besides, I am sure much smarter people than you in me will figure out how to deal with the situation”

_____________________________

"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Commodore O.H. Perry

(in reply to vettim89)
Post #: 42
RE: The Dogs of War - companion AAR to Howlin' At The Moon - 12/27/2011 4:34:03 AM   
vettim89


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8 January 1942, east of Sydney, Australia

Enterprise and Lexington were steaming east again. Scuttlebutt had it that they were to meet up with CV Saratoga somewhere near New Zealand. Many of the men were hoping that meant that they would finally be heading for a fight. The war was a month old and all the USN carriers had done was steam around the South Pacific. LT(jg) James West was in his cabin once again trying to get some sleep. Of course that meant the nightly ritual of what James had come to call The Three Bob's Supreme War Council.

“I don't understand why we don't just run north and raise some hell with those Japs around Rabaul”, opined Supreme War Minister Stone.

“Yeah, we need to give it to them they way they gave it to us”, agreed Supreme War Minister Jaccard

“Its about time they were on the receiving end of a good butt kicking if you asked me”, interjected Supreme War Minister Carey.

“Do you three clowns have any idea what you are talking about?”, James said knowing it was futile. “The Lex's fighter squadron still is flying Buffalos! What chance do you think they would have against Zeroes? CDR Gallaher told me that the Navy is rounding up some more F4Fs to fill out all the squadrons but it may take a month or more. Once that happens we can go looking for a fight. You three ever heard about the guy that brought a knife to a gunfight?”

“No, what happened?”, Stone replied quite seriously.

“It didn't end well for him”, West replied as he rolled over and tried to get to sleep.

_____________________________

"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Commodore O.H. Perry

(in reply to vettim89)
Post #: 43
RE: The Dogs of War - companion AAR to Howlin' At The Moon - 12/27/2011 4:35:40 AM   
vettim89


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9 January 1942, Washington, DC

LT(jg) Greg Cummins' eyes were beginning to ache. He'd been staring at blueprints all day and there were starting to all look the same to him. The USN had nine or ten destroyer classes his team was assigned to work up. The nine or ten was because some considered the Benson Class as two classes (Benson and Livermore) and some considered it as just one. The major difference was that the latter ships (the Livermores) had about two extra feet of beam which did give them slightly better sea keeping. Other than that they carried the same armament, had the same power plants, and essentially looked the same without a tape measure. For now, the old WWI four-pipers were not assigned to Greg's team.

“Thank God for small miracles”, Greg mused to himself.

He heard footsteps approach his desk and looked up to see Capt. Lawrence walking toward him.

“Greg”, he started. “If you were going to pick one class of destroyers to upgrade first, which would it be?”

“Hasn't that decisions already been made?” Greg asked

“Yes, but I just wanted your opinion, “ the Captain continued.

“ Well sir, there are a number of things I might consider”, Cummins replied while thinking

“ Such as?” Captain Lawrence asked drawing out the last word.

“First, I would want it to be one of the newest classes as those ships are the most modern”, Greg started. “While I could see suggesting the Benson/Livermores as they are still being built, I think it might be better to start with one of the smaller classes to get the kinks out if you know what I mean.”

“Agreed”, nodded Lawrence.

“So that leaves the the Sims and the Benhams in my mind”, Greg said thinking aloud. “Being as the Benhams are going to be tougher because of the torpedo layout, I would go with the Sims.”

“Good man!” Lawrence said as he clapped Greg on the shoulder. “BurShips wants the plans and materials for the Sims Class in place by 1 March. You think you can do that?”

“Do I think I can do that?” Greg stammered.

“Yes, you”, Lawrence answered confidently. “I want you to drop everything else you have and work on just this project. You think you can do that for me.”

“Aye, sir”, Greg said with confidence.

“Good man”, Lawrence said with another clap on the shoulder and walked away

Greg sat there for a moment in stunned silence. Did he just volunteer himself for this job? He didn't mean to but some how it seemed that way. Wasn't there a saying in the Navy: never volunteer for anything? Well, he guessed he really didn't have anything else to do this weekend. He sorted through his stack of blueprints and pulled up the ones for the Sims class. He also made a mental note to himself: he better stop by operations to figure out where all the Sims class destroyers were at that moment. That might be some helpful information to have on hand

_____________________________

"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Commodore O.H. Perry

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Post #: 44
RE: The Dogs of War - companion AAR to Howlin' At The Moon - 12/27/2011 6:09:20 PM   
vettim89


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10 January 1942, West of Tori Shima Island

Swordfish had pulled south away from her primary patrol zone. The sub was being overflown almost every day by Japanese patrol aircraft. LCDR Smith was concerned that the enemy might have them boxed in; so, he ordered the move south. Predictability was never a good idea in war.

LT(jg) DJ Haskins was once again Officer of the Deck (OOD) during midwatch. The night was cold but the seas were blissfully calm. The only sounds were the quiet hum of the boat's diesel exhaust aft and the gentle lapping of the wavelets as they broke against the subs bow. DJ heard steps coming up the ladder from below, and soon LT Phelps was beside him.

“Anything to report?” Phelps said in almost a whisper not wanting to break the near silence without even thinking about it.

“Nothing, sir. Its 0400 and all is well”, he replied with a grin. “ I was just going to get a fix before I went below.”

“Definitely don't want to pass up that opportunity on a night like this”, Phelps replied looking up at the stars. “Which one's you gonna use?”

While technically it was possible to get a fix off a single star, most navigators took several readings to reduce the margin of error. Dan pointed his sextant due north and found the last star in Ursa minor.

“Well, sir”, he said peering through the sextant. “I like to start with Polaris just out of habit. Now let's move over to Aries, the god of war. And finally, Orion ...the hunter”

With each reading, DJ made a mental note of the angle. Most navigators would write down the number, but he never had problems remembering them. When he got below he would use the appropriate charts cross-referencing his readings with the time to get a near perfect fix on Swordfish's position.

“You have a good night sir. Happy hunting”, Haskins said with a salute. “Mr. Phelps has the bridge”, he barked as he descended the ladder.

< Message edited by vettim89 -- 12/29/2011 11:23:42 PM >


_____________________________

"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Commodore O.H. Perry

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Post #: 45
RE: The Dogs of War - companion AAR to Howlin' At The Moon - 12/29/2011 11:24:53 PM   
vettim89


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11 January 1941, Reykjavik Iceland

1st LT Bret Castlebury was getting a little tired of these wild goose chases. The locals, while initially suspicious of the Americans, were now in full blown war mode. Hardly a day went by without a report of “a suspicious man” or “a strange boat” or even “An U-boat being sited off the coast”. With the exception of his encounter with the shipwrecked Jonsen a few days ago, 3rd platoon had not found any of these reports to be valid at all. Nonetheless, each one had to be investigated just in case the next one proved to be accurate.

They were trudging up and down the steep ridges that mark the Icelandic coast to investigate another U-boat siting this gray, wet afternoon. A local fishermen was “sure” he had spotted a periscope on his way back to harbor just southeast of the port. Bret had set the men down on the lee side of a particular high ridge for a quick breather. He walked to the top of the ridge with his binoculars to take a look.

To his surprise he caught movement out of his eye to the southeast. He lifted his binoculars and for a moment he too thought he was looking at a periscope. Closer examination revealed the true “enemy”. It was a whale. What happened next made Castlebury think he was losing his mind. The whale was waving at him! It was holding one of its fins straight out of the water and flipping it back and forth. He was about to call MSGT Wilson up to take a look but thought better of it. Brett doubted he would ever live it down if his men found out he thought a whale was waving at him. Instead, he just turned and headed back down the ridge.

“Everybody up!” he commanded. “Nothing to see here. Just another false alarm”, he said as he started back to base.

_____________________________

"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Commodore O.H. Perry

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Post #: 46
RE: The Dogs of War - companion AAR to Howlin' At The Moon - 1/2/2012 5:02:10 AM   
vettim89


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12 January 1942, Wellington New Zealand

The two CVTF had met up with oilers and ammunition ships in this small port at the southern tip of New Zealand's North Island. An IJN submarine had been spotted near Auckland so Admiral Halsey had ordered his ships further south. He knew that his carriers were the primary deterrence to the Japanese Navy making a strike towards the New Hebrides and New Caledonia. The last thing he wanted was for them to get a fix on his position.

Now, the two CVTF were three as Saratoga's group had just arrived. Word had it that Yorktown was not far behind. While not enough to challenge the full Japanese carrier fleet, that force would be able to put a hurt on anything short of a max effort. LT(jg) James West was now joining in with The Three Bobs nightly War Council meetings a little more enthusiastically. Wasn't it time that the USN made some noise?

_____________________________

"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Commodore O.H. Perry

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Post #: 47
RE: The Dogs of War - companion AAR to Howlin' At The Moon - 1/2/2012 6:10:08 PM   
vettim89


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13 January 1942, Washington, DC

LT(jg) Greg Cummins was on his way back to his office after spending the morning in the Operations Center. Just finding all the Sims Class destroyers was no easy task. They were spread out across have the world it seemed. Five of them were in the South Pacific escorting CV Yorktown. Five were in the North Atlantic on convoy duty. The last two were off the East Coast chasing U-boats. At least the last two would be relatively easy to get into a shipyard. Greg also figured the five on convoy duty could be rotated in and out so as to not put undue strain on CINCLANT's needs. Quite frankly, he had no idea as to how to deal with the five in the Pacific. They were thousands of miles away from the nearest US port. Greg just couldn't see how the logistics could be worked out to get the needed materials to New Zealand or Australia either.

He stopped at Captain Lawrence's office on his way back.

“Sir, we have a problem”, he said as he saluted.

“How's that?” Lawrence replied as he motioned Greg to sit.

“Well the seven Sims class assigned to the Atlantic shouldn't be much trouble sir”, Cummins started. “The other five are steaming with Yorktown. The CNO's staff can't even tell me for sure where they are now let alone where they will be in six weeks. Where should I assemble the equipment for their upgrades? Pearl Harbor? The West Coast?”

“I'll have to run that by Admiral Stark's Chief of Staff”, Lawrence answered. “For now I think you should plan to gather all the necessary items at a West Coast port. We'll either move it to where it needs to be from there or bring the destroyers to that point.”

“Aye, sir”, Greg said as he stood. “Any idea which port I should use?”

“I'll leave that up to you”, Lawrence answered, “but I would think either San Diego, Alameda, or Mare Island would be best. No sense in sending them all the way up to Puget Sound if the are needed in the South Pacific.”

“Aye, sir”, Greg saluted and left. Great, yet another item to add to his “to do” list.

_____________________________

"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Commodore O.H. Perry

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Post #: 48
RE: The Dogs of War - companion AAR to Howlin' At The Moon - 1/2/2012 10:38:00 PM   
traskott

 

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Suscribed !!!

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Post #: 49
RE: The Dogs of War - companion AAR to Howlin' At The Moon - 1/2/2012 11:23:50 PM   
vettim89


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14 January 1942, South of Japan

Still no sign of the Japanese. Well except for the constant overflights by patrol aircraft that is.

LT(jg) DJ Haskins had just given his morning position fix to LCDR Smith. He, Smith and LT Phelps were gathered in the sub's control room.

“Ron, what's the fuel status?” Smith asked Phelps.

“I figure we still have a week's steaming before we need to head back sir”, answered Phelps. “That is assuming, we are still planning on returning to Mariveles. Is that correct, sir?”

“I think that is still the plan”, Smith replied. “With Manila gone, we don't have much choice. Supposedly MacArthur has finally stopped the Japs at the base of the Bataan Peninsula. I don't know how long they can hold but the word from Admiral Hart is that we should still have a port there”.

“If that is still the case, I think we can stay out for about another week”, Phelps added. “Of course that all depends on if we burn any fuel chasing targets.”

“Well, if that's the case, find me some targets, LT Phelps”, Smith jibed. “No offense, lieutenant, but you could use a shower.”

Phelps knew better than to shoot back with a wisecrack of his own. He had a good relationship with the skipper but not that good.

_____________________________

"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Commodore O.H. Perry

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Post #: 50
RE: The Dogs of War - companion AAR to Howlin' At The Moon - 1/3/2012 2:59:15 AM   
vettim89


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15 January 1942, Iceland

Being a Michigander, 1stLT Castlebury had only read about hurricanes. Never in his life did he expect he would face a storm of hurricane force in Iceland. His Navy meteorologist friend had warned him last night that the storm was coming and it was going to be a blow. The storm had sustained winds of over 80 kts and the gusts were topping 100 kts. Castlebury was hunkered down with his platoon in the now darkened barracks. Power had been knock out early in the morning and they all knew it would stay that way until the storm had subsided.

Brett and the men were huddled around the kerosene heater at one end of the barracks. Several windows had already been knocked out causing them to scramble to find some wood to fashion makeshift patches. Even with the heater, the temperature was still hovering just above freezing. The building was shaking with every strong gust causing the men to look up wondering if the next gust would take it down. The large shortwave antenna at the Com station on the other side of the base was acting as a giant tuning fork emitting a low hum in response to the assault from the gale.

Castlebury was walking among the men stopping and talking to small groups. He knew his men were highly trained to fight any enemy, but this was different. A man could stand up and face his foe even if it meant hand to hand combat. Brett knew his men were ready for that when it was time. But this? This was different. To sit in the cold wondering if the roof was literally about to come down on them was testing them in a completely different way. He made his way through the group making a mental note of each man he thought might need extra attention. For now, all they could do is wait it out.

(Note: the storm lasted from 15 January unto 19 January causing heavy damage to CA Wichita that was at anchor in Hvalfjordur harbor)

_____________________________

"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Commodore O.H. Perry

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Post #: 51
RE: The Dogs of War - companion AAR to Howlin' At The Moon - 1/3/2012 10:39:30 PM   
vettim89


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16 January 1942, San Francisco, CA

As is typical for this time of year, the entire San Francisco area is socked in with fog. The men of VP-51 have little to do but wait to see if it lifts enough for flight operations. On this day, it does not. Some men are gathered in one corner of the Ready Room playing cards. Others are writing letters to mothers, friends, and sweethearts back home. Some of the eager beaver young ensigns are ready training manuals and quizzing each other over the new information.

LT(jg) Hank Tyler is sitting at a table reading the San Francisco Chronicle. The first few pages all all filled with various stories of the war. Fortunately, the “invasion hysteria” seemed to be wearing off some but not completely. Hank scans the pages not looking for anything in particular. He turns the page and is met by a photograph of a strikingly beautiful women.

“No what do we have here?”, he said under his breath.

The women was Emily Stebbins, the daughter of a local bank president. It seems Miss Emily had organized a fund raising tea to raise money for local orphans of servicemen killed in combat. The war was barely a month old and already dozens of children were now fatherless in the Bay area.

“Just an excuse for a bunch of rich girls to get together in the name of a good cause so they can “feel” like they were doing something of consequence”, Hank sneered to himself.

He had known plenty of girls like this back in New York. Spoiled little girls who found their greatest pleasure in letting every one know just how much Daddy was worth. Still, Emily was a looker. Hank wondered if there was any way he could meet her. Past experience certainly proved that if he could get in the door, he knew his way around the house.

_____________________________

"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Commodore O.H. Perry

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Post #: 52
RE: The Dogs of War - companion AAR to Howlin' At The Moon - 1/4/2012 3:06:51 AM   
vettim89


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17 January 1942, Dunedin, New Zealand.

The three CVTF were now patrolling off the east side of the South Island. A submarine had been spotted near Wellington so they scooted south. Scuttlebutt was that once Yorktown joined up, they were going on some major operation. Options ranged from raiding Rabaul to the Marshalls to even hitting the major Jap base at Truk. It was amazing what men could do with so little information and time on their hands

LT(jg) James West was more concerned with the task at hand. That task was beating LT(jg) Carey at Gin. James was raised playing the game. His mother was an expert and had taught all her children the fine nuances of play. Sunday afternoons at the West household were often filled with family tournaments. James was not as good as his mother but he was no slouch. Carey was not bad either, and the discovery that he played was a pleasant surprise to say the least. At present, Carey had an 85 to 76 lead and of course was relishing his moment.

“We still playing a penny a point?”, Carey asked

“No reason to change now”, West replied. “Unless, of course, you want to double it.”

“Two cents a point?”, Carey said raising his eyebrow. “Fine with me”

“And me also”, smiled West. “Oh, and GIN!”

_____________________________

"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Commodore O.H. Perry

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Post #: 53
RE: The Dogs of War - companion AAR to Howlin' At The Moon - 1/4/2012 6:20:30 PM   
vettim89


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18 January 1942, Washington, DC

The Naval Operations Center in the main building at the Washington Naval Yard was a sight to behold. Teletype machines were running constantly as information was gathered from the four corners of the world. Serious looking men ripped sheets from the machines and whisked them off to even more serious looking men. To the outsider it looked chaotic, but a trained eye could see a high level of organization in this chaos.

Greg Cummins was trying to find LCDR Rogers to get an answer to his question about PacFleet's Sims Class Destroyers. He found him at his desk talking on the telephone. He held an open palm up to Cummins as he approached signaling him to wait. He finished his conversation and put down the receiver.

“I don't even need to ask why you are here, Cummins”, Rogers said. “BurShips wants to know where the five Sims Class in the SoPac are going to be in six weeks.”

“Exactly”, Greg replied in hope he might actually get an answer this time.

“The answer is: I don't know. In fact nobody knows,” Rogers said in exasperation. “Hell, six weeks ago, we were at peace. Now Hong Kong has fallen, Manila has fallen, and Singapore is threatened. We are trying to piece together some sort of effective defense with the ships and units at our disposal.”

“We understand that sir”, Greg said. “We just need to know where to send the necessary equipment to upgrade the ships when they do make port. Should we send it to Pearl Harbor or San Diego or ship it to Australia or some other place?”

“Well I wouldn't send it to Pearl Harbor at this point”, Rogers replied. “The shipyard there is still occupied with repairing the ships damaged on 7 December. I wouldn't send it south either because there is just as good a chance that Sims will not put into port down there. So, I'd go with San Diego for now. I'm not promising you anything but its the best I got for now.”

“Thank you, sir”, Greg said smiling. “Don't worry. I won't hold you to it”

Greg saluted and walked away. He hoped Rogers realized that he had no control what BurShips would do with that information. If the Sims ended up 5000 miles away from their upgrade material, some one was going to get blamed. Greg just hoped it wasn't him.


_____________________________

"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Commodore O.H. Perry

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Post #: 54
RE: The Dogs of War - companion AAR to Howlin' At The Moon - 1/5/2012 4:19:34 AM   
vettim89


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19 January 1942, South of Kure, Japan

Tensions were high on Swordfish as this was the closest she had approached Japan during her six week patrol. She was running submerged now creeping along at 5 kts.

“Up scope”. LCDR Smith ordered. “Lets see if we can find anything here”

“Contact, bearing 030. Looks like a group of sampans. No sign of radio antennas”, Smith said casually.

The seemly endless stream of small Japanese fishing boats was all it seemed Swordfish could find these days. As of yet, they were not considered valid targets. Even if they were, there was no way Smith would chance a surface engagement this close to the Japanese mainland. LT(jg) Haskins was sure they weren't worth expending one of the boat's precious few torpedoes. Still, DJ, was surpised by the lack of IJN activity in this area. It would be like not finding any naval activity off Los Angeles or San Francisco he thought. He wondered where the Japanese Navy was if it weren't up here. There was no way for him to know just how active there IJN really was on this day. They were just several thousand miles south of the subs present position

_____________________________

"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Commodore O.H. Perry

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Post #: 55
RE: The Dogs of War - companion AAR to Howlin' At The Moon - 1/5/2012 11:43:16 PM   
vettim89


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20 January, 1942, Iceland

The Marine base at Reykjavik was a mess. The storm had torn sheathing and roofing from nearly every building. Power was slowly being restored but it would take days if not weeks for the job to be complete. Most of the men who experienced the winter hurricane had no desire to ever experience a true tropical cyclone for real. Bret Castlebury's meteorologist friend had told him for as bad as this was, a real hurricane could level every building at the base.

The men of 3rd Platoon were on clean up and repair duty. Most were just glad to be moving again. The five days they spent huddled in the barracks had given them more than just a bit of cabin fever. Wood was in short supply; so they were scavenging every supply crate, broken plank, and discarded beam they could find. It would take three days before the base was back in passable condition.

_____________________________

"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Commodore O.H. Perry

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Post #: 56
RE: The Dogs of War - companion AAR to Howlin' At The Moon - 1/6/2012 4:29:34 AM   
vettim89


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21 January 1942, Off the Monterrey Peninsula

LT(jg) Tyler's patrol area was south of San Francisco today. Other than a few small fishing boats, they had not seen a thing. Hank was descending again to overfly another small boat they had spotted a few minutes ago.

“Definitely looks like another local fisherman, Sir”, ENS Page remarked in a matter of fact tone. “Yup, American flag on the stern and definitely a Caucasian crew”.

Hank descended a little lower and flew towards the boat. He waggled the PBY's wings as he passed over it.

“Holy crap, did you see that?”, came the excited voice of SM1c Benchley, one of the Catalina's rear gunners.

“See what?”, Tyler replied

“A Shark! Right behind that boat. The thing had to be over twenty feet long!”

“Calm down, Benchley”, Hank said. “I am sure your imagination is getting the best of you”

“I'm telling you, Lieutenant, the thing was huge!”, He insisted.

Well, Hank had to admit his curiosity was peaked just a bit; so he pushed the big lumbering flying boat into a shallow dive as he turned to the port back towards the boat. He passed the boat on the port side and gently turned again to get a better look at the ocean behind her. There it was and Jones was if anything understating its size! The thing had to be at least 20 if not 25 feet long. Tyler was surprised to see such a huge fish this close to shore. ENS Page leaned over to look at the port side window and whistled.

“Benchley, I have to admit”, Hank said in amazement. “That thing is a monster. I bet the people who swim those beaches in the summer would think twice if they knew that beast was out there. That's the kind of thing people write horror stories about.”

_____________________________

"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Commodore O.H. Perry

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Post #: 57
RE: The Dogs of War - companion AAR to Howlin' At The Moon - 1/7/2012 3:15:52 AM   
vettim89


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22 January 1942, East of New Zealand

LT(JG) James West was on final approach to Enterprise having finished his morning patrol. His left hand was on the throttle and his right on the stick. He eased back on the throttle and let the SBD settle a little bit. He could see the LSO now and his paddles were straight out indicating his was on the glide slope.

Wheels down, hook down, full flaps

He added a little power to to offset the added drag. Looking good. Just another quarter of a mile. A little more power and easing back on the stick ever so slightly

200 yards, 100 yards, and he was over the ramp.

SLAM! The hook caught the fourth wire and nearly four tons of aircraft went from 80 kts to 0 in a second.

The LSO gave him the thumbs up as the deck crew released the arresting cable from the tail hook. James taxied forward towards the forward elevator and cut the power.

“And that ENS Stone, is how you land this bird”, he said to himself as he began to climb out of the cockpit.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by vettim89 -- 1/7/2012 3:31:36 AM >


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Post #: 58
RE: The Dogs of War - companion AAR to Howlin' At The Moon - 1/7/2012 5:48:49 PM   
vettim89


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23 January 1942, Washington DC

Greg Cummins was at his desk late this Friday evening. He figured he only had a week to get everything in order for the Sims project. If all the elements were not in motion by 1 February, it was unlikely that they would meet the 1 March deadline. There were 72 K-guns that had to be at the proper shipyards plus twelve radar sets. In addition, the engineers had to have the final blueprints in there hand well before the first ship arrive for upgrade. While that didn't seem like that much, the Navy was still building up its logistic base to war levels. Even getting this small amount of material in place would strain the system at this point.

He closed the folder and placed it in his filing cabinet. He looked at his watch and realized he'd missed dinner (again). That's all right he knew a nice restaurant not far from the main gate of the base. The half mile walk would do him good. He figured he'd put in a short day tomorrow. If he planned it right, he could still make afternoon Confession; so he could attend Mass on Sunday morning.

_____________________________

"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Commodore O.H. Perry

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Post #: 59
RE: The Dogs of War - companion AAR to Howlin' At The Moon - 1/7/2012 8:52:40 PM   
vettim89


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24 January 1942, San Francisco, CA

The officers of VP-51 had been invited to a dance hosted by the San Francisco Garden Club. With the exception of the few officers that were married, they had all accepted. The dance was held in the Hotel Whitcomb right in the center of downtown. It was a opulent building to say the least. The more astute members of the group realized that except for the war, most of them could not afford to check their bags with a bellhop at such an establishment.

LT(jg) Hank Tyler was all decked out in his dress whites. He had to admit he cleaned up pretty well. The last item to be put in place was his Academy ring. He didn't wear it often, reserving it for occasions such as this. He knew a lot of USNA grads not only wore their rings all the time but flaunted them. They knew they were part of an elite club and wanted to make sure that everyone else knew too. This was especially true for the reservist who many Annapolis men considered to be second class citizens in the naval officer world. Hank had no use for that type. He judged a man by how he performed not by where he went to school. He had already happened upon his share of Academy grads that were a danger to themselves, their ships, and the Navy in general.

As he entered the ballroom at the Whitcomb, he scanned the room with predator-like focus. Which lucky young lady would be his prey tonight he thought to himself. As he perused tonight's offerings his eyes moved up to the refreshment table. Hold it! There was a familiar face. It was none other than Miss Emily Stebbins serving up punch to the thirsty patrons. Hank casually made his way up to the table.

“Excuse me miss, are you Emily Stebbins?” Hank asked even though he knew the answer to the question.

“Yes”, she answered. “Have we met?”

“No, ma’am”, he replied. “I recognized you from the photograph in the Chronicle last week.”

“Oh, I see”, she replied. “I am afraid you have me at a disadvantage Lieutenant. It seems you know my name but I as yet do not yours”.

“My apologies Miss Stebbins”, he said offering his hand. “My name is Henry Tyler, LT(jg), US Navy, but my friends call me Hank”. This girl was smarter than he had originally given her credit . She recognized his rank before he told her.

“Well, Lieutenant Tyler, Hank”, she stammered, “my friends call me Emily. I see you are a pilot. Are you allowed to tell me what type of plane you fly?”

“Well Mi.... Emily”, he paused. “For security purposes we are not supposed to discuss our unit name or post with civilians. You know – the whole “Loose lips sink ships” thing. I suppose it would do no harm in telling you I fly a PBY – its a flying boat.”

“Yes, I've seen them over the Bay. They fly out every morning and come back every afternoon”, Emily remarked

The line at the punch bowl was beginning to stack up. Emily looked up at the perturbed guest and handed Hank a glass of punch.

“Lieutenant”, she said. “I have to work the refreshment table for another 45 minutes. Perhaps we could continue this conversation then”.

“Yes, that would be nice”, Hank replied confidently.

Hank stepped away from the table and back into the room. Wow! This girl was at the very least observant. Hank suspected it didn't end there. There was just something about the way she carried herself and the way she spoke. She was definitely not another vacuous debutant whose only life skill was spending Daddy's money. He would definitely be keeping that appointment later in the evening.

_____________________________

"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Commodore O.H. Perry

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