THE SQUADRON PULSE
For the Men of the Fightin’ 3rd.
Published in the Philippines
Vol 1. No. 2. Weekly 10 March 1945 3rd Airdrome Squadron APO 72
CLASSIFICATION BOARD MEETS HERE
A classification board from the Air Force Command met here last week to interview all men concerning their present classification.
The purpose of the interviews, Capt. Mitchell said, was to determine the qualifications of each man and whether he is doing the job for which he is qualified. The board will also suggest that a man be placed in a higher classification than he holds when it appears that such should be the case.
Capt. Mitchell spiked all the fantastic rumors that the board was classifying men for the Infantry. “There’s absolutely nothing in that,” he said.
REMEMBER THE IDES OF MARCH
CAESAR DIDN’T HEED THE DATE--LOOK WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM.
THIS SHOULD BE A LESSON.
This is the 3rd’s debut--it steps into the entertainment world to have fun as well as fame. Make the dance a success--make us heard loud and strong. Mascolina, Hofer, E.R. Bennett, and Henderson have given their all to make it a success with the official backing of Lt. Alegria. Don’t let them down! So come to the dance!
Sorry! Dance called off.
A “WHEEL” STANDS HIS GROUND!
S/SGT. JAMES STILL SUPREME IN COMMAND
Sgt. James’ heart sunk to low ebbs when he first laid eyes on a new T/Sgt. that strolled into his snuggery this week. His visions of being a wheel started to deflate like an old tire, but before he began to bite his nails he was informed that he was still at the helm and that the T/Sgt. was under him. The glower that had grimaced his face immediately turned to a smile----and with all the courtesy of an 18th century diplomat, he showed the T/Sgt. the ropes. Next day the T/Sgt. was transferred out...James had stood his ground.
SPECIAL SHOW THE 16TH
Friday, the 16th of this month, USAFFE will present a special show at the Fantasia Theater. This will precede the regular movie of the evening. The theme of the show will be the safeguarding of military information. All members of the Sq. are urged to attend.
CAPT. MITCHELL COMMENDS
Sgt. Hornung for his excellent work in having the best file of Tech Orders on the Island.
THE PULSE HITS A HIGH CIRCULATION
The PULSE made its debut last week with some anxiety and trepidation. Would anybody read it? Would anybody like it?
Everybody answered these questions during the past few days by reducing the stock of the first issue to a mere eight copies and this in spite of the fact that almost twice as many were printed than originally was planned.
The Staff sat up with the PULSE until 0100 the morning of its delivery, seeing it thru the first pangs of reproduction. While the first half of the PULSE was still emerging from the mimeograph, 3 bursts of ack-ack announced a red alert, dousing all the lights, and leaving the Staff to chew its fingernails in impatience and smoke up the Editor’s last pack of Luckies.
At last, when the Jap pilot had unleashed its bomb and returned to what he hoped, no doubt, was still his airfield, the PULSE was fully born and ready to meets its public. So it did, successfully. This week, the PULSE has grown. With the help of its many friends, it should become a sturdy youngster.
THE SQUADRON PULSE
Vol. 1, No. 2 Mar 10 1945
Editor - Pfc. Stringfield
Assoc Editor - Cpl. Calkins
Compositors S/Sgt. Carter
This paper has been censored and can be sent home.
Some of our happiest thoughts naturally hinge on the future. We all want to get to hell home and we all want to forget what “tortures” we underwent in the army------but---in our mad anxiety, we sadly overlook one big detail. We are forgetting that shortly after we strip ourselves of our “monkey suits” (as Mac would put it) our more blissful thoughts will go back...not to Oro Bay....not to Whittemore’s beautification projects, but to the men with whom we lived together so long...our AH buddies...... [He probably meant to say "AF" (air force) buddies. - Ed.]
When this war said and done, do we want to see each other again?....I think that most of us do. If so, what are we going to do about it? Let’s take time out and start planning something that will keep us bound together. The proposition is that we draw up plans for a big gala 3rd Airdrome convention...where we can raise hell and reminisce the past. Of course some of us live in scattered parts of the country, but that too can be alleviated by holding miniature conventions in that particular section of the country.....Anyway it is something to think about. Those interested in working out feasible plans, come in and let’s try and figure some of the tangled details. I believe it would be damn interesting to see each other in civvies...How about having the first one in Columbus?...the site of activation...Wiggins and Ramsey should particularly like this suggestion.
[I could find no evidence that a postwar convention (reunion) ever took place. There may have been small informal gatherings, but nothing significant enough to be reported in local newspapers. - Ed.]
LOOKING AT “BOOK” SITUATION THRU SMOKE COLORED GLASSES
Browsing thru some of the books Special Services send to the men overseas, we wonder who’s getting paid big money to cook up such out-of-the-way stuff and then pass it off as pertinent literature to the average GI..... We’ll wager that not more than 10 per cent of the stuff is read. Who cares about the life history of Mortimer Gurch or Lionel Sassafras? Who cares about a tome on “Lycanthropy” or the Diary of Ira Schleimiel? Undoubtedly it is good literature written by and about some great men, but does it fill the wishes of the average GI? A casual glance into the Squadron library should prove the shortcoming. Of course there’s plenty of Westerns, but outside of Shorty Long and a few others they go unread. They just take up needed space. Putting it bluntly, books touching on the risqué, “Strange Women,” “The Postman Always Rings Twice” and “God’s Little Acre” are far more in demand. A good mystery like “And Then There Were None” adds now and then also.
TD OR NOT TD, THAT IS THE QUESTION.---Ted Williams.
[“TD” is temporary duty. Soldiers were being given the choice of TD or “demobilization.” The opening article of the June 10, 1945, issue of The Squadron Pulse explains it more fully. The Ted Williams mentioned here was a soldier in the squadron, not the famous baseball player. - Ed.]
By Capt. R.W. Pollock
Each evening as you turn from the mess line you are confronted by an officer who sits at a table with a squadron roster and a dish full of yellow pills before him.
As you fumble and juggle your mess kit and cup trying to pick up your Atabrine, the officer is more than likely trying to out fumble you in guessing your name. He may be well acquainted with you, and know your name, but frequently during the rush of checking - there comes a mental block. Sure, that’s “The Greek,” the Greek smiles his cheerful grin to widen, cocks an eye knowingly and meanders down the mess hall. The Greek, the Greek. Oh yes, George.
Several step up and are passed and checked in quick recognition. Then another stumper. “It’s Hunky.” He slides away quickly---one stews----finally asks “Say, what the hell’s that follows name?” so speak up, clearly, giving name and rank.
Before the advent of the Atabrine register, the Medical Officer could always count on hospitalization of four or more individuals from this squadron with malaria. The register has given results.
No malaria - that’s the answer.....not one case...since the inauguration of direct supervision. Proving again, beyond all doubt that the specific remedy par excellence for malaria - is Atabrine.
[This system was necessitated in part because there had been rumors that Atabrine caused impotence, causing some troops to avoid taking it. - Ed.]
UNDER CONSTANT POUNDING
FORT “POLLOCK” PROVES IT CAN TAKE IT!
SKEPTICS ONCE LAUGHED - CALLED IT “FOLLY”
BUT NOW THE LAST LAUGH IS ON THEM
Staunch and sturdy it stands a formidable “rock” overlooking Sleepy Lagoon, a rock symbolizing engineering wizardry, and herculean brawn. This bastion, similar in greatness to the Colossus of Rhodes and the Overhanging Gardens of Babylon, has, as witnessed, shown its toughness, withstanding high altitude bombardment and constant assaults by more than 200 men daily. It is estimated, by this observer, on glancing into the bowels of this great fortress, that it could withstand at least 8 more months siege.
Again this war has proved that the Yanks can build anything from anything...It is definitely one of the great Squadron achievements...We Salute...Fort “Pollock.” [Referring to the latrine, named in honor of the squadron's doctor, Captain R.W. Pollock. - Ed.] -LHS
PERCY MILLER RETIRES!
“ON THE WAGON” HE SAYS
“GUZZLING DAYS ARE OVER”
Percy Miller has made himself clear thru the Pulse this week that he has set forth a new resolution—“Never to touch the vile stuff again.” He made this declaration solemnly and fully intends to keep himself at his word.
On questioning his contemporaries if they too were willing to retire, there seemed to be some indecision. Chick Crawford says....“Gottamonth to go yet.”
By R.V. Calkins
-It Happens to Everybody-
About a week ago, Sam Rosenblum came in the orderly room, tapped us on the shoulder, and said, “Calkins, you got a package--I think.” Since we were expecting a shipment of canned chicken, we rushed right over to the mail tent, drooling slightly in anticipation.
Then we saw the package. It was a sad sight. Obviously it had not been carried in the hold of the ship, but dragged behind in the water, probably with a long rope. Also, a 6x6 had driven over it, at least twice.
“How do you know this is ours?” we asked. Sam indicated the box. Written very faintly on the front we made out “Richard V---” and part of the old serial number.
“It’s in pretty bad condition, isn’t it?” we remarked. Sam shrugged and pointed out that his hands were tied.
We scooped up the box and took it to our tent, figuring that from the smell, somebody had sent us a carton of old eggs.
Now that the box is opened, our troubles have begun. We want to know:
1. Who the box was from?
2. What was in it?
The contents resemble nothing we ever saw before. First there is an outer coating of possibly Jell-O around the whole thing. Under this there is a large parcel of what, in some remote era, might have been candy. Aunt Minnie, who lives in Oklahoma, promised to send us some candy. Then-----there is that peculiar thing wrapped in red paper that has the exact shape, size and odor of a dead rat. That’s the stumper. Somehow we can’t imagine Aunt Minnie carefully wrapping up a dead rat in red paper.
And finally, there are some peanut shells, but no peanuts.
Well, our thanks goes out to whomever sent it, anyway. Merry Xmas!
When I was young
and in my prime,
I used to do it
All the time.
But now that I
Am old and gray,
I only do it
Once a day:
G.I.: “May I have this dance?”
Any Girl: “Certainly, if you can find a partner.”
Due to the shortage of space, unforeseen, and last minute exigencies, The PULSE, this issue could not publish all of its material submitted. The format originally laid out exceeded the allotted space, necessitating the omission of 5 excellent contributions. These will appear in the next issue.
Proving again that you can’t keep the 3rd on its back, Tilghman, Romalin, and Wooden came back to the outfit this week as sound (?) as ever. Welcome back, boys!
Schmitz, Kaufman, Williams, & Greenwell met their brothers this week.
By L.H. Stringfield
“OH TAKE ME BACK TO ORO BAY!”
Nathan Hale, Patrick Henry, Pokomoko! They all had their famous words in time of trial---so did Harold W. Ralston. The "Fox" may never get his in histories, but what he had to say on that first nite was shared by all of us in spirit. Said the Fox, “Why was I ever born?”
We can’t answer that but we do know where and why such words were spoken----place, Sowpac Hotel [SOWPAC was the Southwestern Pacific Command - Ed.], Oro Bay. That should explain everything.
In a way, I’m a sadist in writing up this ghoulish recollection, but the chance to let myself go, and gnash my teeth in disdain is upon me, and I can’t resist the temptation. Are you ready?
There’s no use mentioning the food (what there was of it) for I’m afraid that stomachs couldn’t bear it...even at this stage of the game. But we can mention, with appraisal, the outrigger latrines and the “Northern Tissue” waves that saved so much wear and tear.
Ask ole Charlie Horn about the rats---he quartered at least a platoon of them in his barracks bag. Remember that nite, Charlie, when they had you standing on your bed? Good thing you had Lindsey there to lend assistance.
Gads, there’s so many things. Remember the weird noises at night by candleglow-----the eerie hoots, howls and the chug-chug and clack-clack of frogs and lizards, and yes, even the P-call bird who wooed you forth at midnight. Among other things, remember the “Ross” which made us wear our gas masks. Recall the unloading detail...it had its very bad points. Remember our first Red Alert? It was about 1800. Some of us froze in our tracks, others, beyond call of duty and without regard for their personal safety, dove headlong into the swamp. But what could be expected from a bunch of “Queen Street Commandos”? Now that we’re battle-hewn vets, it should provide us with a good laugh. [Queen Street was the main street of Brisbane, and was the site of General MacArthur's wartime headquarters from July 1942 to November 1944. The phrase "Queen Street Commandos" refers to troops who spent the war far from the front lines and never saw any real combat. - Ed.]
Before you split your sides, there’s just a few more reminders. The picture wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the red-haired, beetle-nut chewing fuzzy wuzzies [natives - Ed.] who weren’t as dumb on a trade as they looked to be. They and they alone could stand the temperature.....which stood at 175° Fahrenheit at high noon. [About 79°C. Obviously an exaggeration. - Ed.] Well, anyway, we were near a famous battlefield...remember Buna?
Shall I go on? Okay, Goodnight.
Or J. G. Goes to Press
By Jerry Goodman
Well, fellas, we have been together a long time now and we all know each other pretty well. I hope by writing this column, things won’t change. Of course, if they do I won’t blame you. No kidding, we really have a swell outfit. Yes, I can remember the first time the 1st Sgt called us all in formation and said, “Men, if you all work hard and keep your nose to the brownstone there’s no reason why any of you can’t have my job. Of course the first one that tries will be working hard in the squadron airoe.” [The word “airoe” was probably meant to say "airee," which is how one of the sergeants pronounced "area," as related in a story in the March 24, 1945, issue. - Ed.] I better stop talking about the old boy that way---JG sounds better than KP.
I was around Tech Supply the other day. You know that iron matting they have around the building. Well, I heard Ted Williams singing, “You Can’t Fence Me In.” You know I can’t figure out how so many guys can sleep in that little place. But there’s one thing I can say about the strip---those guys are so eager to help you, they don’t have to prove it to me. When I pulled up in my jeep, Cecchi, Schlick and Crane opened the hood and pulled the engine out and started to give it a 100 hr inspection. Of course, I appreciate it, but the least they could have done was put it together again.
Of course, we all know Longhi. He’s the only guy that can open a can of bully beef, throw away the bully beef, and cook the can. None of us knows the difference, one tastes as bad as the other. Well, Gang, I will be buzzing you again, that is if any of you get the wrong idea, I used to be on the track team in my day, so about the only thing is a word I got from a friend of mine, and I’m sure a friend of yours---“REST”…