My Dad the U.S. China Marine

My Dad the U.S. China Marine

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Time Flies in My Corner of the Historical Blog World...

Time has very quickly flown by! This past summer has been one of the busiest in recent years. As such I've been a bit neglectful of this blog and others.

I just completed the summer term at Hawaii Tokai International College where, for the past five years, I've taught speech communications in the Liberal Arts Program, and occasionally American history courses in the College Placement Program. This is my first break in five years. Though I am not a tenured faculty I suppose you might say that I will be on sabbatical until early 2012.

Recently I was invited and accepted a call to join the University of Hawaii's Kapiolani Community College Arts and Sciences. For the past three weeks I started working with a visiting group of teachers from South Korea. The subject: Teaching English in English as we do it here in the USA for ESL students. Tomorrow I attend a farewell luncheon for this group -though we will be staying in touch. I often wished that Dad was alive to be witness to this. Just imagine -with computers, WIFI and e-mail I will be staying in contact with some of the most passionate educators I've encountered -all instantaneously. What a time to be alive!

I expect to be working with other visiting groups for the next few months. I also look forward to returning to Tokai after the first of the year.

In the meantime I will be catching up on my blogging here. I was delighted to hear from another descendant of a China Marine, and I hope to hear from more of you! Please post comments and stay in touch. Together we can work to bring to the forefront the rich history of America's China Marines in postwar China.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Japanese Language Documents: What Are They?

One of the biggest mysteries from my late-father's albums is below. The scanned images are of an envelope containing what appear to be official documents, all printed and written in Japanese. (I originally thought these were Chinese).

I'd be interested in learning what they are, what the writing says and the significance of these documents. Please contact me! Any help is appreciated!

Military Currency

This is a scan of military currency -see the top bar of each sample taped to the page. Does 'Ten Sen' translate to ten cents? I'm curious about that. Since I'm not adept at reading Chinese I am curious to know what the rest says in English. Were these issued to the U.S. Marines to be traded for currency, or was this used in lieu of cash? If you know please contact me. Thanks!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Many Classic Phrases Attributed To Marines: Some Date Many Decades

Many Classic Phrases Attributed To Marines: Some Date Many Decades
Honolulu Star Bulletin: Thursday, November 8, 1945.

“This is where we separate the men from the boys.”

“You won’t get any Purple Hearts in a foxhole.”

If you want to win this war, let’s get the hell up that ridge.”

These are some of the classic phrases you are likely to hear these days as the Marine Corps observes its 170th anniversary Saturday.

Products of World War II, these words uttered in the heat of battle have taken their place in Marine Corps legend along with other famous sayings such as:

“Tell it to the Marines!” “The Marines have landed and have the situation well in hand,” and, “Retreat, hell! We just got here!”

Few people, including Marines, can agree on the origin of most of these utterances, but no less a literary figure than Samuel Pepys is credited as authority for the origin of “Tell it to the Marines!”

The general public’s conception of the term Leatherneck as standing for the toughness of the service is not objected to by the Marines, but a more definite origin exists.

Leatherneck is a title that came to be applied to the Marines in the revolutionary days of wooden ships, when our soldiers of the sea wore leather collars reaching from collar bone to ear for the quite practical purpose of protecting the neck and jugular vein from the boarding pike and cutlass.

A semblance of the early precaution is still retained in the high, tight fitting collar of the Marines blue dress uniform.

The Marines’ other appellation best known to the public –Devil Dogs- is said to have originated in the first world war when German newspapers reported that American Devil Dogs were holding up their progress in Bellau Wood.

The term was well applied for the Devil Dogs not only held up progress, but launched an offensive of their own.

Capt. Lloyd Williams uttered a remark which ranks high among the favorites of the Marines themselves.

French troops were in full retreat when the scanty, untried Marines of the 4th brigade began digging in for a stay at BellauWood.

French officers informed Capt. Williams that the situation was hopeless and ordered the Marines to join in the general retreat.

Capt. Williams stood surprised for a moment, then calmly replied, “Retreat hell! We just got here,:

Several “firsts” are claimed for the report. “The Marines have landed and have the situation well in hand.”

One story dates it to a landing at Panama in 1885 as reported by a British consul.

Semper Fidelis, a Latin motto mean “always faithful” was officially adopted by the Marine Corps in 1926, though it had been associated with the Marines long before. It is above the eagle on the Marine flag and on all printed emblems.

First to fight, often found in references to the Leathernecks, begins the fifth line of the Marines’ hymns –First for right and freedom.

The Marines, since they often are already on foreign soil when trouble breaks, and since they are first ashore to seize and hold enemy bases during a naval offensive, usually make the initial contact with hostile ground forces.

The warning, Don’t Tread on Me, has been lettered on the drums of Marine bands since the first fife and drum corps paraded the streets of Philadelphia in 1775.

The motto is not an exclusive Marine possession, but Marines helped John Paul Jones, who flew the rattlesnake flag on his ships, win all his major victories.

The expression “a Marine never surrenders” is credited to Capt. Gilbert D. Hatfield, who refused an enemy general’s demand to give up with those words.

Monday, February 21, 2011

U.S. Bungling in China Said Dangerous: Wedemeyer On Spot

U.S. Bungling in China Said Dangerous: Wedemeyer On Spot
Honolulu Advertiser: November 11, 1945, page 9.

By Louis F. Keemle (United Press Staff Correspondent)

The situation in China has become so explosive that united States policy –whaever it is- appears due for revision or a clear statement of aims.

Whether the United States is “intervening” or “interfering” in China’s internal affairs is a subject of controversy. The Chinese Communists and their supporters insist that it is a military intervention. United States military and diplomatic authorities contend that the sole purpose is to facilitate the disarmament of 2,000,000 Japanese troops in China and the deportation of the troops and another 2,000,000 Japanese civilians.

U.S. Public Not Fooled
That explanation is given to account for the presence of United States Marines in North China and the movement of the Ghungking government troops northward to the Communist-dominated area by United States airplanes and ships. The explanation is too simple and has not been accepted by the American public as telling the whole story.

Much confusion has arisen because of conflicting statements by American authorities in China and Washington, and by the Communist and Kuomintang factions in China. Recent developments include the following:

Lt. Gen. Albert C. Wedemeyer, U.S. commander in China, told the press in Washington three weeks ago that the Marine strength in China would be built up by more than 50,000 by the end of the year. Yesterday he said on Peiping that evacuation of American forces from North china may begin in about a week. Secretary of States James F. Byrnes said the same thing in Washington.

Wedemeyer “Explains”
Previously Wedemeyer had said that if any really serious trouble started between the Communist and Central government forces, American forces would be withdrawn. He denied emphatically that American forces had aided the Chinese Nationalists in actual fighting. Nevertheless, American Marines have been wounded in rifle exchanges with the Chinese Communists. That does not belie Wedemeyer’s statement, although it shows the potential danger of a grave clash.

The Communists have just reported that Nationalist forces below the Great Wall have opened an attack to break through the Shanhaikwan pass into Southern Manchuria. The official Central News Agency reported almost simultaneously from Chungking that peace negotiations have been resumed.

The Communists also cited three specific examples of alleged American intervention. They charged that American forces have occupied the Communist office in Peiping and disarmed and questioned the personnel. An apology was demanded of Wedemeyer.

The Nationalist newspaper Tu Kung Pao said in Chingking that the 3,000 American airplanes now in China are being turned over to the central government. A State Department spokesman in Washington said a five-year military mission would be set up in China to reorganize and train the central government’s armies.