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Veteran’s Corner

Hello veterans, old Jesse here with all the veteran’s news and upcoming events. On Aug. 17, 1942, members of the elite 2nd Marine Raider Battalion conducted one of the first American offensives in the Pacific during World War II.  The Raiders, established in two battalions during the war, are considered the first U.S. Special Operations Force to form and see combat in World War II, according to Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command.  The men of 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, known as “Carlson’s Raiders,” were led by the legendary Lt. Col. Evans Carlson.  Col. Carlson used the term “gung-ho” (loosely translated, work together) to instill in his men the desire to accomplish their assigned missions.  In mid-August, Carlson’s Raiders were tasked with landing at Makin Atoll, part of the Gilbert Islands, to disrupt Japanese forces, and wreak havoc on the base established there, according to a Navy account.  The mission was also to distract Japanese forces from the Solomon Islands, where American troops were engaged in battles for Guadalcanal and Tulagi. The Raiders arrived at the island chain on two submarines, the Nautilus and the Argonaut.  Fighting broke out soon after Raiders arrived on land Aug. 17 at Butaritari, the chain’s largest island, according to the Navy account titled “Submarine Commandos, Carlson’s Raiders at Makin Atoll.”  Japanese snipers engaged the American’s from the tops of many of the coconut palm trees.  Carlson called for gunfire support from the submarines lying offshore, and Nautilus put her six-inch guns to good use, according to the account.  When the Marines ashore spotted a small transport and a patrol boat, Nautilus shifted fire to them and managed to sink both.  The Marines returned to Pearl Harbor and the mission was considered a morale boost back home.  It was later discovered that nine Marines had been left on Butaritari and were captured by the Japanese. They were beheaded under orders of a Japanese Vice-Admiral, according to the historical account.

Losing night-vision goggles can kill a career.  Troops keep their equipment close at hand in combat or in the field by “dummy cording” the gear.  Here’s why it called that, dummy cording means what it says, said Jefferson Reed, curator at the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning, Ga.  If you are not smart enough to keep up with your compass, we are going to tie it to you, he said. The method consists of tying looser items with a lanyard to harder-to-lose equipment, for example, attaching a compass to a belt or goggles to a helmet.  The practice dates back to the mounted cavalry in the late 1800s, Reed said. Today some troops tie down nearly all their equipment. In some cases, zip ties have replaced cord.

I’d like to remind all VFW members that the regular monthly meeting will be on Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 12:30 p.m. at Commander George Harada’s home, if you have any questions call the commander at 553-5730.  Also, I want to remind everyone that John Candello will be on island on Thursdays Oct. 6 and 13 at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. by appointment.  Call 553-3611 to make an appointment. I hope that everyone is working on their essay for our contest during the month of October, “What does being an American mean to you?” Send entries post marked no later than Nov. 1 to PO Box 482219, Kaunakakai, 96748, or email editor@themolokaidispatch.com, and good luck to all.  Please let’s not forget our military personnel stationed around the world, and especially those in harms-way.  We send them a big mahalo, and to our veterans at home for all they have done, and the people of Molokai you all are very special, I love you all.  If you have any news or coming events, please give old Jesse a call at 553-3323.


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