Preface to my forthcoming book:
"Starkmad Three (How USS LSM 92 and I Won the War)"
World War Two began for the United States of America with the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, December 7, 1941. It was the last Great War of the age of Pisces. It brought America out of the great depression and completed the shift of the national economic base from agriculture to industry.
I was fourteen years old on that "day that lives in infamy."
From then until the end of the war, the entire nation – every man, woman, and child – assumed the burden and responsibility for defending democracy and freedom. Loss of that war would have plunged the whole world into slavery and, if I had survived, this book would be written in German, Japanese or Russian.
This is a group of essays recounting my most memorable adventures from the beginning to the end of that period in American history when our differences were set aside and we were united for a single purpose: victory!
Freedom of speech and religion, and freedom from poverty and fear became the Four Freedoms that motivated us and united us behind the war cry: "Remember Pearl Harbor."
The information in this book is drawn primarily from my own experiences, and stories told to me by the heroes I was surrounded by at Iwo Jima. In an effort to synchronize my recollections with the facts of the battle, I obtained declassified copies of the Ship’s Log of my ship, USS LSM 92, and Battle Diaries of the Marine Divisions that captured and conquered the island.
During the Iwo Jima invasion and capture, the radio code name for USS LSM 92 was "Starkmad Three." Now you know where I got the title for this book.
During hours not otherwise occupied by ship duties, I sat in the radio room where the operator, Keith Drake, would turn on the speaker so I could hear what was happening away from the ship.
The signalman, "Smitty" Smith, with whom I stood watch when the ship was under way, also shared some of the news he learned from the blinking lights and waving semaphore flags.
The Quartermaster, Melvin Elliott, was from my home town, Lake Charles, Louisiana, and we whiled away many hours throughout the tour. We also shared our knowledge about battle events.
Other sources include several books about the battle, and the tactics of the Japanese under General Kurubayashi and Admiral Ichimaru. It is possible that their plan might have succeeded if the Japanese fleet had not been lost during the battle for the Philippine Islands.
Had those aircraft carriers and battleships arrived on schedule during the third day of the invasion they would have not only diverted air support, but also disrupted the transport of supplies and equipment needed by our troops. The plan was, on that day, to drive the Marines back to the beaches and annihilate them with the support of the Japanese fleet.
This isn’t meant to be a history, although the events are historic. This is a teenager’s adventure of a lifetime – and the extraordinary achievements of the "young generation" of civilians serving their country in time of need.
World War Three began for the United States
with the bombing of the Twin Towers of the
World Trade Center in New York City, September
11, 2001. It is the first Great War of the Age
of Aquarius. It will bring America from the
era of industry into the Information Age or
plunge the world into dark ages of tribal and
Strangely, I hear no cry of "Remember the