Monday, July 4, 2011

Dr. Starr T-shirts, and memories of Corregidor

Some time ago, I mentioned to Dr. Starr that I'd like to put this saying of his on a shirt:
"Every time a newspaper fails, we lose a little freedom."

I finally did! Here is the early version of the shirt:

I'm ordering one to test the print quality and then I'll ship the first one to Dr. Starr. (Note: I'm slowly migrating the Aggie Journalists shirts over to Printfection, because the CafePress terms of service are untenable.)

Today being the Fourth, I offer up this bit of good reading: Dr. Starr's description of taking Corregidor in World War II, when he served on the USS Nicholas. Excerpts:
Our destroyer task group was based in Subic Bay, two hours up the coast from Manila Bay. At 0330 each morning for four days, we stood out of Subic Bay and steamed south, arriving in Manila Bay two hours later, just before dawn. Our task was to soften up Corregidor as much as possible before the paratroopers went in for the final clean-up. I did not envy them.
We bombarded Corregidor as long as it was daylight. For two days, the Nicholas and others steamed close to the cliffsides, point-blank-range close, to draw Japanese fire from the tunnel openings. The idea was to find the guns and silence them. But we had to give the Japanese first shot.
The scheme worked. We were shot at continually and we silenced quite a few of those cliffside guns.
Because it was a continuing fight, we stayed at battle stations all day every day. We took individual breaks for meals. Breakfast and supper were served during the two-hour run between Subic and Manila. Dinner was not served as such. Each unit in the ship sent one or two men at a time to eat. We ate in a hurry and hastened back to our battle stations. Mine was on the bridge, so I was witness to much of the action.
After Corregidor, the Nicholas participated in the landings at Zamboanga, Cebu, Borneo, and Okinawa, and, finally, the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay.

Dr. Starr is on Facebook, and you can tell from all the posts by his former students how highly we regard him. Go check him out!