Sea Mail


FLYING WAVES

"Those Flying Waves of WWII" in the December issue of Sea Classics was quite interesting to a former resident of Terminal Island until the outbreak of WWII. The writer's choice of words "Bizarre" to put it mildly. On page 13 she writes: "Terminal Island was one of the first islands seized from Japanese-American fishermen and cannery workers..." with the implication that it was a Japanese territory. Why doesn't she mention the basic fact that it is located in Los Angeles Harbor between San Pedro and Long Beach?

Sure there were some 3000 of us who were evicted from the Island on 26 February, on 48 hours' notice, after having been born and raised there. Naturally our parents were born in Japan but had been living in the US for decades and couldn't become US citizens until 1952.

As one of the over 14,000 Japanese-Americans who were in the US Army in Europe or the Pacific and as one of the few Terminal Islanders still living the implication that it was "seized" is stupid, to put it mildly!

Disgustedly,

K.S. Yamashita,

Lt.Col. (Ret.)

Lebanon, NH

ANNIVERSARY

Congratulations on your 35th Anniversary!

I am a 20-year subscriber and used to purchase copies from the newsstand prior to 1982.

I noted that Vol. 1. No 1 is dated June 1968. Coincidentally, in June 1968, this fleet-rated sailor, serving with a naval mobile construction battalion (NMCB-7) was contemplating an eight-month deployment to Dong Ha, RVN (about five miles from the DMZ) in July. With six months of homeport time at an end following my return from four months with the battalion's earlier deployment to RVN, this was a very anxious time for me. This was categorized as "sea duty" and I never got close to a ship during my nearly two years of active duty.

However, my interest in naval history started in the mid-1950s and continues today and this is why I enjoy your magazine so much.

To all at Sea Classics, a hearty "Well Done!" is very much in order.

Bob Langill

Sunset Beach, NC

KAMIKAZES

In respect to February 2003 Sea Classics, Dan Houston, "The First Suicide Bombers", page 48, next to last paragraph, says - "It got worse a few days later at the Battle of Surigao Straits. Any of you guys there?" Yes, I was there! See my letter in December 1992 Sea Classics, page 4. My ship USS Hidatsa (ATF-102) in the early hours of 25 October 1944, was just east of Dinagat Island, the northern tip of which forms some of the restrictions of Surigao Strait. While Dan Houston's article focused on kamikaze activity, there was no kamikaze, or other aircraft in the Battle of Surigao Straits. We on the USS Hidatsa saw and heard the gun flashes across Dinagat Island. Just hours after this gun battle ended. The Hidatsa went around the northern tip of Dinagat, into Surigao Strait to salvage the USS Albert W. Grant (DD-649), which was the only US ship to be damaged in that battle. The Battle of Surigao Straits was strictly an early morning (before daylight), gun and torpedo battle. I am not aware of any US or Japanese aircraft in the area at the time of the action!

Sincerely,

Frank B. Turberville, Jr.,

Milton, NC

LEARN FROM THE PAST - DON'T THROW IT OUT!

This commentary is in response to the November "Forum" article by Marshall Levitz, titled "Forget the Battleships." While some of his points are well taken, and, in my opinion "Old News," his disdain for the usefulness of battleships in ANY role is, to put it mildly, misguided. Yes, since the introduction of aircraft on a large scale, the chances for ship-to-ship gun battles were and are slim and none. However, as a protective weapons platform working in conjunction with the rest of the fleet, the battleship has undoubtedly prevented the damage and/or sinking of numerous other naval vessels, not the least of which are the aircraft carriers of which Mr. …

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