Yesterday, dear kind Bob along with his wife Joyce, of whom I never met before, attended my sale. His smile, so endearing, so sweet as was his wife’s.
Of course, I jumped out of my cashiers chair to hug this wonderful man. We began chatting as usual, thus he opened with this brief tale. You know I would have been a war hero, did you know that?
Well, no I hadn’t heard.
Yes, I would have received many medals of valor had it not been for the yellow streak down my back.
Of course, we all laughed and then he added. You know I’ve told that to younger ones and they don’t get it. Again we laughed with our wisdom filled acknowledgement of a yellow bellied skunk or a person who is a coward.
I mentioned to him, that I write down his stories while he chats, of which he was pleased. He then added a bit more precise information to the previous blog I wrote titled WWII – Memories & Orbs. Again, I wrote as quickly as I could so not to forget his fabulous stories!
I was in the service during the cold war years in Kawajlein, in the Marshall Islands. The U.S. sent in intelligence officers, from time to time, to check on us to see how we handled ourselves. One time from the Kawajlein airport came several college professors, nuclear scientists to work in our section. We were told to never tell anyone who anyone was. You see, if enemy spies came onto the island or any place else during the cold war, any enemy would then know who to kill and would know what we might be working on. No, we were given strict orders not to tell anything we knew no matter who asked. We’d say….my orders are confidential.
But this guy in my section, when an unknown intelligence officer came by asking this and that question, acting like a friend, this private answered all his questions. Thus telling all he knew about this scientist, that scientist, their titles etc.
We worked on atomic nuclear prototypes and weapons. See, it was just a few years after WWII, during peace time, but still the war was fresh in our minds. When the intelligence man asked me questions, I knew better than to say anything but my orders are confidential. No explanation, no information given out.
The next day counter intelligence officers came to our quarters and swooped that guy up and out of the Navy! Back to the states. There’s no tolerance for that kind of behavior because lives are at stake.
He also mentioned that ships all around the Marshall Islands used for operation Crossroads, (check it out here) looked like ghost ships. I grabbed one of the photos from the above website to note what Bob saw and spoke of. Erie….he said, very erie. All personnel had to be tested every week for radiation exuding from these ships. Read the information, it’s really amazing what our brave men went through!
Thanks to Bob, I have another wonderful story to share!
Enjoy and learn from our elders.