Return to Matt Kaye's, US NAVY SCOUTS AND RAIDERS
In 1997, shortly after I "got on the net" I began a search for information about the WWII unit of my late cousin Bill Harrison. All I knew about Bill's experience was that he had been a Navy Frogman. As with many of that "Greatest Generation" Bill never talked a great deal about his wartime experiences.
Along the way, in my search among numerous WWII Special Warfare websites I came upon a great story by Matthew Kaye and his experience with the WWII Scouts and Raiders. I bookmarked his story, exchanged a few emails with Matt and didn't think much more about it until one day a year or so later I clicked on his website to learn that his friend was maintaining it and that Matt had died. Saddened by that bit of information, I thought, "OK, at least Matt's story will still be there". Then, several months later I discovered his website was deleted from it's server.
Kicking myself for having not saved Matt's story, I looked for it on the net and did manage to locate the first three parts of it but the entire SACO (Sino-American Co-operative Organization) section was missing. That is, until one day recently when I received an email from a fellow who said he had downloaded the entire story and would send it to me. (Jim Megee I owe you a beer or three).
Matt Kaye's story is now complete.
But wait, there's more.
I kept looking at that SACO reference and decided I wanted to know more about it.
An internet search yielded the following (see the excerpts below) from an interesting website called A Mini-History of Naval Weather & Oceanography.
It is a subset of the (NWSA)
Naval Weather Service Association Additional searches
based upon data found in this source provided much more information about
RADM Milton Miles, OSS and SACO during WWII.
[ Note: Mirror site for the NWSA ]
[ All searches were done using the experimental INQUIRUS - see MAIN ENGINES ]
Now you know the rest of the story.
Oh! And my cousin Bill's Navy Frogman experience? Yes, you bet I did find more information about that --- and you can read all about it in the website I created about the HISTORY OF UDT-14.
The internet --- some damned powerful technology huh?
|Here is the excerpt
from the Mini-History of Naval Weather & Oceanography website.
Terry and the Pirates
There are many tales told of World War Two and the men and women who served but one of the more interesting was that of SACO, the Sino-American Co-operative Organization.
CNO ADM Ernest King hand picked RADM USN Ret (then CAPT) Milton E. Miles as CO and Aerology Officer, CAPT USN Ret (then CDR) the late Irwin F. Byerly as XO giving them verbal orders to "help the Navy and harass the Japanese".
From that start came a 50,000 man guerilla army, most of which was Chinese, and a large network of weather reporting stations providing up-wind data to our down-wind fleet fighting the war.
The movie, Destination Gobi, with Richard Widmark dramatized SACO and included an improbable battle between American and Japanese junks which actually occurred and proved to be the final "naval battle" of WWII.
Yes, the SACO junks won the day and the Japanese CO turned his sword over to Junk Captain, LT Livingston "Swede" Swentzell USNR. War lords and genuine pirates were enlisted into the fight including one lady pirate who was the prototype for the Dragon Lady of Terry and the Pirates by Milton Caniff who later wrote and did the art work for Steve Canyon comics.
SACO forces killed, wounded or captured 33,000 Japanese, destroyed 209 bridges, 84 locomotives and 141 ships and rivercraft. They also rescued nearly eighty pilots and aircrewmen during the last years of the war. WO William E. Skrym was lost on a flight in the Canton-Johnston Island area.
|Found these movie references via a
[ Copied from HERE ]
The movie: DESTINATION GOBI
Synopsis from The Motion Picture Exhibitor, February 25, 1953
In 1945, navy chief petty officer Sam McHale (Richard Widmark) is accompanying a group of navy meteorologists in the Gobi Desert, serving as a station sending weather observations to the naval forces. Mongol nomads, headed by Kengtu, become friendly. To gain their aid, McHale has 60 saddles flown in, and gives them to the Mongols, at the same time training them in case the Japanese arrive. Japanese planes bomb the post, and the Mongols flee. McHale and his men leave, and later catch up with the Kengtu band. Kengtu refuses to help them, so the navy takes back its saddles, which are sold to native trader Yin Tang in return for camel transportation to the coast. Yin Tang attempts to kill McHale and his men, but Kengtu and the Mongols arrive in time, and with more Mongols agrees to accompany them on their trek to the coast. The men arrive in a Japanese-held Chinese village. The navy men are captured, believing Kengtu responsible. Later, they learn that their capture is part of Kengtu's plan to help them escape. Kengtu and the men take over a Chinese junk. The Japanese send a patrol boat after it. However, with the aid of an old cannon, the Japanese vessel is sunk, but Wilbur Cohen, one of the naval group, is killed. The junk proceeds with Kengtu on board, and the men are spotted by navy planes. As the planes, thinking the junk is operated by the Japanese, are about to fire, they see a message on the deck of the junk: "U.S.S. Cohen." Later, McHale returns to the Mongol camp with Kengtu, who is given a horse and blankets for his band, all bearing the insignia "First Mongolian Cavalry."
Destination Gobi: Link to another internet
|The following have references to RADM
Milton Miles and/or SACO and/or China Ops WWII
RADM Miles book:
|The following Information was copied
Subject: SACO..the WW2 Rice Paddy Navy
From: PKDW76A@prodigy.com (MR FRANK A BAILLIE JR)
Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999
Weathermen of SACO (also known as the U.S. Naval Group China ) - There are many tales told of World War Two and of the men and women who served, but one of the more interesting was that of SACO, the Sino- American Co-operative Organization. CNO ADM Ernest King hand picked RADM USN Ret (then CAPT) Milton E. Miles as CO and Aerology Officer, CAPT USN Ret (then CDR) the late Irwin F. Byerly as XO giving them verbal orders to "help the Navy and harass the Japanese". From that start came a 50,000 man guerilla army, most of which was Chinese, and a large network of weather reporting stations providing up-wind data to our down-wind fleet fighting the war. The movie, "Destination Gobi", with Richard Widmark dramatized SACO and included an improbable battle between American and Japanese junks which actually occurred and proved to be the final "naval battle" of WWII.
Yes, the SACO junks won the day and the Japanese CO turned his sword over to Junk Captain, LT Livingston "Swede" Swentzell USNR. War lords and genuine pirates were enlisted into the fight including one lady pirate of the South China Sea who was the prototype for the "Dragon Lady" of "Terry and the Pirates," by Milton Caniff, who later wrote and did the art work for "Steve Canyon" comics. SACO forces killed, wounded or captured 33,000 Japanese, destroyed 209 bridges, 84 locomotives and 141 ships and river craft. They also rescued nearly eighty pilots and aircrewmen during the last years of the war.
Flying Tiger Aerographers - On 24 July 1942 three Navy Aerographers mates were released from active duty to report to the Central Aircraft Manufacturing Co. of New York. These three personnel along with two Army weather observers became the Aerological branch of the American Volunteer Group, better known as the" Flying Tigers". They were Aerog 2/c D.A. Whelpley, Aerog 3/c A.W. Fritzke and Aerog 3/c R.S. Richardson.
Aerogs become Aerms - On 8 Aug 1942, the aerographer rating was changed to Aerographers Mate by Circular Letter 113-42. Aerogs became Aerms.
Former Navy weathermen on the current roster of the SACO Association:
Mr. Lacey Abbey AGC USN Ret 5654 Glen Ridge Way, Klamath Falls, OR 97603 503-882-7684
Dr Elwood F. Booth 7421 Thunderbird Rd Liverpool, NY 13088 Tel..1- 315-457-7751
Mr. Paul Boroff 430 Golden Isles Dr Halllandale, FL 33009
Mr. Kinsell L. Coulson 119 Bryce Way Vacaville, CA 95687-3405
Mr. Thoma S. Dennison 2020 Park St #804 Jacksonville, FL 32204-3848
Mr. Robert G. Ferguson 111 Villa Ave Lake Placid, FL 33852
Mr. Willie G. Flournoy Jr Rte One Box 359 (2991 Hi-way-2) Laurel Hill, FL 32567 Tel..1-850-652-4257 X-AGC served in USS Phillipine Sea early Korea w Bill Willis. He was known as "Jungle Jim" in WW2 China.
Mr. Rufus H. Forest (X-LT) 413 Woodland Wake Forest, NC 27587
Mr. James F.Kelly 3030 Edgemont St Philadelphia, PA 19134-5048
Mr. John N. Klos 14 Lepore Dr Lancaster, PA 17602-2640
Mr. Reno G. Luchini 1034 Emery Dr Pittsburgh, PA 15227-4000
Mr. Angus A. MacInnes (an Officer) 733 Plant. Est. #B111 Matthews, NC 28105
Mr. Henry Mastenbrook (an Officer) 2922 Pine Spring Rd Falls Church, VA 22040
Mr. William P. Simmons (an Officer) 42 Juniper Serra Ave San Rafael, CA 94901-2320
Mr. Walter J. Stoddard 7449 East 20th St Tucson, AZ 85710
Mr. O. E. Williams (X AerM 1/c) 3158 Majestic Circle Avondale Estates, GA 30002
Mr. Randall S. Richardson, a 1941 A School Class 20 graduate & classmate of NWSA Historian CDR Ret Don Cruse & a recently identified SACO member - 9700 Sundial Dr Las Vegas NV 89134 Tel 702-228-7377
Note: If there are any former members of SACO, the Sino American Co- operative Association, out there you may wish to contact WW2 China shipmates via the SACO Association whose Membership Chairman is: Paul Casamajor of 2605 Sakian Indian Dr #6, Walnut Creek, CA 94595-3035
AGs arrive - The Aerographer's mate rating abbreviation, Aerm, was changed to AG by Circular Letter 106-48 on 9 June 1948. S 1/c, S 2/c and AS became AN, AA and AR..
AGs depart - On 15 April 1949 Fleet Weather Central Shanghai was disestablished as Chinese Communist forces took over the country. Personnel from Fleet Weather Central and the Kang Wan airfield joined Com Nav Wes Pac staff personnel and ship's company in USS Eldorado to make it one of the largest known groups of AGs on any ship:
Captain Paul Droulihet USN, ComNav Wes Pac Staff Aerologist was the senior Weatherman present. Capt Droulihet had relieved Capt Irwin Francis Beyerly who had been the last CO of SACO.
FWC Shanghai: CO CDR K.F. Lafferty, XO LCDR E.H. Potter, LT R.G Terwilliger, LTJG R.C. Parker, WO Willard W. VanBuskirk, AGC Arthur "Red" Thomas ( X-SACO), AG1s Marvin White and Jimmy Whittemore; AG2s Robert R. Collins, E.J. Freed, , L.M. Rodney Homan, Cal Marder and Don R.Wise; AG3s H.D Camp, B.F. Ellis, R.H. Houtalen, M.W. Thomas, J.R. Young, M.E. Pope, E.J. Ed Rousseau, "Willy" Thompson and J.V. Stice. Kang Wan Airfield: AG3s Frank Bailey, McCaffrey and Tarnow.
ComNavWesPac staff and SS Eldorado crew: AGC Jack Tanner, AG2 Fred Farnsworth, AG3 Frank Baillie, AGANs Bill Willis and Leocaido Galang.
Aerographers mates "took a number" in order to do weather work while enroute to Tsingtao.
Frank Baillie, Associate Member of the SACO Association (a "groupie"?)