Southern Appalachian Digital Collections

Western Carolina University (21) View all
  • Owens, Samuel Robert, 1918-1995 (11)
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  • Bennett, Kelly, 1890-1974 (0)
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  • Samuel Robert Owens Collection (94)
  • Venoy and Elizabeth Reed Collection (16)
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  • Frank Fry Collection (0)
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The Canopus

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Item’s are ‘child’ level descriptions to ‘parent’ objects, (e.g. one page of a whole book).

  • The Canopus was seaworthy again in a few days, although much ammunition had been lost by flooding the magazines, and several store rooms were badly messed up by the explosion. This cloud, however, had a silver lining for our Supply Officer, Lieutenant "Gus" Johnson, who found his office wrecked and his accounts burned, giving him a heaven-sent chance to put an end to all his laborious accounting system for the duration. From that time on, our supply system was beautifully simple. What we had, we could use without the usual red tape, and if something was lacking, nothing could be done about it except to improvise a substitute or do without. There was nothing for the men to spend their money on, so there were no more pay days. Ice cream and canteen supplies were free as long as they lasted. All clothing became community property, to be doled out to whatever unfortunate should appear in the most nearly naked condition. This Utopian state inevitably led to much closer relations among the crew and officers, and welded us all into a great family, working and fighting in a common cause, with only one aim—to do our damnedest to lick the Japs. Curiously enough, the boys who had been the worst troublemakers in time of peace became our most shining lights in wartime. Perhaps they had just too much restless energy for their own good when things were normal, but this same quality enabled them to perform prodigies when the chips were down. Ordinary methods of discipline of course failed, since the men got no liberty or pay anyhow, and what normally would be extra duty was now only the usual stint for everyone. But punishments were fortunately unnecessary, as the spirit of the community would tolerate no shirkers, and the men themselves saw to it that no one was derelict in his duty. When the last of the submarines, carrying the Commodore and his staff to a new southern base, had pulled out just before the New Year opened, we were left with something of the feeling of a mother when the last of her children has grown up and left the home fires, to battle the world alone. Nothing would-seem more useless than a submarine tender with no submarines to look out for, but we were soon to find that there were orphans aplenty to be adopted. There were many small Navy ships which were also stranded by the tide of war ebbing toward the south. These needed constant repairs as well as additional equipment for the task ahead of them. The word also got around to all Army and Air Force Units, of the well equipped shops which could and did accomplish miracles of improvisation, and these groups were not slow in making full use of all facilities. Again the men of the Canopus could feel that they had a major share in the new mission—to hold Bataan. Tojo's war birds, however, still wanted to have something to say as to whether the Canopus would stay in service. Our first bombing had made-it apparent that the ship was not exactly a safe spot to while away the daylight hours, so the policy was adopted of scattering as many of the crew as possible ashore, to sleep as best they could during the day, and return, on board for -work all night. Volunteers were called for to man the anti-aircraft guns during the danger period, with such response that practically no changes resulted in the regular gun crews. With the Gunnery Officer, Lieutenant "Red" Otter in
Object
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Object’s are ‘parent’ level descriptions to ‘children’ items, (e.g. a book with pages).