USS Salt Lake City CA25
"The SaltShaker"
"Queen of the Seas"
Vol. III No. XVIII, Sunday, December 24th, 1944

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Captain E. A. Mitchell, Commanding Officer
Commander J. T. Brewer, Executive Office

Chap. Arthur B. Turner, Lt.,
W. D. Dwyer, Y1c. Deceased
Charles L. Maschinot, RT2c ball-red-02 Deceased
R. C. Shanaberger, Slc

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A Letter to Saint Nicholas

Dear Saint Nicholas,

Please don't stop at our house this Christmas. Diane doesn't want you to. She is only three, and like other little girls, she loves dolls but she knows that there will be presents far more important for you to deliver. So she doesn't want to take up your time this Christmas. Some bright tomorrow will do.

Diane doesn't know how to write yet, so she has asked me, her father, to write you to be sure not to overlook any marks on the chimneys of the world in this fateful Year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and forty-four. Be sure, Saint Nicholas, to leave the Star of Bethlehem for the peacemakers so that its light, out of the East, will make them wise men, and compassionate and humble. Leave them, too, the gift of the spirit of brotherhood, so that they will know that we are all the children of God, whether bronze or white, yellow or brown, whether we were born under the Pillars of Hercules or in Gathay.

NOW DASHER, NOW DANCER, NOW PRANCER AND VIXEN! Hasten, for the time grows short. be sure, Saint Nicholas, to leave tolerance for those who dwell in the halls of persecution. Shower upon the fighting men the gift of eternal gratitude. To all cynics leave the road to yesterday when, asleep like Little Boy Blue, they dreamed of gingerbread castles and rock candy mountains.

ON COMET, ON CUPID, ON DONDER AND BLITZEN! The journey is long, and already there is light in the East. Sweeten the grapes of wrath, Saint Nicholas. Into the dark valleys of doubt from the Levant to the China Sea, leave trust, all wrapped in bright cellophane, and in the ghettos of the earth leave that most precious of all gifts...hope. Leave unselfishness for Capital, and leave the just reward of ambition for Saturday's Children...the children of labor.

Yes, it will be quite all right if you miss our house this year, Saint Nicholas. Diane wants it that way, and so do Christopher Robin and Peter Pan and all the fairies in Kensington Gardens. How do I know all this? Well, I can't quite explain it. It is something Diane told me without words one night...when I looked at her while she was asleep.

Gratefully Yours, Alan Hynd

Article Index

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The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Sad Salt

The movie the other evening on the "Well Deck," was one to be remembered by the crew of the old "Sway-Back". As it undoubtedly will go down in the annals of movie history as one of the greatest stories ever shown on the screen.

The story based around Peru, was one that contained many morals as sidelights to the main morals, all of which were highly dramatized and almost hidden. It was the sort of picture that makes one feel, after seeing it, that there is more to life that mercenary pleasures and amusements. And was the type of picture to make one feel more satisfied, "with his own side of the fence".

The picture had a religious or rather we should say, a spiritual aspect to it, especially in the climatic scene, "The breaking of The Bridge of San Luis Rey".

If you will remember this scene was repeated on the screen twice, once in the beginning and again at the end. The question of which was the motive for the entire story, was the question of "Just why....why were those particular five people on the bridge at the time." It is our opinion that the author emphasized on this question so as to make up realize just who and what those five people were and what they represented in comparison to our lives and actions. Because most care was taken to dramatize their past lives and actions.

The main point to the movie was the bridge scene, which showed that neither was expecting anything, and of the five, there was only one who was not afraid to die, that was the little girl. The rest had done something or some things, all their lives of which to be afraid to meet their maker, she alone remained calm. Of the lesser points was the proving of just how false that old saying of "The grass is always greener in the other fellow's pasture," as was proven in the case of the part played by Lynn Bari, wherein she strived to be like other people, reaches her objective, only to find out that she was much happier as she was.

So all in all it was a very deep picture, and was appreciated by all. It's no wonder it was the year's academy award winner.

Article Index

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PEARL HARBOR, by Priscilla H. Blakelin

We'll forget the Maine, and our fuss with Spain
but forget Pearl Harbor? NEVER.
Nor low-down Japan, with her murderous gang
We'll remember her treachery forever.
And when she is beat, knows the sorrow of defeat,
And begs us again to trust her,
Just to five her a show, our answer will be NO,
We are all working hard now to break her.
Land of the rising sun, your turn now has come.
To watch your sun of conquest go down.
Like a whipped and snarling dog, shut out in the cold fog
You'll get your knockout in the last round
Return to Pearl Harbor Info.

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December 29th, 1944
Happy New Year Folks....

Our lookout forw'd just saw a couple of reindeer romping through the sky northward....but we're hoping they're B-29's on their way to deliver a few late Christmas presents to the Japs in Tokyo's front yard, with plenty of .50-caliber tinsel and 1000- pound ornaments for Tojo's Christmas tree!

Well, Folks, plenty happened this Christmas; we missed your swell cooking, Mom, and the chance to give Dad a new pair of slippers (why does somebody always give him slippers?). But we tried to make up for it by kicking Togo in the pants---twice. You'll read about it in the hometown newspaper, but let me give you a super-duper, eye-witness account of why we didn't have time to sing any Christmas carols.

It was my Christmas gift to the folks back home.

You know the Army boys have been walloping Tokyo with their B-29's. They've made it pretty hot for the Nips. Well, the Japs have an island a few hundred miles from Tokyo that needed some attention by our Navy and our idea of a Christmas present was a bombardment of that island that the Japs would remember---as Dad would say when he gets out his old 20-gauge to snag a chicken hawk.

Well, Folks, we really worked 'em over. We cruised up there first the day before Christmas (while you were laying the presents out around the Christmas Tree). We had some cruisers and destroyers. the Army worked with us on the show and their B-24 bombers pasted the Japs plenty before we moved in; some P-38's also went in and put the Nips in their foxholes (the idea was to keep their planes on the ground so they couldn't attack us). They did a swell job.

Our targets were coastal guns, buildings, fuel dumps, ships, planes....anything with the Jap red circle on it. We followed the "Navigator's track" (that's our course) around the island and pumped our big shells into their gun positions; we lobbed over plenty of five-inch stuff, too. Folks, it was really something!

The noise was terrific. Powder fumes drifted back after every salvo and over a loud speaker the voice of our plane spotter came in, telling us the results of our fire. A few seconds after each salvo, from then on, he would tell us the results and give us corrections.

We plugged at them for over an hour. We started some fires and shook 'em up plenty. We also did some counter-battery fire; that is, we fired back at shore batteries that revealed themselves by shooting at us. It was better than a turkey shoot, folks, and we left a lot of Christmas Eve headaches for the Japs on the island that day.

Two of our destroyers chased a Jap destroyer 85 miles when she tried to escape. They caught the Jap and sunk her with shell-fire....pretty good, right? We also exploded a large landing ship. the Captain of one of our destroyers and three men were wounded during the fight with the Jap ship and the Admiral (he's in charge of our group) awarded them the Purple Heart. They did a bang-up job and they earned it.

Well, Folks, we gave the Japs on that island our second present right after Christmas...with trimmings. During that bombardment, we fired a Jap escort gunboat and another large landing whip near the boat basin. The gunboat blew up and the ammunition in the other ship was still exploding when we went over the horizon. Those Nips were sorry to see this Christian Christmas holiday.

We raked their air fields with five-inch fire and poured in plenty of big stuff while our spotter kept saying; "Right on...no change...no change..." Which meant we were hitting the target. We worked over boats and buildings and gun emplacements. In Navy language, folks, it was 4.0....perfect. We hit one Jap plane dead center on the runway and when the smoke cleared there wasn't any plane. That made our Captain pretty happy and he passed around a "well done."

We were all pretty tired when we pulled away from the island the second time, but I think everybody felt that he had some of the Christmas spirit....although we were a long way from home. And when the Admiral's "Well done" went up it gave us a food feeling; after all, Christmas is just a time when you give people presents... and this year out present to you was the walloping we handed the Nips on that island.

We spent Christmas of 1944 firing these guns so we could all be together as soon as possible for a big Christmas at home. It made me feel pretty good, folks.
Yours.... [no name]

Article Index

This article contributed by Sandy Eskew, dau. of SLC Veteran ball-red-02 Deceased Hoyt W. Thompson

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