Skip to comments.WHEN AMERICA HAD TOO FEW BULLETS - How our coasts were secured, and England saved.
Posted on 04/30/2014 2:56:46 PM PDT by neverdem
The Burning Shore: How Hitlers U-Boats Brought World War II to America
By Ed Offley
(Basic Books, 312 pages, $27.99)
When World War II got underway my father was not beyond draft age, but he was near the top of the range. In early 1942 Dad was married with one child and another on the way (my very own personal self). He was also working at a defense job at the local shipyard where liberty ships were being built. So he spent his war in Tampa dodging hot rivets rather than bullets.
But Dad was still in uniform. He signed on for port security duties with the Coast Guard auxiliary. I remember as a youngster looking through the family photo album and seeing a shot of Dad and another young man wearing what looked a lot like Navy chief petty officers uniforms walking down a pier. They were both packing .45s.
I asked Dad if he was looking for U-boats. By this time I had already watched Victory at Sea and knew about the Nazi submarine menace. Dad said he was looking out for anything suspicious or menacing, including the sudden and unlikely appearance in the Port of Tampa of a U-boat.
I couldnt help but ask, What would you do if you saw a U-boat, Dad, shoot it with that .45?
We couldnt do that, came his honest reply. They didnt give us any bullets.
Americas dilemma at that dangerous time was about the same as Dads. The Battle of the Atlantic the allies attempt to supply the import-dependent UK by ship and the Nazi wolf-packs attempts to starve that island nation by sinking those ships had come to the east coast of the United States...
(Excerpt) Read more at spectator.org ...
Great stuff. My late Mom was a plane-spotter during WWII. She didn’t really see very much enemy activity, though...in Chicago...
I remember in 1956-58 when every local town in the middle of he USA had a lookout tower for spotting RUSSIAN aircraft. Lots of local high school students manned them for several years.
All the TV channels here warned everyone to be on the lookout for Russian aircraft!
Bullets are useless without brass, powder and primers.
I think I would have liked HS during those years.
The 80s weren’t that great as a high school kid where I grew up.
Michael Gannon’s “Operation Drumbeat” is an excellent examination of the same subject matter, with a close look at the failings of the US Navy’s command staff.
One little bit of humorous trivia, when Admiral King took over the office of Commander in Chief U.S., he immediately had the name of the command changed. Asked why, he indicated that CINCUS wasn’t a desirable name for a naval office.
I don't think any plane-spotter saw "enemy" aircraft.
I was recently gifted with 75 pristine WWII plane-spotter cards, which include Allied aircraftand the Lockheed Hudson.