The Yangtze Patrol Message Board

(Although individual responses are not always listed here, I do answer all email I receive)

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From: Steve Harvey
To: Crispin Garcia
Date: Saturday, Jul 9, 2016 12:13 PM
Subject: USS Villalobos Changa-Sha 1923

I recently rediscovered this photo of the Villalobos crew dated on reverse as CHANG-SHA FEB 1923.

My great-uncle Arthur Kallum was the radioman on the Villalobos at this time.

I am sending this photo to you so that it may be shared with those with interest in the Yangtze Patrol.

Uncle Art is the young man in the last row upper right corner.

Villalobos crew

Click above image for larger size!

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From: Geoff Toole
Sent: Thursday, Apr 7, 2016 5:18 AM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: The Sailor's Homer

Hi Cris, hope you and your family are doing well.

I read The Sailor's Homer about a month ago and can say that it is a fascinating read. Rarely are books written from the Navy's enlisted man's point of view, but this biography of Richard McKenna is an extraordinary look into what it was to be an enlisted man in the Navy during the 1930's through the 1950's.

The author, Dennis L. Noble, had access to Richard McKenna's private papers, as well as doing abundant research found in logs for ships that Petty Officer McKenna served aboard. You learn about how much McKenna loved Asia and can easily see where the ideas and roots of "The Sand Pebbles" were born.

A great read, meticulously researched, and having been an enlisted sailor in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War, a truly fabulous insight into an enlisted sailor in Asia.

A must read for all The Sand Pebbles fans.

Geoff Toole

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From: Dennis Noble
Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2015 10:25 AM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Richard McKenna biography

Cris,

After a long desire and research to write a biography of Richard McKenna, the Naval Institute Press is going to publish the biography under the title, The Sailor’s Homer: The Life and Times of Richard McKenna, Author of The Sand Pebbles. They have the best book jacket illustration that I have ever had and they even kept my original title. The book is due out in November of this year.

Would you like to review an advance copy of the work for your web site? If so, I will put your name into the marketing people of the press. They will probably send you a galley copy of the book. Then after the book comes out, if they do not send you a hard copy, let me know and I will bug them.

I do not know when they plan on sending out the copies, have just finished the copy editor stage and they must send to me the page proofs and then it goes to the printer. Marketing, rightfully, likes to have things lined up so schedules can be met.

The only way I was able to do the biography was using the McKenna material at the Richard McKenna Charter High School at Mountain Home. It was a fascinating project and I hope you like it.

Best wishes,

Dennis

PS. Right after finishing with the first editors of the biography, I entered the Naval History Essay Contest and received 2nd prize on a short essay of McKenna as a naval hero. It will be published in Naval History in August.

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From: Daniel Keefe
Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2015 3:29 AM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: USS Panay Incident

Crispin,

I am an American who has been living in Shanghai for the last 18 years. About a year ago, I coincidentally came across the story of the USS Panay. I started to do some more research on the incident which then connected me with Nick Sparks (the individual who put together the USS Panay Memorial website) and, much to my surprise, General Bill Anders (Apollo 8 astronaut and son of the Executive Officer of the USS Panay - Lt. Arthur Anders).

There are a lot of pictures and videos of the Panay as it was sinking back in December 1937. I have been using some of the still images as well as other documents (e.g. Navy Court of Inquiry) to attempt to determine the spot in the Yangtze River where the ship went down. After some research, I am reasonably confident of the location. I took a trip from Shanghai to the location near the city of Maanshan last year to confirm my theory. My visit was not successful and, unfortunately, I have not found the time to make a return visit - yet.

In the meantime, I have been trying to find out what happened to the Panay - Is it still at the bottom of the river? If not, what happened to it? Was it salvaged? If so, who salvaged the ship and what happened to the items which were on board? I know that that a few of the items were salvaged a few weeks after the sinking but the ultimate fate of the ships hull remains unknown.

I am stuck on this one and looking for a break. I came across your site today and was hoping you or some of your contacts might have suggestions regarding where and how to follow up on this one.

Thanks!

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From: Carter Smith
Sent: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 03:36 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: The Sand Pebbles...

Hi Crispin --

I'm Carter Smith, and my Dad was Adm. Allan Edward Smith (b1892). In 1926-1927 he was exec of the USS Villalobos and met and evacuated my mother Margret Vincent (b1902) during the troubles in Changsha. She was playing hostess for her brother John Carter Vincent (b1900) at the US legation there. She was on her way home to Macon Georgia, but persuaded the dashing naval officer to propose and they were married in Shanghai on Feb 12, 1927.

It is my understanding the the Sand Pebbles story was inspired by their love affair. They were invited and flown to the opening of the movie.

I got a copy of the Sand Pebbles movie a few years ago -- but it had a tragic ending.

QUESTION: IS THERE A HAPPY ENDING VERSION OF THE MOVIE? I have a memory of them escaping down the river happily embracing each other.

Thanks for all your hard work on the Sand Pebbles movie site. It is really great.

If you have any info on the happy ending version, please let me know. And if I can help in any way, please contact me.

All my best, Carter Smith.

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From: Robert Moore
Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 08:46 AM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Yantze Patrols

Hello!

I'm a grand-nephew of a River Rat. Clyde E. Emerson served aboard the Tutuila from the late 20s through the early 30s. I'd be happy to share some photos if interested.

Best Regards,
Robert Moore

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From: Tean Roberts
Sent: Thursday, November 28, 2013 11:44 AM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Yangtze River Patrol Message Board

Hi there,

My name is Tean Roberts, I am researching the Yangtze River Patrol on behalf of my father, British military author Damien Lewis.

He is currently in the process of writing a book featuring some of the river patrol boats around the time of the Fall of Singapore, focussing on the life of a British Pointer dog named Judy who was the mascot of the HMS Gnat and HMS Grasshopper, which were boats on the river at that time.

Your website is very informative & very interesting and you've clearly put a lot of work into it - you must be the authority on the Yangtse Patrol. So with this in mind I wonder if you might be willing to help us in our research?

Mr. Lewis is very interested in speaking with any survivors or their families of the Yangtze River Boat patrols - do you happen to know if there is anyone who might be willing to discuss this with us? Or might you yourself be willing to share what you know?

I know that because of the nature of the topic, and also because it was so long ago it will be hard to find many people to talk to, so any help you may provide would be incredibly useful.

I was also wondering if you might be able to put a post on the messageboard for me in the hope of contacting someone with any information about what life was like on these boats at the time?

Please do get in touch with me, direct if you can offer any help.

Tean Roberts
Research & Production Assistant
phone: 07973 624235

Email address: teanroberts@gmail.com

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From: Clark Rook
Sent: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 12:11 AM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Yangtze River Patrol

Not quite sure how I found your website, but after reading the various inputs, I might be able to add some information.

My father, Eugene C. Rook, was as a young officer (he retired as a captain in 1954) involved in operations in the Yangtze River Patrol during the 1926-28 period. I have many publications and pictures of those years which to this day I find interesting to periodically re-review. One of the items is a book titled "Yangtze Patrol" authored by RADM Kemp Tolly and published in 1971 by the Naval Institute Press in Annapolis, MD.

Another book you might want to get is titled "The Life and Times of General Two-Gun Cohen" authored by Charles Drage and published by Funk & Wagnalls Co. in 1954. "Two-Gun Cohen" is by name Morris Cohen. As a note about General Cohen he was the personal aide and body guard to Dr. Sun Yat-sen and later led Chiang Kai-shek's Chinese regulars.

As I said, they were very interesting years and my best wishes to you to pull that history together.

Clark Rook
Capt USN (Ret.)

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From: Susan Rabb
Sent: Friday, March 01, 2013 6:51 AM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Cmdr. John T Salistean

I am the oldest daughter of Cmdr. John T Salistean (d. 1 April 1990). He was Commander of Task Group 78.2 from early March to the end of May 1946. He wrote a record (7 pages) of his many trips up and down the river in 1989. When he was anchored off Woohu, he met the famous Dr. Anne Walter Fearn who he describes as great lady and "a Hair-pin". He had a copy of the newspaper article describing her career at her Memorial Service. I have learned so much from your postings and want to include a history of the Yangtze River Patrol in the book that I am compiling from my father's papers and oral history. Resources for researching a naval career would be helpful. Thank you for your wonderful website and I look forward to hearing from you.

Susan (Salistean) Rabb

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From: James Leedham
Sent: Saturday, January 26, 2013 9:55 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Tuttila 1941

Crispin
My dad was on the Tutuila in 1941 and was one of the crew that exited to India in '42. Now at 94 he is looking to reconnect with that part of his life. I suspect we are a few years late but just found your message board and thought I would give it a try. I have heard his stories all my life and he still likes to tell them. Is there any chance you could point me in the direction of any Tutuila river rats.

- jim

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Response: Jim, the South China-Yangtze Patrol Asiatic Fleet, an organization made up of members who served in the South China Patrol or Yangtze River Patrol, as well as those interested in the subject, disbanded following the annual reunion in April 2008. However there is a blog titled "China Gunboatman" that seems semi-active (although it hasn't been updated for 2 years), there is a slim chance that you may have some luck there.

http://chinagunboat.blogspot.com/

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[2012]

From: Darren
Sent: Saturday, December 22, 2012 10:24 AM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Service on Yangtze Patrol during the 1920s and 1930s

Crispin,

I really enjoy your internet site, as it has a lot of interesting information. I am trying to write a novel set in about 1934. The main character is going to serve aboard a fictional gun boat on the Yangtze River, as a Gunner's Mate on one of the boat's two 3" deck guns. I will have him serve from 1928-until the sinking of the USS Panay. I was wondering if you or any of the readers of your internet site could help me. I need to know where the Gunner's Mate school was in 1927 when my character joins the navy. I would like to know where the main base was for the gunboats of the patrol was located. I remember reading somewhere that they had a base in Shanghai, but I can't find out any information about the base. I would like to know what life would have been like for him serving in China during this time period. What kind of tattoos did the sailors have. Any and all info that you or your readers can provide will be greatly appreciated.

Darren

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From: Nelson H. Lawry
Sent: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 11:36 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: surviving USN 3-inch/23cal mounts, 2012

Crispin,

Thanks for so promptly posting my input on the Yangtze Patrol message board. The following website chronicles yet another surviving Mark XIV 3-inch/23cal deck gun, this one shown in a rather "busy" shop yard in California.

http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/ordinance-ammo/wwi-us-3-inch-deck-gun-info-needed-19778/

The owner appears not to be a weapons supplier to the motion picture industry, nor does he claim the gun is the one used in The Sand Pebbles. The message thread and the accompanying photo from the movie only mention the two guns are of the same type. I suspect you've seen The Sand Pebbles many more times than I have, but I seem to remember the forward gun mount aboard USS San Pablo was painted green, and I wondered at the time I first saw the film if such color was standard for naval deck guns on Yangtze Patrol warships. Do you share my rather certain memory that San Pablo's gun mount is green?

And the Washington Navy Yard Museum has one, very likely also a Mark XIV mount:

http://www.subchaser.org/poole-gun-set

So there appear to be at least four 3-inch/23cal gun mounts remaining, and maybe a fifth if San Pablo's still lurks out there somewhere.

Nelson

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From: Nelson H. Lawry
Sent: Monday, June 25, 2012 8:33 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: The real 3-inch/23cal deck gun aboard replica gunboat USS San Pablo

Very much like several other folks posting here, I stumbled unexpectedly across your message boards. Clearly a lot of entries have preceded mine, so I don't know the totality of subjects discussed, but at the end of my posting, I will have a question (I promise). I would be surprised, however, if my subject matter is old hat.

The difficulty is that I have to approach the question from three or four different angles historically, which alas will involve a bit of geekspeak. No way around this logistical problem that I can figure, so again, endless apologies.

In keeping with the general theme of this site, I need to set the stage. Jake Holman reports aboard USS San Pablo in 1926, a time of great unrest in China. That year is about two years before the commissioning of the USN Yangtze Patrol's 'new six', the half-dozen brand new river gunboats of three different lengths, the shortest of which at 159.5 feet will permit access to the upper reaches of the river during most seasons of the year. Thus Jake arrives before these vessels are available, so his ship would likely be a fictional sister of either of the first two generations of gunboats still seeing service, the ex-Spanish USS Villalobos and USS Elcano, acquired as war prizes in 1898, and the just pre-WWI USS Monocacy and USS Palos. Conventional wisdom claims that San Pablo is based on Villalobos, and that may be true in terms of life aboard and operational history, but "Sand Pebble" looks not a whit like this Spanish-built gunboat, but rather strongly resembles the new breed of the mid-late 1920s, for whatever that's worth.

San Pablo's armament is NOT identical to the new six, however, except her forward main gun and the usual small arms firing infantry caliber rounds. The new gunboats had two 3-inch gun mounts, one each forward and aft. The shortest two vessels, Guam and Tutuila, were armed with 3-inch/23cal dual-purpose guns, and the other four vessels with 3-inch/50cal dual-purpose mounts. Because the Yangtze River gunboats were subject to potshots from bandits, pirates, revolutionaries, war lords' factions, and other malcontents, the main guns bore special shields. All guns were dual-purpose because of the danger from aircraft. Here are photographic images of the 3-inch/23 DP aboard Wake (ex-Guam), and the 3-inch/50 DP aboard the larger ones, as exemplified by Panay:

http://navalwarfare.blogspot.com/2010/07/uss-guam-pg-43wake-pr-3.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Uss_panay.png

In the movie version, USS San Pablo sports a 3-inch/23 forward and a smaller mount aft. The latter is seen only rarely and never close up, and I think is always shrouded under a canvas gun cover, but to mine eyes best fits a 3-pounder (47mm) in general shape and size, but certainly is no larger than a 6-pounder (57mm). My question, as will be revealed, has to do with the larger forward mount.

The USN's 3-inch/23cal gun, in most marks a low elevation angle piece, was its second antiaircraft gun-other than machine guns-once it had been modified to dual-purpose. It replaced the Maxim-Nordenfelt 1-pounder (37mm) pompom first acquired in the 1890s as a shipboard gun to be used against hostile torpedo boats, and in fact saw successful use in the brief unpleasantness with Spain during 1898. Even before our involvement in World War I, these guns were placed on higher angled mounts and served as the USN's first AA guns, commonly on flush-deck destroyers. Later built DDs of the same and subsequent classes got the 3-inch/23cal DP guns, but these guns were not very successful in the AA role, because they were entirely manually operated, unlike the better (but again hardly perfect) 3-inch/50cal guns with their semi-automatic breech mechanisms. A semiauto breech mechanism uses the force of the gun's recoil to eject the empty cartridge case and then the breechblock remains open to receive the following round. Of course given World War II's fast aircraft, no light AA gun that was not fully automatic could be successful, and likewise no medium AA gun not semiautomatic could be as well.

The construction of the replica Yangtze River gunboat-fictitiously named San Pablo-in the mid-1960s at the Vaughn & Yung Engineering shipyard in Hong Kong is well known.

http://www.thesandpebbles.com/production/production.html

She was later renamed Nola D. for the timber trade in the Philippines, even later used in various survey projects in Indonesia, and broken up in Singapore almost precisely a decade after being built.

http://www.thesandpebbles.com/san_pablo/demise_sanpablo.html

I am a member of a loosely organized group of aficionados that finds and documents monument guns of military and naval origin now adorning town squares, village greens, veterans' and war memorials, cemeteries, and the like. Although not absolutely certain (these things never are), just two surviving USN 3-inch/23cal deck guns are known to survive, both in New Hampshire in near proximity to each other. Both have been in place for many decades.

Having provided that ordnance background, my question (finally!): What was the origin of the single 3-inch/23cal deck gun mounted on San Pablo for the film Sand Pebbles, and what happened to it after production was finished? Certainly it would not have been left aboard for the vessel's more peaceful pursuits. I know that there are rental companies that provide appropriate armaments for movie production to ensure period realism, but what tickles my interest is the presence out there of another USN 3-inch/23 deck gun.

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Response - Early last decade I found the 3 inch deck gun from the San Pablo on the internet. It was a site that dealt in military weapons, vehicles and so on for the motion picture industry. They claimed it was the actual gun off the San Pablo although this would have required shipping it from Hong Kong to California. I was a little skeptical but anything is possible. Years later when I tried to locate the gun again it was gone. The website also disappeared or changed location. I have no idea where the gun originated from although that information may be in the UCLA Film Archive.

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From: Mary B Knape
Sent: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 7:17 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: My Grandfather commanded the USS Tutuila in 1930-31 on Yangtse

Dear Sir,

I am so glad to find this message board! I guess I am to send this email to you in order to participate. Since I do not know the protocol for this site, please excuse my method of contact, if not correct.

My grandfather, Lawrence P Bischoff (1888 - 1970; USNA '12 graduate) commanded the USS Tutuila in July 1930 - July 1931. I have in my possession his photo album from his time in China. I would be happy to post some of those if they would be of interest. He loved his camera. The Department of Navy's Naval Historical Center made photographic copies of it in 1983 and returned it. I also have his ship's log from the time there. Needless to say, I find this all fascinating. He moved his family to China while he was stationed there. My dad LPB, Jr. (USMA Jan '43 graduate) was only 13 when there but used to talk about I have some of the beautiful Chinese furniture and china they purchased while there so it is a consistent reminder for me. I remember my grandfather well and honor his service.

He was in command of one of the destroyers, Bulmer of the U S fleet at Shaghai July 1931- Mar 1932.

Some data from his notes in photo album:

While Captain of the gunboat, he saw 6 actions on the river with communist bands. Using their main batteries, the longest of Chameda Bluff. One action while convoying " Ichang" on which his family was traveling.

Guns: 8 machine guns, 2-3 anti-aircraft.

Some of Names mentioned and photographs of them (some may be misspelled because his handwriting):

Mrs Ross, British, Ichang, he was mgr of Jardine Steamship Lines
Mrs. Rohdes
Brown (man)
Cook (woman)
Dagorne (woman)
Leftin (woman)
Mary Lou Monroe
Capt. Auboreau
Mrs Weaver
Mrs Anderson
Below French officers of gunboats
Dr Lajat
Capt Menvielle
Capt Maraboua
Lt. Speer
Dr E E Walter medical officer of USS Tutuila
Gen Kuo
Salte
R.E.S. La Grandiere - Capt. Maenrielle, of French Gunboat
Capt. John Dagorne skipper of Fook-Tong, French upper river steamer
Article of Admiral Charles B McVay
Lt Comdr R D TIsdale
Capt. and Mrs "Andy" of the YRSS Iping - wonderful host on his ship but had several bad crack-ups on upper Yangtse
General Kuo Sheon was in charge of 21st Army in Ichang and my grandfather's best friend in China - much dreaded by communists, troops were Szechuanese. Last heard of was at Sasha command

Holung - Middle River - Yangtse mileage 199 above Hankow Kienli was stronghold of Holung and his army - one of China's most hated Bandit Chieftain. all ships were obliged to pass within 200 yards of this point in route to Hankow - Ichang and their encounter from shore fire were every day occurrences winter of 1930-31. As all ships carried armed guards there were many a hot Encounter - Japanese had two casualties there. These bandits would use small cannon concealed in the dikes - most part muzzle loaders 3 - 5" bore - and filled with rock and scrap iron and let go ar passing ships. Ships however had bullet plating for protection so little damage was done. However a shower on the bridge was uncomfortable. We blew up several of these guns but they could easily replace them. Never could ascertain what casualties inflicted but must have got many with high explosives. Had 6 actions with them. most noteworthy where British Steamer "Kian" was aground and being peppered by 200 bandits behind the dikes. Their armed guard was ineffective and no steamer could help them. We threw shell after shell into their trenches

Manager Jesse Poole, Ichang. They practically lived at his home

Mrs VonDreyer
American Consul Lynn Franklin
Vice Consul Chas. Brennan

One note I found interesting:
" The level of the water in Weshan Gorge has been known to rise 190 feet during high water season summertime - The variation of level at Ichang is 55 feet at Chungking 110 feet. The water level once raised 12 feet in 2 hours at Chungking - It brought down houses - and heaps of trash.

A Newspaper Article:

"Chinese Fire at American Gunboats

The Navy Department has been advised by Admiral Charles B McVay, Jr., US Navy, commander-in-chief of the US Asiatic fleet, that the US gunboat Palos was fired on November 16 and the US gunboat Tutuila was fired on Nov 17 while steaming along the Yangtse River.

The Palos, commanded by Lt. Comdr R.D. Tisdale, US Navy reported a muzzle loader fired on his ship when she was five miles below Chengling Bluff, that he saw no splash, although smoke came from inside clump of trees on the western shore, and that he did no return the fire.

The commanding officer of the Tutuila, Lt Comdr L.P. Bischoff, US Navy, reported that while his ship was en route to Hankow she was fired on by five pieces at Temple Hill. The Tutuila silenced the fire with 21 rounds of 3-inch shell. About a half hour later the ship was fired on by two mortars. The fire was silenced with five rounds of 3-inch and 200 round machine gun. the Tutuila reported no casualties.

Information received by radio from Admiral McVay on November 18 stated that the USS Tutuila was again fired on

Rifle fire from the shore a short distance above Chengling was silenced by 27 rounds of 3-inch shell and 650 rounds of machine gun.

There were no casualties aboard the ship."

Included in the album were other articles of mention for Tutuila and Attacks and another Reuter article about my grandfather meeting with General Kuo


Lawrence P Bischoff

I hope this is of some interest to others. I will be putting the album as well as the log onto the computer for my archives.

Thank you,
Mary Knape

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From: Ian Workman
Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2012 12:57 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: The Sand Pebbles

I recently read my grandfathers' (Rear Admiral Hugh T England) memoirs and realized that he was in charge of the English contingent of vessels which was present at Nanking when the armies of the two Chinese warlords attacked, and it was his vessel which was the only English vessel to open fire on the Chinese as they were advancing upwards towards the American Commission, thus preventing the Commission from being overrun. I believe that he was sent a letter of thanks by Congress for this action.

Best Regards
Ian Workman

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[2011]

From: Dennis Noble
Sent: Friday, May 06, 2011 9:43 AM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Research material on Richard McKenna

Crispin,

Wonder if you could put this on your Sand Pebbles Site:

I have just finished with the first phase of researching Richard McKenna's life. Would like to point out to anyone interested in the author of The Sand Pebbles the marvelous research material available at the library of the Richard McKenna Charter High School in Mountain Home, Idaho. The even have the shooting script for the movie, plus many other items and especially letters McKenna wrote. It is a treasure trove. Plus the library is a wonderful place to work. Thanks.

Dr. Dennis L. Noble

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[2010]

From: Hillar Kalmar
Sent: Sunday, December 05, 2010 1:04 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: A Yangtze River ship captain's memoirs

Hi Crispin,

I came across your website/message boards while doing some research related to a relative's memoirs. He worked for Standard Oil in China during the 1920's and 1930's and was captain of one of the Standard Oil ships sunk in the Panay incident, the anniversary of which is just coming up on December 12th.

While translating Capt. Mender's memoirs, I soon realized there was likely an audience broader than just his descendants for this first hand account of events in the Far East and China during this era of colonialism, treaty ports, bandits and warlords. Accordingly, I've made the memoirs available in a book that may be of interest to those viewing your site.

Thirty Years A Mariner in the Far East 1907-1937, subtitled The Memoirs of Peter Mender, a Standard Oil Ship Captain on China's Yangtze River, is available at Booklocker or Amazon.

Hillar Kalmar

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Response - For readers interested in this book there is an excerpt on the Booklocker.com website which can be accessed by clicking here.

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From: Lance Pinamonte
Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2010 1:40 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Re: Father on Tutuila

Crispin,

It will take me awhile to get through all Dads papers, I have two large boxes full of memories, I have many Yangtze river patrol newsletters also. If the members of message board find them interesting, by all means post them..

Lance

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Response - I have created a basic webpage for some of Lance Pinamonte's father's collection. It is available here...Bruno Pinamonte. - CG

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From: Lance Pinamonte
Sent: Sunday, February 28, 2010 9:30 AM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Father on Tutuila..

My father served on the Yangtze, I have many artifacts, pictures, and memorabilia from that period. I was fortunate to be able to take part in on of the last reunions the rats had, I am guessing most are gone by now, my father passed in 92.. An interesting aspect of the river rats is the fact that some of them drove the FIRST Burma road, my father was a intricate part of this operation to resupply the gunboats.. I also had the pleasure of meeting Admiral Tolley, and a few others, they were great men..

I guess my question is, why don't we have a website that we can post some of these memories on? Pictures, documents, and even stories told by our loved ones?

Sincerely,
Lance Pinamonte

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Response - Lance, that is an interesting point. Perhaps you will find what you are looking for at the "China Gunboatman" Blogger/website where they continue to keep the Yangtze Patrol history alive. As in the past I am also willing to post any photos and information to this message board. If there is a great deal of information to be shared I can create a separate section on this website. - CG

http://chinagunboat.blogspot.com/


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From: Patrick Moloney
Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2010 9:40 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: San Pablo info

Hi,

I'm Pat Moloney, let me pass credentials first then some fun info.

I'm a merchant marine captain, Master of the WW II Liberty Ship SS Jeremiah O'Brien in San Francisco.

I was a Military Sealift Command Master out in the Far East for years. Was a confirmed Crasiatic, complete with Japanese wife.

We CTF 73 folks considered ourselves to be the straight line tradition offshoots of the Asiatic Fleet.

When I was running amok out there in the early 80's I had the opportunity to correspond with RAdm Kemp Tolley. What fun that was. Adm Tolley and I had a crewmember in common. Adm Tolley was a China gunboater and wrote about it. Adm T noted in one of his letters that the bar scenes in SAND PEBBLES were exactly correct. That was his word "exactly". That would be the scene of Mai Li's "distress". I enjoyed my letters with him. I was a Far East Master, he was a retired Far East Admiral. We spoke the same language.

Anyway, wanted to let you know 2nd hand, but from a very reliable source, that the bar in Sand Pebbles is spot on. What a fun little world we operate in.

Capt M/

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From: Limpet6
Sent: Sunday, January 03, 2010 4:48 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Coaling Quay in Shanghai

Anyone recall where the US Navy did coaling in Shanghai?

I'm guessing it was somewhere on the northern bank of the Whangpoo River. Either just east of Soochow Creek or just south of the Old Chinese City on the same bank.

~~~~~~~~~
R. L. Crossland
CAPT USN (Ret.)
http://dreadnaughts-bluejackets.com

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[2009]

From: Steven Bryson
Sent: Saturday, December 12, 2009 8:38 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: USS Luzon bell correspondence...

Hello Crispin,

Regarding a recent posting on your fabulous TSP website about the USS Luzon bell.

This is from the 1 Dec 1997 issue of China Gunboatman, the quarterly newsletter of the since disbanded South China & Yangtze Patrol Asiatic Fleet (SCYPAF):

"Bell of the USS Luzon, brought up by divers in Manila Harbor about 1946. Lent to Admiral Farragaut Academy in New Jersey by Washington's Naval History Center for the Academy's museum. Academy went belly-up about a year ago and packed its furniture awaiting disposal. Alas! BELL WAS STOLEN."

I would hope that the bell is still out there somewhere, owned by someone who doesn't know what they have, rather than having been melted down and sold for scrap.

Take care,

Steve

______________________________________

From: k91cero
Sent: Tuesday, December 08, 2009 10:31 AM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: USS Luzon

My father-in-law, VC Reynolds, served on the USS Luzon until his capture in the Phillipines in May 1942. He told me recently that after the Luzon was scuttled, recovered by the Japanese, renamed Karatsu and ultimately torpedoed, the ship's bell was recovered and is now somewhere in Maine. I would very much like to find any further information on this. The end goal is to obtain a photo of the bell that I could give to "Dick" as a gift. It would make an old sailor very happy. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

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Response from forum contributor, author and historian Dennis Noble:

I have only two suggestions:

--Google in Maine Maritime Historical Societies and start asking each of them if they have the bell, or know of it. I would also check lighthouse museums in the state. Also try the Maine State Historical Society: many of the museums talk to each other and you can pick up info that way.

--This one I am not too sure about, but worth a try. Ask the ship histories branch of the Naval Historical Center if they have any information on this.

About the only suggestions I can think of right now.


______________________________________

From: JC Hollenbeck
Sent: Monday, November 16, 2009 8:23 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: My collection

Crispin,

My name is Jim Hollenbeck. I just stumbled across your wonderful site and have been reading the message boards and felt I had to contact you. I have a very large collection of photographs taken by George Neeb who served in the US Navy from around 1920 till 1953. He was a very close family friend and a shipmate of my father. We always called him Uncle George. He served in the Asiatic Fleet and on the Yangtze River before WWII.

I have somewhere near two hundred pictures in a huge book bound in a hand tooled buffalo hide book with the US Navy Anchor on the cover, with Neeb's name on the cover. The photos include photographs of a night battle between what I believe is Japanese and British ship's, many pictures of beheadings carried out by both Japanese and Chinese officials, pictures of his ship mates at the Navy Club in the Bund, photos George took after a artillery attack on a Chinese city. It is very graphic stuff.

It is a amazing collection and I would like to publish it but have been stymied by lack of information about the pictures, George did make notations on most pictures but no dates! George died in the early 1960's and his only son died young, so I've been working in the dark, this web site has given me my second wind. Do you have a book you would recommend that would help me fill in the blanks, or any other suggestions where to start?

Jim Hollenbeck

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Response from forum contributor and historian Dennis Noble:

Jim,

I have written a book on the US military in China from 1901-1937, and edited a naval officer's diary that served on the Yangtze Patrol from 1920-21.

One of the problems with photo albums is that people do not annotate the photographs. From your brief description I would put the dates of the photographs in the 1930s, when the Japanese were pushing hard into China.

I would suggest, if you have not done so, read Kemp Tolley's, Yangtze Patrol, the later edition, to get a feel for the U.S. Navy during that period. You may want to check my bibliography for other books. If you have contact with George Neeb's family, see if they will get you a copy of his service career from the National Military Records Center in St. Louis, I think the Naval Historical Center, which is on line, can give you hints of how to obtain service records.

I do not know where you live, but the navy's historical center in Washington, D.C., and their operational archives had a group of records just on China which contains photographs. You might compare yours with those. The U.S. Marine Corps (also in Washington area) also has a number of photographs in their historical collections. I believe the Naval Postgraduate School at Monterey may also have photographs. (I believe the school put out a very good bibliography on the military in China.) All of these locations, I believe, can be contacted on line.

Lastly, I think the best you are going to be able to do is say "in the 1930s," or whatever dates he served in China.

Dr. Dennis L. Noble


www.DennisLNoble.com

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From: Joan B Zachor
Sent: Tuesday, November 10, 2009 6:19 AM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Re: Wonder if anyone recalls

Thanks so much, Crispin. I love the fact that in spite of spending so much of their lives in uniform, some in the navy, especially those who had served in Asia, chose to commit these tiny, beautiful acts of "uniform-sabotage" with their liberty cuffs.

As a teenager, I attended a missionary school in Latin America. Our summer uniforms weren't bad, except for the fact that our starched collars, which had to be buttoned on each day, left our necks quite chafed. But our winter uniforms were hideous. Green wool dresses with starched white collars and cuffs, brown cotton stockings, brown, broad-brimmed, ranger-style hats, and brown blazers. Seniors who had good grades were allowed to decorate their blazers with a patch that said "For Finer Womanhood." Our brown leather belts were not to be pulled so tight as to gather the fabric of our green wool dresses, but rather more or less hung loosely on their belt loops. During the final months of our senior year, we trimmed down the rims of our big, felt hats, a tiny little strip at a time. We hoped that nobody would send the entire class out to buy new hats when we were so close to graduating, and we were right. Those tiny acts of rebellion felt delicious.

It was a school rule, that no student, wearing her school uniform, should be seen talking to a boy on the street. We used to groan and laugh at the idea that any boy would want to talk to us while we were wearing our hideous school garb. But, as seniors we believed we had a chance some boy might find us worthy of notice if we at least trimmed down our huge hats. We felt quite daring in our "trimmed brims" but I don't think any boys noticed!

The fitted, dress blues, crackerjack jumpers are gorgeous. I hope the navy men enjoyed looking so wonderful -- especially with their rebellious, embroidered touches. Thanks for your message board and for forwarding along my question to someone who might have an answer. Much obliged,

Joan Zachor

______________________________________

From: Joan B Zachor
Sent: Monday, November 09, 2009 10:30 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Wonder if anyone recalls

In one of your discussions on your excellent site, there was talk about attaching embroidered panels to inside dress blues jumper cuffs to produce "liberty cuffs" as Steve McQueen famously displayed in TSP.

I have a dress blues jumper listed on eBay right now, that has a dragon inside the back collar area as well as on the cuffs. I know this is a little off-topic but do you know if that ever became the custom among those who were stationed in the east or if my particular jumper is an aberration?

By the way, I have ordered the DVD set of The Sand Pebbles for myself as all the discussion on your site and in other blogs I've been reading sparked my interest in seeing that wonderful movie again in as close to the original version as possible. Your message board is great.

Thanks, Joan

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Response from forum contributor Dennis Noble (Yangtze Patrol historian):

The embroidered cuffs were fairly common and not just for those on the China Station. I served in the U.S. Coast Guard and while I wore the blues, 1957-1964--I made Chief then and wore a different uniform--I bought what was known as tailor-mades. (Trousers and jumper) They had, I believe dragons on the cuffs and a silk lining on the the inside back of the jumper. Long time ago and I can not remember exactly what was on the cuffs. Tailor-mades were non regulation and the OD on the quarterdeck, or Marines at a gate, could stop you and tell you to return to the cutter and change into a regulation uniform.

I wore the tailor-mades because, at the time, I could not get a uniform to fit me very well. Others bought them for show. (I admit I also had did this as a reason.) Most of the tailor-mades were expensive and it depended how much you wanted to spend on the uniform.


______________________________________

From: Robert Sewell
Sent: Sunday, November 08, 2009 12:11 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: China sailors in the mid 40s

Mr. Garcia, my name is Robert Sewell, and I am a China sailor from the mid 40s. I spent two nine month tours , with our home base in TsingTao and sailed south to HongKong with stops in Shanghai and Formosa. Most of what I have read about conditions and the way people on shore as well as we aboard lived held true even then. I wonder if you have ever heard from anyone else from my period of time. This morning I read in the Seattle Times in the obit section about Richard Brown's passing and got your web site from the fact that he belonged to the assoc. I was aboard the USS NORRIS DD 859 the first tour and the USS HARWOOD DD861 the second. We made one trip up the Yangtze to rescue a Marine pilot that had been shot down. We were under Chinese guns most of the way and went so far up river that we had to back down before we could turn around. I would like to hear from anyone else that might have been in that time peroid. I live in Renton, Washington. I am 82. Thank you.

Bob Sewell - my e-mail is: bpsewell@comcast.net

______________________________________

From: Anthony J Lopez
Sent: Friday, August 21, 2009 2:57 AM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Martin Lopez (1919)

Crispin, enjoyed your web site.

Just a little information about my uncle (my grandmother's brother). My great grandmother received this cable stating: Martin Lopez - 2nd Class Fireman died of bronchial pneumonia about 12:15 Saturday, November 22, 1919, at the Victoria Nursing Home, Shanghai, China. Signed - Lt Comdr C. McCauley, USS ELCANO.

The USN was going to leave his body there in Shanghai, but my great grandmother insisted his body sent back to U.S. So his body was shipped home and is now buried at Oakdale Cemetery, Glendora, CA. Martin Lopez was born Nov 12, 1896 in Azusa, CA.

I would appreciate any info.
Tony Lopez

______________________________________

From: Bob Skinner
Sent: Monday, May 11, 2009 8:29 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: How to Handle River Pirates Way Back Then

Hi-Bob Skinner again:

While rummaging thru a box of my dad's old papers, I came across a cache of photos he shot while traveling up and down the Yangtze mostly as Exec of the USS Guam. In light of today's seemingly unsolved mystery of how to deal with the East African pirates, I was surprised to learn how Yangtze steamer sailors dealt with the rabble under similar circumstances way back then.

One of dad's pix on 12/17/1929 showed and described a covered boat docked near the Ichang Gorge. It looked like a small Noah's Ark. But, apparently, it was a military post (licking station) where passing junks had to heave to and pay tribute-or else. However, on this day soldiers stationed on the docked boat fired on the passing steamer S.S. I'Ping transporting dad along with my mother and me to wherever. They hit our steamer 3 times but I'Ping's ARMED GUARD returned fire and chased the bad guys away. I can't say for sure if they were Chinese nationalist troops or commies but they certainly were not friendly. Now why can't our Washington blowhards agree to follow that example? I also found a Shanghai newspaper clipping of 12/7/1929 describing how the USS Tulsa steamed up the Yangtze from Tiensin to join the USS Guam at Ichang to protect foreign interests against a rebellion by Chinese nationalist soldiery. Looks like we were fighting just about everyone then as now. Again, glad I was too young to remember.

______________________________________

From: Steven Bryson
Sent: Sunday, April 26, 2009 5:37 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Re: Yangtze Patrol Messageboard

Hello Cris,

I replied to Capt. Crossland's query on the U.S. Asiatic Fleet group site. This is what I posted there, and you are welcome to post it on your excellent website:

Hello CAPT. Crossland,

In my bookcase I found these books that were published prior to 1937 that deal at least somewhat with the gunboats on the Yangtze River (though mostly from the British point of view):

A U.S. Midshipman in China, by Lieutenant Commander Yates Stirling, Jr. The book I have shows publishing dates of 1909 and 1926.

Glimpses of the Yangtze Gorges, by Cornell Plant, "The Pilot". Mine is a second edition, with a date of 1926. While not specifically about the Yangtze Patrol or gunboats, it is still a very worthwhile book for someone interested in gunboats.

Pirates, by "Taffrail" (Captain Taprell Dorling, D.S.O., R.N.). First published October 1929. The forward states, "...the descriptions of piratical attacks in the Canton Delta, the means taken to suppress them, together with the general situation and the work of a typical British gunboat, may, in general, be taken as a true picture of what actually occurred between 1924 and 1927."

"Excelsior": Being and Inadequate Description of the Upper Yangtze, by "Charon". I have a 1934 printing of this book. The title page reads, "Dedicated to those who served with him on the Upper River 1926-1928 and 1932-1934". The foward starts off, "The following notes on the Upper Yangtze have been put together with a view of giving the Ship's Companies of Gunboats some idea of the many points of interest which are met with on the trip from I-Ching to Chungking." The author was a British naval officer, but I don't recall his real name.

Yangtze Skipper, by Thomas Woodroofe. My U.S. edition shows a printing date of 1937. This book can also be found under the title, River of Golden Sand. The author was a British naval officer, and the story is a semi-autobiographical account of his service in a gunboat on the Yangtze. A very good read.

The Beeps: The Flights and Cruises of Three Missouri Tree Sparrows, by Virginia Holton. Copyright 1939. Not really a book about the Yangtze Patrol or gunboats, it is interesting to me because of its connection to USS Panay. The dustjacket states, "A true account of the friendship between the birds and the man and woman whom they followed for nearly 50,000 miles, even to the interior of China and back." The man was Captain C.M. Holton, CO of USS Panay in 1935-1936. and the woman was his wife, the author of the book.

I haven't been able to find much on the Yangtze Patrol published before 1937, though issues of United States Naval Institute Proceedings from the 1920s through early 1940s have some good first-hand accounts of duty in the gunboats.

If your contact is looking for books about the Yangtze Patrol prior to 1937, but published after that date, there are a number of good books.

I saw your new section on "The Demise of the San Pablo" last week, and thought it was really interesting. It answered a question that a lot of the movie's fans had been asking for a long time.

Take care,

Steve Bryson

______________________________________

From: Roger Crossland
Sent: Sunday, April 26, 2009 1:07 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Yangtze Patrol Messageboard

To all other Old Asia Hands:

I've been contacted by a English-speaking Hong Kong publisher for suggestions of worthy books on the Yangtze Patrol printed before 1937.

Actually the question was "Are there any books that you know of - fiction or memoirs or anything- on the Yangtze River Patrol before 1937?" which may not be "printed" but simply deal with that era.

I, of course, immediately came here for suggestions. Who would know better?

Printed after 1937, Tolley's Yangtze Patrol and McKenna's The Sand Pebbles are of course at the top of the list.

Roger
~~~~~~~~~
R. L. Crossland
CAPT USN (Ret.)
http://dreadnaughts-bluejackets.com

______________________________________

From: Peggy Jones
Sent: Friday, April 24, 2009 11:18 AM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Yangtze River patrol veteran

HI,
My father, Horace B. Jones spent his entire Naval career on the Yangtze river. He joined the Navy in 1921 and retired after WWII. He married after the war, so I grew up hearing about China more than anything else. I would like to find anyone who would have known him. He was a submariner during the china years and went from Tsing Tao in the summer to spend winters in the Phillipines. I have the ship names, etc, if there is anyone out there that can help me get more personal information on him during that time.

Peggy Jones [pprhouse@sbcglobal.net]

______________________________________

From: Chuck and Linda Huber
Sent: Saturday, March 28, 2009 1:25 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: The Sand Pebbles...

I enjoy the book, the movie and your web site.

I have a letter from my wife's Grandfather who sailed up the Yangtze in 1940 on a gunboat (USS Oahu). I thought you may be interested in it.

You are welcome to link it to your page if you would like. It matches up with the information contained at the following link:

http://www.thesandpebbles.com/naval_history/real_sandpebbles1.htm

Here's the link to my page:

http://members.cox.net/lindahuber/China_story.html

Regards -

Chuck

______________________________________

From: Millie Samuelson
Sent: Tuesday, March 03, 2009 2:01 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Yangtze River

Greetings:

My missionary grandparents from Sweden honeymooned on the Yangtze River in 1895. Two subsequent generations of my family (including me) have had horrendous and happy adventures on the River. Inspired by my family's extraordinary lives associated with the River for many decades (including escaping from the Boxers in 1900 and Mao's Communists in 1950), I have written Hungry River: A Yangtze Novel. Until my novel finds a publisher home, I'm self-publishing it, and it's available from Amazon, or for le$$ from my own site www.milliesbooks.org . I tell you this because I'm sure other (than myself) Sand Pebble and Yangtze Patrol fans will enjoy my book -- and I hope you'll post this so they can read it and reminisce.

Thank you!
Shieh shieh!
Millie Samuelson
www.milliesbooks.org

______________________________________

From: Breault, Roland W
Sent: Friday, February 06, 2009 1:51 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Just now learning....

Sir,

Recently my Grandfather, Major Eddie Lee Daniel, passed away at his home in Bethesda, MD. The ceremony in Arlington was incredible. My Grandfather was a Marine from 1917-1937 and spent almost his entire career in China and Korea. He sent me a copy of the movie "Sand Pebbles" so I would have an idea of what he did while he was over there. A couple years ago he had told me that his "alumni" group of Yangtze River "Rats" had gone below a couple hundred and that many of them couldn't travel anymore, hence the reunions stopped. I recently was able to get some old pictures he had. I also found out that a few years ago he had an interview videotaped at the Marine Corp Museum since they don't see too many "China" Marines that are pre-World War II. I was hoping that someone on this message board may have known my Grandfather and served with him that might have some pictures for me and any insight into serving during that time... When the World War II memorial opened in DC, I took him down there and you could see while we walked around it that he was flooded with memories. Of course when introducing me to other WWII Marine veterans he was talking with, he mentioned that I was Army (Desert Storm) and one of them thought he recalled that we were their allies. Great generation and it's a shame they are quickly departing us... Thanks for any help.

[Click here to email]

______________________________________

[2008]

From: Mike Blake
Sent: Tuesday, December 30, 2008 12:29 AM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Re: Guns of the River Rats

Crispin,

Wow - thank you so much for your efforts on my behalf, even though they have not turned up the information from the magazine article. Please thank Mr. Noble for his help.

I may not have explained the situation as well as I should have. I am in the UK, so getting hold of a copy of the magazine (and I don't have a page ref) will be protracted at best. The article may not even answer the question - I was simply put on to it by someone on the Gunboard Forum when I asked a related question there about the earliest use of combat shotguns.

The question I am trying to find an answer to is whether the US Navy used shotguns as early as 1900, for example in the Philippines in the same way as the army and USMC did? Rankin, Weapons of the Sea Service, only covers them from 1918, giving no mention of earlier use, but apparently the magazine article may suggest they were used in the USN earlier than WWI. Unfortunately the poster's copy had the relevant page missing and so he could not give me a definitive answer!

I will pursue the magazine article in the way suggested and try to find a USN discussion board where I can post the question, to see if anyone can help with a reference to the earliest use by the Navy.

Again, many thanks for your prompt response.

Best regards,

Mike

______________________________________

From: Mike Blake
Sent: Monday, December 29, 2008 9:20 AM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Guns of the River Rats

Hi,

A poster on Gunboard Forum suggested I try here. I am trying to access a copy of 'Guns of the River Rats' by Paul Scarlata, Shotgun News Treasury vol. 5-6. I was put on to it as a possible source of info on the use of shotguns in China by the USN. I am writing a book on the Boxer Uprising, and this is new information I have come across in my research. The 9th US Infantry was issued them just prior to their being sent to China according to the Official History of the regiment, following their use in the Philippines by the army and the USMC.

Any help will be acknowledged in the book, of course.

Many thanks,

Mike Blake

______________________________________

From: Max Coole
Sent: Sunday, November 23, 2008 10:42 AM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Sand Pebbles

Hi,

I have some questions about the USS San Pablo in the movie.

What type of machine guns were the deck mounted guns with horizontal drum magazines?
What type of gun is the main gun on the front deck?
Why in some scenes do the sailors wear white uniforms and sometimes blue uniforms - what would be the reasons for wearing each colour?
How many Browning automatic rifles would be standard issue to the gun boat?
What is the standard rifle issued to the sailors?
How many men would make up the ship's compliment?

I enjoy military history and would appreciate any information on the above questions.

Thanks,

Max Coole

-----------------------
Response from forum contributor Dennis Noble (Yangtze Patrol historian):

Here are the answers to the questions not answered by the following Wikipedia link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sand_Pebbles_(film)

White, light weight, uniforms were summer uniforms. While ashore, they were worn with a long black tie, basically a rolled scarf. They were worn as an undress (working) uniform on ship without the tie.

Blue--the ones with collars that have white stripes on them--are heavier dress uniforms for winter. There was also an undress blue uniform with collars that did not have stripes.

The times crews changed from summer to winter depended on navy regulations and region of the world.

The above apply to enlisted men. Officers also had white for summer and blue for winter, but were of a different type.

When the scenes are in the engine room, and the men are wearing what looks like a blue shirt, these are dungarees, the standard working uniforms for enlisted men up until sometime in the 1970s. Dungarees were worn no matter what season and, as mentioned, were worn to do dirty work.

How many men on a gunboat? I would suggest the writer look in Appendix 1 of Kemp Tolley's, _Yangtze Patrol_, where it lists most, if not all, the gunboats in China. Look for the initials "cpl," for compliment, for the amount of sailors on the gunboats. They varied from gunboat to gunboat.


______________________________________

From: Fred Johnson
Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 10:01 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Re: The Yangtze Patrol Message Board

Crispin, [may I be so bold],

Thank you. Mr. Bryson has agreed to send the Lederer article. I am ecstatic, so to speak. As you know, the gunboats protected American interests and US personnel in those early years. In 1957 I met Stuart Innerst who had gone to China- with his new wife- immediately out of seminary as an uninvited missionary. The period, 1919/20 to 1928. He wrote a small book about the period with revelations concerning China and the Western intrusion/ assistance/developments. I have only skimmed the book but found it revealing. He had not been to the Yangtze but on revisiting China in '72, did go. So, nothing about gunboats. However, what interesting supplementary material. China Gray China Green by Stuart Innerst. It is a small book of 89 pages with photos of the period and some taken in '72: abebooks.com and amazon.com has copies. He does tell it as it was.

Of course, I have seen Sand Pebbles several times but after visiting your site, just had to have my own DVD- and the book. Now to peruse your site with more intensity. To be a bit childish: McQueen rocks.

Thank you, again.
Fred Johnson

______________________________________

From: Steven Bryson
Sent: Saturday, August 23, 2008 10:11 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: The Yangtze Patrol Message Board

Hello Crispin,

I saw the inquiry by Fred Johnson regarding William Lederer, and thought I would pass along some information. The August 1942 issue (Vol. 68, No. 474) of United States Naval Institute Proceedings contains an article by Lieutenant William J. Lederer, "The American Navy Is in the Middle of China". It is a very interesting article about duty at Chungking in USS Tutuila, to which Lt. Lederer was assigned from May 1940 to June 1941.

I can photocopy the aforementioned article, as well as a crew photo from April 1941, for Mr. Johnson. The crew photo, with names, is from Admiral Tolley's book, American Gunboats in China.

As an aside, the South China-Yangtze Patrol Asiatic Fleet, the organization made up of members who served in the South China Patrol or Yangtze River Patrol, as well as those interested in the subject, disbanded following the annual reunion in April 2008. Your excellent website will help carry on the memory.

Take care,

Steve Bryson

______________________________________

From: Fred Johnson
Sent: Saturday, August 23, 2008 6:39 AM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Re: William J. Lederer, author's gunboat assignment.

Mr. Garcia,
Thank you for the effort and information. Came to the Riverboats [Patrol] by way of the Panay Incident, which is inclusive of the Pacific period 1895-1945; my study interest. The only Mokolii I found in a quick search was a 97 ton wooden hull screw steamer built by Dickie Bros. in San Francisco. She arrived at Honolulu in September, 1878 and continued in the inter-island trade until past 1900, serving at times the island's Leper Colony. All the Ships at Sea has been ordered, do appreciate the suggestion by Mr. Noble.

Thank you, Fred J.

______________________________________

From: Fred Johnson
Sent: Friday, August 22, 2008 6:21 AM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: William J. Lederer, author's gunboat assignment.

Dear Sir,
I have been trying to locate which Yangtze gunboat the author, William J. Lederer, served on as an officer during his early naval career. Best known for his Ugly American novel and A Nation of Sheep, Lederer was a Naval Academy graduate. Would you have such knowledge or a point in the right direction?

Thank you,
Fred Johnson

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Response from forum contributor Dennis Noble (Yangtze Patrol historian):

Lederer wrote what I consider the best memoir of life in the the USN, All the Ship's At Sea (Norton 1950). He wrote about his time in China on pages 90-112. Unfortunately, I do not believe he used the real name of his unit. The only one that he names is the Mokolii at Chungking.

Believe Lederer made up the names, as he did not want to embarass people who might still have been serving. Mr. Johnson could check with Naval Historical Center, Ship History Division, to see if there was a Mokolii at Chungking, or he could check Tolley's, Yangtze Patrol to check on units on the Yangtze and perhaps where they operated out of.

Mr. Johnson, however, should by all means read All the Ships at Sea. Great read and it will show him how Lederer approached his memoir.

Dennis


______________________________________

From: Bob Skinner
Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2008 8:03 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Gil Boyer's mother's experience in China

Gil's note of 3/23/08 was very interesting and hit home. Recently, I was scanning my baby book of 1929-31 and noted how many times my mother and I trailed dad around while he did his thing as exec of the gunboat Guam sailing mostly up and down the Yangtze protecting American, British and other foreign big oil interests. Yes, I was born in China, in a British hospital in Hong Kong and, who knows, maybe I have triple citizenship. Anyway, we usually traveled after him via a beat- up old river steamer (a true junk) whenever he went out of town-which apparently was often. I'm told, it wasn't like a trip to Disney World. For a time we lived in Shanghai, Chunking, Hankow (that must have been fun), Chefoo, Ichang, Tsingtao etc. Some of our steamers' names were SS Wang Lo, Loony Wo, Chi Cheon, I'Ling et. al. I'm sure that at the time they were comparable to the Queen Mary II. I recently chatted with a young Chinese national student enrolled at my elitist university who never heard of the above mentioned Chefoo. But he was well aware that the beer made in Tsingtao is excellent. Getting back to the story, my mother told me that occasionally we were attacked by river pirates and had to hide behind steel plates to avoid being shot. She said I got nicked in the leg by a fragment of some kind- probably a martini olive, but I was too young to recall-thank God!

As a sidebar, when dad went over to Manila for a short stint, mom and I went along for the ride aboard a destroyer named the USS Henderson. Well, towards the end of WWII when dad returned from the South Pacific theater he was assigned to skipper the USS Yellowstone, a destroyer tender being built at Todd Shipyards in Seattle. I was too young to pull military service at the time (they saved me for the big show in Korea) so dad got me a job at Todd as a Coppersmith Helper. And what do you know my first job was working on the new destroyer USS Henderson.

Finally, I'm glad to say when my wife and I visited China several years ago, we were pleasantly surprised at how well we were received. It was thoroughly enjoyable. Now if the Chinese would only learn NOT to put their chop sticks in the community rice bowl maybe none of us would have gotten sick and been hospitalized when we returned stateside.

BOB

______________________________________

From: Douglas Nichols
Sent: Monday, May 05, 2008 5:04 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Re: Inside Specifications of USS San Pablo

Thanks Crispin

I figured this would be a little tough.- but it seemed like your website was the right place to begin. I will keep searching and share what I find. This between-wars history can easily disappear without places like this...thanks for what you have done....

V/R
Doug

______________________________________

From: Douglas Nichols
Sent: Sunday, May 04, 2008 7:10 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Inside Specifications of USS San Pablo

Hello

I actually attempting to get information on the make-up of the Panay. I can only assume...at this time anyways, that there are similarities. I was wondering if there is date on items such as engines, nomenclature and size, or where is the chow hall and where did the crew sleep. I am sure you are aware of the endless questions...I have a handle on Nimitz Carriers, all flavors of Tico Cruisers and the different flights of DDG's...but something this old...not a clue.

Another question...does the San Pablo exist still, or has she met the same fate as her older relatives?

Thanks
V/R
Doug Nichols

-----------------------
Response from forum contributor Dennis Noble (Yangtze Patrol historian):

The best suggestion I can give him is to go the Naval Historical Center's (NHC) Ship Histories Division and see what they have.

I would also try the National Archives Naval Division--not sure what the division is now called. I believe a person can go to the National Archives web site and ask a question. (I have had good luck doing that.) I would go there and ask about any builder's drawings for the gunboats. I do not hold out much hope for this line of inquiry, however. It does not hurt to ask.

I am sure you are going to explain to him about the San Pablo [sic].

Dennis


______________________________________

From: Dennis Noble
Sent: Monday, March 24, 2008 4:41 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Fighting Chinese Pirates with U.S. Marines

Cris,

This one got by me. I wish I had seen it while working on my dissertation.

http://blog.modernmechanix.com/2008/03/05/fighting-chinese-pirates/

Dennis

______________________________________

From: Gillian Boyer
Sent: Sunday, March 23, 2008 6:23 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Reference - SS Nankin

Hello Crispin,
I am writing a memoir for my mother and grandmother who lived in Shanghai early last century. I have a story that in 1932, my grandmother and her lady friends were traveling on the Nankin up the Yangtze gorges when their boat was wrecked. The captain and crew of an American Gunboat came to their rescue and gave my grandmother the ship's bell from the Nankin because of her bravery. I have my mother's diary entry of the account:

"In 1932 Mother had a terrifying experience. She was going up the Gorges of the Yangtze River when their boat was wrecked in the rapids and as it was at night and British boats were not allowed to travel by night, the only boat that came up to rescue them was the American Gunboat "Oahu" (pronounced Waa-hu). They were collected and housed in an empty school, sleeping on the desks, and there, before dawn, they were attacked by bandits, and amid constant shooting, mother calmed and pacified the terrified passengers until the American Navy, hearing the shots, came to their rescue. The Captain of the "Oahu" gave mother the solid silver Captain's bell of the wrecked ship in honour of her bravery."

I still have the bell and it is inscribed 'SS Nankin'.

I was wondering if you could help me with a bit more details - and any more about the incident. Thank you for any help you can give me.

Kind Regards

Gillian Boyer

-----------------------
Response from forum contributor Dennis Noble (Yangtze Patrol historian):

I think the only way one could find out about this incident is to look at the log books of the USS Oahu on the river at that time. The only place I know where that could be done is the National Archives. If Gillian wants to do that, then I suggest contacting the Archives first to see if the log books for that year are there. Some of the log books may be missing.

Another possibility is to go to the Naval Historical Center online and click on Ship Histories. I believe most ship histories are now online. Sometimes there are mentions of rescues in the write ups.

I did check Tolley's and Cole's books and saw no reference of the vessel that sank. Also David H. Grover, _American Merchant Ships on the Yangtze, 1920-1941_, does not mention it in his index. Might try to contact him on the subject, he is very good on the subject.


______________________________________

[2007]

From: Shearer, Steven, SMSgt
Sent: Wednesday, December 5, 2007 9:02 AM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: River Rats

I recently stumbled across an old photo album of my grandfather's (Hard Cash Brown Jr.). It contains what I am guessing are photos of the Yangtze River. Also inside was a certificate stating that he was a member of the Yangtze River Rats. I'm not sure if others would be interested in this or not but it's nice to have something of his to look at. Anyway it's still some neat stuff to have. My grandmother also said she had menus and other "paper work".

I've attached a copy of my grandfather's ( Hard Cash Brown Jr.) certificate. I also found out he got an honorable discharge on 3 March 1939 from the US receiving ship at San Francisco. He served on the USS KANAWHA, USS BLACK HAWK and USS GUAM. I'll scan some other things and send.

Thanks,
Steve

______________________________________

From: kbhornbaker
Sent: Saturday, November 10, 2007 9:15 AM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Chief Quartermaster Charles W. Horn

Hi Crispin

I saw this article. Thought you like to read it.

http://www.chillicothegazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071109/NEWS01/711090302/1002

A fan of your site!

Karen Hornbaker
Pa.

______________________________________

From: Jason Atkinson
Sent: Saturday, October 27, 2007 4:31 AM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Nanjing Graffitti

Dear Mr. Garcia,

I stumbled upon your website forum while seeking information on three pieces of graffitti I recently found inscribed upon a Chinese monument in Nanjing (Former Yangtze river capital 'Nanking'). The first is clearly the 'USS Chattanooga' and the second directly below it was USS Elcano...click here. There is a third name: (as inscribed) 'USS Villobos 1904' for which I assume it represented a mis-spelling of Villalobos as you have on your site...click here.

Perhaps these photos are well known by you, if so please disregard my email. Otherwise, I have attached them for your viewing and interest.

Sincerely,
Jason Atkinson

______________________________________

From: Gary Joseph Cieradkowski
Sent: Friday, August 24, 2007 5:26 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Navy Uniforms

Crispin,

I am the guy that did the drawings of the Navy Uniforms. Thanks for keeping them up for so long, it is an honor to be part of your great website.

I just realised that the email address that is linked with my drawings is no long in use and hasn't been for 5 years! Would it be possible for you to change the link to my new email?

info@cieradkowskidesign.com

Also, I may have an updated version of those drawings if you are interested.

Thanks,
Gary Joseph Cieradkowski

______________________________________

From: Nicholas Spark
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 4:40 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: NEW USS Panay Memorial Website

Thought you should know...since you have a great site on the Yangtze Patrol...we just unveiled a new site about the USS Panay. The site is:

www.USSPanay.org

It was sponsored in part by General William Anders and his family. His father, Arthur "Tex" Anders, was second in command of Panay in December of 1937, when the ship was attacked.

-- Nick T. Spark
Los Angeles, California

Followup email: Hi Cris, it is really kind of you to add the link. Thanks for the good review, also. The website is intended to clarify what happened that day in December of '37. We're going to add, in the next few months, a ton of photos and other documents (including never-before-published accounts) that I just retrieved from Arthur Anders' personal archives. It's going to be a virtual museum of sorts, well, like your website!

We may also have some really stunning news by the end of this year (70th anniversary of the attack), but more on this later when it happens.

Kind regards,
Nick


______________________________________

From: Mark L. Ress
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2007 7:19 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: USS Villalobos

I recently discovered a scrapbook entitled "USS Villalobos, the swan of the Yangtse". There are no captions/names with the pictures, however there is one picture pasted in the back that shows my gr gr grandfather's hardware store in Indiana. Therefore, I am trying to connect some relative (perhaps by gr grandfather) with this scrapbook. I do not recognize anyone in the naval pictures. The hardware store picture is probably around 1900-1910. Do you know of any lists containing servicemen aboard the USS Villalobos?

Mark L. Ress

-----------------------
Response from forum contributor Dennis Noble (noted Yangtze Patrol historian):

I do not know where Mr. Ress lives, but the National Archives in Washington, D.C., should have what is known as the muster list for the gunboat. I would suggest Mr. Ress contact the National Archives, through their web site, and asked if Naval Records has the Muster Lists (or Rolls) for the gunboat he is interested in and the years he is interested. Make sure he specifically asks for the gunboat and years. The archivist will probably look at a finding aid and it should tell what they have and how complete. Sometimes the Lists, or Rolls, are not complete, and sometimes they are missing. It is important to check before going any further so he is not disappointed.

Once he finds out if they have the Lists, then he can have them microfilm them, or he can go there and copy them himself, or hire a researcher to copy them for him.

I used some of the muster lists for my dissertation, so I know that some of them have survived.

Hope this helps.

Dennis


______________________________________

From: Bill Hampton
Sent: Saturday, April 07, 2007 7:35 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Yangtse and USS Monocacy Embroidery representation of the boat, etc.

Hello,

I have been reading your information page and am very impressed. My Father was a Navy man in WWII and my Great, Great Uncle served on the USS Monocacy, I think. I have a piece of my Uncles Memorabilia from the Yangtze patrol and have been trying to place its origin. It is a very ornate beautiful embroidered cloth piece (about 19” by 25”) mounted on paper, rolled and placed in what looks to be a military map tube. It is unbelievable in its detail and vivid colors. I have enclosed a picture in hopes that you or someone on the blog page will be able to tell me anything about it or my Great Great Uncle, Clyde Hammond. I think he served sometime in 1934 or 1924. Picture of embroidery (347K).

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Bill Hampton
-----------------------
Response from forum contributor Dennis Noble (Yangtze Patrol historian):

I am in Washington, D.C., at the present doing research, so I do not have my books with me.

I pulled up the image and I will bet that he had the image made by a Chinese, or the gunboat had it made. Charles Finney in his book "The Old China Hands" wrote about a retired army man in China who had a woman make a beautiful piece of work on his career. Furthermore, it is not unusual even today for units of the military to have special items made for them.

I would suggest that the person take the work to a good museum and find out about how to conserve the work. Things like that may become valuable--although I am no expert on the subject.


______________________________________

[2006]

From: Roger Crossland
Sent: Friday, October 06, 2006 1:36 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: JADE ROOSTER, a Sand Pebbles "prequel"?

KINDLY POST:

Shipmates

My book "Jade Rooster" has just been released by Broadsides Press (http://Broadsidespress.com). The publicity blurb, which would make me blush (if a real man could blush), reads:

Two Americans, one civilian, one navy enlisted man, are drawn into the hard-boiled underworld of early 20th Century Japan as they investigate the grisly discovery of three severed human heads adrift in an open boat belonging to a missing ship. Their exploration of the seedy side of the Asiatic Fleet exposes brutal violence and betrayal lurking in unexpected quarters. Blending the historical authenticity of Patrick O'Brian with the crackling narrative and dialogue of Raymond Chandler, Crossland establishes himself as a unique voice in nautical fiction.

It is a mystery set in the 1913 Asiatic Fleet and takes place in Japan, the Philippines, China, and finally Korea. A friend described it as a "sort of prequel to the Sandpebbles." I wish. The central protagonist is a QM1 (but definitely potential chief material).

It may purchased online through amazon.com immediately or purchasers can wait for distribution where better books are sold. Of course if you wish to buy it by the carload and have a federal ID number you can acquire it at the significant retailer's discount from Ingram Book Group.

Respectfully,

Roger Crossland

______________________________________

From: Chen LtCol Cliff D
Sent: Thursday, August 03, 2006 6:07 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Yangtze Patrol Exhibit

FYI, when I attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, the library had an excellent exhibit regarding the Sand Pebbles and the history of the Yangtze River Patrol. I'm not sure if it was material on loan from the Navy Archives or material they possessed. In any case you may contact them if you desire more info. I've always been a big fan of this film and it inspired me to join the service - I tried joining the Navy but they wouldn't take me because I'm color blind - fortunately the Marines didn't care!

Semper Fi, LtCol Cliff Chen USMC

______________________________________

From: David Sharpness
Sent: Thursday, June 15, 2006 1:24 AM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Alley's Bombing of USS Panay

Hi Cris,

Here's a link to the old film of the Panay sinking (or Google 'internetarchive' and search in the movies):

(Norman Alley's Bombing of USS Panay)

http://www.archive.org/details/1937-12-12_Bombing_of_USS_Panay

And just thought to say Hi! and how I always enjoy a visit to your site. :)

David
Yosemite
June 14, 2006
-----------------------
Response: Dave, a fantastic find and recommended viewing for all Yangtze Patrol and Sand Pebbles fans.

______________________________________

From: AStone
Sent: Thursday, May 04, 2006 10:23 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Yangtze Patrol

Hello,

I stumbled upon your message board while looking up a book on China. My grandfather, John James Patterson III was an officer in the USN. He graduated from the USNA in 1918, I believe the only class to do so in three years because of WW I. He was stationed in China in the early 1920's. My grandmother and uncle lived in Chefoo, while I presume he was on board a ship. The family story was that he was evacuating refugees on the Yellow River. Would this be part of the Yangtze Patrol?

Thank you for your time. Always exciting to learn something new!

Anne Stone
-----------------------
Response from forum contributor Dennis Noble (Yangtze Patrol historian):

Believe this officer would be serving in the Asiatic Fleet. The fleet, as I recall, would depart the Philippines and cruise most of the summer and into the fall in the China area. Certain ports in China were considered almost home ports for different classes of ships. Tsingtao, for example, was for destroyers. Without looking it up, I think Chefoo was for submarines. This does not mean that other ships did not go in there, however. The wifes would travel to these areas and stay there until the cruising time ended and then they too returned to the Philippines. (Their story has not been adequately told. I received some questionaires from some when I did my book. On a similar note, McKenna tells of wifes traveling on the USS Gold Star to China and Japan.) There is a chance that the Navy did leave a small detail permanently in the ports, which makes sense, but I have seen no written accounts of this.

Of course, there is also the chance the officer was on the Yangtze Patrol and detailed to Chefoo for special duty. However, from the information given, I would say he was assigned to the Asiatic Fleet.

Anne Stone might try to find an Naval officer's register for the period at a good library and it should give her grandfather's duty assignment. Or try reference at the Naval Library in the Naval Historical Center (NHC), they are on line. (I believe you can ask their reference people. Look at the NHC's web site to find out.)

Hope this helps.


______________________________________

From: T. Thompson
Sent: Sunday, April 30, 2006 11:55 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: C R Jeffs - commander of USS Oahu

Crispin,

In connection with doing research on Charles R. Jeffs, who commanded the USS Oahu on the crossing from Shanghai to Manila just prior to Pearl Harbor, I would be interested in any suggestions you or persons posting to your board might have. I would be especially interested in oral histories from those on board during the crossing, or who otherwise served with Jeffs, and any other information preserved by descendants of those who served on the Oahu while on the Yangtze or during the crossing.

Thanks for your courtesy! --

T Thompson

______________________________________

From: Clark and Mary
Sent: Saturday, January 21, 2006 2:57 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Sand Pebbles

Crispin

I spoke with a gentleman last night who claimed to be among the rescued family that the movie Sand Pebbles was based. He said that his parents were missionaries to China.

This gentleman may be about 85 years of age and stated that he was in China from the age of 5 to 7 and he, along with a sister, a brother and his mother were rescued by a sailor(?) on 'gun boat'... as the turmoil (Civil War) was unfolding.

Since he was quite young (about 7 years of age) at the time, has dim and possibly a distorted recollection of that time in his life. However, he did say that:

His family, of four, were rescued by a sailor aboard a US Navy 'gun-ship',

The sailor (named Bobbitt?) smuggled them aboard without the knowledge of any(?) other crew member,

He and his family were transferred to a Japanese cargo ship "?? Maru",

He recalls seeing bodies floating in the water (river) as they crossed over the gang plank onto the 'gun-ship' or later between ships, etc.

No, I have not read Richard McKenna's novel so cannot comment on his story that the movie was made from.

Does this come into the area of your research?

Clark

______________________________________

From: James Reilly
Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2006 10:24 AM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Son of a Yangtze River Patroller

I tripped over your forum while looking for info on the Yangtze patrol and just wanted to touch base with someone who had an interest in this subject. I thought I was alone out here!

My father was an 30 year navyman and an old China Sailor who spent 12 years with the Asiatic Fleet and on the Yangtze. I've got a whole trunk full of his stuff (my wife calls it "junk" but to me it's priceless) which includes photos, uniforms, insignia, all kinds of passes to certain entertainment establishments, maps, letters, ship covers, etc.

I've had an interest in this subject since when I was a kid in the 50s and 60s.

I do not have any particular reason in contacting you other than to just establish a contact with like minded guys.

Maybe you'd like some scans of my "junk"? Just let me know, I'd love to share it. Items like this are useless if just kept in a trunk.

Write back if you want!

Thanks,
James Reilly

______________________________________

[2005]

From: Wesley Shoop
Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2005 7:58 AM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: MM2c William George Jamison

Hello:

I am trying to discover memories or documents that might help us (see previous email from Paulette Johnsey) understand the circumstances leading to the death of MM2c William George Jamison of the USS Oahu; or information that could help us locate his remains. Jamison died April 17, 1942 on or near Ft Hughes (Caballo Island). The bombing was heavy early that day from about 3 am to 11 am. One of the tugboats - likely the Genesee - had caught fire (from bombing or artillery?). Two men were mortally wounded and four or six (?) were injured. Most of these men were from the USS Oahu. William G. Jamison (Jimmy) died from his wounds at about 5:30 pm that day and another, John Lawrence Harris, died just before the Japanese took Corregidor and also Ft. Hughes on May 6. Charles Russell Thompson and Frank Cavender (also of the Oahu) were among the injured. I do not know the names of the others. The newspaper article in local papers indicate the men were involved in some activity or mission together that may or may not have involved taking a small boat out to rescue evacuees (from what?...the Genesee?). I would be interested in talking to or hearing from anyone that might remember this incident on Ft Hughes.

Information from the 16th Naval District War Diary indicates that Fort Hughes was bombed by Japanese aircraft at 0228 and 1027 the morning of 17 April 1942, the latter raid setting fire to a ship (possibly Genesee) alongside the fort. At 1125 that same day, Japanese gunners began shelling Fort Hughes. The report continues at 1240, noting "Cmdr. Bridget called and reported that two enlisted men attached to the Oahu were mortally wounded and four other[s] wounded, on Fort Hughes - all Beach Defense, Reported to the Commandant."

Any information relating to the above incident or persons can be sent to:

Wesley Shoop
500 Auten Rd. 3A
Hillsboro, NJ 08844
Phone 908 874-5832
email: wesley_shoop@merck.com

______________________________________

From: Johnsey.Paulette
Sent: Saturday, September 17, 2005 2:38 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Looking for any information about MM First Class William George Jamison crew of USS Oahu 1938 - 1942

Jamison is reported by Navy as Killed In Action April 17-19, 1942 timeframe. Would love to have any information about the Oahu during the time it was in the Phillipines, particularly if it would help us determine what may have happened to Jamison. He is not buried in Manila along with most of his crew mates - and may have died before the crew tied the ship up at Corregidor shortly after the fall of Bataan on April 9. He may have been in the company of a seaman named Frank Cavender who was captured and later died in 1943.

I understand the Commander of the Mindanao, David Nash is still alive. His ship was in close proximity and he may have some information. I would love to have any contact information on David Nash if you can find it. I also understand the First Mate of the Luzon , Jim Barkley, may still be alive in St. Petersburg FLA. I would love to know that number and address if someone knows it.

Thanks - we are trying to piece together a family puzzle that has lasted over 50 years.

Paulette Johnsey
______________________________________

From: Richard Wagner
Sent: Sunday, August 21, 2005 1:11 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: The Sand Pebbles

Does anyone know the identity of the real life ship that served as the 'Sand Pebbles' in the movie?

(Although the Fox publicity people were fond of claiming that the San Pablo was modeled after the Villalobos there is little resemblance.

More pertinent is the fact that Richard McKenna served on the U.S.S. Luzon in 1939. The Luzon was built in 1928 as were the Panay and Oahu which were sister ships. These ships were already 11 years old and quite familiar at the time that McKenna served on the Yangtze Patrol. If you look at any photos of these ships you readily notice a likeness to the San Pablo. The main structural change was that the San Pablo had only one smokestack as described in the novel.

Robert Wise who was always a stickler for detail most certainly stayed as close as possible to the book’s description. It is also rumored that McKenna (who enjoyed art as a hobby) did the cover artwork for the book jacket which also may have provided an early ship concept. - Ed.
)
______________________________________

From: Eric Niderost
Sent: Tuesday, August 02, 2005 8:33 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: My article out now

Hello,

Eric Niderost here, and I do want to compliment you on the site- GREAT. I'd also like to "announce" my article on the Patrol, "Eleventh Hour Peril," in the current (Sept 2005) issue of WORLD WAR II HISTORY. It's about the withdrawal (except for the "TUTU" and Wake--) to the Philippines...Nov-Dec 1941.

All best... Eric
______________________________________

From: Shaw, Jim
Sent: Saturday, June 04, 2005 1:40 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: USS Palos

Hi, If you or any of your readers are interested, I have just uploaded a web page on the gunboat USS Palos. This page is based on a newspaper article and photo published in 1937. The newspaper story is from my father's scrapbook, and my Present Arms web site has to do with China Marines and Marine Barracks, Guam. Here it is:

http://www.wclynx.com/burntofferings/adsusmc_palos.html

I enjoyed your web site, the book, and the movie.

Best wishes, Jim Shaw
______________________________________

From: Scott Greig
Sent: Friday, April 29, 2005 6:49 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Msg re. John Powers msg about Peking Legation Marines captured 12/8/41

Dear Sir,

While I have just discovered your website, and have barely looked at it (although I can tell I will certainly enjoy it!), I may be able to help with a prior message sent to you.

One John Powers sent a message in early 2004, seeking information on the Peking Legation Garrison, which was taken prisoner at Peking and Tientsin by the Japanese at 12 noon on December 8, 1941.

About two years ago, while doing research on the prior owner of my first .45 pistol, I came across a book, published in the early 1990s, by a survivor of the Peking garrison. I did a quick search...the author is William Howard Chittenden. It was titled "From China Marine To Jap POW: My 1,364 Day Journey Through Hell".

Hope this is of some benefit!

Regards,
Scott Greig
______________________________________

[2004]

From: Dennis L. Noble
Sent: Friday, November 19, 2004 7:22 AM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Re: US Marines on Yangtze patrol

Cris,

At the risk of self-promotion, I would suggest Mr. Blagman get a copy of my "The Eagle and the Dragon" on interlibrary loan. I have material in there about the marines on the Yangtze River. Further, the notes lead to where most of the material is found. Not knowing where Mr. Blagman lives, I found most in the U.S. Marine Corps Museum, in the Washington Navy Yard. There are a few books on the subject, such as Robert Hugh Williams, The Old Corps (Naval Institute Press, 1982), but the largest material is in the museum, especially in the manuscript and oral history sections, although I do remember one account in the Operational Archives of the U.S. Navy, also in the Washington Navy Yard. In their China Collection, if I am not mistaken. (It has been a number of years since I worked on USMC material, but the museum was always the best place for good primary material and also a source for leads to other sources.)

Dennis
______________________________________

From: Jack Blagman
Sent: Wednesday, November 17, 2004 1:37 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: US Marines on Yangtze Patrol

Sir:

I am researching the role of the US Marines aboard Yangtze patrol boats in the 1920s and 30s, for an article in a publication. Generally, it is my understanding that during the 1930s US Marines were assigned to deter bandits and pirate boarders. Do you have any information that might help? Or further research sources? Thank you for whatever help you can provide.

Jack Blagman

(Try the Naval Department Library and search for "China Marines" - Ed.)
______________________________________

From: Bret Robertson
Sent: Friday, September 10, 2004 11:28 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: USS Villalobos

A week ago I visited Nanjing, China. Nanjing is, of course, an ancient capital city of China with many great scupltures dating from the early Ming dynasty (circa 1400). I did note on one giant stone tablet some evidence of the US gunboat presence along the Yangtze. On the side of one of these great stone tablets was inscribed in deep block letter the following: "USS Villalobos 1904". Evidently some crewmen went to great effort to etch it deeply in the stone. This was of course somewhat embarrassing to see this American graffiti etched on this ancient monument, but it stimulated my curiosity and I find it of great interest that the Villalobos was the model for the Sand Pebbles.

Bret Robertson
______________________________________

From: Susan
Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2004 7:19 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Memorabilia of J.C.Clemens

Thank you for your help in directing me to the proper agency. I received a reply from Heidi Myers, Reference Librarian at the Navy Dept. Library. I sent Mr. Clemens' things Fed Ex yesterday. I am an active genealogist and I just knew someone should want his things.

Thanks again, Susan
______________________________________

From: Susan
Sent: Friday, August 20, 2004 10:37 AM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Yangtze River Patrol Assoc.

I have a scrapbook, plus small memorabilia, that belonged to Seaman 2nd Class James C. Clemens who was a River Rat from Feb. 1934 to Oct.1934. He served on the USS Monocacy, USS Luzon, USS Henderson. There is a letter directing these items be sent to the Yangtze River Patrol Assoc. Historian Rear Admiral Tolley, but this letter is quite old and I believe Rear Admiral Tolley is also deceased. My question is: would someone still like these things? I certainly do not believe they should be simply thrown away.

(Historical artifacts such as these should be donated to the Naval Historical Center - Ed.)
______________________________________

From: David A. Wright
Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 2004 7:51 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: The Sand Pebbles

Sir;

I hope I am not boring you. In "assorted photos(low resolution)" there is a photo of McQueen in dress blues with Bergen. The photo is incorrect. The Machinest Mate rate in the navy was never a "right arm" rate. The photo shows him wearing his rate on his right arm.

I suspect this photo was developed from a negative backwards.

Otherwise, I like this site. "The Sand Pebbles" inspired me to marry the navy and make it my career in 1966.

Regards;
David A. Wright
BTCS USN(Ret.)

(This photo has been corrected - Ed.)
______________________________________

From: Michael Kirby
Sent: Thursday, April 08, 2004 11:14 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Living History Group

Hi!

Would anyone be interested in forming a living history group focusing on Yangtze Navy men in the 1920s?

Michael Kirby
______________________________________

From: Manny
Sent: Monday, February 09, 2004 3:23 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Dragons

Hi Cris,

In reference to my memo to you of January concerning the Dragons sewn under Steve's Dress Blue Uniforms cuffs. I bought the movie DVD and copied a nice color pic of the Dragons for your information.

Regards, Manny
______________________________________

From: Manny
Sent: Thursday, January 22, 2004 11:18 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Re: The Sand Pebbles

Hi Cris,

Thanks much for your prompt reply and those great 1999 letters. I had one of those tailor made uniforms exactly like Roger mentioned. It also came with a tailor made scarf. In 1950 I was a young Aircrewman flying as a Radar/Navigator in a Douglas Skyraider AD-3N aboard the aircraft carrier Valley Forge just out of Hong Kong when the Korean War started. We flew a couple of Combat Air Patrols over the Formosa Straights at the time the good guys were fleeing mainland China for Formosa (Taiwan), then we quickly departed for operations against North Korea. We all received the China Service Medal for those few hours of work. Anyway some time later a few of us were in Manila drinking with an old Chief Petty Officer in our Squadron, after a bit the old Chief toasted us youngsters and announced to all that " you guys are now "China Sailors" and he told us a big "sea story" about the Sacred Dragons, that only real China Sailors can wear them, and then took us down the street to a tailor shop where he bought us all Dragons for our Dress Blues (we were then in "Whites"). Eventually in Japan I had my "Sacred Dragons" sewn in my slick tight fitting tailor made Blues, and was so proud of those things. Anyway a few years later I gave that tailor made uniform to a squadron pal and went on to civilian life. I only thought about those Dragons when I noticed Steve in a January 2004 showing of The Sand Pebbles on TV with cuff turned up, WOW!

Regards,
Manny
______________________________________

From: Charles Chelseth
Sent: Thursday, January 22, 2004 9:53 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Sand Pebbles Small Arms

Love the web site, it is great. This has been my favorite movie since I first saw it in 1967. The current issue of Shotgun News ( 20 JAN 04) has a nice article with photos of many Yangtze gunboats (including the USS Villalobos which was the basis of the San Pablo) and the Sand Pebbles movie poster. The article is about the weapons used by sailors on the gunboats. It is titled "Guns of the River Rats". Part II will be printed in the 20 Feb 04 issue. A nice article that I think many fans will find interesting.

Thanks,
Charlie
______________________________________

From: Manny
Sent: Thursday, January 22, 2004 5:42 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: The Sand Pebbles

I am looking for a source for a Dragon Patch that Steve is wearing under his sleeve cuffs or a good color picture of same. In a few scenes with Steve in the rowboat with Candice, Steve has his cuffs turned back and the Dragon embroidered on the inside of the cuff is exposed. That motif is a little known unofficial patch that was worn by real China Sailors. Please note the "Italian Lobby Cards 1966" and "US Photo Set 1". Any information on where I may obtain one of those patches or even a color picture of Steve with the patch would be appreciated.
(Try the 1999 Sand Pebbles Movie Message Board - look for Liberty Cuff references - Ed.)

Manny
______________________________________

From: Vicki Laing
Sent: Monday, January 12, 2004 6:07 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: John Cranston Laing

Dear Crispin
Thank you for such a detailed look at the Yangtze during a period where so many people from many nations were stationed.

I am trying to track down details on my grandfather John (Jock) Laing. He lived in Shanghai from the 20's after leaving Scotland with the Scottish Merchant Navy. Captured by the Japanese and imprisoned for the war then kept after the war by the communist Chinese as apparently he was one of the most knowledgeable sea captains for chartering the Yangtze River.

We also believe he was commissioned by the Americans to help charter the Yangtze in one of their raids such as the "Sand Pebbles". It would be greatly appreciated if anyone has details on him?

Many thanks and Kind regards
Vicki Laing
______________________________________

From: John Powers
Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2004 8:42 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Shanghai

I have a question which may well be out of your arena, but will try anyhow. (When I was with the 401st Tac Ftr Wng in Spain we had a big sign at the gate saying "the sky is our arena" which can be translated as the sky is our sand. Arena - sand- sandpebbles. ??)

First - I looked through the Yangtze River Patrol message board and noticed the discussion of whether or not the coolies would have been allowed to work on the engine. I know for a fact the Marines in China before the war had coolies do almost everything for them - But the coolies could not touch their rifles.

Now my question. I am trying to locate information on when the Japanese shipped Allied POWs out of Shanghai to Japan from Aug 1942 to Aug 1945. I need date, number of POWs, and Japanese port of entry. I am researching a unit of Marines captured in Peking and Tientsin 8 Dec 1941. Is there an organization in Shanghai which might have this? Harbor pilot association, river pilot association? Like I said, this might be out of your arena.

Perhaps some of your readers could help?

Thanks for your time.
John N. Powers
______________________________________

From: Piedmont Firearms Research
Sent: Sunday, January 04, 2004 8:57 AM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Yangtze Patrol article in SHOTGUN NEWS

Cris:
Just wanted to let you know that my two part article on the small arms used by the Yangtze Patrol will begin in the February issue of the SHOTGUN NEWS.

For those who don't subscribe, it can usually be found in the magazine racks at Walmart, Barnes & Noble, and Border's Books.

I would like to extend my thanks to all of your members who helped me in this task.

Paul Scarlata
______________________________________

[2003]

From: David Sharpness
Sent: Friday, October 31, 2003 12:54 PM
To: Crispin Garcia

Hi Cris,

I happened to notice George's request on the message board, and as it happens I collect those caches--the images off ebay, not the real ones. All they are is a postcard, or letter, with some handmade art or message, sent to a ship to be mailed back with the ships cancel on it--a stamp collector's thing! In the Thirties collecters were sending them out to all the ships. I saw one with the Panay, Idzumo, Bee, and two or three other Yangtze gunboats, all on one postcard. Kinda neat. There's a new British Yangtze Gunboat site..don't have URL handy.

David
______________________________________

From: George Saqqal
Sent: Friday, October 17, 2003 8:26 PM
To: Crispin Garcia

Dear Mr. Garcia:

I am researching an article for publication on the Yangtze River Patrol and would like to illustrate it with "covers" (envelopes) that were mailed from US Navy, Royal Navy, or other foreign gunboats on the Yangtze. I don't need the covers themselves, just reproducible photocopies. Germany, France, Italy, Japan and China were some other countries that had gunboats on the Yangtze.

Anyone who help me in this regard please contact me at: saqqal@msn.com

Best regards,
George Saqqal

(Editor's note: Here is an example of a Yangtze Patrol postmarked envelope.)
______________________________________

From: Caroline Gormley
Sent: Tuesday, July 08, 2003 11:05 PM
To: Cris Garcia

I am trying to locate any information that is available about Captain Francis Xavier Miclo. He had been a friend of my grandparents in the Phillipines and according to family history, was lost on a Yangtze River patrol boat that was bombed by the Japanese. We thought that it was the USS Panay, but I have not been able to find his name on the crew roster published on the web. I am beginning to compile a family history and he played an important part in it. If you can provide any information or any other source that I could contact, I would appreciate it very much.

Sincerely,
Caroline Gormley
______________________________________

[2002]

From: Piedmont Firearms Research
Sent: Wednesday, November 13, 2002 7:32 PM
To: Cris Garcia
Subject: Re: Yangtze Patrol message board

Cris:

I am preparing an article on the small arms used by the sailors of the Yangtze Patrol that will be published in the Shotgun News. I am attempting to locate photos, from the 1903-1942 period, of "River Rats" equipped with handguns, rifles, shotguns, Tommy guns, BARs and machine guns.

If anyone can help me out please e-mail me at GUNZ@ATOMIC.NET

Paul Scarlata
______________________________________

From: Dennis L. Noble
Sent: Thursday, October 10, 2002 8:25 AM
To: Cris Garcia
Subject: Re: USS MONOCACY 2

Cris,

I am not going to be too helpful, but I will refer him to a few locations. Will respond to him directly.

FYI, Glenn F. Howell's diary while CO of the Palos is finally available from most online book sources.

Title: Gunboat on the Yangtze: The Diary of Captain Glenn F. Howell of the USS Palos, 1920-1921.

Can also get it from publisher, McFarland & Co., Inc. 800-253-2187. Paperback $29.95.
End of plug.

Hope all is well with you.

Dennis
______________________________________

From: Kllyjk1234@aol.com
Sent: Wednesday, October 09, 2002 7:06 PM
To: Cris Garcia
Subject: USS MONOCACY 2

I am seeking information regarding a naval officer who was the commander of the USS Monocacy in the early 30's. His name was Julius Albert McNamar. He was a Naval Academy graduate, class of 1921. He had also served on the USS Pope.

I think he was killed while serving on the Yangtze. I would like to know if anyone is familiar with this officer or could direct me to a source where this information might be found.

Sincerely
John Kelly
______________________________________

From: Etienne
Sent: Thursday, July 18, 2002 1:22 PM
To: Cris Garcia
Subject: info needed...


Greetings,
In "History vs. Hollywood: The Sand Pebbles: Reflections from a Distant Shore" there is a 10 second piece of three U.S.Marines standing on the weather deck of a gunboat in China.The Marine in the middle is my Father.

Anyway, do you know if this series was made in either a vhs or dvd format for public purchase? I can't seem to find any answers even though I was sure that there was an advertisement at the end of the program.

Any insight would be appreciated.....Thanks.

Etiennel / Stephen E. Laliberte
ssdash@adelphia.net
______________________________________

From: Gary Cieradkowski
Sent: Tuesday, April 23, 2002 12:48 PM
To: Cris Garcia
Subject: Uniform Drawings

Cris,

Thanks again for putting my drawings on your site. A few people have contacted me about getting copies of them. I don't have prints per se, but I did put together a small booklet with them. Because I print them myself I am going to have to charge $10 a book to cover the paper and ink which is pricey. If anyone would like one, I can get one to them for the above price. I will be travelling around the country this summer until September 1st and will be unable to get any out until I get back. However I can be reached by e-mail at jerseygary@hotmail.com and will fullfill any orders I get when I get back home. Thanks again for the opportunity to share my work, Gary Cieradkowski.
______________________________________

From: David Sharpness
Sent: Wednesday, March 27, 2002 7:34 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Gunboat on the Yangtze

Author Dennis L. Noble is coming out with a book about the life in general of the Yangtze gunboat sailors.

Amazon says it's coming out now in March.

Gunboat on the Yangtze:
The Diary of Captain Glenn F. Howell of the USS Palos, 1920-1921
by Glenn F. Howell, Dennis L. Noble


And I'm going to gather in those nice colored drawings of the uniforms...and those last few posts to the forum were interesting--a J. McKenna on the USS Stewart.

David
______________________________________

From: Kevin Geiselman
Sent: Wednesday, March 06, 2002 7:46 AM
To: Cris Garcia
Subject: USS Villalobos

The "resume" of my great-uncle Ellis Hugh Geiselman reads:

"August 1921 - September 1922: Assigned to gunboat U.S.S. VILLALOBOS as Executive Officer. Ship engaged in protection American interests on the Yangtze River in China."

He served in the Eastern Med and Black Sea. He commanded the minelayer USS BITTERN in the Philippines and Chinese coast. Commanded the destroyer USS HULBERT. Was Executive Officer of the USS ARIZONA and, as ranking surviving officer, was responsible for the final report. He commanded the light cruiser USS DETROIT running convoys in the South Pacific and in the Aleutian Campaign. He worked on the logistic planning of European operations and his document on Naval Logistics became required reading for all flag officers.

But, other than this resume, I have very little information about his apparently very interesting 31 year Naval career. What the VILLALOBOS was doing and what part my great-uncle played during that year of service on the Yangtze is a complete mystery.

So, in posting to this forum, I am asking for any information anyone might have about my great-uncle Ellis Hugh Geiselman.

Kevin Geiselman
kordite@fyi.net
______________________________________

From: John M. Baker
Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2002 9:11 AM
To: Cris Garcia
Subject: Luzon

Dear Mr. Garcia,

I just happened to come across the Yangtze Patrol Forum. My great uncle on my mother's side was Lt. Cmdr. George Brooke, who was on the Luzon, eventually dying in a Japanese prison camp. I have his service record with lots of details about his service. I am interested in learning more, and also if there is anyone who might remember him. How can I participate in the forum? I live in Manila the Philiippines now and did have a chance to visit Corregidor (sp?). Unfortunately at that time I did not know that I was within sight of Caballo Island, which is where the Luzon was scuttled.

Regards,
John Baker
______________________________________

From: Lkn4brgns@aol.com
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2002 11:30 PM
To: Cris Garcia
Subject: Hello - Searching for Information regarding the Yangtze River Patrol

Hello!
My name is Cindy and I am writing to you regarding the Yangtze River Patrol. My great uncle, Ted (T.R.) Mills served with the Yangtze River Patrol aboard the USS Stewart during the 20s and I am not sure exactly how long. I have only today opened a collection of memorabilia that was given to my father by my uncle and has been stowed away in a cedar chest. Previously I had heard many stories about my uncle's adventures when I was younger. But it has taken age to truly appreciate the history of those men who served in the YangPat - and now I regret I did not take a more active interest when my uncle and father were alive. I have the actual list of those who served on the USS Stewart and many other articles of memorabilia. The Roster of the Crew is listed on the back of a menu for Independence Day 1926. Among the list of the crew of the USS Stewart along with my uncle is listed J. McKenna. Is this the same McKenna that wrote the movie "Sand Pebbles"?

I also would love to hear from anyone who may have relatives who served on that ship during that time. I would love to hear from you and anyone else who could assist me in identifying some of the pictures from this collection.

I really enjoy the website!

Sincerely.
Cindy
careames@aol.com
______________________________________

From: Andrea Fisher
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2002 9:30 AM
To: 'Crispin Garcia'
Subject: RE: Richard McKenna

Crispin,
I live in Mountain Home, Idaho where McKenna grew up and attended school. As you know, we are going to celebrate his birthdate on May 9th here. I am so pleased to receive this information from you. Sandy Friedly is a friend, she used to work in this library with me for a year. I am sure she will let us use the article. She collected information on McKenna for a museum here and for the alternate school. We have a school dedicated to him, named McKenna High School, an alternte school. I was going to put up a small web page on my library web for contact. I would like to link your site to this page, if that is okay with you.

I would not mind maintaining a web for him at some point in time. I had not thought about doing that but will find out if we can do one here at the school district. I am so glad you mentioned it to me. I have yet to read the book! I started reading it and someone wanted to check it out!! I am getting more copies. I have seen the movie and now own the DVD.

My mother's first husband, John Brennan, did a tour of duty at the same time McKenna was in China, he received a medal for the Yangtze tour. He was later killed in the Straits of Java when his ship was attacked. I remember my mother reading that book when it first came out with such intent.

My husband's father went to school with McKenna.

Thank you so much.

Andrea
______________________________________

From: Andrea Fisher
Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2002 11:30 AM
To: 'Cris Garcia'
Subject: Richard McKenna

I am working with a group in Mountain Home, Idaho to create a Richard McKenna Day (May 9) that will honor and create McKenna as a local academic hero who lived and attended school in our community. We are planning a city wide celebration and want to include:

The showing of the Sand Pebbles at the local theater.
A city -wide readathon of the book, The Sand Pebbles
Develop a brochure about McKenna for public distribution
Create a McKenna display in the city Museum
Publish an article of his life in the new Idaho Historical Magazine.

Could you let me know of your interests in McKenna and the Sand Pebbles? Why do you maintain a web page presence and who you are?

I am a teacher/librarian at the Mountain Home High School. I am interested in obtaining copies of his book for our city and our high school students to read.

Andrea Fisher
Education Technology Specialist
MHHS Library Media Dir.
______________________________________

From: Gary Joseph Cieradkowski
Sent: Tuesday, February 5, 2002
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Yang-Pat Illustations

Mr. Garcia,

I have long been interested in the role of our military in China before WW2 since seeing the Sand Pebbles as a boy. I am an illustrator and work on uniform drawings in my spare time. I recently finished a series on the U.S. Navy in China. Your site is one of my favorite stops on the web and was wondering if you'd like to see my series. There are 8 pages and I'm going to send them one at a time. You are welcome to put them on your site if you wish. Drop me a line and tell me what you think!

Thanks,
Gary Joseph Cieradkowski
smileyslim@mac.com
______________________________________

[2001]

From: A. Murillo
Sent: Tuesday, December 11, 2001 6:17 PM
To: Cris Garcia
Subject: USS Villalobos

Greetings,

I was wondering if anyone knows the USS VILLALOBOS ship number? My grandfather served on this ship sometime around 1918 - 1925. I did have it at one time and have since lost it. If anyone has any info on the number or the ship in general please let me know.
Thank you

A.Murillo
______________________________________

From: Steve Bryson
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2001 9:31 AM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: "History vs. Hollywood"

Hello Cris,

I was kind of disappointed in the "History vs. Hollywood" program on TSP. For one thing, I think there was too much focus on the Vietnam allegory. I doubt that Richard McKenna had any such thoughts in mind when he wrote the story. His naval stories seem to focus on the relationship between man and machine. I realize that Hollywood may try to inject a mesage/philosophy in a movie, but would the anti-war message have been that strong when the movie was filmed (1965-ish)? I can live with "Hollywoodization" of the story, I guess.

I was more bothered by the interviews with the veterans. They, as well as others I have spoken with, say that the Chinese coolies would never have been allowed to work on the engines. Tex Anders, the XO of the USS Panay, was very adamant about this. However, they served on different gunboats at times later than that depicted in the story. The ones interviewed for the program served in the mid- to late 1930s. The USS San Pablo was loosely based on the USS Villalobos, a Spanish-American War relic. Of couse, I wasn't there. But neither was Richard McKenna (not at the time the story takes place). My belief is that McKenna wouldn't have written it like that unless it would have happened like that. McKenna was an engineer, and his love of the machinery is evident in his naval writings. From what I have read, he was very meticulous in his research of the era. I guess my beef is in the using of first hand memories that are of a different era. The Yangtze Patrol of the 1930s was not the same as the Yangtze Patrol of the 1920s, nor were the ships and the men the same.

I'll get off of my soapbox now, and get this mailed to you.

Take care,
Steve
______________________________________

From: JBENZ90@aol.com
Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2001 11:23 PM
To: Crispin Garcia
Subject: Re: Sand Pebbles documentary on the History Channel, October 23rd.

Cris
I was lucky to work on this show just this past July. I was the editor. My boss is an executive at FOX Studios which produced "The Sand Pebbles". He likes to collect movie memorabilia and at one of the FOX auctions was a big box of contact sheets, that had hundreds of behind the scenes footage. There were a lot of pictures to go through. We also were lucky to get a lot of footage of China from the 1920s. Lots of heart breaking footage of coolies (Chinese workers who did incredibly back breaking labor for a simple bowl of rice each day) We got some footage of actual U.S. gunboats and the American sailors in China in the 1920s. Unfortunately, we couldn't get cast members like Candice Bergen and Richard Attenborough for interviews. But we got actual American sailors who were on the gunboats in the late 1920s to 1930s. They interviewed well. So I hope you can help us get the word out. Unfortunately, the "History vs. Hollywood" series hasn't gotten much publicity. I really hope you like it. Thanks for writing back.

Ben Bulatao
______________________________________

From: Les Bell
Sent: Monday, September 03, 2001 4:35 PM
To: Cris Garcia
Subject: The Sand Pebbles Website

Greetings Webmaster Garcia:

You have created a remarkable Website dedicated to The Sand Pebbles, a movie admired by many as a cinematic epic. Steve McQueen added to its luster in a compelling performance deserving of an Oscar. Alas, he was slighted. As were all associated with a wonderfully evocative screening inspired by the sinking 10 Sept 1938 of the River Gunboat Panay by Japanese naval planes.

On my first enlistment, 1935-39, I served aboard our first aircraft carrier, Langley CV1/CV3, which had been converted from a World War 1 era coal collier, the Jupiter. One of my shipmates, George Gaboury, was aboard Panay when she was sunk and abandoned. I learned only last week that Gaboury is alive and well in Connecticut.

That brought to mind my often pausing to admire his model of Panay abuilding under his skillful hands in the carpentry shop at the break of the fo'csle on the starboard side. "Chips" Gaboury later during the war was a POW in a Japanese prison camp, possibly in the Philippines.

Fair winds and following seas, Webmaster Garcia.
Lester Bell e-mail lesbell@inteliport.com
______________________________________

Subject: Howdy!
Date: Thu, 28 August 2001 13:24:51 -0700
From: riocruz@mindspring.com
To: Crispin Garcia

Dear Mr. Garcia--

My name is Rio Cruz and I am a Hospice volunteer in Santa Cruz, CA. One of my patients is named Charles Truesdell, the son of Stewart Day Truesdell who was skipper of the Tutuila from about 1929 to 1932. Charlie is now in his 80s, in poor health but was about 6 or 7 when his family was sent to China to be part of the Yangtze Patrol. I printed off all the info pertinent to that era found on your website and we both want to thank you for all the fantastic work you have done to put the site together and keep it going.

On thing that distressed ol' Charlie was that his father is identified in the piece about the Tutuila as Lt. Comdr. S. E. Truesdell instead of S. D. Truesdell. He would like to know if there is any way to correct this...at least as far as your website is concerned. Since the info you have taken is from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, I am sending a copy of this email to them as well.

Thank you in advance for any help you can give.

Sincerely,

Rio Cruz
______________________________________

Subject: Link to my site
Date: Sun, 24 Jun 2001 13:24:51 -0700
From: Pamela Walton
To: Crispin Garcia

Hi Crispin

I feel honored and so would my dad, for you to use the link to the site I made for my dad who was a POW for 42 months during WWII. Dad was on the Patrol Boat, USS Oahu, stationed on the Yangtze River, based in Shanghai, China, before he was taken prisoner. My dad was a founder of the Yangtze River Patrol Association, that he and another man started back in the late 60's. What a wonderful site you have made. To honor all the men and women of that time is very commendable .

It is such a shame, that my dad could not be here to read all the wonderful comments that people have wrote in my guest book. But maybe what ever adventure he is on now, he is smiling, that he was a hero! Is the forum open to all? I could not see any way to post anything?

I will add you to my favorites.

Warm Regards,
Pamela
______________________________________

Subject: Hard Way Back, A true story of a WW2 POW
Date: Sun, 24 Jun 2001 09:03:11 -0700
From: James Hathaway
To: Crispin Garcia

Hi Cris,
I was doing some research on the web and ran across this (Memorial for Yangtze Patroller - Frank Hoeffer) - you might want to find out if you can link to this.

Jim

http://www.wtv-zone.com/califPamela/A-Memorial-For-Dad.html
______________________________________

Subject: USS Luzon
Date: Sat, 23 Jun 2001 22:49:47 -0700
From: James Hathaway
To: Crispin Garcia

Dear Crispin,
Sorry to fill up your mailbox but I thought you would enjoy seeing this. This is a cover (Envelope) from USS Luzon, a US Navy gunboat in China. She escaped to the Phillipines, was scuttled, and raised and used by the Japanese until sunk by our aircraft in 1945. This was also the gunboat that the author of "The Sand Pebbles" was stationed on. I happened to see it offered on E-bay.

Jim Hathaway
______________________________________

Subject: New YANGPAT miniatures
Date: Sun, 1 Apr 2001 22:02:36 +0930
From: gregoryblake (gregoryblake@bigpond.com)
Organization: Kormilda College
To: Crispin Garcia

Dear Mr Garcia,

I thought you might like to see the latest YANGPAT figures from CFM...click here

Regards
Greg Blake
Visit Cannon Fodder Miniatures
http://canfodmins.com
______________________________________

Subject: Re: YANGPAT Cannon Fodder Miniatures...
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2001 18:25:25 +0930
From: gregoryblake (gregoryblake@bigpond.com)
Organization: Kormilda College
To: Crispin Garcia

Thanks Crispin for your email and the link to my website. Keep watching for more figures due out soon.

All the best
Greg Blake

Visit Cannon Fodder Miniatures
http://canfodmins.com
______________________________________

Subject: Yangtze Patrol miniature figures
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001 10:36:10 -0500
From: Jeff Jones
To: Cris Garcia

Greetings, Mr. Garcia.

I just wanted to let you know that an Australian military miniatures company is in the process of making Yangtze Patrol figures for skirmish-oriented wargaming. A few pictures of the US figures have been posted on their website, including a sailor with a BAR and an officer. The expressions on the faces of the figures are, to me, kind of cartoonish (which seems to be common among British/Australian figure sculptors), but the figures are obviously meant to be a tribute to a period and movie we love, so I can't be too hard on them. You can check them out at the http://canfodmins.com Cannon Fodder Miniatures website.

Sincerely,
Jeffry Scott Jones

(By the way, I showed my girlfriend The Sand Pebbles for the first time, and she was deeply moved. I'm still working on my own model of the gunboat.)
______________________________________

Subject: Yangtze Patrol minatures
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2001 16:05:02 -0800 (PST)
From: David Sharpness
To: Crispin Garcia

Hi Cris

Found this site with minatures of Yangtze Patrol sailors--Cannon Fodder Minatures

http://canfodmins.com

David
______________________________________

[2000]

Subject: Kemp Tolley
Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2000 15:08:38 -0800
From: John Bayer John.Bayer@METROKC.GOV
To: Cris Garcia

Shipmates making their last cruise:

Kemp Tolley, 92; Rear Admiral, Author

Kemp Tolley, 92, a retired Navy Rear Admiral who wrote countless articles and three books concerning Naval History and Naval Affairs, died Oct. 28 at his home in Baltimore County, Md., after a stroke.

He was one-of-a-kind and a true gentleman.

His books were:

The Yangtze Patrol - the Navy's experiences on China's rivers.

Watch the Steve McQueen movie "The Sand Pebbles" to get a feel for the real thing. The book the 1966 movie was based on was written by a veteran of the Yangtze Patrol, Richard McKenna.

Caviar and Commissars - RADM Tolley's experiences in Russia in WWII.
Cruise of the Lanikai: Incitement to War - Tolley and a crew of USN/Philipine Insular Force Sailors took an old 2-masted sailboat from the P.I. to Australia at the beginning of the war; very entertaining.

All by Naval Institute Press

I highly recommend any of them.

More info on RADM Tolley can be found at:

http://www.geocities.com/Vienna/5047/Tolley.html

John R. Bayer
IS1(NAC) USNR

Editor, Enlisted Pilots of the Sea Services,
http://enlistedpilot.hypermart.net/silver.htm
Editor, SACO, The Home of Naval Group China,
http://navalgroupchina.hypermart.net/saco.htm
________________________________________

Subject: Re: Movie & TV Actor, Jack Warden
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2000 01:46:28 EDT
From: Donsipek@aol.com
To: Cris Garcia

Howdy Agin, Cris,

When I read your stuff on the Web I quickly realized you're a scholar. Now reading your very pertinet E Mails to me I also realize you're a gentleman to boot.

A Troika of Tidbits of Miscellany for you:

1. I took your advice re: searching for Jack Warden's E Mail. Finally late last nite I found his address for requesting his autograph. It may be his home 'cause it's just his name and street address in Malibu, CA. I'll also ask him a secondary question: "If you were on the Oahu, any chance McKenna was one of your shipmates?" Of course I'll enclose a stamped, return envelope to make it easy as pie for him to respond.

2. I appreciate your offer of possibly putting my article on your Website. Quite frankly, there's an excellent chance that "Naval History" will reject it because it's Politically Incorrect (or, they'll edit the live'in shit outta it and thus ruin its essence). I wrote it as if I had a tape recorder when I heard my father tell all these tales to his shipmates & pals. Read: his actual, salty, ol'Chiefy words in quotation marks -- so I didn't invent'em. About 2/3 of the article is about his YangPat experiences and the rest about his experiences as ship's company on a PT Boat Tender during W.W.II when 'liberty' meant going out at nite with those daring 'young kids' in their Mosquito Boats to shoot-up Jap, inter-island troop barges. Don't mean to sound like no Eyetalian Braggadocio, but I do think the old sailormen in your audience will enjoy it 'cause I wrote it as a short story adventure rather than a routine, ho-hum journalistic piece. ,

3. I'll try to get that letter out to Warden within the next few days. If you wish to ride along shotgun with me, E Mail your address to me & I'll mail you a copy of the letter. Also, I'll need your address to mail you a copy of my article when its finished.

Incidently, my father loved McKenna's book not only because it was a grand tale, but also because of its authenticity concerning the engine room. You see, Dad too was a Machinest Mate (sadly, he never knew that McKenna's experiences were derived from the same gunboat on which he served -- the Oahu).

Damn, 'cause of your continual interest, cooperation, and suggestions, I shore owe ya a few shots of top shelf whiskey the first time I cross trails with you in some joint,

Dominus vobiscum, mate,
Don Sypek
________________________________________

Subject: Re: Movie & TV Actor, Jack Warden
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2000 00:49:30 EDT
From: Donsipek@aol.com
To: Cris Garcia

Hi Cris,

Mucho Gracias for being so Christ-like to send me your quick response. As I may have said, several months ago I stumbled across a retired Chiefy who was in China during the late '30s and he 's the one who told me that Jack Warden was on the Oahu at the time. I'd like this verified before putting it into print of course. Your idea was great, never occurred to me -- maybe I can ask Warden himself via his Homepage .

Surely you know (I never did) that Richard McKenna was on the Oahu in the '30s (this same Chief educated me on this too). Had I been familar with your group I undoubtedly would've known this a long time ago. My interest in the Oahu is because Dad served on her in the late '20s. Indeed, he told absolutely wild ass stories about the life of both the Yangtze River Sailormen & Chinamen. Then in the late '30s he returned to China for duty on the Isabel (more wild ass stories, like the Rape of Nanking and sinking of the Panay). Mom and I lived in Shanghai when he was on the Isabel.

Dad died in '67 and the last book he read was "The Sand Pebbles". He said it was the bestest book he ever read, accurately protrayed the times to a tee.

I've got another month or two to put the final touches on the article (like rounding up a couple of Dad's photos of those adventurous times). When I finish it I'll send you a copy for your "Whatever It's Worth Column".

Again, Many Thanks & I'll periodically be "reading the mail" on your great site.

My Bestest,
Don Sypek
________________________________________

Subject: Movie & TV Actor, Jack Warden
Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2000 01:23:15 EDT
From: Donsipek@aol.com
To: Cris Garcia

Just stumbled across your velly, velly interesting Website. So far I haven't read any details on just how a bloke joins your magnificant group.

Anywho, maybe you can give me a hand on something I've been trying to verify. My late father, Leo "Cy" Sypek , CWO spent 31 years on active duty, two tours which were on the Yangtze River Patrol (the 'Oahu' in the '20s & the 'Isabel' in the '30s). He told fantabulous 'sea stories' of his adventures in China. I thought it about time that I document some of these, thus I'm now completing an unsolicited manuscript which I intend to submit to "Naval History" magazine. During my research I spoke to a retired Chiefy who was on the Oahu in the '30s & he told me something I'd like to verify before I put it in my article.

OK, here's my question: He told me that the movie & TV actor, Jack Warden, was on the Oahu in the late '30s. I checked out Warden's Website and found no reference to this supposed fact.

So, in all your dialogues with the Old China Hands, has any sailorman ever mentioned to you that Warden was on this gunboat? (Incidently, Warden's now 80 years old & still active in the theater).

Mucho Gracias for any help.
Cheers & Beers, mate,
Don Sypek
Utica,NY
________________________________________

Subject: Panay
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2000 20:48:26 -0700
From: David - dsharpness@yahoo.com
To: Crispin Garcia

Hi Chris,
Thanks, yeah, I have that photo. Today I found a search engine called Dogpile and typed in USS Panay and it went and "fetched" some sights, one with several photos by a model builder of his Panay diorama--so Ive got a good look at the details I haven't been able to see. If I had the two hundred dollars I'd buy the model--it's a resin kit made by Iron Shipwright.
---
Yes, I think so! The posters to your forum should be a good source of info.
----
And too I found with Dogpile the China Marines, really nice site I'll get back to you with that one--I think my search word was China Marines.
----
There was an earlier Panay and it was Admiral Nimitz first command.
---
I've found some neat stuff, a year old interview with one of the Japanese pilots for example, and a long book, The Japanese Imperial Conpiracy which has just a wonderful chapter one--it puts December 12, 1937 in its context, the fall of Nanking and China's civil war.
----
I think the Smithsonian has a model too, and I keep seeing e-bay listings for Naval Covers of the Panay, but they've all been sold!
----
For my class at school I can/am/maybe building a Panay site. I dunno though, I'm a little shy...I'll make it, and if it looks allright...
----
A detail: Early in the movie the Chinese workers are hauling carts with a strap over one shoulder--that strap has been used for thousand of years to pull the junks on the Yangtze from shore, and when the Panay survivors were going finally back to safety, they were in small junks being pulled along a canal, which may have been the grand canal, but I'm not sure.
----
There's a new book about the merchant ships of the Yangtze Patrol era--Amazon has that. And Tolley's book I read is to be re-issued..
----
Years ago now, I happened to be reading about the Panay when the Stark was misled, and that scared me, and then when we mistakenly hit the Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia, I slapped my head and said 'Heck! I gotta go look up the Panay! I'd forgotten all about the Sand Pebbles, but links must have been going on in my subconscious. One of my scenes has a little boat with American flag next to a junk, very much like in mood to the opening of the movie--a lot like the model builder's diorama!
----
And then there's the British Yangtze Incident of 1948...Rambo's guru was right on with his depiction of circumstances fraught with peril waiting for incidents..

David :}
________________________________________

Subject: Sand Pebbles
Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2000 20:09:25 -0700
From: David - dsharpness@yahoo.com
To: Cris Garcia

Hya!,
You know, for the last two months I've been researching the Panay, browsing the web, and had bookmarked your site. Last night I watched The Sand Pebbles, got it through the library, and was struck at how authentic it is....the scenes of Shanghai are right out of My War with the Japs by Alcot. I came back to your site and read some of the posts. The research has got me going off in all directions...China Marines presently. Were there Marines on the gunboats?
___
I saw The Sand Pebbles in the movies (I'm fivethree...). For my project I"ve been drawing the Panay, but all the photos are not very good, The San Pablo is a little Panay--one smoke stack instead of two. Naval History, 2/00 has gunboat on cover and story.
____
What the hell happened? Smedly Butler could tell us. :)

David
dsharpness@yahoo.com
________________________________________

[1999]

Subject: Re: New Sand Pebbles section...
Date: Sat, 25 Sep 1999 17:57:13 EDT
From: Steve Bryson
To: Cris Garcia

Hello Cris,

Thanks for the tip on the new section on your website. Your TSP site continues to be the best site I have come across on the Internet.

In regards to your question regarding models, I have not come across any information on anyone having built a model of the USS San Pablo. I would guess that someone has built such a model, though, as the movie is very popular. One problem, however, would be a lack of plans/drawing of the ship. If you look on page 66 & 67 of the Sea Classics issue with the TSP article, there are photos of a waterline model of the USS San Pablo. There is an article in the 10/95 issue of Scale Ship Modeler that mentions this model as having been a gift to director Robert Wise from the full size vessel's Chinese builders.

I know that the sentiment of several ship modelers with interests in the Yangtze River gunboats is: why build a model of a fictional ship when there are plenty of real subjects, with plenty of reference materials. In reality, the movie USS San Pablo doesn't resemble the real ship that the fictional one was modeled after, the USS Villalobos.

The kit of the USS Panay that was to be released in the Spring of 1999 has been held up. I am not sure of it's present status, but I hope it gets released, as I think it will sell well (even with it's hefty $165 price tag).

Have you had a chance to read Dennis Noble's book, The Eagle and the Dragon? I had planned to e-mail Mr. Noble after you included his letter on your website, but I have fallen behind on my correspondence. I am currently reading A Rocky Mountain Sailor in Teddy Roosevelt's Navy, which is a compilation of an Asiatic sailor's letters to his sister from 1905-1910. It gives really great insights to the sailor's life on the early Asiatic Station. The sailor, Charles Fowler, was very articulate, and a very good writer. It is amazing (to me) that his letters survived. A good read!

Take care, and thanks again for the tips.
Steve
________________________________________

Subject: McKenna
Date: Sun, 15 Aug 1999 13:48:36 EDT
From: Limpet6@aol.com
To: Cris Garcia

Cris

For those who enjoyed reading McKenna, I suggest White Hats by Floyd Beaver published by Glencannon Press in Palo Alto. It is a collection of short stories by Beaver reminescent of The Left-Handed Monkey Wrench. Two stories "The Asiatic" and "Look-see Pidgin" are of particular interest to China sailors.

I have no idea what Beaver's background is, but it all rings true.

In response to Alan's post on in the Sand Pebbles forum, embroidery on the inside of the cuff's was always "unauthorized" and wearing the uniform with the sleeves rolled up was likewise unauthorized.

Yet sailors have always been creatively artistic dating from scrimshaw and ships in bottles. At the turn of the century they did their own embroidery and there was really no limit to what they could stitch into the whole uniform, see Alden's Steel Navy. Sometimes they would completely rip apart a uniform and sew it and tailor it back from scratch.

Then things tightened up a bit by the time of the Great White Fleet. Tailor-mades were never authorized, but what skipper would could really object to a sailor on liberty looking particularly sharp? Don't answer that. Battleships and cruisers were particularly plain vanilla and their were others who saw pride and creativity as slightly subversive. Rolling up your dungaree sleeves (a work uniform not in the public eye) was a high crime on a cruiser.

Many tailor-mades had exaggerated bell-bottoms, a fully embroidered lining, and fit so snugly they could not be taken off over the head. They had a hidden zipper that went up the side which had to be unzipped first. You carried your wallet slung over your waistband and everything else in your socks (cigarettes, socks, flask).

As for the cuffs some were embroidered right into the tailor-made uniform where the uniform was made (likely in China, Japan, and the Philippines) but I can remember seeing ready made patches in all the stateside Army & Navy stores.

Ding hao,
Roger Crossland
________________________________________

Subject: Another book recommendation
Date: Thu, 8 Jul 1999 14:20:59 -0400 (EDT)
From: gbrillan@osf1.gmu.edu (Gerard)
To: Cris Garcia

Dear Mr. Garcia:

I read through Mr. Mike Leonard's suggested reading list and was pleased of the amount of sources on the US Asiatic Fleet. Anyway, I became interested in "The Sand Pebbles" due to my research and freelance comparative history writing on naval history and diplomacy. The first book I got my hands on the US experience in China was Bernard Cole's "Gunboats and Marines". As far as I know the book is out of print but was available in my local university library. The book is more or less and analysis until the 1930's of the Yangtze Patrol and just as valuable as a bibliographic list of primary sources on the Yangtze Patrol. At any rate, don't forget to add this book.

Sincerely,
Gerard
________________________________________

Subject: Sand Pebbles Web Site Fans
Date: Wed, 7 Jul 1999 18:05:09 -0400
From: "Mike Leonard" mike.leonard@erols.com
To: Cris Garcia

For anyone who enjoyed The Sand Pebbles film and/or book version, some other books I can recommend are:

"The Fleet the Gods Forgot" by Edwin P. Hoyt
"The Lonely Ships: The Life & Death of the US Asiatic Fleet" by W. G. Winslow
"The Last Battle Station" by Duane Schultz
"The Ghost that Died at Sunda Strait" by W. G. Winslow
(Those last two are about the fleet flagship Houston.)
"The Panay Incident: Prelude to Pearl Harbor" by Hamilton D. Perry
"South to Java" (Novel) by William P. Mack

There's a fairly large model of the Panay about to be released. I can provide more information for anybody who is interested.

Forget the butchered stuff on cable TV and get the video to really enjoy the movie.

Regards,
Mike
Alexandria, VA USA
_____________________________________________

Subject: Re: Yangtze Patrol...
Date: Wed, 12 May 1999 12:42:42 EDT
From: Steve Bryson
To: Cris Garcia

Hello Cris,

Dennis Noble's book is great (in my opinion), as it addresses a lot of the myths (and not myths) of US military service in China. I had read the book through the University of Illinois library, and decided that I wanted a copy for myself. It took me about two years and several missed copies before I found one. If you can find it at your library, or through interlibrary loan, it is worth reading. I hope to drop a line to Mr. Noble to talk about his book and his interest in the US military in China.

I am glad you found a copy of Admiral Tolley's book. The South China-Yangtze Patrol Asiatic Fleet Reunion was last Wednesday through Sunday (May 5-9) in Baltimore. It was my good fortune to be able to attend. The weather was decent, the people great, and the stories fantastic. I met and talked to a lot more people this time than at previous reunions I have attended. This reunion was a tribute to Admiral Tolley, and a large bronze bust of the admiral was unveiled at the banquet Saturday night. It will be the centerpiece of a memorial to Admiral Tolley and all of the officers, sailors, and Marines of the Asiatic Fleet.

I was surprised that none of Admiral Tolley's books were for sale during the event. I suppose that no one wanted to overload him with book signings, as he is 91 years old (though he still gets around well, and his mind is still sharp as a tack). I spoke to Tex Anders and Fon Huffman, who I believe are the last two living survivors of the sinking of the USS Panay. Commander Anders, who is 96 years old, was the executive officer of the Panay. He was wounded in the throat by shrapnel, and had to write out orders on a blood-spattered chart. He was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions during the incident. Mr. Huffman was a hero, too, giving up his life jacket to newsman Norman Alley, even though Mr. Huffman was wounded in the shoulder and could not swim.

Paul Stillwell, author and historian for the US Naval Institute, was the guest speaker at the banquet. Prior to the banquet starting, Mr. Stillwell signed a copy of his book, Air Raid: Pearl Harbor!, for me; I had picked the book up earlier that day at a book show, knowing that Mr. Stillwell would be at the banquet. He asked how I became interested in the Yangtze Patrol/Asiatic Fleet, since I was obviously too young to have served with them. I told him that my interest was sparked by watching "The Sand Pebbles" as a youngster. Later, during his after dinner speech, he mentioned me by name when talking about ways people became involved with the Yangtze Patrol/Asiatic Fleet.

I spoke with one gentleman who is wanting to set up a website for the USS Panay. He mentioned having contacted Phil Abbey, who (as you probably know) has a very nice website on the South China Patrol/Yangtze Patrol. This gentleman, David Miller, asked me about hosts for sites. I told him that I didn't know anything about how websites are set up, but suggested that he check out your TSP site, as I think it is the best website I have come across on the Internet.

I know that there is probably something else I want to tell you, but my brain is on an information overload right now. As an aside, a couple of weeks ago I picked up a copy of MAD #117, with the TSP satire. After seeing it on your website, I thought it would be great to get a copy.

That's all for now. Take care.

Steve
________________________________________

Subject: Re: Comments on Sand Pebbles site
Date: Sat, 8 May 1999 06:46:53 -0700
From: "Dennis L. Noble" dln@olypen.com
To: "Crispin Garcia" Cris Garcia

Mr. Garcia:

Thank you for your kind words. If others out there are as interested in Richard McKenna as I became in him, here are a few books to find more about the man (some probably have been mentioned earlier):

_The Left-Handed Monkey Wrench_. (This contains a essay on the USS Goldstar, one of the best I have read on life in the navy during the interwar years.)

The introduction to the Naval Institute's _The Sand Pebbles_ written by Robert Shenk.

Eva Grice McKenna and Shirley Graves Cochrane, _New Eyes for Old: Nonfiction Writings by Richard McKenna_ (1972). This is a very good collection of the many speeches and writings of McKenna after he gained fame from his novel. The first essay in the book: "New Eyes for Old: The Quest for Education," shows McKenna's desire for an education. I believe this book gives a very good insight to the man.

Dennis L. Noble
________________________________________

Subject: Comments on Sand Pebbles site
Date: Wed, 5 May 1999 11:22:42 -0700
From: "Dennis L. Noble" dln@olypen.com
To: Cris Garcia

Mr. Garcia:

I retired from the U.S. Coast Guard as a senior chief petty officer and returned to school, much like McKenna, and earned a Ph.D. in U.S. history. The subject of my dissertation came from reading _The Sand Pebbles_. I wrote on the U.S. military in China from 1901-1937, trying to show how the American military lived, what they did, their duty days, and especially how they perceived China and the Chinese. The dissertation was published as _The Eagle and the Dragon: The United States Military in China, 1901-1937_ (1990). It is now out of print and I am trying to get it reprinted with some updates.

I found McKenna as interesting as his book and the movie very good. I want to thank you for this site, suggested to me by a person in the photographic section of the Naval Historical Center last week while I was searching for pictures on another project dealing with the military in China.

Keep up the good work!
Dennis L. Noble
________________________________________

Subject: Link to Yangtze Patrol memorial...
Date: 16 Feb 1999 13:44:58 -0500
From: Phil Abbey
To: Cris Garcia

I know that they linked to me (South China/Yangtze Patrol website). I was invited to the event but couldn't make it. I'd love to get more information on-line, the hit count justifies the effort, but resources are limited.

I'm also working on the Shanghai Volunteer Corps, the 15th Infantry, and other obscure operations. The 4th Marines at Shanghai are well documented on-line so I've only mentioned them in passing.

I recently re-read the Sand Pebbles. The author's foreword was interesting. The first time that I read the book I believe that I was in college and read it on a whim. I also discovered a book, Ensign O'Toole and Me, by William Lederer, that mentioned something about the gunboats on the Yangtze. At first I thought the whole thing was mythical, it sounds like phantom of the mind. When I read of the Panay incident I began to dig deeper.

Phil Abbey
__________________________________________________

Subject: Yangtze Patrol Exhibit
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 1999 18:33:45 -0800
From: "Steinbach, Susan" SSteinbach@monterey.nps.navy.mil
To: Cris Garcia

To all -

I am one of the individuals tasked with developing the Yangtze Patrol Memorial and exhibit. I must say this has been one of the most enjoyable, informative, and worthwhile projects I have done. The exhibit opens on Feb 12, 1999, at 14:00 at the Naval Postgraduate School, in Monterey Ca. We will be showing a screening of "The Sand Pebbles" at the reception which is after the dedication ceremony. If anyone is in the area, and interested in attending, please stop by.

__________________________________________________

Subject: Yangtze Patrol Memorial...
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 1999 22:02:54 EST
From: Steve Bryson
To: Cris Garcia

Hello Cris,

Thanks for the e-mail. The Yangtze River Patrol Memorial Foundation was set up to establish a memorial to the Yangtze River Patrol after the Yangtze River Patrol Association disbanded and merged with the South China Patrol Asiatic Fleet in 1997. The Yangtze River Patrol Memorial Collection will be housed at the Dudley Knox Library of the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA.

The collection will include the ship's bell from the USS Monocacy, a number of large pictures of Yangtze River Patrol activities, and a large collection of books and other printed materials about the Navy in the Far East. The ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for February 12, 1999. For more information, you might contact Dave Grover, the former editor of the Yangtze River Patroller (newsletter of the Yangtze River Patrol Association). Mr. Grover is also the author of several articles and books on subjects related to the Naval and merchant ships on the Yangtze River. His address is: David H. Grover, 677 Rio Vista Drive, Napa, CA 94558-3638; PH: (707)224-7219. You also might be able to reach him by e-mail at HTNG15C@prodigy.com. I had corresponded with Mr. Grover while he was editor of the Patroller. Interestingly enough, he contacted me last summer after someone had sent him copies of some of the messages from the forum on your website (one of which was a letter from me).

Once again I have to thank you and compliment you for your TSP website. It is the best site, by far, that I have seen on the Internet.I especially like the fact that it is not stagnant--it is always being updated and refreshed.

I hope I was able to help a little bit. Take care, and let me know how things are going.

Steve Bryson
__________________________________________________

Subject: Contest
Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 22:00:59 -0800
From: "Winfield Weston" wweston@home.com
To: Cris Garcia

Spent two years on the Yangtze during 1945, 1946, 1947 aboard USS Tantalus (ARL27), trying to keep the Chinese honest... An impossible task... Finally gave the ship to the Chinese Nationalist Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (CNRRA) and got out of China...

I got my invitation to the Yangtze River Patrol Memorial Exhibit and reception at Monterey yesterday, and after spending some time surfing the various sites I sent this message... At this point, I'm not sure I'll be able to make the trip to Monterey... It would be enjoyable, though...

Best regards,
Winfield Weston
http://members.tripod.com/winfieldweston
___________________________________________________________

[1998]

Subject: The Sand Pebbles
Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 11:39:50 -0700
From: "PRINSELAAR" rjpcgp@pacbell.net
To: Cris Garcia

Back in 1949, I was still a deck ape seaman aboard the USS Nueces,APB-40, in Green Cove Springs, Florida. My immediate boss was a Chief Boatswains Mate, who had to be one of the saltiest bastards alive. After work we sometimes would go to a house he had, and drink beer, and then the stories would start. He had served on the Blackhawk in China,and he used to tell us what it was like in the OLD Navy. Basically it wasn't a damn bit different because in 1949 our living conditions hadn't improved all that much, but according to the Chief we really had it made. He was the first China Sailor I ever met, and I didn't realize that I would be doing a lot of the same things in later years.

In the middle 50's, I was serving on the Platte,AO-24, and we were station ship in Kaoh Shiung at the southern end of Taiwan. My division officer and me went ashore the first day there, and negotiated with a Chink General, and got 35 coolies and a head honcho for the entire time we were there (about three months). All it cost was they got all the left overs from the galley, they emptied all the butt kits, and they got all the empty tin cans and whatever else we threw away or they could steal. Not one penny was spent.

That place was not fully civilized yet, and we did watch murder and mayhem being committed by Chinese soldiers, but couldn't do a thing about it. We repelled boarders by using live steam and fire hoses, not to mention rifle butts, and believe it or not, sling shots using steel nuts. Hate to say it but we became very hardened by what we saw and did, but those were tough times in that area.

When I saw the movie "The Sand Pebbles", it was like old home week for me. Damn, all that sure looked familiar, even the bar scenes, drink and fight, and go after the ladies. I think it did an excellent portrayal of how life in the Navy was like in that era and on the river patrol boats.

LCDR Bob Prinselaar
Ex Chief BoatswainsMate (E-7)
Mustang Officer
______________________________________________________

Subject: The Sand Pebbles and the Yangtze River Patrol
Date: Mon, 27 Apr 1998 21:54:37 EDT
From: Steve Bryson
To: Cris Garcia

Dear Mr. Garcia,

Just wanted to drop you a line and thank you for your Sand Pebbles website. THANKS!!! The Sand Pebbles is one of my favorite movies. It started an interest in the U.S. Navy in China that led to me becoming an Associate Member/Patron Member of the Yangtze River Patrol Association and the South China Patrol Asiatic Fleet--now merged into the South China-Yangtze River Patrol Asiatic Fleet. Just prior to this merger, these groups (along with several other Asiatic Fleet ship's associations) held the Combined Forces United States Navy Asiatic Fleet Memorial Reunion in Arlington, VA (August 1997). I was lucky enough to be able to attend this event. I met Tex Anders, the XO of the USS Panay, who was wounded in the throat during the attack. He was in his 90s, and still going strong.

There are several interesting books out there that relate to the Yangtze River gunboats and the U.S. Asiatic Fleet. Also, a couple of collections of Richard McKenna's short stories have been published. Perhaps you would consider adding a book list section to your webpage. If you are interested, let me know, and I'll make a list of the books that I am aware of.

I am in the process of buying a Sand Pebbles movie souvenir book; 32 pages, published by Alsid Distributors, Inc. I haven't seen it (I am buying by mail), but I figure that if it is connected to the movie it has to be good.

Iron Shipwrights is supposed to be releasing a 1/192 scale resin model of the USS Panay this summer. I have a couple of ship modeling magazine with articles about scratch-building models of the Panay. I have always thought it would be neat to build a model of the movie gunboat, the USS San Pablo.

Please feel free to post any part of this post. I would be happy to correspond with anyone who shares an interest in the Yangtze Patrol/Asiatic Fleet/ The Sand Pebbles. Again, a big THANK YOU for your excellent website.

Sincerely,
Steven T. Bryson
______________________________________________________________

Subject: Yangpat still lives!
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 20:31:08 -0700 (MST)
From: rames@rapidnet.com (Robert Ames)
To: Cris Garcia

Howdy Mr. G.

Now on to some information you will really enjoy. I dug out all of my old Yangtze Patrollers, which was the monthly magazine the the old Yangtze Patrol association put out when I was in it 6 years ago, and reread the sections where they had added to their bylaws a set of provisions about what would happen to their historical materials, photos and oral histories when they disbanded. Then I remembered that I had simply let my membership lapse since I was having lots of trouble then with my mother up in Montana, putting her in a nursing home, selling the house and all of that. No time for it anymore. So I started wondering if the rumors I had heard that they had disbanded were actually true. I dug out my 1990 membership roster and started checking the phone numbers of former officers of the club and found several that were still the same. I tried one in Florida but got no answer so I tried former chief radioman Richard Pitner in Coupeville, Washington, and his wife answered almost immediately. She said Dick was on his ham radio on a schedule with a couple of other Yangpat members and would be right with me. He had been a radioman on the USS Luzon on the river from 1937 till 1940. He signed clear and got on the phone and it was great, especially when he found out that I too am a ham radio operator. We talked for almost 15 minutes and he told me that indeed the organization had NOT disbanded but had merged with the South China Patrol association, the guys who sailed up the rivers from Hong Kong and Canton, and now were the Yangtze and South China Patrol Association of the Asiatic Fleet. He encouraged me to re-up right away as they have a monthly newsletter and will have a reunion in Vallejo, Ca. this year. He is now 78 and sharp as a tack. Can still copy morse code at 40 words per minute in his head. Now that's a real old Navy radio op. He said he had gone into radio school at Cavite navy yard in 1938 with 41 guys and only 12 of them made it out, and he became a lifer.

So, I am going to get a letter off to the secretary tomorrow and re-enlist. If you would like the address to write to become an associate member let me know and I will forward it and the phone number to you. I sure am glad I made that call, and it was all because of your page. Thanks guy. I thought interest in this was dead, man was I wrong. He said they have almost 400 members now, counting all of the associate members like me. By the way, one of the guys he was talking to on the radio sched today was his chief instructor at the radio school at Cavite in 1938! They are still around! I found a little something in one of my old patrollers that I am going to send to you by snail mail tomorrow which I think you will enjoy. Look for it soon. Again let me know if you would like to sign on as a shipmate. Ding Hao!

Adios
Bob Ames
________________________________________________________

Subject: Jake Holman
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 08:07:13 -0700 (MST)
From: rames@rapidnet.com (Robert Ames)
To: Cris Garcia

Dear Cris

Thanks for the note re the Yangtze Patrol. It was great to finally find someone who not only is interested in this subject, but who actually has heard of the China sailors at all. Most people are incredulous when they hear that the US Navy had ships running that far up the rivers of a country like China for so long. As to the stories of that old Yangtze vet in Great Falls, the sad fact is that I heard all of those back in the 60's and over the last 30 years they have tended to merge with those I read in McKenna's "Sand Pebbles" and Adm. Tolley's "Yangtze Patrol" It now is hard to tell where one leaves off and the others begin. 30 years has a tendency to do that to a guy. I will try to remember a few and see what I can do. Especially some of his trip up the gorges on the Tutuila. It's strange how so much of what he told seemed to be primarily centered around bars in Shanghia, Hankow and Ichang, not to mention the attached cat houses, but that was the life of the China sailors.

I also had a professor for freshman general history when I was in college who was a retired U.S. Army officer who had been stationed in Tintsin for quite a few years back in the 1930's. That guy was a really gifted teacher and a real eccentric, but also told a few stories which I wish I still could remember. He died years ago, as he was old already then in 1967. I will try to ressurect some of my old newsletters from the Yangtze River Patrol Association which I have filed away here in my office. General Claire Chenault (of Flying Tigers fame) was a member as were some other famous folks. I know that they are still there. I may still have my original membership card around in an old wallet somewhere. I'll check. It had a multicolored dragon emblazoned all over the top of it. I hope I still have it.

I did get into the Geocities web site and he does indeed have a nice setup there. That timeline of the Yangtze Patrol is great. As to Adm. Tolley's book, it should still be available through the book service of the United States Naval Institute at Anapolis. They are the guys who published "The Hunt for Red October" and Polmars books on the U.S. and Soviet navies and such. They are available at 1-800-233-8764 24 hours a day or at 410-224-3378 which is their custome service number. The address is Customer Service, US Naval Institute, 2062 Generals Highway, Annapolis, MD 21401. and their website is at www.usni.org. I might give them a call tomorrow on my day off and check them out also. You do not have to be a member to get books out of them, but members do get a good discount. Currently I have only the two photos which I have collected, but the Naval Institutes ships photo archive boasts black and white and color photos or every naval vessel which has sailed since back in the 1880's when the Navy started shooting official photo's of its ships. I hope to collect the new six and then go on to some of the more obscure ships like the Palos and such.

As to the poster, I intend to check out a couple of the commercial printing houses around here and see if they can manage to scan it into a .jpg file or something like that for me. I too would like to get that thing on a computer file. I checked the date on the bottom in the fine print and it shows October of 1931 as the date. As to posting my letter, feel free. When you edit it you might change the date I showed for the poster which I showed as the 1920's and which as I just said was 1931. It would have to be as the Oahu, Mindanao and such were not launched until 1928. So, it's now about 0400 and I have to get ready to head out to work at the airport so I will let you go and hope you will have good luck with the Naval Institute. I am sure that the book will still be in print and available. Have a good one today and let me know how it goes. At last the old boys who "went Asiatic" will rest a little easier in their graves both here and back in China knowing that at least three guys back in the States remember what they did and the fights they fought.

By the way, I got a call the other night from a Chief who was calling up the charter members of the US Naval memorial in Washington, asking for donations to build some additional sections on the library there. I pledged some money as I am indeed a charter member, and I also suggested to him that, as they were looking for suggestions for new topics to add at the new facility, that they should consider adding something regarding the Yangtze Patrol. He thought it was a great idea and gave me the name and address of an officer to write to in Washington and suggest it to him. I am currently in finals month for a serious correspondance course I am taking but as soon as I get that finished, I am going to give him a write. So again, have a good one and keep up the great work on the website. Adios

Bob Ames
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Subject: Yangtze River Patrol Association
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 05:07:31 -0700 (MST)
From: rames@rapidnet.com (Robert Ames)
To: Cris Garcia

Shipmate Cris

Just a third one before I head off to work. I found ALL of my old copies of the Yangtze Patroler including the complete roster of both regualar and associated members for January 1990. It lists all members including addresses and phone numbers. So, things may start to develop. I will reread some of this stuff today and let you know what shows up. Who knows, we might be able to restart the old Yangpat Association, at least on the web if nothing else. It's story really shouldn't be allowed to die, and a lot of these associate members were sons and daughters of the Patrolers, so you know that they are still around and still interested. YangPat Lives!

Adios
Bob Ames
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Subject: The Yangtze Patrol
Date: Fri, 06 Feb 1998 14:44:56 -0800
From: Robert Ames <rames@rapidnet.com>
To: Cris Garcia

Dear Mr. Garcia

Well done, Sir. I am another old fan of "The Sand Pebbles" and of the whole history of the U.S. Navy's Yangtze Patrol in general. I have been looking fruitlessly for anything on this subject for months on the web, even in the U.S. Navy's historical section. I had just about given up and then found your page. Nice job. This movie first awakened my interest in the story of "Yangpat" and the old China hands. I remember how when after the movie came out, I found out that one of our old neighbors in the Great Falls, Montana neighborhood where I grew up, was an old retired prewar China hand. He started telling stories about his days on the USS Mindanao and the USS Oahu, two of the "New Six" built in Shanghai in 1928. It was like watching chapter two of The Sand Pebbles. He still had one of his old enlisted blue uniforms with the white collars and cuffs which had been made in China and when he showed me the inside of the jumper, I almost died. It was covered with the most beautiful embroidery of a Chinese Dragon I have ever seen. He died years ago and took his stories with him but they were remarkable. He told me of one trip up the rapids on the Tutuilla that was the most hair raising thing he had ever experienced on the water. Since then I have been an avid fan of the whole remarkable story, which, as I am sure you would agree, needs to be told more fully. It was a remarkable chapter in the history of the US Navy and a photo story of its history would be an instant hit with Navy fans, if not with others. I am now a member of the US Naval institute and have so far collected 8x10 photos of the USS Panay PG45 on her standardization trial at 17.73 knots, 30 august 1928 off Woosung, China, with a real bone in her teeth, and an official shot of PG44 the USS Tutuila at an unknown location on the River. I intend to collect as many shots from their film service as I can of the old Gunboats. I used to be a member of the old Yangtze River Patrol Association before it disolved itself. One of my major regrets was that I was not able to get to the last two yearly national conventions before they disolved. An old Navy Doctor was honored at one of the last ones who was in his 90's and still fit into his old WW1 officers uniform with the small white hat, like he was in his 20's again. Sharp as a tack.

So, I would imagine you have read "Yangtze Patrol" by R.Adm. Kemp Tolley. If not, let me know as I will tell you how to get it from US Naval Institute. But you must have if you love this subject. I tried to contact the History of the Yangtze Patrol section of your page but as usual good old GeoCities was unavailable for comment. I'll try it again later. By the way, I even have an original US Navy recuriting Poster from the 1920's showing the USS Oahu bulling up the river to entice young recruits to join the Navy and go on to adventure on the Yangtze.

So, hoping to hear back from another old Yangpat fan, I will say that I am sure you agree with me that some of the saddest words ever uttered over US Naval radio circuits was in 1941 when the short and to the point message was sent to ComYangPat "YangPat dissolved". What a story.

Adios
Bob Ames
2126 West Flormann St.
Rapid City, SD
57702
rames@rapidnet.com
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