Sunday, December 31, 2006

Jade Rooster by R.L. Crossland
This is a new book (Fiction) about the Asiatic Fleet about 1913. It could
be an interesting read for people who enjoy historical fiction in the vein

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Asiatic Fleet 2006 - Part 4

Part 4 of 4 - The Asiatic Fleet Veterans meet to remember their history and their fellow sailors and marines. The US Asiatic Fleet had a long history in the waters of Asia, but in the first three months of the Pacific War, the fleet was destroyed as it faced off with the superior Japanese Navy. In time, the US Navy gained superiority, but this fleet was forgotten as war strategies changed to "Europe First" and the bad news for months following Pearl Harbor in the Pacific was carefully controlled. The Asiatic Fleet and Allied Dutch, British and Australian ships combined to fight as a unit, but it was not enough. NOTE: You can get the DVD of this by sending $30 to Buzz Creek at 6 Continental Drive, Sparta, NJ 07871. You will receive either (A) SIX (6) copies of the DVD to watch and share with your friends, libraries and schools. OR (B) TWO copies of the DVD and the DVD "Last Stand of The USS Houston". Specify which you desire (A or B). Audio of interviews taken at the reunion will be available to download from the web as MP3 files in the near future.

Asiatic Fleet 2006-Part 3

Many of the photos in these clips were provided by Capt. Ken Vasilik who is also the MC. This is part 3 of four parts to this feature. Note the last part is at the top of the page and first parts are posted down the page in typical blog fashion.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Asiatic Fleet 2006-Part2

This is part 2 of 4 parts from the Asiatic Fleet reunion and remembrance in April.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Asiatic Fleet Remembered

In May of 2006, survivors and veterans of the US Asiatic Fleet met in Asheville to remember their shipmates. This American Fleet had a long history in the waters of the Western Pacific. The Movie "Sand Pebbles" depicts part of their history. A massive and modern Japanese fleet destoyed the Asiatic Fleet and its allies in early 1942. The Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor was unable to come to their aid as planned out in pre-war doctrine. They faught and died with their allies - almost unnoticed by an America that by necessity put its focus on the war in Europe. This is PART1 of the video of the reunion in Asheville. The Mayor of Asheville proclaims Asiatic Fleet Day.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Chinese Stewards

One of the great stories of immigration to America! Here is a note from T.F. Ting.
Thank you for sharing "update" on your project and those photos posted in I have since printed one of Captain Eddie L. Daniel, USMC (Retired) of Bethesda, MD, and me, which I will send to him sometime next week (he was not copied in your e-mail).
Since our last meeting in Asheville, NC, I attended a Navy Family Picnic (15 JUL 06) in Berkeley, CA, with close to 150 mostly family members and (a few) interested friends (of China Gunboatmen of Chinese descent). The affair was co-organized by our friend Lt. (SC) James HUEN, USN (SC) of Hayward, CA. I am certain James and Mrs. WOO (see below) will gladly share with you on the festivity should you be interested.
I have taken the liberty of copying Mrs. Nancy DONG-WOO, daughter of late Zing King DONG, SDC, USN (Retired), this e-mail. She is the other co-organizer of this picnic. She resides in Berkeley, CA, and maintains frequent contacts with Yung Ching CHANG, SDC, USN (Retired) of El Cerrito, CA, possibly the last of Chinese US Navy stewards, and the widow of Yun Sheng KOO, of Berkeley, CA, another China Gunboat sailor, among other (Chinese) navy families in the SF-Oakland Bay Area.
Looking forward in hearing from you soon and learn more about your project.
May the Kind and Merciful Lord watch over you and yours, TF (Falls Church, VA)
BTW, I enjoyed going thru that site and reading your profile. What? San Pebbles was not one of your favorite books

Monday, June 12, 2006

Shore Leave for the Fleet

All Ashore That's Going Ashore! Charlie Ankerberg and Gene Schindler have passed muster and are shoving off for the beach. The Blackhawk and a nest of four pipers is in the background. Charlie and Gene served in USS Paul Jones which with three other "cans" made the very first surface attack on an enemy of the United States since the Spanish American War at Balikpappan. They also participated in the Battle of The Java Sea. Charlie was, at the time, a signalman and had a very good view of the battle as it unfolded - with devastating results to the combined ABDA fleet. Out of fuel and ammunition, the "cans" were ordered to return to base for fuel and eventually took an Eastward route around Java, thereby escaping the fate of so many of the Asiatic and ABDA ships.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Lem Brigman - Asiatic Fleet

Lem Brigman (in wheelchair) and Margie Traverso and Lowell Larson are pictured here at the Asiatic Fleet reunion in Asheville this spring. A lot of stories were told here. Some were taped. Digital Photos are being collected to share back with everyone by CD. Recorded interviews will put on the web and on CD as well. In addition, the memorial service was taped and a DVD will be available too. Posted by Picasa CBM Lem Brigman passed away May 28 - barely a month after this photo. He had retired from the Navy in 1962 after a 30 year career. He built himself a 3 master schooner and lived on it for 21 years!

Tattoo - Chicken and Pig

This is the PIG tattoo from one of Lem Brigman's feet. Lem is about 86 years old and was a sailor in the Asiatic Fleet, much of which was lost between December 1941 and March 1942. An old Portugese superstition claimed if a sailor went overboard with a chicken and a pig, he would not drown. Alas, it did not work well in practice. A lot of Asiatic Fleet sailors never came back after their battles with the Japanese Imperial Navy. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Book - Playing for Time

I have finished reading PLAYING FOR TIME. Capt. Alford did a great job here in setting the record straight about a lot of things. I believe he knew every ship involved from every nation. His direct - in your face - account of the sacking of Adm Hart and the damaging results along with so many other observations are a treasure of information for those who want the "real deal" story. PLUS, he flavors the story with the flair of a master writer when he includes such things as the table fare in the wardroom. He brought back a lot of memories for me and my service was 25 years AFTER you folks. That is because the traditions of the Navy and the Asiatic Fleet sort of seeped in deep and stayed around for along time. Maybe some of them are still there! My mouth was watering over his description of curry. I have NEVER had as good a curry meal as I had in the fleet. It ain't the same. These little asides make the book very readable and bring in a human element some authors miss when trying to bring out the statistics and the facts of the times. It is a sad story, but it is one that also should make you all proud. I think he described every battle and parts of battles so thoroughly and so well laid out in a time-line that at last anyone can see the big picture and still zoom in to the fine detail.

I highly recommend his book, "PLAYING FOR TIME - War on an Asiatic Fleet Destroyer" For those who use the web and purchase that way, it is easy to get from Merriam Press ... which by the way is an excellent publisher resource for people with military histories that need to be in print.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Why Forgotten? - Speech from Reunion Dinner

by Vic Campbell (continued in the "comments section under this post)
I am pleased to be here in such august company. I promise you a good talk, because I placed third in the FFA speech competition at Chumuckla High school in 1965 and later graduated in the top ten of my class of 17 students in 1967. My dad was a Navy chief. He was an airdale, having crewed in PBY's in the war. In the early 1950's he was able to get transferred back to Pensacola, near his family's roots. In that way, my brother and sister and I were consigned to the dual roles of Navy Brats and Farm Kids. His duty stations were either at sea or in Jacksonville or Pensacola, so the farm scenario worked out well for a family. As we kids slaved among aunts, uncles, cousins and ourselves to clear land, plant and harvest crops, and herd cattle, we thought we were in a special hell created by Navy chiefs. Little did we know, we were in Chief's heaven.
Sometimes I was fortunate enough to go to work with dad at the VT-4 hangar in Pensacola where so many student aviators earned their wings. The Blue Angels were based there as well. I reached the pinnacle of awe once when I had my shoes shined by the man who shined the shoes for the Blue Angels. Could life ever get better than that? I later joined the Navy and went to OCS at Newport. My mom and dad came to Newport to be at my commissioning and dad gave me my first salute (though by then he was retired). My naval service was in a destroyer, in Vietnam.
My brother became a Navy corpsman and remained in the reserves after his active tour. Thirty Five years later, and before dad passed away, his captains eagles were pinned on his collar by the old chief. I am proud of my Navy heritage; My Navy family.
Now, I want to talk on the topic of the FORGOTTEN FLEET. (SEE THE COMMENT link BELOW)

Monday, February 27, 2006

Please Read

Another hoax (Dobson Report on God in TV Programs)
Mark Lewin

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Asheville,NC - USS Asheville

When the Asheville was launched in 1918 the sponsoring party consisted of Edith Vanderbilt and her daughter along with all the city rulers at that time. This is what has drawn Bill Cecil into our reunion sponsorship and further has brought one sponsorship from the Rotary Club and should be a reason for the whole city to sponsor it. Secondly: Some time before 1918 Dr. Green from the Rotary Club suggested naming a warship after our city. They aroused the city fathers and politicians and went to the Secretary of the Navy Joseph Daniels and he awarded the gunboat being built at Charleston Navy Yard to be named USS ASHEVILLE-PG21.
The reunion is based on the Memorial to the former Asiatic Fleet for which the USS ASHEVILLE PG21 was a part and the heroic stand they made following the disaster at Pearl Harbor. They were the only U.S.Navy force available to delay the hoardes of modern overwhelming navy from their rush to obtain the oil rich Dutch East Indies. Even though they consisted mostly WWI vintage ships they put up a courages fight in spite of their complete lack of air cover and it is well known now that they were EXPENDABLE without ANY PROMISED REINfORCEMENTS. The lack of any recognition was due to the fact that their outcome was a complete failure, as expected, and due to the Pearl Harbor disaster the navy did not want to throw another blow to the country already reeling from the surprse attack death roll.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Gunboats of the Asiatic Fleet by Aaron Anderson. Originally posted July, 2005.

Saturday, January 14, 2006


In case I have told you differently I am back on for my E Mail address. I flirted with Charter for a few days but gave up when they told me that they would put me on the Internet and after that they could not help least Bellsouth helps me when i am in trouble which is OFTEN.  Happy New