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Master of Imaginative Fantasy Adventure
Creator of Tarzan and "Grandfather of American Science Fiction"
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TARZAN AND "THE FOREIGN LEGION
ERB - WAR CORRESPONDENT
OB MAKE WAR
Pacific Theatre Reports From The Oldest Journalist of WWII
Tarzan Creator Thrilled By Ride In U.S. Bomber ~ February 27, 1942
'Dry Firing' Makes Experts In BMTC Ranks ~ March 13, 1942
BMTC Gets Training in Shooting Pistols ~March 14, 1942
Undermining of Morale is Type of Sabotage ~ March 26, 1942
Tanker Like 'Accident About To Happen,' Burroughs Feels ~ July 5, 1945
Tarzan Creator Thrilled By Ride In U.S. Bomber
By Edgar Rice Burroughs ~ Creator of Tarzan
February 27, 1942
I flew in a flying fortress the other day. Six of the great capital ships of the sky flew in formation. I was in the sixth with Jack Rice, cameraman for the Associated Press. We flew above, below and around the formation that Rice might shoot from various angles. And what shots!
It is difficult to conceive, viewing them from the ground, the stately majesty of these great ships moving steadily through the air against a backdrop of blue sky flecked with little bomb bursts of soft, white cloud - moving in faultless formation, guided by a single mind as though by a single hand, bound together by the thousands of hours of intensive training and flying behind the six young pilots who flew them.
I do not know at what altitude we flew; but as I stood between two open gun ports, holding to both because of the roughness of the air, the sea, far below, appeared a solid mass of dark blue ice, flecked with snow -- the whitecaps that did not appear to move, from my Olympian vantage point.
Ships Look Like Toys
Destroyers seemed children's toys, so tiny were they; and Molokai, Maui, Lanai and Kahoolawe were areas of brown land surrounded by a blue sea on the page of a geography.
What impresses one of the earthbound is the ease and the assurance with which these monsters are taken off and flown and landed. An ease and assurance and perfection far greater than most of us ever achieve in the handling of our relatively puny little motor cars. A monument to training.
I assume that the crew of the ship in which I flew was representative of the men in the air force. they were young, keen, intelligent.
Proud of Ship
They were proud of the ship and of themselves, for only the select are chosen to serve upon these mighty engines of destruction and defense.
There were the pilot and co-pilot, 1st Lt. R.E. Bird and 2nd Lt. Waskowitz, Master Sergeants J.G. Macek and L.S. WArd, Sergeant V. Giguere, Corporal R.F. Adams and Private E.F. Beach. Boys to make one proud to be a fellow American.
'Dry Firing' Makes Experts In BMTC Ranks
By Edgar Rice Burroughs ~ Public Relations Officer
March 13, 1942
Instruction given the business men's training corps is constant, careful and never ending.
This is especially true of the care given in the handling and combatant use of the heavy .45 Colt automatic pistols with which they are armed.
Illustrative of this is the training in simulated rapid fire. That is, practice firing without ammunition, ammunition which is rather expensive.
But by simulating fire, each man can aim and fire all day without expense. This is called "dry firing" and is excellent training.
To explain: The marksman holds one end of a string which is attached to the hammer of the pistol.
Every time he squeezes the trigger he pulls back on the string, cocking the piece and at the same time throwing the muzzle up, just as the recoil would do had the pistol actually been loaded. Then he has to sight on his target again.
His problem is to fire five shots, remove the empty magazine, insert another and fire five more shots -- all in 25 seconds.
Many excellent scores were made by members of the BMTC during these qualifying trials, some as high as 7.
Even those who did not make exceptionally high scores would be no men to get funny with were you at the business end of their Colts.
Yes, sir! These BMTC boys will be bad luck to any enemy foolish enough to come within range of their .45s.
BMTC Gets Training in Shooting Pistols
By Edgar Rice Burroughs
(BMTC Public Relations Office)
Honolulu Advertiser ~ March 14, 1942
The training of the BMTC is constant, careful, and never-ending. This is especially true of the care given in instructing the men in the handling and combatant use of the heavy, .45 Colt Automatic pistols with which they are armed.
Illustrative of this is the training in simulated rapid fire. That is, practice firing without ammunition -- ammunition which is rather expensive. The writer doesn't know what it costs Uncle Sam, but it used to cost me 7 cents a cartridge; so you see that at that price it would cost $840.00 to allow only ten practice shots apiece to each of the twelve hundred members of the corps.
But by simulating fire, each man can aim and fire all day without expense; this is called "dry firing," and is excellent training. To explain: the marksman holds one end of a string which is attached to the hammer of the pistol.
Every time he squeezes the trigger, he pulls back on the string, cocking the piece and at the same time throwing the muzzle up, just as the recoil would do had the pistol been actually loaded; then he has to again sight on his target.
His problem here is to fire five shots, remove the empty magazine, insert another, and fire five more shots -- all in twenty-five seconds. In proof of the efficacy of this simulated firing practice is the score of 41 out of a possible 50 that Rathbone-Deaton made in actual qualifying fire on the pistol range.
Aids in Shooting
Many excellent scores were made by members of the BMTC during these qualifying trials, some as high as 47. Even those who did not make exceptionally high scores would be no men to get funny with were you at the business of their Colts. "Duke" Willey, Remington-Rand's Honolulu manager, who is in Captain Dustin Smith's D Company of the 2nd Battalion, made a creditable qualifying score, but was much depressed because he didn't register a higher one.
However, with the possible exception of one shot, all would have hit a man between his shoulders and his waist; and that tone shot would probably have grazed his waistline and help him reduce. Yes sir, these BMTC boys will be bad luck to any enemy foolish enough to come within range of their forty-fives.
And they are on the streets nights now, guarding you and your homes. Commencing last Saturday night, they have been walking their posts in the cold wind, the rain, and the mud. You've got to hand it to 'em -- these men who work on their regular jobs all day and then go out and walk post at night. Why do they do it? For $21 a month? They don't get 21 cents a month for it. They do it because they are swell citizens and real patriots.
You have read of the Minute Men of New England, the super-patriots who left their plows or their desks or their counters to win the things we are fighting to preserve. The members of the BMTC are the Minute Men of 1942. Perhaps they are super-Minute Men, for instead of flintlock muskets and iron cannon balls, they know they may have to face 1000 pound bombs, machine gun fire, and gas. They are living proof that America is not a decadent nation of conscientious objectors. More power to them!
Undermining of Morale is Type of Sabotage
By Edgar Rice Burroughs
Creator of Tarzan and BMTC Public Relations Officer
March 26, 1942
Sabotage is a Hydra headed monster; but, unlike the mythical serpent of Lake Lerna, not all of its heads are hideous. Some of them may appear quite lamblike and benign.
There is the physical sabotage which destroys utilities and munitions of war. There is the spiritual sabotage which undermines morale. Here is where the Hydra may wear a benign aspect, or at least a less hideous mien.
It may resort to innuendo, direct criticism, sarcasm, ridicule. It may accomplish its designs jokingly and with much laughter. And it may prove far more devastating than a bomb in a powder factory.
Criticism Sabotages Morale
Often we hear criticism of the army and the navy. Oftener still, we hear various civilian defense organizations belittled or ridiculed. That, my friends is morale sabotage. Its authors are saboteurs.
I will not say that they are fifth columnists. I will say that they are worse than enemy fifth columnists and more dangerous. A fool is always more dangerous than a knave.
These people are working for Hitler and Hirohito. Their further influence is all on the side of defeat rather than victory, for they tend to undermine our confidence in those who are fighting for us abroad and those who would defend us at home. The axis must love them.
As a member of the BMTC (Businessmen's Military Training Corps), I am probably more aware of the morale saboteurs who are deliberately trying to undermine that organization than I am of others. Yet I hear many thoughtless criticisms of civilian defense and ridicule of air raid wardens.
"Let's Stop It"
Let's stop it. I know that those who are 100 per cent loyal to America will.
We Americans like to poke good natured fun at one another. It is not that to which I refer above.
We of the BMTC have to take a lot of ribbing. We are called the opu guard and overage destroyers. Our waistlines and lack of hair are obstacles of amusement, even though many are streamlined and hirsute.
Such raillery is a part of the American way for which we are fighting.
I should hate to see it stop. If we could no longer laugh, that would mean that we had lost hope.
It is the things that are said with a sneer that do harm. It is the knifing in the back, whether deliberate or thoughtless, that makes you a saboteur and an ally of the axis. Let's snap out of it and boost for every individual and every organizations that is working either for victory or defense.
Or keep our mouths shut.
Tanker Like 'Accident About To Happen,' Burroughs Feels
Honolulu Advertiser ~ July 5, 1945
Editor's Note: Following is one of a series by author Edgar Rice Burroughs on little known sides of the Pacific War.
By Edgar Rice Burroughs
ON BOARD A FLEET OILER, June 10 (Delayed) (UP) - The fleet oilers, although unsung, are a vital auxiliary of the fighting Navy. Without them, the fighting ships could not fight, the Navy fliers could not fly.
Having just completed the first 4,000 miles of a cruise that may last 18 months and take the ship almost anywhere in the Pacific between Pearl Harbor and China, I have acquired vast respect for oilers in general and unlimited pride in my ship in particular.
This ship, the U.S.S. Cahaba, is some ship. She is larger (longer over-all) than certain cruisers, and she is all-Navy. Don't confuse her with merchant tankers unless you want a fight on your hands. The merchantman brings her principal cargo of fuel oil and aviation gas to some comparatively safe anchorage. She takes it out to the fighting ships, often close to land-based enemy planes where she may be subject to attack by suicide bombers and suicide subs, the Kamikaze and the Kamashio of the fanatic Jap -- Divine Wind and Divine Sea.
The discipline and morale on my ship are high. I do not see how they could be higher on any ship. And the credit for that belongs, of course, to the skipper, Lt. Cmdr. Julius Burnbaum, USNR, of Brooklyn, 30 years at sea in the regular Navy and merchant marine.
Had Their Moments
Although so far relatively distant from any battle zone, we have had our moments both while cruising down here and while lying at anchor. No matter how often you have experienced it, the call to general quarters evokes a little thrill of excitement, accentuated by the sight of nearly 300 officers and men running along decks and cat-walks up and down ladders to their battle stations.
Coming down here, we were called to stations three times by our own planes falling to identify themselves -- two C-54s and a Coronado. Fortunately for them our skipper is a careful man, as they flew within easy range of our guns.
Since we anchored here our bogies have proved to be enemy planes. One of them got within six minutes of us. It was reassuring to see our planes go out to meet them. What happened, we never learned; but no Jap got through to us. The disappointment of the gun crews was great, but they had it all to themselves. No one shared it with them.
Although not a combat ship, we are adequately armed and well equipped with the latest scientific instruments for our own protection. However, with our enormous inflammable and explosive cargo, augmented by the considerable store of ammunition we must carry, we appear to an innocent bystander like this correspondent, to be an accident going somewhere to happen.
BILL HILLMAN .
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