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Volume 3369a

Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Oldest War Correspondent of WWII

Reports from the USS Cahaba II
Part II (Continued from Part I: ERBzine 3969)
6. ERB WWII Photos from the Estate of Arnold E. Frishberg 
Pharmacist's Mate aboard the U.S.S. Cahaba in 1945
7. The US Naval Base At Ulithi 
The World’s Largest Naval Facility in WWII
ERB References in William Brinkley's Best Seller

Sections 1-5

6. Edgar Rice Burroughs on Ulithi Atoll
Photos From The Estate of Arnold E. Frishberg
(Pharmacist's Mate aboard the U.S.S. Cahaba in 1945)
From Adam Beechen:
"My grandfather, the late Arnold E. Frishberg of St. Paul, MN, served as a Pharmacist's Mate aboard the U.S.S. Cahaba in 1945 at the same time Mr. Burroughs was aboard ship as a war correspondent. My grandfather documented his service with many photos, including some featuring Mr. Burroughs. The attached is labeled, "Edgar Rice Burroughs, 4 June 1945 on the island of Ulithi"

I've also included an invitation to the pre-commissioning ball and the Commissioning Ceremonies of the Cahaba.

Photos Courtesy of The Arnold E. Frishberg Estate
Edgar Rice Burroughs On The Island of Ulithi :: 4 June 1945

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7. The US Naval Base At Ulithi, Carolina Islands, W. Pacific
For A Time The World’s Largest Naval Facility
Its existence was kept secret throughout the war
Ref: War History Online

The Ulithi atoll is in the westernmost of the Caroline Islands, 579 km southwest of Guam, 1,368 km east of the Philippines and 2,100 km south of Tokyo. It is a typical volcanic atoll, with a coral reef, white sand beaches and palm trees. Ulithi's forty small islands barely rise above the sea. Ulithi was a major staging area for the United States Navy in the final year of the Second World War.

Early in the Second World War, the Japanese had established a radio and weather station on Ulithi and had occasionally used the lagoon as an anchorage, 
but had abandoned it by 1944. As the operations of the United States Navy moved west across the Pacific, the Navy required a more forward base for its operations. The U.S. Navy arrived in September 1944 and found resident about 400 natives, and three Japanese soldiers.

Ulithi was perfectly positioned to act as a staging area for the US Navy's western Pacific operations. The anchorage was large and well situated, but there were no port facilities to repair ships or re-supply the fleet. It was capable of holding 700 vessels—a capacity greater than either Majuro or Pearl Harbor. 

 The natives on the four largest islands were moved to smaller Fassarai, and every inch of these four was quickly put to use. Asor had room for a headquarters: port director, radio station, evaporator (rain is the only freshwater supply), tents, small boat pier, cemetery. Sorlen was set up as a shop for maintaining and repairing the 105 LCVPs and 45 LCMs that became beasts of all work in the absence of small boats. Mogmog was assigned to recreation. The big island, Falalop, was just wide enough for a 3500-foot airstrip for handling the R4Ds (Douglas DC-3s) and R5C Commandos, which would presently fly in from Guam 1269 passengers, 4565 sacks of mail and 262,251 pounds of air freight a week. 

Fleet oilers sortied from Ulithi to meet the task forces at sea, refueling the warships a short distance from their combat operational areas. The result was something never seen before: a vast floating service station enabling the entire Pacific fleet to operate indefinitely at unprecedented distances from its mainland bases. Within a month of the occupation of Ulithi, a whole floating base was in operation. Six thousand ship fitters, artificers, welders, carpenters, and electricians arrived aboard repair ships, destroyer tenders, floating dry docks. USS AJAX had an air-conditioned optical shop, a supply of base metals from which she could make any alloy to form any part needed.

In mid-1945 Pacific Fleet moved its forward staging area to Leyte, and Ulithi was all but abandoned. In the end, few US civilians ever heard of Ulithi. By the time Naval security cleared release of the name, there were no longer reasons to print stories about it. The war had moved on, but for seven months in late 1944 and early 1945, the large lagoon of the Ulithi atoll was the largest and most active anchorage in the world.


Sketch by Walter Allan Finlayson:
Officer’s Hut on Mog Mog Island, ULITHI, May 1945

ERB References in William Brinkley's Best Seller

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wikivisually: USS Cahaba


ERB WWII CorrespondentUSS Shaw off the Philadelphia Navy Yard, January 26, 1937
See the Edgar Rice Burroughs / USS Shaw Connection


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