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May 07, 1943 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1943-05-07

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Blizzard Hars Ski Troopers

0 41-1 --^ - Chosen Surgeon, General

(Editor's Note: The following article
is the first in a series of seven depict
ing the life of ski troopers.)
Judge Advocate General's School
"Howling blizzards and avalanch-
ing mountainsiofrsnow are all part
of the lot of mountain infantry,"
declares Lt. Larry W. Lougee, now
being trained as a staff officer at
the Judge Advocate General's School.
Fresh in from Colorado, where
he was on winter maneuvers with
the famed 87th Regiment of Moun-
tain Infantry, famed ski troops,
Lt. Lougee described-the daily life
of the ski soldier on an eleven-day
Already the 87th is the most pub-
licized unit training in this country.
Their maneuvers are conducted at
an altitude of 12,000 feet or higher
and a blizzard is considered a break
for furnishing ideal tactical condi-
tions under which to practice. Lt.
Lougee was born at Moosehead, Me.,
the paradise of fishermen, hunters
and skiers, and duty with ski troops
for him was a natural. In his own
words, Lt. Lougee gives us an hour
by hour account of dusk to dawn of
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u j201 SOUTH MAIN.

each of the eleven days on the trail.
"Tuesday night we received or-
ders that maneuvers would start
in the morning. At 4:30 a.m.
Wednesday we were up and ate at
five. It was snowing hard with a
light wind. By 8 a.m., a real bliz-
zard howled down on us from the
north, swirling snow in every direc-
tion. Our battalion was formed
into three columns, and on the dot
of eight, the first man started out
for Homestake Lake, Colo., twelve
miles distant.
We had 780 men on skis and each
man carried his own rations. The
packs were heavy. There were to-
boggans to carry various equipment.
Two medical detachment troopers
brought up the rear. All told there
were several thousand men in the
column, all on skis, each carrying
his own rifle, pack, and a pair of
"We had not gone more than 100
yards when it became obvious that
a few of the men who had joined
my unit only a day or two before
could not make the grade. They
were not seasoned to such altitude
and to carrying such a load. We
were then at 12,500 feet above sea
level. After one soldier had fallen
many times, I finally sent him
back. In the next hour, I sent sev-
eral more back. While men must
be conditioned, the officer in
charge must always keep the safety
of his men in mind as a prime con-
"After skiing down a long hill we
reached the Rio Grande railroad
tracks at Tennessee Pass. Our diffi-
culties really began there. Three
long freight trains made it necessary
to half our columns as long as half
an hour each time. Meanwhile, each
section of the column that had
passed kept on going. I learned a
lesson from that which I shall al-
ways remember, which is the reason
for maneuvers. That column did
not come together again for three
days, because of the minor separa-
tion caused by the passing of trains.
I kept my platoon together, however,
and it was fortunate I did. Many
skiers tripped on the rails and we
were busy helping them with their
heavy loads.
"We learned many lessons from
that first maneuver. From the very
start, our toboggans gave us trou-
ble. They were weighted with hun-
dreds of pounds of supplies. We
discovered that even five men on
skis could hardly move them up a,
slight grade. We changed to snow-
shoes instead of skis, and this
worked better. Several times, how-
ever, the sleds turned over on steep
"It was still snowing hard, and by
noontime we had covered only two
miles. Our commanding officer stood
at the crossroads and directed us to
head for Homestake Mountain. We
halted for an hour. The men took
our their ration boxes. Some lighted
their stoves and made hot soup. I
ate a Hershey bar and two apples.
Soon it was time to get under way.
The snow was very deep in the woods.
I once stepped off my skis and went
clear up to my hips.
"The rest did the group good,

and replenished their energy. We
rotated pulling the toboggans.
From here on it was gruelling; up-
hill all the way. That was a ter-
rific job dragging heavy toboggans
and, at the same time, carrying a
heavy pack on the back. But the
soldiers carried on cheerfully.
"I told the men to walk slowly and
rest whenever they felt it necessary
even though they had gone only a
few feet. I did not wish a single one
to overdo at such an altitude, even
if it took us a whole week to get to
our night's destination. I felt it was
preferable to get there with my pla-
toon intact rather than with a group
of cripples. The men appreciated
"Four p.m. was a sight you
would have remembered. A small
column struggling along uphill in
a blinding snowstorm. It was clear
to all we had to select a bivouac
for the night. I sent the platoon
sergeant ahead to locate a good
place to pitch our camp and bed
down for the long night. It would
soon be dark, and the fires should
be started while there was light to
gather wood and select spots for
"There was a good grove of fir
trees. We turned off the trail. In no
time, little white tents sprang up all
around. I pitched mine in the cen-
ter where I would be equally near to
all the men. The wood detail
brought the wood in on the double.
The camp fires blazed merrily in a
jiffy, and the aroma of food in that
clear air was like Christmas Eve per-
fume. The snow ceased, but it was
getting colder. The icy wind breathed
furiously at the happy camp fires,
with an air of masculine domesticity
pervading the camp. I checked to
make sure each man had a hot meal
and had his sleeping equipment in
good order for the night. Then I
was free for a moment to get my
own food ready.
"I tried out my stove for the
first time. It worked well. I filled
my mess kit with snow and set it
on the stove. It took several fill-
ings to melt enough snow to get
cooking water. It was difficult to
bring the water to a boil because
of the altitude. When the water
came to a boil, I plunked in some
dehydrated baked beans, flicked
in some chunks of butter and add-
ed a dollop of sugar. They sizzled
for ten minutes, and were really a
"Some of us made tea. It took
seven fillings of snow to make enough
water for a pot of tea. That tea hit
the spot. On the trail, tea is an
excellent stimulant. Even the Yu-
kon gold miners learned the stimu-
lating qualities of tea. Intoxicating
stimulants, according to the trail
blazers of the Arctic, overheat a
man and cause death. Tea on the
trail will see one through every time.
It is light and a little will last for
weeks. I saw each man was bedded
down for the night and pulled out a
bar of concentrated chocolate for
dessert, put my equipment away, un-
rolled my sleeping bag in the tent,
and covered up my rucksack against
snow. That night I slept well in the
bag. At times I could feel the cold
from under the tent, but I knew that
fir boughs would remedy that. The
temperature dropped to 15 below
zero as we fell off into the long, soft

':aiiu [iC liCd iia hii Wcri-jf liisll._M-l
will gaduate 37 and 47 trainees, re-
spectively, at 2 p.m. today in Room
348 of the West Engineering Build-
Diplomas bearing the University
seal, and small identification cards
will be presented to the Ordnance
graduates by Prof. O. W. Boston,
general superviser of instruction, and
to Aircraft graduates by Prof. Arn-

Graduate Toda
1i' i n 1 1 iOfi o aircraft inspeCtIM.
CoI. ienry W. Miller. general admin-
istrative officer, will preside.
Ordnance graduates will then re=
port to the Ordnance representative
of Detroit, and Aircraft trainees to
Captain Thomas B. Hunt of the
Central Procurement Office in De-
troit, to receive orders. They will be
sent to defense factories ranging ge-
ographically from Michigan to Ala-
bama to work on inspection.


Brig.-Gen. Norman T. Kirk (above), 55, was nominated by Presi-
dent Roosevelt to be the Army's new Surgeon General. He is sitting at
his desk at Percy Jones Veterans Hospital, Battle Creek, Mich., where
he has been commanding officer.




Battleship Earns Unique 1itle
While Knocking Off Jap Planes
<'-- - - - - -- - --

No Mother's Day gift
could be more acceptable,
no compliment more unmistak-
able. The moving fragrance of
expresses better than words the
tender sentiments of this

(Editor's Note: This is the first of a
series of articles about the "Big Bas-
tard," a United States battleship which
protected American carriers in the
South Pacific from aerial attack.)
NEW YORK, May 3.-(IP)--The
"Big Bastard," a United States bat-,
tleship, got her nickname in the
South Pacific while protecting Amer-
ican carriers from aerial attack.
She did the job so well that a car-
rier admiral radioed to his planes:
"Stay away from that big bastard.
When she gets through shooting
down Japs, she'll use you for target
practice." And so the ship has been
known ever since.
Surface Actions Related
This is the story of the ship's first
surface action, pieced together from
accounts of the ship's crew, by Rob-
ert L. Schwartz, yeoman second
class and Navy correspondent for
Yank, the Army weekly.
The action-part of what's known
in Naval annals as the fifth battle
of the Solomons-began at dusk on
Nov. 14, 1942. A task force consist-
ing of the Big Bastard and several
other battleships and destroyers had
cut away from its carrier for a little
show of its own. And at Savo Island,
just north of Guadalcanal, it fpund
a nest of hiding Jap ships ..
"Hodgen Otherllo Patrick, yeoman
first class, talker on the highest
lookout post, remembers seeing the
Jap ships come up. He saw the first
salvo leave the flagship up ahead.
His next recollection is of being
thrown against a bulkhead and find-
ing somebody's arm, without a body,
across his face.
"I Am Dead"
"'I'm dead,' he thought. 'Here I
am dead. This is what it's like to be
dead.' But the earthly touch of
shrapnel in his knee and hip con-
vinced him he was still alive. The
two officers lay dead. Seven en-

listed men were still. Four wounded
looked at Patrick, not knowing what
to do next.
"Patrick ordered the two least
wounded to go below and then put
tourniquets on the other two, using
their own belts. He applied the same
treatment to his own knee . . . then
remembered to loosen all three every
15 minutes throughout the night. He
hunted a long time for morphine and
divided it with the others. As he
was about to take his share of the
sedative he noticed that several of
the men he had thought dead were
stirring . . . He divided his share
among them. He didn't feel heroic.
He didn't even think . . . Patrick was
the only enlisted man of the crew
who was recommended for a Navy
When general quarters sounded at
9:30, no one aboard the battleship
knew the size or strength of the en-
emy. But at midnight the bridge
sighted three enemy ships in the
channel ahead and reported the
formation to the admiral's flagship
nearby. Fifteen minutes later the
admiral's ship fired a nine-gun salvo
that set afire the leading Jap battle-

/ ,! Ii,',

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On HER Day-May 9th
She'll love a gift of flowers on Mother's Day!
It's the sweetest way of letting her know what
you mean -what she means to you.

Overture, "Marriage of Figaro" . . . . .
Aria, "Dove Sons" from Marriage of Figaro
"Die Walkure" Music . . . . .
Music from Tannhauser . . .
Overture to Oberon .
Mozart Arias . . . . . . . .
Symphony No. 5 in E Minor . . .
Symphony No. 1 in C Minor . . .

Overture to Leonore, No. 3
Barber of Seville .
Marriage of Figaro . .
Three Cornered Hat Suite.
Concerto in E Minor
Death and Transfiguration
(Symphonic Poem)



I~ri day, MNay 3 71I

. . . . Mozart
. . . . Wagner
Lily Pons

Saturday, May 8th

Symphony No. 5, Op. 47 . . . .
Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor, Op. 23


. . .

Musical Comedy Favorites, Vol. I and II .
Music of Victor Herbert . . . . . .
Music of Victor Herbert . . . . . Shikret and'

Kostelanet ,
Victor Salon Group
Frtz Kreister
is Mother's Day
r sh)p.


Favorites . . . . . . . . . .
MN'1usic, a morale biilder, is a thoughtful gift for mother th
Thei music your mother loves is on display at our





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