Tales of an Asia Sailor — The Blog

Remember the scene where Han Solo meets Rey and Finn? They ask Han about all the stories.

“It’s true. All of it. it’s true.”

In my misspent youth, I watched Jake Holman ride the Sand Pebble (USS San Pablo) and feel in love with the idea of a kid from Utah joining the Navy and seeing the world. I never got to go to Asia, but thanks to Garland’s blog, I feel like I’ve been there.

And all those stories? They are true. All of them. They’re true…

Tales of an Asia Sailor

Tales of an Asia Sailor — The Blog

By Garland Davis

I started Tales of an Asia Sailor in November of 2015 as a venue to tell my stories and memories of a time and life that no longer exist. The legend of us began with the China Sailor that was so aptly depicted by Jake Holman (Steve McQueen) and his shipmates in the classic movie “The Sand Pebbles.”

The end of World War Two and the presence of the Seventh Fleet gave rise to the true Asia Sailor who lived in the various countries of Asia as an occupation force and as a deterrent to prevent the Communist nations from overrunning the entire area. This resulted in the Viet Nam War and the apex of Asia Sailor’s lifestyle. We fought a hot war and trained to maintain our edge in a cold war. We fought a war with declining…

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First Pictures Inside Bomb Blasted Japan


Today marks the 74th anniversary of the U.S. dropping an atomic bomb on Nagasaki. This video from United News shows the damage done by both atomic blasts and some earlier firebombings, and contains footage that demonstrates the ending of World War II: Allied prisoners leaving a POW camp in Japan, President Truman attending a baseball game on September 8, 1945 (first time for a U.S. president to do so since the war started) and Gen. Jonathan M. Wainwright returning to the States after surviving three years as a prisoner of war.

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“I’d Join the Navy”

Tales of an Asia Sailor

“I’d Join the Navy”


How many of you seen this “Navy Recruiting Poster” before?!

Trivia: Do you know the history of this poster and who the model was?!

ANSWER: The model enlisted in the Navy and became a Chief Petty Officer.

In 1917, as America entered WWI, thousands of young men rushed to join the Army, Marines, and Navy.

Bernice Smith was an energetic 20-year-old woman who stopped by her local California recruiting office and was very interested in signing up with the US Navy.

Upon seeing all of the young men enlisting in the Navy, Bernice suddenly blurted out the words, “Gee I wish I were a man, I’d join the Navy.”

Little did Bernice realize that also present at the recruiting station was one of America’s most famous illustrators, Howard Chandler Christy.

Chandler had done many illustrations for various magazines over the years, but with the…

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USS Thomas A. Edison SSBN 610 “Potentia Tenebras Repellendi” (Power to Repel the Darkness)



USS Thomas A. Edison SSBN 610

When I was a young boy going through grade school, I was fascinated with the heroes of the day. There were very few superheroes (Superman and Batman) and I didn’t follow sports as closely as others did. Nope. My heroes were the men who were American Inventors. We learned all about Eli Whitney, Alexander Graham Bell, Fulton and of course one of the most famous of all Thomas A. Edison. I am grateful that I lived in an age when we were taught to look up to the kind of people who actually made a difference in the world.

His personal story of overcoming incredible disadvantages was a real inspiration. It’s not just that he had to deal with family tragedies, it was the added burden of being deprived of part of his hearing. The single biggest lesson was to never quit. Some people…

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Warship Wednesday, Aug.7, 2019: The Muddy Seabird of Manila Bay


Here at LSOZI, we are going to take off every Wednesday for a look at the old steam/diesel navies of the 1833-1946 period and will profile a different ship each week. These ships have a life, a tale all their own, which sometimes takes them to the strangest places. – Christopher Eger

Warship Wednesday, Aug.7, 2019: The Muddy Seabird of Manila Bay

NHHC Collection Photo # NHF-049-G.01, Nathan Sargent Collection

Here we see a beautiful tinted (not colorized) photo of the 4th rate barquentine-rigged gunboat USS Petrel (PG-2) somewhere on Asiatic Station in 1896. While striking in this image, this one-of-a-kind warship would spend a winter holed up in a mud fort in restless territory before going on to burn a Spanish fleet to the waterline.

Ordered with $247,000 under the 1885 Congressional funding act for the Navy Department, Petrel was one of the smatterings of new steel-hulled warships…

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USS Oklahoma Recovery Project


This photograph was taken from a Japanese plane during the torpedo attack on ships moored on both sides of Ford Island shortly after the beginning of the Pearl Harbor attack, 7 Dec. 1941. The view looks about east, with the supply depot, submarine base and fuel tank farm in the right-center distance. A torpedo has just hit USS West Virginia on the far side of Ford Island (center). Other battleships moored nearby are (from left): Nevada, Arizona, Tennessee (inboard of West Virginia), Oklahoma (torpedoed and listing) alongside Maryland, and California. On the near side of Ford Island, to the left, are light cruisers Detroit and Raleigh, target and training ship Utah and seaplane tender Tangier. Raleigh and Utah have been torpedoed, and Utah is listing sharply to port. Japanese planes are visible in the right center (over Ford Island) and over the Navy Yard at right. U.S. Navy planes on…

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John Busse of Venice at 101 still recalls his service in 16th Armored Division in WW II

War Tales

John Busse of Venice, Fla. celebrated his 101st birthday at Venice Post 8118 VFW a couple of days ago. He served with Gen. George Patton’s 3rd Army in Europe during World War II. John was a member of the 16th Armored Division that began its march across the continent in France, went on through Belgium, Germany, Poland, and ended up in Czechoslovakia.

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