Sub Spotter

Thanks for the story on Red Ramage and the USS Parche. The sub’s bridge structure is at the submarine base in Pearl Harbor, at the street corner of Nimitz and Pierce. A plaque details Commander Ramage’s Medal of Honor actions on this boat. Nearby, the Memorial Wall lists all the subs lost in World War II.

Robert S. Moynihan, USN Retired

Manchester, MO.

Second-Rate Tanks?

American tank tactics were not the reason for the failure at the Battle of Kasserine Pass (“Triumph at Kasserine Pass,” May/June). It was a failure of American technology. The tanks that should have been available for American forces from the beginning of the war in Europe were not ready until the final months of the war. The simple truth is that if the technological brilliance that went into the production of U.S. planes and ships had gone into the design and production of tanks, the lives of countless Allied soldiers and civilians would have been saved.

Ferdinand E. Banks

Uppsala, Sweden

Smith vs. Smith, Round Two

As the son of a 4th Marine Division veteran, I found Sharon Tosi Lacey’s article in the May/June issue (“Smith vs. Smith”) quite interesting, but can’t help but feel there is some slant to the article since Lacey is a lieutenant colonel on the U.S. Army Staff.

My father, who served in all the World War II battles that the 4th Marine Division participated in and later retired from the Marine Corps in the late 1950s, never talked much about his experiences, but did mention the incident on Saipan and how he had great respect for General Holland M. Smith. He talked about the needless loss of Marines due to the fact that the army didn’t execute like they were supposed to, and that the Marines had the extra duty fighting their way back to help the army, which was basically helpless.

Rodney H Alexander

Burlington, VT.

I want to congratulate you on an outstanding May/June issue of World War II. I had to put away this evening’s previous plans to read all the excellent articles, but special kudos for Sharon Tosi Lacey’s “Smith vs. Smith.”

There is a larger story there about the myth of the Marines in the Pacific. The Tom Hanks/Steven Spielberg The Pacific episode on Guadalcanal, which gives short shift to the role of the 164th Regiment’s relief in the middle of the night in the battle for Henderson Field, is typical. The 164th was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation (Navy) for Guadalcanal. Chesty Puller remarked, “They would make fine Marines.”

Although I am a Vietnam vet, I am the World War II historian for our Americal Association and will continue to look forward to your informative articles.

Dave Taylor

Medina, OH

Two Tickets to Occupied Japan

I have an identification for you in the May/June issue:

In the photo of MacArthur’s historical section, on page 42 of “MacArthur’s Tortured History,” the man seated on the left of General Willoughby is Dr. Harry Emerson Wildes, my high school history teacher in 1944–1945, in the Philadelphia public school system.

He left school shortly after showing my class two airplane tickets, and gave only a smile when asked which way he was going.

Robert Dieckmann Sr.

Philadelphia, PN.

Extortion Escape Route

Thank you for your depiction of prewar Vienna (May/June “Time Travel”).

A footnote: While it was comparative good fortune to have enough assets that the Nazis would extort you, since it meant you could leave, it wasn’t an option that could be refused. The Gestapo removed my middle aged grandfather and his family from their textile factory and home. They were allowed to keep personal furniture and equipment, collateral on a new life in New York, where my grandfather started over as a door-to door salesman of textiles and sundries.

Dave Rosenthal

Ayer, MA.


Page 71 of the January/February issue incorrectly identified Daniel Inouye as a former senator; he is still in office. Page 47 of the May/June issue incorrectly identified an amtrac as a half-trac. Page 13 incorrectly spelled Hickam Field; page 30 incorrectly spelled Stuart tank.


Originally published in the October 2011 issue of World War II. To subscribe, click here.