The Goal Reached . . .
On 15 August 1945, the U.S.S. Darke was busily rehearsing Army troops at Lingayan Gulf, Luzon, Philippines for the big landing on Japan's homeland when the news came that Japan had surrendered. Doughboys and Bluejackets were equally joyous. Their feelings were shared with the Philippine people, one of whom expressed himself at the news of Japan's surrender, "Good God, good!"
Now the Darke steamed to Batangas on Luzon to start the mission she had been waiting for all these months.There she embarked the crack First Cavalry Division and pointed her nose for Tokyo Bay. On 2 September 1945, the U.S.S. Darke, a justly proud member of famed Transport Squadron 16, steamed to an anchorage outside the double breakwater of Yokohama as the Japanese delegation signed the surrender document on nearby U.S.S. MISSOURI. From the signal bridge could be seen a sign in telltale American painting which read . . "Three Cheers For The U.S. Navy"; beneath these words had been added "And The Army Too". On a warehouse was a sign proclaiming that "Kilroy Was Here!" The landing boats of the Darke carried the First Cavalry ashore, then began the unloading of supplies. Boats ran from the ship to docks where sullen Japanese watched the procedure from behind warehouses and factory buildings. The waterfront buildings were not badly damaged. Several warships, one a Jap carrier were seen poking their rusted hulks above water. The smell of the city was sickening due too the destruction and night fertilization. Fire bombs had burned a swath one and a half miles wide and four+ miles long in the center of the city. Some of the sailors saw General MacArthur near the unloading docks. One of the officers inadvertently (he no speak Japanese) wandered into a public bath house, there to scare the daylights out of a Japanese maiden. Her screams caused him to take his first, fleetest and surest retreat of his Naval career. The Japs wore uniforms, "jackass" and otherwise, but uniforms of some kind. The few Japanese women wore baggy pantaloons of the Dutch Boy type. No exotic kimonos were seen, in fact, nothing was exotic, attractive or charming, not even Mt. Fujiyama . . . it was as cold and useless as the Geisha girls that no one saw. No one cared anyway.
We Dedicate . . .
this issue of "The Darke Horse"
to the people of Darke County, Ohio. Through your patriotism, we were able to send the commissioning pennant snapping to the yardarm that brisk day a year ago; because of your generosity, we were able to take this ship into enemy territory and execute the small part we had in liquidating the enemy. You gave us a home, a place to sleep and eat and fight and work. Our guns have brought down more targets than any other ship in our squadron; our boxing teams have remained unbeaten; in drills, we've taken most of the "Well Dones"; in pistol competition, we've taken the lead. As far as APA's go, the Darke has been "on the ball"! We like to think we're upholding the best traditions of Annie Oakley and the Buckeye State. The commission pennant is stained with weather and frayed at the edges; many a league of the blue Pacific has rolled beneath it's tattered form, but it flies no less proudly than it did that golden windy day in Astoria, Oregon. You can be proud of your ship, Darke County, Ohio!
From the SAYINGS OF ABE MARTIN
by Kin Hubbard, the Indiana Sage
It's the good loser that finally loses out.
W. T. Nugent has decided to go to work until he can find something better to do.
Carpentermate Speer dropped a hatchet on his toe when "knock off ship's work" was piped yesterday