Pharmacist Mate 2nd Class Luther Quinn was on LST 492 UNS AATSB Fowey Cornwall. He was attached to the Marines and was wounded at Okinawa.
According to his sister in law:
He was known as Scotty and in Civilian life he was a traveling salesman and a second Bob Hope. The Doctors were unable to remove all of the, as Scotty said "Jap metal" from his body.
He was a diabetic and was subject to infections as a result of his injury and shock. When he died he had one request, "take that damn Jap metal out." He didn't want to be buried with it.
His wife is the sister of Jeanne Waugaman (see My Gob in the Personal Accounts section)
"Scotty's" Daughter Patti, saw this page and send me an email:
Thank you for posting the picture of my Dad on his webpage. I should tell you that Dad never spoke of the Japanese without the lead-in those, "God Damn Japs" and always called the metal in his leg, "Jap scrap." His wounds did not cause his diabetes but when he became diabetic the damage done to his leg and foot by the mortar presented fertile ground for infections and other problems assisted by the diabetes. If it had not been for one doctor who was willing to inflict a lot of pain to try to save the foot, they would have amputated my Dad's foot. As it was, they told him, he would never walk without the use of a cane.
He threw that cane away on VJ day and never used it again. Dad was also with the First Marine Division on D-Day. Sent to shore with a pistol and no ammunition in the Second or Third Wave on D-day, day one, they told his group that there would be plenty of ammunition to pick-up on the way in from those who would never reach the beach or would be cut down early. When I expressed my dismay that they would send him into such a battle without ammunition, he said that given the anxiety level on the LST, he was glad they did not have ammunition or half of the guys would have killed themselves (accidentally) on the way in.
I too am sorry that my father would never talk in detail about the war. I know that he saw a lot of action, a lot of blood and a lot of atrocities. Thank you for reminding us about this great generation of heroes.
Patti Daum (nee Scott)
I asked her permission to post her email and told her how the Navy Medics were regarded by the Marines:
I don't think I mentioned it, but when I bought a uniform at the flea market with the pharmacist rate on it, there was an old Marine there. He was very quiet when he asked me "did you know that those guys were the only ones in the Navy who could wear a Marine uniform?" The way he asked, you would think he had seen God. The Marines loved their Corpsmen and they were universally respected.
This Marine was not the first one to "clue" me in. Almost every one that I have talked to has made a point of making sure that I know. Not just mentioning it, but making sure that I know what it meant to be allowed to wear a Marine Uniform and not be one.
I wouldn't mind if you posted my words on the site. I would be honored to have them placed there. I never realized that the pharmacist mate was the only one in the Navy who could wear a Marine uniform.
We actually have pictures with Dad in the Marine Green Uniform and in his Navy uniform. The story in the family is that when Dad was to be released from the hospital, it took an extra two or three days for him to get discharged because the services could not make up their mind about who was to supply the uniform (Navy or Marine).
Patti Daum (nee Scott)
|My father was on LST 492. His service
record lists "ABATU Lido Beach, USS LST 492, USN Fowey
Cornwall," and as I understand it, this was the LST that placed
them on Omaha Beach. They trained out of Fowey Cornwall in the UK.
According to my Dad, they were with the convoy training for D-Day when a German U-Boat attacked one of the ships. They got a call to immediately scatter. About five years ago or more, under FOIA the government declassified information about this attack where one of the convoy members was sunk (?).
Dad said that they did not know any other ship was sunk and complained that the British ships who were acting as escort ran like rats from a sinking ship, leaving their LSTs exposed for attack. Dad said that some old freighter? that had been converted by the Polish to serve as a battleship came to assist when the British were running scared.
Perhaps based on this incident, he always respected the Polish and had almost nothing good to say about the "Limeys."
|As to the actual landing on D-Day, Dad
described the mood of the men on ship as one of stark but resigned
terror. They had been given instructions in a 1, 2, 3, 4 format as to
what they were to do when they landed on shore. For his own sanity, Dad
just kept repeating those steps to himself on the ride to the beach.
He commented that when he actually got to the beach, the instructions went right out the door and all he did was try to stay alive. He once remarked that he waded into shore in a sea that had been turned red by the blood of those who had been cut down. He obtained ammunition from those who had fallen because he said that they did not have enough ammunition to give to all of those destined to hit the shore that day.
They told him that the expected casualty rate for the first wave was (either in the high 80 to low 90 % range) (I cannot remember the exact percentage he told me). As I understand it, he was not in the first wave but in the second or third wave on D-Day, day one.
|Dad also talked in general
terms about being in the UK, hated the food etc...
I am not certain of the accuracy of some of the information but that is the inherent problem with oral history.
I remember when Dad first talked about the incident with the German U-Boat, I viewed it with a bit of skepticism. It was years later when the security clearance was removed from the information and the press reported the incident that I realized my Father had indeed recalled the matter correctly.
However, I don't recall any of the press reports describing that a Polish ship came steaming in as fast as it could to provide assistance. This was strictly from my Father. I always wondered how a Pharmacist's Mate would know about this, but I guess everyone talked to each other.
|Note from the webmaster: Much
of what we "know" as history is inaccurate at best. This
website is not meant to rewrite history, but rather to record the daily
lives of the men who lived it, but until recently were pretty much
ignored. For the most part history has been written by and for the
rich and powerful to glorify their deeds, while ignoring the common man
who made it happen.
Then as now the information given to the civilians by the press was very closely controlled and much of the information was and is suspect. George Orwell described the process of controlling the history very well in his novel 1984.
You will notice that no one above the rank of Captain is featured on this website. It IS intentional.