Day 5: Saipan

img_6478My fifth day was spent giving three lectures to the bar of Saipan.  It was a fascinating day with the judges and lawyers of this beautiful island. Tomorrow Judge Watford and I will be going to Tinian Island where the B-29s took off to drop the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  These islands are steeped in the military history of World War II.  Having read about the battles for years, it is amazing to be here and walk along the beaches of the invasions. Saipan was also the scene of one of the most horrific moments of the Pacific war when 1,000 Japanese civilians committed suicide by jumping off the cliffs on the Northern part of the island.  They believed the propaganda about the Americans and took their lives rather than be captured.  It is hard to imagine such horror on an island that is indescribably beautiful and peaceful.

I have been staying at the Hyatt Regency in Saipan, which has a stunning view from the room as well as the grounds near the beach below.  The Navy has permanent ships stationed off shore with military equipment and supplies to be used in any rapid deployment (a contingency put into place after the first Iraq War which was delayed for months by the lack of supplies for the invasion).


img_6486img_6488img_6490img_6491Here are a few pictures from the scuba diving and hiking over the past couple of days on Guam and Saipan.


28 thoughts on “Day 5: Saipan”

  1. US forces captured my wife’s grandfather on Okinawa. As far as he was concerned it was the luckiest thing that ever happened to him. The Japanese did not treat the Ryukyu islanders as equals. They treated them like how Trump haters fantasize Trump supporters would treat Mexicans. One of the luxuries we afforded the POWs was coffee. With Sugar. Okinawan POWs got to serve their family coffee, and they’d load up the cups with sugar and put the thinnest veneer of coffee over the top. Then they’d leave and dry out the contents and sell it to their neighbors. The luckiest people on that island were those we captured.

    The day we released grandpa he went out one gate, then back in another gate and applied for a job with the occupation.

  2. While you are there what’s the outcome on using that one island as a bombing range for USAF and USN?

    1. We’ll ask first before bombing your island, though. We’re not terrorists. Although some people who have suffered through our liberty port visits might disagree.

      One more port visit like the Constellation, we Carl Vinson sailors were told by the women of Perth, and we just might not be welcome.

      1. “Since the crews of the Yorktown and Enterprise BATTLEGROUPS raided into the Marshall and Gilbert islands, 1942.”

        Must not forget the other Sailors without whom the death-dealing would not have been possible.

  3. Off topic here, sorry, but I miss your appearances on Keith Olbermann’s show years ago and am having trouble finding an answer to my question: given the current makeup of our govt, who would be able to charge Trump/Flynn/Pence with treason for lying about their collusion with Russia on influenicng the election?

    1. No need for the big gun its an easy answer for those who are literate. Read the Constitution. Covers what you are asking about in detail. Also how to remove a federal Judge including the Supreme Court members and any member of Congress. Wow. What a concept! Read the fricking handbook of Citizenship?

      1. Hey, Mr. Literate Guy who leads off with a run-on sentence, why don’t you deign to write an article laying out the answer to my question for the scads of other ppl besides me who would like to be enlightened? We would all appreciate it. Thank you.

    1. @steve-your initial post you say “I am a naval officer” as now? Tell me your an aviator?

      1. No, I was intel. I was never in a paid flight status, but I was qualified to fly.

        Back in my day in addition to pilots and Naval flight officers, aviation maintenance duty officers and intel officers also went through Aviation Officer Candidate School. My first tour of duty was with an F14 TARPS (Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance Pod System) squadron. I had to be of some help with the mission planning. Navy logic dictated we also got the joy of the Marine Corps experience.

        I say I am a naval officer because I am retired. And technically retired pay is a retainer fee. I’m subject to recall.

        “(a) A member of the Fleet Reserve or the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve may be ordered by competent authority to active duty without his consent—”

        I really did sign my life away.

  4. “Gabaldon was reprimanded by his superior officers, and threatened with a court-martial for leaving his post”

    Which just goes to show what a bunch of s***heads we are.

    1. @steve-I’m ashamed to say I have not heard of this man, Thanks for the FYI.

      1. The Wikipedia article touches lightly on it but Gabaldon was a gang banger when the Nakanos took him in.

        Clearly both experiences served him well, because not only did he learn to speak Japanese he was a bad @$$. The Marines by the time the battle of Saipan occurred were not receptive to the idea of trying to talk the Japanese into surrender. Gabaldon wasn’t the only one (one unit spent its recreation funds on loudspeakers, and had talked a newspaper in Hawaii into printing flyers asking for their surrender, because the Marines and the Navy weren’t going to do it) on Saipan trying to talk the Japanese down. But I believe he was the only troop who decided, on his own initiative, to take on the job.

        The Wikipedia article mentions one time he persuaded a Japanese officer to surrender 800 men. That wasn’t the only time he was outnumbered 100s to one. He did this alone. And though often afraid, he never showed it. He just toughed it out.

        And he shortened the war.

  5. I didn’t do jack since my family came off the boat from Salerno. Except survive Gunnery Sergeant Holt. My uncle Tony was a Sailor in the Med during WWII, and my dad was a Coastie.But me? Not a damn thing.

  6. Scuba man. I tried a couple times when we were in Cozumel to have my son and I qualify to dive. But he watched too many shark TV shows and wouldn’t do it.

  7. The only reason I am a Naval officer is because a Marine DI thought so.

    The same kind who fought on Saipan. I realize many of you went to law school but I would much rather be judged by some one who graduated from Marine Corps Recruit Depot Paris Island or the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego than Yale.

    My DI.

    Except he wasn’t this nice in real life.

    It’s good, professor, you are continuing your education.

    1. I was U.S. Army attached to the Marines Dong Ha, so I respectfully say to you Brother “Semper Fi”, for the civilian “Always Faithful”. Yes I remember my DI Sgt. Roundtree who scared the Be Jesus out of us but he was a great American.
      I would like to see the draft reinstated get some of these kids off the streets and learn responsibility. A good GI bill could be offered to them thereafter for education benefits and other needs to enter society in a constructive manner.

  8. Great photos, beautiful water and foliage. You are really tracing history. Your Tinian visit will be something to remember. I got up close to the Enola Gay she sits up in Chantilly VA along with many great aircraft. You can actually see the techs working to preserve long gone aircraft. The first flying wing built by the Horten Brothers is in the rebuilding stage. Wish I knew how to paste photos here, got some great photos from my visit there.

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