National Geographic : 1944 Jan
The National Geographic Magazine II. S . Army Signal (orps Five Allies Intently Reading Guinea Gold Block the Steps of Its Printing Office Says the headline: "America's Answer to Pearl Harbor: Fifteen New Warships Launched." Scanning the war news are two Americans and (back row) three Australians. Finally, here is this blunt advice: "Don't abuse him (the native) and don't nag. If you find yourself especially irritated by the way your laborers are behaving, take some more quinine and a dose of salts!" A Manual for Crusoes Many men, conscious that they may some day be castaways, read with care from the texts on tropical boy-scouting with such pas sages as these: Shark yarns inevitably become tall stories. Of the sixteen species of shark, only one, the tiger shark, is a serious threat to a man swimming .. .A lways face the shark. It bites only if turned on its back and in this awkward position can be met by merely pushing it away-it has been done. Like most animals its nose is tender and a hit on the nose has satisfied the curiosity of many. The most useless appearing article in your pocket can be given practical application. A hand lens, for example, will start a fire. A small mirror . . . has several uses. Afloat, reflecting the rays of the sun or the moon, it has served as a lure for fish. Its use as a signalling device is obvious. It may be an acceptable gift for native entertainment. There are innumerable uses for the material in your parachute. It provides cordage . . . cloth for a hammock, tent, ground cloth, rain catcher, mosquito net, blanket, sunshade, sail, etc. A durable candle can be made by drying in the sun for a few hours the meat of a mature coconut, placing a piece on a stone and lighting one end. Fresh water is carried in coconut water bottles made by piercing the stem opening of a husked mature nut, filling it with fresh water, and allow ing it to dissolve the meat within. Such facts as these make vivid reading for men who have seen scores of their comrades come back from the shadows, as Rickenbacker did, through exercise of faith and fortitude. Much conversation turns on tales of rescues from under the eyes of the Japs. Most of these have been effected through the help of the natives. So many men have been saved from Jap-held islands by these tribal allies that a standard reward, rich in terms of rice and tobacco, has been established.