National Geographic : 1950 Nov
654 U. S. Marine Corps, Official Marine Fly Boys Train in Sleek Jet Phantoms In precise formation, two divisions of a Leatherneck fighter squadron roar over the Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry Point, North Carolina. Twin turbines drive McDonnell FH-1 Phantoms, the Navy's first carrier based "blowtorches," at better than 500 miles an hour. Today they are used to train pilots in transition from piston to jet aircraft (page 665). on the submarine Perch to share in the Army-Navy Marine maneuvers, known as "Operation Miki," on Oahu Island in the Hawaiian group. The Perch was so crowded, what with its own crew and the load of Ma rines, that men had to eat in their bunks and got only one bath in 17 days. They were under water several days. From the submarines, ad vance patrols of observers or spies stripped to shorts, put on rubber frog-feet, and swam ashore. There they spent 28 hours spying out the "ag gressor's" strength, gun posi tions, roads, defense arrange ments, etc. Of those Marines who landed, a few got "captured." But the majority got back to the subs, with valuable infor mation, captured documents, and one prisoner, a soldier of the aggressor force. He couldn't swim, so Marines towed him 2,000 yards out to sea in a rubber raft. Keen Power of Observation Needed That "enemy" soldier had plenty of excitement! In a life raft he was moved from one submarine to another, then to a destroyer, then by breeches buoy to the task force command ship, where Maj. Gen. Harry J. Collins got a look at him. Men with amazing powers of observation and memory are specially chosen to sneak ashore, on this reconnais sance work, and study the "enemy" (pages 659, 663). Captain Houghton let me test one such observer, Pfc. Verlin L.Oleson. We brought him into an office with which he was unfamiliar. I asked him to look about for 40 seconds, then shut his eyes and name as many items as he could which he had seen in the room in those 40 sec onds. He named 38! In an other test in a different room he named 50 in one minute.