Page 3 - MAY RN2017
P. 3

By Dr. Patsy Barber

Try outstepping him to see the bulls run or to get to the Kremlin. islands. He had to take his little

Gerald Creed has done it all. Anchored in Tioga until he graduated son and wife, Jean, from their
from Menard High School, he attended USL for one semester. All luxurious penthouse in Manila
young men were anxious to enlist to protect our country, and          and flee to Australia. (Gerald’s
Gerald did so when he volunteered to join the navy at age 17.         darling wife interjected: A native
                                                                      of Little Rock, she shared her

The new inductees were seated on wooden benches in a cattle car home town with MacArthur and
heading to San Diego Naval Training Center. After traveling a few visited the MacArthur Museum
days they left the train and were put on a bus to continue the trip. may times.) If the reader is
Many weeks were spent in training and he was embroiled in an unacquainted with MacArthur
argument with a friend that resulted in a broken finger. To reach and his leadership in WWII, be
his “Three hots and a cot”, he boarded a ship with infantrymen. He reminded that one of the busy

traveled on the hanger deck of a big carrier that had Pearl Harbor traffic corridors in Alexandria is
as its destination. There he spent a month or more in the hills       named MacArthur Drive to
awaiting assignment. Finally he was headed to Australia and New honor the service of General              Gerald Creed

Zealand. The experienced ship’s crew treated the new sailors to MacArthur.
the greatest initiation ceremony to celebrate crossing the equator.
                                                                           Ships were lined up, side by side, and Gerald watched General
                                                                      MacArthur and 50 or so of his staff as they stepped off the USS
                                                                      Nashville into an LST, and then into knee-deep water heading for
                                                                      Red Beach. His resolute countenance confirmed his statement, “I
                                                                      will return.” Photographers got their pictures and all returned to the


                                                                      Gerald was in a small group sent to the beach where they quickly
                                                                      dug a foxhole and got in it. They radioed back to the ship when the
                                                                      beach master alerted to send men in. A Japanese soldier was
                                                                      killed by the foxhole and the victor took the butt of his rifle and

                                                                      knocked out his teeth. Golf teeth were highly collectible.

USS Feland (APA-11) was a Doyen-class attack transport which served   At another invasion, a ship next to them was loaded with soldiers.
with the US Navy during World War II. She saw service in the Pacific  Kamikazes as a last resort of defense dived down and killed a lot
War, and safely returned home post-war with five battle stars to her  of them. As Gerald’s ship ferried back and forth from New Zealand
credit.                                                               and Australia, they would carry 800 to 900 marines to land.

Creed joined the USS Feland, a transport ship used to carry           Other than Marines, they also picked up supplies. On one
Marines landing on beaches. He made five trips. Describing his        occasion there was only sheep/mutton available. “A British ship
job, he said, “Chip paint!” His battle station duty was to catch the  was there and we swapped lamb for beef.”
hot shell casings in asbestos gloves. The casings were refilled to
be used again.                                                        Five gallon cans of milk were brought on board. “We’d put them
                                                                      up on the hatch, punch a hole in it and everybody took turns
In October, 1944, as island after island were secured by the          standing there under the spout.”
Marines, the initial thrust was to take back the Philippines. This
was the prime goal of General Douglas MacArthur who promised          Once Manila was taken after a hard-fought battle they went into
he would return when the Japanese had capture the Philippine          Manila Bay and had to go to Seattle for a new top.

                                                                      Continued on page 9

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