A Navy Classic: A newsman gets his just desserts

Mark Conley

Active member
Back in the early 60s and 70s...The US Navy was under a lot of severe criticism from the Government and people of Japan concerning the presence of nuclear weapons aboard US Navy ships when they came to Japanese ports for fuel, food and liberty.

On one such event...a US Carrier docked at Yokohama Harbor to get supplies after a deployment to the northern pacific area. As always, a news crew was on hand to try and get any US Naval Personnel to admit, on camera that they had nuclear weapons on board.

It is official policy that as a representative of the US Military, you never confirm nor deny the existence of any nuclear weapon system on board any ship. The Navy was absolutely fanatics about security: even talking about such thing could get you a quick trip to the Captain’s mast…or worse. So most of the time, the men just would tell the Newsmen nothing, or gave them information that was so off-topic it could never be used on television.

So it was odd that they caught a Chief coming down the gangway that seemed eager to talk. Once on the dock, he was stopped, and asked point blank by the nationally recognized reporter what type of weapons the ship had on board. He looked at the camera and asked if the camera was on. The newsman affirmed that it was.

The Chief looked straight into the camera and said in the most dramatic voice he could muster: “The kind that go Boom” and walked away.

"The purpose of fighting is to win. There is no possible victory in defense. The sword is more important than the shield and skill is more important than either. The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental." - John Steinbeck

Which book?

I thought I knew them all (incl. - and please include them you as well with reference to the the question - the Short Stories) but have not come across this sentence (or missed it, stupid me :cry:)... No writer is more quintessentially American than him (at least for my age)!

I *love* that guy and the followers, like Theodore Sturgeon, etc., my favorite(s) in all his works is/are split:

- Of Mice and Men (in the theater version) http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/s/john-steinbeck/of-mice-and-men.htm

- of cause: Cannery Row:
Like most of Steinbeck's postwar work, Cannery Row is sentimental in tone while retaining the author's characteristic social criticism. Peopled by stereotypical good-natured bums and warm-hearted prostitutes living on the fringes of Monterey, Calif., the picaresque novel celebrates lowlifes who are poor but happy.
Really where I have been aiming at all my life...

- And the best (IMHO) "Sweet Thursday": If that one is not the quintessence of why we are being here, *you* call it from there :pray:...

"Sweet Thursday" reads as a post-war continuation of "Cannery Row". Set on the Californian coast, amongst the junk heaps and flop houses of Monterey, the book brings to life the denizens of a netherworld of laughter and tears - from fauna who runs the local brothel, to Hazel, a bum whose mother must have wanted a daughter.

Really looking forward to solving this mystery,