Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Boogie Woogie

For Dad's Yahrzeit: This Wednesday evening (19th of Kislev), Abq Jew will observe the fourth yahrzeit of his father, Richard W Yellin, of blessed memory.

LST 273

Dad served in the Navy during World War II, mostly aboard LST 273.  "LST" officially stands for "Landing Ship, Tank", whose job it was to drive right up onto the beach into direct enemy (in this case, Japanese) fire, and deposit its load of tanks, supplies, and troops.

"LST" unofficially stands for "Large, Slow Target".  LST 273 was aka "The Grey Ghost".  But she brought Dad home safe and sound, making "273" the family's lucky number.

From the NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive:

LST 273 off Saipan, 16 June 1944
 From the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships:
LST-273 was laid down on 24 February 1943 at Ambridge, Pa., by the American Bridge Co.; launched on 8 August 1943; sponsored by Mrs. W.H. McComb; and commissioned on 24 September 1943.

During World War II, LST-273 was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific theater and participated in the following operations: 
    Marshall Islands operation;
    (a) Occupation of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls, January and February 1944
    (b) Occupation of Eniwetok Atoll, February 1944
    Marianas operation;
    (a) Capture and occupation of Saipan, June and July 1944
    (b) Tinian capture and occupation, July 1944
    Western Caroline Islands
    (a) Capture and occupation of southern Palau Islands, September and October 1944
    Luzon operation;
    (a) Lingayen Gulf landing 9 January 1945
    Okinawa Gunto operation;
    (a) Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, April 1945
Following the war, LST-273 performed occupation duty in the Far East until late October 1945. She returned to the United States and was decommissioned on 12 August 1946 and struck from the Navy list on 8 October 1946. On 3 November 1947, she was sold to the Hugo Neu Steel Products Corp., of New York, N.Y.
Abq Jew recalls his Dad telling him that he was on board LST 273 for the battles of Kwajalein, Eniwitok, and Tinian.

In tribute to Dad, Abq Jew had first considered Benny Goodman's "Sing Sing Sing" - but decided instead on one of his favorite clips:  The Andrews Sisters singing "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy", from the 1941 Abbott and Costello film, "Buck Privates".

For those who are too young to remember, here is part of the bio from The Andrews Sisters website:
During a time when teenagers were doing the jitterbug and Uncle Sam was asking young men to enlist, The Andrews Sisters were America’s most popular female singing group. Patty, the youngest sister, was a loud and energetic blond who headed the group with her confident vocals. The middle sister was Maxene, a brunette, whose harmonic range gave the impression of four voices instead of three. Finally, completing the trio was the eldest, LaVerne, a strong willed redhead with a witty sense of humor and an eye for fashion. 
Here's to Abq Jew's mother, Roselyn L Yellin, of blessed memory, a "strong willed redhead" in her own right who waited for Abq Jew's father to come home from the war.  And - here's to you, Dad!

1 comment:

Mordechai Y. Scher said...

Yehi zichro baruch.

Since you mentioned 'Kwaj', I will point out that there was an observant Jewish presence on Kwaj at one point. The atoll is so little that you can practically spit across it; but the US maintains a military and research presence there. I knew an observant Jewish electronics engineer back in the early 90s who was there for a time with his family. While there they kept all Jewish observances; sometimes with great effort. As I recall, they were the only observant Jews there at the time.

A Chabadnik went there from Hawaii in '08 for a few days. The PR material said he would "be conducting Sabbath services from Thursday, May 22, until Tuesday, May 27." I thought a six-day Shabbat was pretty innovative on his part!