Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 25

United States scores major victory against Japanese in Battle of the Philippine Sea on June 19-20, 1987

United States scores major victory against Japanese in Battle of the Philippine Sea; on June 19-20, 1944.

On this day in 1944, in what would become known as the “Marianas Turkey Shoot”, U.S. carrier-based fighters decimate the Japanese Fleet with only a minimum of losses in the Battle of the Philippine Sea.

The security of the Marianas Islands, in the western Pacific, were vital to Japan, which had air bases on Saipan, Tinian, and Guam. U.S. troops were already battling the Japanese on Saipan, having landed there on the 15th. Any further intrusion would leave the Philippine Islands, and Japan itself, vulnerable to U.S. attack. The U.S. Fifth Fleet, commanded by Admiral Raymond Spruance, was on its way west from the Marshall Islands as backup for the invasion of Saipan and the rest of the Marianas. But Japanese Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo decided to challenge the American fleet, ordering 430 of his planes, launched from aircraft carriers, to attack. In what became the greatest carrier battle of the war, the United States, having already picked up the Japanese craft on radar, proceeded to shoot down more than 300 aircraft and sink two Japanese aircraft carriers, losing only 29 of their own planes in the process. It was described in the aftermath as a “turkey shoot”.

Admiral Ozawa, believing his missing planes had landed at their Guam air base, maintained his position in the Philippine Sea, allowing for a second attack of U.S. carrier-based fighter planes, this time commanded by Admiral Mitscher, to shoot down an additional 65 Japanese planes and sink another carrier. In total, the Japanese lost 480 aircraft, three-quarters of its total, not to mention most of its crews. American domination of the Marianas was now a foregone conclusion.

Not long after this battle at sea, U.S. Marine divisions penetrated farther into the island of Saipan. Two Japanese commanders on the island, Admiral Nagumo and General Saito, both committed suicide in an attempt to rally the remaining Japanese forces. It succeeded: Those forces also committed a virtual suicide as they attacked the Americans' lines, losing 26,000 men compared with 3,500 lost by the United States. Within another month, the islands of Tinian and Guam were also captured by the United States.

The Japanese government of Premier Hideki Tojo resigned in disgrace at this stunning defeat, in what many have described as the turning point of the war in the Pacific.History Channel

Wikipedia  Image: Battle of the Philippine Sea - United States scores major victory against Japanese in Battle of the Philippine Sea June 19-20 1944 (Google Image Search)

The Old Salt’s Corner - Mariner's 23rd Psalm

The Lord is my pilot, I shall not go adrift;

He lighteth my passage across dark channels;

He steereth me through the deep waters,

He keepeth my log.

He guideth me by the evening star for my safety's sake.

Yes, though I sail mid the thunders and tempests of life,

I fear no peril, for Thou art with me,

Thy stars and heavens, they comfort me.

The vastness of the sea upholds me.

Surely fair winds and safe harbors shall be found

All the days of my life;

And I shall dock, secure forever.


“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin’”

For paranoid people who check behind their shower curtins for murderers, if you do find one, what’s the plan?

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“Good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.”

~ Will Rogers (November 4, 1879 - August 15, 1935)

“What I Have Learned”

An acquaintance is a person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.

~ Ambrose Bierce (June 24, 1842 - Circa 1914)

Bizarre News (we couldn’t make up stuff this good – real news story)

Bizarre News (we couldn’t make up stuff this good – real news story)

Digging for lost treasure, Congressman? Florida Democrat caught on C-SPAN picking his ear and then EATING IT

Digging for Lost Treasure video

In May, U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia of Florida was captured on a C-SPAN camera during a House Judiciary Committee hearing casually eating his earwax.

In the sequence, described on a Time magazine blog, he dug into his ear, inspected the results, placed them in mouth, then went “back for seconds”.Daily Mail video

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Why is “six feet under” the standard depth for burial?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Why is “six feet under” the standard depth for burial?

There is of course no standard law which everyone must follow. Each state mandates burial requirements.

In low-lying wetland areas like New Orleans, a grave dug six feet deep would likely fill with water. Graves in such locales are typically less than two feet deep, reducing (but not eliminating) the coffin's chances of gradually floating toward the surface.

Early New Orleanians tried to keep the dead safely out of the way by weighing caskets down with rocks, but even so the airtight coffins would sometimes come popping up out of the soil. Today, in areas well above the water table and generally considered safe from flooding, heavy rains will still dislodge the occasional coffin.

But as far as the six feet standard, historians believe it dates to London's Great Plague of 1665. In Daniel Defoe's fictionalized account A Journal of the Plague Year, the diarist-narrator reports on an edict issued by the city's lord mayor in June 1665 requiring that all graves be made at least six feet deep to limit the spread of the outbreak.

Even if Defoe's research wasn't perfect (his firsthand knowledge may have been less than reliable, as he was only five at the time of the epidemic), other sources largely back up his version of events; in any case, his book likely popularized the notion that proper burial entailed putting the body six feet under.Straight Dope / Wikipedia

Image: John Everett Millais Ophelia (1852) (Wikipedia, Google)

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Sidekick”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

SIDEKICK:” The term comes from the days of notorious pickpocket activities in London. They had their own language for different pockets that were the style of the day.

For example: Jerve as a vest pocket. And Kick was a pocket on the side in a pair of pants. And the Pratt was the back pocket. Of all the pockets, the most difficult to pick was the KICK, because it was close to the victim's leg and was always moving. After a while, smart people discovered that the safest spot to keep your money was in his “side kick” or side pocket of his pants.

Today the term now means a faithful partner or pet that is by ones side, often even helpful and protective.Wikipedia

Google Search Image: Han Solo and Chewie

Batman and Robin

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson

The Lone Ranger and Tonto

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang - U.S. Navy

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Beach Pounder: A Marine (cf. Ground Pounder = soldier). Coast Guard: Shoreline foot patrol (archaic/WWII); lived on in expression: “Pound sand!” for “Get lost.”

Benny: A treat or reward, derived from “Benefit”.

O Benny Suggs: The Navy's Beneficial Suggestions program, a method where DON employees, and Navy and Marine personnel can make suggestions to improve various programs and operations.

Mail Buoy: A fictitious buoy that mail for a ship is left on. Usually new sailors are given a mail buoy watch for the entertainment of the more seasoned sailors.

Roach Coach: “Geedunk” on wheels. Mobile cafeteria van, often seen when on det to another base.

Just for MARINES - U.S. Marines

Just for MARINES

Butt Kit: Ash tray. Often a #10 tin can filled with dirt or sand.

Butter Bar: Second lieutenant or ensign, from the gold color of their rank insignia. A pejorative term.

Buy The Farm: Killed.

Military Acronyms

Navy Acronyms

QA - Quality Assurance

QDR - Quadrennial Defense Review

QPL - Qualified Parts List

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

VT-4 - Training Squadron 4: “Warbucks” NAS Pensacola, Florida

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

How the Civil War Changed Modern Medicine - A Civil War-era hospital filled with Union soldiers

Century-old smallpox scabs in N.M. envelope: On March 31, 2003, Susanne Caro found an envelope inside an 1888 Civil War medical book in the College of Santa Fe's library. On the envelope was written: “scabs from vaccination of W.B. Yarrington's children”. This statement was signed by the book's author, Dr. W. D. Kelly. Just as he said, inside the envelope were scabs.

Caro contacted the National Museum of Civil War Medicine to see if they wanted the scabs. The museum's director knew that, during the 19th century, bits of scabs of patients with with mild cases of smallpox were inserted into the skin of healthy people. This helped them develop an immunity to the disease. The museum took the scabs and contacted the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.

Researchers planned to study the scabs to learn more about smallpox and how we came to have our current smallpox vaccination. A librarian found smallpox stored inside a 19th century medical book! (OMG Facts)

Photo: Civil War Medicine - How the Civil War Changed Modern Medicine (Discovery)


1954 Roger Bannister breaks the four-minute mile (Sports Illustrated / Achievement.org)

Sports 1954 Wikipedia

World Series Champions: The New York Giants win 4 games to 0 over the Cleveland Indians

● Former New York Yankees great Joe DiMaggio marries actress Marilyn Monroe in a union of heavily publicized media stars

NFL Champions: Cleveland Browns win 56-10 over the Detroit Lions

NBA Champions: Minneapolis Lakers win 4 games to 3 over Syracuse Nationals

Stanley Cup Champs: Detroit Red Wings win 4 games to 3 over the Montreal Canadiens

U.S. Open Golf: Ed Furgol

U.S. Open Tennis (Men/Ladies): Vic Seixas / Doris Hart

Wimbledon (Men/Women): Jaroslav Drobný / Maureen Connolly

NCAA Football Champions: Maryland Terrapins lose 7-0 to the Oklahoma Sooners; still awarded college football national championship

NCAA Basketball Champions: La Salle wins 92-76 over Bradley

Kentucky Derby: Determine

World Cup (Soccer): West Germany

Image: Roger Bannister breaks the four-minute mile (Sports Illustrated / Achievement.org)

Famous Quotes 1954: 'Hey Kids, What time is it?' - It’s Howdy Doody time!

Famous Quotes 1954 Wikipedia

● “Hey Kids, What time is it?”

~ It’s Howdy Doody Time!

● “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands”

~ M&Ms

● “You don’t understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could’ve been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am.!”

~ Marlon Brando, in “On The Waterfront”

● “Winston tastes good like a cigarette should”

~ Winston Cigarettes

Image: Howdy Doody Time (Google Image Search)



● The first word spoken by an ape in the movie Planet of the Apes was “Smile”.

● The Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper.

● You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching TV.

Joke of the Day


And what it really means

Can't we just be friends?

There is no way in hell I'm going to let any part of your body touch any part of mine, again.

I just need some space.

Without you in it.

Do I look fat in this dress?

We haven't had a fight in a while.

No, pizza is fine.

You cheap slob!

I just don't want a boyfriend now.

I just don't want you as a boyfriend now.

I don't know, what do YOU want to do?

I can't believe you have nothing planned.

Come here.

My puppy does this, too.

I like you, but...

I don't like you..

Of course I love you!

Just not in that way.

You never listen.

You never listen.

We're moving too fast.

I'm not going to sleep with you until I find out if this guy at the gym has a girlfriend.

I'll be ready in a minute.

I'm ready, but I'm going to make you wait because I know you will.

Oh no, I'll pay for myself.

I'm just being nice; there's no way I'm going dutch.

Oh yes! Right there!

Well, near there; I just want to get this over with!

I'm just going out with the girls.

We're gonna get sloppy and make fun of you and your friends.