I was fortunate in 1980 and 1985 to be paid by East Ramapo Central School district to rewrite the Health Education district wide curriculum in Junior high and Senior high.In the early 1980’s to the early 1990, AIDS was the major factor constantly changing in the Health Curriculum. Ebola came later . When science caught up with the cause of the HIV AIds virus and a cocktail of drugs kept the virus under control, interest went down hill.This is my HEALTH Education Curriculum recommendations for now 2021 and the next ten years.
1- Pandemic, causes, cures and safety.
2-Future Viruses and how we will deal with them.
3- Global Health Issues, especially China and Africa
.4- Alcohol abuse
5-The drug abuses of the 2021 era, Meth, marijuana, cocaine, Heroine, crack.
6-Legalization of Marijuana in many States.
7- Sex among teenagers, diseases, treatment, cures, new trends.
8-Sex among College students, new trends, diseases, RAPE, rape drugs.
9-Smoking, new electronic smoking dangers, 2x American cigarettes and caffeine effects on the body.
10-Cancer the good old killer.
14-Medical insurance in the USA and the World.
15-Health trends in the 2021 era.
16- Dealing with death, loss of a love one.
17-Depression and treatment in the 2021 era
.18-Bi-Polar disease, paranoia and other Mental diseases and treatments.
ACT ONE- WITCHCRAFT SCENE 1- INT. DAY- BASEMENT OF FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. Aero Long is chained to a brick wall in the basement of the First Congregational Church of Salem, Mass. Water dripped down the damp wall as Aero struggled to get free. A cockroach ran across his hands which were strung high above his head. A beam of light came through the cracks in the bricks and a mouse scurried across the moldy floor. AERO LONG (23) SHAPE SHIFTER I don’t know how much longer I can bear this pain. In the basement across from Aero is John Alden Jr. John is the son of Pilgrim John Alden and Priscilla Mullins. JOHN ALDEN (22) JR. You may not have to worry much longer if these crazy witch hunters have their way. They will tie you to a chair on a pole and put you under water again and again until you drown.
AERO LONG How is it you were arrested for witch craft stranger? JOHN ALDEN I was in Canada trying to get some hostages released and when I returned a woman name Isabel told everyone I was a witch. I rejected her a few years ago when she thought she was in love with me. AERO LONG Ahh, a woman scorned. Now you have your reward. JOHN ALDEN I plan to escape. My family on the outside is going to bribe someone to let me out of this church basement. AERO LONG Perhaps you can take me with you stranger? JOHN ALDEN I will let you know when the time is right. When the time came for John Alden Jr. to escape his friends appeared at the stairway to the basement. Quickly they unlocked John Alden Jr. From his chains. JOHN ALDEN See to the stranger on the other end of the basement. Unlock him. SAMUEL SEABURY What stranger? The chains on the wall are empty, and there is no one there. Wait, there is a fox. What the hell is a fox doing in the basement? JOHN ALDEN We have no time to figure it out. Run for daylight before we are discovered. Right behind the group of men the fox scampered up the stairs and into the church courtyard never to be seen again. SAMUEL SEABURY We are free. Grab your horse John and let us be gone. Y JOHN ALDEN Finally, a horse to freedom. Ride on steed. Running behind the men on horses a red fox scampered off into the woods, free at last. FADE TO BLACK.
ACT TWO- DUTCH GIANA SCENE 1-INT. DAY- JULY 14, 1763 Edward Bancroft runs away from his physician apprentice at age 16 and sails for Dutch Giana to seek a new life. FADE IN: EDWARD BANCROFT (17) PHYSICIAN’S APPRENTIST Ahh the smell of the sea and the endless horizon of the ocean is the life to be. BEN ROGERS (44) SEAMAN It doesn’t smell so great when you have to climb them masts high in the air to drop the sails. I have been a seaman all my life and I can’t smell the ocean from the deck varnish. EDWARD BANCROFT Well it is all new to me after living in New England all my life. Note: The next day a storm hit and most of the crew and passengers had to stay below because of the waves splashing over the deck and washing everything no tied down into the ocean. The ship swayed from side to side in an unnatural rocking motion. Every other wave the ship would life out of the waves and come thundering down with a loud clapping sound in the trough of another wave. Most of the passengers including Edward Bancroft were all heaving their guts out. BEN ROGERS How is that ocean smell treating you matey? Ha…storms like this make a man out of you in no time. Just hold onto the posts for dear life. The storm should be gone by tomorrow. Bear with it matey. EDWARD BANCROFT I think my insides are going to turn themselves inside out. How much longer is this storm going to last? CHARLIE PIKE (50) FIRST MATE Here eat some of this ginger. It will settle your stomach and help you feel better during the storm. EDWARD BANCROFT Thank you Mr. Pike. FADE TO BLACK. Sometime during the storm seaman Rogers went to look for Mr Bancroft who seemed to have disappeared from below deck. FADE IN: BEN ROGERS, SEAMAN Mr. Pike have you seen Mr. Bancroft lately? I looked below and I cannot find him. Do you know where he is? CHARLIE PIKE, FIRST MATE Nope, I haven’t seen him for several hours Mr. Rogers. BEN ROGERS Wait what is that over there in the corner of the storage? It looks like a red fox. How the hell could a red fox get aboard this vessel? Pike call the Quartermaster. We have a red fox on board. CHARLIE PIKE, FIRST MATE There are no red foxes on board matey. You must have been drinking too much rum. BEN ROGERS, SEAMAN I swear it was a red fox. I saw. Now it has disappeared. I must have imagined it. Ahhh Mr. Bancroft I have been looking for you. FADE OUT. The storm departed after a day. Several weeks later the brig named Success arrived in Dutch Guiana. FADE IN: ABRAHAM VAN PEERE (50) WHITE DUTCH LAND OWNER Welcome Mr. Bancroft. We don’t get many white settlers here in Dutch Guiana. What do you plan to do for a living sir? EDWARD BANCROFT I am well read in medicine, and plan to provide medical services on the plantations. I was a Physician’s apprentice for two years. SAMUEL BILSBERRY, PLANTATION OWNER We are in great need of medical services since we have no doctors on the island. I recommend you try the plantations on the Canoe river near Berbice sir. EDWARD BANCROFT That I will do. Than you sir. FADE OUT. After a short boat ride down the Canje river, Bancroft arrived at a plantation owned by Abraham Van Peere. FADE IN: ABRAHAM VAN PEERE (50) PLANTATION OWNER Well, who do we have here today? A white man? Where do you come from son, and why are you here in Dutch Guiana? EDWARD BANCROFT I am a student of the medical profession and I have come to offer my services to you and your family, and your slaves. ABRAHAM VAN PEERE, PLANTATION OWNER. We are in need of a doctor. Malaria and many other disease are common in the jungles of Guiana. You are welcome Mr. Bancroft. The maid will show you to your bedroom on the second floor of the manor house. When you get settled I want you to look after a dozen of my slaves who have malaria. EDWARD BANCROFT I have a small amount of quinine with me , but we will need to import some more quinine to fight malaria. ABRAHAM VAN PEERE, PLANTATION OWNER I will see to it that you get all the quinine you need. Malaria is killing off half of my slaves. FADE OUT. With only two years of experience as a physician’s apprentice Edward Bancroft began treating plantation slaves and Dutch colonists. The slaves could not pronounce Bancroft so they called Edward Master. He did not like being called Master so he asked the saves to call him Mr. Fox. The saves made Mr. Fox into mitta-fox. EDWARD BANCROFT Samuel my name is Edward Bancroft and I am the doctor for Master Peere’s slaves. SAMUEL (60) SLAVE LEADER Yes, m-sob you Doctor. Me head man. EDWARD BANCROFT You tell the other slaves that I am here to help them. I am not master. I am doctor here to help them. SAMUEL SLAVE LEADER Yes, M-sob. What you name? EDWARD BANCROFT Bancroft is a hard English word to say so just call me Mr. Fox. SAMUEL, SLAVE LEADER Mitta Fox, yes small smart animal. EDWARD BANCROFT Yes very smart. Do you have any slaves that are sick? I would like to cure them SAMUEL, SLAVE LEADER Yes m-sob, mitta Fox come with me. Samuel and Edward entered a run down shack with a palm Thatched roof, and a dirt floor. Lying on a bed sweating, and in pain was a male slave named Jumbo. He had malaria Edward could tell from the symptoms. EDWARD BANCROFT Here is some medicine to mix with a glass of water. Samuel tell him to take the medicine three times a day, and it will make him well. SAMUEL SLAVE LEADER (50) Yes mitta fox. I do. Jumbo you take medicine from Doctore. FADE OUT. Two weeks later Jumbo recovered and was working in the plantation again. Plantation owner Van Peere was impressed how efficient Edward was with the slaves. Edward also cured Van Peere’s wife of malaria. FADE IN: ABRAHAM VAN PEERE I am indebted to you Mr. Bancroft for saving my wife Maria’s life. She was dying of malaria until you gave her medicine. I understand you also saved my slave Jumbo’s life too. You are welcome to join me at the dinner table when ever you wish. EDWARD BANCROFT Thank you Mr. Van Peere. I was just doing my job as plantation Doctor. MARIA VAN PEERE, (30) WIFE Doctor Bancroft or Mr. Fox as the slaves call you. You are a God-sent with your medicine and modern knowledge of curing diseases. I too am indebted to you for saving my life from malaria. EDWARD BANCROFT Quinine is the cure for quinine Mrs. Van Peere. I had your husband order more of it from America. ABRAHAM VAN PEERE I have more plantations further up Canje and Berbice rivers if you want to treat my slaves on those plantations? For now feel free to enjoy the life of a gentlemen in Dutch Guiana. EDWARD BANCROFT Thank you Mr Van Peere. ABRAHAM VAN PEERE You will be paid in sterling silver each month which you can save since all your food and housing will be provided for by me. EDWARD BANCROFT I ask only that you purchase some medical manuals for me to read while I am treating the slaves and colonists. ABRAHAM VAN PEERE What every medical books you want I will have shipped directly from Britain for you. EDWARD BANCROFT Thank you Sir. FADE OUT. Several months later Edward came into conflict with the slave shaman named King John. FADE IN: KING JOHN, (60) SLAVE SHAMAN mitta-fox. I am King John, shaman for all slaves on plantation. EDWARD BANCROFT I am glad to meet you King John. I am doctore here to help cure sick slaves. I do not wish to interfere with your healing practices. Me heal. KING JOHN,SHAMAN I see in dream that you have special healing powers Doctore Fox Why do you call yourself mitta Fox? Are you really a Fox? EDWARD BANCROFT Most slaves cannot say my English name Bancroft so I chose a simple name Fox for them to use. Mitta fox is all they could pronounce. FADE OUT. King John, being a shaman, felt that was something unusual about this Englishman called Fox, and he was right. When stressed Edward Bancroft could change he shape from a man into a red fox. It was his method of escape, and as a fox he was able to easily go undetected in the night or day. One night Edward was called out to deliver a child to a slave woman named Buela. It was a difficult birth and the slave was in much pain. The shaman King John appeared, and gave Buela some herbs that helped in the pain. Edward was upset that King John had upset his delivery of the baby. Edward was so stressed that he went outside the shack and turned into a Fox and ran away into the forest. FADE IN: KING JOHN,SHAMAN Mitta Fox, we missed you last night. Buela had a healthy boy after I gave her herbs to kill the pain. Where did you go mitta Fox? The baby came and I had to deliver it. It was a boy, and then named him Uriel. EDWARD BANCROFT I was not feeling well and had to return to the manor house to rest. I am sorry I was not there for the birth. KING JOHN,SHAMAN You are strange English. There is something about you that makes me nervous.
Edward said nothing. From that day on King John was always asking questions about Edward Bancroft alias Mr. Fox. FADE OUT. SCENE 2-EXT. DAY- BERBICE RIVER PLANTATION. A year after Edward began as plantation Doctor he decided to move up the Berbice river to two other plantations owned by Van Peere. FADE IN: EDWARD BANCROFT Mr. Van Peere, I have decided to move further up the Berbice river to assist the slaves on your two plantations there. ABRAHAM VAN PEERE I would be most grateful for you to treat my slaves on the Berbice river plantations. Many slaves have died of many jungle diseases, and I need you to cure them. EDWARD BANCROFT I will leave tomorrow then. FADE TO BLACK. The next day Edward Bancroft alias Mr Fox took a boat headed upriver on the Berbice river to the two plantations that Mr. Van Peere owned. When He got there tension was in the air and a slave revolution was about to begin. EDWARD BANCROFT The slaves are acting very strangely on these Berbice plantations. They wouldn’t talk to me for some reason. Big Tom was a big 280 pound black slave with many scars on his back from whippings. His hair was close cut and he had a huge nose and very dark skin. BIG TOM, SLAVE (40) English man, you go back to the coast. Bad things about to happen. Slaves unhappy here. EDWARD BANCROFT I bring medicine to cure jungle disease. BIG TOM, SLAVE Not want medicine English. You go back to the coast now. EDWARD BANCROFT Does anyone know what is going on here on these plantations? The slaves seem like they are hiding something. They are very angry for some reason. BIG TOM, SLAVE Many whippings English. EDWARD BANCROFT I have a letter of introduction to the plantation Master to allow me to treat colonists and slaves, and to provide me room and food during my stay. THOMAS VON HEDDING (40) PLANTATION MASTER. I see Mr. Von Peere sent you. Welcome Mr. Bancroft or shall I say Doctor Bancroft? We are having a situation here on the plantations which may require the military to assist us. Word is that the slaves are going to revolt. We cannot allow that. FADE OUT. The next day a slave was tied to a pole and whipped with a leather bull whip. FADE IN: EDWARD BANCROFT Why is that slave being whipped? THOMAS VON HEDDING He attempted to escape and we caught him in the jungle. FADE TO BLACK. SCENE 3-EXT. DAY- PLANTATION HOUSE. A week after Edward arrived at the Berbice river plantations inland, several hundred slaves raided the manor house on one of the plantations. The Plantation owner had to call in the military from neighboring counties. FADE IN: RICHARD VAN WATERS, PLANTATION SUPERVISOR. Sound the alarm and break out the rifles. Several hundred slaves have walked off the plantation and are headed to the manor house. We must protect the manor house. Petre you take a boat downriver to Mr. Van Peere and tell him we need an Army of soldiers to put down this rebellion immediately. PETRE, FIELD BOSS FOR THE PLANTATION (50). Yes Boss. I take the boat.
STUBBS, SLAVE The army is coming. The army is coming. Run for ya life. EDWARD BANCROFT What is going on sir? JOSIAH VON PEEBLES (50) PLANTATION OWNER The slaves are revoting. You need to stay indoors Mr. Bancroft. It isn’t safe for white folk to go out until the slaves are subdued. FADE OUT. Edward Bancroft had a perfect view of the plantation from his bedroom window on the second floor of the manor house. FADE IN: EDWARD BANCROFT I can’t believe the army cut the slaves down with machetes like they were cutting meat. It is a bloody revolution the slaves were losing. The slaves had only farm tools and the army had guns, cannons, swords and machetes. They cut the runaway slaves down like wooden pegs. Dead bodies of slaves were lying all over the plantation fields. It was a massacre. The slaves quarters and part of the coffee field had turned into a lake of blood. Slave body parts were everywhere. It was a scene from Hell, and beyond. Edward felt sick to his stomach. Turning into a red Fox, Edward ran to the slaves quarters to warn them an army of mercenaries was coming up the river to kill anyone who resisted. He never considered that a talking Fox would scare the wits out of the slaves. He ran as fast as he could run toward the slave huts. Run, run for your lives soldiers are coming up the river to put down the revolution. Put down your weapons and surrender or run into the jungle. You cannot win, there are too man soldiers. Sarah was a tall thin negro slave with light brown skin and a wide African nose with a ring through it. Her hair was short and kinky and black. SARAH, (20) SLAVE WOMAN Look it is a Fox, and it talks. This is an omen from the Devil. We are doomed. Run for your lives. KING JOHN, SHAMAN So you have appeared again Red Fox? Why do you warn us? Do I know you Red Fox? We will be successful in our revolt. We outnumber the whites by ten to one. They cannot win. EDWARD BANCROFT AS THE FOX (In the shape of a Red Fox) You are wrong wise one. The soldiers have field cannons that can kill 50 slaves at a time. The Dutch can always replace the slaves by buying more slaves at the market. Out of fear the white man has to put down this rebellion. You can run into the jungle, and hide there or surrender with a white flag. Do you hear the cannon in the distance. The cannon balls will flatten every slave hut here, and cut down 30-50 slaves at a time. You cannot win. Surrender. I will leave you now to decide your fate. FADE OUT. Edward returned to the manor house and when he got back to his bedroom he changed back into his human form. FADE IN: EDWARD BANCROFT I am a Doctor, and there is nothing I can do here in this slave rebellion. I will leave tomorrow at Sun rise. FADE TO BLACK. The next day Edward Bancroft fled back down river from the Berbice river plantations to the coast plantations of Abraham Von Peere. FADE IN: ABRAHAM VAN PEERE Welcome back Mr. Bancroft. I heard there was a slave revolt on my plantations. I had to sent in the Army to tame the slaves. EDWARD BANCROFT Your army sir killed hundreds of unarmed slaves. I watched the bloody massacre from my bedroom window. ABRAHAM VAN PEERE The slaves outnumber the whites ten to one and we cannot allow the to take over or they will kill every white in Dutch Guiana. We have to come down hard on slave revolts or they will kill us all. FADE TO BLACK. SCENE 4-INT. EXT. -BRITISH GIANA. Having saved several hundred British pounds, Bancroft takes a year off as a Doctor and travels around Dutch Giana observing and collecting the plant life, animals and natives. He begins writing a three volume book about his research in Dutch Giana. While traveling around Dutch Giana Bancroft comes across the Macusi tribe in the jungles of Dutch Giana. The Macusi were known to have the strongest poison for their arrows. Bancroft wanted to learn how to make the curari poison but the shaman would not reveal the plant or process. FADE IN: In a local Macusi tribal village deep in the jungles of Dutch Giana. Edward with a local guide enter a Macusi village. A macusi native approaches them with a head piece of beautiful bird feathers. His body is marked with many tattoos and he is wearing only a breech cloth. EDWARD BANCROFT I am Doctore Bancroft. I want to meet your shaman. SELNA WALAYZO, MACUSI SHAMAN (60) What do you want of me white man? EDWARD BANCROFT I have beads as a gift to you. I want to learn about your tribe and it’s medicines, and the poison you use on your arrows and blow guns. SELNA WALAYZO, MACUSI SHAMAN Macusi arrow poison is a tribal secret that cannot be told, white man. EDWARD BANCROFT Perhaps if I give you some gifts for you to tell me the secret of your arrow poison. SELNA WALAYZO, MACUSI SHAMAN No gifts. Secret and very dangerous. Gods of Macusi protect poison. JIM BOB, MAROON GUIDE (40) The shaman is not going to give you the secret to the Macusi arrow poison no matter how many gifts you give him. He wants you to sit at the fire and drink native drink masato. Be careful boss the drink is very powerful. To refuse it is considered an insult. EDWARD BANCROFT Thank you Jim Bob for keeping me informed. Tell the shaman I accept his invitation to sit down with him and drink his masato. Note: Masato is an alcoholic drink made from yuca which is chewed and then spit into a container to ferment.Many Amazon Indians drink masato. JIM BOB, MAROON GUIDE We sit. Drink Masato. SELNA WALAYZO, MACUSI SHAMAN Good. White man drink. We talk. EDWARD BANCROFT What did he say Jim Bob? JIM BOB, MAROON GUIDE He invites you to sit and drink masato with him. EDWARD BANCROFT I will try the masato. It really has a kick to it. Wow, I just got a rush to my head after one sip. This drink is really strong. JIM BOB The Macusi make the drink from fermented yucca. After several hours Edward felt drunk from drinking the masato. EDWARD BANCROFT Ask the shaman if we could stay for a few days to observe their tribe. JIM BOB, MAROON GUIDE (In Macusi language) White man thanks the shaman for his drink. May we stay tonight and learn the ways of the Macusi? SELNA WALAYZO, MACUSI SHAMAN (In Macusi language) White man, and maroon welcome to say. We have empty hut for you to sleep tonight. EDWARD BANCROFT What did he say Jim Bob? JIM BOB, MAROON GUIDE He welcomes us and has an empty hut for us to stay tonight. EDWARD BANCROFT Thank God. I am very drunk and cannot even focus my vision. That drink was very powerful. Let’s thank the shaman and retire for the night. I feel sick. JIM BOB, MAROON GUIDE (In Macusi language) Thank you shaman. We accept your offer and will stay here tonight in your empty hut. SELNA WALAYZO, MACUSI SHAMAN (In Macusi language) Come follow me white man and maroon and I will show you to your hut. The next morning Edward woke up with a tremendous headache. EDWARD BANCROFT My head is killing me. That macusi drink was very powerful. I need to learn how the natives make it. Most important I need to find our what the arrow poison is made of and how to make it. JIM BOB, MAROON GUIDE The shaman will never give up the secret to their arrow poison. EDWARD BANCROFT We will see about that. I have some magic of my own. Come let’s see what the shaman is up to today. JIM BOB, MAROON GUIDE (In macusi language) Good morning shaman. Thank you for the lodging last night. SELNA WALAYZO, MACUSI SHAMAN (In Macusi language) Come maroon. You and white man will join us in eating. We killed a wild pig the other day and roasted it for the whole village to eat. Come, you are welcome. EDWARD BANCROFT What did he say? JIM BOB, MAROON GUIDE He wants us to join him in eating a wild boar they roasted. EDWARD BANCROFT Fine I am starved. FADE TO BLACK. About 40 macusi men and women sat around a huge fire spit with a wild boar being roasted. Various jungle fruits and plants were also being cooked on the fire. FADE IN: EDWARD BANCROFT This wild pig is delicious and I am starved. I gave the shaman some beads and other gifts. JIM BOB, MAROON GUIDE Gifts will not get the shaman to give up the secret of their arrow poison. You need to do something amazing that will scare the shaman showing you have magic. More magic than the shaman has. EDWARD BANCROFT I am going to have to think about it. Eat up this pig is delicious. After the dinner the shaman, Bancroft, and the maroon guide sat and talked macusi tribal life. It was then that Edward realized that the only way to get the secret arrow poison was to scare the hell out of the shaman. He would have to reveal that he was a shape-shifter who could turn into a red fox at will and back again. Edward realized that he could not let Jim Bob see this secret, so he waited until Jim Bob went back to the hut to rest that night. It was then that Edward would reveal himself as a white man magician. JIM BOB, MAROON GUIDE I am going to the hut to lay down master. EDWARD BANCROFT I will be along shortly. I have a few things to discuss with the shaman. JIM BOB, MAROON GUIDE OK, Master. I will wait in the hut. After Jim Bob left, Edward attempted to communicate with the shaman with sign language. EDWARD BANCROFT Shaman, I am a white man wizard with many magical powers which I will show to you, if you promise to reveal the secret of the arrow poison. SELNA WALAYZO, MACUSI SHAMAN Shaman cannot reveal secret of poison. Upon realizing the shaman was not going to change his mind Edward focused his mind and turned himself into a red fox in front of the shaman. EDWARD BANCROFT AS THE FOX You see shaman my magic is more powerful than your magic. I am a fox now that can talk like a white man. As a fox I can run faster, see farther and smell 10x better. SELNA WALAYZO, MACUSI SHAMAN Gods above, you are a devil creature. Do not eat me. EDWARD BANCROFT I will not eat you. See I am back in the shape of a white man again. Did my magic impress you shaman? SELNA WALAYZO, MACUSI SHAMAN You have the power of black magic white man. I will show you the secret of the arrow poison. After we make the poison from a local vine you can carry the black tar like substance in a bamboo tube safely. You cannot touch or inhale the fumes of the poison or it will kill you. There is no medicine to stop the poison. EDWARD BANCROFT You have no medicine to stop the poison? SELNA WALAYZO, MACUSI SHAMAN We gather the bark of this vine and it’s apples and cook it over a fire. We add some other tree bark and the crushed fangs of a snake along with ants that bite. Mixed together the poison is spread on a leaf and rubbed on an arrow. At no time can you touch the poison or you will die. Now you can keep your fox magic away from me.
EDWARD BANCROFT You are safe my friend. I want to bring some bamboo tubes of poison back with me. I offer you some knives made by white men to trade for the arrow poison. SELNA WALAYZO, MACUSI SHAMAN This is a good trade white man. Now you must take the poison and go from this village before the Gods are angry with me for revealing the secret to our poison. FADE OUT. ACT THREE- SILAS DEANE IN PARIS SCENE 1- INT. -DAY- PARIS, FRANCE, JUNE 1776. FADE IN: BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (70) AMERICAN DIPLOMAT. Silas before you leave for Paris, France, I have a list of several men I want you to look up when you get to France to help you achieve your goals. Since you cannot speak French, I highly recommend Dr. Edward Bancroft of London to help interpret any French correspondence. Arthur Lee a true Virginian is another man than can be helpful. Others friends of mine are on this list I am giving you. SILAS DEANE Thank you Dr. Franklin. I realize I am taking on a great responsibility seeking credit in France for military supplies and perhaps Spain also. I am grateful for your assistance Dr. Franklin. SCENE 2- EXT. DAY- SILAS DEANE ARRIVES IN BOURDEAUX FRANCE. Letter to Edward Bancroft SCENE 3- INT. DAY- ARTHUR LEE ARRIVES FROM LONDON. SCENE 4-INT. DAY- JUNE 5, 1776, EDWARD BANCROFT BECOMES ILL IN LONDON Turns into a Fox to avoid the pain from malaria SCENE 5- EXT. DAY- JUNE 25, 1776 EDWARD BANCROFT ARRIVES IN PARIS, FRANCE TO MEET WITH SILAS DEANE. Gets sick again. Turns into a Fox again SCENE 6- INT. DAY- DEANE AND BANCROFT MEET VERGENNE, MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AT VERSAILLE. Deane discusses needs of the colonies. Bancroft waits outside. SCENE 7- EXT. DAY- AUGUST 1776, BANCROFT RETURNS TO LONDON. Paul Wentworth recruits Bancroft as a spy for the British. Offers payment. Bancroft sends Lord North and Lord Egan a long report on his activities with Silas Deane in Paris, France. FADE TO BLACK.
ACT FOUR- THE COMMITTEE OF THREE. SCENE 1-INT. DAY- PARIS, FRANCE, 1776. After Silas Deane was sent to France in June 1776, Congress decided to send a committee of three to represent the Colonies with a treaty with France and Spain. Benjamin Franklin was sent from Philadelphia and Arthur Lee, a Virginian, was living in London, England at the time. He was instructed to meet Deane and Franklin in Paris, France as soon as possible. FADE IN: THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS, PHILADELPHIA, PA. It is hereby decided by Congress to send a committee of three delegates to Paris, France. Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Mr. Arthur Lee, and…. It will be their duty to secure supplies for the Continental Army and to establish credit in France, Prussia, and Spain. FADE OUT. Later that day in Franklin’s home. FADE IN: BENJAMIN FRANKLIN Sarah, I have been called by the Continental congress to travel to France to help direct the negotiations between France and the American Colonies. I would like to take my Grandson Temple, and your son William with me to get a good Continental education at the private schools in France and Switzerland. I hope you are agreeable to let you six year old son accompany me to Europe. It will be an opportunity of a life-time to see Paris, and all of Europe. No school or tutoring in the Colonies with the treat of War can match the life experiences of being in France. Sara Franklin was a beautiful young lady raised by her father to be a shining example of the rich and wealthy in the Colonies. She wore many different wigs and had a thin face with a long nose and stood five feet four inches tall. SARA FRANKLIN (28) DAUGHTER OF DR. FRANKLIN. I am sure William would love to sail in a boat across the ocean to France with you father. I am sure you will take good care of him, and ensure a good education in France. You have my permission to take William to Paris, France, father. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN Thank you Sarah. Start packing William. We depart tomorrow at high tide. FADE TO BLACK. ACT FIVE- DECEMBER 1776-BENJAMIN FRANKLIN ARRIVES IN FRANCE. SCENE 1-EXT. DAY- FRIGATE …… ARRIVES OFF THE COAST OF FRANCE. Delays in ship arriving. Takes a small fishing boat to port in France. Travels overland to Paris. FADE IN: SCENE 2-EXT. DAY- IMPATIENT FRANKLIN ARRIVES IN FRENCH PORT..? FADE IN: SCENE 3- EXT. DAY- FRANKLIN TRAVELS WITH GRANDSONS OVERLAND TO PARIS FRANCE. ARRIVES ON DEC. 23, 1776. FADE IN: SCENE 4- INT. DAY- FRANKLIN MEETS RICH FRENCH MERCHANT WHO OFFERS HOTEL DE VALENTINOIS FOR FRANKLIN TO LIVE IN DURING NEGOTIATIONS. FADE IN:
ACT SIX- THE TREATY OF PARIS SCENE 1- Int.-Day- Franklin’s Office Paris. FADE IN: ACT SEVEN THE TULLERIES GARDENS, PARIS FRANCE, JANUARY 1777. Paul Wentworth and Edward Bancroft stroll through the Tulleries gardens in Paris, France deciding how Bancroft will get his messages to Wentworth without any French or American spies knowing it. SCENE 1-EXT. DAY-TULLERIES GARDENS, PARIS. Edward Bancroft and his spy handler Paul Wentworth were strolling in the Tulleries gardens in Paris, France deciding how Bancroft will communicate with Wentworth. FADE IN: PAUL WENTWORTH, BRITISH SPY (45) Edward, I am afraid I will have to leave Paris and return to London, England. There are many French spies that might soon arrest me for spying. I am often followed by strangers who are following my every move. We need to find a way for you to communicate with me after I leave Paris. EDWARD BANCROFT, DOUBLE SPY I am sorry to see you leave. We made a good team spying on the Americans here in Paris. What do you suggest for a new method of communicating valuable information to you after you depart for London? PAUL WENTWORTH, BRITISH SPY Do you see that tree over there? It is hollow down toward it’s roots. I will have a jar placed in the hollow portion of the tree and a string will be tied around the jar so you can retrieve it. When you have valuable information you are to come to the gardens and seek out this tree. Look for the string which will have a stick on the end to prevent the jar from falling to far inside the hollow tree. Pull the string up and take the jar out and put your message in the jar. Secure the lid and lower the jar back down inside the tree. My operatives will come by once a week to pick up the messages and to also leave messages from me. Use the premise of writing to your mistress in London as an excuse for the letter just in case the letter is intercepted. Use the invisible ink and write between the lines the real information about the Americans that you have. I will then use lemon juice to decipher the invisible ink in London when I get the letter. I am departing for London tomorrow on a frigate. You are on your own from this point on in Paris and you will be our only spy in France due to the recall of all British spies to London by Lord Eden. EDWARD BANCROFT, DOUBLE SPY When will you have the jar in the tree in place? PAUL WENTWORTH, BRITISH SPY My secretary will place the jar in the tree on a string tomorrow before we depart for London. Feel free to use this method of reporting, but be careful because you may be watched by French or American spies. EDWARD BANCROFT, DOUBLE SPY I wish you well on your voyage back to London. I will remain in Paris as long as needed. Benjamin Franklin, Silas Deane all trust me completely and I have made myself an important contribution to the American delegation by translating French documents into English for them and helping to secure supplies for the Continental American Army. PAUL WENTWORTH, BRITISH SPY We need to know everything about the Franco-American alliance, what ships are leaving French ports bound for the American Colonies, any trade between the Americans and the Caribbean islands. In addition we need to be aware of any credit the French and or Spanish give to the Americans to buy arms. Sent us any copies or summaries of Silas Deane’s letters to the Colonies or Benjamin Franklin. I must leave you now to pack my bags in preparation for my departure tomorrow to return to London. Just in case we are followed I will take another path to return to my hotel as should you. EDWARD BANCROFT, DOUBLE SPY I will do the best I can in reporting Silas Deane’s activities in securing credit for the Colonies to purchase artillery and guns from the French and Spanish. Have a safe voyage Paul. At this point Bancroft and Wentworth parted ways in the park. FADE TO BLACK. SCENE 2- EXT. NIGHT- 9:00 P.M.. One week later, Edward Bancroft is about to make his first letter drop into the jar in the hollow tree in Tuilleries gardens. He is paranoid about French spies seeing him leave the hotel at night. The fear of being caught and shot as a spy intensifies to the point that he changes into a Fox and runs off into the night in the direction of the Tuilleries gardens. FADE IN: EDWARD BANCROFT I must change into a Red Fox to avoid being seen by any French Spies. My nerves are killing me, but I must inform Paul that Deane has received over a million livre from the French government and a million from the Spanish government to purchase canons and rifles for the Continental army. Let me see if I got everything right in my letter. Dearest beloved, I have missed you very much over these past months. I hope to return to London soon so we can meet and make love again. You are always on my mind. Love and kisses. John. I must address the envelop to M. Richards. Now for the invisible ink.(Invisible Ink between the lines of the letter) Deane has secured credit 1 mil. To purchase 100 canons and 300 rifles from the French and Spanish government. He is traveling to Holland to secure the purchases in two days. Now to become a Red Fox. I will place the envelope in my mouth and carry it to the hollow tree. Now I must depart. It is only 3.7 Kilometers from the Valentinois hotel to the Tuilleries Gardens. I will run along the Seine river, and then cross over one of the bridges to the other side to get to the gardens. It will be a short run for a Fox. The red fox jumps out the window onto the balcony and down to the ground and runs off into the darkness. EDWARD BANCROFT AS THE FOX No one has noticed me and that is good. Now to pull the string out of the hollow tree. Wait I hear something. No, it is just the wind in the trees. Taking the lid off the jar is harder than I thought. Now to put the letter in the jar and put the lid back on and lower the jar into the tree using my mouth. Ahh it is done. Time to run back to the hotel. Edward returns to the hotel undetected around 10:00 p.m. EDWARD BANCROFT AS THE FOX And now I must return to my human self. My mission is complete. I am exhausted now, and must rest. Tomorrow Paul’s operative will get the message and send it by boat to London. ACT SEVEN- JOHN PAUL JONES COMES TO PARIS. SCENE 1-INT. DAY- PARIS, FRANCE. FADE IN:
FADE OUT. ACT EIGHT- 1778 THE TREATY OF PARIS. SCENE 1- INT. DAY- BENJAMIN FRANKLIN’S OFFICE. Debates over Article 11 and 12 in the draft version of the treaty with France. Franklin’s view. Arthur Lee’s opinion. Silas Deane’s opinion from letters.Article 11: Pledge to honor land claims Article 11 pledges to honor the lands claims of both nations forever into the future with the United States guaranteeing full support of France’s current land claims, and any lands they may acquire during the war, against all other nations, and France in turn pledging support for the United States land claims and guaranteeing to help preserve the country’s “liberty, Sovereignty, and Independence absolute, and unlimited, as well in Matters of Government as commerce.”
Article 12–13: Effective dates of the treaty, ratification, and signing delegates Article 12 establishes the agreement as a conditional treaty which will only take effect upon a declaration of war between France and Britain, and further makes the land, and diplomatic guarantees laid out in the treaty dependent upon the completion of The American Revolutionary War and a peace treaty which formally establishes each nation’s land possessions.
Rumors About the Franco-American alliance were spreading around Paris. Vergennes the French minister realized that he could no longer keep the alliance secret so in March, 1778, he makes the treaties with the American colonies public. FADE IN:
VERGENNES, FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER (50) I will announce today our treaty with the American colonies to quiet down all the gossip in Paris. This will allow me to expel the English Ambassador Stormont and his staff back to London. It gives me great pleasure to get rid of all the British spies finally. FADE TO BLACK. Later on the British Ambassador to France, English Ambassador Stormont receives the correspondence from Vergennes the French Minister to leave France immediately. FADE IN: STORMONT, ENGLISH AMBASSADOR TO FRANCE (50) Damm the French have signed a treaty with the American Colonies and Vergennes the French Minister is ordering us out of the country immediately. Inform the staff to pack up all our documents. We are leaving for London tomorrow on March 22, 1778. Burn any unnecessary documents immediately. It is over. I just received a formal notice from the Crown to vacate our hotel immediately. FADE TO BLACK. The scene switches to King Louis XVI in the Versailles castle which is twenty miles outside Paris, France. FADE IN: VERGENNES, FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER You majesty may I introduce the ambassadors from the American Colonies: Mr. Benjamin Franklin, Mr. Silas Deane, Mr. Arthur Lee, Mr. William Lee, and Mr. Ralph Izard along with their entourage. Benjamin Franklin is 70 years of age and well known in France thanks to his Electrical experiments which were published several years before. His hair is completely white and thin and balding at the top. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (70) AMERICAN AMBASSADOR TO FRANCE. You majesty, we thank you for granting us a private audience. We welcome and rejoice in our treaty with France and your majesty. Your support will greatly help us to defeat the British. King Louis XVI is an young man of 23 at the time, and due to his political troubles in Paris chose to move to the country to his palace known as Versailles. KING LOUIS XVI, KING OF FRANCE (23) Bienvenue Americans. COUNT VERGENNES, FRENCH MINISTER Come and join us in a small banquet we prepared for our new American allies. EDWARD BANCROFT Amazing how big this banquet is the French have provided us with. Thank you Mr. Franklin for inviting me to this special occasion. King Louis XVI had table after table of fabulous French food served for the American guests. It was a celebration beyond all imagination. FADE TO BLACK. SCENE 4-INT. DAY- SEPTEMBER 1778. As France signs a treaty with the Colonies, they also declare war against the British. All British diplomats are asked to leave the country. Likewise Paul Wentworth must also leave for fear of being discovered as a spy leaving only Edward Bancroft in Paris to report on the Americans. FADE IN: PAUL WENTWORTH (Sitting at a desk, writing a letter) Dear Mr. Jones, I am forced to return to London since the French signed a treaty with the American Colonies. All British diplomats have been asked to leave the country and that leaves me in a dangerous position remaining in Paris. Thus I must depart for London. Continue to use the tree drop for messages and I will have my assistants pick up you letters. Good Luck. PW. There Bancroft will be our only spy in Paris now which makes him more valuable than ever. I will report this to Lord Egan in London. Later that day Bancroft aka Mr. Jones gets the letter from Wentworth. EDWARD BANCROFT Ahh, a letter from Wentworth. What he is leaving Paris? That leaves only me to spy on the Americans. Damm it is going to be more dangerous than ever to get messages to Wentworth. Someday, I hope to return to London and live a normal life. I will drop another note tonight regarding the Dutch and the Americans receiving unlimited credit for building ships and shipping military supplies to the Colonies. FADE OUT. Later Paul Wentworth dispatches a letter to London to Lord Egan who was in charge of the British secret service. FADE IN: PAUL WENTWORTH Lord Egan, I am departing Paris since the French have signed a treaty with the Americans and expelled all British Diplomats. This puts me in a risky and unusual position and I must return to London for my own safety. Edward Bancroft aka Mr. Jones will be our only remaining British Spy in Paris upon my departure. He will continue to send letters in invisible ink to me via diplomatic courier out of Holland. Respectfully yours, P.W. FADE OUT. Several weeks later in London, England, Lord Egan receives Wentworth’s letter. FADE IN: LORD WILLIAM EGAN, DIRECTOR OF BRITISH SECRET SERVICE. (40) I am in receipt of a letter from Wentworth. He is returning to London after the French treaty with the Americans. Our only British spy in Paris is Edward Bancroft now. Correspondence will be more difficult now. Damm. His majesty will not be happy to get this news. FADE OUT. ACT SEVEN- A SPY IN OUR MIDST. SCENE 1-INT. DAY- FRANKLIN’S LIBRARY, JAN. 19,1777. Benjamin Franklin begins to suspect he has a spy in his midst and writes to Julian Ritchie a woman living in a Benedictine Convent in Cambrai. FADE IN: BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (Sitting at his desk writing a letter) Dear madam Ritchie, I hope this letter finds you well. I am engaged in writing a treaty for the American Colonies and France to help us become independent from Britain. These have been difficult time with spies everywhere. Even my vale is suspect. I cannot trust anyone here in Paris, France. I cannot speak or read French which puts me at a disadvantage, but Sir Edward Bancroft a Doctor and Scientist has been most helpful in reading French documents and writing French letters in return. Even Dr. Bancroft had been accused of being a spy due to his relations in London, England. I have invited Dr. Bancroft to Paris to continue to help me communicate with the French officials in French. I mention this to you now in the utmost confidence. How do I follow up on my suspicions I ask? Perhaps you have an opinion on my situation? I look forward to your reply. Your servant, Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Envoy to France. FADE TO BLACK.
SCENE 2-INT. DAY- APRIL 1778. Arthur lee suspects Edward Bancroft is a British spy. Arthur Lee writes a letter to Benjamin Franklin warning him that his continued reliance on Bancroft could turn out to be a disaster. FADE IN: ARTHUR LEE, AMERICAN DIPLOMAT (60) Dear Dr. Franklin, It has come to my attention that Edward Bancroft is a British Spy. You need to be cautious in using his services for everything you do is being reported to the British. DR. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, AMERICAN DIPLOMAT Dear Mr. Lee, I have taken your letter under consideration and find it wanting in facts. Mr. Bancroft has often provided his services at no charge and has moved his family to Paris to help support the American committee here. I cannot justify accusing him as a spy. ARTHUR LEE, AMERICAN DIPLOMAT Congress, I have evidence that on of our colleagues in Paris is a British spy. Dr. Edward Bancroft is a criminal with regard to the United States, and I shall have him charged as such, whenever he goes within our jurisdiction. Bancroft was recruited by the British Secret service in 1776 for the sum of 200 pounds per year. I have pleaded with Dr. Franklin to stop using Dr. Bancroft as an interpreter and consultant for he truly spies for the British. Later when Dr. Bancroft learns of Arthur Lee’s accusations. DR. EDWARD BANCROFT Dear Paul, I recommend you inform Lord Eden that I am being accused of spying by Arthur Lee, Diplomat for the American committee in Paris. I suggest you have the local police arrest me, and other suspects and put me in jail for a night to thrown the suspicion of my being a spy off. Benjamin Franklin will be impressed that I fled London to go to Paris after being jailed by the British. I await your response. PAUL WENTWORTH Dr. Bancroft, I received your note. Be ready for tonight the local London police will be at your door and you will be arrested for spying. You will be released after one night to return to Paris to spy on the Americans. Lord North is impressed with your spying reports to date. That night the local Police come knocking. LONDON POLICE (Knock, knock) Open the door in the name of the Constable of London. Dr. Bancroft you are under arrest for spying. Tie him up gentlemen. DR. EDWARD BANCROFT But I must protest. I am a Scientist and Author and not a spy. CONSTABLE OF LONDON (45) Lock up this spy and make sure he gets no food tonight. The next day. CONSTABLE OF LONDON Dr. Bancroft, prisoner 3440, you are to be released on the orders by Lord Eden. Take your coat and be gone with you. DR. EDWARD BANCROFT Thank you Constable. You will not see me again. Bancroft boards a ship and flees to Paris, France. DR. EDWARD BANCROFT Dr. Franklin, I have fled to Paris to help support you and the American committee. Edward Lees charges are of course false. I was arrested as a spy in London, but manage to escape by paying off the jailer. I will not be permitted to return to London now that I am a criminal on the run from the British. DR BENJAMIN FRANKLIN You are welcome as always Dr. Bancroft. Come sit down and have some tea with me and tell me about the prisons in London. DR. EDWARD BANCROFT Thank you Dr. Franklin, you are most kind. I will be writing my wife and requesting that she and my children come to Paris to live with me. If you would I am short of funds at this time, may I borrow a small amount to pay for ship passage for my family? DR. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, AMERICAN DIPLOMAT Of course, by all means. I will extend you credit to purchase ships passage for your wife and family to come to Paris. They can stay at the Hotel de Valentois. DR. EDWARD BANCROFT Thank you Dr. Franklin. You are most gracious. FADE OUT.
ACT NINE-THE END OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY WAR. SCENE 1-INT. DAY-
On the fateful day on August 31, 1945, four sailors departed the USS Antietam CV-36 on a launch headed for the shores of Okinawa. The war was officially over, and all of them wanted to transfer back to the States. In the launch were Chief Petty Officer of Machinists, Ken Mead, Seaman First Class Robert Brown, Seaman First Class Lincoln Overland, and Seaman First Class Charles Smitty. The seas were calm that day as the launch headed into the docks at Haku Bay. Atop a flagpole beyond the beach, Old Glory was rippling in the wind. The stumps of hundreds of burned out palm trees were visible beyond the white beach sands. As they approached the beach, they saw battle debris everywhere including American plane parts, and a Jap wing with the red circle on it half sunk in the sand. Huge craters pockmarked the sand where bombs had hit and exploded.
Unbeknown to them this would become their home for over a month despite all their radio efforts calling to nearby ships. It would be a month from hell as two major typhoons hit the island causing massive damage. It would be a month from hell dodging Jap snipers. It would be a month of survival with limited food and water available, since the Navy no longer had a post on the island. All that was left was the Army, and hundreds of Okinawan civilians, and of course Jap snipers, who did not believe the war was over. Insects and disease were as much the enemy as were the Jap soldiers hiding in the limestone caves fighting to the death in honor of the Emperor. This is a story of survival in an unknown incident on the Island of Okinawa at the end of WWII.
Early on the morning of Aug. 30, 1945, I could see the Kerama islands with binoculars from the bridge of the USS Antietam CV-36 aircraft carrier. Captain James Tague had called me up to the bridge to give me my temporary transfer papers that would eventually allow me to be processed for discharge. The Captain handed me the binoculars and said, ”Look out there, Chief, those are the Kerama islands that are to the west of Okinawa.”
(USS Antietam CV-36 circa 1945)
“Thank you Captain,” I said and then took the binoculars and scanned the horizon to see many little green islands on the horizon. It was for me, a thrilling sight because now I knew I would be able to get off at Okinawa, and return to Hawaii and then home to Stamford, Connecticut. My mind drifted off for a while reflecting on all that I had seen and done in this terrible war.
I had enlisted in the Navy as a Naval Reservist on full time status on July 8, 1941 before the US entered the war. At first I was responsible for “Search and Rescue” in Jamaica bay on Long Island in a small rescue boat. We would retrieve flyers when they crashed in the Jamaica Bay or surrounding areas off Long Island’s south shore that were in the approach path to Floyd Bennett Field. When I wasn’t doing Search and Rescue, I spent time training as an aviation machinist’s mate while at Floyd Bennett Field on Long Island. I was six months too old to become a Navy flyer so I became an aviation mechanic. I always regretted not becoming a flyer but I did get to put in a lot of training hours flying at Floyd Bennett Field for search and rescue operations. This allowed me to at least get a pilot’s license that was important in testing out how some of the planes flew after they were repaired. My wife and son (born in June 1942) lived at home with my mother-in-law in Baisley Park, Queens, New York, and a borough of New York City.
It wasn’t until four years into the war (August 1944) that I got a transfer as Chief Petty Officer (E7) aboard the newly commissioned aircraft carrier Antietam CVS-36 (commissioned Jan. 28, 1945). I had put in a request to be transferred to the front in the Pacific to see some action rather than spend the remainder of the war state side-fishing pilots out of the water.
USS Antietam CV -36 at sea 1945
The Antietam was designed after the Essex class (long hull) fleet aircraft carrier. With a displacement of 27,100 tons and a length of 888 ft. she could reach 33 knots top speed. I was transferred in the summer of 1944 to go aboard when the Antietam was launched on August 20,1944. It was built in Philadelphia, and I had to take a train to the Philadelphia Naval yards to get there in time for the launching. I would be in charge of airplane mechanics that would take care of around 100 planes. I remember how shocked I was when I first saw how really huge the ship was while sitting in the Philadelphia Naval yard.
It was a day I will always remember. I was nervous with sweat and excited at the same time that I was finally getting to see some action.
After many shakedown cruises and repairs and crew training, the ship was finally commissioned on Jan. 28, 1945. Eventually, the entire crew aboard the Antietam would total around 3448 men.
As of now my enlistment was up, and the war was over as of August 15, 1945 when the Japanese surrendered. It was a great moment for me when Captain Tague thanked me for my service as Chief Petty Officer. I finally started to feel like I had accomplished something in this war.
The islands that surround the western coast of Okinawa dotted the horizon that day. Tokashiki-shima Island, a rather large island, was off to the left on the horizon, and Rukan-sho, a much smaller island was to the right as we approached from the south of Okinawa. The islands looked like small patches of green ovals, much like lilypads on a large pond. There were many other small islands on the horizon that I could not identify as the USS Antietam CV-36 steamed toward the captured island of Okinawa.
General Douglas McArthur signing the treaty Sept. 2, 1945
The treaty would be signed on Sept. 2, 1945 in Tokyo Harbor on the battleship USS Missouri, but the Antietam would not be going there for the signing because a mechanical problem back to Guam had forced us to drop out of the fleet that was headed toward Tokyo for the signing ceremony.
Right after the U.S. planes dropped the Atom bomb on Japan on August 6 and 9, 1945, the Russians took advantage of that opportunity and invaded Manchuria.
The situation was tense in the Yellow Sea off China and Manchuria. We were redirected to stand off the coast of China in the Yellow Sea after joining the Seventh Fleet at Okinawa, instead of going into Tokyo Harbor for the surrender signing.
When I learned of this at an officer’s briefing, I decided I did not want to leave my wife and son at home for another two or three years while I remained off the coast of China. I talked it over with some of my friends, and since the war was officially over my enlistment was also over so I could return to the States, and my family. It all sounded like a good plan.
That was all behind me now for my only thought was “Thank God it is over…the war that is.” Smitty, a sailor and good friend, a Mechanic’s Mate 1st Class was supposed to meet me at 11:00 hours to let me know if he was going ashore on Okinawa. Being a Chief Petty Officer was a big responsibility with roughly 1:00 airplanes to repair on the ship. I learned to take it in stride even when we got the “ninety day wonder fly boys” onboard who crashed the planes into the deck trying to land. Ninety days was definitely not enough time to learn how to fly, let alone land on an aircraft carrier. They were either crashing into the sea or crashing into the deck. I kept up my flight hours just in case we needed experienced pilots, instead of these rookies.
“Smitty” Charles Johnson Smith, had put in for a transfer to Guam, and wanted to get off at Okinawa to fly back to Guam. Beauvard Browne, “Brownie” another Seaman 1st class, was the first to make up his mind to “cash in his chips,” since his enlistment was also up. He wanted to be discharged from the Navy right away before the ship headed into the Yellow Sea for another tour of duty. Like myself he was an older guy in his late twenties. I was 28 at the time, and a few years older than most have the 18 and 19-year-old sailors on board. None of us wanted to stay on the USS Antietam patrolling the Yellow Sea because that duty would mean not getting back to the States for two or three years or more. It was either get out now, or stay onboard and risk becoming involved in a battle station situation that could go on for a long time off the China coast.
I went below to look for Smitty to see if he had news from the Executive Officer Alderman or Captain Tague about going ashore and leaving the Antietam forever. Smitty was a humorous guy I had got to know well since he was assigned to my crew. He was short, 5’6” and had a sun bleached crew cut with a short mustache. He was always being teased about his nose that had a small bulb on the end of it and it was always red. His Irish heritage showed in his temper and redness in his face when he got worked up over something. He was always cursing about something whether it was good or bad.
We were still steaming toward the western side of Okinawa where we would anchor in Haguchi Bay near the 9-mile long beaches that were so heavily bombed before the invasion. I found Smitty putting in some zzzzs in his hammock. The Executive Officer J.D. Blitch, said that he would know sometime today whether the Captain had given permission for me to go ashore with Smitty, and Brownie and another guy named Lincoln.
Smitty had been sleeping all morning after doing the night watch. He was eager to get home and so was I. “Chief, do you think we will be in Okinawa before dark?” he asked.
I wasn’t sure how to respond. “Captain Tague had said he expected to drop anchor by 1430 hours. I’m not sure,” I told Smitty. “Maybe we have two hours left in port, somewhere around 1400 hours.”
“Did you pack up your duffel bag?” Smitty asked.
“Yeah but it was a son of a bitch getting all that junk in one bag. The Captain wouldn’t let us take our sea chests, you know,” I said.
“Yeah, all my tools are in my chest. I hope they can ship it back to the States someday.”
Just then, Brownie came down the ladder. “Chief, it looks like I am going to be joining you guys going ashore tomorrow.”
“That’s great,” I said.
We all began to slap one another on the back, for it seemed like a great moment. Little did we know what we were in for on Okinawa? Another sailor Lincoln Hallard was also going to be leaving with us. The Captain would be providing us with a launch to take us to the beach while the Antietam remained anchored in the bay.
The Antietam had survived the war, and fortunately arrived too late to do battle with the “divine wind,” the kamikaze Jap pilots who carried one big bomb, and flew their planes into our ships. We heard all about the battle of Okinawa from radio communications while we were in the Pacific.
Now we were approaching the end of August, and the typhoon season in Japan. So much had happened so fast over the past year on the Antietam that it seemed like years ago since I boarded. Who would have ever thought we had a bomb like the A-bomb? Who ever thought that we would actually use it against Japan? Strange, I thought, war was more than playing the chess pieces of life and death; it was a story of long waiting hours with little to do. It was a story of constant drills and training to turn a bunch of raw recruits into seasoned sailors. It was a story of accidents like a sailor walking into a plane propeller and having his body spewed all over the ship. It was a story of horror when some sailors misfired a round and blew themselves up. What did we need battles for? We could kill ourselves without the enemy’s help.
I often had nightmares of being attacked by a Jap kamikaze and having it dive right into the deck and sinking the Antietam. Sleep was a luxury that I learned never happened in a war, especially on an aircraft carrier where you had to constantly worry about being attacked by planes or submarines.
I had packed my sea bag packed already with all I could jam into it. My leather flight jacket and metal seaman’s chest would remain onboard to be transferred back to the States whenever possible after the Manchuria hostilities had ceased.
I said goodbye to some of my crew and some of the officers I got to know while I was stationed on the Antietam. The following day I would be leaving as their Chief and someone else would be taking over after a long year of sailing together. It would be a sad parting since we had grown very close during that time. We played poker all night the last night before I left. I won $355.
On August 30th at about 13:00 hours after a briefing by Captain Tague, Rear Admiral A.C. Davis took over and made the USS Antietam the flagship of the Task Force 72 including the Interpid and the Cabot. The USS Antietam was to support the allied occupation forces by a show of air power with planes over North Chin and Korea.
Later on I went back up to the command tower to see if Okinawa was in sight yet. I will never forget when I first saw Okinawa that dreaded afternoon. I was standing on the command tower searching the horizon for the island with my own personal pair of binoculars that I had bought in Hawaii. Yes indeed, it was lying there on the horizon a few miles off. It looked like a long green pea pond in a sea of blue and white water. Almost like a sparkling green paradise island. A fog was rolling in and a light misting rain had begun. The sun had ducked behind some clouds, making the day suddenly very dark. As the USS Antietam steamed closer I could see the beaches and palms trees. Well not really palm trees; rather burnt stumps that were once palm trees. A green ridge covered with heavy vegetation rose across the middle of the island like the backbone of a lizard. The island was only 60 miles long and two miles wide at some points and seven miles wide at its widest point.
As we approached anchorage in Hagushi Bay, which was north of the capital city of Nahu, we went to general quarters. The devastation of the 84-day battle of Okinawa back in the spring of 1945 was apparent with the beaches full of debris from Jap plane parts, boat parts, and bomb craters. I could see that the once pristine white beaches were now black like burnt toast. Bombed out buildings lay along the edge of the beach as a testament to the savage battle. An American flag waved in the wind and rain over an Army headquarters tent on the island back from the beach near a clump of burnt out palm trees stumps. A black cloud moved over the island as if to signal that this was a place of death. As the Antietam moved into the harbor area a stench of ammunition, burnt wood and an undefined acid smell pervaded the air. I couldn’t get over the complete look of devastation on the island from the sea. It was as if all the armies and navies of the war had dumped their garbage on the beach. What a mess!
It would not be until 11:00 the following morning on August 31st that Smitty, Brownie, Lincoln and I would be allowed to go ashore in a launch. I will never forget going down over the side 65 feet or more on a rope cargo net holding a 80-pound plus duffel bag. One of the ship’s boatswains sounded the boatswain’s pipe as an act of respect as we left the ship. It gave me a chill in my spine that I was leaving my floating home and preparing to return home. Dropping over the side of the ship from the elevator was like the drills they used to do in Navy training camp in 1941. The drop over the side was steep and my duffel bag strap was digging into my shoulder numbing my arm completely. Each step down the cargo net was painful, but I finally made it to the bottom into the waiting Launch with a small outboard engine. Smitty could not climb down with his bag, so he yelled, “Chief, catch my bag, it is too heavy.”
Like a fool I said “OK” and I reached out to receive a crushing force on my arms from a duffel bag, which must have weighed 200 pounds. “What do you have in this bag, stones,” I yelped. Just the four of us, Smitty, Brownie, Lincoln and myself went ashore that day. My crew was on the deck waving to me as we headed for the beach. I looked back and waved with a twinge of sadness to see my floating home fade behind us in the distance. We took an extra bag of mail for the Army and Navy guys on shore. Little did we know that the Navy had pulled out of Okinawa and was preparing for the surrender signing in Tokyo Harbor and rounding up any stray submarines who did not hear the war was over.