On Friday, May 27, I took advantage of Fleet Week in New York City and visited two ships.
USS Bataan is a Landing Helicopter Dock amphibious assault ship in use in today’s Navy. The first thing visible inside the door is a giant banner: THE BATTLING BASTARDS. This, of course, refers to the doggerel slogan of the U.S. troops left behind on the Bataan Peninsula in 1942. (It was originally written by war correspondent Frank Hewlett.) ‘Bastards’ is meant literally to mean “someone without official parents” as well as to mean “badasses”:
We’re the battling Bastards of Bataan
No mama, no papa, no Uncle Sam
No aunts, no uncles, no nephews, no nieces
No pills, no planes, no artillery pieces.
…And nobody gives a damn.
USS Intrepid, an aircraft carrier commissioned in 1943, a major player in the late Naval battles in the Pacific, is now a museum, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Complex. I took an excellent tour/lecture about the U.S. in the Pacific war and Intrepid’s particular role.
Then I made a sushi run. It seemed an appropriate dish over which to offer some thoughts in memoriam for those involved in wars then and now, and in hope of less war to come.
On USS Bataan
At the Intrepid museum