We hadn’t been back together for more than a couple of months when I received NEW orders and Ellen had to head back to Massachusetts!
I was sent as part of a team to Fort Pierce, FL, to undergo some special training as a member of a Navy Scout and Raider team for the Beach Jumper Unit.
The training was rough; mostly physical and long hours, with much swimming and much work at night. The Scouts and Raiders began training at Fort Pierce, Florida in May of 1942. It trained men to survey the enemy territory in small boats and relay the necessary information back. At times the Scouts went ashore to gather sand and soil samples to determine if Marine Am Tracs and Tanks being used would be effective at the proposed landing site. They then returned to guide the amphibious forces to the proper site. The Scouts and Raiders were the for-runners of today’s Navy Seals, but the Seals of today are much more sophisticated and trained than we were.
However, two of us, myself and a guy from Boston named Johnny Goldie, who I wish I could have stayed in contact with, were assigned to go to northern Mindoro, in the Philippines. We visited a guerrilla camp that had been operating on the island, to be living proof that the Yanks WERE coming! We left southern Mindoro on board a PT boat and “flew low” up to the north coast. Going ashore by rubber boat, we were welcomed by an American civilian whose name I cannot recall, and welcomed to the camp full of Filipino guerrillas and warriors from the MORO tribe. They were tremendous in clandestine warfare.