Building The Steak and Egg Special

Another well researched and interesting post from the IHRA.

IHRA

For the men stationed in New Guinea during 1942 and 1943, a variety of fresh food was not easy to come by. There were plenty of coconuts, although the men grew tired of eating them, and the occasional banana, but no other fresh fruits or vegetables. Whatever came through was canned. By the end of 1942, they decided that they had had enough of the canned fruits and vegetables and began working on their own plane that would ferry fresh food from Australia.

This plane, an A-20, was being built from scrapped pieces by T/Sgt. Kip Hawkins and a few other mechanics from the 89th Bomb Squadron. The fuselage was taken from LITTLE HELLION, which belly-landed on November 1, 1942, and the wing sections from THE COMET, which was scrapped after the nose wheel collapsed while the plane was being towed on December 15, 1942.

Wings for THE "STEAK & EGG" SPECIAL An A-20 named…

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on May 14, 2016, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 46 Comments.

  1. Speaking of food for the troops in New Guinea in the war, Australian journalist Russell Braddon said that PM Curtin and General MacArthur could have solved the problem and saved many lives simply by putting a naval blockade on the island. Eventually the Japanese forces would diminish, until there was just one well-fed corporal sitting beside a pile of bones.
    It worked for Alexander Pearce when he escaped from Macquarie Harbour.

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    • I am not so sure at this point of the war if that would have been possible. Japan had quite a bit of control in the north which is taken care of later on. The subject is worth looking into. And, once it was determined that the P.I. would be a major stand-off area, the Japanese pretty much abandon their soldiers anyway. (As was their habit).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Probably made a fortune brining in fresh fruit! 🙂 I remember eating plenty of the canned stuff during the winters of yesteryear. –Curt

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  3. What a fun story! – good food is important.

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  4. A great tale of human perseverance and ingenuity. Very enjoyable indeed.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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  5. Our citizen military! And I thought it was something when the Battalion supply sergeant scrounged and put together a jeep. A plane!

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  6. It was a great post. Glad that I follow him. Wouldn’t have know about him without following you.

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  7. Another great share GP.

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  8. Thanks for finding this one!

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  9. My dad was an airplane mechanic during WWII and I can easily see him doing something like this. His generation grew up during the depression and making something out of scrap was common. His generation saw the world through the eyes of the possible.

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  10. My father never talked much about the war… Gosh, how many stories about men of his generation begin like that? Anyway, because of his frequent visits to the VA during his last few years, he got used to talking to other vets and opened up about his time in service.

    He talked about the rain and dust in New Guinea. In the rainy season, he said, his base got 12 feet of rain, during the dry season, they got 12 feet of dust.

    At the end of one rainy season, he was ordered to drive his truck in a relief convoy to an isolated base in the interior. The base had been completely cut off for months and had lost their radio. Command was worried that they were malnourished.

    After three days of hard travel, they arrived at the base and found the men in excellent health. In fact, when the relief column visited the mess tent, they found the tables groaning under the weight of exotic fresh fruits and vegetables. So my dad and his buddies did what only seemed natural, considering that they had not seen fresh produce in months, they stole as much as possible.

    After a few hours of unloading and stacking supplies, they returned to the mess tent to help themselves again. This time, a burly local sergeant banged through the screen door and began chewing them out….. then he stopped and asked, “by the way, how are you feeling?”

    “Why?” the guys asked.

    “These,” he said, pointing to the stuff on the table, “came from upriver and we don’t trust the guys who brought them because they are cannibals. We thought we would let you guys eat first. Keep us posted if anyone gets sick.”

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  11. Thank you wünsche dir schöne Pfingsten eine Umarmung Gislinde

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  12. Now this brings back memories. I deployed to Diego Garcia with Patrol Squadron 4 in 2002. When I stepped out of my P-3C onto the flightline, I was greeted by two P-3Cs in various stages of undress: props and engines were missing, landing gear had been cannibalized, so the aircraft were sitting on tripod jacks and “red” gear (non-flyable), and flight control surfaces were gone. The departing squadron had robbed parts from non-mission aircraft (trash haulers) to keep the mission birds flying, and then left these two behind for us to fix. Needless to say, it was a disheartening sight. We eventually got them flyable and sent them home, but at the cost of making our own “trash haulers” hangar queens (I’m happy to say that one of our hangar queens – my personal favorite P-3, 161587 – is kicking rear-end overseas).
    The other rush of memories concerns chow runs. Diego Garcia, or “Dodge”, is in the middle of the Indian Ocean, part of the B.I.O.T. – British Indian Ocean Territory. Log runs were fairly regular, but not regular enough to keep fresh produce and fruit available for personal use (it went to the various messes first). When the log run did arrive, the line for fresh food wrapped around the building and out to the street. Not that anything was bad in Dodge, though: Mongolian BBQ and Pizza nights at the O Club were awesome, and viewing the night sky from a chair on the beach was incredibly inspiring. Six months in Dodge went by much too quickly.

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  13. Cyndi Briggs, PhD here in Greensboro, NC is collecting stuff research WW 2.Not having much material from any WW 2 vets here in Greensboro. I have not met her but sent her stuff on my Dad and other 8th Armored. May I give her your blog address ? Perhaps ya’ll can be of assistance to each other. Or perhaps you may care to email her cyndi.briggs@gmail.com

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    • Gladly send her to the blog, Carl. let her make up her mind if I could be of any assistance to her.
      Camp Polk (including your dad’s info) will be coming up pretty soon when I start 1944.

      Liked by 1 person

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