Saturday, October 29, 2011

Don't bust your . . . stern?

I've been reading a very interesting book by Captain John A. Harper (USNR, retired); 'Paddles!: The Foibles and Finesse of One World War II Landing Signal Officer'. It's an action-packed, humorous history of his career as a Landing Signal Officer aboard USS Belleau Wood during World War II.

USS Belleau Wood, an Independence class light carrier, during World War II (image courtesy of Wikipedia)

(Aircraft from the Belleau Wood had the distinction of shooting down the last enemy aircraft destroyed during World War II.)

The book intrigued me, so I started looking for more information about the work of a Landing Signal Officer (LSO). I found a copy online (in Adobe Acrobat .PDF format) of the US Navy's Landing Signal Officer Reference Manual, which is very technical, but also very interesting. I had to laugh at the motto on the LSO's crest, as portrayed on the front page of the document.

I'm glad to see political correctness hasn't yet overcome every aspect of the Navy's sense of humor!


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