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Saturday, November 7, 1942
Vol. 1—No. 8 Saturday, Nov. 7, 1942
Published weekly at the U. S. Navy Pre-Flight School,
Chapel Hill, N.C.
Under supervision of the Public Relations Office.
CoMDR. 0. 0. Kessing, VSN, Commanding Officer
Lieut. Comdr. John P. Graff, USN (Ret.), Executive Officer
Lieut, (jg) Kidd Brewer, TJSNR, Public Relations Officer
Editor: Ensign Leonard Eiserer, USNR
Associate Editor: Orville Campbell, Y3c
Staff: Lieut, (jg) Dan Partner; B. G. Leonard, Jr., Sp.3c; Everett
Bracken, Y3c; David Y. Coverston, Y2c; Cadets Burt Saymon; H.
Wesley Bogle; Joseph Shapiro; C. W. Nordstrom.
Opinions and views expressed in this newspaper are those of staff mem
bers or of individual writers, and are not to be considered as those of the
United States Navy.
Articles and features may be reprinted without permission, provided
proper credit is given.
On the Purpose of Pre-Flight Work
A letter written by Lieut. Ernest L. Messikomer, assistant bas
ketball coach of this station, was printed recently in The Philadel
phia Inquirer. With refreshing clarity the former Temple head
basketball coach outlined broadly what the Pre-Flight Schools are
doing to make the Navy’s air cadets the toughest group physically
in any branch of military service.
We consider the contents of the Messikomer letter well worth
bringing to the attention of Cloudbuster readers, and herewith
reprint the text as it appeared in the Inquirer:
We realize that every American boy has intestinal fortitude—
we call it guts down here. This may seem like a broad statement,
but stand by for a few more paragraphs and I’ll try to explain.
Not every cadet in the school here in North Carolina is a former
star athlete. As a matter of fact, many of them have little or no
competitive sports background, and when they come here they
haven’t developed that will-to-win-at-any-cost spirit that is born of
It is our job to create and then develop that spirit—^the spirit that
makes a football player hurl himself on a loose ball, a boxer fight
harder after he has been stung, a runner sprint to the finish line
when he is on the verge of exhaustion.
Let me explain what I am trying to get at by giving you the case
of Dick Gish—the name, of course, being fictitious. Dick weighs
150 pounds, is 5 feet 7 inches in height, and is a college graduate
who never seriously participated in athletics. A majority of cadets
are of the Gish type and with the same case history.
When he first came out for physical training Gish shut his eyes
and shied away from violent physical contact, and being a little
new to the job myself, my first thought was that here is a kid who
hasn’t the fortitude—and I never made a greater mistake in my life.
Three weeks later Dick shied away from nothing. There never had
been anything wrong with his willingness to take it, but he never
had any reason to show this willingness.
I was interested and I asked some of the other Gishes assigned to
me to explain their reactions. Here are some of the answers: “I
never took real bumps before, now I don’t mind them a bit.” “I’m
getting accustomed to being in tough spots” and “I now have more
confidence in myself.”
And I want to tell you that boys like Gish are going to be just as
tough, just as daring and just as hard to bring down as those who
have a background of All-American football or professional sports
These kids who are green and inexperienced insofar as athletic
competition is concerned are acquiring a poise under pressure that
is peculiar to all great athletes and military men—and they are ac
quiring this “pressure poise” in a far tougher and more thorough
school than did the cadets who were famous athletes when they
came to this base.
There is no all-for-glory sports or sport for sports sake, around
here. It is all pretty grim business, but the boys appear to like it,
and the tougher it is the more they go for it.
If experience proves that a sport is not contributing sufficiently
to pilot training to justify its continuance, it is dropped and another
substituted. And no cadet is held over at North Carolina or any of
the other Pre-Flight Schools in order to play football or participate
in any outside competition. Furthermore, no cadet is permitted
to participate in outside competition unless his conduct and aca
demic marks are up to the high standard that has been set.
The job here is to get these boys in shape to fight, and if those
who criticize the Pre-Flight program because so many coaches and
athletes have entered this field of activity would visit any one of
the four pre-flight schools they would realize that the instructors
are developing the finest group of fighting men in the military his
tory of America.
Sure, the varsity football team is getting the headlines because
of its victories over collegiate rivals, but remember that for every
player on the football squad there are 50 others, many of whom have
never before engaged in competitive athletics, being trained to wage
the toughest fight of their lives.
If It Won’t Help
WIN THE WAR
This is the pointed advice
which since early this week has
greeted callers to the office of
Lt. Comd. Benjamin H. Micou,
supply officer of the station. The
nine war-winning words are
printed on a small triangular
block which adorns the desk of
Lt. Comdr. Micou.
By Lieut. Eric H. Arendt
Chaplain Corps, USN
This week our thoughts are both
progressive and retrospective.
On Nov. 10, the nation celebrates
the 167th birthday of our Marine
Corps. At this time, we rise above all
rivalry to join with the entire country
in a tribute to the Marines. We are
grateful for the Corps’ long and noble
tradition. We know now, as always,
that the Corps lives up to its motto,
“Semper Fidelis” —“Always Faith
ful.” The emblem, the Globe, Eagle
and Anchor, which is worn as its dis
tinguishing mark, is more than ever
the appropriate symbol of the Marine
Back in 1775 when the crying need
of the hour was for a group of fight
ing men who could not only man the
ships, but fight in hand-to-hand com
bat, the first group to be known as
Marines responded. The old time Ma
rine went into battle armed with mus
ket, pike or cutlass. Today, he is
equipped with practically every con
ceivable military weapon used on land
or sea, from machine guns and anti
aircraft guns to fighting planes and
amphibious tractors. More than 200
times the U. S. Marines have landed
on foreign soil on an errand from
Uncle Sam. Today the Corps is con
tinuing nobly in whatever task is as
A good percentage of our cadets
will eventually find themselves mem
bers of this Corps. We know that tbey
will contribute appreciably to the
Marine Corps’ continued success. So,
today as we think of progress, let
each of us, with sincerity and grate
fulness, pay tribuate to this fine
branch of our service. “Semper Fi-
delis” is a most fitting motto.
The day after the Marine Corps’
birthday comes Armistice Day. This
year we do not celebrate. This year
we face the realities of another war
and look toward the future of another
Armistice. Whereas the Marine Corps
has progressed, the World has re-
essed. But we are not disquieted.
We tighten our belts and go to work
once again with all the determination
that we can muster. Our job is to make
God’s world more worthy to be His.
Masses 0615, 1000, 1045
Confessions, Friday, 1830-1930
1000, Hillel House
1000, Memorial Hall
IT COULD ONLY HAPPEN HERE /
AHl IMNTtFi'MTtON 3BA
NEW ORLEANS, La.—A report in
Cross Winds, fortnightly publication
of the NRAB at New Orleans, La., in
dicates that leadership qualities of
Chapel Hill alumni are not dormant
at that flight base.
In explaining the demerit system
placed in effect at New Orleans in
mid-October, the story states that en
forcement of the rules rests with the
following cadet officers: Walter Abbe,
battalion officer; Frank B. Harris,
cadet adjutant; and wing leaders E.
H. Clark, B. Watts, John Loughran,
Andrew B. Jones, E. F. Driessen, and
H. J. Eiland.
All except the latter two are Chapel
Hill graduates. Abbe, Harris, and
Watts were members of the First Bat
talion which was graduated on Aug.
22; Clark and Loughran were trans
ferred on Sept. 5, while Jones left
here on Sept. 19.
“The students,” Cross Winds ex
plains, “are completely self-governed.
Cadet officers have full control of the
system and are authorized to report
students who break rules of the base.
Offenders are then given demerits
according to the seriousnes of the of
fense. When five or more demerits
are accumulated, the cadet is punished
by given extra duty and deprived of
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Nov. 7, 1942—One Day Nearer Victory
CADET TOMMIE WHITE, Manager