I left the USS Shangri La a few days after Hiroshima, transferring to a destroyer. Two days later I was dumped on Iwo Jima.
I was told by a Marine sergeant it would be days before I could catch a flight to Saipan. I complained bitterly, “That C-46 on the line is ready; why can’t I get on that?”
“Sorry. It’s reserved for a USO troupe; but you can ask the pilot. He’s in the next Quonset hut.”
I walked over, entered and came face-to-face with a beautiful woman. She was talking to the pilot, who’s back was to me. I’d seen her somewhere before.” Then it struck: that was Maureen O’Hara, the movie actress and knock-out gorgeous.
Undaunted and ignoring Maureen, I rushed up to the pilot and blurted out, “Sir. I’ve been in the Pacific for three years. I’m desperate to get home. What are the chances of going to Saipan with you?”
Captain Tyrone Powers smiled and said, “Can do, Lieutenant. How much gear do you have?”