Thursday, January 3, 2008


This is the last issue of the Prairie Schooner that we have as it is almost good bye to North Dakota State School of Science for Company 12 and hello Texas. Here are a couple of stories from the 16 July 1943 edition.


Fong On Git, better known to his shipmates in New London and Wahpeton as Daniel Fong, graduated from the basic course at the Navy Submarine Base, New London, Conn., several weeks ago with a standing of sixth in a class of several hundred.

Danny graduated from the Machinist Mate School here at Wahpeton on April 17 and was sent to Submarine Base instruction before entering combat duty with the U. S. Navy Submarine Force. He is believed to be the first Chinese ever to be accepted for submarine combat duty in the United States Navy.

According to word received from New London after completion of his basic course at that school, he had been an exceptional student – attaining a grade of 3.78 – a perfect grade is 4.0.

As a result of his high standing (and being the) first Chinese to serve on American submarines, the Mayor of Chinatown in New York and several other Chinese dignitaries feted him at a dinner and presented him with a wristwatch. At the dinner, Danny had difficulty handling his chopsticks because he had not used them for so long.

Fong was born in Kwantung Province, China, the son of Noon Fong, an American citizen. While a boy, he went to a Catholic mission school and learned English and Chinese. When he was seven years old he and his father left two younger brothers and his mother to come to San Francisco.

He went to public schools and was graduated from Galileo High School in June, 1942. In August, he reached his seventeenth birthday and two months later joined the Navy. Upon completion of his “boots” he spent four months here at Wahpeton (. . .)

In direct contrast to his barracks which houses 200 men, Fong has a suite to himself in the Hotel Ambassador in New York for his stay there.


Precision and exactness as to machining has been the keynote of all of your training for the past four months at this (facility). With this intense training you have reached a full realization of the paramount necessity of perfection in the proper repair and maintenance of all types of machines. This training in precision and exactness you can apply to yourselves as men and perfect yourselves in your military duties so that you will be just as dependable and efficient as the machinery which you have been learning to keep in perfect working order.

There is a degree of tolerance in machining that you keep to a minimum. Learn to keep within that degree of tolerance in yourselves.

I want to congratulate you upon being a very fine company also to thank you for the cooperation that you have given the school officials and your officers. May you carry that same spirit to your future places of duty.

The very best of luck to each of you.

Lt. Comdr., D-V (S) USNR,
Commanding Officer


By Lawrence Moise

In last week’s SCHOONER, there was a little mistake about who made Company 12 the best-looking Company on the drill field every Saturday. I think it was mostly due to Sam Kerr, our Company Leader. All of the Coast Guard seem to have done pretty well as Company Leaders and Section Leaders. Lots of luck to a swell bunch of guys.

By Alfred A. Buss

We are glad to express our congratulations to Company 12 on their coming graduation, and wish them very good luck.


The highly lauded Ship’s Company didn’t bother Sections A and B in the least. They remembered Farragut’s motto: “Damn the Torpedoes – Full Speed Ahead!” After the second inning Ship’s Company was getting plenty seasick.

The highlight of the game was when the much publicized Ship’s Company got their first three batters on base, but lo and behold, their 22-caliber rifles started to shoot blanks and their runners died on base.

Nivens showed them what a 16-inch gun was like when he hit a long line drive over the left fielder’s head. Incidentally, he was still chasing the ball when Niven’s crossed home plate.


Saw a comment the other day that the figures on the rapidly increasing number of divorces would indicate that America is still the land of the free. True enough, but the large number of marriages indicate that it is also the home of the brave.


By Arnold E. Simonton, Yic

Admiral Everett Morsell, who just this week received notification that he had been nominated by the President for appointment to the rank of Rear Admiral, made a short visit to the Naval Training Station Wednesday afternoon. While here, he made a hasty but thorough inspection of the Supply Department while several other officers who accompanied him delved into the problems of the educational program followed here and also as to the success of our War Bond Drive.

The pilot of the Lockheed Lodestar plane, Lt. O. O. Keifer, literally brought the big plane in on a prayer.

Approaching the field from the east, he was forced to use the short runway for landing. He found it necessary to use full flaps and to set the plane down immediately after clearing the telephone poles and wires just across the highway from the field, His landing was a beautiful three-point, attesting to the skill of the man at the wheel.

At 3:45 p.m. the huge plane the largest that has yet landed on the local field, roared down the grass-covered runway, lifted easily into the air and winged towards Kansas City, bringing to a close the first visit by an Admiral to this station.

(SECTION “E” by J. E. De Vito)

Mr. Ness did quite a business on his famous “Hotel Register” last Wednesday in Shop Knowledge by marking all the fellows who were on the self appointed “Admiral’s Reception Committee.”

According to the boys, it was worth losing a few points to see an Admiral land on the station. After all, they don’t come here every day.


1 comment:

srfong said...

I happened by your blog and discovered that my dad is in one of the articles you posted!!! "Navy Takes First Chinese For Sub Duty". He just passed away and I was wondering if it was possible to scan or copy the July 16, 1943 issue that you quoted. This is amazing. He never said any of this other than that he went to North Dakota during the war!! Thanks for your post,
Sean Fong
(503) 449-3625