Klinger's Place

This is a personal place to post things to the Internet related to my hobby of numismatics and items related to my family and friends.

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Location: San Diego, California

I grew up in Lykens, PA, graduated from PENN STATE, and was commissioned in the US Navy in 1961. I spent 30 years in the Navy - finishing as a Captain. I served most of my years in the Submarine Service. I had command of the USS Sam Houston (SSBN 609). I have a wonderful wife (Marilyn), two kids (David & Karolyn), and six grandkids (Kevin, David, Alison, Amber, Richard & Sarah).

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Short Snorter

(left click photo to enlarge)

I received the following request:

I've come up with kind of an interesting item, and am having trouble researching it. It's a British Guiana, P-12b, $1, of 1938 with the names and ranks of what appears to an entire company of U.S. marines neatly typed vertically on it. The note itself isn't particularly special, probably grades F, but the edges, corners, etc. are in remarkably good shape. But it's the names and possible history of it which intrigue me. I'd like to know what unit they were from, where they were, why they chose a British Guiana note, what they were doing, etc. I've tried to find out something on the internet, using just about every key word, name and so forth I can think of without success.

My initial response:

Before World War II, (09/03/40) President Roosevelt signed an agreement with England, ( part of the” Lend-Lease” program) called the Destroyers for Bases executive agreement, to exchange 50 World War I US Navy destroyers for U.S. access to English bases in the Atlantic. Most people knew that war was coming and these bases would be used to help protect the United States against the Germans, especially their U-boats. One of the bases was located on the northeastern part of South America in a British Colony called British Guiana (now called Guyana).
Naval Air Station, British Guiana was established, shortly thereafter. Security was provided by a Marine Guard Detachment. Navy seaplanes patrolled the southern Caribbean looking for German U-boats throughout the duration of WWII.
The names on the short snorter (P-12b) were likely members of that Marine security detachment.

Then I discovered this:

Here is a bio of one of the marines who's name appears on the short snorter - Gy. Sgt. J. A. Luko. Proof of my guess. It states: "John was assigned to Naval Air Station, British Guiana from July, 1942 to April, 1944 as a Marine guard duty Gunnery Sergeant. "

These are pictures of the marines who's names are on the note (one photo shows them in the nude!).