Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A story you won't be hearing in 60 years

Where Manitowoc River meets Lake Michigan is moored the USS Cobia submarine, at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum 90 minutes north of Milwaukee. The highlight of a recent visit was Charles Stewart (near left), who, as a teenager from Oklahoma, manned 1 of the Cobia's torpedo bays during World War II. During his talk Stewart mentioned that the Cobia rescued and took on board 7 downed Japanese fighter pilots. On reaching port, he said, each detainee wanted to stay on the sub because he'd been so well fed and well treated. And those who're alive today are honorary members of the U.S. Submarine Veterans organization that Stewart leads.
Though delivered offhandedly, the vignette struck home. Given post-9/11 detainee policy, it's a story no veteran is likely to tell 60 years from now.
(The museum also deserves note for devoting space to the role that women played in the war; particularly, in helping to build 28 submarines at a plant in Manitowoc. Rosie the Riveter, her welding gear, and her lipsticks are on prominent display.)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

what a great story to represent how Americans should treat detainees.