Merrill’s Marauders

Merrill's_Marauders1                          Merrill’s Marauders behind enemy lines in 1944. (Photo by U.S. Army Signal Corps)

By George Morris

Dr. Melvin Schudmak was an Army doctor stationed stateside when he was called in to the Adjutant General’s Office in Washington, D.C., in the fall of 1943.

“They said, ‘We’d like for you to volunteer for hazardous duty in a foreign country,'” said Schudmak, who later became a Baton Rouge physician. “I said, ‘Well, I have a 3-year-old child and I won’t volunteer, but I won’t mind going if you order me. They said, ‘You have until tomorrow morning to volunteer.'”

The next morning, he again declined to volunteer. So they ordered him to Camp Stonemason in San Francisco to join an outfit with an uninspiring title — the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional). Names, it turned out, were deceptive.

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Flying ‘The Hump’

John Ferguson

By George Morris

A generation of LSU fans knew John Ferguson as the play-by-play voice that carried the action of Tiger football into their homes and car radios. But in World War II, Ferguson wasn’t just on the air. He was in it.

Way up there, in a wild and wooly section of the sky over the world’s tallest mountains.

They called it flying “The Hump,” that being the understated description of the Himalayas. They ran cargo missions from India to China, helping keep the beleaguered Chinese in the war against Japan. It sounded simple enough. It was anything but.

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Is there buried treasure at old Camp Claiborne?

By George Morris

There’s one thing about old Special Forces soldiers; they aren’t good at taking “no” for an answer. At least, Morty Hurston isn’t.

Having served in that capacity in Vietnam, Hurston later heard a credible story about valuable equipment, including fighter planes, that might be buried and recoverable at the former Camp Claiborne in central Louisiana. The story is at the URL below. UPDATE: After the story was published Nov. 7, 2015, the Forest Service has been highly cooperative, and they’re looking into whether the site Hurston found and another site might have what he’s looking for.

http://theadvocate.com/features/people/13815654-32/buried-treasure