• Robert Cromwell - ACORN 14 - Dec. 30, 2003

Thanks to my son's xmas gift, I have read your Tarawa book. I was a member of ACORN 14 and arrived on the President Polk as described by Nielson on page 110. I was sorry to see the limited coverage of ACORN 14. That was the unit in charge of Betio and Hawkins Field. Capt.Earl C.B.Gould (Wall St. Goulds) was our leader. He was assisted by LCdr “Happy” Hume, Lt. Weaver, Lt. Gretz(his company manufactured plastic instruments on Long Island, NY). It was on Tarawa that I learned to play the ocarina ( I can still play Jingle Bells). Our lawyer was Neil Daniels (an alumni official at Duke University. Neil was a big help when my son got into trouble at a Duke campus disturbance. Chaplain Cook was our padre and he performed the ceremonies at my wedding in 1945. My island roommate was Tom Bourke (of small boats) and he was the best man and remains a close friend.

We were close friends of the communication group: Chester Mize, congressman and cabinet officer from Kansas, Jim Davis (PA), Gene Littler (TX). Lt. Sandlin was in charge of air operations, assisted by Fitzsimmons. Our postmaster was Ed Turville, who later became president of the US Tennis Assoc. Other names I recall were “20-knot Burke.” He was with us a lot because he was in charge of the destroyers protecting us. Also there was a Major Brewster, who spent a lot of time flying our Piper Cub. My high school classmate Doug Harris was also on the island. Both Doug and Tom are receiving copies of this mail and might fill you in with other data.

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