1 The SAMS Lyceum of Martial and Societal Antediluvian Chronicles An addendum to The SAMS Sporran Battles at Fort Drum A ship s a fool to fight a fort. - Admiral Horatio Nelson It was 1 May 1898, 5:15am and the first rays of the sun had barely peaked above the horizon as the American Asiatic Squadron slipped past little El Fraile Island and entered Manila Bay. The battery on El Fraile had fired a few shots at the squadron but their fire was ineffective. At 5:41am Commodore Dewy gave the command, You may fire when ready Mr. Gridley. The captain of the Olympia ordered his guns to open fire on The Spanish fleet still anchored in the bay. The Battle of Manila Bay was the first action of the Spanish American War. With the Philippines now under American influence the United States Military set about making plans for the future defense of the islands. The entrance to Manila Bay is guarded by several small islands with tiny, little El Fraile the most prominent as it was centrally located. The Spanish had mounted a battery of three 120 mm guns, one Hontoria 12 cm gun from the Spanish cruiser Antonio de Ulloa, and two shorter 120 mm guns from the Spanish gunboat General Lezo. These proved to be inadequate for the task as Commodore Dewey was able to sail his squadron out of range and into Manila Bay virtually unscathed. The United States Board of Fortifications led by William Taft recognized the weakness of the Spanish defenses and set about developing improved fortifications to protect Manila Bay and the key Island of Corregidor. On 18 July 1908, the Army Corps of Engineers under the direction of Lt. John Kingman recommended building a new fort midway between the islands of Corregidor and Carabao near the mouth of the bay. The novel idea included the construction of a stout concrete blockhouse and gun platform and equipping it with two giant battleship turrets. Work began 1909 and wasn't completed until During that time the engineers stripped the tiny island of El Fraile to bedrock and proceeded to encase the existing rocky nub in enough concrete to erect a huge, vaguely ship-shaped bastion. It was named Fort Drum after Brigadier General Richard C. Drum, a veteran of the Mexican American War and the American Civil War who had passed away in Fort Drum s 36 foot thick, re-enforced concrete walls enclosed the barracks, ammunition magazines and living spaces. On the fort s 20-foot-thick upper deck was Battery Marshall. It was located on the lower section of the bow. It consisted of two 14" M1909 guns in two armored turrets. Each gun could lob a one-ton shell more than five miles. Battery Wilson was located on the upper section of the bow. It consisted of two more 14" M1909 guns in an enclosed casement. The No. 2 (right) gun barrel broke off after a direct hit from a American 2,000 lbs bomb on January 27, Battery Roberts on the port side of the island, emplaced two 6" M1908MI guns in M1920 carriages, in a double level casemate. Exposed to direct shelling by the Japanese in 1942 the upper gun was damaged. An American direct hit in 1945, destroyed the lower gun. Battery McCrea starboard side of the island, was made up of two 6" M1908MI guns in M1920 carriages, in a double level casemate. The demolition charge detonated on April 13, 1945 at 10:00am blew off a portion of the casemate. This metal slab landed on top of the fort. For detection and targeting, Fort Drum received a sighting mast of the kind you normally saw on World War I battleships. The 60-foot-tall latticework mast mounted searchlights and observation decks as well as radio antennas and reinforced the fort s ship-like appearance. Additionally, two 3-inch (76 mm) mobile AA guns on "spider" mounts and a 3-inch Gun M1918 provided the anti-aircraft defense. Searchlights were installed next to the fire control tower on the fort's upper surface. The living quarters for the approximately 240 officers and enlisted men along
2 with the power generators, plotting rooms and ammunition magazines were located deep inside the fort. On 12 January 1942, an M inch (76 mm) seacoast gun with a pedestal mount was transferred from Fort Frank and installed at Fort Drum to help protect the fort's vulnerable "stern" section from attack, and it was named Battery Hoyle. Fort Drum was now fully armed and ready. In 1941, prior to the start of the Pacific War, the garrison was increased to 200 men, commanded by Lt. Col. Lewis S. Kirkpatrick and Captain Samuel Madison was in charge of the batteries. By the summer of 1941, Fort Drum was completely prepared for any anticipated enemy action. The Japanese invaded the Philippines on the same day they attacked Pearl Harbor. By late December 1941 the invading Japanese Imperial Army had reached Luzon and brought Fort Drum and the other Manila Bay forts under periodic fire. On 13 January 1942, Fort Drum became the first American battery of seacoast artillery to open fire on the enemy in World War II. It drove off a Japanese-commandeered inter-island steamer, trying to scout the fort for weaknesses. The first week of February 1942 saw the fort come under sustained fire from Japanese 150mm howitzer batteries. By the middle of March, the Japanese had moved heavy artillery into range, opening fire with 240mm siege howitzers, destroying Fort Drum's 3-inch antiaircraft battery, disabling one of the 6-inch guns, and damaging one of the armored casemates. Sizable portions of the Fort's concrete structure were chipped away by the shelling. The armored turrets were not damaged and remained in service throughout the bombardment. The Fort continued resistance following the fall of Bataan. On the night of 5 May, the 14-inch batteries of Fort Drum opened fire on the second wave of the Japanese forces assaulting Corregidor, sinking several troop barges and inflicting heavy casualties. The forts guns were still effectively firing five minutes before the fall of Corregidor. On 6 May 1942 Fort Drum finally surrendered to Japanese forces after sabotaging all of their weapons and generators. Amazingly Fort Drum suffered no casualties during the entire siege. On Oct. 20, 1944, the Americans began the process of liberating the Philippines. By 3rd February 1945, they had reached Manila led to a month-long battle to liberate Manila from the Japanese. As in the battle of Fort Drum was the last hold out; this time for the Japanese. Despite the ongoing battle, however, the Americans began to clear the fortified islands of Japanese to open Manila Bay for the American navy. One by one the small Japanese held island batteries fell to the oncoming American forces. With only Fort Drum standing in the way of American victory. With the foreknowledge of the forts strengths and weaknesses, the Americans devised special tactics to liberate Fort Drum. On 13 April, a Landing Ship Medium (LSM) and a Landing Craft Mechanized (LCM) was sent to pull up alongside Fort Drum to begin the assault. The LSM had a specially built ramp on top of it, from which it discharged two platoons of soldiers. The first platoon consisted of crack snipers to cover every opening where Japanese soldiers may appear, the second was comprised of engineers assigned to plant demolition charges. Once the charges were in position, the LCM poured 3,000 gallons of oil/gas mixture into one of the vents and dumped explosives into the other. Both the LSM and LCM were moved to a safe distance after the fuses were lit. The explosive charges were set with a thirty minute fuse. When the charges detonated, it seemed to have no visible effect until the fort's magazine ignited a series of explosions. They were so powerful that they blew Fort Drum s 1 ton in weight and 1 meter in diameter manhole cover 50 meters up into the air. The fort burned for several days. It took two weeks for the fort to cool enough for inspection. The inspectors found everything inside virtually destroyed and located 65 charred bodies of the defenders. After retaking Manila, the war torn Fort Drum was simply abandoned, leaving the burnt out base and its towering guns to slowly rust away like an immovable ghost ship.
3 The Kilt: This & That Each of the ensuing months will feature a section on customary Highland attire. This Month- The Sgian Dubh The Sgian Dubh. For starters it means Little Black Knife when translated from Gaelic. The operative word here is 'black', not as in hidden or devious, but with regard to the knife itself, or more correctly the colour. The handle was usually made of 'blackwood' or ebony (as non Scots refer to it) and more often than not the blade was actually black ie: semi finished or unburnished steel ( not the highly polished version seen today.) Secondly, to the consternation of those of us who hold a more 'macho' view of the world and things in it, it is not 'The Highlander's weapon of last resort'. Only a fool would hold a pen knife when facing an opponent wielding a musket or a three foot sword. For that matter, the Sgian Dubh is not a weapon at all, it is a tool. Think of it as an early version of the ubiquitous Swiss Army Knife, but without the corkscrew. It was primarily used for skinning, shaving, scaling fish and a variety of things today for which we would use a pocket knife. There are no strict rules governing the position of the Sgian Dubh. It is was worn snugly at the top of the hose for convenience. No kilt pockets -remember? Lefties wear it on the left calf. Righties wear it on the other side. Seasonal Selections From The Mess Deck I stumbled across a small collection of old fashioned recipes from the turn of the last century. I thought I'd pass them on as they are both quaint and simple. I hope you enjoy them. Lamb Broth Ingredients: 2 Pounds of Fore-Quarter of Lamb 2/3 Cupful of Rice 1 Tablespoonful of Salt 1 Teaspoonful of Sage Leaves Method: Put the lamb into a kettle, cover with cold water, add the salt and cook three hours. As the water boils away, add more. Wash the rice, allowing three-fourths of an hour to cook; put in the sage, about fifteen minutes before serving, and thicken with two tablespoonfuls of flour, wet in two-thirds of a cupful of water. The sage may be left out if preferred. Bean Porridge Pick over and wash two-thirds of a cupful of white beans. Put on the back of the stove in cold water. Let these boil slowly, while the dinner is cooking. When the boiled dinner has been taken up, put these beans into the liquor in which the dinner was cooked. Boil one hour. Wet three tablespoonfuls of flour with water, and stir in while boiling, to thicken. Serve hot, adding a little milk, if you like. Queen's Pudding Ingredients: 1 Pint of Bread 1 Quart of Milk 3 Eggs 1 Cupful of Sugar 1 Teaspoonful of Butter 1 Lemon Method: Soak one pint of bread in a quart of milk till soft. Beat together the yolks of the eggs, sugar, butter, and the juice and rind of half a lemon. Stir all together and bake until it rises, about an hour and a half. When nearly cold, spread the top with jelly, and then the white of the eggs, beaten stiff. Brown in the oven. To be eaten cold. Hasty Pudding Into a dish of boiling water (a double boiler is best) stir Indian meal, (see recipe below) very
4 slowly. Let it cook for an hour. The water should be salted a little. Turn this into a bowl. The next day, or when perfectly cold, cut into slices and fry in pork fat or hot lard. This is served with molasses. Baked Indian Pudding Ingredients: 2 Quarts of Milk 1 Cupful of Yellow Cornmeal 1 Cupful of Molasses 1 Teaspoonful of Salt Method: Put one quart of the milk into an earthen pudding pot, and the other quart of the milk into an agate dish, on the stove, to scald. Stir the meal into the hot milk slowly, one handful at a time, until it thickens. Remove from the stove and add molasses, pouring the mixture into the cold milk. Bake six hours in a slow oven; serve warm with cream. If properly cooked; it will be red and full of whey. A Good Oyster Stew Ingredients: 25 Oysters 1 Teaspoonful of Flour 1 Quart of Milk Butter Salt Method: Take twenty-five oysters, with their liquor and put these into an agate dish on the stove with salt to taste, in a pint of cold water. Boil five minutes. Stir into this one heaping teaspoonful of flour, which has been wet with two tablespoonfuls of cold water. Add one quart of milk. Let it come to a boil, but be sure not to have it boil. Remove from the fire, and add a piece of butter the size of an egg. This is sufficient for eight people. Oysters on Toast Toast as many slices of bread as you require. Wipe enough oysters to cover them and season with pepper and salt. Put a little hot water over the bread and place in a very hot oven, until the edges of the oysters curl. Serve hot, with a white sauce. Fish Balls Ingredients: 1 Cupful of Hot Mashed Potatoes 1/2 Cupful of Shredded Cod-fish 2 Teaspoonfuls of Melted Butter 2 Tablespoonfuls of Milk Method: Put the fish into a piece of cheese-cloth, let cold water run over it, and squeeze dry. Mix ingredients all together. Take a little flour in the hand and roll half a tablespoonful of the mixture between the palms, to the size of a small peach. Fry in deep fat. Hot Toddy Ingredients: 1teaspoon honey 2 fluid ounces boiling water 1 ½ fluid ounces whiskey 3 whole cloves 1 cinnamon stick 1 slice fresh lemon 1 pinch ground nutmeg Method: Pour the honey, boiling water, and whiskey into a mug. Spice it with the cloves and cinnamon, and put in the slice of lemon. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes so the flavors can mingle, then sprinkle with a pinch of nutmeg before serving. Scottish Crackers This section will feature humorous contributions by our membership. If you told a joke at the last meeting and wish to share it or you have a humorous anecdote please send it in. Ancient Scottish Words of Wisdom Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says "In an emergency, notify:" I put "DOCTOR". A Highland Wedding Wee Angus was taking part in his older brother's wedding.
5 As he was coming down the aisle, he would take two steps, stop, lay down his pillow and turn to the congregation. While facing them he would put his hands up like claws and roar. And so it went, step, step, ROAR, step, step, ROAR, all the way down the aisle. As you can imagine, the congregation was near tears from laughing so hard by the time he reached the pulpit. When the pastor asked him what he was doing, Wee Angus sniffed and said, "Ah 'as bean' the Ring Bear." Do a BUDDY CHECK on the 22 nd of Every Month If you have any questions about Scotland or the Celts to which you want and answer or you have a suggestion for an article or simply information, Please contact me at; Thanks.