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Roy L. Barber (San Rafael, California)

The first impression that the public experienced at the sight of American sailors, was astonishment. We were so habituated to berets, with a ribbon beautifully printed with the name of the battleship or torpedo boat, that the sight of that little white hat, sharp against the dark of the rest of uniform, strangely surprised us. And yet they were brave young men, these sailors, worthy of their brothers in other navies. They brought, in spite of the dangers, the mines, the torpedoes, to the bottleneck of Brest, at the sands of St. Nazaire and Pornic, the great transport ships, the gigantic vessels that were once the pride of Germany and also the crowd of warships whose silhouettes were adorned with curious iron frameworks for radio equipment. And when it was necessary to fight on land they were the first and the most heroic. The Belleau Wood (see in Wikipedia), even for our soldiers, used to the hell of this war, will remain a nightmare for all. Today it is called : Wood of the Marine Brigade and in the peace that eventually came, the graves line up endlessly, of all these sailors from overseas, who, just landed, fought to the last man to carry high the honour of the Stars and Stripes.