Narrative by Frank Nulton
Oral history – May 5, 1996
four historical events that I think might be of interest to others
The first event is:
"Carrier Qualifications I Don't Remember."

This was a case of where I was going aboard the [USS] Cabot (CVL-28) as a walk-on exchange pilot so that those flying the first aircraft [SNJ-5C] out to the carrier would make their six take-offs and landings, and then I would be a switch pilot, and I had the pleasure of being one of the first switch pilots in the group--I think it was about the forth or fifth aircraft that qualified for their six landings. I am 5 feet 8 inches tall, standing tall and having a good tail wind. And when I climbed in the aircraft evacuated by Slim Summerville, who stands about six foot three, I found that when I got in the cockpit I had no rudder pedals because they had been pushed out all the way, and because the captain of the Cabot was trying to set a record that day--I'm not sure it was for the benefit of more students being graduated or whether he was trying to make admiral, I'm not sure--but we were told that we were going to get on and off that deck and more landings and take-offs were going to be made that day than any in the previous history of Naval Aviation for a carrier. So, with all of this, they had set up so that two airmen would be on either wing after we climbed in the cockpit, and they would assist us in strapping in and being ready to go as rapidly as possible. Well, that was all good and fine, and they slapped me back in the seat and pulled my shoulder straps down and hooked my seat belt and patted me on the helmet and … uh, … I was in the position now of no rudder pedals and being unable to immediately take control of the aircraft. I pulled [up] my seat belt and tried to slip down, but as you will remember that with [parachute] seat packs in a metal bucket seat, you don't slip very far with your leg straps on, so I released my leg straps, and as I was sliding down to get my rudder pedals back up and I could release the brakes, the two seamen … uh ... airmen are back up on the wing and strapping me in, and I am back in the position of I don't have any rudder pedals. So, I pulled the seat belt again, I still had my leg straps off on my chute, and I went down and I pushed the button which releases the rudder pedals, which, of course, in the very modern aircraft that we were flying at the time (those SNJs were not only war weary, some of them had already dropped dead). But, I pushed the button in, and the rudder pedal would not come back. Well, by this time, I realized that I had to have both feet on one rudder pedal to get it back up pull it back. Now, I was working on my right rudder at this time, and the Fly One officer out on the flight deck, with {a laugh} grabbed my aileron, and was slapping the stick in there [the cockpit] and whapping me and driving me up against the right hand side of the cockpit, which I thought was rather interesting. And … ah … the two kids are back trying to haul me back up and put me in the seat and strap me down which they were supposed to do. But, I did get the right rudder pedal back. Now, Slim had landed slightly off center to the left, which means that the tail … ah … correction, he had landed slightly off center to the right, and that means that his tail had been brought around to the left towards the center-line because of the physics of force and such, and the tail and the arresting wire taking his tail to the left, so my plane was sitting cocked to the right. And, I'm now slapped back up in the seat, and I'm strapped in again, and the Fly One officer points up to the bridge, because the Captain was talking to me on a bullhorn: He said, "Get that God damn airplane off my deck." {laugh}. So, I knew I was leaving--whether I would be pushed over the side, or I'd take off was the question in my mind. So, I said, "There's only one thing to do," so I immediately released my seat belt again, went down so that I had both feet on the rudders, so that I could depress the brakes and release the brakes, and I did that, and then I jumped back up into the seat as rapidly as I was able to, and I was going in, and I was pointing towards the island, and I only had the right rudder, so I said, "I've got to go to the left, here, and with only the right rudder," and I said, "Toe under the pedal, pull back on the right rudder, and give yourself some left rudder." I dragged my right wing tip along the island for possibly about eight feet. And, then I had enough velocity, and the rudder was taking effect, and I started to come back towards the center-line, and now I was pushing on the right rudder to get on the center-line, but I didn't use all the deck, I didn't quite get it back under control, so here I am, shoulder straps are out in the slip-stream, I never did get my goggles down, I never got my gloves on, I didn't have my seat straps fastened, I was in a state of less than great repair. Not only that, but I was not flying down on the axial of the deck, because I had taken off [to] the left, so I was sort of cutting into the traffic that was starting downwind {a laugh}. So, I cut to the right … ah … ah … trying to get back into the seat, trying to get my seat belt strapped on, and my shoulder straps out in the slip-stream were hard to get to, and so, at this time I found I was late turning downwind, and I turned downwind and I got one of my shoulder straps in, and I couldn't get my seat belt up because they had slid all the way down into the sides of the aircraft, so my first trap landing found me up against the hood bar on the cockpit. And … ah … that was my first trap. Ah … I then was given a release, but, at that trap, when I knew I had the hook, and I slowed down, I went down and tried to get the left rudder. So, I was out of my seat belt again, and I finally got the left rudder back up and took off again. Now, I'm trying to get everything in order, and this happened, then I was trying to just put myself together for each of these things, and get the shoulder straps in, and get everything and my seat belt on, and my goggles down, and my gloves on, and by the time all this happened, I began to feel quite comfortable, and … ah … I looked down at my fuel tanks, and I was on the left tank. And, it said: "empty." And, I … the 90, and … ah … in a cocked-up attitude we weren't supposed to switch tanks, and I had to do a lot of wobbling [the SNJ had a manual emergency fuel pump system] and such from being the giant I was at 5 feet 8 with that tail wind, I really was concerned about wobbling and switching tanks all at the same time in this cocked-up attitude and still trying to fly the airplane. So, I figured, "Just take whatever comes up here." And, I came in, and as soon as I hit, and I had trapped, I switched tanks, and I was wobbling like a son-of-a-gun, and the fellows are in, taking off my seat belt for me to get out of the cockpit, and we were supposed to get out with our chutes on. Well, needless to say, mine wasn't attached--my leg straps weren't attached, so my chute was hanging in the cockpit, I'm trying to get out, so I finally just took off the harness, and … ah … now the chute's in there and the other guys climbing in to get squared away, and the fellow, as I came off the deck, waiting to be a switch pilot, he said, "What's it like?" And, I said, "Beats the hell out of me! I don't remember a thing."

And that is the way you can do carrier qualifications without ever remembering what happened.



Narrative by Frank Nulton
Oral history – May 5, 1996
Four historical events that I think might be of interest to others:
The second event is:
"Air Intelligence School."

O.K., Frank Nulton has another narrative here for you. The first was in 1949 aboard the Cabot (CVL-28), and the second one was after I had finished college and I had gone to the Air Intelligence School in 1960.

While I was in Washington, DC, they sent me to the school for six months. I was really not enamored by the school, and I wrote a letter to the Director of Naval Intelligence, and I told him that I had been a student in the school, and I thought it was interesting that we should have two Commanders in the class, a couple of Lieutenant Commanders, one or two Lieutenants, maybe five or six Ensigns, and a whole bunch of enlisted personnel, some of which were right out of boot camp, and we all were doing the same thing each day for six months.

And, I said, "The training was wonderful, but we weren't in 1941, we were in 1960," and that I felt that if one could make a conservative judgment that approximately 90% of what we did was not related to what we were going to do in the fleet, it wasn’t a good course if 90% could not be relevant. Needless to say, the Commanding Officer of the school and everybody that was involved was very upset, and for some strange reason when a panel was convened to study the letter and its meaning, and where the school was, what the course was, and how it worked; and I had gone into a fair amount of detail on what I thought was wrong. It ended up that I was terminated from school, and I figured that was delightful--it was a waste of time anyway.

But the surprise was that they sent me as the Air Intelligence Officer of the [USS] Intrepid (CVA-11), an attack carrier, which was then in the Mediterranean; so apparently they felt that there was some justification, and I learned, the next time I got back to the states, which was about five months later, that the school had been closed, and that it had been restructured, and now there was an enlisted school and there was an officers’ school, and so on down the line. So I felt that an ex-Aviation Midshipman had again struck a blow for more effective training.

The third agenda item that I have here is while I was, after … well, let me go back a step or two here …

Oral history – May 5, 1996
four historical events that I think might be of interest to others
The third event is:
"The Navy, the Air Force, and Ballistic Missiles."

Frank Nulton, ENS, USN     As Coach and competitor at Haneda, AFB Tokyo, Japan, Track and Field Day, 6 June 1951, Frank Nulton leads team to victory over 3,500 Air Force Personnel on Base. VR-21 DET. Haneda had about 90 Naval personnel assigned. The Navy proves again it’s not the numbers … it’s the quality.  Fleet Logistic AIR WING PACIFIC  AIR TRANSPORT SQUADRON TWENTY-ONE DETACHMENTThe third agenda item that I have here is while I was . . . When I got finished with the tour as Air Intelligence Officer on the attack carrier (USS Intrepid [CVA-11]), I was assigned to the Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff out in Omaha, Nebraska. And I followed a very capable lieutenant commander who had been out there and done a wonderful job. It was very difficult to get into his shoes, and I found out that they didn’t fit me anyway . . . and it’s just as well that I do the thing that I do best, and while I was doing that I was . . . the Strategic Air Command, while you’re on the JSTPS job in Omaha, Nebraska, also used you as a SAC officer . . . and why they did that was quite understandable, SAC needed all the help they could get, but in performing in one of those roles, preparing an agenda for the World-Wide Intelligence Conference for all the unified specified commanders, I found that the Air Force, the previous year, had made an attempt . . . correction: not the Air Force . . . the Strategic Air Command had made an attempt to take over the ballistic missiles that the Navy had in its submarines, and while that had been unsuccessful in 1963, here in 1964, the Chief of Staff of SAC, a lieutenant general, had been put in charge of the program to take control of the strategic missiles in the Naval submarine force, and the reason for that was, (1) they wanted total control of all strategic delivery methods, and number (2), it would give them a larger piece of the pie of the national defense budget. So, understanding what was going on, I went down to see one of the two skippers of the first nuclear submarine in the United States Navy and he was the Navy representative to the JSTPS and I said to him, I said, “I betcha if these people really knew what they are talking about, they wouldn’t be in such a hurry to pick up this responsibility.” He agreed. So I asked him, “If I could get the general to take a tour of the Navy submarine facilities at New London and such, and then maybe get down to Cape Canaveral, for a, you know, an exercise with a ballistic missile submarine,” I said, “he would understand, you know, that we are comparing apples and pears, and nobody buys papples.” And this might be a way of sort of aborting their effort. And he thought it was a good idea, so he got a schedule of the Navy’s events, in fact, we had going out in a matter of about five weeks, we had the first launch of a Polaris A3, which was an increased range missile and increased accuracy. So, I went up to the general, while I was discussing this world-wide conference that they were going to be a participant in, and SAC had about five agenda items on the broad agenda, and I mentioned to him that, wouldn’t it be great if he could very quietly make a trip to the Navy, get all the information he needed, and in that way, any argument the Navy could come up with against SAC taking over the ballistic missile program, he would be ready to defend. He said, “Wonderful idea! How can I do it?” And I said, “Let me see what I can do.” Well, in the meantime, we had gotten a schedule of everything, and ah . . . I was one of the SAC T-29 pilots, so I got their VIP, their plushed-up T-29, their Convair 404; and ah . . . and flew him up to New London, and there they put him through everything. And it might be interesting to note that the general, being a lieutenant general and all that stuff, never admitted he was in SAC, so he had cover as far as he was concerned. . . . He was at the top of the training tower for the kids coming out of the torpedo room and coming up with their [Nike?] hoods on, and so on, and this old warrant officer was picking up the kids out of the pool by the straps of their [Nike?] hoods, and he would put them at attention, and a couple minutes later put them at parade rest. So after this process was over, the general looks at this old warrant officer that’s doing this, and he said, “Don’t you feel that you’re abusing these men by treating them so harshly after so difficult an experience?” This old warrant looks at him and he says, . . . he says, “You’re a pilot, right?” And the general says, “Yes.” “Do I tell you how to fly airplanes?” The general says, “Noo” He says, “Well, don’t tell me how to train these kids, I’ve been doing it for thirty-five years.”

Well, needless to say, the general was very upset. But the warrant was very kind, he came over a few minutes later and he said, “General, I want to apologize to you, I got a bit rough with you,” he said, “but these kids coming up,” he said, “if they’re are going to have the bends or anything,” he said, “but I’ve got to see them and I’ve got to know what’s going on. When I call them to attention,” he said,” I look into their eyes because their eyes tell me what’s going on in their bodies,” and he said, “and if anything’s going to happen, it’s going to be within three to five minutes. I hold them there for about three minutes then I let them go to parade rest for about four or five minutes, that’s the critical time, then put them at ease and release them. You notice what they do, they go over and they lie down and they go to sleep. If they did that right out of the tank, they’d die if they had a problem.” So the general said, “Thank you very much for explaining it, and such.”

But afterwards, that night, as I was flying him down to . . . a . . . Patrick [AFB], he said, . . . he was . . . a . . . pretty abrupt with me. And I said, “General, you were trying to eat off his plate.” I said, “In the Navy, everybody does his job, and if they do it wrong, they get fired, but you don’t tell them how to their job.” And he said, “Oh, well, in the Air Force they listen to you.” And I said, “He did listen to you, and he told you what he thought.”

So, anyway, the next morning, very early, we’re up, we’re out, we’re on the ballistic submarine, and going out for the trials, the dry run, getting ready for the next day for the firing. And it was an excellent day and the general, needless to say, - he stood about six feet one or two – and he was constantly bruising his shins and constantly banging his head and he didn’t want to go up a vertical ladder in order to go up in the conning tower as we left port – Cape Canaveral, there – so the day went rather uneventfully. And the next day, for the shoot, we were running parallel on the monitor vessel – it was an instrument ship, and so on – and we were paralleling the course of the submarine. And, ah, the general was complaining to me as we were coming aft on the port side, “have you noticed how horribly the sailors salute on this ship?” and I said to him, “General, I’m an aviator, and blackshoe Navy is not my cup of tea.” And I said, “But I have learned this, when I’m on a carrier, I watch what the carrier sailors do, and I do what the carrier sailors do, when I’m on . . . a . . . destroyers, I do what the destroyers do, when I’m on minesweepers, I do what the minesweepers do, because they’re there, and that’s the way they live, and they do it very well.” And he said, “The salute should be done at 45° and so on.” And I said, “Well, that’s great general, I’m sure that works at the Air Force Academy and the Naval Academy, and the Military Academy, but on here, I recommend that you follow the lead of the guys that live here and work here.” Just at this time there was a first class [petty officer] coming up, dressed smartly, just a good-lookin’ first class sailor, he was an electronics technician, and he salutes, and he has his elbow tucked in, almost in front of him, so he’s sort of peeking out from under his salute, and the general snaps in a big 45° with his elbow out, and just then we hit a stanchion, his finger nail . . . his index finger nail . . . digs into his scalp . . . it opened him up for 14 stitches, his hat flies off, the sailor never dropped his salute, grabbed his hat with his left hand and handed it back to the general and says, “Your hat, sir.” And the general saluted without – you know – holding his hat in his one hand and his salute was still being held, with blood running down his forehead, and he saluted back this sailor, thanked him for his hat, and we were walking down, and I said, “General, you’ve got to go to sick bay, that’s not a scratch, you’ve got blood all over.” And, so I had him put it . . . the palm of his hand up to stop the blood a little bit, we went to sick bay, and they put some stitches in for him. And we were about then . . . hmm . . . five minutes from the actual launch, so we went up onto one of the weather decks, and I said to him, “The only thing you will see – because they’re only going to fire one missile – is they’re going to open the hatch and you’re going to see some light water, in other words, the air coming out of the tube is going to give us a patch of light water. He said, “How the hell do I know where the submarine is?” I said, “it’s just been announced on the 1MC [speaker], it’s approximately 400 yards off our port bow and we’re abeam of it, and we’re going the same speed the submarine is.” And, he said, “I can’t see anything!” And I said, “Try to estimate 400 yards.” He said, “I have nothing to reference by!” And I said, “That’s one of the advantages of the submarine.”

Now, suddenly the submarine has launched the missile. It pops out of the water. It spins around slightly and starts heading down. It was an absolutely beautiful launch. And the general looked at me and said, “That came out of nowhere.” And I said, “No, it came out of the submarine – it’s down around anywhere between . . . ah . . . 40 to 60 feet, and I said, “Ah . . . that is the beauty of the submarine.” So he was absolutely astounded. We went into the briefing as to what was happening downrange, and headed back to port.

That evening there was a very quiet get-together by just the commanding officer of the ship, the commanding officer of the submarine, and a few other people for dinner.

The next morning we were heading back to Omaha. After we had leveled off heading back to Offut Air Force Base, in Omaha Nebraska, I asked the general back up to the right seat, and he was sitting up there and going over some of the things that happened during the day . . . and during the launch . . . and on the submarine the previous day . . . and he also referenced some of the material up at . . . New London at the submarine training facility and he said, “You know, when I think about the infrastructure required for the submarines and the training,” he said,” I really don’t think it’s a good idea that we pick up this program. He said, “there’s just to much there to get the few missiles that you have (garbled) in the Navy.” And I said, “General, that’s a good observation, but what is CinSAC going to think, your boss has been working on this now for a couple of years. And he said, “He doesn’t understand the problem.”

So we’re going over some things and I explained to him in my insight, that because we have other submarines as well as the missile submarines, and we have a reserve of people we could draw down upon, we never really get hurting too badly on having the right man in the right place, but if you don’t have that depth of being able to draw from a large manpower pool it could be a very real problem. And then the general said, “Well, something that just blew my mind was,” he said, “The skipper of the submarine, when we were coming back in, I was talking to him, and he said that he doesn’t let anybody know where he is.” And I explained to him that SAC has to know where every airplane is, and every thirty minutes they check in with us and we . . . we . . . sort of micromanage the system to make sure we get exactly what we want to do in a general war environment. And he said, “And your captain said, ‘They don’t talk to anybody. They just go and do their thing, and . . . and . . . ah . . . they listen to their traffic.” He said, “I don’t know how they get it, because they’re under water all the time, but . . . “ And I said, “Well, we have a communications system that’s designed to be of assistance to them and, yes, they do get their traffic and they don’t answer us because if they answer us, that gives away their location and a submariner just does not do that, because our own aircraft and our own ships can be as much a problem to a submarine as the enemy.” So he said, “I . . . I . . . I don’t think that we are equipped to handle this program in a number of ways,” and he said “I’m just getting a bad feeling about what we’re trying to do.” Needless to say, I tried to add a few more details to help him understand that that in fact was the case.”

And by the time we were approaching Offutt, he sort of (garbled) to a conclusion. He said, “What we’re trying to do is just plain dumb.” He said, “We’re asking for more problems than we’re solving.” And he said, “And we’re getting into something that we’re ill-equipped to get into.” And he said, “I’m going to tell the boss that this is not the thing to do.”

And with that, um . . . I was overjoyed. We landed the aircraft and as soon as I dropped the general off at ops, I parked it, went into the hangar, and I called our Navy captain who was the Navy representative there at JSTPS, and I said, “Ken, were back from the trip, and I’d like to come over and talk with you for a few minutes, in fact, I’d like to take a walk with you so that what we discuss is for us and us only.” I said, “Not that I don’t trust the people here, but . . . ah . . . we’ll go for a walk.” And he – on the phone - laughed and said, “Ok.” So when I briefed him on the results of the trip, he was overjoyed – he was absolutely ecstatic – and . . . so . . . ended the saga of SAC vying to take over the ballistic missile system of the United States Navy.


Historical events that I think might be of interest to others (continued):
GEN MacArthur, ADM Joy, and Me
[Rough transcript of Video 7-21-07]

Secret Revelations—what you should know about and are not informed about by any of the media. Not your TV, not your magazines, not your newspapers, but it’s information that you need to know over time.

So, let me do something new in “Secret Revelations” that gets off what we have been basically working on, and that is understanding voting responsibilities and how we pick candidates and how we establish our own value systems. And this time, in this particular show, we’re going to deal with approximately two and a half years of my early life in the Naval service.

And the reason I’m using this is I’ve heard a great deal of controversy about General [Douglas] MacArthur and Admiral [C. Turner] Joy. And I would like to bring you my experiences with both those individuals.

So to start, I’m going to deal with the fact that I was a “Flag Pilot” or a person assigned to fly Admiral Joy in his aircraft. And because he worked for General MacArthur in 1950 – in the Korean War – I have personal experience with them and because of previous family relationships I was accepted by them as more or less a member of their military family. And because of that I was able to stay with Admiral Joy and with General MacArthur in the back of Admiral Joy’s aircraft which would take both Admiral Joy and General MacArthur and [garbled] one or the other and take them up to Korea.

Now, let me deal with General MacArthur first. General MacArthur, I found to be one, brilliant, absolutely brilliant; and two, a very human and a very concerned person with those he commanded, as, a, four-star general. I had the pleasure to listening to his discussions in many cases with Admiral Joy and with other flag officers in our aircraft as we flew the four-and-one-half to five hours to get them up to their destinations from Tokyo up into Korea.

So, let me deal with General MacArthur as an individual and with a value system; and while I may say a few things that he said to Admiral Joy and Admiral Joy said to him, I only do it to make a point as to his character and to the values that he carried as our representative in Korea. Now, you’ve got to understand that Korea was a war basically sponsored by the United Nations; and it was a United Nations War and it was not declared a war because it was a United Nations “police action.”

And it’s one of the times when the United States has avoided the Constitution of the United States by making it a police action rather than having to go to Congress and having us to declare war; and we’ve done it almost constantly since that time—which is in violation of our Constitution.

So, now we have MacArthur, a, [garbled] a general in the United States Army, acting as a United Nations commander. Now, who was MacArthur, really? I found him to be a concerned man for first, his country; and second, with what he thought his responsibilities were and what he had signed as a contract with the United States Government and his commission as an officer. He took that very seriously and it ultimately was the reason that he was, if you will, replaced, ah, in the Korean War; as the commander.

So, start with MacArthur, immediately after he had been at the signing of the conclusion of the War [World War II]. And, that was in 1945, out on the battleship in Tokyo Harbor, and he, in turn, at that time and immediately after the signing of the conclusion of the War. He established that the Emperor would continue to be the Emperor of Japan. And, from that signing ceremony he immediately took over as, and he placed himself in the position as a, more or less, co-executor of the day-to-day activity of Japan and as [garbled] to the Emperor of Japan. This endeared him not only to the Emperor of Japan but to the people of Japan because they loved their Emperor. They admired MacArthur for his prowess as a, ah, army general and running a war that defeated them. They admired him greatly for that.

And so therefore the Japanese people and the Emperor really honored MacArthur very much. MacArthur never tried to push or make something happen—he would always recommend. And, he was highly respected and so his recommendations were almost an order. And thus, Japan came out of its stature as a defeated country in 1945 and by the time Korea started in 1950, Japan was getting on its feet economically and our needs of using World War II material and everything else that was available for the Korean War, ah, the Japanese supported us and did most of the overhaul and most of the reconditioning of the materials that we used in Korea that weren’t newly manufactured in the United States. So the entire economy of Japan expanded immeasurably when we started to need their support for the Korean War.

Now, being a Flag Pilot, and it was for Admiral Joy, because Admiral Joy had an aircraft--a P2V--it’s a Navy patrol plane with two engines and a tail turret gun on it with 20mm cannon in the tail, and ah, it was configured for VIPs—Very Important People—that would be flying in it. Admiral Joy oversaw the Inchon invasion on the 15th of September, 1950. Admiral Joy had gotten his aircraft the previous day, and we were back in the air on the day after we delivered the aircraft and we, ah, we [garbled] orbited, we flew a large circle around the ships and the area in which the amphibious landing was taking place up in Inchon, Korea.

Now, that operation should be understood for what it was. Number one, MacArthur wanted to do that because in the “Pusan Perimeter,” which was the southern tip of the Korean peninsula, we were being pummeled to death by the enemy—by the North Koreans and their, uh, Russian advisors and, and Chinese advisors, and that sort of thing. And ah, we were taking a god-awful beating there. I know. I was flying troops in to try to keep them alive in this Pusan Perimeter; and it was a very, very difficult task, and you had mortar and artillery rounds being fired at you almost on a continuous basis while you were there.

Now, having provided Admiral Joy the opportunity to fly over the Inchon invasion and he had connections on [garbled] aircraft to his fleet commander--Seventh Fleet commander on the water with his carriers with his, uh, all of his naval vessels and the amphibious force. So it was a good opportunity for Admiral Joy to have the opportunity, more or less, to assist his fleet commander.

Now, MacArthur, in trying to have this invasion was resisted by, 1., the United States Army in the Pentagon, and 2., President Truman. I don’t think MacArthur knew at the time, and I certainly didn’t know at the time, that when he submitted his plan for the Inchon amphibious assault—half way up the peninsula of Korea—all of the quote “secret” requests to the Pentagon, and ultimately to the President, ah, had been forwarded to the United Nations because it was a United Nations police action. And what most people in the United States do not realize and should realize is that in 1942 when the Communists of both the United States and Russia, ands it like?, ah, correction—Soviet Union at that time—Russia hadn’t been brought down into its own state until later. But, ah, the Russians were written into the United Nations Charter as being in charge of military action by the United Nations.

So, everything that was forwarded from the Pentagon and to the President of the United States was forwarded to the United Nations, and they, in turn, made the decision: no, MacArthur could not do that. And, then MacArthur was informed. MacArthur, in turn, said, “I’m taking a beating. I’m going to actually have the possibility of losing our foothold here in Korea, and I cannot fight my way out of this situation I’m in. I have neither the people nor the capability, and if I tried to do it, my casualties would be so large that I would be unable to effectively continue to fight the war. So he needed the Inchon invasion.

He ultimately, through his personal contacts made, influence, and so on down the line, set up the Inchon invasion, and it was finally approved by the Pentagon and the President. And it occurred on the 15th of September, 1950.

We overflew it, circled around where the amphibious landing was taking place with Admiral Joy on board, ah, which helped everybody concerned.

MacArthur, four days later, wanted to get a feel for what was going on and he, in turn, came on board our aircraft—Admiral Joy’s aircraft—our little Navy patrol plane—he referred to it as “little Navy airplane.” And he came with us, and when I was briefing him on what would happen if we had to have him bale out or if we ditched it in the water, or whatever, and my responsibility as one of the pilots of the aircraft was to inform him what he should expect to do and how it would happen. And he said, “I don’t jump out of airplanes, that’s for young people to do and,” and he said, “I’m not a young person any more. So you land it in the water if you have to or land it on the land if you have to, but I’m not jumping out.”

And he looked at my name tag and he saw my name [Nulton] and he associated it with my father who had served him for nine-tenths of World War II. And so he sort of made me part of his family and he asked me if I was cut out of the same piece of cloth as my father. And I told him, “No, General, I wasn’t.” And he said, “Why not?” And I said, “My older brother got all the brains, and I got the physical ability, so you’re not getting what you would have had with my father (chuckle).” And the General says, “We’ll see about that.” He ended up making me his sort of aide when he went up into Korea, and ah, if you’re not familiar with the military, an aide does everything that nobody else does such as if the General got his shoes dirty or muddy or something like that my job was to get ‘em polished and make the General look like what he wanted to look like.

So, anyway, with that background I was able to help the General in what he did and in many cases having taken maps and charts back to the Admiral and to the General I was made privy to what they were talking about. And as my father told me when I was a youngster, “Frank, you never learn anything when you’re talking. He said, “When you listen, you learn.” And working with such brilliant men I found that listening became a profession. I had the best trained ears in the world and I didn’t know how to talk. That’s good.

So, we go on to the fact that one day going up to Korea, the General said he was going to do something, and Admiral Joy said to him, “Well, you know, I don’t think the United Nations would like that.” And General MacArthur said very simply, “Turner—Admiral Joy’s first name—Turner, he says, if it’s good for the United States, I do it. If it’s bad for the United States, I don’t do it.” He said as far as I’m concerned, the U.N. is just a pain in the, ah, um, a special part of the anatomy.”

So, anyway, ah, you’ve got to understand, that when a man’s fighting a war, and people are dying, ah, they all have a different reaction to how that plays in, in their value system. And General MacArthur, on occasion after occasion—whether it was in the aircraft that I was listening to him, or if it was at his headquarters when he was talking to his generals on his weekly meetings with his generals—MacArthur would say to his general that was proposing something, a, he’d say, “That objective doesn’t appear to be in keeping with the casualties that you expect to incur.” And, the general would say, “Well, it’s an important objective.” And MacArthur would say, “Not for the casualties that we would expect to have.” He said, “When you can cut your casualties by, say, 30 percent or 50 percent,” he said, “I’ll look at it again.” He said, “Not until then.” This is the type of person that General MacArthur was.

And I’ll never forget, trying to land an aircraft after the field had been evacuated by the Air Force, just north of Seoul, and ah, in fact, the Air Force left dinner—hot dinner—on the tables when they evacuated that night, and the next morning at about six in the morning, we were making an approach to the airfield, and I looked out, and here were these little men running around in their white cotton suits, and I said to the pilot—we had broken out of the overcast at about 200 feet—and I said, “We don’t own this airfield.” And just then, all of the small arms fire and everything occurred because they recognized this airplane was not one of theirs, and we picked up a whole bunch of holes in the aircraft but fortunately none of our passengers were injured and we got out of there.

So, put it all together, and General MacArthur said to me, “Frank,” he said, “tell the other two pilots and yourself, when you’re on the ground, come over to my headquarters because I want to make sure that you know what we’re thinking and where we may want to go and you can tell us if you can get in there and what the circumstances are for the transportation in and out, and that sort of thing. So, yes, I had the joy of living, working with a man for almost six months, and it was an absolutely beautiful experience.

Now, Admiral Joy, on the other hand, really didn’t consume a large role in our work from Tokyo up to Korea until the, ah, the negotiations for the termination of hostilities between the North and the South and ourselves took place. And Admiral Joy went up there representing, quote, “The United Nations” in this conference—at Punmanjon. And, Admiral Joy was given no guidance whatsoever [stressed for emphasis] except to go to the conference and negotiate a cease fire—not a surrender, not a termination of conflict—but just, sort of a, hmm, a pause.

And, to arrange that, Admiral Joy was sent up to Panmunjon to talk to the North Koreans. They were absolutely arbitrary in every way. They said all kinds of things which were impossible to believe, but they said them anyway. And they accused us of being world warmongers and all sorts of things. And, with no guidance from the United Nations.

Every time Admiral Joy would come back from one of these Panmunjon trips which would last anywhere between one to four days, and he would write his report. The United Nations would come back and say the most horrible things to him—you didn’t do this, you didn’t do that, you didn’t do anything—but they never provided him any guidance. And this went on for a period of about five months.

And Admiral Joy, being a conscientious person—a wonderful person—had his nervous system totally destroyed. We flew him back after about five months of that to Bethesda Naval Hospital, in Washington DC, and Admiral Joy was dead within two months after he got back and they started treating him to try to assist. He couldn’t eat—his nervous system had been totally destroyed, ah, ah, he had been destroyed by the United Nations. And I learned that the United Nations was not only a figment of socialist imagination, but it was also a betrayal of people, and, and, a, an organization that didn’t really understand who it was, what it was, or what it was doing, but it was doing it—and destroying people in the process. So, I had a very clear picture of what the United Nations was—it was useless—and ah, it got in the way of everything good.

And so now you have a sense of who General MacArthur was—I hope—and who Admiral Joy was. And I had the privilege to serve both of them. And I highly respect them, and feel that we had some of the best [a slight snuffle here] of America while those two gentlemen were in position and doing what they were doing.

Now, what I’d like to do now is break from Admiral Joy and General MacArthur and go to the most intense learning experience I have ever had in about a 45 minute period of time. And that learning experience occurred because a Japanese admiral had, early in the war, in early May of 1942, was on his flagship, and an American bomb from an American aircraft—a fleet aircraft from a carrier in the Pacific—at the Battle of Coral Sea, which is just north of Australia, between Australia and New Guinea. He had been very, very badly wounded—he had burns over 40 percent of his body, and he lost his right leg below the knee and he ultimately got back to Japan and went into the hospital, and it took about 18 months for him to get back into a mobile status where he could move around.

And this admiral, when MacArthur took over in Japan, was made the manager of the Gizoku Gycon, which is the equivalent of our Senate Club in Washington, DC. It is a, was a, very plush, multi-story—about a six-story building—and it had had hot baths—it had everything in Japan, first class. A super first-class hotel [unintelligible].

And, one day the admiral was coming around, it was Sunday, about, ah, one-thirty in the afternoon, and it was rainy, and, this was February, of 1951, and I had just finished my work for a [flight garbled] plan for the following day, and I sort of loose ends, and he, as the manager of the facility [garbled] where we lived in a small building right in back of the big six-story building. And I said to him, “Admiral, I’m at loose ends, I’ve got my work wrapped up; how would you like to go over into the main building and we’ll shoot some billiards.” And he said, “I know nothing of billiards.” And I said, “And I know nothing of billiards, so we’ll have a wonderful time learning about billiards.” And, so we went over, and everything didn’t work out as one expected it—that it should work out—and it didn’t. And so finally we sat down alongside the billiard table, because he had [garbled] at not having good balance because of age and his injuries.

And so as a result of this, I did the thing that a young fellow with not too many brains would do, and I asked him what his reaction was to our dropping the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear weapons on his country.

Now, if, if a young person, if anybody was to [garbled] you’re suspect as to whether you got any brains at all if you asked a person, you know, how they liked our dropping two atom bombs on them. But I did it anyway. And, because, one, I was interested, and it was a question I always had from the time I knew we’d dropped the atom bombs, and I wondered what the Japanese thought about it.

So, there was silence when I asked the question, and I figured, “Oh, boy, Nulton, you did it. You did the ultimate thing, and he can’t even answer, and you probably will never be able to talk to this gentleman again, retired admiral or no—you know, you can only take so much.” And it seemed like five years, but it was probably closer to four or five minutes, and he turned to me and he said, “I am not sure you are mature enough to know my answer, and—you know—here he is, a multistar admiral and I’m an ensign in the United States Navy, and, ah, probably wet behind the ears, and in a number of other places, and, ah, (chuckle) and he was wise to think that way, I think.

But, after, what I hoped, was an appropriate period of time to consider his answer, I said, “Would you try me?” And, again, there was a long pause, but, it wasn’t the five years I thought the first pause was, it was only about, maybe, six months. Which means it was probably a minute-and-a-half or two minutes.

And he said, “Alright,” he said, “I have never been asked this question. I never thought about it completely, in retrospect. But let me explain my answer to you. He said, “Number one, when I came back and I was unfit to go back aboard ship because of my not having good balance and having lost my right leg, and so on,” he said, “I was taken onto what the Emperor”--of Japan, here--“called his military staff. It was a small group that I’d never heard of—and not that I had any way of knowing of it—that I didn’t know of. And, he was in that capacity, and he knew that his military general who was in charge of the armed forces—and the war—executing the war, he knew that he was getting information that was not completely true. In other words, a better picture was being painted than actually existed—by his general in charge. So as a result, he felt he needed information that he was not getting, so he had his own little military group of approximately five people. And one was this admiral.

And he said, “Soon after I had joined the group, the Emperor had asked us, ‘What would happen if the war went completely bad. This was in 19 . . . early in 19 . . . 44, and it took about ten months to do the study, and the study came up with the fact that . . . it’s estimated that of the enemy that attacked us that we would kill approximately six million of them. And that the cost of killing the six million in defending our country, we would lose between 13 and 15 million people ourselves.”

So with about 15 million of their people [Japanese] dying and 6 million of the enemy [Allies] dying, we’re talking round figures, about 20 million dead. On the invasion of Japan. And then the final paragraph was the one that he said influenced the Emperor the most, and that was that, “If that occurred, and peace was established, after the conquest of Japan, that it would take between 135 and 150 years for Japan to restore the population that had existed prior to their going to war” in 1935—first in Manchuria and then in China—so they had been at war for five years before Pearl Harbor took place.

And, they were looking at between 135 and 150 years just to restore the population prior to 1935. And the Emperor at that time contacted the Soviet representative, because Japan was not at war with the Soviet Union, the Soviet Union was not at war with Japan; so they had diplomatic relations and the Emperor had his secretary of state talk to the secretary, er, the ambassador from the Soviet Union to Japan and asked them to contact the United States to start a discussion on a settlement, a peace settlement, of the war.

The Russians never notified the United States of that request from the Emperor of Japan, ah, because they had designs on some Japanese islands north of Japan approaching the Soviet Union—the Kuril Islands, and they thought the fishing rights, and maybe there’s some oil there, and so on down the line. So they had contentions of taking property, so they never informed the United States of . . . the Emperor’s request.

And, ah, just prior to the end of the war, they [the Soviet Union] came into the war, and took those islands from Japan.

So, the Soviet Union has never changed from what it started to be . . . ah, and what it was then.

So, the Admiral’s comment was, “So while we didn’t know the Soviet Union had not contacted America, we continued the war, of course.” And he said, “It was going badly; and I was not getting the whole story, so my military committee said to me that a decision was going to have to made.” And he said, “At that time the first atom bomb at Hiroshima was dropped.” He said, “The things that amazed me at the time was, number one, Hiroshima is a very small community in southern Japan. And, it has no military value—it has no strategic value—the drop that was made, the bomb that went off, was an air burst and therefore there was very little residual radiation and within a matter of just a few days we were actually able to send some people in for a very short period of time to look around and see what we could do for whomever survived.” And he said, “The fallout from it from it did not go anyplace out, so it was sort of an isolated thing, and, ah, we talked about losing there somewhere in the area of about 150 thousand people.” He said, “Our Military Commander, when you [the U.S.] dropped leaflets the next day saying that ‘Hiroshima had been an act by the United States,’ he said. “That violated what our Military Commander had told Japan—that it was not the United States that did it—it was a natural phenomenon like a meteorite or something, and that the United States had nothing to do with it. And, when we put out the notice that we were then going to then do Nagasaki next a day later,’ he said, ‘Anybody that leaves there is going to be shot. The Military Commander there was told to shoot anybody that tries to leave town.

So, in spite of the fact it was going to be a bad day at Black Rock, apparently everybody stayed and then it was about 170 thousand people in Nagasaki. Again, a small, isolated city with very little consequence. Air burst again, so slight radiation. And he said, “You proved to us in the military command to the Emperor that you could take and wipe out Japan without ever sacrificing one person in the invasion, which would have meant about 60 thousand Allied casualties. No, 6 million—excuse me—Allied casualties. So, he said, “You did something that helped us to understand our position with—round figures—350 thousand people being the cost of giving us the lesson that we needed to know that we could not pursue the war any more; and we would lose it; and you would lose nobody in an invasion.”

And he said, “Knowing Japan, and the Japanese mind, by being a Japanese, I know that if we had had those same bombs, we would have not been as kind, and as considerate as the United States was. We would have used it on Washington, on New York, on all—any major city. Anything we could hit, we would have tried to do the utmost damage with those weapons, rather than using . . . as an instructional technique of what the future would bear if we continued the conflict.

He said, “I have always known that the United States was a different country than any other country I’ve studied,” and so on. But, he said, “I never knew there was such kindness and considerateness of an enemy that was (garbled).”

He said, “So, therefore, I want you to know that I will be eternally grateful for my family, my children, my grandchildren, because of the kindness and the thoughtfulness of the United States of America”

And that was one of the most (garbled) moments that I have ever had.

[Music up]


APO 226
San Francisco. California

16 June 1951


VR-21 Detachment, Haneda, Japan expands its ability to acquire medals by taking MATS Field and Track Trophy.

MATS Haneda celebrated its Third Anniversary by holding a Field and Track Meet combined with a picnic at Roosevelt Park, Tokyo, June 6, 1951. VR-21 Detachment was invited to attend and participate in this Celebration, but apparently, when one views the results of the athletic competition, VR-21 was not a very polite guest.

NULTON, F. I., Ensign 1st 400 meter, 2nd 500 meter, 1st 1 mile relay.
WILSON, F. E., AM3 1st discuss - 2nd 3000 meters, 3rd 800 meter.
HEINSON, G. B., AT3 3rd 3000 meters, 3rd discuss, 4th shot put.
WILSON, H. L., AD3 1st 100 meters, 3rd discuss, 3rd 200 meter.
BERTAGNOLE, C. L., AL2 1st 1 mile relay.
LONG, W. D., AMAN 1st 1 mile relay.
HOOL, T. J., AA 1st 1 mile relay.
PEACE, J. O., AKAN 2nd 1600 meter.
HEATH, R. F., AOAN - 100 meter.

The accumulated points scored by ENS NULTON’s speedsters put them in first place in team scores thus winning the MATS team trophy. In all fifteen medals, seven of which were first place, were picked up by the nine man team.

Public Information Officer
By direction.

Men from VR-21, Haneda, Japan, celebrated MATS’ 3rd birthday by walking off with the coveted MATS Team Trophy after bettering Air Force competitors in a track and field meet. In addition to the trophy, team members took 15 individual medals, 7 of which were for first places. The winners – Front, l. to r: Peace, Nulton, Hool, Heath. Rear: l. to r: Bertagnole. Wilson, Heinson, Long, Wilson.              (“Our Navy” Magazine, mid-August 1951 Edition)

Pre-Flight Class 15-48-4