feb 2018

Cape Cod Military Museum Bulletin

Greetings Fellow Americans,
Did you know Valentines Day has a military connection? Emperor Claudius thought the unmarried legionnaires fought better than married ones. He passed an edict banning the marring of young persons. A Roman Priest named Valentinus preformed secret marriages. While imprisoned for this crime Valentinus cured his jailer's daughter of blindness. On the morning of his triple execution (beating, stoning,and decapitation) he sent the girl a note signed "your Valentine" and so according to legend the tradition began.
In This Issue

Our co-display with the Bourne Historical Society preview opening was Wednesday February 14th, Valentine's Day. We actually had a nice turn out considering it is traditionally a date night! My date, Sandra Z. was kind enough to take photos of the event for us. It was a great night. There was period music, and the Ladies of the Historical Society cooked up Food Administration War time recipes. The recipes were designed to not use meat and sugar which were needed to feed the troops. The food tasted great!

The display is up, but not finalized. we hope not to add but improve some of our sections. If you have or know of someone that has something that could augment our display please contact me. Jerry Ellis and I spoke about the display, explaining the significance of items. Here are a couple of short videos capturing some of what you missed: 

A special thanks to Rick Langill for his continued interest and support for the Cape Cod Military Museum. He very generously donated an Lee-Enfield rifle. The Enfield was in use from 1904 to the present (Bangladesh and Canadian police). It was considered the best rifle of WWI. It did not make it in time for opening night, but it will be on display in the entrance case. So Rick thank your for your service Coast Guard, 102nd ANG and your generous gift!


 To see more photos click to visit CCMM's Facebook Page, then scroll down till you find our photo album:
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 We have an awareness display up at the Sandwich 5-cent Savings Bank Route 6A. The tellers said it was very popular. Even if the mannequin spooked them from time to time! It was so popular that our two week display has been extended to four weeks!  


The town of Sandwich gave up the most land to Camp Edwards/Otis Field when et established in 1938.
 To protect the east end of the Canal and Cape Cod Bay from attack, two 155mm Cannon were situated on Sagamore Hill. Sagamore Hill turned into a fort, with barracks, trenches, ammunition bunkers, a command
 bunker, machine gun emplacements.

 Cape Cod Bay and Buzzards Bay were  enclosed in anti-submarine netting. There were anti-aircraft half-tracks and  40mm cannons Protecting the Canal from air attack. 
Scorton Neck was turned  into an anti-Aircraft firing range  AAA troops would march with 70 lbs packs the thirteen miles from Camp Edwards to Scorton Neck fire the guns for hours then hike back. Basically they did a marathon wearing a back pack once a week!


In September 1943 The British 1st Composite Anti-Aircraft Demonstration  Battalion Royal Artillery spent a week performing AAA drills for the benefit
Of U.S. troops. World famous British actress Gertrude Lawrence (Dennis Mass. resident) performed for her countrymen. U.S. troops built a 400 seat  bleachers for her show! German Afrika Corps P.O.W.s built roads from the base  to Scorton Neck. Some of the road in Carlton Shores were originally laid out by  these "guests" of the U.S. Army.     

The Gunpowder and Grease Paint lecture at the Sandwich council on aging was a great success. This was the first time we got to use our new  Epson LCD projector. There were some learning curve errors with newly loaded photos, since overcome, but the images and subject matter were well received. If you know of an organization that would like this talk please contact me. Some of the display items that go along with Gunpowder and Greasepaint:


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533rd Amphibious Engineers, Camp Can Do It 

CONFORMATION! We are very excited to announce that we will be aiding (swamping?, pun intended) The Cotuit Historical Society with this years display "CAMP CAN DO IT"! In the above photo you can see that two of the engineers are wearing "bloused" jump boots. The engineers wore jump boots because they gave better protection against water than standard U.S. Army boots. Here is the problem, Army paratroopers had to go through very very vigorous training in order to "earn" the right to wear bloused jump boots. There was paratrooper unit was training on Camp Edwards for the "invasion" of Martha's Vineyard. While on leave on Main Street Buzzards Bay they encountered members of Amphibious Engineers also on leave on Main Street. The Paratroopers demanded that the Engineers surrender their jump boots as they had not "earned" the right to wear them. The engineers who had been through their own different but very vigorous training (treading water with boots, helmet and 70 lbs pack on to name just one) refused. The Paratroopers decided to take the boots off the engineers by force. A huge brawl ensued. Overwhelmed Bourne Police just blocked the streets off till the MPs could come out from Came Edwards and restore order. 

We will be providing photos, books, models, and uniforms for the Cotuit display. If any reader has or knows someone who has any items that we could use to augment and improve our Amphibious Corps display in Cotuit please contact me! I have a 1/35 Duckboat model to loan to the display. I am working on a Landing Craft Material( LCM-3) also in 1/35th scale to add to the display. 

We picked up this photo of Coast Guardsmen learning to operate an early  LCP (landing Craft Personnel). It is "somewhere" on the east coast. The Amphibious Corps  drew Soldiers, Sailors and Coasties with small boat or engine experience to fill it's ranks. 

The earliest LCPs did not have ramps on them.  Troops had to disembark by jumping over the side.
The next improvement was armored machine gun tubs to help provide covering fire for landing troops.
The next improvement was a small ramp allowing troops to hit the beach in a safer position.

Last in the evolution was a larger ramp with the machine guns moved to the rear of the boat.


landings were always a gamble. U.S. troops were used to gambling! Here is a shot of 532 E.A.C. (Engineer Amphibious Corps) shooting dice. 

The Engineer Amphibious Command was formed in mid-late 1942, at Camp Edwards, Massachusetts.
Three Camps were set up as satellites to Camp Edwards. These were Camp Can Do It (in Cotuit), Camp  Have Done It (in Osterville) and another in Popponessett.
These Camps were set up to train Army Personnel, develop training and Amphibious doctrine, utilizing  local Boat yards and local Citizens experienced with the building, maintenance and skills involved in  operating small boats under 100 feet in length.  From these Camps, there was an Invasion Launched. The Invasion was of Martha's Vineyard!
Those participating in Amphibious training were called "Cape Cod Commandos" the term command  was made famous by newsreels of the British special operations groups.

The Cape Cod Commandos had to entertain themselves and other units. They created plays, comedy  skits, variety shows, they had one show that drew over two thousand spectators!
There were so many landing craft using Cotuit harbor that locals complained to the Army that the boats
mudding up the waters! 



 I will be giving a photo/lecture on the Yankee Division and the Great War. The fifty minute talk will cover the glorious forgotten history of this storied Division. The Yankee Division was made up of State National Guard Units from all of New England. The regiments went like this 101st-Massachusetts, 102nd-Connecticut, 103rd Maine, 104th New Hampshire and Vermont, Rhodes Island  provided artillery and other specialty units. The talk will (hopefully) be informative, entertaining, poignant, and when circumstance allows humorous.

BOURNE MASS. 03532  

The Cape Cod Military Museum will have a spot in Museum Trail Festival of Museums! 

April 28, 2018 * 10-4PM * FREE ADMISSION!
Hyannis Youth & Community Center * 141 Basset Lane, Hyannis, MA



To view this exhibit is to enter a world beyond the reach of memory but very near to parents, grandparents , and great grandparents of our contemporary generations. "Cape Cod and the Great War" will be on exhibit through Armistice Day, November 11th. Open hours are Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Members of the Cape Cod Military Museum will be on hand every Saturday to answer questions and discuss the exhibit, and randomly on Mondays and Tuesdays. Groups are encouraged to make an appointment by calling 508-888-0633. 

Joseph Yukna, Co-Founder


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