The Admiral and the Craps Game
"Roll the Dice and Pass the Ammunition"

Another story about Dad's friend, VADM Calhoun. He was in charge of all the logistics for the Pacific war. Why he concerned himself with this one incident, I don't know. Truly an eccentric! As told to me (WGI) by my father (WOI) on 13 January 1996. I have done some editing and rearranging, to improve the readability and keep things in sequence. - WGI
WGI:  So Admiral Calhoun called you in the middle of the 
      night to come into Pearl Harbor.

WOI:  I said, "I'm in Kaneohe, on the other side of the 

WGI:  It's a long trip over the Pali.  Or did you have to go 

WOI:  No I was going over the Pali.  With no lights, you 
      know, just with blackout lights.

      He called me in to round up some people who were 
      supposed to be unloading ammunition in a box car.

      I came in there and he says, "Mr. Innanen, I want you 
      to strap on these side arms."  

WGI:  <chuckle>

WOI:  I said, "Admiral, I can't wear side arms in the Navy 
      base, I'm a civilian!"

      He almost insisted that I wear these side arms.  [But] he 
      finally agreed that if I wouldn't wear the side arms, I 
      could go help him unarmed.

      Here was a bunch of Filipinos in a boxcar, supposed to 
      be unloading some ammunition.  And they're shooting 
      craps in the boxcar!

      Admiral Calhoun had his chauffeur and a couple of his 
      aids with side arms.  They converged on this box car.  
      These Filipinos, when they saw all of these armed 
      people pointing [guns] at them, their eyes pretty near 
      bugged out of their heads!  They were just quaking in 
      their boots!  

      The Admiral jumped into the box car -- or somebody 
      pushed him into the boxcar.  He couldn't jump!  He 
      said,  "All right you boys, all of you line up here 
      now!  Leave the dice, leave the money on the floor.  
      Leave everything just like it is."

      So he lined them up and he said, "I'll tell you what I 
      want you to do.  I want you to claim the money that is 
      yours.  And whoever owns the dice, I want him to pick 
      up the dice."

      One Filipino would run over there and pick up a few 
      coins, maybe a dollar bill.  They'd [each] scoop away 
      theirs, until the last fellow had maybe a little change 
      left.  The dice were still there.

      Admiral Calhoun says, "Who. Owns. The dice."

      Finally one fellow, sure he was going to get shot, 
      volunteered to pick up the dice.  Admiral Calhoun says, 
      "Young man, you're a brave man to pick up these dice.  
      It takes someone with some courage to pick up these 
      dice.  Now, I'll tell you.  I'll tell all of you.  For 
      me to tell you - and I've been in the Navy for 25 years..." 
      I don't now how long he said it was maybe 30 or 35 

      [It was probably 40 plus years at that time - WGI] 

      "... that I hadn't engaged in a game of chance, well, 
      that would be stupid of me to tell you such a thing!  But 
      you [each] picked up some money and left some for the 
      last fellow, and this young man had nerve enough to 
      pick up the dice."  He said, "I commend you.  Now, get 
      to unloading the ammunition!"

      And I came over the Pali just to witness this darned 
      thing!  He was just an eccentric sort of old boy.

WGI:  Why *did* he call you over?  

WOI:  Well, just to help him round up these...

WGI:  He just wanted someone he could rely on.

WOI:  I don't know!  But to wear side arms!  In the Navy 
      base?  No way!  [Civilians] couldn't carry a pea shooter 

      [Later thoughts:  I bet I know why ADM Calhoun wanted 
      Dad.  He was convinced that Dad was the most able man 
      around for handling civilian work crews.  As it turned 
      out, the Admiral didn't do that badly, himself.  -WGI]
Copyright © 1996 by William G. Innanen. All rights reserved.
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