Ladies Night - Open Thursday
Roy Roush - The Battle of Guadalcanal
The book “Open Fire” is a Marine’s personal story by Roy Roush, it’s also Roush’s own story of front line combat on
Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan and Tinian in the South Pacific in World War II and then as a jet fighter pilot in the USAF During the Korean War.
Tonight Roy will guide and convey to us as only a military combat veteran who was there can about the very first U.S. offensive after Pearl Harbor...
THE BATTLE of GUADALCANAL
Roy was born 11 October 1924 at Alva, a small county seat town in north-western Oklahoma,
during the time that his grandfather was serving as a State Senator in Oklahoma City.
He attended school in Oklahoma City and high school at Enid, Oklahoma.
Between school semesters, he turned country boy - spending his summers on his grandparent’s farm in southeastern Kansas where
he hunted, fished and learned about the great outdoors.
His main companion was his German shepherd dog and his .22 rifle.
He would have graduated with the class of 1943, except that he had left the year before to join the U.S. Marines - hopefully to be accepted for pilot training.
At age 17 Roy, having dispelled previous notions of getting into military aviation,
enlisted in the Marines on July 4, 1942 and soon found himself at Camp Elliott in San Diego for the famous Marine training that sets them apart.
Exactly five months later he landed at Guadalcanal with the historic Sixth Regiment and was assigned as a Browing Automatic Rifleman.
The World War II Battle of Guadalcanal was the first major offensive and a decisive victory for the Allies in the Pacific theater.
With Japanese troops stationed in this section of the Solomon Islands, U.S. Marines launched a surprise attack in August 1942 and
took control of an air base under construction.
Reinforcements were funneled to the island as a series of land and sea clashes unfolded, and both sides endured heavy losses to their warship contingents.
However, the Japanese suffered a far greater toll of casualties, forcing their withdrawal from Guadalcanal by February 1943.
When Japanese troops arrived on Guadalcanal on June 8, 1942, to construct an air base,
and then American marines landed two months later to take it away from them,
few people outside of the South Pacific had ever heard of that 2,500-square-mile speck of jungle in the Solomon Islands.
But the ensuing six-month Guadalcanal campaign proved to be the turning point of the Pacific war.
Strategically, possession of a Guadalcanal air base was important to control of the sea lines of communication between the United States and Australia.
Operationally, the Battle of Guadalcanal was notable for the interrelationship of a complex series of engagements on the ground, at sea, and in the air.
Tactically, what stood out was the resolve and resourcefulness of the U.S. Marines,
whose tenacious defense of the air base dubbed Henderson Field enabled the Americans to secure air superiority.
By the end of the battle on February 9, 1943, the Japanese had lost two-thirds of the 31,400 army troops committed to the island,
whereas the U.S. Marines and the U.S. Army had lost less than 2,000 soldiers of about 60,000 deployed.
The ship losses on both sides were heavy.
But by far the most significant loss for the Japanese was the decimation of their elite group of naval aviators.
Japan after Guadalcanal no longer had a realistic hope of withstanding the counteroffensive of an increasingly powerful United States.
When Roy and his fellow Marines left the island of Guadalcanal on February 19th, 7 days after it was declared secured,
most members were ill from malaria or injured the Regiment would not be ready for combat for nine months.
Don’t miss this very exciting discourse from a heroic combat veteran and hear the true story of a baptismal of fire and how the Marines took the island of Guadalcanal.
The Adventurers’ Club of Los Angeles thanks our member, Roy Roush, for volunteering this presentation.
James Biesterfeld In the World of Counter Intelligence
James Biesterfeld, Special Agent (Ret.), U.S. Army Intelligence, is a noted author and consultant specializing in the area of counter-terrorism.
Some of his assignments as a Special Agent for U.S. Army Intelligence included:
Counterintelligence Activity, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands; Senior Special Agent, Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Saudi Arabia;
and the Discreet Surveillance Detachment, Frankfurt, Germany.
Biesterfeld currently works training law enforcement departments around the United States,
and also as a consultant on matters of anti-terrorism and threat assessments to companies in the private sector.
Counterintelligence (CI) refers to information gathered and activities conducted to protect against espionage,
other intelligence activities, sabotage, or assassinations conducted for or on behalf of foreign powers,
organizations or persons or international terrorist activities, but not including personnel, physical, document or communications security programs.
James Biesterfeld graduated with a B.A. in Education from Concordia University, River Forest, Illinois.
After graduation, he joined the U.S. Army, initially as a Military Policeman.
Some of his assignments included: Criminal Investigator, Ft. Belvoir, Virginia; Narcotics Investigator with the Joint Drug Suppression Team,
Mannheim, Germany; and Commander of the guard, NATO, Giessen, Germany.
He was recruited into Military Intelligence as a Special Agent for Counterintelligence, where he was responsible for the investigation of National Security Crimes,
including Counter-Espionage and Counter-Terrorism.
He is a linguist in the Arabic and German languages.
Some of his assignments included: Counterintelligence Activity, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands; Senior Special Agent, Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm,
Saudi Arabia; and the Discreet Surveillance Detachment, Frankfurt Germany.
In 1994, he established Sovereign Executive Services as an investigative company.
Following the events on September 11, 2001, he authored several seminars designed to assist law enforcement in their anti-terrorism efforts.
He currently is under contract to the California Department of Justice, Advanced Training Center.
He has trained hundreds of police officers and federal security personnel in California as well as agencies in Nevada, Florida, Nebraska and Ontario, Canada.
He has recently co-authored a textbook on Post Catastrophic Event management.
He also consults on matters of anti-terrorism and threats assessments to companies in the private sector.
Jim best describes himself and what he is all about in the following Career Summary:
"I have a 45-year career history beginning with the United States Army (Military Police, Criminal Investigator, Special Agent, CI).
After retiring from the US Army I returned to California and obtained a Private Investigator’s license, working as a sole proprietor since 1994.
After the 9-11 attacks, I developed and provided counter-terrorism training to thousands of law enforcement agencies throughout North America,
including Federal Agencies, state and local law enforcement agencies and their ancillary intelligence arms, Canadian and Mexican law enforcement agencies.
I also teach at the California State University (Fullerton) in their extension program on Private Investigations and have authored,
co-authored or senior contributing author to four academic works in the security/threat management fields.
The Adventurers’ Club of Los Angeles thanks Dave Finnern for recommending this speaker.
A raging inferno burns below ground, and an entire city disappeared.
ACLA member remembers that when he first learned of the story behind Centralia, Pennsylvania he immediately became obsessed.
How could a town like this exist?
It’s been burning FIFTY YEARS with no end in sight.
The town saw its population shrink from just over 1,000 in the 80’s to 6 today.
That’s a 99% decline for you math majors.
Beyond the physical marvel of the fire itself, the folklore and urban legends revolving around Centralia are equally fascinating.
There have been decades of political battles over ownership of the land.
In his research, he wanted to know just how unsafe it really is to live there, and kept asking myself two questions:
(1) Who would ever fight to stay in a town that has a raging inferno just below the surface; and
(2) Who is in charge of keeping the peace out there?
Certainly a deserted town such as this must be looked at as prime real estate for outlaws and drifters of all sorts wanting to set up their shop in the woods.
It seemed like the perfect setting for a show and a unique adventure to undertake.
IT ALL STARTED as a mine fire that started in 1962, and spread quickly through hundreds of miles of coal mine shafts that lay beneath the town.
As months became years and then decades; the subterranean fire continued to burn out of control, sometimes as close as 50 feet below the surface.
This caused the ground to smoke and steam, and led to possible carbon monoxide poisoning to many residents.
There were even some occasions where gaping sinkholes would open in the streets, yards, businesses and homes revealing a hellish inferno within.
In 1982, after two decades and countless attempts to put out the fire, the federal and state governments ordered the town to be evacuated and demolished.
Many residents accepted buyouts and relocation allocations and left Centralia to start new lives.
Many chose to stay in their homes and sue to continue living in what was literally a town on fire.
The fire burns in underground coal mines at depths of up to 300 feet over an eight-mile stretch of 3,700 acres.
As of 2014, the fire continues to burn. At its current rate, it could burn for over 250 more years.
Today, only five homes remain, with between five and seven full time residents.
This is a fascinating and unique story of a once-thriving city that is now a ghost town,
with a fire raging below the surface that geologists estimate could take 250 years to burn out.
The Adventurers’ Club of Los Angeles thanks our member, Eric Streit, for volunteering this presentation.