Lynden was the gunnery officer on the LST 392. The
following story comes from Anchors Aweigh
by Lynden Benshoof. *
Greg [the communications officer] came up with
the idea of flying down to Oran to obtain a command car and drive it back.
So Greg, accompanied by Chief Art Roehl, went out to Army Air Force
Base and requested transportation to Oran (Algeria). They were turned
down flat for lack of official orders. They came back to the ship
and stuffed a big manila envelop with clean underwear and shirts. They
sealed the envelope with wax, stamped over the wax with the official ships
seal, then printed "Top Secret" on the envelop in big letters. Greg
and Roehl strapped on their forty-five pistols and headed for the airport.
This time they requested an airplane and flight crew to fly them to
Oran. The request was granted, and within few minutes they were on
Three days later they were back from their dusty
eight hundred mile drive. They parked the new command car in front
of our ships ramp. They both hurried aboard and invited everyone to
see and examine the new car. When we all got down in front of the
ramp the car was gone. "Greg, where is the car?" I asked. "It's
gone! It was just here! Oh! Oh! The 391 is tied along side, and
look! Her bow doors are closing," Greg replied, and then yelled, "Why that's
Aronsull's; he's got it! Let's go."
Captain Lemaire nearly outran us to board the LST
391. We scrambled down to their tank deck, and guess what? There
was Aronsull supervising six deck hands who were painting the car Navy
gray. Aronsull had been caught with his hand in the "cookie jar."
He laughed and said, "I only needed five minutes more and it would
have been painted, but you caught me. I'll tell you what! We
well even finish painting the car, and to show our good faith we will even
stencil LST391--I mean LST 392--in big letters on both sides. OK?"
Lemaire nodded his head and replied, "You just can't trust anybody nowadays,
can you, Aronsull?" Later when he asked Greg where he and Roehl found
that car, Greg replied, "Why from the Army MP Headquarters in Oran, Captain,
* This particular passage comes from Chapter 22, "Mediterranean LST Stories,"