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Radio dramatization

Seaman-1/c-Curtis-Wainscott

Curtis Wainscott

Seaman 1/c Curtis Wainscott of Cincinnati, one of the sixteen enlisted men who survived the sinking of the Macaw, was featured in a radio dramatization of the incident which aired (apparently) about five months later on the program Ohio, These Are Your Sons, sponsored by Standard Oil of Ohio. The program designated Wainscott that week’s “Ohio’s Fighting Man of the Week.” The following is excerpted from the transcript of that program.

JULY 9, 1944

OHIO, THESE ARE YOUR SONS

G. W. KINGSBURY

WLW

 

ANNCR:         Standard Oil of Ohio presents a tribute to Ohio’s Fighting men  –  and your Sohio Reporter with a resume of the up-to-the-minute news from the world’s battle fronts.

 

 

MUSIC:         FEW BARS OF AMERICA.  DOWN UNDER ON CUE.

 

 

NARRATOR:          OHIO  –  THESE ARE YOUR SONS!

 

 

MUSIC:         AMERICA UP FULL FOR A FEW BARS AND SEGUE INTO BEAUTIFUL OHIO.

 

ANNCR:         Ohioans have gone to war, from city street and country road.  They trudge across Normandy, through the hills of Italy, on the islands of the wide Pacific, and in the skies over all the world.

There, they serve a grateful nation.

SOUND:         MUSIC SEGUES INTO SOUND OF TELETYPE MACHINE.  NARRATOR PICKS UP OVER FADING SOUND OF TELETYPE.

 

ANNCR:         Into the headquarters of Standard Ohio’s Sohio Reporter every week day come news dispatches from the fighting fronts around the world.  They tell of Ohio’s sons and daughters and their service to their country.

NARRATOR:         Today we wade ashore with the first invasion troops, led by an Ohio officer. We hear a Buckeye boy’s voice as it comes from London. And we watch breathlessly as a Cincinnati seaman braves a storm to rescue a companion.

 

 

ANNCR:         SALUTING, OHIO’S FIGHTING MAN OF THE WEEK.

 

MUSIC:         ANCHORS AWEIGH.  SEGUE INTO MUSIC SUGGESTIVE OF STORM AT SEA.  UP AND THEN HOLD UNDER.

 

ANNCR:         On the far-reaches of the seven seas, American men are displaying courage in the face of enemy fire, and nature’s anger.

 

NARRATOR:         Seaman Curtis Wainscott Jr. is a 20-year-old Cincinnatian, a navy man. And on his blouse today he wears a commendation ribbon, a symbol of his courage and his bravery.

He earned his citation while he served aboard the illfated warship, the Macaw .

 

MUSIC/SOUND:         MUSIC SEGUES INTO SOUND OF WIND AND RAIN.  HEAVY GALE.

 

NARRATOR:         It was bleak February of 1944. Winds howled across the water.  Great waves, mountain high, roared, hurled their massive weight against the ship. A driving rain swept across the sea, beat dismally, mournfully, against the pilot house of the battered Macaw. Inside, with other seaman, Curtis Wainscott was on duty.

 

(AD LIB OF VOICES.  SOUND OF GALE LOWER)

 

OFFICER:         Wow, this is getting’ worse.

SEAMAN:         Right, sir! I’ve been in the navy 16 years.  This is as bad as anything I’ve been in.  Don’t look so good.

OFFICER:         Men!  Check your life jackets…This pilot house can’t stand much more poundin’.  Might have to leave.

 

SOUND:         WIND HOWLS HIGHER.  GREAT WAVE HITS PILOT HOUSE.

 

VOICE:         Watch it!  Watch it!  Here comes another high one.  Hold on!

 

SOUND:         SPLASH OF WAVE OUT.  KEEP IN WIND AND RAIN.

 

OFFICER:         All right, men.  Let’s get out of here.  The next one’s likely to break us up.  Let’s get below.  Wainscott, Adams, Myers – the rest of you.  Follow me.

 

SOUND:         DOOR OPENS.  WIND – RAIN LOUDER.

 

OFFICER:         Hold on!  Grab the rail.  Here comes another.

 

SOUND:         WIND. GREAT WAVES STRIKE AND BREAK AGAINST THE SHIP.

 

WAINSCOTT:         Commander – commander!  Adams is overboard.  (PAUSE)  I’m slippin’  (FADING AWAY)  Help – a hand!  Help – help.

 

SOUND:         WIND TO CRESCENDO.  THEN LOWER.

 

OFFICER:         (ABOVE THE WIND)  Myers – quick!  Signal the engine room.  Reverse the engines.  Wainscott is overboard.  So’s Adams.  We’re gonna put a boat over the side.

 

MUSIC:         MOOD AND BRIDGE.

SOUND:         SPLASHING IN WATER.  SOUND OF WIND UNDER.

 

WAINSCOTT:         Adams, Adams?  That you.  Whatsa matter fella?   Where’s your life jacket?

ADAMS:         (GROGGY)   I donna know.  Ripped off.  Gone,  I donna know.

WAINSCOTT:         Snap out of it, Adams.  It’s me – Wainscott – Curt.  Pur your arm ‘round my shoulder.

ADAMS:         (GROGGY)  Go way – my chest hurts.  Right here.  What’s goin’ on.  What – what.

WAINSCOTT:         Come on, Eddie!  Keep fighting.  We’re goin’ get picked up.  Keep fightin’, man.  I’ll help you.

 

SOUND:         WIND HOWLS.  THEN FADES OUT.

 

NARRATOR:         Seaman Wainscott, although shocked and exhausted, fought to save the life of his comrade, fought to stay afloat in those stormy waters.  Those minutes seemed like hours, before help came.  But help did come.  And the Cincinnati boy and his injured comrade were taken aboard.

Today Seaman Wainscott of Cincinnati has a citation from Navy Secretary Forrestal.  That citation tells the story of his bravery.  And that story is concluded with this ringing declaration:

 

ANNCR:         Seaman Wainscott’s courageous conduct was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States naval service.

 

NARRATOR:         And Ohio salutes Seaman Wainscott, too – Ohio’s Fighting Man of the Week.

USS-Macaw-survivors

Twelve of the seventeen survivors of the wreck of the USS Macaw. Photo taken at Midway c. late February 1944. Curtis Wainscott is at far left with crutches. He injured his right leg in leaving the ship.

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