Dec 29

Spies???

Tuesday, December 29, 2015 12:01 AM

By

Captain Winifred Quick Collins

Captain Winifred Quick Collins

While reading through Captain Collins Oral History, many stories stuck out to me. Her induction into the WAVES, becoming regular Navy, dealing with a Navy not prepared for women, but out of all those wonderful stories, the excerpt below is perhaps on the funniest I read. She explains to Paul Stillwell from USNI how she was introduced to Admiral Halsey while stationed in Hawaii during World War II.

 

A multimillionaire businessman from Denver gave the women officers a beautiful home at Kailua. It’s across the Pali from Pearl Harbor and right on the beach. It was a gorgeous place. Two of my friends and I went over on a Sunday, which was our only day off, to go swimming and enjoy this beautiful place. It was right on the ocean-a magnificent place and beautifully furnished. He also left us a little Chinese boy and a maid, so it was a great treat to be away from the BOQ and to be out of uniform.

So one day we came back from swimming and went in and showered. I was the first one dressed, and just as I came out in this beautiful living room, I saw the houseboy letting a man in from the beach, which was the front of this house. He was wearing shorts, because he’d been walking and swimming. I recognized the man immediately as Admiral Halsey. He didn’t say who he was, so I just said that I was Winifred Quick. I didn’t know what else to do. If he doesn’t say he’s in the Navy, should I saw I’m in the Navy? So I asked him if he’d like a drink. And he said he would. So the houseboy went to get him a drink, and he said, “Well, this is certainly a beautiful place you have here.” He said, “Have you lived here long?”

I said, “No, sir.”

He said, “Do you expect to stay long?”

I said, “I think quite a while.”

So he said, “Are you here along?”

I said, “No, I’m here with two other friends. You’ll meet them in just a few minutes.” I think he’d finished his first drink, and then my second friend came out, and I said, “This is my friend Winifred Love,” still not saying anything about the Navy, because I thought I would just play it the way he did. Fine, he had a second drink, and then my third friend came out. I said, “This is Louis Wild.”

He put down his drink, looked at his watch, and he said, “I have to leave right away.” It just seemed a like a complete change in him, and he dashed out the door.

The next morning I got a call about 9:00 o’clock. I answered the phone, and I said, “This is Lieutenant Quick.”

He said, “The is Admiral Carney. I’m glad you’re admitting you’re’ in the Navy.” Then he said, “Do you know who I am?”

I said, “Yes, sire. You’re chief of staff to Admiral Halsey.”

He said, “Do you know who visited you yesterday?”

I said, “I most certainly do.”

He said, “Why didn’t you tell him you were in the Navy?”

I said, “He didn’t tell me he was in the Navy.”

So he said, “Well, I must tell you that the aides in intelligence have had a very interesting night. Admiral Halsey came back, and said, “You won’t believe it. There are three spies living up there: Quick, Wilde, and Love.” The Third Fleet recreation area for the officers was about a quarter of a mile from us. “he said, I know what they’re going to do. They’re going to waltz down the beach and get acquainted with our officers. They’re going to find out when were leaving, what our next objective is. I can see the whole thing.”

So he told the aide to get the intelligence section to find out. So the aide came in the next morning, and Admiral Halsey said, “Well, what’s the story?”

He said, “A millionaire Denver man gave it for the use of naval officers.”

Halsey said, “I didn’t see any naval officers.”

The aide said, “Women naval officers, sir.”

Admiral Halsey said, “Oh, my God, I’ve been had.”

So after Admiral Carney told me that, I didn’t know what kind of trouble we were in. But then Admiral Carney said “Admiral Halsey would like to get better acquainted with the three former spies: Quick, Wilde, and Love. He wants you to come to a brunch. We’ll send a car at 11:00 o’clock. Wear your uniforms and bring your bathing suits.”

That’s a true story. And after that, why, whenever he came back from his missions, he always invited us.

Admiral William F. Halsey, I guess the joke was on him

Admiral William F. Halsey, I guess the joke was on him

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