Thanks for “The Promise of the Princeton” (That Was Then, July 12). With a regular commission in the Marine Corps from Princeton NROTC in 1960 (congratulations on its return), I found myself standing at parade rest with my rifle platoon on the Princeton’s flight deck one evening in about 1962. The entire battalion had been formed up to hear President John F. Kennedy’s speech to the U.N. General Assembly about Cambodia, piped over the 1MC (squawk box). Prince Sihanouk was our man there trying to keep it from going Communist, but not to worry, said JFK: “We have Marines ready to land at a moment’s notice if there’s any trouble.” The ship was then converted to helicopters, so the threat was technically feasible. Behind me, I heard several of my men ask, with some urgency, “Lieutenant, is he talking about us!?” He was, but Cambodia held out and the battalion went ashore some months later in Vietnam instead.
In Response to: The Promise of the Princeton