Tag Archives: Known as YPs or Yippies

SD’s tuna fleet went to war, changed an industry “You’re going to Guadalcanal,” one of the skippers was ordered. “This cargo has got to go through.”

The two vessels, the 110-foot Paramount and the 128-foot Picaroto, sailed northeast from the New Hebrides and into The Slot, one of the South Pacific’s most dangerous passages. Evading Japanese patrols, the two vessels reached Guadalcanal’s Red Beach in November. They were greeted by a band of Marines who, though exhausted by combat and malaria, unloaded both boats in record time. “We won’t take a chance on you boys getting sunk,” one Marine assured the Paramount’s captain, Ed Madruga. “This cargo is really important.”

The cargo? Turkeys, potatoes, cranberries, oranges: Thanksgiving dinner.