By C. P. Van Ness

Permission to post this story received has been received through the courtesy of
Walt Ford
Col, USMC (Ret)
Editor, Leatherneck
On reading recent issues of The
Leatherneck we noticed a great deal about
the various outfits with the Expeditionary
Force and detachments with the Battle Fleet.
We think it about time to bring before the rest
of the corps the fact that there are several small
but active detachments on the gunboats operating
with the Asiatic Fleet, and that they are carrying
on with the traditional Marine Corps spirit.
One of these small outfits is stationed on the
U.S.S. "Helena," of the South China Patrol. The
detachment is ably commanded by 1st Lieut. Paul
A. Lesser, seconded by 1st Sgt. William J. Macauley.
Cpl Andrew is at the present time carrying on the duties
of Police Sgt. (due to the fact that we have no sergeant
at the present writing) in a very capable manner.
Cpl Grosskopf and Cpl Van Ness are carrying on
the duties of watch non-com and company clerk and
storeroom keeper, respectively. The rest of the
detachment is made up of six first class privates and
and nineteen privates. Our senior first class private is

Sylvester B. Holmes, commonly known as "Bob Wire"
throughout the Marine Corps "Bob" says he isn't shipping
over again, but we all know better.
We feel that the detachment has something to be proud
of in their record for small arms firing. The qualification
was one hundred per cent, with 12 experts, 12 sharpshooters
and three marksmen. We also beat the English in a competi-
tion shoot at the Taikoo range by 48 points. We are also
proud of the fact that the "Helena" captured the trophy for
the gunboat class in short range battle practice in which
they were materially assisted by the Marines who man the
four three-pounders carried by the ship. Private First
Class Robert L. Bruce captured the coveted title of
Gun Pointer First Class.
The "Helena" up to the present time has been on patrol
between Canton and Hongkong, but is being transferred
to the Yangtze patrol due to her heavy armament. We are
looking forward to some execeptionally fine liberties in
Shanghai and possibly a little excitement up the river. We
are now undergoing repairs at Taikoo dock in preparation
for our trip north. We will sail on or about the twelfth of this
month. The "Helena" will be known as the White Swan of
the Yangtze as she was formerly known as the
White Swan of the Pearl.
News clipping from Leatherneck donated by John Grosskopf.
Grandson of Cpl Ernest G. Grooskopf. USS Helena PG 9
(date of the story is unknown)