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Two Who Escaped Death in the Deep

May 23, 1986|BETH ANN KRIER | Beth Ann Krier.

Monday's Memorial Day festivities will include a formal ceremony honoring about 3,500 men who perished in the 52 U.S. submarines that went down at sea during World War II.

The ceremony, set to begin at 1 p.m. on Seal Beach Boulevard, just outside the main gate of the Naval Weapons Station in Seal Beach, will include a ship's bell ringing to symbolize the calling of each of the subs lost.

Gold Star Mothers and widows in attendance will cast a flower into the pool for each of the 52 missing submarines. Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Long Beach) and Rear Adm. John Higginson, commander of the Naval Surface Group in Long Beach, are scheduled to speak. And Capt. S. C. Kozlowski, commanding officer of the Naval Weapons Station in Seal Beach, will give the welcoming address.

But perhaps the individuals to whom the ceremony will mean the most are two survivors of World War II's undersea warfare. Sixty-two-year-old Jesse DaSilva, a pressroom supervisor at The Times, served as a motor machinist's mate on the Tang, a submarine that was torpedoed in 1944. Though 79 men perished when the sub was sunk, 13 managed to squeeze through the escape hatch. Eight reached the surface alive and five, including DaSilva, were able to swim until morning when they were rescued by a Japanese ship. They spent the remainder of the war in a prison camp.

Another survivor, 63-year-old Bill Hagendorn of Gardena, was a torpedo-man assigned to the submarine known as the Growler. It was Hagendorn's good fortune to be hospitalized for a serious fungus infection on his legs when the Growler was attacked in the South China Sea west of the Philippines and later declared lost with all hands.

A monument, which will be unveiled on Monday, features 52 bronze tablets, one for each of the submarines lost during the war, and the words "Still on Patrol" etched at the top.

The monument was funded by the Los Angeles Chapter of U.S. Submarine Vets of WWII, an organization with an estimated 7,000 members nationwide. As DaSilva described it, "This will be a permanent memorial and everlasting memory to our shipmates who perished in World War II."

Tips for Not Flunking

"How (not) to Flunk Out of College in One Easy Semester" is part of a course to be offered this summer at 13 different Southland locations under the auspices of the University of Southern California.

The course, officially titled "The College Success Seminar," is taught by studying pro David Becker, who got through UC Berkeley with a 3.9 grade point average and then earned a master's degree in psychology from UCLA.

A few of Becker's tips for not flunking out include:

--Not taking all the hard, required courses during the first year. "The problem is you'll develop a bad attitude toward college by taking only uninspiring courses."

--Not attempting to take all one's classes Mondays through Thursdays in order to have Fridays off. "You have to ask yourself if you can afford to work a four-day week when all your competition is working a five-day week."

--Not tape recording lecture classes. "You don't have time to listen to the tapes. It's better to take good notes."

But if you're not supposed to do all that, what are you supposed to do ?

Becker maintains that his most effective techniques can't be shared in a few quick sentences but here's one that can: "If you only intend to take four courses, sign up for five or six, go to them all the first week, then decide which ones to drop."

Becker's seminar is open to all high school and college students. Tuition is $95 (or as little as $65 for students who bring their friends). A free brochure is available by calling (800) 233-1439.

Exporting Tourism

The Greater Los Angeles Visitors and Convention Bureau became the first such bureau to receive President Reagan's "E" for excellence in exports award at a White House Rose Garden ceremony last Monday.

President Reagan said there had been an effort to export one of his movies, "Cattle Queen of Montana," to Japan but, "It never happened. Something was lost in the translation."

It was the first time tourism had been considered an "export," based on the fact that it sells an American product--in this case Los Angeles--to a foreign market.

Los Angeles was singled out for the award for attracting 46 million visitors (and $10.7 billion in business) to Los Angeles in 1985, a 7% increase over the previous year.

"We are deeply honored that our efforts are being recognized by the President," said bureau president Albert Dorskind, who was also congratulated by Sen. Pete Wilson (R-Calif.) and people dressed up as Bugs Bunny and Woody Woodpecker at a hotel luncheon following the Rose Garden ceremony.

Leary's Mind Game

"Here's your chance to win a real Beverly Hills Life Simulation. Imagine, a Mind Mirror party thrown in your honor by Timothy Leary at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. It'll be an evening to remember. Timothy Leary, celebrities, the media--they'll all be there to toast you! And all you have to do is send us an essay--in 25 words or less, tell us what you have learned from using Mind Mirror."

That's the come-on (and promotional device) accompanying Leary's psychological computer software, "Mind Mirror," a "mental awareness program" described as an educational game to clarify thinking.

But get this: Though the software is described as "a street-legal trip through inner space," entrants must be 21 to enter the contest.

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