Fleming DE-32 - History

Fleming DE-32 - History

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Richard Eugene Fleming, born 2 November 1917 in St. Paul, Minn., entered the Marine Corps Reserve for aviation training 20 January 1940. Captain Fleming served as Flight Officer of the Marine Scout Bombing Squadron stationed at Midway, and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his extraordinary heroism and courage in the Battle of Midway, during which he led an attack on a Japanese carrier 4 June 1942 and was killed while attacking another carrier 5 June.

The name Fleming was originally assigned to DE-271 on 23 February 1943, and canceled and reassigned to DE-32 on 14 June 1943.

( DE-32: dp. 1,140, 1. 289', b. 36'1", dr. 8'3"; s. 21
k.; cpl. 156; a. 3 3", 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (hh.), 2 dct.;
cl. Evarts)

Fleming (DE-32) was launched 16 June 1943 by Mare Island Navy Yard, sponsored by Mrs. W. E. Rutherford, and commissioned 18 September 1943, Lieutenant Commander R. J. Toner, USNR, in command.

After training in the Hawaiian Islands, Fleming arrived at Tarawa 16 January 1944 for local patrol and escort duty, as well as escort missions to Makin, Majuro, Funafuti, and Kwajalein, through April. She returned to Pearl Harbor for brief overhaul between 19 May and 7 June, then sailed for Eniwetok where she joined a convoy bound for newly assaulted Guam, arriving 27 June. Fleming patrolled off Orote, and escorted merchantmen from Guam to Tinian and Eniwetok until 20 August, when she sailed to escort an attack transport to Saipan and Pearl Harbor.

Completing her assignment in the Marianas operation, Fleming acted as target for submarines training in Hawaiian waters until 17 October 1944, when she arrived at Eniwetok to begin 4 months of uninterrupted convoy escort duty between Eniwetok and Ulithi, the great base whose buildup was essential to the forthcoming Iwo Jima and Okinawa operations. On the night of 13 January 1946, guarding two tankers en route from Ulithi to Eniwetok, Fleming made a radar contact and began the five hedgehog and depth charge attacks with which she sank the Japanese submarine RO-47 just after midnight 14 January.

Late in February 1946 and early in March, Flemin, made escort voyages from EnIwetok to Saipan and Guam, then on 13 March arrived at ULITHI to prepare for the Okinawa assault. She sortied 21 March in the screen for escort carriers who provided close air support to the initial landings on 1 April, and sailed with them until 17 April when she departed the action; area to escort Natoma Bay (CVE-62) to Guam for repairs. The escort carrier and destroyer escort sailed from Guam 4 May to return to duty at Okinawa 4 days later.

On 20 May 1945, still screening the escort carriers, Fleming splashed two of three Japanese planes which attempted to kamikaze or bomb her, driving the third away. Five days later, she rescued 11 survivors of LSM-l35 and 20 of Bates (APD 47), both sunk by kamikazes. Fleming continued to serve off Okinawa
until 6 July when she sailed for a west coast overhaul. Still in the yard when the war ended, she was decommissioned 10 November 1945, and sold 29 January 1948.

Fleming received four battle stars for World War II service.

USS Fleming (DE-32)

USS Fleming (DE-32) là một tàu khu trục hộ tống lớp Evarts được Hải quân Hoa Kỳ chế tạo trong Chiến tranh Thế giới thứ hai. Nó là chiếc tàu chiến thứ hai của Hải quân Mỹ được đặt theo tên Đại úy Thủy quân Lục chiến Richard Eugene Fleming (1917-1942), phi công đã tử trận trong Trận Midway và được truy tặng Huân chương Danh dự. [1] Nó đã phục vụ cho đến khi chiến tranh kết thúc, xuất biên chế vào ngày 15 tháng 11, 1945 và xóa đăng bạ vào ngày 28 tháng 11, 1945. Con tàu bị bán để tháo dỡ vào ngày 29 tháng 1, 1948. Fleming được tặng thưởng bốn Ngôi sao Chiến trận do thành tích phục vụ trong Thế Chiến II.

  • 1.140 tấn Anh (1.160 t) (tiêu chuẩn)
  • 1.430 tấn Anh (1.450 t) (đầy tải)
  • 283 ft 6 in (86,41 m) (mực nước)
  • 289 ft 5 in (88,21 m) (chung)
  • 4 × động cơ dieselGeneral Motors Kiểu 16-278A với máy phát điện
  • 2 × trục chân vịt
  • 15 sĩ quan
  • 183 thủy thủ
    kiểu SA & SL Kiểu 128D hoặc Kiểu 144
  • Ăn-ten định vị MF
  • Ăn-ten định vị cao tần Kiểu FH 4
  • 3 × pháo 3 in (76 mm)/50 cal đa dụng (3×1)
  • 4 × pháo phòng không1,1 inch/75 caliber (1×4)
  • 9 × pháo phòng không Oerlikon 20 mm (9×1)
  • 8 × máy phóng mìn sâu K3
  • 1 × súng cốichống tàu ngầmHedgehog (24 nòng, 144 quả đạn)
  • 2 × đường ray thả mìn sâu


Born on 6 August 1881 at Lochfield farm near Darvel, in Ayrshire, Scotland, Alexander Fleming was the third of four children of farmer Hugh Fleming (1816–1888) and Grace Stirling Morton (1848–1928), the daughter of a neighbouring farmer. Hugh Fleming had four surviving children from his first marriage. He was 59 at the time of his second marriage to Grace, and died when Alexander was seven. [9]

Fleming went to Loudoun Moor School and Darvel School, and earned a two-year scholarship to Kilmarnock Academy before moving to London, where he attended the Royal Polytechnic Institution. [10] After working in a shipping office for four years, the twenty-year-old Alexander Fleming inherited some money from an uncle, John Fleming. His elder brother, Tom, was already a physician and suggested to him that he should follow the same career, and so in 1903, the younger Alexander enrolled at St Mary's Hospital Medical School in Paddington he qualified with an MBBS degree from the school with distinction in 1906. [9]

Fleming, who was a private in the London Scottish Regiment of the Volunteer Force from 1900 [5] to 1914, [11] had been a member of the rifle club at the medical school. The captain of the club, wishing to retain Fleming in the team, suggested that he join the research department at St Mary's, where he became assistant bacteriologist to Sir Almroth Wright, a pioneer in vaccine therapy and immunology. In 1908, he gained a BSc degree with gold medal in Bacteriology, and became a lecturer at St Mary's until 1914.

Commissioned lieutenant in 1914 and promoted captain in 1917, [11] Fleming served throughout World War I in the Royal Army Medical Corps, and was Mentioned in Dispatches. He and many of his colleagues worked in battlefield hospitals at the Western Front in France. In 1918 he returned to St Mary's Hospital, where he was elected Professor of Bacteriology of the University of London in 1928. In 1951 he was elected the Rector of the University of Edinburgh for a term of three years. [9]


During World War I, Fleming with Leonard Colebrook and Sir Almroth Wright joined the war efforts and practically moved the entire Inoculation Department of St Mary's to the British military hospital at Boulogne-sur-Mer. Serving as Temporary Lieutenant of the Royal Army Medical Corps, he witnessed the death of many soldiers from sepsis resulting from infected wounds. Antiseptics, which were used at the time to treat infected wounds, he observed, often worsened the injuries. [12] In an article published in the medical journal The Lancet in 1917, he described an ingenious experiment, which he was able to conduct as a result of his own glass blowing skills, in which he explained why antiseptics were killing more soldiers than infection itself during the war. Antiseptics worked well on the surface, but deep wounds tended to shelter anaerobic bacteria from the antiseptic agent, and antiseptics seemed to remove beneficial agents produced that protected the patients in these cases at least as well as they removed bacteria, and did nothing to remove the bacteria that were out of reach. [13] Wright strongly supported Fleming's findings, but despite this, most army physicians over the course of the war continued to use antiseptics even in cases where this worsened the condition of the patients. [9]

Discovery of lysozyme

At St Mary's Hospital, Fleming continued his investigations into bacteria culture and antibacterial substances. As his research scholar at the time V.D. Allison recalled, Fleming was not a tidy researcher and usually expected unusual bacterial growths in his culture plates. Fleming had teased Allison of his "excessive tidiness in the laboratory," and Allison rightly attributed such untidiness as the success of Fleming's experiments, and said, "[If] he had been as tidy as he thought I was, he would not have made his two great discoveries." [14]

In the late 1921, while he was maintaining agar plates for bacteria, he found that one of the plates was contaminated with bacteria from the air. When he added nasal mucus, he found that the mucus inhibited the bacterial growth. [15] Surrounding the mucus area was a clear transparent circle (1 cm from the mucus), indicating the killing zone of bacteria, followed by a glassy and translucent ring beyond which was an opaque area indicating normal bacterial growth. In the next test, he used bacteria maintained in saline that formed an yellow suspension. Within two minutes of adding fresh mucus, the yellow saline turned completely clear. He extended his tests using tears, which were contributed by his co-workers. As Allison reminisced, saying, "For the next five or six weeks, our tears were the source of supply for this extraordinary phenomenon. Many were the lemons we used (after the failure of onions) to produce a flow of tears. The demand by us for tears was so great, that laboratory attendants were pressed into service, receiving threepence for each contribution." [14]

His further tests with sputum, cartilage, blood, semen, ovarian cyst fluid, pus, and egg white showed that the bactericidal agent was present in all of these. [16] He reported his discovery before the Medical Research Club in December and before the Royal Society the next year but failed to stir any interest, as Allison recollected:

I was present at this [Medical Research Club] meeting as Fleming's guest. His paper describing his discovery was received with no questions asked and no discussion, which was most unusual and an indication that it was considered to be of no importance. The following year he read a paper on the subject before the Royal Society, Burlington House, Piccadilly and he and I gave a demonstration of our work. Again with one exception little comment or attention was paid to it. [14]

Reporting in the 1 May 1922 issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences under the title "On a remarkable bacteriolytic element found in tissues and secretions," Fleming wrote:

In this communication I wish to draw attention to a substance present in the tissues and secretions of the body, which is capable of rapidly dissolving certain bacteria. As this substance has properties akin to those of ferments I have called it a "Lysozyme," and shall refer to it by this name throughout the communication. The lysozyme was first noticed during some investigations made on a patient suffering from acute coryza. [15]

This was the first recorded discovery of lysozyme. With Allison, he published further studies on lysozyme in October issue of the British Journal of Experimental Pathology the same year. [17] Although he was able to obtain larger amounts of lysozyme from egg whites, the enzyme was only effective against small counts of harmless bacteria, and therefore had little therapeutic potential. This indicates one of the major differences between pathogenic and harmless bacteria. [12] Described in the original publication, "a patient suffering from acute coryza" [15] was later identified as Fleming himself. His research notebook dated 21 November 1921 showed a sketch of the culture plate with a small note: “Staphyloid coccus from A.F.'s nose." [16] He also identified the bacterium present in the nasal mucus as Micrococcus Lysodeikticus, giving the species name (meaning "lysis indicator" for its susceptibility to lysozymal activity). [18] The species was reassigned as Micrococcus luteus in 1972. [19] The "Fleming strain" (NCTC2665) of this bacterium has become a model in different biological studies. [20] [21] The importance of lysozyme was not recognised, and Fleming was well aware of this, in his presidential address at the Royal Society of Medicine meeting on 18 October 1932, he said:

I choose lysozyme as the subject for this address for two reasons, firstly because I have a fatherly interest in the name, and, secondly, because its importance in connection with natural immunity does not seem to be generally appreciated. [22]

In his Nobel lecture on 11 December 1945 he briefly mentioned lysozyme, saying, "Penicillin was not the first antibiotic I happened to discover." [23] It was only towards the end of the 20th century that the true importance of Fleming's discovery in immunology was realised as lysozyme became the first antimicrobial protein discovered that constitute part of our innate immunity. [24] [25]

Discovery of penicillin

One sometimes finds, what one is not looking for. When I woke up just after dawn on September 28, 1928, I certainly didn't plan to revolutionize all medicine by discovering the world's first antibiotic, or bacteria killer. But I suppose that was exactly what I did.


By 1927, Fleming had been investigating the properties of staphylococci. He was already well known from his earlier work, and had developed a reputation as a brilliant researcher. In 1928, he studied the variation of Staphylococcus aureus grown under natural condition, after the work of Joseph Warwick Bigger, who discovered that the bacterium could grow into a variety of types (strains). [27] On 3 September 1928, Fleming returned to his laboratory having spent a holiday with his family at Suffolk. Before leaving for his holiday, he inoculated staphylococci on culture plates and left them on a bench in a corner of his laboratory. [16] On his return, Fleming noticed that one culture was contaminated with a fungus, and that the colonies of staphylococci immediately surrounding the fungus had been destroyed, whereas other staphylococci colonies farther away were normal, famously remarking "That's funny". [28] Fleming showed the contaminated culture to his former assistant Merlin Pryce, who reminded him, "That's how you discovered lysozyme." [29] He identified the mould as being from the genus Penicillium. He suspected it to be P. chrysogenum, but a colleague Charles J. La Touche identified it as P. rubrum. (It was later corrected as P. notatum and then officially accepted as P. chrysogenum but finally in 2011, it was resolved as P. rubens.) [30] [31]

The laboratory in which Fleming discovered and tested penicillin is preserved as the Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum in St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington. The source of the fungal contaminant was established in 1966 as coming from La Touche's room, which was directly below Fleming's. [32] [33]

Fleming grew the mould in a pure culture and found that the culture broth contained an antibacterial substance. He investigated its anti-bacterial effect on many organisms, and noticed that it affected bacteria such as staphylococci and many other Gram-positive pathogens that cause scarlet fever, pneumonia, meningitis and diphtheria, but not typhoid fever or paratyphoid fever, which are caused by Gram-negative bacteria, for which he was seeking a cure at the time. It also affected Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which causes gonorrhoea, although this bacterium is Gram-negative. After some months of calling it "mould juice" or "the inhibitor", he gave the name penicillin on 7 March 1929 for the antibacterial substance present in the mould. [34]

Reception and publication

Fleming presented his discovery on 13 February 1929 before the Medical Research Club. His talk on "A medium for the isolation of Pfeiffer's bacillus" did not receive any particular attention or comment. Henry Dale, the then Director of National Institute for Medical Research and chair of the meeting, much later reminisced that he did not even sense any striking point of importance in Fleming's speech. [16] Fleming published his discovery in 1929 in the British Journal of Experimental Pathology, [35] but little attention was paid to the article. His problem was the difficulty of producing penicillin in large amounts, and moreover, isolation of the main compound. Even with the help of Harold Raistrick and his team of biochemists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, chemical purification was futile. "As a result, penicillin languished largely forgotten in the 1930s," as Milton Wainwright described. [36]

As late as in 1936, there was no appreciation for penicillin. When Fleming talked of its medical importance at the Second International Congress of Microbiology held in London, [37] [38] no one believed him. As Allison, his companion in both the Medical Research Club and international congress meeting, remarked the two occasions:

[Fleming at the Medical Research Club meeting] suggested the possible value of penicillin for the treatment of infection in man. Again there was a total lack of interest and no discussion. Fleming was keenly disappointed, but worse was to follow. He read a paper on his work on penicillin at a meeting of the International Congress of Microbiology, attended by the foremost bacteriologists from all over the world. There was no support for his views on its possible future value for the prevention and treatment of human infections and discussion was minimal. Fleming bore these disappointments stoically, but they did not alter his views or deter him from continuing his investigation of penicillin. [14]

In 1941, the British Medical Journal reported that "[Penicillin] does not appear to have been considered as possibly useful from any other point of view." [39] [40] [32]

Purification and stabilisation

In Oxford, Ernst Boris Chain and Edward Abraham were studying the molecular structure of the antibiotic. Abraham was the first to propose the correct structure of penicillin. [41] [42] Shortly after the team published its first results in 1940, Fleming telephoned Howard Florey, Chain's head of department, to say that he would be visiting within the next few days. When Chain heard that Fleming was coming, he remarked "Good God! I thought he was dead." [43]

Norman Heatley suggested transferring the active ingredient of penicillin back into water by changing its acidity. This produced enough of the drug to begin testing on animals. There were many more people involved in the Oxford team, and at one point the entire Sir William Dunn School of Pathology was involved in its production. After the team had developed a method of purifying penicillin to an effective first stable form in 1940, several clinical trials ensued, and their amazing success inspired the team to develop methods for mass production and mass distribution in 1945. [44] [45]

Fleming was modest about his part in the development of penicillin, describing his fame as the "Fleming Myth" and he praised Florey and Chain for transforming the laboratory curiosity into a practical drug. Fleming was the first to discover the properties of the active substance, giving him the privilege of naming it: penicillin. He also kept, grew, and distributed the original mould for twelve years, and continued until 1940 to try to get help from any chemist who had enough skill to make penicillin. But Sir Henry Harris said in 1998: "Without Fleming, no Chain without Chain, no Florey without Florey, no Heatley without Heatley, no penicillin." [46] The discovery of penicillin and its subsequent development as a prescription drug mark the start of modern antibiotics. [47]

Medical use and mass production

In his first clinical trial, Fleming treated his research scholar Stuart Craddock who had developed severe infection of the nasal antrum (sinusitis). The treatment started on 9 January 1929 but without any effect. It probably was due to the fact that the infection was with influenza bacillus (Haemophilus influenzae), the bacterium which he had found unsusceptible to penicillin. [32] Fleming gave some of his original penicillin samples to his colleague-surgeon Arthur Dickson Wright for clinical test in 1928. [48] [49] Although Wright reportedly said that it "seemed to work satisfactorily," [50] there are no records of its specific use. Cecil George Paine, a pathologist at the Royal Infirmary in Sheffield and former student of Fleming, was the first to use penicillin successfully for medical treatment. [36] He cured eye infections (conjunctivitis) of one adult and three infants (neonatal conjunctivitis) on 25 November 1930. [51]

Fleming also successfully treated severe conjunctivitis in 1932. [3] [52] [53] Keith Bernard Rogers, who had joined St Mary's as medical student in 1929, [54] was captain the London University rifle team and was about to participate in inter-hospital rifle shooting competition when he developed conjunctivitis. [55] [56] [57] Fleming applied his penicillin and cured Rogers before the competition. [3] [52] [58] It is said that the "penicillin worked and the match was won." However, the report that "Keith was probably the first patient to be treated clinically with penicillin ointment" [56] is no longer true as Paine's medical records showed up. [34]

There is a popular assertion both in popular and scientific literature that Fleming largely abandoned penicillin work in the early 1930s. [59] [60] [61] [62] [63] [64] [65] In his review of André Maurois's The Life of Sir Alexander Fleming, Discoverer of Penicillin, William L. Kissick went so far as to say that "Fleming had abandoned penicillin in 1932. Although the recipient of many honors and the author of much scientific work, Sir Alexander Fleming does not appear to be an ideal subject for a biography." [66] This is a false information, as Fleming continued to pursue penicillin research. [49] [67] As late as in 1939, Fleming's notebook shows attempts to make better penicillin production using different media. [34] In 1941, he published a method for assessment of penicillin effectiveness. [68] As to the chemical isolation and purification, Howard Florey and Ernst Boris Chain at the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford took up the research to mass-produce it, which they achieved with support from World War II military projects under the U.S. and British governments. [69]

By mid-1942, the Oxford team produced the pure penicillin compound as yellow powder. [70] In August 1942, Harry Lambert (an associate of Fleming's brother Robert) was admitted to St Mary's Hospital due to life-threatening infection of the nervous system (streptococcal meningitis). [71] Fleming treated him with sulphonamides, but Lambert's condition deteriorated. He tested the antibiotic susceptibility and found that his penicillin could kill the bacteria. He requested Florey for the isolated sample. When Florey sent the incompletely purified sample, which Fleming immediately administered into Lambert's spinal canal. Lambert showed signs of improvement the very next day, [14] and completely recovered within a week. [3] [72] Fleming published the clinical case in The Lancet in 1943. [73]

Upon this medical breakthrough, Allison informed the British Ministry of Health of the importance of penicillin and the need for mass production. The War Cabinet was convinced of the usefulness upon which Sir Cecil Weir, Director General of Equipment, called for a meeting on the mode of action on 28 September 1942. [74] [75] The Penicillin Committee was created on 5 April 1943. The committee consisted of Weir as chairman, Fleming, Florey, Sir Percival Hartley, Allison and representatives from pharmaceutical companies as members. The main goals were to produce penicillin rapidly in large quantities with collaboration of American companies, and to supply the drug exclusively for Allied armed forces. [14] By D-Day in 1944, enough penicillin had been produced to treat all the wounded of the Allied troops. [76]

Antibiotic resistance

Fleming also discovered very early that bacteria developed antibiotic resistance whenever too little penicillin was used or when it was used for too short a period. Almroth Wright had predicted antibiotic resistance even before it was noticed during experiments. Fleming cautioned about the use of penicillin in his many speeches around the world. On 26 June 1945, he made the following cautionary statements: "the microbes are educated to resist penicillin and a host of penicillin-fast organisms is bred out . In such cases the thoughtless person playing with penicillin is morally responsible for the death of the man who finally succumbs to infection with the penicillin-resistant organism. I hope this evil can be averted." [77] He cautioned not to use penicillin unless there was a properly diagnosed reason for it to be used, and that if it were used, never to use too little, or for too short a period, since these are the circumstances under which bacterial resistance to antibiotics develops. [78]

It had been experimentally shown in 1942 that S. aureus could developed penicillin resistance under prolonged exposure. [79] Elaborating the possibility of penicillin resistance in clinical conditions in his Nobel Lecture, Fleming said:

The time may come when penicillin can be bought by anyone in the shops. Then there is the danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself and by exposing his microbes to non-lethal quantities of the drug make them resistant. [23]

It was around that time that the first clinical case of penicillin resistance was reported. [80]

On 24 December 1915, Fleming married a trained nurse, Sarah Marion McElroy of Killala, County Mayo, Ireland. Their only child, Robert Fleming (1924–2015), became a general medical practitioner. After his first wife's death in 1949, Fleming married Amalia Koutsouri-Vourekas, a Greek colleague at St. Mary's, on 9 April 1953 she died in 1986. [81]

Fleming came from a Presbyterian background, while his first wife Sarah was a (lapsed) Roman Catholic. It is said that he was not particularly religious, and their son Robert was later received into the Anglican church, while still reportedly inheriting his two parents' fairly irreligious disposition. [82]

When Fleming learned of Robert D. Coghill and Andrew J. Moyer patenting the method of penicillin production in US in 1944, [83] he was furious, and commented:

I found penicillin and have given it free for the benefit of humanity. Why should it become a profit-making monopoly of manufacturers in another country? [14]

From 1921 until his death in 1955, Fleming owned a country home named "The Dhoon" in Barton Mills, Suffolk. [4] [84]

On 11 March 1955, Fleming died at his home in London of a heart attack. His ashes are buried in St Paul's Cathedral. [2]


She was launched on 16 June 1943 by Mare Island Navy Yard sponsored by Mrs. W. E. Rutherford and commissioned on 18 September 1943, Lieutenant Commander R. J. Toner in command.

After training in the Hawaiian Islands, Fleming arrived at Tarawa on 15 January 1944 for local patrol and escort duty, as well as escort missions to Makin, Majuro, Funafuti, and Kwajalein through April. She returned to Pearl Harbor for a brief overhaul from 19 May – 7 June, then sailed for Eniwetok where she joined a convoy bound for Guam, arriving on 27 June. Fleming patrolled off Orote, and escorted merchantmen from Guam to Tinian and Eniwetok until 20 August, when she sailed to escort an attack transport to Saipan and Pearl Harbor.

Completing her assignment in the Mariana Islands operation, Fleming acted as target for submarines training in Hawaiian waters until 17 October, when she arrived at Eniwetok to begin 4 months of convoy escort duty between Eniwetok and Ulithi, the great base whose buildup was essential to the Iwo Jima and Okinawa operations.

On the night of 8 January 1945, guarding two tankers en route from Ulithi to Eniwetok, Fleming made a radar contact and began the five Hedgehog and depth charge attacks which sank I-362 just after midnight on 14 January.

In late-February and early-March, Fleming made escort voyages from Eniwetok to Saipan and Guam, then on 13 March arrived at Ulithi to prepare for the Okinawa assault. She sortied on 21 March in the screen of escort carriers providing air support for the initial landings on 1 April, and sailed with them until 17 April, when she departed the area to escort Natoma Bay to Guam for repairs. The escort carrier and destroyer escort sailed from Guam on 4 May to return to duty at Okinawa 4 days later.

On 20 May, still screening the escort carriers, Fleming splashed two of three Japanese planes which attempted to kamikaze or bomb her, driving the third away. Five days later, she rescued 11 survivors of LSM-135 and 20 of Bates, both sunk by kamikazes. Fleming continued to serve off Okinawa until 5 July, when she sailed for a west coast overhaul.

Still in the yard when the war ended, she was decommissioned on 10 November 1945, and sold for scrap on 29 January 1948.


Oral History interview of Charles Wert. Interview conducted by Mathis, Sam at Wert Residence.

0:17 Opening Bio 1:17 Joining Navy 2:00 Family 2:55 First day in Navy 3:43 High School credit for military service 4:48 Pearl Harbor attacked 5:12 Why he joined the navy 5:24 Basic Training 6:10 KP duty 7:00 First day in basic 8:36 Graduate basic 9:01 Electricians training at Perdue 10:55 Volunteers for sub school 11:45 Talks about destroyer escorts 12:10 Hearing damage 12:30 DE training facility 12:58 Crew of DE 32 13:14 DE mock up 14:04 Waiting for commission 14:19 DE 32 Fleming 17:25 Weapons of DE 19:12 Hedgehog weapon 20:17 Shakedown crew 20:28 18th Birthday in Pearl Harbor 21:00 Pearl Harbor 2 years later 21:45 Anti sub patrols 22:17 Gilbert Islands 22:30 DE Division set up 23:23 Tarawa 24:00 Shell Back 25:06 Screening Marshall Islands 26:00 Radar and Sonar 27:00 Ulithi Atoll 28:00 Doctor 28:24 Convoy detail 28:48 Resupply 29:30 Brother in Marine Corps 30:18 Mail censored 31:05 Meet Brother on troop transport 32:40 Movies 34:11 Guam invasion 35:20 Screen landing ships 36:40 Pearl Harbor refit 37:20 Gyro Compass 38:50 Royal Hawaiian stay 40:10 Return to Ulithi 40:50 Convoy duty 41:11 Back to states 41:56 30 day leave 42:00 return home 42:22 replacement duty 42:40 assign to Anchor section Philippine Sea HQ 43:30 Transport to Manila 43:40 Land on Samar 44:00 killing time on Samar 44:34 Watching bombers at Samar 45:35 Sailors joyride on bombers 46:22 Moved to Manila 46:46 Lived in tent 47:00 Built up base 48:42 Philippine people 49:19 Starving kids in Navy trash 50:06 Purpose of Base 50:40 Local bars 51:58 People abused by Japanese 53:04 Joyriding in aircraft 53:40 Flying in P-61 55:30 Taken to wrong base 57:00 METS 58:16 Bomb dropped 58:42 Homeward bound 59:30 mustered out 1:00:00 sign up for school with GI bill 1:00:30 Married 1:01:12 Life after war.

After training in the Hawaiian Islands, Fleming arrived at Tarawa on 15 January 1944 for local patrol and escort duty, as well as escort missions to Makin, Majuro, Funafuti, and Kwajalein through April. She returned to Pearl Harbor for a brief overhaul from 19 May – 7 June, then sailed for Eniwetok where she joined a convoy bound for Guam, arriving on 27 June. Fleming patrolled off Orote, and escorted merchantmen from Guam to Tinian and Eniwetok until 20 August, when she sailed to escort an attack transport to Saipan and Pearl Harbor.

Completing her assignment in the Mariana Islands operation, Fleming acted as target for submarines training in Hawaiian waters until 17 October, when she arrived at Eniwetok to begin 4 months of convoy escort duty between Eniwetok and Ulithi, the great base whose buildup was essential to the Iwo Jima and Okinawa operations.

On the night of 8 January 1945, guarding two tankers en route from Ulithi to Eniwetok, Fleming made a radar contact and began the five Hedgehog and depth charge attacks which sank I-362 just after midnight on 14 January.

In late-February and early-March, Fleming made escort voyages from Eniwetok to Saipan and Guam, then on 13 March arrived at Ulithi to prepare for the Okinawa assault. She sortied on 21 March in the screen of escort carriers providing air support for the initial landings on 1 April, and sailed with them until 17 April, when she departed the area to escort Natoma Bay to Guam for repairs. The escort carrier and destroyer escort sailed from Guam on 4 May to return to duty at Okinawa 4 days later.

On 20 May, still screening the escort carriers, Fleming splashed two of three Japanese planes which attempted to kamikaze or bomb her, driving the third away. Five days later, she rescued 11 survivors of LSM-135 and 20 of Bates, both sunk by kamikazes. Fleming continued to serve off Okinawa until 5 July, when she sailed for a west coast overhaul.

Still in the yard when the war ended, she was decommissioned on 10 November 1945, and sold for scrap on 29 January 1948.

One Man's War -Part 31: June 10,1945 -- July 24, Back to the War continued

This story appears courtesy of and with thanks to Robert H Allison.

Having caught the raft I discovered that it was up side down and would have to be righted if I was to get in. This just wasn't about to happen. I didn't have enough energy left in me to turn that thing over. So I just stuck my arm through the rope attached to it and hung on waiting for the rescue destroyer, the USS Fleming, DE 32. It was not long in coming. As it passed by it was still making a little headway. The cargo net was hanging down the side but there weren't two big sailors hanging on it to give me a helping hand as there had been on the Lardner. As soon as I was close enough I grabbed the net and turned loose of the raft. I have no idea what happened to the raft but I'm sure they picked it up. When I grabbed the net, because of the forward motion of the ship I was dragged under the water. I hung on and began climbing. The deck is only five or six feet above the water, but in my worn out condition it was a mile. Not only did they not help me up the net but they made me walk to sick bay. I would have gladly lain down in the basket this time. Not only did I suffer these indignities but also I had to wear a wet flight suit until I was back on the Steamer Bay. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad they were there.
On this same day, Lt. (j.g.) George Vigeant's plane was struck by enemy antiaircraft fire and he was forced to make a water landing. As he was about to sit down on the water his plane exploded. He was lost at sea and was the final fatality for the squadron. In all the squadron lost five fighter pilots and two TBM air crewmen in the year and a half that it had been in commission.

The morning after my crash on the 15th, I was scheduled for a pre-dawn patrol with the skipper, Dunagan and Godfrey. Having lost my plotting board and all the maps and codes, I went the night before to the ACI (Aircraft Combat Intelligence) office to replace the missing literature. Lieutenant Bob Winters, the officer in charge, fixed me up with the board and most of the papers but said they were out of some and would get them to me.

About 0300 the morning of June 16th we were called to man our planes. Again this morning as it had been the day before, the sky was black, the weather was lousy, it was raining and the ceiling was about 500 feet. This morning we were to be catapulted off the deck. After checking out the planes we were guided on to the catapult one at a time. The skipper, Godfrey and Dunagan were launched and I was spotted on the catapult and hooked up. After getting the 1 finger windup and checking the magnetos, I received the signal for the two-finger windup. There I sat with full power, feet off the brakes, right hand on the stick, right elbow in my gut and my head back against the headrest. I was ready to go. Nothing was happening. I glanced out the right side of the cockpit and saw the deck officer giving me the cut engine sign. Then I heard the radio telling me to cut the engine and sit tight, that there was a bogey in the vicinity and the condition was "flash red". I sat there in the rain for about five minutes before I got the OK to start my engine. The other three guys had rendezvoused and were waiting for me some where beyond the formation of ships. This time when I was ready I was launched. I began to climb the plane to an altitude of three thousand feet where the skipper was supposed to be. I could not locate them so he said to meet them at target at point sugar. I replied with the affirmative. Again we were in the "flash red" condition and wouldn't you know that I would spot this orange glow. As far as I knew I was the only plane in the area so who or what was this orange glow? I was fairly close to it but the night was absolutely black and I could not see a plane. I know that it wasn't an American because the exhaust flames of our planes are blue. It could be the Japanese bogey because their exhaust flames are red or orange due to the inferior quality of the fuel. It could be a fire on a ship on the water which for me to identify would require me to fly back into the "flash red" zone. Common sense prevailed over heroism and I said to hell with it and took off for Okinawa. A later inquiry revealed that there were no fires on the ocean so maybe I missed my chance to score a "Kill". Too bad! I'm not sorry.

So now I'm on my way to point sugar. But where is point sugar? I pull out the plotting board, open it and "lo and behold!" no map indicating our rendezvous points. It was one of the papers they were out of and I wasn't smart enough to have checked. Well, I racked my mind to recall from previous flights where this point might be. I seemed to recall that it was about half way up the length of the island and on the west side. OK! I'll try it. I arrived at the place where I thought I should be but there is no skipper. This time he called over the radio to tell me they were about 5 miles due south of the southern tip of the island and circling. I would have to fly back across the island down the east coast for about 35 miles to get to them.

On the way down the east side I heard over the radio a message to a division of planes from another squadron from a command ship that there was a bogey on their radar screen about five miles from their ship at 3000 feet. Beings this was the area where I happened to be at that moment I became very alert. I looked down and could see the command ship and almost knew that they had me spotted as their bogey. I checked my IFF (identification, friend or foe) and it was on. I should have been recognized as a friendly. For safety's sake I kept watch for the division of our fighters and made a three hundred and sixty degree circle a few times looking for a bogey. The enemy had been known to slip up under an American plane, gain the protection of the IFF and move right into a formation of ships and make their Kamikaze run. I did not find any bogey and finally arrived under the over cast at the south end of the island. I eventually found the skipper still circling in a hole in the clouds. Upon joining up with them we returned to the carrier having fired not a single shot. I don't think he was too happy and I'll be damned if I was going to tell him about the map.
Our sorties against the enemy continued until July 24th at which time we and the Steamer Bay were ordered back to San Diego. The squadron was scheduled for decommissioning.

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Philippines Edit

LSM-135 was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the Leyte operation, which included Leyte landings, 20 October 1944, and Ormoc Bay landings, 7 to 8 December 1944. She also participated in additional Philippine landings at Luzon and at Lingayen Gulf on 9 January 1945.

Okinawa, kamikaze strike Edit

LSM-135 participated in the Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto in April and May 1945. While operating at Okinawa she was sunk by kamikaze attack off the Ryukyu Islands, 25 May 1945 at approximately 0830 hours. LSM-135 had only been in service 11 months and 25 days. At the time of her sinking LSM-135 was picking up survivors from the minesweeper Spectacle (AM-305) when it also was hit by kamikaze attack and burst into flames. The destroyer escort Fleming (DE-32) rescued twenty survivors of the high speed transport Bates (APD-47) , which was sinking from two kamikaze hits, and eleven survivors from LSM-135.

LSM-135 was struck from the Naval Register (date unknown).

Final Disposition, hulk donated, 10 July 1957, to the Government of the Ryukyu Islands, fate unknown.


6301 Waterford Boulevard
P.O. Box 26647
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73126-0647


Public Company
Incorporated: 1915 as the Lux Mercantile Company
Employees: 42,400
Sales: $17.5 billion (1995)
Stock Exchanges: New York Pacific Midwest
SICs: 5141 Groceries, General Line 5199 Nondurable Good, Not Elsewhere Classified

Fleming Companies, Inc. is the largest food wholesaler in the United States. The company stocks the shelves of more than 3,500 supermarkets and other retail food stores in 42 states and the District of Columbia, as well as in several foreign countries. Fleming has shown exceptional innovation in meeting the changing needs of the independent grocer over the years. The company's taste for the most up-to-date technology and its knack for making healthy acquisitions has catapulted it to the forefront of the wholesale foods industry. Today the company not only supplies its customers with food products but also assists with new store planning and financing, marketing, accounting, and operations management. In the 1990s, Fleming has sought to expand its presence on the retail end of the food industry and has increased its retail revenue to more than 21 percent of total revenue.

Founding and Early Development

In 1915, O. A. Fleming, E. C. Wilson, and Samuel Lux founded the Lux Mercantile Company in Topeka, Kansas, to sell produce to local merchants. The company's name was changed to Fleming-Wilson three years later. In 1921, Ned Fleming, the son of the company's cofounder, joined the firm. He was promoted to general manager a year later and held that position until he was elected president in 1945.

Throughout the 1920s, the Fleming-Wilson Company operated locally in Kansas. In 1927, it joined the Independent Grocers Alliance (I.G.A.), a voluntary grocery store chain and one of the largest independent chains today. In such voluntary chains, affiliated stores agree to buy most or all of their merchandise from one distributor and receive collective buying power in exchange, enabling them to compete with larger corporate supermarket chains. Voluntary chains have historically made up the largest share of the wholesaler's business, and they contributed significantly to Fleming-Wilson's growth.

The Depression took a particularly heavy toll on the lower Midwest and the Southwest. Though many industries in the region were virtually paralyzed, Fleming-Wilson managed to survive. In 1935, it acquired the Hutchinson Wholesale Grocery Company, another Kansas-based distributor, the start of a period of growth that has continued virtually unbroken to the present day.

In February 1941 the company changed its name to Fleming Company, Inc. That same year it branched out of Kansas when it acquired the Carol-Braugh-Robinson Company of Oklahoma City. By the end of World War II the fate of the independent grocer was uncertain and Ned Fleming was faced with new challenges. Americans were moving out of the cities and into the suburbs. As shoppers drove their new automobiles to the new supermarkets, independent "mom and pop" corner stores fell by the wayside, and supermarket chains grew at a frantic pace. It was the voluntary chain concept that rescued the independent grocer. Voluntary chains expanded tremendously after the war, and as a result so, too, did Fleming. The company reported steadily increasing earnings throughout the late 1940s and the 1950s.

In 1956, Fleming Company bought Ray's Printing of Topeka, renamed General Printing and Paper. Fleming itself was General Printing and Paper's biggest customer, consistently accounting for more than half the company's sales.

Acquisitions and Diversifications in the 1960s and 1970s

The 1960s were a decade of exceptional growth, as Fleming expanded nationwide through the acquisition of other regional wholesalers. Throughout the early 1960s, the company acquired several companies and facilities in the Midwest and Southwest, including the Schumacher Company of Houston, Texas, in 1960.

In 1964, Ned Fleming became chairman of the board of directors and Richard D. Harrison became the company's president. Under this new leadership, Fleming began an even more ambitious campaign of expansion and acquisition. In 1965, Fleming purchased Thriftway Foods, which operated in the East with headquarters in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Three years later, Fleming tapped West Coast markets when it bought Kockos Brothers, Inc. in California. However, at the end of the decade profits slowed for the first time in many years.

Fleming began to diversify again in the 1970s. The company bought a semi-trailer manufacturing unit in 1970, and in 1972 it created the Fleming Foods Company, which ran the food distributing operations as a semi-autonomous unit. Later that year Fleming bought the Quality Oil Company, of Topeka, Kansas. Quality Oil operated about 50 retail gas stations in the Midwest and proved to be a wise investment. A year after the acquisition, the subsidiary was contributing more than ten percent of Fleming's pretax profits. Fleming also branched into health foods distribution when it bought Kahan and Lessin in 1972. At that time, K&L delivered to about 1,200 health food stores and 1,000 supermarkets. Fleming's venture into health foods proved to be less profitable than petroleum: K&L lost money in 1973 and showed only a slight profit in 1974.

In 1974, Fleming bought Benson Wholesale Company and the Dixieland Food Stores retail chain, both headquartered in Geneva, Alabama. In 1975, the company pushed into the New Jersey and New York markets by purchasing Royal Food Distributors. Finally, in 1979 Fleming acquired Blue Ridge Grocery Company of Waynesboro, Virginia, capping off a decade of acquisition and growth.

Renewed Focus on Wholesaling in the 1980s

In 1981, Fleming Companies reincorporated in Oklahoma and its corporate headquarters moved to Oklahoma City. In March 1981, Richard D. Harrison was elected chairman of the Fleming Companies board of directors, and E. Dean Werries, who had previously headed the Fleming Foods division, replaced him as president, while Harrison remained CEO.

This new leadership steered Fleming in a slightly different direction. Harrison and Werries stressed wholesale food distribution over diversification. Throughout the 1980s, Fleming made more and larger acquisitions of food wholesalers as part of its growth strategy. In 1981, it bought McLain Grocery in Ohio. In 1982, it bought the Waples-Platter Company for $91 million, which included the White Swan Foodservice division in Texas. A month later, in January 1983, it purchased the bankrupt American-Strevell Inc. for $14 million. Fleming also purchased Giant Wholesale of Johnson City, Tennessee, that year. In 1984, Fleming acquired United Grocers, a cooperative wholesaler in California. It further strengthened its hold on the northern California region by purchasing a huge distribution center in Milpitas, California, from the Alpha-Beta Company a year later. In 1985, Associated Grocers of Arizona, Inc. was purchased for $47 million. In 1986, Fleming purchased the Frankford-Quaker Grocery Company in Philadelphia and the Hawaiian distribution warehouse of Foodland Super Markets. In 1987, it acquired the Godfrey Company of Wisconsin, and in July 1988 Fleming became the largest wholesaler in the country when it acquired the nation's fourth-largest wholesaler, Malone & Hyde Inc.

Fleming's incredible spree of acquisitions was not completely free of complications. In particular, the acquisition of Associated Grocers of Arizona posed some new problems for Fleming. Because the wholesaler had previously operated as a cooperative, owned by those supermarkets it serviced, Fleming had difficulty implementing its own corporate style of management. Associated Grocers customers were not at first supportive of the changes that were necessary to transform the company into a profitable unit for Fleming. Despite such minor setbacks, Fleming continued to look for possible mergers to strengthen the company. Cooperative distributors who lacked the capital to reinvest in new facilities and found it increasingly difficult to compete with the streamlined corporate wholesaler were likely candidates.

At the same time Fleming concentrated on acquiring food wholesalers, it divested some of its other units. In 1982, it sold Quality Oil, and in 1983 it sold General Printing and Paper. In 1984, it sold its health foods specialty distributor, Kahan and Lessin. K&L's performance had been inconsistent ever since its acquisition in 1972. In addition, in 1982 the Justice Department charged the subsidiary, along with three other health food distributors, with fixing prices. The company was fined $75,000 Fleming reported a $862,000 expense as a result of the litigation. Also divested were M&H Drugs, the retail drug subsidiary of Malone & Hyde, and White Swan both were sold in 1988.

Wholesale food distributors traditionally operate on profit margins of less than one percent. Increased productivity of even fractions of a penny on each dollar of volume can make a noticeable difference in earnings. For this reason, Fleming was quick to implement technological developments to increase productivity. In its newest warehouses, a computer breaks down orders by product, allowing a worker to fill several orders at once. The worker puts the total number of cases of one product ordered on a conveyor belt. A laser scanner sends each unit to the proper shipping bay to be loaded for delivery. This system increased productivity an average of 11 percent in those warehouses where it was employed. In warehouses in which it was impossible to mechanize without significantly disrupting operations, Fleming established standards of productivity as an alternative way to increase its profit margins. The procedure improvement program (PIP) measured each worker's productivity by computer. Before doing a specific task, a worker inserted a card into a computer, which calculated the standard amount of time for the task and evaluated the worker's performance. A worker who consistently fell below standard faced dismissal. Such work standards programs were, naturally, not always popular. In early 1986, workers went on strike at Fleming's warehouse in Oaks, Pennsylvania, in opposition to the work standards program and an increase in the standard number of cases moved per hour, from 125 to 150. The strike was settled when the Teamsters agreed to the new standard, and the company lengthened the five-step disciplinary review procedure to six steps.

Rapidly Changing Fortunes in the 1990s

Fleming went through a number of significant shifts in the 1990s, starting in 1990 with the loss of a major client when Albertson's became a self-distributing chain. This led to a $400 million loss in volume for Fleming and the closure of the company's Fremont, California, distribution center. Fleming quickly moved the following year to more than recover the lost revenue with a $80 million purchase of the warehousing and transportation assets of the Lubbock, Texas-based Furr's Inc. The deal garnered Fleming about $650 million in wholesale volume from the Furr's stores operating in Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Soon, however, Fleming relinquished the top spot in U.S. food distribution to Supervalu Inc.--based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota--when Supervalu, in 1992, acquired Wetterau Inc. of St. Louis in a $1.1 billion deal.

Fleming also lagged behind Supervalu in profitability, in part because Supervalu had a larger retail operation (retail marketing typically provides higher margins than wholesaling). In early 1992, Fleming derived only seven percent of its revenues from retail, compared to 20 percent for Supervalu. Over the next several years, however, Fleming would dramatically increase its retail base.

In mid-1992 Fleming spent $50 million to acquire a ten-store chain in Omaha, Nebraska--Baker's Supermarket. This was the company's first retail purchase in several years. The following year, Fleming signed a long-term (six-year) deal with Kmart to supply Super Kmart Centers with food products in those areas in which Fleming operates.

Early in 1994, Fleming began a major reengineering effort under the guidance of new company president and CEO, Robert E. Stauth. As originally envisioned, the program focused on downsizing and streamlining operations, including a nine percent (2,000-employee) workforce reduction, the closure of five regional sales offices, and a reduction in operating costs of $65 million per year. This effort had only begun to be implemented when officials at Scrivner Inc., then the number three U.S. food wholesaler, approached Fleming about a possible sale. On June 1, the two Oklahoma City-based companies announced that Fleming would pay Scrivner's owner, the German firm Franz Haniel & Cie, GmbH, $1.085 billion for all of Scrivner's stock.

The Scrivner acquisition catapulted Fleming back to the number one position with revenues of $19 billion, surpassing the $16 billion of Supervalu. The deal also brought Fleming an increased national presence by adding seven specific markets to the company's domain: Iowa, the Carolinas, western Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois, and Minnesota. Perhaps most important, however, was Scrivner's large retail operation, which increased Fleming's retail revenue to 15 percent of total revenue, derived from a combined total of 315 corporate retail stores. Fleming quickly bolstered its retail sector further when it acquired controlling interest in CMI in August 1994. CMI operated 24 stores primarily in Missouri, but with operations in Arkansas and Kansas as well. These stores garnered $225 million in annual revenue, bringing Fleming close to the $3 billion level in retail.

Following the acquisition of Scrivner, the company reengineering program was expanded into a consolidation effort as well. With 21 Scrivner distribution centers added to 31 existing ones, Fleming closed eight redundant centers for a final total of 44. Back on the reengineering side, Fleming announced early in 1995 a new approach to selling, called the Flexible Marketing Plan, whereby retail customers would be charged Fleming's net acquisition cost of goods plus the costs of storage, handling, delivery, and other services used by the customer. Another reengineering effort involved an aggressive approach to gaining new customers through a newly created New Sales Development organization.

In 1996 Fleming enhanced its retail operation again with the acquisition of ABCO Markets, a 71-supermarket chain in Arizona. This increased the company's retail sector to 21 percent of total revenues. Fleming was thus closing in on a goal it had recently set to increase retail to 25 percent of total revenue by the year 2000.

Fleming then suffered a potentially severe blow when the company was found guilty of fraud, breach of contract, and deceptive practices in a case brought by David's Supermarkets based in Grandview, Texas, a customer which accused Fleming of inflating manufacturer's prices and overcharging David's. It was estimated that damages could exceed $200 million, but Fleming received at least a temporary reprieve when the judge in the case ordered a new trial after Fleming discovered that the judge had had past financial dealings with David's and should have excused himself. Nevertheless, the judgment had an immediate impact as Fleming's stock moved down sharply, and the company reduced its dividend for the first quarter of 1996 by 93 percent. On the heels of the David's suit came a class action suit filed against Fleming charging violations of securities laws for not disclosing the existence of the David's suit although filed in August 1993, Fleming did not disclose the suit until about the time of the jury's verdict. The company's potential difficulties were compounded by the high debt load taken on in order to purchase Scrivner's and earnings that were lagging because of the major reengineering efforts.

The late 1990s will be a critical time for Fleming Companies. The outcome of the various lawsuits and the success or failure of its reengineering efforts will go a long way toward determining whether Fleming can maintain its top position in food wholesaling.

Principal Subsidiaries: Baker's Supermarkets, Inc. Certified Bakers Fleming Co. of Nebraska, Inc. Fleming Finance Corp. Fleming Foods of Alabama, Inc. Fleming Foods of Missouri, Inc. Fleming Foods of Ohio, Inc. Fleming Foods of Pennsylvania, Inc. Fleming Foods of Tennessee, Inc. Fleming Foods of Texas, Inc. Fleming Foods West General Merchandise Distributors, Inc. Fleming Company Clearwater Mill, Inc. Consumers Markets Inc. Crestwood Bakery Hub City Foods Sentry Drugs, Inc. Sentry Market, Inc. Store Equipment, Inc. Malone & Hyde, Inc. Megamarkets, Inc. Hyde Insurance Agency, Inc. M & H Financial Corp. Piggly Wiggly Corp. Royal Food Distributors, Inc.

Bennett, Stephen, "Aiming for $1 Billion," Progressive Grocer, January 1995, p. 103.
"Fleming Sees Its Future," U.S. Distribution Journal, March 15, 1994, p. 31.
"Fleming's 'Strategic' Buy," U.S. Distribution Journal, July 15, 1994, p. 9.
Friend, Janin, "Fleming Sifts Options after $200 Million Legal Defeat," Supermarket News, March 25, 1996, p. 1.
Garry, Michael, "Linchpin of the New Fleming," Progressive Grocer, January 1995, p. 57.
Jones, Kathryn, "A Move along the Food Chain: A Large Wholesaler Expands into Retail," New York Times, July 2, 1994, p. 17(N), p. 33(L).
Margulis, Ronald A., "The Trials of Staying No. 1," U.S. Distribution Journal, September 15, 1990, p. 26.
Mathews, Ryan, "Bloodied but Unbowed," Progressive Grocer, May 1996, p. 48.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories , Vol. 17. St. James Press, 1997.

12 Years Later

In 1940, the second year of World War II, two scientists at Oxford University were researching promising projects in bacteriology that could possibly be enhanced or continued with chemistry. Australian Howard Florey and German refugee Ernst Chain began working with penicillin.

Using new chemical techniques, they were able to produce a brown powder that kept its antibacterial power for longer than a few days. They experimented with the powder and found it to be safe.

Needing the new drug immediately for the war front, mass production started quickly. The availability of penicillin during World War II saved many lives that otherwise would have been lost due to bacterial infections in even minor wounds. Penicillin also treated diphtheria, gangrene, pneumonia, syphilis, and tuberculosis.

Watch the video: Karmas Payback. True Inspirational story of Winston Churchill and Alexander Fleming. vaccine