Under the Radar

That Time in 1945 a Lejeune Marine Had a Pet Monkey

This 1945 photo shows the pet monkey Cisco. The pet of Marine Pvt. Joseph L. Hooker, Cisco was photographed "cavorting for the fellows outside of Bldg. 216 last Thursday. Cisco balefully posed with a used flashbulb for this rather informal portrait," according the original photo caption. (U.S Marine Corps)
This 1945 photo shows the pet monkey Cisco. The pet of Marine Pvt. Joseph L. Hooker, Cisco was photographed "cavorting for the fellows outside of Bldg. 216 last Thursday. Cisco balefully posed with a used flashbulb for this rather informal portrait," according the original photo caption. (U.S Marine Corps)

Proving that Marines have always been, well, Marines, and that the Greatest Generation also had the greatest war pets, Camp Lejeune this week republished this gem of a story, first printed in the base paper in 1945.

"We hope it will give you an appreciation for our Corps' illustrious heritage and a unique look at the style and tone of journalism during these years," current staff said in an intro to the original story, written by Marine Corps Pfc. Ray Morgan.

Why yes, yes it does. Here's the original story:

'Cisco' Is Newest Addition to Camp Lejeune Menagerie

Last Wednesday the Globe staff was drowsing in the morning sunshine, when an urgent phone call from our roving sports editor, Gene Sherman, brought the news department to its feet.

In this wide forages here on base, Sherman had turned up a remarkable story of a pet monkey who was at the present cavorting outside of Building No. 216. Grabbing our hats, we rushed to the photo lab and cornered lensman Sgt. Larry Ashman--who was at the moment thinking very seriously of going to lunch.

Ashman was annoyed to say the least, but he resignedly picked up his equipment and came with us, mumbling something about alligators, rattlesnakes, monkeys, and didn't the Globe have anything better to do than to interfere with his lunch.

At our destination we found a monkey entertaining a group of Marines at the direction of his owner, Pvt. Joseph L. Hooker. While the unusual pet was putting on a free show for the boys, we interviewed Pvt. Hooker about his catch.

History of Cisco

Cisco, as the monkey is called, was picked up by Hooker on Okinawa last spring. Pvt. Hooker didn't catch the animal himself, but swapped it from some fellows on an LST for a samurai sword and a couple of Japanese flags. We asked if there had been any trouble in getting Cisco into the States, but Hooker assured us that his pet checked in all very legally through Pearl Harbor, Panama, and New Orleans.

"He likes to put on a show when a bunch of guys are around," said Hooker, motioning to 'Cisco' who was at the moment screaming his indignation at Ashman for giving him a hot flash bulb to play with.

Likes Liquor

We asked about Cisco's diet, not being able to immediately think of anything on a monkey's bill-of-fare besides coco-nuts.

"Oh he likes anything," Hooker replied, "Especially nuts, candy and liquor. The only trouble is he swipes stuff, hides it, and then forgets where he puts it."

Not knowing much about a monkey's personality, we asked with civilization in general and whether or not he missed his native habitats.

"Cisco gets along fine most of the time," answered Hooker. "Except when he sees a woman. Cisco's a real woman hater. He flies into a rage when he sees one, and won't calm down til they go away."

A monkey who's a woman hater, we mused and we moved away thinking deeply about something someone had once said about animals being dumb.

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