|The Paul McIlvaine Collection - WWII Short Snorters - Jamaica
The Short Snorter Project
|10 SHILLINGS JAMAICAN SHORT SNORTER
Issue date: 1ST November 1940 - Serial Number: C22 09765
This is a very well-worn 10 Shillings Note issued by the Government of Jamaica. As evidenced by the cellophane
remnants at the ends of the note, it was originally part of a roll of Short Snorters taped together with cellophane tape.
75 men & 25 officers were stationed on Jamaica in World War II. This Short Snorter has the signatures of 4 of them.
Two signatures on the obverse as follows: Bruce B. MacArthur, Major U.S.M.C.
M. Funge Aston St. (City and State unintelligible)
Two signatures on the reverse as follows: David P. Mason (Pinky), 1st Lt Inf
Lt. Cdr George Mackle, USNR
On March 27, 1941, the United States and Great Britain signed the Lend-Lease Agreement (also called "Bases-for-
Destroyers"). It involved loaning forty out-of-date American destroyers in return for 99 year, rent free leases of British
naval and air bases on five British West Indian islands: The Bahamas, Jamaica, Antigua, St. Lucia, and Trinidad and
Tobago, as well as British Guiana, Bermuda, and Newfoundland. These bases were eventually used as outposts of
Caribbean defense against German submarine warfare. Development and fortification of each base took into account
the limitations imposed by location and character of terrain. Santa Lucia, Antigua, Jamaica, British Guiana, and Great
Exuma were equipped as secondary air bases. Trinidad, Bermuda, and Argentia were equipped as major air bases.
The Jamaica Naval Air Station was built to accommodate two squadrons of seaplanes whose mission was to patrol the
approaches to the Caribbean via the Windward Passage. It was located on the south side of Jamaica, about 30 miles
from Kingston. The Air Station had approximately 150 acres of firm ground surrounded by 150 acres of salt flats and
mangrove swamps. The excellent land-locked harbor was ideal for seaplane operations, with a satisfactory shipping
channel. It was equipped with two timber piers, a concrete seaplane ramp, a parking area, and additional previously
assembled and fabricated buildings. These included quarters for 75 men and 25 officers, two administration buildings,
a 10 bed dispensary, a power plant, a shop, utility buildings, and a warehouse. Fresh water was brought in by barge
from the main island and pumped from the dock to storage tanks for treatment and distribution. 2,800,000 cubic yards
were dredged to remove shoals from the seaplane runway and deepen anchorages and channel approaches to the
piers. 75,000 gallons of gasoline were stored in underground steel tanks. The Jamaica Naval Air Station was
commissioned April 4, 1941, and reduced to caretaker status during September 1944.