World Battlefronts: BATTLE OF EGYPT: Service Entrance

A U.S. naval officer, taking a breather in Cairo last week, perspired comfortably and wished that the Italians could see what had happened at the Red Sea port of Massaua.

Italian seamen had boasted that they did a thorough job of destruction when they scuttled or burned or smashed everything useful in Massaua harbor. Massaua, in Eritrea, had once been one of Mussolini's biggest naval bases outside of Italy. When the victorious British arrived its waterfront shops were in ruins, its waters choked with sunken ships.

The U.S. naval officer was modest, soft-spoken Captain...