Time Magazine,July 1945http://www.time.com/time/magazine/artic ... digg_share
In the Pacific war, U.S. forces have always been handicapped by a dearth of accurate information. One minor example: intelligence officers warned that Okinawa was crawling with poisonous snakes, especially the habu, deadlier than a rattler. Last week some marines reported news of one of the few snakes so far discovered on Okinawa. The habu, cut into fillets and fried, made pretty good eating, the marines said.
It appears that leggings were intially mandatory attire on Okinawa but "few U.S. soldiers encountered the feared Habu snake and soon discarded the cumbersome leggings designed to protect them from snakebite".
Marine Recce patrols were also told to capture any Habu snakes,to develop an anti-venom:
Swift, Silent, and Deadly
First Lt Corey recounted one of the company's "more unusual missions" during the beach phase of the Okinawan campaign.The Ryukyu Islands are inhabited by a number of species of poisonous snakes,of which the Habu belonging to the poisonous pit viper family,is the most deadly...it was difficult for Marines to spot them when crawling through grass.The marines in the landing force had already begun taking snakebite casualties.These occurred during their night movements and while staying low to avoid rifle and machine-gun fire,particularly around the Korean burial tombs.
For unknown reasons,the landing force medics had no antivenom to combat the poisonous Habu.When advised of the lack of antivenom,MajorGeneral Greiger asked his Corps surgeon what they could do..he said they could catch Habu snakes and milk them for their poisonous venom...turning to his III AC Amphib Recon Battalion commander,Major Jim Jones,Greiger directed him to have his recon marines capture a quantity of Habu snakes,so the Navy doctors could produce an antivenom.Corey's company ended up with the unenviable task..but using cigarettes and C rations as barter they presuaded the Native Okinawans to gather several baskets of the deadly vipers.Apparently the landing force soon had enough venom to solve the problem..
, Bruce F. Meyers,page 123