DEAR ABBY: The letter from Lowell K. Allen, who served on the submarine "Cato" in World War II, contained some errors. First and foremost, there never was a submarine called the Cato. Also, there is not now, never has and never will be a 20 mm submachine gun. I think the man meant to say a Thompson .45-caliber submachine gun.
He did correctly point out, however, that even the so-called "educated" make mistakes. I spent 30 years in the Navy, 1943-1973, and there are documented cases of deck guns being fired "accidentally." -- J. PAUL SURPREMANT, LCDR U.S. NAVY (RET.), FLORIDA
DEAR PAUL: Thank you and the other readers who pointed out the inaccuracies in that letter. Because of a typographical error at my syndicate, Mr. Allen's ship was referred to as the "Cato." Mr. Allen served on the USS Gato (SS212).
I contacted Mr. Allen, who apologized for incorrectly referring to the gun as a 20 mm submachine gun, and said it was probably a .45-caliber submachine gun as many readers accurately guessed. Also, two initials were transposed in Mr. Allen's rank. He was RMCS, meaning Radio Man, Chief, Senior.
I appreciate the fact that so many people took the time to write and point out the errors. You are all heroes in my book. However, I didn't write that column because I have an "anti-gun agenda." I wrote it because I am anti-gun from the bottom of my heart.