Tuesday, September 13, 2016

16 Days To Die – Three Sailors trapped in the USS West Virginia

USS Arizona is the best known of the battleships sunk during the Pearl Harbor attack.  And rightly so because of the massive loss of life on that famous ship.  The USS Utah also still lay on the bottom of Pearl Harbor, its rusted hull is still visible on the south shore of Ford Island.  Less is written about the USS Oklahoma and the USS West Virginia.  Both were raised and repaired and saw service later in the war.  This story is about the West Virginia and the men who survived the attack but were trapped below decks.

Re-blogged from War History Online.  https://www.warhistoryonline.com/featured/pearl-harbor-16-days-to-die.html

The USS West Virginia as she appeared in 1934.
She still had this basic configuration during the attack on Pearl Harbor

In the aftermath of the attacks on Pearl Harbour during World War Two stories emerged of sailors who were trapped in the sunken battleships, some even survived for weeks.

Those who were trapped underwater banged continuously on the side of the ship so that anyone would hear them and come to their rescue. When the noises were first heard many thought it was just loose wreckage or part of the clean-up operation for the destroyed harbour.

The USS West Virginia the day after the attack

However the day after the attack, crewmen realised that there was an eerie banging noise coming from the foward hull of the USS West Virginia, which had sunk in the harbour.

It didn’t take long for the crew and Marines based at the harbour to realise that there was nothing they could do. They could not get to these trapped sailors in time. Months later rescue and salvage men who raised the USS West Virginia found the bodies of three men who had found an airlock in a storeroom but had eventually run out of air.

They were Ronald Endicott, 18, Clifford Olds, 20, and Louis Costin, 21. Within the storeroom was a calendar and they had crossed off every day that they had been alive – 16 days had been crossed off using a red pencil. The men would have been below deck when the attack happened, so it is unlikely that they knew what was happening.

Those who survived the attack and were crew on the USS West Virginia have remembered the story and retold it quietly as a story of bravery and determination of the young soldiers.

In truth, the US Navy had never told their families how long the three men had survived for, instead telling them that they had been killed in the attack on the harbour. Their brothers and sisters eventually discovered the truth but were so saddened that they did not speak of it.

One of Clifford’s friends and comrades Jack Miller often returned to the harbour and would pray for his friend at the site of the sunken wreck. He says that just the night before the attack they had been drinking beer together, and he had wanted to rescue him desperately in the days after the attack.

However there was no way of any rescue crews getting to them since if they cut a hole in the ship, it would flood it, and if they tried to use a blowtorch it could explode since there was too much oil and gasoline in the water.

Survivors say that no one wanted to go on guard duty anywhere near the USS West Virginia since they would hear the banging of trapped survivors all night long, but with nothing that could be done.

The USS West Virginia as she appeared in 1944 after repair and extensive up grading.

You can read more about the West Virginia's career at this link:


Friday, August 19, 2016

A Cigar Case and Tomb Stone

Many years ago a co-worker gave me an old leather cigar case that was carried by a soldier during the Civil War.  The front of the case sported  a CDV photo of a woman and on the inside, inscribed in ink, was: 

“Presented to Captain Sands 
Colonel Miles
47th Ill” Vol”

The case was steel framed and clasped shut similar to an old time coin purse.  The outside was Moroccan leather (now turned brown).  The inside still retained its bright red color.  It had room for six stogies, three on each side.

The Inside of Captain Sand's Cigar Case

There is a photo of a woman in the front cover of the case,
but there is no way to know if it is original to the case.  The
photo has an Ohio back mark.
I set it aside and it was several years before I got around to researching Captain Sands and Colonel Miles.

Daniel L. Miles was the easiest to find.  He was actually a Lieutenant Colonel and was second in command of the 47th Illinois Infantry.  The 47th was raised early in the War at Peoria Illinois and saw its first combat skirmishing with the enemy in southern Missouri.  It was part of a brigade consisting of the 47th Ill. 5th Iowa, 39th Ohio and the 11th Ohio Battery, commanded by Captain Frank C. Sands.  

Miles evidently formed a friendship with Sands and presented him with this cigar case sometime during that time frame.  In early March the Federal forces in that area were reorganized into the Army of the Mississippi under General John Pope. After the surrender of Confederate forces at Island #10, the Army of the Mississippi was sent to join General Halleck’s advance towards Corinth, Mississippi in late April of 1862.  During this reorganization, the 47th Illinois and the 11th Ohio were separated and never again served in the same division.  

The 47th Illinois was made part of the 2nd Division, 2nd Brigade of the Army of the Mississippi along with 5th Iowa, 39th Ohio, 5th Minnesota, 11th Missouri and 8th Wisconsin.  The Wisconsin regiment is best known for “Old Abe” a young bald eagle which was kept as a regimental mascot.  Indeed the entire brigade became known as the “Eagle Brigade.”

On May 8th, 1862 the Eagle Brigade was sent on a reconnaissance in force towards Farmington, Mississippi a few miles east of Corinth.  A large force of Confederates intercepted them and the small Battle of Farmington ensued.  The 47th’s regimental historian recorded:

“The regiment suffered an irreparable loss in the death of  its Lieutenant Colonel, Daniel L. Miles, who was struck  below the knee by a six pounder solid shot from one of the  enemy's guns.  His leg was amputated, but he died the next day. He was great of soul, formed in heroic mould, and every inch the ideal soldier.  Into this action the Wisconsin 8th had taken "Old Abe," the historic war eagle.  He was carried upon a perch beside the colors and when the regiment was ordered to lie down behind the crest of a hill, he hopped from his perch and flattened himself as close to the ground as did any of the men.”  Bugle Echoes, The Story of the 47th Illinois Infantry by Cloyd Bryner (1905)

Ltc Daniel L. Miles.  KIA at Farmington, MS
May 8, 1862

The 47th went on to fight in the Battle of Iuka, supporting, by chance, their old friends in the 11th Ohio Battery (more on Iuka later).   The 47th later fought at Corinth, Raymond, Champions Hill, Vicksburg, Red River Campaign, the repulse of Price’s Missouri Raid, and the Siege of Spanish Fort, AL.  It was mustered out at Selma, AL in January 1866.

Captain Frank Sands, 11th Ohio Battery
The Guidon for the 11th Ohio Battery

The 11th Ohio gained fame at the Battle of Iuka in September 1862.  In a meeting engagement between Union forces under Generals Rosecrans and Ord and Confederate forces under General Sterling Price, the 11th became the center of the Union line and the focus of the Confederate attack.  Cloyd Bryner of the 47th Illinois recalled:

“On the crest of the hill stood the 11th Ohio battery.  Hamilton (the brigade that the 11th Ohio Battery supported) fought three times his own force led by Price in person — the battle became furious.  In front, up the road, came the enemy’'s heavy columns.  From the battery upon the hill a deadly fire was poured into the advancing foe. The Confederate musketry concentrating upon the devoted battery soon killed or disabled most of the horses.  The wounded animals ran shrieking, mad with pain and fear. On came the line of gray, only to be hurled back in disorder.  "The Eagle Brigade" came into action on the double quick, the 47th on the left of the nth Missouri, the 5th Minnesota on the right and the Wisconsin 8th in support.  A whole brigade of Texans born down upon the 48th Indiana, which was forced to give about one hundred yards, when it was met and supported by the 4th Minnesota and held its position until relieved by the 47th Illinois.  Three times the guns on the crest of the hill were charged by the Confederates, the cannoneers were bayoneted at the guns ; seventy-two dying at their posts.”

Lt Henry Neil of the 11th Ohio remembered in his account of the fight:  “As the masses of the enemy advanced the battery opened with canister at short range, mowing down rebels by the scores, until, with every officer and horse killed or disabled, it fell as easy prey.  But this success was short lived.”

A marker next to Mississippi Highway 25 in Iuka marks the spot where the 11th Ohio Battery
was engaged during the Battle there in September, 1862

He reported of the losses:  “The Battery entered the fight with ninety-seven men and five officers, commissioned and acting.  Of these, eighteen were killed and thirty-nine wounded, many mortally.  A number of the wounded had been bayoneted at their guns.  Of the cannoneers alone, forty-six were killed or wounded.  Forty-six out of a total of fifty-four.  More than five men out of every six.”

The 11th had suffered the highest losses of any battery in a single engagement of the Civil War.

The 11th Ohio went on to participate in the Battle of Corinth and the Vicksburg Campaign.  During the Little Rock Campaign of Aug - Sept 1863 the Battery still had not recovered from its terrible losses at Iuka.  Infantrymen from various regiments in it's brigade were detailed to help serve it's guns.  One of them was my Great-Great Grandfather, Pvt. James Hagerman of the 126th Illinois Infantry.

Somehow, fate had unexplainably placed into my hands the cigar case that belonged my ancestors Battery commander!  I have nothing that belonged to Grandfather Jim.  No family keepsakes or heirlooms, not even a photograph.  This cigar case, linked to two other men, has become the only tangible link to my Great-Great Grandfather.   

Pvt Jim Hagerman served loyally through the War and married an Arkansas girl in 1865, having never returned to his home state of Illinois.  Melinda preceded him in death in 1874.  He died penniless in Little Rock about 1898 and was buried in a pauper’s grave, I know not where.   I ordered a memorial grave maker from the Veteran’s Administration many years ago and erected it in Weeden Cemetery near England Arkansas where his children are interred.  That simple VA stone, and now his commander's cigar case are all that we have of Grandfather Jim Hagerman. 

Friday, July 31, 2015

Wake Island, Invaded Again! July 2015

Wake Island is one of my favorite places.  I have visited there many times since the early 1990s to conduct archaeological and environmental compliance projects for US Army.   Its tropical beauty is only surpassed by the tragic history that abounds among its beaches and concrete pillboxes.  Wake is not only a military installation, but a bird sanctuary and a National Historic Landmark for the World War II siege and battle that occurred there.  Wake is over 2,000 miles west of Hawaii and one of the most isolated US outposts.

Wake Island (actually a coral atoll composed of three islands, Wake, Wilkes and Peale) was once a thriving military base.  It is now inhabited only by a hand full of Air Force military and civilian personnel and a crew of Thai workers who keep the facilities and airfield open for use.  The main "customer" now is the US Missile Defense Agency.  This month Typhoon Halola passed over the low lying atoll and most of the personnel were evacuated as the storm approached.

The storm caused quite a bit of damage and littered enough debris on the airfield that supply rescue aircraft could not land.  On July 20, 2015 Wake was invaded again, but this was a different invasion than the one that occurred in December, 1941. 

Waking Up Wake

Special operations airmen from Kadena AB, Japan, executed a parachute jump onto Wake Island in the Western Pacific to clear the island's runway following a typhoon earlier this month. "Special tactics operators and MC-130 aircrew provide a rapid response to difficult problems that makes it safer for the next guy to get the job done," Lt. Col. Edmund Loughran, commander of Kadena's 320th Special Tactics Squadron, said in a release. All personnel were evacuated from Wake ahead of Typhoon Halola, leaving it vacant since July 15, according to officials. The 353rd Special Operations Group airmen surveyed and cleared the runway permitting contingency responders aboard a C-17 to land 20 minutes later to begin reopening the base. "It was critical that we open the airfield and get Wake Island back online quickly," said 36th Contingency Response Group Commander Col. Lee Anderson from Andersen AFB, Guam. The 353rd SOG flew the mission aboard a 1st Special Operations Squadron MC-130H Combat Talon II on July 18.

353rd SOG aids Wake Island airfield opening

By Tech. Sgt. Kristine Dreyer, 353rd Special Operations Group Public Affairs / Published July 24, 2015

WAKE ISLAND AIRFIELD -- Members from the 353rd Special Operations Group deployed to Andersen Air Base, Guam, July 18, 2015 to support the 36th Crisis Response Group with the opening of Wake Island airfield after a typhoon hit the island.

Prior to Typhoon Halola’s arrival, more than 125 Department of Defense members were evacuated July 15, 2015 leaving the island vacant. After the typhoon moved past the island, a Special Tactics Team from the 320th Special Tactics Squadron was tasked to conduct the initial assessment of the runway.

Aircrew from the 1st Special Operations Squadron and Special Tactics
operators from the 320th Special Tactics Squadron, conduct mission planning
for the opening of Wake Island while enroute to Andersen Air Base, Guam,
July 18, 2015. Members from the 353rd Special Operations Group worked with
the 36th Contingency Response Group from Andersen Air Base, Guam, to open
Wake Island air field after Typhoon Halola passed through the island. (Photo
courtesy of Staff Sgt. Matthew Sharp)
“The 353rd SOG responded quickly and efficiently to support the 36th CRG,” said Lt. Col. John Trube, 353rd SOG deputy commander and mission commander. “This operation not only demonstrated the SOG’s ability to quickly deploy anywhere, anytime in the Pacific, but it also showed seamless interoperability between the 36th CRG and the 353rd SOG that led to mission success.”

Staged out of Andersen Air Base, Guam, an MC-130H Combat Talon II from the 1st Special Operations Squadron provided airlift for a Special Tactics jump clearing team and combat search and rescue team to infil Wake Island. After conducting military freefall operations onto an unmarked drop zone, the operators were able to clear the runway, assess the airfield environment and receive the first aircraft within 20 minutes allowing the arrival of a C-17 Globemaster III from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, carrying a team from the 36th CRG and Wake Island Airfield staff.

The view from an MC-130H Combat Talon II flying over Wake Island July 20,
2015. Members from the 353rd Special Operations Group worked with the 36th
Contingency Response Group from Andersen Air Base, Guam, to open Wake Island
air field after Typhoon Halola passed through the island. (U.S. Air Force
photo by Tech. Sgt. Kristine Dreyer)

A rescue jumpmaster from the 320th Special Tactics Squadron uses rescue
jumpmaster procedures to allow a special tactics team to conduct military
freefall onto an unknown and unmarked drop zone. Members from the 353rd
Special Operations Group worked with the 36th Contingency Response Group
from Andersen Air Base, Guam, to open Wake Island air field after Typhoon
Halola passed through the island. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt.
Kristine Dreyer)
“The sheer size of the Pacific can turn an ordinary mission into a real challenge,” said Lt. Col. Edmund Loughran, 320th STS commander. “Special Tactics operators and MC-130 aircrew provide a rapid response to difficult problems that makes it safer for the next guy to get the job done. I am very proud of what the Team was able to accomplish on Wake Island.”

A special tactics team from the 320th Special Tactics Squadron jumps out of
an MC-130H Combat Talon II to infil onto Wake Island July 20, 2015. Members
from the 353rd Special Operations Group worked with the 36th Contingency
Response Group from Andersen Air Base, Guam, to open Wake Island air field
after Typhoon Halola passed through the island. (U.S. Air Force photo by
Tech. Sgt. Kristine Dreyer)

Once access to the island was gained, the crisis response Airmen from Andersen Air Base worked with the local residents to further assess the area for damage and reestablish the airfield, so normal operations could resume as quickly as possible.

A combat controller from the 320th Special Tactics Squadron clears the first
C-17 Globemaster III from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, to land on
Wake Island July 20, 2015 after it was hit by a typhoon. The special tactics
team was the first to arrive to the island by military freefall jump from an
MC-130H Combat Talon II. Members from the 353rd Special Operations Group
worked with the 36th Contingency Response Group from Andersen Air Base,
Guam, to open Wake Island air field after Typhoon Halola passed through the
island. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kristine Dreyer)

"It was critical that we open the airfield and get Wake Island back online quickly,” said Col. Lee Anderson, 36th CRG commander. “The team from 353rd SOG showed up with skilled operators ready to execute. It's always a pleasure to work with the Quiet Professionals."

A special tactics team from the 320th Special Tactics Squadron unloads
equipment from an MC-130H Combat Talon II on Wake Island July 20, 2015.
After conducting military freefall operations onto the unmarked drop zone,
the operators were able to clear the runway and receive the first aircraft
within 20 minutes. Members from the 353rd Special Operations Group worked
with the 36th Contingency Response Group from Andersen Air Base, Guam, to
open Wake Island air field after Typhoon Halola passed through the island.
(U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kristine Dreyer)
Wake Island airfield, located in the Pacific Ocean between Japan and Hawaii, is ran by the U.S. Air Force and is managed by the PACAF Regional Support Center at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. In addition to being a strategic location in the Pacific, Wake Island serves as a divert airfield for overseas flights.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

An Ancient Face Revealed

I don’t have any tattoos, or “skin illustrations” as Ray Bradbury called them, but don’t have a real objection to them on other folks if they are tasteful and well executed.  I overheard a person say some time ago that the kids didn’t tattoo themselves so much back in the “old days.”  I guess that fellow had a different idea than myself on what constituted the “old days.”  Using ink to color human skin has been going on, across cultures, long before history began to be written down.  The "Ice Princess" of Siberia, is a perfect example.

By The Siberian Times reporter
14 August 2012
The ancient mummy of a mysterious young woman, known as the Ukok Princess, is finally returning home to the Altai Republic this month.
She is to be kept in a special mausoleum at the Republican National Museum in capital Gorno-Altaisk, where eventually she will be displayed in a glass sarcophagus to tourists.
A beauty from the past.  The reconstructed face of the Ice Princess. 
From:  http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/features/f0055-is-this-the-face-of-an-ancient-amazon-female-warrior/
For the past 19 years, since her discovery, she was kept mainly at a scientific institute in Novosibirsk, apart from a period in Moscow when her remains were treated by the same scientists who preserve the body of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin.
To mark the move 'home', The Siberian Times has obtained intricate drawings of her remarkable tattoos, and those of two men, possibly warriors, buried near her on the remote Ukok Plateau, now a UNESCO world cultural and natural heritage site, some 2,500 metres up in the Altai Mountains in a border region close to frontiers of Russia with Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan.
They are all believed to be Pazyryk people - a nomadic people described in the 5th century BC by the Greek historian Herodotus - and the colourful body artwork is seen as the best preserved and most elaborate ancient tattoos anywhere in the world.
To many observers, it is startling how similar they are to modern-day tattoos.
The remains of the immaculately dressed 'princess', aged around 25 and preserved for several millennia in the Siberian permafrost, a natural freezer, were discovered in 1993 by Novosibirsk scientist Natalia Polosmak during an archeological expedition.
Buried around her were six horses, saddled and bridled, her spiritual escorts to the next world, and a symbol of her evident status, perhaps more likely a revered folk tale narrator, a healer or a holy woman than an ice princess.
There, too, was a meal of sheep and horse meat and ornaments made from felt, wood, bronze and gold. And a small container of cannabis, say some accounts, along with a stone plate on which were the burned seeds of coriander.
'Compared to all tattoos found by archeologists around the world, those on the mummies of the Pazyryk people are the most complicated, and the most beautiful,' said Dr Polosmak. More ancient tattoos have been found, like the Ice Man found in the Alps - but he only had lines, not the perfect and highly artistic images one can see on the bodies of the Pazyryks.
'It is a phenomenal level of tattoo art. Incredible.'
While the tattoos, preserved in the permafrost, have been known about since the remains were dug up, until now few have seen the intricate reconstructions that we reveal here.
From:  http://siberiantimes.com/culture/others/features/siberian-princess-reveals-her-2500-year-old-tattoos/


From: http://siberiantimes.com/culture/others/features/siberian-princess-reveals-her-2500-year-old-tattoos/

'Tattoos were used as a mean of personal identification - like a passport now, if you like. The Pazyryks also believed the tattoos would be helpful in another life, making it easy for the people of the same family and culture to find each other after death,' added Dr Polosmak. 'Pazyryks repeated the same images of animals in other types of art, which is considered to be like a language of animal images, which represented their thoughts.
'The same can be said about the tattoos - it was a language of animal imagery, used to express some thoughts and to define one's position both in society, and in the world. The more tattoos were on the body, the longer it meant the person lived, and the higher was his position. For example the body of one man, which was found earlier in the 20th century, had his entire body covered with tattoos. Our young woman - the princess - has only her two arms tattooed. So they signified both age and status.'
The tattoos on the left shoulder of the 'princess' show a fantastical mythological animal: a deer with a griffon's beak and a Capricorn's antlers. The antlers are decorated with the heads of griffons. And the same griffon's head is shown on the back of the animal.
The mouth of a spotted panther with a long tail is seen at the legs of a sheep. She also has a deer's head on her wrist, with big antlers. There is a drawing on the animal's body on a thumb on her left hand.
From: http://siberiantimes.com/culture/others/features/siberian-princess-reveals-her-2500-year-old-tattoos/
On the man found close to the 'princess', the tattoos include the same fantastical creature, this time covering the right side of his body, across his right shoulder and stretching from his chest to his back. The patterns mirror the tattoos on a much more elaborately covered male body, dug from the ice in 1929, whose highly decorated torso is also reconstructed in our drawing here.
His chest, arms, part of the back and the lower leg are covered with tattoos. There is an argali - a mountain sheep - along with the same deer with griffon's vulture-like beak, with horns and the back of its head which has a griffon's heads and an onager drawn on it.
All animals are shown with the lower parts of their bodies turned inside out. There is also a winged snow leopard, a fish and fast-running argali.
From: http://siberiantimes.com/culture/others/features/siberian-princess-reveals-her-2500-year-old-tattoos/
To some, the clash depicted on the tattoes between vultures and hoofed animals corresponds to the conflict between two worlds: a predator from the lower, chthonian world against herbivorous animals that symbolise the middle world.
Dr Polosmak is intrigued at way so little has changed.
'We can say that most likely there was - and is - one place on the body for everyone to start putting the tattoos on, and it was a left shoulder. I can assume so because all the mummies we found with just one tattoo had it on their left shoulders.
'And nowadays this is the same place where people try to put the tattoos on, thousands of years on.
'I think its linked to the body composition... as the left shoulder is the place where it is noticeable most, where it looks the most beautiful. Nothing changes with years, the body stays the same, and the person making a tattoo now is getting closer to his ancestors than he or she may realise.
'I think we have not moved far from Pazyryks in how the tattoos are made. It is still about a craving to make yourself as beautiful as possible.
'For example, about the British. A lot of them go on holiday to Greece, and when I've been there I heard how Greeks were smiling and saying that a British man's age can be easily understood by the number of tattoos on his body.
'I'm talking the working class now. And I noticed it, too. The older a person, the more tattoos are on his body.'
'It was an international research programme, devoted to the Pazyryk Iron Age culture,' said Academician Vyacheslav Molodin, deputy director of Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences.
To modern man, the only way in is by helicopter, yet in ancient times this was on the 'southern steppe road' used by migrating nomadic peoples in the pre-Christian and Dark Ages.
'The burial mound with the 'princess' seemed to be half deserted, with big holes which border guards dug to use the stones.
'It seemed less than hopeful. But Natalya Polosmak was determined that we had to start working on it.....
'To our utter surprise, there was an untouched burial chamber inside the mould.
'We started working on opening the 'ice lense' - the burial inside the mould was filled with ancient ice.
'We started to melt the ice. First the skeletons of six horses appeared, some with preserved wooden decorations on the harness, some with coloured saddles made from felt.
'On one of the saddles was a picture of a jumping winged lion.
'Then the burial room appeared from under the ice. It was made from larch logs. Inside stood a massive hollowed wooden log with a top, shut with bronze nails. Inside the log was all filled with ice.
'It was a tanned arm that appeared from under the ice first.
'A bit more work and we saw remain of a young woman, lying inside the log in a sleeping position, with her knees bent.
'She was dressed in a long shirt made from Chinese silk, and had long felt sleeve boots with a beautiful decoration on them.
From: http://siberiantimes.com/culture/others/features/siberian-princess-reveals-her-2500-year-old-tattoos/
'Chinese silk before was only found in 'Royal' burials of the Pazyryk people - it was more expensive than gold, and was a sign of a true wealth. 'There was jewellery and a mirror found by the log.
'The great value of Pazyryk burials is that they were all made in permafrost, which helped the preservation.
'It was quite unusual to have a single Pazyryk burial. Usually men from this culture were buried with women.
'In this case, her separate burial might signify her celibacy, which was typical for cult servants or shamans, and meant her independence and exceptionality.
'She had no weapons buried with her, or on her, which means that she certainly was not one of the noble Pazyryk women-warriors.
'Most likely, she possessed some special knowledge and was a healer, or folk tale narrator.
'From the inside the mummy was filled with herbs and roots. Her head was completely shaved, and she wore a horse hair wig.
'On top of the wig there was a symbol of the tree of life - a stick made from felt, wrapped with black tissue and decorated with small figures of birds in golden foil.
'On the front of the wig, like a cockade, was attached a wooden carving of deer.
'The princess's face and neck skin was not preserved, but the skin of her left arm survived, and we saw a tattoo, going all along it.
'She had tattoos on both arms, from shoulders to wrists, with some on the fingers, too. The best preserved of all was a tattoo on her left shoulder, featuring a deer with griffon's beak and a Capricorn's horns. A bit below is a sheep, with a snow leopard by its feet.'
It is said tattoos, once done, are for life. In this case, though, it was a whole lot longer. The experts say they were made with paint, partially concocted from the burned bits of plants, their soot or ashes which contained a high level of potassium. The drawings were pierced with a needle, and rubbed with a mixture of soot and fat.
Site of the Ice Princess's grave in Siberia. 
From: http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/features/f0055-is-this-the-face-of-an-ancient-amazon-female-warrior/

The experts say she died in her 20s, with the best guess at 25 to 28, and that this was 2,500 or more years ago, making her, for example, some five centuries older than Jesus Christ, and several hundred years the senior of Alexander the Great.
'She was called 'Princess' by the media. We just call her 'Devochka', meaning 'Girl'. She was 25-28 years old when she died,' said Irina Salnikova, head of the Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences Museum of Archeology and Ethnography.
'The reason for her death is unknown, because all her internal organs were removed before the mummifying. All we see is that there is no visible damage to her skull, or anything pointing to the unnatural character of her death.
'Her body is curled, so we can’t say for sure how tall she was. Some estimate her to be 1.62 metres, others say she could have been as tall as 1.68 metres. We could not establish when the young woman has had her tattoos made, at what age. The horses, found by her burial, were most likely first killed, and then buried with her.'
In 2010 an MRI scan was conducted on the mummy, the first time this had been done on ancient remains in Russia. The final results of exhaustive analytical work has still not been released.
But Andrei Letyagin, chairman of the MRI Center of the Siberian department of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said: 'The cause of death remains unknown. I don't believe that it will be possible to find an answer to this question because there's no brain and no internal organs in the body.'
In all probability she did not die from injury. 'Her skull is fully preserved, and so are the bones,' he confirmed. DNA obtained from her remains is intriguing.
The Princess of Ukok is not related to any of the Asian races, the scientists are convinced. She is not related, evidently, to the present day inhabitants of Altai. Moreover, she had a European appearance, it has been claimed.
'There was a moment of gross misunderstanding when a legend came about this mummy being a foremother of people of Altai,' said Molodin.
'The people of Pazyryk belonged to different ethnic group, in no way related to Altaians. Genetic studies showed that the Pazyryks were a part of Samoyedic family, with elements of Iranian-Caucasian substratum.'
So perhaps more Samoyedic than Scythian.
'We tried to overcome the misunderstanding, but sadly it didn't work.'
Many locals in Altai were nervous from the start about the removal of remains from sacred burial mounds, known as kurgans, regardless of the value to science of doing such work.
In a land where the sway of shamans still holds, they believe the princess's removal led immediately to bad consequences.
'There are places here that it is considered a great sin to visit, even for our holy men. The energy and the spirits there are too dangerous,' warned one local. 'Every kurgan has its own spirit - there is both good and bad in them - and people here have suffered much misfortune since the Ice Princess was disturbed.'
It is nothing short of sacrilege to pour hot water on the remains of ancients who have survived in the permafrost for thousands of years, he said.
The 'curse of the mummy' even caused a crash of the helicopter carrying her remains away from Altai, some believe. Then in Novosibirsk, her body, preserved so well for so long, started to decompose.
Stories circulated that the princess had been stored in a freezer used to preserve cheese. Fungi began growing on the preserved flesh, it was claimed.
Whatever the truth, the scientists sought emergency help from the world-renowned Lenin embalming experts who worked on her remains for a year.
Back in Altai, many ills have been blamed on her removal: forest fires, high winds, illness, suicides and an upsurge in earthquakes in the Altai region.
Local woman, Olga Kurtugashova, said: 'She may be a mummy but her soul survives, and they say a shaman communicated with her and she asked to go home. That's what the people want, too.'
'Our ancestors are buried in these mounds,' insisted Rimma Erkinova, deputy director of the Gorno-Altaisk Republican National Museum as a war of words raged over the last decade. 'There are sacred items there. The Altai people never disturb the repose of their ancestors. We shouldn't have any more excavations until we've worked out a proper moral and ethical approach.'
'She was a beautiful young woman, whom they dug up, poured hot water and chemicals upon, and subjected to other experiments. They did this to a real person,' complained Erkinova to the Irish Times newspaper in in 2004.
The same year, an Altai regional chief insisted: 'We must calm people and bury the Altai Princess.
'We're having earth tremors two or three times a week. People think this will go on as long as the princess's spirit is not allowed to rest in peace.'
Many wanted the princess to be returned from the Archaeological and Ethnographic Institute of Novosibirsk, some 600 km away, and restored to her original burial site.
After some 300 earth tremors in a six month period, the head of Kosh-Agachsky district Auelkhan Dzhatkambaev,appealed to the Siberian Federal District presidential envoy Leonid Drachevsky for this to happen.
Drachevsky travelled to Kosh-Agach and told residents that the mummies would not be returned, saying they were serving important scientific purposes, and that he was 'simply uncomfortable hearing about angry spirits, as if we were living in the Middle Ages'.
Erkinova's plan was different. 'We shall put the princess in a glass sarcophagus, so everybody can come and bow before her,' she said.
'This is a very painful issue. Altai's native people worry about their forbear. The Princess must return to us.'
People were angry, too, that the mummies were taken on a tour to Korea and Japan with one report saying the princess 'was met like a diva, with vast crowds, admirers on their knees and bouquets of red roses'.
Eventually a compromise was reached, though delays and arguments followed. Finally this culminates in this month's return of the princess not to her burial place but to the Altai museum.
'We agreed to give back the princess once the conditions for looking after it were right. That means proper accommodation with an air conditioner and a special sarcophagus,' said Molodin as long ago as 1997.
'Another condition was that this was our intellectual property and that we would have the right to use it for exhibitions and to study it. We're not doing this out of curiosity but in the interests of science. The soul is somewhere else and we're studying the remains. So I don't see a violation of any accepted social rule here.'
Finally, all now agree the princess is coming home.
The Altai authorities have now declared the remote mountain area from where the princess and her kinsmen were buried as a 'zone of peace' where no more excavations will take place, despite the near-certain treasures lying in the permafrost.
Such work amounts to plundering, they believe.
To Molodin, who found the male mummy several years after the princess, this deprives the world of a valuable scientific inheritance. He argues, too, that the issue is critical since global warming means the ancient bodies will decay.
Scientists reckon there are thousands of burial mounds here, hundreds of which date to the Pazyryk period, many of which may contain answers to questions about where we come from.
More information about the facial reconstruction and the other artifacts found in the burial can be found here:  http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/features/f0055-is-this-the-face-of-an-ancient-amazon-female-warrior/