Monthly Archives: October 2013

You Ain’t Got A Thing, If You Ain’t Got That Swing !

This was a fun topic to research and write about. There were so many excellent bands, please let us know you opinions and… LET’S DANCE!

"Greatest Generation" Life Lessons

The Big Band Era

By: gpcox

https://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com

“You ain’t got a thing, if you ain’t got that Swing!”

Swing was a verb that musicians used long before press agents turned it into a noun or adjective to describe both an attitude toward music and a special way of performing it.  “Swing” suggests rhythm and a regular propulsive oscillation, a form of jazz that is still influencing music today.  There are many instruments reinforcing the others, then other times, playing against each other and a solo instrument playing against a background.  The jazz form traveled north out of New Orleans in the 1890’s and slammed into the Chicago scene in the 1920’s.

The beginnings can be traced back to Fletcher Henderson in New York and Bernie Moten in Kansas City.  Fletcher and his brother Horace created the pattern for swing arrangements and was the first to train a big band to…

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General Douglas MacArthur

Douglas MacArthur, West  Point, 1903

Douglas MacArthur, West Point, 1903

Acheson warned Truman of the home front unrest that might result from MacArthur’s dismissal and General Marshall felt the general should be brought home for “consultation,” but after pressure, he withdrew his suggestion.

In reply to the rumors of his dismissal, MacArthur sent a defiant letter to Gen. Bradley. Representative Martin read this letter on the floor of the House. Truman, fearing the political upheaval of firing MacArthur, stated he would leave the decision up to the military.

Manila, 1945

Manila, 1945

When Truman was told that if the general ever got wind of his definite dismissal, he might resign. The president became furious, “The son of a bitch isn’t going to resign on me. I want him fired!” To precede any actions of MacArthur, Truman then made an official statement – a broadcast on the radio, 10 April 1951 at 1:00 am.

11 & 13 April, while the newspapers were preoccupied with stories on MacArthur, the Joint Chiefs of Staff secretly approved the general’s plan to “send a message” to Beijing. The operation, off the coast of China, in the Taiwan Strait, was to show force and obtain photographs; 20 warships and 140 planes would participate.

MacArthur's desk - as he left it.

MacArthur’s desk – as he left it.

Secretary of the Army, Pace, received a call at the Command Post of the 5th RCT/24th Division, “You will advise General Matthew Ridgeway that he is now the supreme commander of the Pacific… You will proceed to Tokyo where you will assist Gen. Ridgeway… in assuming his command.” Pace had the messenger repeat his orders a second time due to their importance.

MacArthur kept a stiff upper lip and said upon receiving the news to Ambassador William Sibald, “Publicly humiliated after 52 years of service in the Army.” When Ridgeway arrived in Tokyo on 12 April, MacArthur said, “If it had been up to me to pick my successor, I would have chosen you.”

MacArthur addressing 50,000 at Soldier's Field, Chicago, April 1951

MacArthur addressing 50,000 at Soldier’s Field, Chicago, April 1951

The home front Gallup Poll had MacArthur’s popularity at 69% in sympathy with the general. Truman, upon arriving at the Washington Senator’s baseball game was booed. In Ponca City, OK, a dummy of the president was burned in effigy. PFC William Hayward related that despite the shortages they had in the 674th Tactical Control Squadron, none of their liabilities were due to MacArthur. He said from commanding officers on down, the air crews were irate about his being sacked. In other units, the troops merely shrugged; the change in the higher command did nothing to alter their situations.

While most major newspapers supported Truman, the “Chicago Tribune” suggested that the president could be impeached for ordering troop to the Korean front without a declaration of war. The famous Walter Winchell called the dismissal the “greatest scandal in American history.” Equally famous, author James Mitchner, was on the critical side with his views.

Japanese school children were given a holiday and throngs of genuinely sorrowful Japanese gathered along the route from the American embassy to the airport on 16 April as MacArthur went to board the “Bataan.” Over a loud-speaker, in Japanese for those unable to see the procession, sounded, “Good-bye, General MacArthur.” Banners were hung that read, Sayonara, we Love You, We Are Grateful to the General and With Sincere Regret. As the MacArthur party went up the plan’s ramp, the Army band played, “Auld Lang Syne.”

MacArthur's parade, NYC 20 April 1951

MacArthur’s parade, NYC 20 April 1951

MacArthur returned to the United States to a hero’s welcome that included a ticker tape parade in Manhattan, attracting 7 million spectators. But, the talk of running the general as a Republican presidential candidate faded away.

MacArthur's farewell speech to Congress

MacArthur’s farewell speech to Congress

19 April 1951, Gen. Douglas MacArthur addressed a joint meeting of Congress where he repeated his statement, “In war, there can be no substitute for victory.” And in conclusion: “Old soldiers never die; they just fade away. And like the old soldier of that ballad, I now close my military career and just fade away – an old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty. Goodbye.”

*********** General Douglas MacArthur (26 January 1880 – 5 April 1964)***********

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Farewell Salutes –

Hugh Harvey – Childs, MD; US Coast Guard, WWII

James Bloom – NY & W. Palm Bch., FL; US Army, WWII

Gilbert Butts – W.Palm Bch., FL; US Army (Ret.) Sgt.

Gerald Smith – Dallas, TX; US Navy, Captain (Ret.) Korea

Harold Hayward – White Plains, NY; 761st Tank Battalion, WWII

Albert Dubuc – Springfield, MA & Lake Worth, FL; US Air Force, MSgt, PTO

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Click images to enlarge.

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Personal note – Please relay all correspondence thru the blogs. Anything sent to my personal e-mail goes directly to spam and is discarded. I value all of you and want to hear what you have to say, so please add it here. (If you wish, I will delete the message after it is read.) Thank you for your cooperation.

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Korean War (18)

Operation Ripper - Tanks of the 25th Div. cross the Han River, March '51

Operation Ripper – Tanks of the 25th Div. cross the Han River, March ’51

17 March 1951, Operation Ripper had started to meet its objectives. Ridgeway was handling the problems of bad weather and rough terrain by using Korean porters, with A-frames strapped to their backs, to assist the troops with the equipment. Large enemy forces appeared to be drawing north. MacArthur flew in wanting a jeep tour of the 1st Marine Division, making it his 12th visit to the country and the day before Hill 399 had been taken.

When Marshall returned to the Dai Ichi HQ in Tokyo, he received a complaint from Washington that they had not been informed of Operation Ripper; this time MacArthur was innocent, he did order Ridgeway not to cross the 38th parallel. With the UN in plans for negotiations, Gen. Marshall, Acheson and the Joint Chiefs of Staff on 19 March, drafted a proposal to rein in MacArthur and sent it to a vacationing Truman in Key West, FL. 21 March (in Japan), MacArthur responded that his existing orders gave him whatever authority he needed.

Operation Ripper

Operation Ripper

With a top-secret message NOT to cross the 38th, Ridgeway changed the operation’s name to Tomahawk on 23 March and made a drop at Munsan, north of Seoul and astride of the parallel. Ridgeway and his pilot, Lynch, took off to watch the paratroopers and saw that the planes had released them too early. While under fire, Lynch landed and told the men they were 10 miles off their target DZ (drop zone). He then led a squad out, silenced the enemy machine-gun and returned with 4 prisoners. The troopers turned the plane around so that he and the general could take off again and meet MacArthur at Kimpo airfield.

 MacArthur

MacArthur

MacArthur stayed at Kimpo a short time, but when he returned to Japan, he released a communique that thwarted efforts for easy peace talks. It was still 23 March when Robert Lovett, undersecretary of defense was made aware of the message by the Pentagon. He was at Dean Acheson’s home at the time, along with Dean Rusk and Soviet expert Alexis Johnson. The 4 men decided to wake Truman and demand MacArthur’s removal. “Newsweek” published a story stating that the general was in violation of orders from Washington and that he should stay out of foreign policy.

3 April, as I and IX Corps were about to start Operation Dauntless, MacArthur made, what he did not know, would be his final visit to Korea. Ridgeway met him at K-18 air base near Kangnung on the east coast and they went by jeep to Yangyang; recently occupied just above the 38th. He made his inspection and then returned once again to Japan. General Peng informed Beijing that he felt the meeting of the 2 generals must mean a frontal attack in the east coordinated with an amphibious operation on Wonsan and Tongchon.

General Peng, 1951

General Peng, 1951

6 April, Bradley brought a recommendation to Truman to authorize MacArthur on a preemptive nuclear strike if the Chinese decided to push south of the 38th. The Bomb, Truman said, might be used beyond Korea’s borders, but he would reserve the decision until the National Security Council’s special committee on atomic energy held their meeting. AEC Chairman, Gordon Dean, then gave Gen. Vandenberg authorization to transfer 9 nuclear cores.

Residents return to Seoul

Residents return to Seoul

7 April, the 99th Medium Bomber Wing picked up the bombs for delivery to Guam, not Okinawa as originally requested. The president had Paul Nitze draw up orders for MacArthur’s dismissal, it began bluntly, “You will turn over your command at once to Lieutenant General Matthew B. Ridgeway. You are authorized to have such orders as are necessary to complete desired travel to such place as you may select…” But, this was not yet signed.

On this same day, Judge Irving Kaufman made his famous decision on the fate of the otherwise notorious Rosenbergs. They were sentenced to die in the electric chair for treason.

9 April, The US I and IX Corps and the ROK I Corps, on the east coast fought their way to Line Kansas; this was the onset of Operation Rugged. From 11-14 April, the Fast Carrier Task Force (TF-77) began air operations in the Straits of Formosa. They were outside the 3 mile limit of mainland China to photograph possible targets on land.

Click on images to enlarge.

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F-86 Sabre

F-86 Sabre

16 February 1951 – 27 July 1953, Wonsan was reduced to rubble by the longest siege in American Naval history. (I will include here, in future posts, only a handful of the individual battles fought during that period, the naval records for this is quite extensive.) Hugnam and Sagjim endured similar fates. In the air was the US F-86 Sabres, British Fleet Air Arm aircraft; the Australians and South Africans also supplied a fighter squadron each, to add to the existing UN force.

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Farewell Salutes –

Phillip Nowak – Chicago, IL; US Army, WWII

Howard Woltman – Westchester, IL; US Navy, WWII

Melvin Shapiro – Lauderhill, FL; US Navy WWII

Joseph Garbacz – Alexandria, VA; US Army Air Corps, Colonel Corps of Engineers (Ret.), WWII & Korea

Hugh Harvey – Childs, MD; US Coast Guard, WWII

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