Monthly Archives: September 2014

National Service – Patriot Day 9/11

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Patriot Day is the annual observance for those who were injured and died due to the 9-11 terrorists attacks.  This was not only an assault on the U.S., but against every nation and individual who do not follow their fanatical ideologies.

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This is NOT to be confused with Patriot’s Day which commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord of 1775.

This speaks for itself.

This speaks for itself.

To observe the official moment of silence – the accurate time should be at 8:46 AM (EDT).

In their memory.

In their memory.

Should you wish to see last year’s post for this day – it can be FOUND HERE>

THE HERO DOGS

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Some of you might have seen the story of a woman finding a fireman’s 911 bracelet, 10 years after it was lost.  

Should you care to watch the video – you can look HERE!

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Click on images to enlarge.

And – Let’s NOT forget the passengers of Flight 93, who gallantly saved the White House.

The shadow of....

The shadow of….

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Farewell Salutes – 

Norman Brookens – Fayettville, PA; US Navy, WWII & US Army, Vietnam

Arthur Cohen – NY, VT & FL; US Army, WWII, Signal Corps, ETOkroger-honor-heros

Jose Hernandez – Salinas, CA; US Army, Korea & Vietnam, (Ret. 20 years)

Robert Jones – Springfield, VA; US Air Force, LtColonel, WWII

Robert Leonard – Huntsville, AL; US Army, WWII, PTO, 2nd Lt. to LtColonel (Ret.), Bronze Star

Ruth Milman – Calgary, Alberta, CAN; CWAC, Sgt., WWII

Lloyd Parker Sr. – Anthem, AZ; US Army, Vietnam, (Ret. 29 years)

Stephen Price – Thames, NZ; RNZ Navy # 10248, WWII

John Williams – Sheridan, WY, US Army (12 yrs), Korea/ US Air Force (8 yrs), Vietnam, (Ret.)

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In the Jungle – POWs 3

The CBI Theater of Operations is rarely heard of and Hillary’s posts on the subject deserve attention_________

Green Writing Room

Barry and the men of 27 Line Section, arrived in Singapore in the Autumn of 1941. They spent very little time in that teeming, multicultural city, before being posted into mainland Malaya as an independent unit.

This picture shows some of the men in a very relaxed state in Kota Tinggi. Barry and his Lieutenant were familiar with life in Malaya and unfussy about uniforms and the men adapted quickly to the climate and the work.

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They did encounter occasional problems. Barry remembers:

So in late 1941, based at Kota Tinggi in Johore, No. 27 Line Section went on with their job of building telephone lines between the many small headquarters, unmanned but established, “Just in Case”, and the small air strips in Johore and Pahang. I don’t remember much in detail of this period just before the invasion but one incident vividly comes to mind. I was with a small party…

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Japanese Blitzkrieg (1)

Japan's plan

Japan’s plan

 

The Japanese-style blitzkrieg offensive continued to spread throughout the Pacific carefully designed to weaken the Anglo and US strength in the Asia-Pacific zones and give Tokyo the time to seize strategic bases and economic resources.  The colonial outposts from Hong Kong to Manila and Malaya to Singapore were attacked while the US Naval Fleet lay crippled at Pearl Harbor.

Japanese troops in Johore, Malaya

Japanese troops in Johore, Malaya

Churchill, elated over the American attack, also saw the “terrible forfeits in the East” due to his misjudgment of Japan’s military power.  There would be little in the Pacific remaining between Japan and the virtually undefended Australia and New Zealand.

Malaya and Thailand had been invaded by the Japanese 5th and 18th divisions, along with the Imperial Guards, with the missions to capture Singapore, her port and the British troops surrounding it.  Let it be noted that the Malaya/Thailand and Singapore campaigns were designed as 2 separate strategies and were considered by the Japanese to be the most vital.  Pearl Harbor was merely meant to render the US fleet incapable of interfering with these operations.

Canadian troops training in Hong Kong, December 1941

Canadian troops training in Hong Kong, December 1941

The Japanese 15th Army on the Kra Isthmus of Burma were to sever the supply routes of supplies to China and secure the Burmese oil.  The British on  mainland China were pushed back due to the assault by 3 enemy regiments opposite Hong Kong.

Japanese Blitz in action

Japanese Blitz in action

8 December, in the Philippines, the Japanese infantry units went in to occupy Bataan while other units landed at Vigan and Aparri in the north portion of Luzon.  /  Wake Island began to receive heavy naval and aerial enemy bombardment.

FDR gives the "Infamy" speech

FDR gives the “Infamy” speech

FDR gave his “a day that will live in infamy” speech to Congress and they immediately passed the resolution to declare war on Japan. (NOT Germany).  Thirty-three minutes later, the president cabled Churchill_____

“…TODAY ALL OF US ARE IN THE SAME BOAT WITH YOU AND THE PEOPLE OF THE EMPIRE AND IT IS A SHIP WHICH WILL NOT AND CANNOT BE SUNK.”

Click on to images to enlarge.

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Humor – and the training shall begin…..

instructor.jpg Muscleheaded

 

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Postcards are courtesy of http://muscleheaded.wordpress.com/

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

John Borowski – Port Allegany, PA; US Army, WWII, SSgt., Europe/Africa/Middle East Theater

WWII Memorial poem at Arlington Cemetery

WWII Memorial poem at Arlington Cemetery

Donald Chapman – Redding, CA; US Army, Korea, 64th FAR/25th Division

Alex Giblin – Richmond, NZ; RNZ Air Force # 436608, Flt. Sgt., WWII

Raymond Hatfield – Cythniana, KY; US Navy, WWII

Joseph McEntee – Washington DC; US Army, WWII & US Air Force, Korea, LtCol. (Ret.)

Kenneth Rankin – Ottawa, CAN; RAF/RCAF, WWII, (Ret.)

Floyd “Flip” Soden – WPalm Beach, FL; US Navy,  USS Rowe 564

Robert Van Buren – WPalm Beach, FL; US Army, WWII

Adlophus “Ross” Wright  Jr. (89) – Columbia, MO; US Air Force, POW

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Japanese attack on Shanghai 8 December 1941

Martin Gibson’s historic site, War and Security, is certain to have something for everyone. Here we have the Shanghai attack occurring at the same time as Pearl Harbor.

War and Security

The Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 is extremely well known, but far fewer people know that the Japanese also attacked British and US warships at Shanghai without declaring war. This took place on the same day, although it was 8 December in Shanghai because it was on the other side of the International Date Line.

Britain and the USA both then maintained small naval forces on the Yangtze River in order to protect their interests in China. These included the Shanghai International Settlement, an autonomous district of the city inhabited by Westerners. It was originally protected by British soldiers, US Marines and Royal Navy and United States Navy gunboats, but most of these had been withdrawn by December 1941.

Japan and China had been at war with each other since 1937, when China began to fully resist Japanese encroachments into her territory that…

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2 EyeWitness Accounts

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James Willis Downing

Lieutenant, US Navy, USS West Virginia

Lt. James Downing

Lt. James Downing

James Downing enlisted in the Navy with the understanding that war would eventually come.  He was hosting a breakfast for his church group on the morning of 7 December when the US part of the war began and he began to hear the explosions.  An antiaircraft shell landed in the backyard and James immediately drove down to the harbor.  His ship, the USS West Virginia, had been counter flooded and the USS Oklahoma, he could see, had already capsized.  The radio stations were broadcasting whatever information they had.

As postmaster, Mr. Downing knew his shipmates well and had access to their addresses.  After surveying his ship, he did his best to memorize the names of his wounded crew members so he could write to their families and describe what had happened.  Working close to a Navy tanker that was loaded with fuel, he felt he was living minute to minute, expecting it to blow up.

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James recalled the Japanese pilots flying overhead like a swarm of bees and of being strafed by pilots so close he could see the color of their eyes.  “Survival instinct was kicking in.  The war became pretty personal at that point.”

He waded through oil that stood a foot deep on the ocean after rescue efforts which left him coated from head to toe.  Later that day, he headed to the hospital where he walked up and down the rows of beds collecting names and brief messages from burn victims to send to their families.

Sailors watch theUSS Shaw bombing, Ford Island Air Station

Sailors watch the USS Shaw bombing, Ford Island Air Station

Lt. James Downing remained in the US Navy throughout WWII and continued to serve during the Korean War.  He was 100 years old when he gave an interview for the 70th Anniversary in 2013.  His dates of service were 1932 – 1956.  This story is condensed from his original interview with the Veterans History Project; Library of Congress.

Click on images to enlarge.

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James Mitsuo Furukama

James Furukama

James Furukama

James Furukama was a 16 year old civilian on 7 December.  He was working as a construction laborer and had fallen off a scaffold the day before and was on his way to the hospital to have his stitches checked out when he saw the planes flying overhead.  James thought, like many, that maneuvers were taking place and he continued on his way.  Then, he heard the bombs and saw the smoke.  As he approached the hospital, the nurses thought he was a casualty.

When the smoke cleared, James worked with the construction crews to clean up the debris and help restore the damaged, bombed out and burned buildings.

[There were so many excellent photos in Mr. Furkama’s file, I had to make make a gallery for some.]

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James went on to be an Army Interpreter three years later, Service # 30113361.  He served with the 34th Infantry Regiment/24th Division HQ/ Language Detachment/441st Intelligence Corps/10th Army.  He received a Bronze Star for his heroic efforts in rescuing patients after the MASH unit he helped to set up was bombed during the Okinawa invasion.  His dates of service were 1944-1966, he retired as Major after 22 years.

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Political Cartoons – 

anti-third term for FDR

anti-third term for FDR

anti-third term for King Roosevelt

anti-third term for King Roosevelt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BUT !!!

4 December 1941

4 December 1941

IF THE “CHICAGO DAILY TRIBUNE”   KNEW ______   HOW DID EVERYONE FEIGN SURPRISE 3 DAYS LATER?????

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Farewell Salutes – 

George Ackehurst – Thornhill, CAN; RC Army, WWII7388b_To-Honor-Ones-Country-Wreath

Frank Baker – GRanville, AUS; RA Army, WWII, 2/20 Battalion, POW

Rosella Gillis – Big Flats, NY; WACS, WWII, typist & USO

Raleigh “Bud” Fletcher – Coquille, OR; USMC, WWII & Korea, pilot

Frederick Havens – Riverside, CA; US Navy, WWII

Michael Lemme – Lake Worth, FL; US Army, WWII, Purple Heart

Neville Mudford – Matamata, NZ; RNZ Air Force # 4213337, WWII

Michael Ruckman – Collinsville, IL; US Army, Vietnam, (aurthor of, ‘Our Days Are a Shadow’)

Everett Shearburn Jr. – Kirkwood, MO; US Navy, WWII, PTO, Ensign, 7th Fleet

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A Blogger’s passing –  I am very sorry to inform the readers That Bill Hamilton, the smiling, Santa-look-alike who wrote as the FlaHam @ coping with copd, has passed away.  I learned this from the Chatter Master.

News Day

Western Union, Labor Day, 1942

Western Union, Labor Day, 1942

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO WERE EXPECTING A LABOR DAY POST, I HAVE HERE A LINK TO MY POST FROM LAST YEAR WHICH DEPICTED THE DAY’S CELEBRATION IN THE STYLE OF THE 1950’S.   I’M SURE MANY OF YOU WILL REMEMBER IT, BUT –  WE HAVE HAD NEW READERS JOIN US SINCE THAT TIME.  PLUS – I’VE ACCUMULATED A LOT OF CURRENT NEWS THAT NEEDS TO BE POSTED.  THANK YOU….

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Labor Day Post – HERE

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WWII VETERAN – STILL HAS WHAT IT TAKES!

Arthur Lewis

Arthur Lewis

Arthur M. Lewis, 89, an Army veteran of the Pacific Theater, was working behind the counter of The Jewelry Exchange in Lake Park, Florida when an armed robber entered the store.  Lewis grabbed the attacker’s gun and pulled out his own weapon.  Shots were fired.  Lewis was grazed on his arm and the would-be thief escaped carrying 6 bullets in his body.  The man and his get-away driver were caught by the Boca Raton police when they sought medical attention.  The suspect faces felony charges when he is released by the hospital.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Fallen WWII Soldier Comes Home

David Rogers holding his uncle's WWII picture

David Rogers holding his uncle’s WWII picture

Dog tags of Pvt. Bernard Gavin

Dog tags of Pvt. Bernard Gavin

DNA testing and a set of dog tags has positively identified the missing US Army Pvt. Bernard “Max” Gavrin who fought in the PTO and went missing in Saipan.  He will be laid to rest on 12 September.  The remains were discovered by the non-profit Japanese organization, the Kuentai Group.

Gavrin’s nephew, David Rogers of Delray Beach, Florida, last saw his uncle when he was years old, said in an interview:  “I am completely in awe of where he is going to be buried.  Arlington Cemetery is the single most hallowed ground in this country.  Beneath its surface contains the who’s who of American history.  To think that my uncle will also be buried there is incredible to me.”

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Java Sea Wreck Confirmed

A wreath is passed to sailors for the tomb of 700.

A wreath is passed to sailors for the tomb of 700.

More than 70 years after the heavy cruiser, USS Houston, was sunk by the Japanese during the Battle of Sunda Strait in February 1942, the grave for 700 of its sailors and Marines has been confirmed.  Nicknamed the “Galloping Ghost of the Java Coast” had only 291 survivors.  The commander, Captain Albert H. Rooks, was killed during the battle and awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously.

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U.S. Military Downsizing

The 1/9 Marine insignia The Walking Dead

The 1/9 Marine insignia
The Walking Dead

A Marine Corps battalion decorated for extensive combat in WWII and Vietnam earned the nickname “Walking Dead.”  The 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, which also saw action in Iraq and Afghanistan, was deactivated during a ceremony at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.  The unit had a reputation for heroism that included Medal of Honor recipients at Guam and Iwo Jima and two in Vietnam.

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Did You Know?

__ Elvis Presley did a benefit concert and raised over $50,000 to help in the cost of erecting the Arizona memorial.

Ticket for the Elvis USS Arizona Benefit

Ticket for the Elvis’ USS Arizona Benefit

__ Some former crew-members are choosing to have their ashes scattered over their former ships at Pearl Harbor.
__ Fuel, to this day, continues to leak from the USS Arizona.
__ Twenty-three sets of brothers died when the Arizona sank.
 
 
 Click on any image to enlarge.

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Merchant Navy Day – New Zealand – 3 September

Capt. Inkster

Capt. Inkster

The men and boys of the New Zealand Merchant Navy had one of the most perilous wartime occupations as they carried supplies to the troops and wounded to safety.  Their virtually unarmed ships were sitting ducks for the enemy.  Hundreds of mines were laid by German raiders in the early years of the war and several vessels were sunk, including the minesweeper, Puriri, May 1941 off Whangarei, NZ.

Around 130 New Zealand seafarers lost their lives and around 140 were taken prisoner.  Captain Inkster, pictured above, served for 60 years, including all six years of WWII.  Let’s join them this Wednesday in honoring these civilians who put their lives on the line for the Allied troops!

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A Current Political Cartoon____

A day of infamy Pearl Harbor (by Dan Saad)

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Farewell Salutes – 

Heroes R.I.P.

Heroes R.I.P.

Stuart Avery – Tauranga, NZ; RNZ Air Force # W327494

William “Dan” Boone – Adelanto, CA; US Air Force, MSgt. (Ret. 20 years), Vietnam

Charles Catanzaro – Syracuse, NY; US Army, Sgt., Vietnam

Morris “Moose” Fontenot – Longmeadow, MA;  US Air Force, LtCol., 104th Fighter Wing, F-15 pilot

Gerald McHaffie – Ozark, MO; US Navy, Korea

Walter Pacholka – Pointe-Claire, CAN; RC Air Force [attached to RAF Squadron 199], WWII

Harry Peterson – Oak Park, IL; US Army, 99th Div., WWII, ETO, [author]

Bertrand Vachon – Augusta, ME; US Army, Sgt., WWII

Herbert Waits – LaPine, OR; US Army, Corps of Engineers, WWII

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