Current News

Mike Day - Navy Seal

Mike Day – Navy Seal

A former US Navy Seal, Mike Day is currently still fighting for his fellow soldiers.  Day was shot 27 times by al Qaida gunmen in Iraq in 2007, but the Silver Star recipient didn’t quit.  After a long recovery, he will soon compete in his first triathlon – a 1.2 mile swim, 56-mile bike run and 13.1-mile run – later this month, and he has used his training to raise nearly $80,000 for Carrick Brain Centers, a Dallas hospital specializing in treating veterans suffering from PTSD. (“The Week” magazine)

Mike Day

Mike Day

“My life’s mission is now not about me,” Day said.  “It is to care for and lead my wounded brothers and sisters.”

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USS Oklahoma, in finer days

USS Oklahoma, in finer days

Honolulu (FOX News) – The Pentagon said Tuesday it would exhume and try to identify the remains of nearly 400 sailors and Marines killed when the USS Oklahoma capsized after being hit by 9 torpedoes at the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  Hundreds were buried as unknowns at cemeteries in Hawaii.  In 1950, they were re-interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific inside a volcanic crater in Honolulu.

USS Oklahoma capsizing

USS Oklahoma capsizing

The military is acting now, more than 70 years later, because of the advances in forensic science and technology and genealogical help from family members.  Officials plan to begin work in 3-6 weeks.  They aim to identify the remains of up to 388 servicemen within 5 years.  In 2003, one casket was disinterred based on information provided by Ray Emory, a Pearl Harbor survivor.

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USS Gary (FFG-51)

USS Gary (FFG-51)

San Diego – The USS Gary (FFG-51), a Navy frigate, has returned to the San Diego Naval Base from her final deployment; Operation Martillo.  Her final final mission targeted the illicit trafficking routes along the Central American coastline.

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Alan Turing and the enigma machine

Alan Turing and the enigma machine

NYC – Alan Turing’s 56-page handwritten cryptology notebook from WWII sold at auction in NYC, NY for $1 million.  Turing was the British codebreaker who worked at Bletchley Park on the enigma machine.  In later years, Turing was arrested for breaking the UK’s homosexuality laws.  He died 7 June 1954 of an apparent suicide.

Turing's notebook at auction

Turing’s notebook at auction

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(top-row) Capt. Marvin Watkins, William Fredericks (died in medical experiments), Howard Shingledecker (fate unknown), Charles Kearns (died at crash site), Dale Plambeck (medical experiments), Front-row - Robert Johnson (died at crash site), Teddy Ponczka (medical experiments), Robert Williams (medical experiments), Leon Czarnecki (medical experiments), Leo Oeinck (crash site), John Colehower (medical experiments), 2 others, names unknown, died from medical experiments.

(top-row) Capt. Marvin Watkins, William Fredericks (died in medical experiments), Howard Shingledecker (fate unknown), Charles Kearns (died at crash site), Dale Plambeck (medical experiments), Front-row – Robert Johnson (died at crash site), Teddy Ponczka (medical experiments), Robert Williams (medical experiments), Leon Czarnecki (medical experiments), Leo Oeinck (crash site), John Colehower (medical experiments), 2 others, names unknown, died from medical experiments.

Fukuoka, Kyushu, Japan – The Kyushu University has opened a museum acknowledging that its staff had taken 8 U.S. POWs, captured after their B-29 was shot down, taken to the center’s medical school and dissected alive for medical experiments.  The 12 men in Captain Marvin Watkin’s crew took off from Guam to bomb the Fukuoka airfield and bailed out when a Japanese fighter rammed their plane.

War Crime Trial

War Crime Trial

Local residents converged on the surviving airmen.  One emptied his pistol at the crowd before shooting himself dead, and another was stabbed to death by the civilians.  Capt. Watkins was interrogated and survived the war.  Todoshi Tono, one of the doctors involved, later spent his life exposing the atrocities.  He told the ‘Baltimore Sun’ that one of the flyers, stabbed by locals, presumed he was going to be treated for his wounds when he arrived at the operating theatre, but was dissected instead.  A memorial has been erected honoring the airmen.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Current humor – 

Palm Beach Post, Sunday comics

Palm Beach Post, Sunday comics

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Personal Note – This was by far the hardest post I have ever put together.  I apologize for not including the Farewell Salutes, they will continue in Monday’s post.  And, a sincere Thank you to YOU out there – my Readers and Friends for helping to make this blog a part of your own family histories and yourselves.  Your story and link contributions do more to make Pacific Paratrooper what it is than I ever could. I don’t believe I show my appreciation often enough for your time and effort to keep our veteran’s services to us alive in our memories and our hearts.  Thank you___ GP Cox

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on April 18, 2015, in Current News, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 95 Comments.

  1. My sympathy, it was hard to read too, because of the content.

    Like

  2. Oh my goodness. Am speechless how someone could do that to another human being. How in the world could you live with yourself?

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  3. As always enjoyed your posts but especially about Mike looking after his fellow comrades.

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  4. Excellent post gp, very well put together displaying a cross section of brutal pieces of history.
    Well done, your work is to be commended.
    I would be interested to know more about the Japanese nurse that was committed for war crimes.
    Cheers

    Like

  5. I think that your superb blog is statement enough of your appreciation of your readers .

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  6. Oh Everett, thank you so much for your Herculean efforts in creating this profound and memorable post.

    Like

  7. I see my app didn’t like me once again. I had written that Mike Day is a phenomenal man, still giving of himself. I hope he will find peace within himself for all he does for others.

    It is beyond belief that humans can do such things to other humans. The horror those young B-29 crewmembers endured cannot be imagined. Still, well over 5 million at a minimum were killed in Europe just because they were Jews. The total number will never be known.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No it will not, Koji. Very similar medical experiments were performed in Europe, but since the ETO is not part of my research to any great extent, I figured I should stay out of it. I have made it clear (I hope) to the readers that I am proud of the doctor who then turned his life into one of atoning for his actions. Obviously the man was coerced into doing the operations and shows his honorable nature by his actions after the war.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am no expert on this, but as far as I am aware, medical experiments were not performed by the Germans on Allied military personnel but on the poor people in the concentration camps, mostly Jews, by doctors such as Mengele. Allied flyers, particularly near the end of the war in 1944 and 1945, were more likely to be murdered by German civilians, strangely enough, quite frequently in country areas. Or local Nazis, Gestapo or SS might have them shot if they felt so inclined. I have just watched a really good documentary about airmen in Buchenwald concentration camp. Well in excess of a hundred men of all nationalities were sent there to be worked to death, although the majority, fortunately, survived. Not enough of these German maniacs were punished when we had the chance, although murderers of downed flyers were usually hanged if their guilt could be established.
        Overall, as regards the German forces in general, the Luftwaffe and the Navy were OK, but the rest all had their dark secrets by the end of the war.

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        • As I’ve said previously, I am certainly no expert, especially on the ETO. You are in more of a position to know than I. Glad you could clarify things for us, John.

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  8. Thanks for an up-to-date report honoring those who served. Great work!

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  9. I loved the first part of the post, the last has left me speechless…war is hell.

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    • I figured I HAD to start off with Mike Day’s story or no one would continue to read the rest of post, Mrs P. Sorry to have pulled that on you, but you know I believe all history needs to be recorded and remembered. This WAS a rough one, wasn’t it!?!

      Like

  10. All of these recounts of the history of war are very difficult. As I have been attempting to reestablish my mothers DIC from her first husband who was killed at the Kum River Massacre on 7/16/1950 I shed many tears. The VA no longer has records of her original claim in January 1951 when his remains were found and identified or when she claimed benefits in 1974 after being widowed for the second time. Now she is widowed for the third time leading to my research. I learned more than I ever wanted to know about those men who died (616) on one day being cut of from replacements or retreat.

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    • It is very difficult to deal with the records and claims departments, but I suggest you continue to try. If possible an investigator or attorney might be worth the cost. I am sincerely pulling for you!

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  11. It’s been so long since I’ve visited your blog, or any other blog for that matter. Your first story is so inspiring!

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    • I’m sorry you came back to such a mixture of a post, but the current news was piling up and I felt it needed more research than some of the articles were giving it. I hope you’ll stick around for awhile.

      Like

  12. It is unfathomable how horrible people can be to each other, whether at war or not. With regard to Mike Day, it is also wondrous how good people can be to each other, whether at war or not.

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  13. Certainly needed the World War 3 cartoon to lighten the mood. It is good to remember though that such horrors are what happens in war, to this very day.

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  14. Perhaps you should rename this “They were all heroes.” Each and everyone gave everything for the sake of peace and justice. Turing was punished for his own ‘normality’, this too was an atrocity, perhaps not as violent aas those described by the doctors, but still an atrocity all the same. I hope they all get the closing they truely deserve. Thank you for another moving post.

    Andy

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Reblogged this on quirkywritingcorner and commented:
    Support our troops with prayer if nothing else.

    Like

  16. Many kudos to Mike Day, a true hero! This had to be a tough post, GP. It goes from way up to way down with hits in between. But it was all so interesting. Of course, I love the Google v. Apple WWIII cartoon! 🙂

    Like

    • You have always been a loyal reader, Linda, sorry to put you through this post. You are always the loyal friend.

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      • Don’t apologize GP. Your posts are needed. The truth needs to be put out there since there those who are always trying to “rewrite” history. You do such a wonderful job. Keep it up! 🙂

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        • Thanks, Linda, I could use a boost of confidence every once in a while. I keep making it clear that my own opinions are NOT involved in the posts and I use multiple references for each one, but there is someone who knows better because [as an example] a friend told them so – I definitely double-check myself, but after a while it gets tiresome.

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  17. GP as hard as it was for you to put this post together I want you to know how much I appreciated reading it. The story of mike Day is inspiring to say the least. I had heard in media reports about the bodies being exhumed. May it bring peace to the families.

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    • They DO deserve a proper burial. One casket was buried with partial remains of 100 men, this is going to take quite a while to accomplish. I admire the people willing to take on this project. And I appreciate you reading about it here, Sue.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Thank goodness you balanced the Fukuoka University story with the Navy SEAL. They’re both amazing to believe, in different ways.

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  19. The UK’s ‘Telegraph’ (media outlet—we used to call ’em newspapers) has an article—

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/thinking-man/11503612/Meet-the-Navy-SEAL-who-was-shot-27-times-and-lived-to-tell-the-story.html

    —and that’s one tough cookie!

    Ye gods …

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  20. Hard to believe that anyone could survive being shot 27 times—hell, we don’t even have that many fingers and toes. Whatever he’s got it should be bottled …

    As for the medical experiments—you don’t do that sort of thing to fellow humans, but to ‘monkey men’ it’s rarely a problem. Sub-humans are grist to the mill, as they say—regardless. Regardless of whether they are Jews, Japs, krauts, Nazis, Yanks, Chinks, Limeys … I state often that “anyone will do anything to anyone” and have yet to receive a credible rebuttal (all you have to do is make ‘them’ not ‘one of us’ and you’re home and hosed).
    Turing? Classic ‘right place/right time’ followed by ‘wrong place, wrong time’ *.

    You’re doing brilliant work, GP — please don’t overdo it; take a break now and then, be military about this and conserve your resources where necessary. To keep the ship at sea sometimes you need bring it in to harbour, no?

    * When pot is finally legalised in the States … will all those folks who were persecuted, did time, and paid heavy fines get their money back, do you think?

    Like

    • Your paragraph on the ‘monkey-men’ was a bit off-color, but I take it you believe there are good and bad in every country, race and religion. I recently received a letter and placard from a WWII pilot on his final mission – this is my final mission in life and I at my age, I don’t think rest is in the schedule. But thanks for the concern.
      When pot is legalized throughout the US, I believe we’ll all crash our cars into each other – in slow motion. [money back? Hahahahaha]

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I can imagine this was very hard to research and write. I know I first breathe the things I put down on paper…they become part of me before I can re-constitute them and mix them into something coherent for my readers. It’s a blessing to us that you took this on. These things need to be known. Thank you!

    Like

    • That’s what keeps me going forward when I hit on news like this, it needs to be told. I’m just always a bit nervous that it can cause any sort of flashback on the present generation.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Mike Day! He’s why I put Words For Warriors together. It’s a small offering to our vets but heartfelt. Wish I could just go around the country presenting books as a full time job! Actually, I wish I could buy and present those track chairs to some of the wounded so they could get out and about in nature over rough terrain. I think being able to get away and out into nature is a healing and soul feeding thing. And houses…I want to build adaptive houses. Must. Win. Lottery! I always love your posts!

    Like

  23. In the world of thumbs up – thumbs down, Mike Day obviously gets a huge thumbs up, while those who perscecuted Alan Turning and tortured soldiers get an equally large thumbs down. In terms of Alan Turning, I camp help but think how much truly great talent we have destroyed because of our prejudices. We all lose.

    Finally, on a lighter note, Google and Apple marching to war against each other is fun but they should have been armed with laptops. Also, if you blow the photo up, you will see Lucy Brown lurking in the background. I added my own caption, “Good grief!”

    Curt

    Like

  24. Mike Day is a true hero and a leader!

    My husband and I did not know about what happened at Kyushu. Your posts have been educational on many levels. Thank you.

    Like

  25. Joseph Megele could teach those people nothing.

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    • No, I guess not Alan. They had their own way of doing things and believe me it was rough enough just trying to type in the story. But, Mengele would be a post and half just himself alone, wouldn’t he?!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Interesting news about the USS Oklahoma – thanks for sharing, GP.

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  27. Very shocking what happened to the airmen who crash-landed in Fukuoka all those years ago…finally they are remembered properly and people are making amends.

    Vijay

    Like

  28. This is so moving. Thank you for sharing your research and your emotions.

    Like

  29. Mike Day sounds like the best kind of hero, motivated by care for his brother and sister soldiers!

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  30. Yes, thank you so much for sharing these stories. I wish them every success with identifying the remains of the war dead on the Oklahoma. Here in England, as far as I know, the government are not in the slightest bit interested in going down this road, which is really sad, to say the least.

    Like

    • Yes, it is sad, John. The Japanese are hunting for their people and hand over any details and remains located for other nations. So many were left missing, they deserve a proper end to their history.

      Like

  31. I don’t care how long ago this was….this kind of horror does not end. It reverberates forever.

    I thank God those men’s horror has ended. And their peace is eternal.

    More power and peace to Mike Day for taking on a life mission worthy of a valiant and brave soldier.

    Like

  32. It makes you wonder what other atrocities were carried out by the Germans and Japanese during WWII, I’ve no doubt that there were many many more that we don’t know about and more than likely never will.

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    • I have one book by a Japanese author who does his best to analyze different portions of the war without bias. I don’t believe I will be coping much out of the Atrocities chapter; I was quite hesitant to post what I did. I only hope that people do not take these horrific acts as common amongst the people of any nation – there are good and bad in all of us. Thank you for commenting, Beari.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Mike Day is an incredibly brave young man.
    The story on the atrocity committed against an airman is sickening, People surprise me all the time,, there seems to be, no level they won’t stoop to. So much for humanity

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  34. Thanks for the reminders–that these were/are real people. The depravity of humankind sometimes knows no bounds.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Nice acknowledgement gp. That dissection story is horrific.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Thanks for this post. All the best for Mike Day and his mission, he is a hero….

    Liked by 1 person

  37. You have done a most amazing job in all the time I have been following. And many a time the things you have reported on have been very moving. I imagine that all the people who read your posts every day would understand the terrific job you have done. But what is it about this post that sets it apart as the ‘hardest post’ you have ever put together? There are so many but as I write this comment I have a lump in my throat for you and I’m not sure why.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You can feel the emotions I felt covering these stories because you have become part of the community that has developed here at Pacific Paratrooper. I went from bursting with pride in the story of Mike Day to being forced to disassociate myself in the final story.

      Like

  38. Thanks for sharing a nice variety of stories today.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Thank you, that is two fantastic compliments rolled up in one!!

    Like

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