Monthly Archives: August 2016

Purple Heart Day

"Wounded Warrior" painting by: US Marine Michael Fay

“Wounded Warrior” painting by: US Marine Michael Fay

On this date in 1782, in Newburgh, New York, General George Washington created the “Badge for Military Merit,” a decoration consisting of a purple, heart-shaped piece of silk, edged in silver, with the word Merit etched.  It was to be presented for any one meritorious action and it permitted the wearer to pass guards and sentinels without challenge.   The honoree’s name and regiment were to be inscribed in “The Book of Merit.”

Purple Heart certificate given during the Korean War

Purple Heart certificate given during the Korean War

Only three soldiers are known to have been awarded this medal during the Revolutionary War: Elijah Churchill, William Brown and Daniel Bissell Jr.  The Book of Merit was lost and the medal was virtually forgotten.  In 1927, General Charles Summerall  sent an unsuccessful draft bill to Congress to revive the Badge.

Patch for Afghanistan

Patch for Afghanistan

General Douglas MacArthur took up the cause, hoping to get the medal reinstated for the bicentennial of George Washington’s birthday.  He succeeded – 22 February 1932 the US War Department announced the creation of the “Order of the Purple Heart.”

National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, New Windsor, NY

National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, New Windsor, NY

This medal is awarded to members of the US Armed Forces who have been killed or wounded in action against an enemy.  It is also given to soldiers who have suffered maltreatment as prisoners of war.

The 'impersonal chaos of war' display in the Hall of Honor

The ‘impersonal chaos of war’ display in the Hall of Honor

The most Purple Hearts awarded to any individual soldier is nine (9) to USMC Sergeant Albert Luke Ireland; five (5) for World War II and four (4) for his action in the Korean War.

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Total Casualties as of May 27, 2013

Total Serving Battle Deaths Other Deaths Total Deaths Wounded  
Revolutionary War 4,435 4,435 6,188  
War of 1812 286,730 2,260 2,260 4,505  
Mexican War 78,718 1,733 11,550 13,283 4,152  
Civil War 2,213,363 140,414 224,097 364,511 281,881  
Spanish American 306,760 385 2,061 2,446 1,662  
World War I 4,734,991 53,202 63,114 116,316 204,002  
World War II 16,112,566 291,557 113,842 405,399 670,846  
Korean War 5,720,000 33,746 3,249 36,995 103,284  
Vietnam War 8,744,000 47,355 10,796 58,151 153,303  
Desert Storm 2,225,000 147 235 382 467  
Enduring Freedom 1784 318 2.286 9,675  
Iraqi Freedom 3483 890 4,422 31,935  
Totals 580,182 430,370 1,010,876 1,478,096
 
Click on images to enlarge.
 
 
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 Farewell Salutes – 

Charles Andres III – Harvey, LA; US Army, WWII, Lt.Col. (Ret.), Purple Heart

Anthony DiTommasso – Providence, RI; USMC, WWII, PTO, Purple Heartpurple-heart

Herbert Faulk – Alcatraz, CA; US Army, WWII, ETO, Purple Heart

Kenneth French – Charleston, MI; US Army, WWII, Purple Heart

Joseph Gallagher – Radcliff, KY; US Army, WWII, Korea & Vietnam, Lt.Col. (Ret. 37 years), 2 Bronze Stars, 3 Purple Hearts

Keith James – Easley, SC; US Army, Vietnam, Bronze Star, Purple Heart

William Kiernan – Williamsburg, VA; US Army, WWII, Corps of Engineers, Purple Heart

Herdis McCrary – Green Bay, WI; US Army, Korea, 2 Purple Hearts

Albert Russo – Ambridge, PA; US Army, WWII, ETO, 2nd Ranger Batt., bronze Star, 2 Purple Hearts

Noel Seeburg Jr. – Chicago, IL, US Army, WWII, PTO, Capt., Bronze Star, Purple Heart

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April 1944 (1)

Task Force-58, carrier crews cheers as enemy aircraft goes down.

Task Force-58, carrier crews cheers as enemy aircraft goes down.

1 April – US carrier aircraft groups under Adm. Spruance launched a series of massive strikes throughout the western Caroline Islands.  Despite the US loss of 20 planes during these raids, the Japanese suffered 150 aircraft destroyed and over 100,000 tons of merchant shipping sunk.

CINCPAC reported that the 7th Air Force Liberators bombed Dublon in Truk Atoll.  Mitchell bombers of the 7th, plus Corsair fighters of the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing bombed Ponape, starting fires at the enemy base.  All aircraft returned safely.

USS 'Guarvina, April 1944, sank a trawler & cargo ships, "Tetsuyo Maru" & "Noshiro Maru"

USS ‘Guarvina, April 1944, sank a trawler & cargo ships, “Tetsuyo Maru” & “Noshiro Maru”

4 April – a Navy Dept. communiqué, No. 516, reported US submarines suck 14 vessels in the Pacific and Far East: 2 medium tankers, 11 medical cargo vessels, and 1 small cargo vessel.  The CINCPAC report stated a Liberator search plane of Fleet Air Wing-2 bombed a tanker near Moen Island.

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16 April – in the SW Pacific area, the 5th Air Force would refer to this date as “Black Sunday.”  While over 200 aircraft bombed Hollandia, serious weather moved in and blocked the bombers from returning to base.  Over 30 were lost or crashed and 32 men perished.  For a detailed account – click here.

19 April – in order to divert enemy attention from the US operations on the Huon Peninsula, New Guinea, the US Task Force-58, under Adm. Mitscher, bombarded enemy positions at Sarmi, Sewar, Wadke Island and Hollandia.  At Aitape and Hollandia, the enemy was caught by surprise and about half of the men were non-combat troops.  MacArthur said, “No withering fire met us at the beach.  Instead, there was only disorder, rice still boiling in pots, weapons and personal equipment of every kind abandoned.  No more than token resistance…”

Gen. Jo Iimura, Japanese Army

Gen. Jo Iimura, Japanese Army

[In post-war interrogations, Jo Iimura, a Japanese defender in the region at the time, said, “The Allied invasion of Hollandia and Aitape was a complete surprise to us.  After considering the past operational tactics of the enemy, we believed they would attempt to acquire an important position somewhere east of Aitape… Because we misjudged, we were neither able to reinforce nor send was supplies to the defending units.”]

22 April – by this date, the Marshall Islands were now under complete control of the US.  This would enable the Allied forces in the central Pacific to swing north through the Mariana Islands.

29-30 April – the Japanese base at Truk was bombed by the aircraft from 12 carriers.  They destroyed enemy ships, oil stores, ammunition dumps and 93 enemy aircraft.

Click on images to enlarge.

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U.S. Coast Guard Birthday – established: 4 August 1790coast-guard

 

Last year’s post for the Coast Guard was a fun one to do – Take a look!!

 

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Coast Guard Humor – 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Carl ‘Bill’ Amos Jr. – Portland, OR; US Coast Guard, WWII

Jeremiah Bowen – Bergenfield, NJ; US Coast Guard, WWII, ETO, USS Leopold, Purple Heart

Land-Sea-Air Tribute

Land-Sea-Air Tribute

Gordon Cameron – Fort William, CAN; RC Army, WWII, ETO

Arthur Kitagawa – San Francisco, CA/Topaz Utah Internment Camp; WWII, ETO, 442nd RCT

Theodore Lusink – Netherlands/Australia; WWII escaped POW/2nd AIF, 7th Division/RAAF

Russell Miller III – Philadelphia, PA; US Coast Guard, WWII

Leicester Orange – Burnside, NZ; RNZ Army # 442065, WWII, PTO, Sgt.

Clifford Roberts –  Miami, FL; US Coast Guard, WWII

Harmon Shoda – Loon Lake, IN; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, Sgt., Honor Guard at surrender

Ronald Wehner – Toledo, OH; US Navy, WWII, PTO, USS Sage/US Coast Guard, Korea, Vietnam, (Ret. 21 years)

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Current Home Front News

WW II Towers at Gordons Pond

WW II Towers at Gordons Pond

For over 70 years, a series of towers has stood on the shore of the Delaware coast. The towers were used in World War II to help defend the U.S. from enemy ships; crews kept a watch on the ocean and would have alerted the Army at Fort Miles had the enemy ever been spotted.

Three of the towers are going to be refurbished in a joint project between the Delaware Seashore Preservation Foundation, Fort Miles Historical Association, and the Delaware State Parks.

“We want to restore the towers internally and externally so that people can enjoy the history of the towers and see the vistas from the top,” said Ernie Felici, the chairman of the Delaware Seashore Preservation Foundation.

The three towers are all located along Route 1. Tower 1 is on Fenwick Island. Tower 2 is in Bethany. The third tower is just south of Dewey Beach.

“Right now, we are focusing on Tower 3,” said Felici. “We want to be able to open it up to the general public. The location is perfect.”

This tower is sitting at Fenwick Island, Indian River, DE. There are 11 towers in all.

This tower is sitting at Fenwick Island, Indian River, DE.
There are 11 towers in all.

The site of Tower 3 already has a beach house with a public restroom and parking. According to Felici:

“Our overall goal, however, is to open the area to weddings and events, like with the Indian River Life Saving Station, but right now we are just focused on the restoration. Once that is finished then we will focus on the other activities. The major cost is the stairway system and the internal parts of the tower. We need to secure the stairway for the weather.”

The engineering costs to restore the tower will be the most expensive. The reconstruction of the concrete exterior is a minor cost.

“We have done a preliminary engineering study and we had positive results,” said Felici. “Right now, they are doing a drainage study because, through the years, sand has accumulated at the base.

The groups are currently seeking funds and grants to help in the effort. Felici says that the fundraising efforts are going well.

For the past two years, the Delaware Coastal Preservation Foundation has been named a beneficiary of the Coastal Delaware Running Festival. The Festival is a qualifying event for the Boston Marathon.

The three towers are included in the Fort Miles Historical Association. There is hope that raising interest in the towers will increase interest in the fort and the history of the region during World War II.

From War History online.

Click on images to enlarge.

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U.S. Air Force Day – 1 August 19Air Force Song

 

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In the Denver Area – 

History Camp, Colorado

History Camp, Colorado

Madison Jonas, editor and researcher will represent the IHRA (International Historical Research Associates) at the History Camp to discuss General Walker’s disappearance of 5 January 1943.  Check HERE for further details or the IHRA web site.

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In the Ohio Area –  header-logo

Anne T. Bell would like everyone to know about a re-enactment of the amphibious landings at D-Day on this 19-20 August.  For further information, Please check out the official site.

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Military Humor – via the Reader’s Digest – 

Welcome to basic training.

Welcome to basic training.

INCOMING !!

INCOMING !!

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes –

William Almon – St. Louis, MO; US Army Air Corps, WWII, West Point, 11th Airborne Signal Corps

Earl Bosse – Ada, OH; US Navy, WWIImemorialday4

George Davies – Manukau, NZ; RNZ Air Force # NZ427262, WWII, ETO, 75th Sq/RAF Bomber Command, POW

Donald Knudsen – Hopkins, MI; US Army, WWII

Donald Lamb – LeGrand, IA; US Army, 11th Airborne

Claire Poisson – Lowell, MA; WWII, Brooklyn Navy Yard

Denis Sheils – brn: IRE/Philadelphia, PA; US Army, WWII, Korea & Vietnam, Lt. Col. (Ret.)

Richard Sonnenfeld – Oklahoma City, OK; US Army, WWII, Bomb disposal unit

Peter Tomaino – Utica, NY; US Army, WWII, ETO

Ronald Williams – Sydney, AUS; RA Navy # 33579, Korea, Petty Officer (Ret.)

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