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I will Salute

The sentiments spoken by a true American. I hope many will follow Bob MacPherson’s example and once again revere the flag !!

theleansubmariner

Forty six years ago, I raised my right hand in a room full of strangers and pledged to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. I solemnly swore to do so while standing facing the flag that represents this country. For all of the years since then, that flag has played a central role in my life.

I watched her fly as a green recruit and came to understand she is more than just another piece of cloth. I watched her fly from the deck of many submarines and ships at bases all over the world. I listened with pride one night in Yokosuka Japan while a shipmate played Taps as we retired her for the day. I felt the crushing weight of seeing a comrade under her in a casket bound for home. I felt sadness at the deaths of so many veterans who also shared her…

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Special Issue – MAY – Military Appreciation Month

May, marked officially as Military Appreciation Month, is a special month for both those in and out of the military.

Not only do we pause on Memorial Day to remember the sacrifice and service of those who gave all, but the month also holds several other military anniversaries and events, including Military Spouse Appreciation Day and Armed Forces day.

 

 

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Military Humor – 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Walter Black – Marion, IN; US Army Air Corps, WWII, navigator

George Casseb – San Antonio, TX; US Army Air Corps, WWII, CBI / Korea, meteorologist, Captain

Charles Crittenden – Seattle, WA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, CBI

Francis Fleck – Louisville, KY; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 547th Fighter Squadron, Bronze Star

Richard Lowe – Northglenn, CO; US Army, WWII, CBI

Putnam McDowell – Pittsburgh, PA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, P-38 pilot, photo recon

Robert Mumford – York, PA; US Navy, WWII, PTO, PT 288, torpedoman

William Punnell – Flandreau, SD; US Navy, WWII, PTO, Lt., Hellcat pilot, USS Wasp, KIA (Palau)

Ora Sharninghouse – Findlay, OH; US Navy, WWII, Aviation Ordnance, Avenger pilot, USS Intrepid, KIA (Palau)

Robert Welch – Byron, MI; US Army Air Corps, 187th/11th Airborne Division

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A Korean War Christmas Story

Christmas 1950, Korea

Christmas 1950, Korea

“Home for Christmas” was the rallying cry as United Nations forces, spearheaded by American troops, were well on their way to clearing the entire Korean peninsula of Communist North Korean forces who had invaded South Korea in June, 1950. Then, in late November, in the dead of one of the coldest Korean winters on record, more than 300,000 troops from the Communist People’s Republic of China poured across the Yalu River and entered the war bent on the annihilation of U.N. forces and the installation of a Communist dictatorship for all of Korea. Within a few short days all hopes for a joyous Christmas were dashed. General Douglas MacArthur, the commander of all U.N. forces in Korea, said, “We face an entirely new war …”

Approximately 120,000 Chinese troops battered and besieged U.N. forces around the port city of Hungnam, in northeast Korea. When the U.N. command decided that the Hungnam area could not be held, a mass sea evacuation of troops, equipment and about 98,000 refugees began in mid-December.

At Taegu, South Korea, Norman Deptula, left, stands with two soldiers from the 581st Signal Radio Relay Company after they had been evacuated out of North Korea. COURTESY OF NORMAN DEPTULA

At Taegu, South Korea, Norman Deptula, left, stands with two soldiers from the 581st Signal Radio Relay Company after they had been evacuated out of North Korea.
COURTESY OF NORMAN DEPTULA

 

It was a bone-chilling, dark, dingy day, and amid the clamor, the confusion, and the dockside noises accompanying a forced evacuation, my company boarded a freighter and we began a cold, forbidding, four hundred-mile journey to South Korea’s southernmost port city of Pusan. Upon arriving in Pusan, we clambered aboard an unheated train, plunked ourselves and our gear onto hard wooden benches and tried, unsuccessfully, to cover the broken windows, through which howled icy blasts of air. Our train would take us north, to the town of Kyong-ju, a seventy mile trip.

When we finally arrived at our destination, we were a cold, tired, unkempt, dispirited group. Even though we recovered from our strep throats, our colds, and other assorted ills, the awful memories of the suffering, the violent deaths, the brutal unremitting cold, and the destruction which we had witnessed and endured left scars that would never heal.

The days flowed on, one into another, and soon Christmas would be upon us. “Home for Christmas” was a forlorn hope, but we still hoped to be able to observe, in some small way, the birth of the Prince of Peace, here, in the midst of war. Then, the tiniest of miracles occurred! Someone, possible an archangel disguised as a comrade in arms, said that the Catholic church in Kyong-ju would be holding a midnight Mass and transportation would be made available for anyone who wished to go. Our prayers were answered, and we would be privileged to help celebrate Christmas in a very special way.

Before boarding the trucks that would take us to the church on that Christmas eve, we exchanged holiday greetings with our comrades who had been assigned to guard duty patrolling the company perimeter. It was a clear, cold, starry night; someone began to quietly sing, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”

The exterior walls of the small church were pockmarked and some of the windows were broken. We noted with surprise that there were separate entrances, one for men and the other for women and children. The men of the parish entered through the door on the left and we followed them to the left side of the church where we sat on tiny wooden chairs. As the women entered through their entrance on our right, they covered their heads with white shawls, took off their shoes, which they placed in neat rows at the rear of the church, and picked up straw kneeling mats from a large pile that was stacked near the door. Infants were carried on the backs of their mothers, supported there by wide bands of cloth which were tied above their mothers’ waists.

While waiting for the Mass to begin, I glanced around and saw that the ceiling had many shallow cavities, each one marking a spot where a chunk of plaster had come loose and fallen. The church was unheated, but no one really noticed. An inner warmth radiated from the few candles on the altar and also from small, colorful silk banners which were suspended from the craggy ceiling. The banners, on which were written Korean figures, carried, we assumed, Christmas greetings. However, in deference to the American guests in the congregation, one banner proclaimed, in bright letters, “Mahry Xmas!” The spelling may not have been perfect, but the sentiments of those wonderful people was obvious and I, for one, would not have wanted it any other way.

1950 Christmas, Korea

1950 Christmas, Korea

A complete Nativity scene filled the area to the left of the altar, which was draped in silk and decorated with flowers and candles; a “real” Christmas tree, completely trimmed with tinsel, ornaments, and garland, stood on the other side of the altar. The sight of that beautiful tree set off a whole train of memories of another Christmas tree occupying, at that very moment, a place of honor in a warn, loving, caring home 10,000 miles away which was “Untouched by the evil that is war …”

Schoolchildren from the parish, ably and lovingly shepherded by Korean nuns, occupied tiny chairs at the very front of the church. The large, heavily starched, snow-white headpieces of the sisters stood in sharp contrast to our wrinkled, stained, and torn trousers and parkas, but such was the love and gratitude that was showered upon us that we did not, even for a moment, feel ill at ease.

At the rear center of the church stood an old, rickety, out-of-tune organ which was played by one of the Korean nuns. She accompanied a choir of schoolgirls who sang Christmas carols. Even though the choir occasionally sang off key, we knew what carols were being sung because we could, with some difficulty, recognize the music that was played and, while the choir sang in Korean, we sang with them, but in English. It was a riot of sounds, but to our ears it was positively joyous and — almost — heavenly.

Father Kim, the celebrant, said the Mass in Korean, but when it ended, he turned to face the congregation and, in halting English, extended, to the Americans in particular, his personal holiday greetings and then, in a final emotional gesture, he gave us his blessing. “The Mass is ended; go in Peace.”

Many Christmases have come and gone, but when the approach of winter heralds the beginning of another Christmas season, my thoughts and memories traverse the many years and the thousands of miles and I recall a very special Christmas in a tiny jewel of a church in Kyong-ju, Korea, and for one brief shining moment, the war is forgotten. I’ll never know what happened to Father Kim and his devoted flock, but I sincerely hope and pray that they have a truly Blessed Christmas.

Published 24 December 2015, by Norman Deptula in Star and Stripes magazine

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Military Humor – 

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Always yield to a vehicle packing a Slammer!

Funny Military With Quotes Pics (48)

NOT always a good idea.

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Michael Beazley – Kalkohe, NZ; RNZ Army, Vietnam

Louis Bonacasa – Manorville, NY; US Air Force, Afghanistan, KIA

"Remembering Our Fallen", courtesy of: Cora Metz @ A Fresh Start

“Remembering Our Fallen”, courtesy of: Cora Metz @ A Fresh Start

Michael Cinco – Mercedes, TX; US Air Force; Afghanistan, SSgt., KIA

Dennis Condom – AUS; RAIF, Korea, POW

Willard Holmes – Dubois, ID; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, Co. C/187/11th Airborne

Scott Jamar – Sweetwater, TX; US Army, Iraq, Chief Warrant Officer, KIA

Joseph Lemm – W>Harrison, NY; US Air National Guard, Afghanistan, KIA

Meadow Lemon III – Wilmington, NC; US Army, (Harlem Globetrotter)

Chester McBride – Savannah, GA; US Air Force, Afghanistan, KIA

Peter Taub – Philadelphia, PA; US Air Force, Afghanistan, SSgt., KIA

Adrianna Vorderbruggen – Washington, D.C.; US Air Force, Major, KIA

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USO and Nurse – Martha Raye

Maggie's tour truck

Maggie’s tour truck

Martha Raye was a Vaudeville born actress, comedian, and movie star that was known for bold comedy. She was named “The Big Mouth”, not only because of her comedy, but for the physical trait.

Politically, Raye was conservative, affirming her political views by informing an interviewer, “I am a Republican because I believe in the constitution, strength in national defense, limited government, individual freedom, and personal responsibility as the concrete foundation for American government. They reinforce the resolve that the United States is the greatest country in the world and we can all be eternally grateful to our founding fathers for the beautiful legacy they left us today.”

Beginning in WWII, Raye started a lifelong commitment to entertaining and assisting the troops overseas. She worked with them during WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Some nights she would do shows, but other nights, she’d skip the show because she’d been assisting the soldiers all day and wanted to continue into the night. A former nurse, she worked with Medivac units and in field hospitals. She often served in remote areas with Special Forces.

Raye wore fatigues and the troops called her “Colonel Maggie”.

Raye was an honorary Colonel in the Marines, and President Lyndon B. Johnson made her an honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Special Forces as well. The Green Berets have a special place in their hearts for her.

Miss Raye in Vietnam, from the Robert Boyd Jr. collection

Miss Raye in Vietnam, from the Robert Boyd Jr. collection

In 1993, President Bill Clinton awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The text included reads:

A talented performer whose career spans the better part of a century, Martha Raye has delighted audiences and uplifted spirits around the globe. She brought her tremendous comedic and musical skills to her work in film, stage, and television, helping to shape American entertainment. the great courage, kindness, and patriotism she showed in her many tours during World War II, the Korean Conflict, and the Vietnam Conflict earned her the nickname ‘Colonel Maggie.’ The American people honor Martha Raye, a woman who has tirelessly used her gifts to benefit the lives of her fellow Americans.

rayemartha

Raye was offered a place at Arlington National Cemetery upon her death, which is a high honor, but Raye wanted to be with her beloved Green Berets. A very special exception was made for her and she was buried at Ft. Bragg, home of the Green Berets, with full military honors. She is the only civilian buried on post that receives full recognition of military honors on Veteran’s Day.

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 Military Humor – Nurse’s style ___

Pee all that you can pee.

"What a temperature! What a pulse!" [gee- I wonder why?]

“What a temperature! What a pulse!”
[gee- I wonder why?]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They even had their own magazine

YR078ArmyNurse

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Signe Anderson – Garski, ND; US Army Nursing Corps, Korea

US Army Nurse insignia

US Army Nurse insignia

Margaret Ann – Dover, DE; US Army Nursing Corps, Korea

Marcella Buckalew – Dallas, TX; US Navy Nursing Corps, USS Solace

Lynn Conrad – Wichita, KS; US Army, Nurse

Ruth Criswell – St. Louis, MO; US Army, WWII, CBI, Nurse

Marjorie Markert – Columbus, OH; US Navy WAVE, WWII

US Navy Nurse insignia

US Navy Nurse insignia

June Poggi – Sacramento, CA; US Army, WWII, Nurse

Louise Rossi – Sharon Hill, PA; US Army, WWII,  Nurse

Grace Shaefer – FL; US Army, WWII, Nurse

Joan Shimerda – Philipsburg, MT; US Army (Ret. 20 yrs.), Vietnam, Nurse

 

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National POW/MIA Recognition Day (2)

NEVER FORGET!

Pacific Paratrooper

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FOR ALL THOSE WHO BORE THE TRIALS – PAST AND PRESENT – MAY THEY ALWAYS COME HOME!

To view last years POW/MIA Day post click HERE

index.1

POW/MIA

by: Abe Jones

For as long as we have Wars
And we send our Young to fight
We’ll have Those who are Missing
And the P.O.W.’s plight.
 
All People of this Nation
Have this Duty to fulfill,
We must keep Them in our thoughts
And, We must have the Will
 
To bring every One home
And those POW/MIAs
And leave NO Souls behind.
 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Pamela Brement – Tucson, AZ; civilian internee, WWII, Philippinespowmia

John Gulberanson – Roveville, MN; US navy, WWII, POW Santo Tomas, Philippines; Korea

Richard Klema – Wilson, KS & Morro Bay, CA; US Army, WWII, ETO, POW

Buel Knight – Tuscaloosa, AL; US Army, ETO, POW / USMC, Korea, Vietnam

Bruno Lombardi…

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US Air Force Birthday

Happy Birthday to all our Flyboys!!

Pacific Paratrooper

Thunderbird pilots w/ their planes Thunderbird pilots w/ their planes

The official birthday for the US Air Force is 18 September 1947 as enacted under the National Security Act of 1947.

Animated-Happy-Birthday-banner-spinning

us_air_force

See the video for the US Air Force 67th Birthday right  Here!

HIGH FLIGHT

by: John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed
and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds – and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of – 
Wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence.
Hovering there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flug
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delicious burning blue
I’ve topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew.
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put…

View original post 147 more words

Purple Heart Day

FOR THOSE WHO EARNED THE MEDALS.

Pacific Paratrooper

Purple Heart patch for those wounded in WWII Purple Heart patch for those wounded in WWII

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…

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239th U.S. Marine Corps Birthday

Marine motto

What does the celebration mean to Marines across the globe?  To General John Lejeune it meant a great deal.  On 1 November 1921, he issued Marine Corps Order No. 47, Series 1921, which provided a summary of the history, mission and traditions of the Corps and directed that the order be read to every command each subsequent year on 10 November.

To see 29 facts you may not know about Marines – check out the USO blog HERE!!!

U-S--Marine-Corps-Celebrates-234th-Birthday---22429167

At the Marine Corps Ball, one key piece of the ceremony is to present the first piece of cake to the oldest Marine in the room, who in turn gives the next to the junior Marine.  This symbolic gesture is the passing of experience and knowledge from the veteran to the recruit.  We should all emulate their example and take part in history.

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usmchumorsensitivitytraining_small_serving_tray

To all those who are able – Enjoy the fruits of your labor and revel in the spectacle and unabashed camaraderie that is the U.S. Marine Corps!!

Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. (R) w/ Capt. Greg Youngberg, of Boynton Bch, FL; Aviator of the Year for USMC

Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. (R) w/ Capt. Greg Youngberg, of Boynton Bch, FL; Aviator of the Year for USMC

2014 Message from the Commandant of the Marine Corps

2014 Message from the Commandant of the Marine Corps

*

marine_woman

US Marine Corps [USMC] [Emblem][1_5]

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USMC  HUMOR 

3a2805da994e89dd72c074778d07289bDare

Somebody catch that guy and give him a piece of cake!!

Somebody catch that guy and give him a piece of cake!!

Click on images to enlarge.

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FAREWELL SALUTES – 

John Ault – Winthrop, ME; USMC, WWII, USS San Jacintowpid-f3eab693b4ebd9ede79db7547238b0ad

John Baird – Des Moines, IA; USMC, MSgt. (Ret. 22 years), Korea & 2 tours Vietnam

Theodore DiMaria – Kingston, MA; USMC, WWII, PTO

Edwin Hyjek – Manchester, CT; USMC, WWII

James J. O’Leary – Mission Viejo, CA; USMC, MGSgt, WWII,Korea & Vietnam

Maria Richard – Metairie, LA; USMC, Gunnery Sgt. (Ret. 24 years), Purple Heart

Edward Rogers – Long Island, NY & Palm Bch, FL; USMC, WWII, Purple Heart

Edward “Lipps” Ross, Sr. – Baltimore, MD; USMC, SSgt., Vietnam

Michael Sadlo – Pompano Beach, FL; USMC, Pfc

Edna Smith – Las Vegas, NV; Civilian employee, USMC Air Station, El Toro, Korea

Jared Spickelmier – Boise, ID; USMC, Sgt, Iraq, helicopter crew chief

Christopher Wren Jr. – Kennesaw, GA; USMC, First Lt., Korea

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US Navy Birthday

USNAVYImage4

The US Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, which the Continental Congress established on 13 October 1775, by authorizing procurement, fitting out, manning and dispatch of two armed vessels to cruise in search of munitions ships supplying the British Army in America.  The legislation also established a Naval Committee to supervise the work.  All together, the Continental Navy numbered some 50 ships over the course of the war, with approximately 20 warships active at its maximum strength.

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cpohires

In 1972, Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Elmo R. Zumwait, authorized recognition of 13 October as the Navy’s birthday.  Not to be confused with Navy Day (the founding of the Navy Department), the Navy Birthday is intended as an internal activity for members of the active forces and reserves, as well as retirees and dependents.  Since 1972, each CNO has encouraged a Navy-wide celebration of this occasion “to enhance a greater appreciation of our Navy heritage and to provide a positive influence toward pride and professionalism in the naval service.”

Although written by a Royal Navy Admiral in 1896, “The Laws of the Navy” began to appear in the US Naval Academy’s “Reef Points” Plebe Handbook and is still there today.  The sketches were added by Lt. Rowland Langmaid R.N. during WWI.

Beginning of "The Laws of the Navy"

Beginning of “The Laws of the Navy”

Part 2

Part 2

Part 3

Part 3

End of "The Laws of the Navy"

End of “The Laws of the Navy

Click on images to enlarge!

 

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HUMOR – 

FC

HAVE A BALL - BUT DON'T ROCK THE BOAT!!

HAVE A BALL – BUT DON’T ROCK THE BOAT!!

Lady Popeye

Lady Popeye

for you submariners

for you submariners

for you surface-vessel types...

for you surface-vessel types.

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Naval mystery – 

mysterious-plaque-by-midway-museum-commemorates-navys-200-year-anniversary

Fellow blogger  Cool San Diego Sights has been trying to locate the story behind a naval plaque embedded in a boulder.  The badly-corroded-mystery-plaque-shows-tallship-ironclad-early-warship-aircraft-carrier-and-jetsmonument was originally located at Broadway Pier, but was later moved near the USS Midway.  To read what information he discovered and/or add to the story___Please Click Here!

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FAREWELL SALUTES – 

Gene Acton = Wichita, KS; US Navy & civilian service w/ Boeing Aircraft

Wade “Buddy” Fitzek – Dunns Corners, RI; US Navy, WWII, USS Idaho

John Kohler – Hot Springs, AK; US Navy (Ret.), pilot systems, Vietnam, USS Kitty Hawk120507-M-0000C-005

Louis Marks – Arnaudville, LA; US Navy, Korea

Frank O’Malley – Ipswich, MA & Sarasota, FL; US Navy, WWII, Korea, pilot, USS Wasp & Midway

Edward Ouellet – Wellesley, MA; US Nay, WWII, PTO

John Overlease – Loveland, CO; US Navy, WWII, PTO

Marvin Sorensen – Race, WI; US Navy, Korea, USS Hawkins & Markab

Leo Speirs – Glines, UT; US Navy, WWII

Willis Wolfe – Oxnard, CA; US Navy, WWII, PTO, USS Waldron, recalled for Korea

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US Air Force Birthday

Thunderbird pilots w/ their planes

Thunderbird pilots w/ their planes

The official birthday for the US Air Force is 18 September 1947 as enacted under the National Security Act of 1947.

Animated-Happy-Birthday-banner-spinning

us_air_force

See the video for the US Air Force 67th Birthday right  Here!

HIGH FLIGHT

by: John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed
and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds – and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of – 
Wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence.
Hovering there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flug
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delicious burning blue
I’ve topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew.
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
Animated-Happy-Birthday-gift
US Army Air Corps,

US Army Air Corps, “Hap” Arnold’s wings

From Andrew Reynolds in our comments, the Air Force Song –

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl3I-fYYaoA&feature=youtu.be

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Air Force Humor – Military-humor-funny-joke-air-force-aircraft-b-52-concert

With all the cut backs - they need to test the new equipment

With all the cut backs – they need to test the new equipment

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Farewell Salutes – 

Jay Angell – Wellsville, NY; US Army Air Corps, SSgt., WWII

May they soar w/ their fellow pilots forever....

May they soar w/ their fellow pilots forever….

John Archer – Boise, ID; US Air Force, Korea, (Ret. 20 years)

David Blatchford – Colorado; US Army Air Corps, WWII

Robert Morris – Glen Ridge, NJ; US Army Air Corps, 2nd Lt., WWII

Edwin Neff – Richmond Hill, NY; US Army Air Corps, WWII, Middle East

Homer Scales Jr. – Newburgh, IN; US Air Force, Korea

James Slayter – Topeka, KS; US Air Force, Korea

P.J. Thomas – Jacksonville, FL; US Army Air Corps, Col. (Ret.), Bronze Star

Leslie Utley – Mayville, NY; US Army Air Corps, WWII

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