Blog Archives

Pacific War in art – 1945

I wish all of the distinguished artists of WWII could have been included – here is the final year of the Pacific War…

“Battle of Luzon” by: Yorozujiro Terauchi, 1945

Mandalay, Burma, by: David Pentland, Feb. ’45

Pacific Glory” by: Nicholas Trudgian

It is March 1945 and the P-38’s of the 475th FG are involved in a huge dogfight with Japanese Zeros over the coast of Indo-China. Flying “Pee Wee V” is Lt Ken Hart of the 431st Fighter Squadron, who has fatally damaged a Zero in a blistering head on encounter. The second P-38L – “Vickie” – belongs to Captain John ‘rabbit’ Pietz, who would end the War as an Ace with six victories.
Signed by three highly decorated P-38 pilots who flew in combat with the 475th Fighter Group in the Pacific theatre during World War II.

‘The Great Tokyo Air Raid’ by: Hashimoto Kimisuke, 10 March ’45, age 7

Raid on China Coast, By: Roy Grinnell April ’45

“Indochina Prisoners of War” by: Donald Friend

‘Ready Room’ by: Tom Lea

“Victoria, Labuan Island” Borneo, July ’45 by: William E. Pigeon

“Standing Guard” by Sgt. John Ruge, USMC, Naha, Okinawa, cover of ‘Yank’ mag.

“Surrender Flight” by: Mike Hagel, 19 Aug. 1945

‘Milk Run to Kyushu’ by: Jack Fellows

 

“USS Missouri Signing” by: Standish Backus, 2 Sept. ’45

Responsibility, But For What? Kyoto Street by: Barse Miller. Army WWII, 28 Sept. ’45

‘Japan Surrender’ by: Howard Brodie (veteran of 3 wars, Bronze Star)

Resources –

IHRA: for their blog and their books and prints

Jack Fellows website

Howard Brodie sketches

“WWII” by: James Jones

“WWII: A Tribute in Art and Literature” by: David Colbert

For the art of Nicholas Trudgian http://www.brooksart.com/Pacificglory.html

Roy Grinnell

https://www.roygrinnellart.com/ Barse Miller

http://www.artnet.com/artists/barse-miller/

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE AND VIEW THE DETAIL.

################################################################################################################

Military Humor –

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

################################################################################################################

Farewell Salutes – 

Lawrence Beller – Bisbee, AZ; US Air Force, Korea, 67th Airborne Reporter Corps

Jack Bray – Madison, WI; US Army, Korea, 82nd Airborne Division + 187th RCT

Adam M. Foti – Moyack, NC; US Navy, Chief Petty Officer, USS Jason Dunham

Juan Garcia – Brownsville, TX; US Army, Vietnam, Sgt. Major (Ret.), Co. E/3/506/101st Airborne Division

John Hoyt – Reading, MA; US Army, Vietnam, 101st Airborne Division

Leon Kneebone – State College, PA, US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, Co F/187/11th Airborne Division

George E. Lineham – Sanbornville, NH; US Army, Korea, 187th RCT

Edward C. Meyer – Arlington, VA; US Army, Korea & Vietnam, General, Army Chief of Staff, West Point grad ’51, Bronze Star, 2 Silver Stars, Purple Heart

Earl Smith Jr. – Oakland, CA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 2nd Lt., 80th Fighter Squadron, P-38 pilot, KIA (Paga Point, New Guinea)

John Waterman (100) – Tunbridge Wells, ENG; Royal Army, Special Boat & Air Services, WWII

#####################################################################################################################################################################

Home Front – Hard to keep the good times rollin’

 

[ This post was originally a guest post I wrote for Judy Guion @ Greatest Generation Lessons.  Being as times are rough these days, I thought a bit of comparison with what our parents and grandparents went through was in order. ]

Columnist Marquis Childs said after Pearl Harbor: “Nothing will ever be the same.”  Thirty-five years later he added: “It never has and never will be.”

We need to remember that in 1941 as much as 40% of U.S. families lived below the poverty level, approximately 8 million worked for less than minimum wage and another 8 million were unemployed.  The median income was about $2,000 per year.  The government, in virtually fighting two separate wars, entered into civilian lives by raising taxes, rationing, controlling prices and allotting jobs.

Once the war began, truck convoys became commonplace and train depots burst into arenas of activity.  The movement was not entirely servicemen as women began to migrate into towns and communities near the military bases and jobs when they entered the workforce.  Judy Guion’s Aunt Jean did just that by going to Florida to be near her husband Dick.  Minorities headed for higher paying positions in defense plants and shipyards.

The greatest annoyance to civilians was the fact that new automobiles were no longer being produced.  The public’s status symbol and route to financial and social activities had been curtailed and this caused boot-leg markets to spring up selling tires and taking their chances with the law.  The La Salle Motor Company in Indiana was the first firm to be cited by the government.  The Office of Price Administration would regulate everything from soup and shoes to nuts and bolts and was responsible for all domestic rationing.  J. Edgar Hoover issued warnings about car thefts; alerting owners to be wary of where they parked their cars, especially during evening hours.  In Southwest Harbor, Maine, reports of gasoline siphoning were a constant problem.

The use of taxicabs grew throughout the world in the early part of the 20th century.  In the 1940’s, the taximeter was developed and the new two-way radio was a great improvement over the old callboxes.  DeSotos, Packards and the GM “General” were the common vehicles utilized for this purpose.

Streetcars were heavily used in the 1930’s, but companies began to fail as gasoline buses (”trackless trolleys”) took their place.  The most prominent name was the Greyhound.  In 1936, they introduced their “Super Coach” for family travel and it was so well received that within four years, they opened a chain of restaurants called “Post House.”  When war began, they became a major carrier of the troops heading to the east and west coasts.  Since nearly 40% of their workforce was eventually drafted, women were offered training as bus drivers.  Local buses where often late and overcrowded, having standing room only.  A person was often unable to keep a reliable daily schedule due to the situation.

Delta Airlines’ ad, 1940’s

Air travel was certainly difficult with a war in progress and the airlines did not have the systems they have now.  Case in point:  the Hoover Airport (where the Pentagon building is now), had a major highway running smack through it.  When a plane took off or landed, the red traffic light was switched on to halt car and truck movement.

Train transport

Trains were the dominate mode of transportation since the transcontinental was completed in 1869 and up until just before the war era when cars and trucks became predominate.  The massive movement around the country pressed heavily on the antiquated railroad network.  Most of the system had been built in the decades following the Civil War.  The Office of Defense Transportation urged people to only travel on “slack days” and take one-day vacations.  The Director stated, “Needless passenger movement is getting to the point where it is embarrassing the war effort.”  One rail line that came out of Saint Louis, called the “Jeffersonian,” had only reserved seating, but people continued to line up in the aisles.

1944 Arnold Schwinn ad, Chicago, IL

In congested areas, such as N.Y.C., vendors began to spring up to rent out bicycles.  In fact, the summer of 1942, when the gas pumps went dry, drivers followed a gas truck to its delivery point, (as many as 350 would line up) so the bicycle business erupted.  When walking became more important, leather for shoes became scarce and shoe rationing went into effect February 1943.  In the U.S., three pairs per year was the quota and in England it was only one.  By 1944, the U.S. civilian ration was dropped to two pair.

Greyhound 1940’s ad

The old saying, “Let the good times roll” proved difficult and often the stories seem to be from another world rather than another decade.  Do any of our readers have stories they remember or were told?  How would any of you deal with this lifestyle?

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE.

################################################################################################################

Home Front Humor –

Chattanooga Times, the overburdened railroads

“When you boys finish with your Civil Air Patrolling stuff, I’ll have some iced tea ready for you.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

################################################################################################################

Farewell Salutes – 

Paul A. Avolese – USA; US Air Force, Vietnam, Major, radar/navigator, 4133 Bombardment Wing, KIA (South China Sea)

Neil Bohner – Des Moines, IA; US Army, WWII & Korea

Bernard Brown – Rutland, VT; US Army, Korea, 187th RCT

Kevin Dobson – NYC, NY; US Army, Military Police  /  Actor

Fred Ferry – Clarksville, TN; US Army, Co. A/544 Artillery/11th Airborne Division, (Ret. 23 y.)

Rosanna H. Gravely (102) – Camden, NJ & CO; US Navy WAVES, WWII, PTO, Yeoman 1st Class

Joseph W. Hoffman – USA; US Navy, WWII, Navy musician 1st Class, USS Oklahoma, KIA (Pearl Harbor)

John P. Langan – Columbus, NE; USMC, WWII, PTO, Pfc., Co. C/1/6/2nd Marine Division, KIA (Tarawa)

Neal ‘Lil Pa’ Stevenson – Houma, LA; US Army, WWII, ETO

Patricia Warner – Lincoln, MA; OSS, WWII, undercover agent

################################################################################################################################################################################################################################

Sports in the WWII Military

1926 Army/Navy game ticket, Nimitz Museum

The relationship between sports and the American armed forces reached a climax during WWII The military broadened its athletic regimen, established during  WWI, and thereby reproduced a patriotic sporting culture that soldiers had known as civilians. The armed services provided equipment, training, and personnel rather than rely on private agencies, as had been done in WWI.  The entry of numerous prominent athletes into military service represented a public relations boon for the Department of War and cemented a bond between professional sports, athletes, and patriotism.

American football was glorified as everything masculine and befitting the U.S. military experience. As organized sports became even more closely linked with fitness, morale, and patriotism, both within the ranks and on the home front, football became a fixture on military bases at home and abroad. Football was the favored sport among the military brass, as Generals George Marshall, Dwight Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, and Omar Bradley all thought that football produced the best soldiers. Army and Navy were the two leading collegiate football powers during the war (Army was unbeaten from 1944 to 1946) and their games were broadcast over Armed Forces Radio.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For the 11th Airborne Division, Gen. Swing ordered a Japanese auditorium to be transformed into the 11th Airborne Coliseum. The complex was large enough to hold a theater that would seat 2,500, four basketball courts, a poolroom with 100 tables, a boxing arena that held 4,000 spectators, six bowling alleys and a training room.

In the fall of 1945, an Olympian was held in Tokyo for all the troops stationed in Japan and Korea. Football became the highlighted game. The 11th A/B Division coach, Lt. Eugene Bruce brought them to winning the Japan-Korea championship. They then went on to take the Hawaiian All-Stars in Mejii Stadium with a score of 18-0. This meant that the 11th Airborne Division held the All-Pacific Championship. The troopers went on to win in so many other sports that by the time the finals were held for the boxing tournament at Sendai, the headlines read in the Stars and Stripes sports section:
Ho-Hum, It’s the Angels Again”

Fellow blogger, Carl D’Agostino at “i know i made you smile”, sent me his father’s pictures and information.  Arthur D’Agostino had been with the 8th Armored Division.  They were stationed at Camp Campbell, KY until 1943, when they were moved to Camp Polk, LA to prepare for combat.  The division was sent to the European Theater on 5 December 1943, but Mr. D’Agostino was in recovery from surgery and was spared the journey.  Tank Sergeant D’Agostino became a middleweight boxing instructor and gave exhibitions around the camps.  Carl’s blog can be found HERE.  I know he’ll make you laugh!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

################################################################################################

4 August 1790 – 2020   U.S. Coast Guard Birthday – th (8)

https://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com/2015/08/03/us-coast-guard-225th-birthday/

#########################################################################################################

Military  – 

################################################################################################################

Farewell Salutes – 

Frank L. Athon – Cincinnati, OH; USMC, WWII, PTO, Pfc. # 486357, Co. A/6/2nd Marine Division, KIA (Tarawa)

Raymond Battersby – Chicago, IL; US Navy, WWII, coxswain, USS Adair

Traditions of Honor & Respect

Herman Cain – Memphis, TN; Civilian, US Navy ballistics analyst / media contributor, President candidate

Clarence Gilbert – Oklahoma City, OK; US Navy, WWII, PTO, POW / Korea

Lucille Herbert (100) – Manchester, NH; US Army WAC, WWII, 2nd Lt., nurse

Joe Kernan – South Bend, IN; US Navy, Vietnam, USS Kitty Hawk, pilot, POW, 2 Purple Hearts / mayor, governor

Conrad Robinson – Los Angeles, CA; US Army, Operation Joint Guardian, SSgt., medical specialist, 155/26/44th Medical Brigade, KIA (Kosovo)

Vinson Rose – Menifae County, KY; US Army, Vietnam, Sgt. Major (Ret. 22 y.), 82nd & 101st Airborne, 1964 Soldier of the Year, 4 Bronze Stars

Catherine Smalligan – Detroit, MI; Civilian, US Navy Recruiting Office (Kalamazoo)

Floyd Warren – North Bloomfield, OH; US Army, WWII, Lt. Col., Purple Heart, Bronze Star

Those lost to us during the Camp Pendleton training exercise…..

— Pfc. Bryan J. Baltierra, 19, of Corona, a rifleman with Bravo Company, BLT 1/4, 15th MEU.

— Lance Cpl. Marco A. Barranco, 21, of Montebello, a rifleman with Bravo Company, BLT 1/4.

— Pfc. Evan A. Bath, 19, of Oak Creek, Wis., a rifleman with Bravo Company, BLT 1/4, 15th MEU.

— U.S. Navy Hospitalman Christopher Gnem, 22, of Stockton, Calif., a hospital corpsman with Bravo Company, BLT 1/4.

— Pfc. Jack Ryan Ostrovsky, 21, of Bend, Ore., a rifleman with Bravo Company, BLT 1/4.

__ Lance Cpl. Guillermo S. Perez, 20, New Braunfels, TX; USMC, rifleman with Bravo Co./ BLT

— Cpl. Wesley A. Rodd, 23, of Harris, Texas, a rifleman with Bravo Company, BLT 1/4.

— Lance Cpl. Chase D. Sweetwood, 19, of Portland, Ore., a rifleman with Bravo Company, BLT 1/4.

— Cpl. Cesar A. Villanueva, 21, of Riverside, a rifleman with Bravo Company, BLT 1/4.

################################################################################################################################################################################################################################

 

 

 

 

 

187th Rakkasans – part (3)

By the Persian Gulf War in 1990, the 101st Airborne, along with the Rakkasans of the 3rd Brigade had converted from airborne to air assault troops. During that 100 days of ground combat, the 1/187 Infantry conducted an air assault 155 miles behind enemy lines to Objective Weber capturing over 400 Iraqi soldiers on February 25, 1991. (48 years to the day after they were formed).  The operation into the Euphrates River valley cut off the retreating enemy out of Kuwait. The Rakkasans had advanced further than any other Allied unit, proven the viability of the air assault on the modern battlefield, and did so without a single soldier killed in action.

As part of the Global War on Terror (GWT), the Rakkasans deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in December 2001. As such, the 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne became the first Army brigade to deploy in the ongoing war on terror. The Rakkasans fought against the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan, which included Operation Anaconda in March 2002.

Rakkasans in the Gulf War

Seven months after their return from Afghanistan, the 3rd Brigade deployed to Kuwait for Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF1). On March 20, 2003 the Rakkasans led the 101st Airborne Division into Iraq, establishing Forward Area Refueling Points (FARPs) to support deep attacks into Iraq. They seized the city of Hillah and participated in the liberation of Saddam Hussein International Airport before going on to occupy portions of Baghdad. The BDE then moved to western Ninewah province along the Syrian border for the remainder of the deployment, establishing fledgling governance and reconstruction projects for the betterment of the local population, while continuing operations against insurgents.

The 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division returned to Fort Campbell in early 2004 and was reorganized under Army Transformation as the 3rd Brigade Combat Team (BCT). The 3BCT then began a train up for returning to Iraq. They deployed in September 2005 for OIF rotation 05-07. During this year-long deployment the Rakkasans fought the growing Sunni insurgency in Salah Ad Din Province, which included Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit.

The Rakkasans deployed again to Iraq for OIF 07-09 as part of the Iraq Surge in September 2007. This rotation took the 3BCT to southwest and southern Baghdad between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. This time the brigade was deployed for 15 months and conducted operations against both Sunni and Shia insurgents.

The Rakkasans returned home in November 2008. After their fourth refit and re-training period since 9/11, the 3d Brigade Combat Team deployed again in January 2010. This time they went to Afghanistan in support of OEF 10-11 as part of Regional Command-East near the Afghan-Pakistan border. The Rakkasans were home in early 2011, but redeployed to Afghanistan again in September 2012. They came home to Fort Campbell in May 2013 and are again preparing for their next deployment.

The banner under the distinctive unit insignia of the 187th Infantry Regiment (Airborne) bears the Latin words Ne Desit Virtus, meaning “Let Valor Not Fail.” The soldiers of the 187 Infantry from every era have certainly upheld their motto.

To be continued………

Click on images to enlarge.

###############################################################################################################

Military Humor –

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

###############################################################################################################

Farewell Salutes – 

George C. Allen – Morgantown, WV; US Army, WWII, ETO, 7th Army

James Boak – Kosk-onong, MO; USMC, WWII

2020 POW/MIA poster unveiled

Glen E. Collins – Tucson, AZ; US Army, Korea, Pfc., Heavy Mortar Co/1/32/7th Infantry Division, KIA (Chosin Reservoir)

Hugh Dischinger Sr. – Chicago, IL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, fighter pilot

John E. Gillen – Champaign, IL; USMC, WWII, PTO, Pfc., Co D/1/6/2nd Marine Division, KIA (Tarawa)

Mejhor Morta – Pensacola, FL; US Army, Pvt., mechanic, 1/5/2/1st Cavalry Division

Regis Philbin – NYC, NY; US Navy, supply officer / TV personality

John Haig Robinson – TeAwamutu, NZ; RNZ Navy, WWII, HMNZS Achilles

Roy Shibata – Denver, CO; US Army Air Corps, WWII, / Civilian, US Army

Charles Wood – Redwood City, CA; US Army, WWII, SSgt., HQ Battery/899th Field Artillery Battalion / actor

################################################################################################################################################################################################################################

The Home Front Role of Sports

Hialeah Race Track postcard. Flamingos were imported from Cuba in 1934

The movies and newsreels of WWII provided information and diversion for many at the home
front, but none could provide the escape and release of stress for the civilian as much as sports.

South Florida maintained a carnival atmosphere with the Hialeah Race Track and West Flagler Kennel Club, which took in $100,000 nightly – just to prove my point. And, somehow, travel restrictions did not deter the action at Miami’s Tropical Park. Horse racing went on, despite the war, in every country. All in all, racing boomed as the 68th running of the Kentucky Derby went off with 100,000 in the crowd. Unfortunately, this was the same day that 68 men had been taken by the Japanese at Bataan; they were all members of D Company, 192d Tank Battalion, out of Kentucky.

Sam Snead & Ted Williams

The war did not stop the golfers either as the tournaments and professional tours continued. Sam Snead, fresh back from the Navy, played in the 1944 tourney; he came in second to Byron Nelson. (gpcox met Snead at the ‘Sail Inn’ in Delray Beach, FL when he would drop in for lunch after a game with friends.)

In boxing, Joe Louis started the idea of holding a sports event for the war effort. He announced in 1942 that his profits from the bout against Buddy Blair would go to the Naval Relief fund.  The gate was $200,000 and Louis finished off his opponent in 2 minutes and 56 seconds. Louis was drafted three days later.

Not to be outdone, a profitable pro-football contest was held between the National League AllStars and the Chicago Bears and these profits also went to the Naval Relief Fund. The National Football League was forced to reduce to a 42 game season in 1943 due to all the draftees, but
Coach George Halas brought home two championship titles for the Bears, 1940 & 1942; while Curly Lambeau’s Green Bay Packers won it in 1944.
As during most of WWII, 1943 in New Zealand had no Rugby International matches played, but the West Coast did retain the Northern Union Cup. England and Australia were unable to hold their tennis championships, such as Wimbledon, for the extent of the war.

Rose Bowl at Duke Stadium, 1942

In 1942, the Rose Bowl was moved to Duke Stadium in North Carolina to avoid having large crowds converge anywhere on the west coast. Dallas, Texas had 38,000 for the Cotton Bowl that year and 35,505 amassed in Miami for the Orange Bowl: Georgia Bulldogs 46 – Horned Frogs 40. The annual Army-Navy game brought 66,000 to Baltimore’s Municipal Stadium in 1944, when Coach “Doc” Blanchard led the Army, not only to victory, but a perfect season.

For the story of “The Game Must Go On” click here.
Professional baseball was as hot as ever when 37,815 fans watched the American League Browns, in Sportsman Park, beat the New York Yankees for the pennant 1 October 1944. This made the World Series an all-St. Louis affair against the Cardinals. Truman was there watching as the Cardinals won their fifth world crown. The Yankees won it in 1943 against the Cardinals.
As most people are aware, the baseball racial barrier was not broken until 1947 when Jackie Robinson walked out on the field, so during WWII there were two Negro leagues. (As they were called back in the day.) Out of Hometown, Pennsylvania, “Josh” Gibson and Walter Johnson dominated the games. In the Washington Griffith Stadium, he had the long-ball hitter record of 563 feet, (Babe Ruth’s record was 550’) and a .541 batting average in 1943.

And, we cannot close this section of baseball without mentioning the AAGPBL – the AllAmerican Professional Baseball League, also known as the “lipstick league.” They were the “Girls of Summer” depicted in the newspapers as “Queens of Swat” and “Belles of the Ball Game.” They referred to each other by nicknames like: ‘Jeep,’ ‘Flash,’ ‘Pepper’ and ‘Moe.” The league premiered in 1943 and would last for 12 years. There were 545 female athletes that made up the ten teams and their popularity would eventually draw a million fans. These women have been honored by the movie, “A League of Their Own” in 1992 and finally received tribute in the Cooperstown Hall of Fame in 1988.

Young adults (the word “teenager” was not really used back then), used sporting events as a gathering spot for camaraderie among friends and also to help fill the void of adult male influence that was prevalent in so many homes. In the “Corn Belt,” basketball ranked as the number one sport, but there was also tennis, golf, a tumbling club, fencing and even Ping-Pong clubs. High school games were even broadcast on the radio. The girls would join a Booster Club to be their school’s cheering squad and wearing their boyfriend’s sports jacket was a major status symbol.

Willie Mays playing stick ball

Not all sports were organized. Boys played stick ball in the city streets and in the suburbs, a basketball hoop attached to a garage door attracted neighbors. Church picnics and block parties always included a multitude of games and sports to occupy the younger set. Communities were kept closely knit that way, like Kerry Corner, the Irish working-class neighborhood not far from Harvard yard. They organized their own baseball and basketball games. John “Lefty” Caulfield formed a baseball scholarship program before he enlisted in the Navy because it had done so much for him. Those that returned from the war became part of the ROMEO Club, (Retired Old Men Eating Out), to maintain those childhood friendships.

Harry James, better known as a big band leader for the ‘Swing Era’ was also a one-time Detroit Tigers prospect. He organized his own band into a team, complete with uniforms. Louise Tobin, singer with many of the big bands, said, “The boys were hired first because they could play baseball; second for their instruments.” Fellow musicians said you had to have a .300 average to get an audition with Harry. The band’s manager added, “They carried more equipment for baseball than music… Another bus on the road would probably be a band and we’d stop and play a game.” Mr. James gave his all for baseball as captain, pitcher and the heaviest hitter.
For the home front, living during a world war was an experience no one of today’s generation has experienced.
I’m certain I have missed at least a million or so stories out there that are related to the sports of the 1940’s – so let’s hear some!

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE.

################################################################################################################

Military Humor – Stars & Stripes style – 

“TODAY IT REALLY IS”

“… and don’t try any of that funny stuff, Slim….”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

################################################################################################################

Farewell Salutes – 

James C. Broughton – Barbersville, KY; US Army, WWII, Sgt. Major (Ret.), Bronze Star

Robert Campbell – Richmond, VA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, B-17 navigator

Joseph DeMaria – Albany, NY; US Army Air Corps, WWII, Distinguished Flying Cross

Warren Gale – No. Sydney,NS, CAN; Canadian Army, WWII

Albert Haimes – Boston, MA; OSS, WWII, ETO

Michael Mandzak – Pittsburgh, PA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, Korea & Vietnam, pilot, Lt. Col. (Ret. 26 y.)

Charles Queen – Brooklyn, NY; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, P-47 pilot, Col. (Ret.)

Frank Rees – Newfoundland, CAN; RC Air Force, WWII, 409th Squadron “Night Hawks”, navigator

Joseph A. Richards (100) – Sellersburg, IN; US Army, WWII, CBI, MSgt., 691st Engineers

Louise Ullman – Miami, FL; Civilian, US Navy employee

################################################################################################################################################################################################################################

Current News – Lee Greenwood & the Air Force Band Singing Sergeants

 

Home Free – Greenwood & the Air Force Band Singing Sergeants

 

The traditional rendition of country music singer Lee Greenwood’s iconic “God Bless the U.S.A.,” already has a broad appeal as an uplifting song inspiring patriotism and love of country.

It’s likely you have listened to the song in recent days as Americans celebrated the 244th birthday of our nation on Independence Day.

But a stirring new version of the song that features members of the U.S. Air Force Band joining Greenwood and a cappella group Home Free has been produced that might just blow you away.

Recordings were done during the corona virus pandemic in studios in Nashville, Tenn., Los Angeles, Calif., Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis, Minn. There are no guitars, drums, keyboards, but the sound is unbelievably full and strong.

If you like a cappella, and if you’re a fan of military members in uniform with a talent to sing, you will very likely love this new rendition of a song that has been a perennial favorite since 1984.

Give it a listen.  We got this article and song from “Stars & Stripes”

 

################################################################################################################

Military Humor –  from Stars & Stripes –

“Shape up or ship out …..”

“Snap out of it Ed … other guys have received ‘Dear Johns’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

################################################################################################################

Farewell Salutes – 

Robert Alleyne – Brooklyn, NY; US Army, WWII, ETO, Sgt.

David “Bill” Breen – Elsmere, KY; US Navy, WWII, SeaBees

Mary Cecce – Bath, NY; Civilian, WWII, Mercury Aircraft

Thomas W. Chase (100) – Warroad, MI; US Navy, WWII / Honeywell Aerospace

David Geiser – Waukon, IA; US Navy, WWII, PTO

Richard L. Henderson Jr. – USA; US Army, Korea, Cpl., HQ Battery/57 FAB/7th Infantry Division, KIA (Chosin Reservoir)

William Kovaly – Bound Brook, NJ; US Navy, WWII, PTO, USS Cabot

William H. Melville – USA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 2nd Lt., P-39Q pilot, 38/8th Fighter Group, KIA (New Guinea)

Francis J. Rochon – Superior, WI; US Army, Korea, Cpl., Co. C/1/23/2nd Infantry Division, KIA (Changnyeong, SK)

Donald Slessler – Belchertown, MA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, Korea & Vietnam, Chief Warrant Officer (Ret. 36 y.)

################################################################################################################################################################################################################################

The Most Dangerous Paper Route in the World

 

Stars and Stripes, which dates back to the Civil War, has published continuously since World War II. In 2010, the paper won a prestigious George Polk Award for revealing the Defense Department’s use of a public relations firm that profiled reporters and steered them toward favorable coverage of the war in Afghanistan. In 2015, the publication broke the news that NBC anchor Brian Williams had exaggerated a story about his reporting in Iraq. Much of the day-to-day coverage is news of direct concern to service members and their families: pay and benefits, life on base and in the field, the real people behind the global geopolitics.

Central Command Area of Responsibility (Apr. 4, 2003) — Command Sgt. Maj. John Sparks, delivers copies of Stars and Stripes to U.S. Marines from Weapons Platoon, 3-2 India Company. The Marines are part of Task Force Tarawa, deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. USMC photo by 1st Sgt. David K. Dismukes.

The paper is a modern multimedia operation with a website, a social media presence and a couple of podcasts, and the print edition reaches troops in parts of the world where Internet access is absent.

“I remember being in al-Anbar and Haditha and picking up Stars and Stripes in the middle of a war zone,” says Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), one of Moulton’s committee colleagues and a fellow Marine veteran. “I didn’t have a cellphone.  Access to the Internet was very limited. But with every mail delivery there came a Stars and Stripes, and I was able to keep connected to the world.”

“Stars and Stripes kept our spirits up and kept us informed at some of the most difficult times,” says Moulton, who served four tours of duty in Iraq. “Just knowing they were out there doing their job — looking out for us by doggedly pursuing the truth — gave us more faith in our work and reinforced the values we were literally putting our lives on the line for.”

The paper’s publisher, Max Lederer, said, “You can give a service member the best gun in the world, but if his mind is elsewhere — if he’s worried about things at home — then he’s not going to be as good a soldier, and part of our role is to provide that information to give him a sense of comfort.”

Bill Mauldin

“This service cannot be duplicated in the private sector and should be maintained,” Thornberry said in a statement to The Post. “Ultimately, ‘Stripes’ should be preserved, but the business model will have to change so that the program can be maintained without taxing DOD resources.” But Thornberry concedes the fundamental point: “Stars and Stripes performs a useful function for men and women in uniform, particularly those who are forward deployed with limited access to news.” As Gates puts it, “Nobody else covers the Defense Department schools in Japan.”

Star and Stripes faces challenges, and rewards, every day in producing a newspaper for hundreds of thousands of service members, their families and other DoD employees deployed around the world, and in delivering that paper to its readers, including those in dangerous war and contingency areas.

1945 Stars & Stripes

Stripes’ allegiance to independent news – uncensored by military command influence – has established a unique, trusting relationship between the paper and its readers that is like no other. Readers trust Stripes to tell the truth, even though it has the conflicting challenge of delivering First Amendment-protected news while technically part of the Department of Defense.

If you wish to contact Stars & Stripes – Click Here!

################################################################################################################

Military Humor – Stars & Stripes style – 

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE.

################################################################################################################

Farewell Salutes – 

Norbert T. Beck – Suffolk, Va; US Army, WWII

Reine Corbeil – MT; US Navy, SeaBee engineer

Iraq

King Dixon – SC; USMC (Ret. 22 y.), Bronze Star / SC football star & coach

E.G. Galarosa – Sta.Magdalena Soraogon, PI; US Army/Philippine Scouts, WWII, POW

Angelo ‘Buck’ Godici – Southington, CT; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO

Charles Hogan – Vancouver, CAN; Allied International Service, WWII, PTO

Hugh Moore – Tomahawk, WI; US Navy, WWII, USS Wolverine

Frank E. Petersen Jr. – Topeka, KS; USMC, Korea & Vietnam, LT.General (Ret. 38 y.)

John M. Robertson – Camden, AR; US Air Force, Vietnam, pilot, Colonel (Ret. 23 y.)

Robert Sandona – Rockford, IL; US Navy, WWII, USS James C. Owens

Gerald Winters – Glen Falls, NY; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, Tower Operator

################################################################################################################################################################################################################################

Short view of WWII Pacific Army Medicine

Buna casualty arrives at the 171st Station Hospital, at Port Moresby, Papua, Dec 42. This 500-bed Hospital arrived at Port Moresby early December and operated together with the 153d Sta Hosp, the 10th Evac Hosp, and a provisional Battalion of the 135th Med Regt. Because of malaria, those patients who, after treatment, were expected to remain unfit for duty more than 14 days, were usually sent to mainland Australia (Townsville or Brisbane).

Every combat Theater of WW2 had its unique medical history, but nowhere did disease pose a greater threat to the American G.I. and to military operations than in the bitter war against Japan!
US Armed Forces faced the dual challenges of fighting and supporting its troops in primitive, largely tropical environments, burdened by severe logistical problems.

View of one of the early Hospitals, located at the Advance Base, Port Moresby, Papua, Aug 42. As military operations in the region increased, basic medical facilities expanded, and by end of 42, new installations including General Hospitals, Field Hospitals, Portable Surgical Hospitals, and a Medical Supply Depot were built.

The first medical build-up was essentially based on expanding medical facilities and depots, constructing new hospitals, and revising medical contingency plans. The next project called for a more elaborate defense of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, under a new command; the United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) under Lt. General Douglas MacArthur.
The war against Japan was fought in an immense area that covered roughly 1/3 of the earth’s surface! Although most of the decisive battles took place on the islands in the Pacific, inevitably bringing American Forces closer the Japanese mainland; fighting also occurred on mainland Asia.

Port Dispensary Tent on Biak Island, New Guinea, Aug 44. The large US Base (Base “H”) opened on Biak in Aug 44 under Col. August W. Splitter, MC. The 28th Hosp Cen operating on the island included 3 Gen Hosp and 1 Sta Hosp. From end Nov 44, evacuation took place by air, and C-54 aircraft carried patients directly to the ZI, via Guadalcanal, Canton Is., and Honolulu.

Distances were enormous, and everything could only be moved by sea or air – climates varied as well as landforms and included cold wind-swept Aleutians, jungle-clad Melanesian islands, palm-fringed Micronesia atolls, damp and tropical heat, volcanic islands, complex landmasses, steep mountain ranges, wooded high plateaus, rain forests, dense jungles – environmental  conditions brought its own characteristic medical consequences involving frostbite, trenchfoot, malaria, fever, and jungle rot … All those elements had to be taken into account by the Medical Department, although none of the diseases were normally fatal, they could nevertheless put soldiers out of action as effectively as combat casualties.

36th Evacuation Hospital, at Palo, Leyte, Philippines, October 44. The 36th Evac Hosp (supporting X Army Corps) was set up in the San Salvador Cathedral. It served, together with the 58th Evac Hosp, in the Leyte and Luzon Campaigns.

Until the very last months of the fighting, the US Medical Department faced immense obstacles – supply lines were tenuous and environmental conditions almost intolerable, malaria epidemics broke out, logistical difficulties beset medical planners, diseases took their toll, medical support often broke down, amphibious medical evacuation had to be revised, and yet altogether death rates from disease were only slightly over 1 / 1000 troops / per year!
New methods of preventive medicine were created, logistics were improved, and recent discoveries were now provided on a large scale, such as Penicillin – Atabrine – and DDT. The ultimate lesson may however lie in the flexibility of spirit and organization shown by medical personnel, who were able to save lives and improve general health conditions during those years of bitter and unrelenting struggle for peace – in those harsh times the Medical Department successfully maintained the ‘fighting strength of the Army’.

View of Seagrave Hospital (formally activated as the 896th Med Clr Co in Oct 44) treating casualties in the open, near Myitkyina, Burma. The Hospital in fact operated like a mobile Evacuation Hospital, and whenever feasible, severe medical cases were either evacuated by rail or by air. During the campaign to capture Myitkyina, the Seagrave Hospital, supported by personnel of the 42d and 58th Ptbl Surg Hosp and a surgical team from the 25th Fld Hosp, treated American, British, Chinese, Indian, and Kachin wounded (and later also Japanese PWs). Dr. Gordon S. Seagrave was an American medical missionary running a Hospital close to the Burma Road and the Chinese border, his wide experience and organization were very much appreciated by both British and US authorities, and he was therefore sworn into the US Army as a Major in the Medical Corps on 21 Apr 42.

General Hospitals

1st GEN HOSP – 23 Dec 41 Philippines (also designated General Hospital No. 1)
2d GEN HOSP – 5 Jan 42 Philippines (also designated General Hospital No. 2)
4th GEN HOSP – 23 Jan 42 Australia (ex-56th GEN HOSP, activated 1 Feb 41, supplied cadres for other units, 12 Oct 43)
8th GEN HOSP – 27 Nov 42 New Caledonia
9th GEN HOSP – 31 Jul 43 Guadalcanal – 45 Papua-New Guinea (activated 15 Jul 42)
13th GEN HOSP – 5 Jan 44 New Guinea (activated 15 Jan 43)
18th GEN HOSP – 12 Jun 42 N. Zealand – 3 Oct 42 Fiji Islands – Sep 44 Ledo Road (India) – 12 Mar 45 Myitkyina, (Burma) (activated 20 Apr 42) (closed 5 Oct 45) (return to ZI 24 Nov 45)
18th GEN HOSP – 26 May 42 New Zealand – 45 Burma (ex-222d GEN HOSP, activated 16 Jun 41, supplied cadres for other units, 1 Apr 44, redesignated 134th GEN HOSP)
20th GEN HOSP – 19 Jan 43 India – Dec 43 Burma (activated 15 May 42)
27th GEN HOSP – 5 Jan 44 Australia (activated 15 Jul 42)
29th GEN HOSP – 3 Nov 44 New Caledonia (activated 1 Sep 42)
31st GEN HOSP – 18 Oct 43 Espiritu Santo (activated 1 Jun 43)
35th GEN HOSP – 44 New Guinea – 45 Luzon (activated 21 Mar 43) (inactivated 10 Dec 45 in the Philippines)
39th GEN HOSP – 3 Nov 42 New Zealand – 1 Jan 45 New Caledonia – Jan 45 Saipan (activated 15 Jul 42)
42d GEN HOSP – 19 May 42 Australia (ex-215th GEN HOSP, activated 16 May 41, supplied cadres for other units, 15 Apr 43, disbanded 11 Nov 44)
44th GEN HOSP – 25 Sep 43 Australia (activated 15 Jan 43)
47th GEN HOSP – 11 Jan 44 New Guinea – Burma (activated 10 Jun 43)
49th GEN HOSP – 1 Mar 45 Philippines
51st GEN HOSP – 1 Apr 44 New Guinea
53d GEN HOSP – ETO Sep-Oct 45 embarked for the South Pacific (activated 10 Feb 41, also supplied cadres for other units)
54th GEN HOSP – 30 Jun 44 New Guinea
60th GEN HOSP – 18 Jul 44 New Guinea – 2 Apr 45 Philippines (activated 25 May 43 in the ZI, return to ZI 13 Nov 45)
63d GEN HOSP – (activated 10 Feb 41, supplied cadres for other units, 15 Jan 43)
69th GEN HOSP – 45 Burma
71st GEN HOSP – 5 Jan 44 Australia (activated 10 Jun 43, supplied cadres for other units, 24 Jun 43)
105th GEN HOSP – 19 May 42 Australia (ex-203d GEN HOSP, activated 10 Feb 41, supplied cadres for other units, 29 Dec 43)
118th GEN HOSP – 19 May 42 Australia – 44 Philippines (activated 21 Apr 42)
133d GEN HOSP – 25 Nov 44 Leyte
142d GEN HOSP – 26 May 42 New Zealand – 43 Fiji – Nov 44 India (ex-217th GEN HOSP, activated 1 Jun 41, supplied cadres for other units, 28 Feb 44) (new 142d GEN HOSP activated 20 Apr 42)
147th GEN HOSP – 16 Jun 42 Hawaii – 19 Nov 43 Gilberts – 1 Aug 44 Hawaii (activated 1 May 41)
148th GEN HOSP – 21 Mar 42 Hawaii – 31 May 44 Saipan Is (activated 10 Feb 41)
172d GEN HOSP – 44 India – Burma – 45 China (activated 29 Jul 44) (inactivated 30 Apr 46 in China)
181st GEN HOSP – 43 India
204th GEN HOSP – 8 Apr 42 Hawaii – 28 Dec 44 Guam (activated 10 Feb 41)
204th GEN HOSP – 8 Apr 42 Hawaii (activated 10 Feb 41)
218th GEN HOSP – 8 Jan 42 Panama – 1 Aug 44 Hawaii (activated 6 Jun 41)
232d GEN HOSP – 27 Feb 45 Iwo Jima – Mar 45 Saipan
234th GEN HOSP
247th GEN HOSP – 45 Philippines (activated 15 Oct 44, ex-233d STA HOSP)
263d GEN HOSP – 43 India
307th GEN HOSP

Sternberg GEN HOSP – Philippines
Tripler GEN HOSP – Hawaii
GEN HOSP No. 1 – Limay, Philippines
GEN HOSP No. 2 – Cabcaben, Philippines
Malinta Tunnel GEN HOSP – Corregidor, Philippines

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE.

################################################################################################################

Current News –   25 June 1950-2020  –  Korean War 70 years ago today

News: Governor David Ige proclaimed June 25, 2020 as “Korean War Remembrance Day”

Remains of 147 South Korean Soldiers From the Korean War Return Home

https://www.defense.gov/Explore/News/Article/Article/2228429/remains-of-147-south-korean-soldiers-from-the-korean-war-will-return-home/source/GovDelivery/

 

################################################################################################################

Military Medical Humor – 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

################################################################################################################

Farewell Salutes – 

Leo Agnew – Clinton, MA; US Army, Korea, RHQ/187th Reconnaissance Combat Team

Stephen Bertolino – UT; US Army, Iraq, SSgt., KIA (Haditha)

Ian Holm-Goodmayes – ENG; British Army / actor

Korean & Vietnam Wars Memorial, Monroe, MI

Jim Jarvis – Uniontown, OH; US Navy, WWII, USS Indianapolis survivor

Carman Kyle – Swathmore, PA; WWII, US Army Air Corps, Co. E/152th Artillery/11th Airborne Division

Dame Vera Lynn – Essex, ENG; Civilian, WWII, ENSA troop entertainer, Egypt & CBI

James L. Quong – OK; US Army, Korea, MSgt., Co. D/1/32/7th Infantry Division, KIA (Chosin Reservoir)

Charles Ridgley – Baltimore, MD; US Army, Afghanistan, Captain, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, KIA (Nangarhar)

Francis J. Rochon – WI; US Army, Korea, Cpl., Co. C/1/23/2nd Infantry Division, KIA (Changnyeong, SK)

Woldgang K. Weninger – Concord, OH; USMC, Raider, Sgt.

 

################################################################################################################

################################################################################################################################################################################################################################

 

 

 

C/O Postmaster – Book Review

Thomas “Ozzie” St. George, a student in the School of Journalism, University of Minnesota, and an athlete, would find himself soon in the U.S. Army as his country entered WWII.  BUT – This is not a war, combat blood ‘n’ guts diary.

St. George sent excerpts of his training, his not-so-glamorous voyage across the Pacific and the year he spent in Australia discovering a new culture, to the ‘San Francisco Chronicle’.

Cpl. St. George numbered his pieces, knowing full-well the difficult route they would travel to get back to the U.S.  These pieces would arrive at the newspaper, with his sketches completely out of order, but the Chronicle printed them and the readers loved them.  One does not even need to “read between the lines” to visualize what this G.I. was trying to say as he learned about fish & chips, unusual pub hours, Australian slang and living a military life.

Dancing with Americans

“Ozzie” and his fellow G.I.s needed to learn the odd hours of the local pubs.  The Australian women were friendly, but not “easy”, as they used to say back then.  Families often invited the soldiers to dinner.  This was an entirely different world than the Americans were accustom – and learn quickly they would have to do!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As seen with the Army cooks on page 55:

“…we went to breakfast.  Most of us, I’m afraid, were looking forward to large helpings of ham and eggs, our usual reward for a night’s activity.  Instead we had coffee made with chicory (a course kind of gravel) and our first lesson in the anatomy of the sheep, as found in mutton stew.  Thick was this stew, like cold glue, full of unidentifiable vegetables and with all the delicious appeal of a soggy snowbank.”

American G.I.’s w/ koalas

 Should be lucky enough to locate a copy of this book, I know there are chapters you will nod your head in agreement with St. George and you’ll laugh at others.  The sketches will amuse you – no matter what the content.

 

In the words of Corporal Thomas St. George ….

“With most of us, this army career is by far the greatest experience we will ever have.  I only hope that in reading about a few of these experiences you get half the kick out of it that we got when they were happening to us…”

Thomas ‘Ozzie’ St. George

From his obituary:

Thomas Richard “Ozzie” St. George left this earth on Tuesday, July 29, 2014, at the age of 94.  Originally with the 32nd Infantry, he soon joined the staff of Yank Magazine and covered the war from Australia, New Guinea and the Philippines. While serving in the army, he met his future wife, Staff Sgt. Amelia “Mimi” Vitali of Philadelphia. They married while in the Philippines.

He spent the next 50 years at newspapers in San Diego, Philadelphia, Rochester and St. Paul. He was a reporter, sports editor, cartoonist, copy editor and columnist (“Slice of Wry” – St. Paul Pioneer Press). Ozzie retired from the Pioneer Press in 1994. Two books were written by Ozzie while he was in the Army: “C/O Postmaster,” a Book of the Month Club selection, and “Proceed Without Delay.” Following his retirement, he also self-published the Eddie Devlin Compendium: “Old Tim’s Estate,” “Wildcat Strike,” “The Bloody Wet,” “Bringing Chesty Home,” “Replevy for a Flute,” “Clyde Strikes Back,” “Flacks,” “Deadlines” and “The Survivors.”

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE.

################################################################################################################

Military Political Cartoons – 

“HAVEN’T WE MET BEFORE?”

“GET YOUR DIRTY PAWS OFFA THERE!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

################################################################################################################

Farewell Salutes – 

Kenneth “Kage” Allen – UT; US Air Force, 1st Lt., Air Academy graduate, F-15C pilot, 493rd Fighter Squadron/48th Fighter Wing

Wilton Brown – Avant, MS; US Navy, USS Princeton, / US Air Force, Korea, MSgt. (Ret.)

Wallace Harrelson (100) – Galloway, FL; US Army, WWII, ETO

Eva Lyons – Scottsdale, AZ; Civilian, WWII, P-38 assembler

Angus McRonald – Petercutter, SCOT, RAF, WWII

Russell Mericle Jr. – Lima, OH; US Army, Vietnam, 101st Airborne Division, Colonel, West Point graduate

William “Bill” Okamoto (100) – Torrance, CA; US Army, WWII

William Ostrosky – Uniondale, NY; US Navy, WWII

Joseph Pauro – Audubon, NJ; US Navy, WWII, ETO/PTO, Purple Heart

Thomas D. Siefke (100) – Indianapolis, IN; USMC, WWII, Sgt., Bronze Star, Purple Heart

################################################################################################################################################################################################################################

USS Barb – SS-220

Uss Barb, SS-220, May 1945

This post is in response to a suggestion I received from Pat at e-Quips.

In the closing months of World War II, heavy losses and depleted fuel stocks kept many of Japan’s remaining combat aircraft grounded and warships in port, awaiting an anticipated amphibious invasion. Starting in July 1945, Allied battleships embarked on a series of naval bombardments of coastal cities in Japan in an effort to draw these forces out to battle — with little success.

However, a week before the battleships began lobbing their massive shells, a legendary U.S. submarine toting a rocket launcher began its own campaign of coastal terror that foretold the future of naval warfare — and also engaged in the only Allied ground-combat operation on Japanese home-island soil.

Submarines still made use of deck guns during World War II, most of them ranging between three and five inches in caliber. These were used to finish off unarmed merchant ships or sink smaller vessels that could evade torpedoes, but also were occasionally directed to bombard coastal targets, such as in early-war Japanese raids on the coasts of California and Australia.

Capt. Eugene Fluckey of the Gato-class submarine USS Barb volunteered his boat to try out the experimental rocket launcher in 1945.

Fluckey with the navy Cross

At the time, the Navy was actually testing the weapon’s viability as an anti-kamikaze weapon, but Fluckey managed to cajole the R&D staff into releasing the Mark 51 in time for his patrol, making the Barb the only rocket-launching submarine of the Navy.

The Barb, which displaced 2,400 tons submerged, was one of the top-scoring Allied submarines of World War II. By the most conservative count, she sank 17 ships totaling 97,000 tons of shipping. Other tallies are considerably higher.

In January 1945, on his fourth patrol as commander of the Barb, Fluckey sneaked his boat into the shallow waters off of Namakwan Harbor off the coast of China and torpedoed six ships before hightailing away, an action that earned him the Medal of Honor.

The Barb set sail from her base in Midway on June 8 loaded with 100 rockets. She arrived off the Japanese home islands on June 20.  At 2:30 a.m. on June 22, Barb surfaced off of the town of Shari in northeastern Hokkaido Island, unleashing a volley of 12 rockets into the slumbering community. She then sailed northward to the coast of Southern Sakhalin Island, then known as the Japanese prefecture of Karafuto. (All of Sakhalin is presently administered by Russia.)

Over the following month, the Barb expended 68 rockets on Shikuka. Shoritori and Kashiho, mostly firing late at night at near-maximum range.

When Japanese seaplanes began hunting the sub during the day, Fluckey retaliated with a volley of rockets aimed at the Shikuka military airfield. The Barb’s guns also destroyed more than three dozen civilian sampans, while her homing torpedoes took out local trawlers, tugboats and a few large merchant ships.

The Barb’s most famous exploit did not involve those weapons.

USS Barb, 1944

Observing trains passing along the Japanese coastline, Fluckey hatched a scheme to dispatch a landing party to blow up one of the trains by burying the Barb’s 55-pound scuttling charge — essentially a self-destruct device — under the tracks. Rather than using a timer, the explosives would be jury-rigged only to blow when the pressure of a passing train completed the circuit, a trick Fluckey likened to a childhood walnut-cracking prank.

A landing party of eight was selected on the basis of their unmarried status and membership in the Boy Scouts. Fluckey believed the scouts would have better pathfinding skills.

At midnight on July 23, the Barb slipped up to within a kilometer of the shore, and a landing party commanded by Lt. William Walke paddled quietly to the beach. While three men took up guard positions — they encountered a sleeping Japanese guard in a watchtower, whom they left unharmed — the other five buried the demolition charge and managed not blow themselves up jury-rigging the detonation circuit.

They were furiously rowing back to the Barb when a second train passed.

Fluckey described what happened next in his autobiography , “Thunder Below!”

“The engine’s boilers blew, wreckage flew two hundred feet in the air in a flash of flame and smoke, cars piled up and rolled off the track in a writhing, twisting mass of wreckage.”

USS Barb demolition crew with their battle flag, August 1945

All 61 train cars derailed, killing 150 passengers. The Barb’s crew added a train to the tally of enemy ships sunk on their battle flag. Her landing party had just performed what would be the only U.S. ground operation on the Japanese home islands during World War II.

The Barb’s raids on the Japanese coast — and even those performed by Allied battleships — were premised on the Japanese military’s inability, by 1945, to effectively defend the home-island coastlines, which included a lack of coastal-defense guns.

While the rockets the Barb employed appear to have been effective, it’s not clear that they were superior to having another deck gun. But within a decade of the Barb’s last mission, new rocket-based technologies in the form of guided cruise and ballistic missiles drastically reduced the relevance of big guns on warships or coastal defenses. The new weapons could be launched by a submerged submarine a long distance from the shore, safe from immediate retaliation.

The Barb’s month-long seaside rampage will remain a unique incident for some time to come.

Excerpts from: War Is Boring. com

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE.

################################################################################################################

Military Humor – 

for you submariners

Young submariners learn quickly to heed all signs!!
SIGN reads: “SECURE! Sanitation tanks under pressure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

################################################################################################################

Farewell Salutes – 

Natasha R. Aposhian – AZ; US Air Force, 319th Logistics Readiness Squadron

Bernard Barry – Stanley, AUS; RA Navy, WWII

George Bjork – St. Paul, MN; US Navy, Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class

Stanley De Witt – USA; US Army, Korea, Sgt., Medical Detachment/57th FAB/7th Infantry Div., Bronze Star, KIA (Chosin Reservoir)

Pete Conley – USA; US Army, Korea, Cpl., Co. K/3/31/7th Infantry Division, KIA (Chosin Reservoir)

Thomas E. Griffith – USA; US Navy, WWII, radioman, USS  Oklahoma, KIA (Pearl Harbor)

Ernestine “Tommy” King – Columbus, GA; Red Cross nurse. WWII

James Thomas Sr. – Montgomery, AL; US Navy, WWII & Korea, Lt. Commander

Julian C. Torres – TX; US Air Force, Airman 1st Class, 319th Security Forces Squadron

Jesse Vincent (100) – Leavenworth, WA; US Navy, WWII

################################################################################################################

%d bloggers like this: