Thursday, April 30, 2015

Japan's Prime Minister Offers Condolences

From the April 30, 2015, Panama City (Fla) News Herald.

His words:  "My dear friends, on behalf of Japan and the Japanese people, I offer with profound respect my eternal condolences to the souls of all American people that were lost during World War II."

Shinzo Abe, Japanese Prime Minister.

And, I would like to also offer my condolences to all the Japanese people who lost their lives in that war.

Much Respect.  --GreGen

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Fort Screvin, Tybee Island, Georgia

Yesterday, we drove out to the Tybee Island Light Station and saw the concrete of Fort Screvin, which was built during the Spanish-American War and manned during both world wars.

--GreGen

Monday, April 27, 2015

Tybee Island Light Station

In a short time we're going out to the Tybee Island Light Station since we ended up being "Stuck on the Island" as "MadDog" Adams would sing.

I'm sure that its light would have been off during the war as navigational aids to lurking U-boats were not needed.  It was  also likely used as a place to spot the German submarines.

It is referred to as Georgia's oldest & tallest lighthouse.

--GreGen


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Times Change, Japanese-Owned NYK Remus Just Cruised By Savannah

We just saw the NYK Remus cruise down the Savannah River by Savannah, heading out toward the ocean.  Definitely something we wouldn't have seen back during World War II.  It is a container ship and loaded high with containers.

During World War II, the NYK Line, Nippon Yusen Kaisha, provided military transport and hospital ships for the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy.  It lost many ships during the war.  Only 27 remained after losing 185 to Allied attacks.

Of 36 passenger ships in its fleet before the war, only one remained.

--GreGen

World War II in Savannah: Role and Liberty Ships

From New Georgia Encyclopedia.

Men and women from Savannah and Chatham County served  in all branches of U.S. military during the war.  Being a port city, Savannah was very involved in wartime production and a najor military cargo port.

Other groups during the war were  the Savannah-Chatham County Defense Council and the U.S. Coats Guard Temporary Reserves Volunteer Port Security Force.

The Southeastern Shipbuilding Corporation received a contract to build 36 Liberty Ships on the Savannah River east of the city.  However, between 1942 and 1945, they built 88 ships.

--GreGen

Friday, April 24, 2015

What's Oscar Doing in the U.S. Signal Corps Museum?

You win an Oscar at the Academy Awards and there is an Oscar at the United States Army Signal Corps museum at Fort Gordon, Georgia.  You would not really expect to find one of these at a military museum like this.

From the museum brochure:

OSCAR. One of the most interesting artifacts at the museum is an Oscar awarded to the Signal Corps right after World War II.  It was for the short documentary "Seeds of destiny."

The Signal Corps operated a movie studio during the war at Astoria Long Island, N.Y.  The studiom produced training films such as the "Why We Fight" series by Major Frank Capra.

--GreGen

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Pearl Harbor Survivor Receives "Warrior's Passage"

From the il 2, 2015, Prescott (Az) Daily Courier by Nana Hutson.

Navy radioman Edward Sowman and his shipmates were standing in line for breakfast that day.  He was 24-years-old Missourian and on the USS New Orleans.  A Japanese plane flew by so close he could see the pilot laughing.

Mr. Sowman was honored Friday, March 27th with "The Warrior's Passage" after dying the day before, March 26th.  He enlisted in the Navy in 1939 and was discharged in 1945.  He remembered the Oklahoma turning over and heard the Arizona blow up.

The New Orleans remained on alert the rest of the day while they spent hours and hours at battle stations.  They also worked at saving lives.  He lost many friends that day.

--GreGen

Monday, April 20, 2015

Pearl Harbor Survivor "Chief" Schleusner Died in 2013

From the April 19, 2013 Sheboygan (Wi) Press "'Chief' Scheusner was one of two Pearl Harbor survivors in Shebotgan County."

Known as Schleu, Bud or Dutch, but Chief most often.  He spent 40 years in the U.S. Navy and became a chief petty officer.

Harold Schleusner, 93, died March 29, 2013.  He was one of just two Pearl Harbor survivors remaining in Sheboygan County.  Stuart "Bud" Sweeney of Plymouth is the other one.

Schleau grew up in Bruce, Wisconsin, and joined the Navy at age 18 and served as an aviator machinist.  He was 21 when Pearl Harbor was attacked and sleeping in his barracks when the attack came.  Awakened by his comrades.  He recalled that the Japanese planes were flying so low it seemed that you could grab just about anything and throw at them.

--GreGen

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Follow Up on USS Perch and Mankassar Prison Camp

You can see Ernie Ernie Plantz talking about his experiences on You Tube.

Four of the 5 Perch crew members who died at Mankassar Prison Camp are listed on the complete list of American deaths there.

All 600+ survivors of the HMS Exeter were taken there and then senior officers sent on to Japan.

Mankassar Prison Camp is now known as Ujunpandan Celebes (Sulawesi).

The first inmates of the camp were members of the KNIL, the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army after the fall of the Dutch East Indies to the Japanese.

Three of the USS Perch crew died of pellagra.  Pellagra is a vitamin deficiency disease caused by a chronic lack of niacin.  One result of it is skin lesions.

--GreGen

USS Perch Sailors Who Died in Japanese Prisons-- Part 2

HOUSTON ERNEST EDWARDS--  Chief Electrician's Mate, Service # 355 46 35, Born Oct. 8, 1901 From Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Died of cerebral malaria, beriberi and dysentery.


FRABK ELMER McCREARY--  Machinist's Mate First Class, Service #346 16 79, Born Oct. 10, 1904, From Marble Hill, Mo.

Died Jan. 4, 1943 at Fukukoa, Japan of pneumonia.

ALBERT KENNETH NEWSOM--  Chief Machinist's Mate, Service# 265 53 46 from Ahoskie, N.C., Born Feb. 13, 1909.  Died April 6, 1945 at Mankassar Prison Camp of Pellagra.

ROBERT ARCHIBALD WILSON--  Fire Controlman First Class, Service # 223 34 64,  Born Oct. 26, 1917, From Weehawken, N.J.

Died June 15, 1945 at Makassar Prison Camp of bacterial dysentery and Pellagra.

Five of the 60+ crew members died in prison.

--GreGen

USS Perch Sailors Who Died in Japanese Prisons-- Part 1

From the Submarine Eternal Post Site.

I have been writing about the submarine USS Perch which was scuttled by its crew and everyone captured by the Japanese 3 March 1942.  The crew was then interned in Japanese prisons for the remainder of the war.

CHARLES NEWTON BROWN-- Machinsits Mate, 2nd Class,  Service # 201 57 30, Born Aug. 3, 1919, From Boston, Mass.

Died: April 18, 1945 at Mankassar Prison Camp in Celebes, Indonesia of Pellagra.

PHILIP JAMES DEWES--   Pharmacist (Warrant Officer) Service # 227 89 75 (enlisted) 129560 (warrant officer), Born March 28, 1901 from San Diego, Cal.

Died July 25, 1945 at Makassar Prison Camp, Celebes, Indonesia of Pellagra.

--GreGen

Friday, April 17, 2015

USS Perch Survivor to Visit Japan This Year

From the Sept. 9, 2014, KTLO Radio (Arkansas).

Robert Lents, 93, has been invited by the government of Japan to visit that country as part of the Japanese/POW Friendship Program which aims at reconciliation.

Mr. Lents is one of the 62 crew members of the submarine USS Perch, which was scuttled after engaging the Japanese on 3 March 1942, captured and who then spent nearly 1300 days a s prisoners of war.

He says he plans to visit Japan in 2015.

--GreGen

U.S. Submarine Perch Found in 2006

From the Jan. 21, 2007 Honolulu Star Bulletin "On Eternal Patrol."

The USS Perch (SS-176) was scuttled after being damaged by Japanese destroyers on 3 March 1942.  The 300-foot diesel submarine was found 23 November 2006 by an international team of photographers and divers looking for the wreck of the HMS Exeter sunk in the same area on 1 March 1942.

Robert Lentz was a 20 year-old torpedoman on the ship. and remembers "I got $35 still in my locker."  he is now 85 and living in Mountain Home, Arkansas.  He spent 3 1/2 years in Japanese prison camps before being released Sept. 18, 1945.  he recalled that in one camp, there were nearly 600 survivors of the HMS Exeter.

There are only five Perch veterans still alive (as of 2007).

the wreck was found north of Surbaya City, Java.  They know fopr a fact it is the Perch because they found a plaque with the name on it.

In the past year, three other U.S. submarine wrecks have been found:

USS Wahoo, sunk north of Hokkaido in 1943.
USS Grunion, sunk 1942 near the Aleutian Islands.
USS Lagarto sunk 62 years ago by a Japanese minelayer.

During the war, more than 3500 American submariners lost their lives on 52 submarines that were lost.

--GreGen


Thursday, April 16, 2015

72nd Liberty Ship Launched at Wilmington March 1943

From the Match 13, 2013, Wilmington (NC) Star-News "Back Then."

MARCH 1, 1943:  The 72nd Liberty Ship slid down the ways at the North Carolina Shipbuilding Company.  It was the SS William D. Pender, named after the Confederate general, one of the youngest and most promising officers of the South who was killed at the Battle of Gettysburg.

He was born at Pender's Crossroads in Edgecombe County, North Carolina and graduated the USMA in 1854.  Before the war, he served with the U.S. 2nd Artillery and 1st Dragoons in Washington Territory and in Indian Wars.

Pender County, North Carolina was named for him in 1875.

--GreGen

Illinois Pearl Harbor Survivor Dies in 2013

From the Feb. 8, 2013, (Il.) Journal-Standard by Travis Moore.

Dean Garrett, 92, of Freeport, Illinois, died Sunday.

He was a young hospital corpsman at the base hospital that day and spent the next 72 hours helping the wounded and dying.

He was the former president of the Northern Illinois Pearl Harbor Survivors Association.

He lost his best friend and fellow corpsman John Mulick on the USS Oklahoma.

--GreGen

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Iwo Jima Monument to be Auctioned-- Part 4: It Wasn't

I got to wondering if the sculpture was sold.  I found out that the bids reached $950,000, but it wasn't sold.

Still in Rodney'sLiving Room Evidently.  --GreGen

Iwo Jima Monument to Be Auctioned-- Part 3

The sculpture was in extremely bad shape and Brown said he could have had a new one built for 1/4 the cost of repairing the original.  But, Brown paid to restore it.

In 1995, on the 50th anniversary of Iwo Jima, Brown unveiled it at the USS Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York and remained there until 2007.

The auction will be Feb. 22, 2013.  The successful bidder will also get the tools, drawings, sketches and pictures used to make it.

Rodney Brown says he has decided to sell it because it "doesn't fit in my living room."

--GreGen

Iwo Jima Monument to Be Auctioned-- Part 2

The new, smaller monument, was completed in three months and stood in front of what is now the Federal reserve Building on Constitution Avenue.  It remained there until 1947 when it was moved to make way for a new building.

At the same time, the government authorized a foundation for Felix de Weldon to build the larger 32-foot one.  The 12 1/2 one was returned to de Weldon who covered it with a tarp where it remained for four decades.

Then it came to the attention of military historian and collector Rodney Hilton Brown who was researching for a biography on de Welson who then bought it from the sculptor in 1990.  He paid de Weldon with "a Stradivarus violin, a 1920s solid silver Newport yachting trophy and a lot of money" according to Brown.

Felix de Weldon died in 2003.

--GreGen

Iwo Jima Monument to Be Auctioned-- Part 1

From the Feb. 8, 2013, Huffington Post "Iwo Jima Monument To Be Auctioned In NYC Among Wold War II Artifacts" by Ula Ilnytzky.

OK, it wasn't the big one in Arlington, Virginia, which is why the article caught my attention back then.  It is an original smaller statue of the famous big one of them raising the flag at that small island in the Pacific.  It is expected to fetch up to $1.8 million at a New York auction of World War II artifacts.

Most people didn't even know it existed, being familiar with the 32-foot-tall one in Arlington Virginia, commemorating the flag-raising on February 23, 1945, which was dedicated in 1954.  Of course, the sculpture is based on the famous Joe Rosenthal photograph which won him a Pulitzer Prize.

Sculptor Felix de Weldon, then serving in the Navy, started making a 12 1/2 foot one soon after the big one was unveiled.  He cancelled a weekend pass to make a wax sculture.  Congress ok'd it, but gave no money, so de Weldon financed it himself.

--GreGen


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Burial of Doolittle Raider Robert Hite

From the April 13, 2015 NBC10 Fox, Monroe "World War II Veteran, Doolittle Raider, Lt.Col. Robert Hite Laid to Rest in Camden." by Caitlin O'Neal.

Camden, Arkansas.  Robert Hite was 95 and died Sunday in Nashville, Tennessee.  At the service, his daughter, Catherine Landers said: "He was probably one of the kindest, most generous people that you would meet.  He loved his country, his family, and his church."

His son, Wallace Hite, said that he taught us that " The Freedom that our country enjoys comes at a price.

Now, only two Doolittle Raiders remain: Lt.Col. Richard E. Cole and Staff Sgt. Daniel J. Thatcher.  I wasn't able to learn if either were at the funeral.

Doolittle Raiders will finally be awarded the Congressional Gold medal which will be presented April 18th in Dayton, Ohio, on the 73rd anniversary of the raid.

One of the Greatest.  --GreGen

Death of Pearl Harbor Survivor Robert McCullough in 2013

From the feb. 7, 2013, KRCT 7 ABC News.

Robert McCullough died jan. 27, 2013, at age 93.  there are now just four Shasta County Pearl Harbor survivors remaining.  The local Pearl Harbor Survivors Association no longer officially meets.

Mr. McCullough was on the USS Medusa, a naval repair ship, that day.  he remembered: "I had been playing a little poker the night before, then sleeping in.  We heard the racket that was going on, and went topside.  Of course we saw the planes coming in....

"I saw the Utah being hit, torpedoes, and then sunk.  And various ships being fired at, torpedoed, all hell breaking loose.  After we saw the red ball on the wings of the planes, we realized they were not ours."

The helm of the USS Medusa is displayed at the Redding Veterans Hall

]--GreGen

Monday, April 13, 2015

Top Ten Allied War Crimes-- Part 3

5.  CHINESE WAR CRIMES--    Against captured Japanese soldiers.

4.  RHEINWIESENLAGER--  Prisoner of War Temporary Enclosure.  These were 19 U.S.-built war camps to hold Germans during the occupation of that country.  Inmates suffered from starvation, exposure and dehydration.  Up to 10,000 died.

3.  OPERATION OVERLORD MASSACRE--  After D-Day led to unknown number of deaths.  Reports that captured German soldiers used as shields and to clear mine fields.

2.  NUCLEAR WEAPONS

1.  PRUSSIAN RAPE--  The Soviet Army carried this out against women and children.  As many as 240,000 deaths.  (In addition, there were around 10,000 rapes accused against U.S. military and another 1,500 against the French.)

For more information and pictures, go to the site.

So, Not Just the Axis.  --GreGen

Top Ten Allied War Crimes of World War II-- Part 2

8.  THE LONDON CAGE--  Kensington Palace Gardens in London.  A set of cells and rooms in which Schutzstaffel and Getaspo were tortured.

7.  KOCEVSKI TOG MASSACRE--  The murder of POWs and Non-Combatants in May 1945 by Allied Yugoslav partisans.  Up to 12,000 thrown into pits and caves and sealed by explosions.

6.  DACHAU MASSACRE--  When concentration camp was liberated and with the sight of thousands of decomposing bodies, U.S. soldiers began summarily executing unarmed SS guards.  Plus, the inmates were reported to have beaten to death as many as 50 of them.

--GreGen




Sunday, April 12, 2015

Top Ten Allied War Crimes of World War II-- Part 1

From the Dec. 14, 2012, Listverse.

10.  Civilian Air Raids

9.  OPERATION TEARDROP--  Intelligence was received that a fleet of German U-boats with V-1 Flying Bombs was on its way to the east coast of America.  The United States and Canada sent out an anti-sub task force with four aircraft carriers and 42 destroyers.

In one month,this force sank 5 German subs and captured on other one.  They lost one destroyer.

Five crew members of the U-546 were brutally interrogated and one officer committed suicide.

It was later found that the fear of the V-1s was unfounded.

--GreGen

World War II POWs Disband Their Group-- Part 2

Gifford Doxsee, 88, of Athens, Ohio said his organization folded into the Fairfield Buckeye Chapter 4 in Logan.  He was captured at the Battle of the Bulge and spent five months doing slave labor for the Germans from December 1944 to May 1945 and was with Kurt Vonnegut, author of "Slaughterhouse Five," for part of the time.

Herman Zerger, 89, of Woodsfield, Ohio spent five months as a POW in five different camps.  He was captured by German SS troopers near the Rhine River in February 1945.  His camp was liberated May 8, 1945.  There were 100 American noncoms there along with hundreds of Russians.

--GreGen

Saturday, April 11, 2015

World War II Veterans Disband POW Group-- Part 1

From the Nov. 23, 2012 (West Virginia) News and Sentinel by Sam Shawver.

Only around 1.5 million of the 16 million World War II veterans remain with some 680 dying every day.

The Local Prisoners of War Chapter 15 is disbanding after 16 years, a monthly gathering meeting since 1996.  It is a part of the national Prisoner of War group.  They originally had 20-25 members and were known as the Mid-Ohio Valley Chapter.

--GreGen

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The End of Japanese Submarine I-71-- Part 6

"The bow of the submarine was flung out of the sea.  We saw almost half of the craft.  Then it fell back but only to be caught by a second series of depth charges and again the bow was thrown up.

This time the stern was submerged and the bow stayed up.  The submarine was caught there, at an angle of sixty or seventy degrees just for an instant.  Then she slid down into the sea."

Between the 10th, at least one submarine was sunk at sea and the I-70 was the only one not to return.  This must be the sunken submarine.

Also, one has to wonder that if it was assigned to watch south of Oahu, why was it north of it and on the surface?

A Mystery Answered?  --GreGen

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The End of Japanese Submarine I-70-- Part 5

Continued from the Combined Fleet.com site, which gave a day by day account to the I-70.  This is continued from March and April 2013 blog entries.  Just hit the I-70 label for the rest of it.

Japanese submarines regularly surfaced at night and maintained periscope depth during the day.  During the attack on pearl harbor, these subs  were under orders to retrieve midget submarines and pilots, but none did.

If Dickinson had not destroyed the I-70, he was watching from the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise the next day as a destroyer depth charged a submarine that appeared suddenly in the carrier's wake.

He wrote:  "The two vessels were practically touching as they passed; and that was when the destroyer's depth charges were going over into the water; not one at a time and spaced, but six or more closely grouped.  We could feel shocks.  We saw that water rise as if right below there was an active volcano."

--GreGen

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Women in the Work Force Photos

From the 2013 Old Picture of the Day website

The blogsite featured a photograph of women working in factories during World War II.  World War Ii is much responsible for the introduction of women in the workplace.  With the men away fighting, somebody at home needed to make the materials they were to fight with on the front lines.

March 9--  Making needles

March 10--  Bomb factory

March 11--  Vilter Manufacturing Co., Milwaukee, Wisconsin, making small arms.

March 12--  Making aircraft engines at North American Aviation plant in California.

--GreGen


Volunteers Cleaning USS Stewart in Galveston in 2013 After Vandal Attack

From the Feb. 23, 2013 ABC 13, Houston, Texas.

Volunteers are cleaning a World War II ship in Galveston that was damaged by vandals.

Four men are facing charges for damage to the USS Stewart at Seawolf Park in Galveston last month.  Among the damage done was the discharge of fire extinguishers.

Once word of the damage got around, there were a lot of volunteers for cleanup.

The Stewart was a destroyer escort commissioned in 1942 and served in the North Atlantic and Pacific and also survived damage from 2008's Hurricane Ike.

--GreGen

Revolutionary German Fighter Jet Coming to East Texas in 2013

From the March 6, 2013, Tyler Paper.com. Texas by Dayna Worchel.

A German Messerschmidt ME 262, faster than the vaunted P-51 North American Mustang by 120 mph, was produced in only small numbers towards the end of the war.  A total of 1,443 were built, but only about 300 saw action.

Many were destroyed in training accidents or Allied bombing.  Only nine still exist in museums.

The Tyler Pounds Regional Airport will be the first stop on a tour by an exact replica of one on march 15th.

Other World War II aircraft will also be there.

--GreGen


Serious Housing Shortage in Wartime Wilmington in 1943

From the March 5, 2013, Wilmington (NC) Star News "Back Then."

FEBRUARY 28, 1943 Wilmington Star-News.

"The shortage of all types of housing despite the completion of federal-built housing projects here, is now more serious than it has been since the beginning of the war boom," Louis E. Woodbury, manager of the Wilmington War Housing Center, said.

"No vacancies are now listed at either of the War Housing center or the Army's billeting office, and many people are searching the city for places to live.

"As a temporary measure to abate the critical housing shortage, the Housing Authority of the City of Wilmington is opening 200 dormitory rooms in the Maffitt Village to all persons seeking a place to stay until they can find more permanent quarters."

These had originally been built for single male shipyard workers, but now 72 of them had been opened to women.

--GreGen

Monday, April 6, 2015

N.C. Shipbuilding Company Launching Liberty Ships in 1943

From the March 5, 2013, Wilmington (N.C.) Star-News "Back Then."

From the Feb. 15, 1943, Wilmington Star-News:  The N.C. Shipbuilding Company tied for second place with two West Coast shipyards in number of ships delivered and third in average minimum days construction per ship among the nation's nine producers of Liberty freighters.

The company led the East Coast in number of vessels per "way" and in number turned over to the U.S. maritime Commission.  In January, he company delivered nine of the 10,800 ton ships--  one from each "Way."

A "Way" is where the ships were built and launched.

--GreGen

Death of Pearl Harbor Survivor Daniel S. Fruchter, 95

From the March 8, 2013, Eastchester (NY) Daily Voice.

This was more of just an announcement without what he remembered about Pearl Harbor.  I did further research but couldn't find much about his experience there.  But, I did find a lot about what he did after the war.  I also had sources saying he died at age 94.

Died March 7, 2013.  Born 1918 in New York City.  was a dedicated volunteer at the USS Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum ship in New York City.  Also was New York State Chairman of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association and often keynote speaker at the annual Pearl Harbor ceremony where he always urged "Remember Pearl Harbor and keep America alert."

He was at the scaled-down Pearl Harbor ceremony in 2012 after Hurricane Sandy, just a few monthsd before his death.

--GreGen

Last U.S. Senator World War II Vet Retired in 2013

From the Feb. 14, 2013, L.A. Times  "Sen. Frank Lautenberg, last of World War II vets, to retire" by Lisa Mascaro.

U.S. senator Frank Lautenberg, 89, (D-NJ) has announced he will retire at the end of his term.  he is the son of an immigrant who enlisted in the U.S. Army Signal Corps and served in Europe.

This leaves only House of Representatives World War II veterans John Dingell (D-Mich) and Ralph M. Hall (R-Texas) in the Congress.

--GreGen

Looking for Unexploded Bombs in Japan

From the Feb. 14, 2013, Bloomberg Business Week "Hurt Locker Bomb Squads Scour Japan 70 Years After World War II" by Jacob  Adelmen and Kiyotaka Maysuda.

Makoto Ohashi, 37, Sgt. 1st Class in Japan's Bomb squad said a prayer before twisting off the fuse from a 500 World War II bomb.

About 6,000 tons of explosives have been recovered in Japan records were first kept starting in 1958.

They will be traveling to Hamamatsu in central Japan to detonate an 860-kilo bomb found by a maintenance crew of the Central Japan Railway Company.

About 160,000 tons of bombs were dropped on Japan during the last five months of the war.

--GreGen

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Death of Doolittle Raider Robert Hite-- Part 4

From the New orleans Times-Picayune.

**  The Raiders were supposed to land in unoccupied Chinese territory, but because the launch took place farther away, they ran out of fuel and crash landed.

**  Three of the Raiders captured by the Japanese were executed, including Robert Hite's pilot and gunner.

**  Hite spent 38 of his 40 months captivity in solitary confinement.

--GreGen

Death of Doolittle Raider Robert Hite-- Part 3

From the L.A. Times.

**  When captured, Robert Hite was a little over 6 feet tall and weighed 175 pounds.  On liberation he was down to 76 pounds.

**  Born March 3, 1920, in Odell, Texas.

**  Joined the Army Air Corps in Lubbock, Texas, at age 20.

**  Received the Distinguished Flying Cross and Purple Heart.

**  Last survivor of the eight Raiders captured by the Japanese.

--GreGen

Death of Doolittle Raider Lt.Col. Robert Hite-- Part 2: Only Two Left

Robert Hite was liberated from his Japanese captors in 1945 after 40 months of brutal captivity.  He returned to active duty and fought in the Korean War and remained in service until 1955.

Now, just two Doolittle Raiders remain alive: Lt.Col. Richard "Dick" Cole and Staff Sgt. David Thatcher.

The Raiders will receive a Congressional Gold Medal on April 15th in Washingtton, D.C. and will be presented with it on April 18th, the 73rd anniversary of the raid.  This will happen at the national Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio.  The Gold medal will be on display there.

--GreGen

Friday, April 3, 2015

Death of Doolittle Raider Lt.Col. Robert Hite-- Part 1

From the March 30, 2015, Fox News "Lt.Col. Robert Hite of Doolittle Tokyo Raiders,' dead at 95.

Mr. Hite died at a nursing facility Sunday, March 29, 2015, in Nashville where he had been battling Alzheimer's.

He was among the 80 raisers in 16 B-25 bombers who took off from the deck of the USS Hornet in April 1942 on their historic attack on Japan.  They inflicted little actual damage, but the lift to American morale for this strike back so so after Pearl Harbor was huge.

Of the 80 brave men, eight were captured and of them, three executed and one more died while in prison.  Hite was one of those captured and was the last survivor of those.

The Greatest generation.  --GreGen

Pearl Harbor Survivor Buried With Military Honors in 2013

From the herald "Rock Hills Pearl Harbor survivor buried with military honors."

The last of six local Pearl harbor survivors in York County died Feb. 11, 2013.

L.C. Rice was 18, and a machinist seaman on the USS Pennsylvania that day. He remembered holding a dying sailor, though he never knew his name.  The sailor's body was nothing but torn flesh, cracked bones, face missing and a bloody torso.  Mr. Rice shouted into the sailor's ear, "You ain't dying for nothing.  I promise you."

He served in the military another 32 years and was also in the Korean and Vietnam Wars,

--GreGen

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Bits of War: Ration Your Bacon-- Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors

Bits of the war.

1.  RATION YOUR BACON--  From the March 8, 2013 Guardian UK "Unthinkable? Ration you bacon second world war style," editorial.

With obesity rates in the U.K. on the rise it is suggested that amounts of bacon be reduced to what they were during World War II.  Bacon rationing in the U.K. didn't end until 1954.

2.  SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF PEARL HARBOR SURVIVORS--  From the Feb. 16, 2013, Highland (Ind.) Times.  The Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors, Indiana Chapter 2, met at Michael's Restaurant.  www.sdphs.org.  I am glad to see an organization carrying on such as this.

--GreGen

Two Pearl Harbor Survivors Die in 2013-- Part 2

Don Green was a shipfitter on the ammunition ship USS Pyro in West Loch about half a mile from the battleships.  At age 19, he manned guns and started firing.  A Japanese dive bomber released a bomb that landed on the dock about 12 feet from the ship.  It penetrated the concrete and exploded, jarring the Pyro but caused no damage, fortunately.  Being in an ammunition ship and getting hit by a bomb is not a good thing.

The Pyro is credited with damaging one enemy plane.

Gebhard "Jerry" Jensch was born in Germany in 1919 and moved to Saginaw, Michigan in 1928.  He joined the Navy in 1939 and served until 1947.

Don Green came from New Bedford, Massachusetts.  He and his twin brother joined the Navy on their 18th birthday and served together for awhile on the USS Pyro.

--GreGen

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

World War Posters for 2015-- Part 6: A Wonderful Opportunity for You

Poster shows a sailor smiling and carry packages with a battleship in the background.  The words read "A Wonderful Opportunity For You --  Ashore, On Leave --  United States Navy.

Of course, besides seeing the world in the Navy, one could go shopping for some interesting things to send back home while on liberty in some pretty exotic locales.

"A WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU, UNITED STATES NAVY"

"Charles E. Ruttan, 1917.

"Although recruitment posters were intended for men eighteen and older, the Naval Act of 1916 did not specify gender which made it possible for women to enlist.  Loretta Walsh became the first woman to join the Navy in an active duty position other than as a nurse.

"She served for two years obtaining the rank of Chief Yeoman."

I will be writing about her in my Cooter's History Thing Blog tomorrow since she is actually World War I.

--Cooter