Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Looking Back to 1941: Youngsters Arouse Suspicions

From the August 17, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1941, 75 Years Ago:  "Youngsters with flashlights were around automobiles on North Third Street in DeKalb early this morning and persons at the Rice Hotel asked the police to investigate.

"It was found that the lads were Boy Scouts detailed to guard the collection of aluminum, and they were whiling away some of the hours looking at cars parked along the curb when they attracted the attention."

The Rice Hotel has since been torn down after turning into a transient hotel.  It was located at North Third Street in DeKalb.  I came across a postcard of its lobby.

--GreGen

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Marines Flag 71-Year-Old Case of Mistaken ID in Iwo Jima Photo-- Part 2

The Marines began the review after being contacted by researchers working for on a Smithsonian Channel documentary spurred by amateur historians Eric Krelle, of Omaha, Nebraska, and Stephen Foley, of Wexford, Ireland, whose questions about the photo were first reported by the Omaha World-Herald in 2014.

Krelle and Foley compared images shot of an earlier flag-raising and the raising of a second, larger flag captured by AP photographer Joe Rosenthal.  They found discrepancies between what the men were wearing, their weapons and gear, prompting Krelle and Foley to argue that some of the Marines in the picture had been misidentified.

The Marines agreed with them that Pfc Harold Schultz, who died in 1995 at age 70, helped raise the flag, along with Harlon Block, Rene Gagnom, Ira Hayes, Frank Soulsey and Michael Strank.

Harold Schultz moved to Los Angeles and worked for the post office after the war and apparently never mentioned his part in the flag-raising.

--GreGen

Monday, August 29, 2016

Marines Flag 71-Year-Old Caes of Mistaken ID in Iwo Jima Photo-- Part 3: The Battle of Iwo Jima

More than 6,500 U.S. servicemen died at the Battle of Iwo Jima, a tiny island 660 miles south of Tokyo that was deemed vital to our war effort because Japanese fighter planes based there were intercepting American bombers on missions to Japan.

The invasion began on February 119, 1945, with about 70,000 Marines battling 18,000 Japanese soldiers for 36 days.

Besides those killed, about 20,000 Americans woundee.  Only about 200 Japanese soldiers were captured, with the others being killed in the fighting.

--GreGen

Friday, August 26, 2016

Marines Flag 71-Year-Old Case of Mistaken ID in Iwo Jima Photo-- Part 2

John Bradley had participated in an earlier flag-raising on Mt. Suribachi, and his role took on a central role after his son, James Bradley, wrote a best-selling book about the flag-raisers, "Flags of Our Fathers," which was later made into a hit movie directed by Clint Eastwood.

James Bradley declined to comment on Thursday.  However, he told AP in May that he believed his father confused the two flag raisings.

"My father raised a flag on Iwo Jima," Bradley said.  "The Marines told him way after the fact, 'Here's a picture of you raising the flag.'  He had a memory of him raising a flag, and the two events came together."

--GreGen

Marines Flag 71-Year-Old Case of Mistaken ID in Iwo Jima Photo-- Part 1

From the June 24, 2016, Chicago Tribune by Scott McFetridge, AP.

One of the six men in that famous photograph of the raising of the American flag at the summit of Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima was not actually in the image.  The Marine Corps announced this June 23 after conducting an investigation prompted by the claims of two amateur historians.

The Marines formed a review committee after the two historians studied a number of photos of the two flag-raisings.  They claimed that the famous photo by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal included mistakes and after reviewing, the Marine Corps agreed.

The Marine panel found that Pfc Harold Schultz, of Detroit, was in the photograph and that Navy Pharmacist's Mate 2nd Class John Bradley wasn't.

--GreGen

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

WVU Students Work to Create a Memorial to USS West Virginia

From the May 12, 2016, Huntington (WV) Herald-Dispatch.

We are coming up on the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, an event where 106 sailors aboard the USS West Virginia died.

The West Virginia University students have begun a project to memorialize those dead.  They have created a petition for the West Virginia to receive its own memorial.

The battleship was the only ship active on the first and on the last day of the war.  The "WeeVee," as it is called, is one of three battleships sunk at Pearl Harbor which does not have its own memorial.

The students have launched a social media campaign to encourage West Virginia citizens to petition Congress for a permanent memorial.

Good Luck to Them.  --GreGen

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Looking Back to 1966: Americans and Japanese Who Died 25-Years Earlier at Wake Island

From the May 11, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1966, 50 Years Ago:  "Americans and Japanese who died 25 years ago in the siege and occupation of Wake Island, a remote Pacific atoll, were honored Sunday.  The Federal Aviation Agency, which administers Wake Island, dedicated a non-denominational chapel in the memory of the fighting men of both nations and to the American civilians who died there.

"The $54,900 chapel is the only chapel under the jurisdiction of the FAA."

--GreGen

Monday, August 22, 2016

Officer Military Pay 1940-1941-- Part 4: Majors to 2nd Lieutenants

Pay broken down into Under 3, Over 3, Over 6, Over 9, Over 12, Over 15, Over 18, Over 21, Over 24, Over 27 and Over 30.

I am also giving the Army rank for that pay grade.  To see the Navy and Marine ranks at that level, see Part 2.

PAY PERIOD 4th (MAJOR):  $200 / $210 / $220 / $230 / $240 / $313 / $325 / $338 / $408 / $423 / $438

PAY PERIOD 3RD (CAPTAIN):  $200 / $210 / $230 / $240 / $250 / $325 / $338 / $350 / $363 / $375

PAY PERIOD 2ND (1ST LIEUTENANT): $167 / $175 / $183 / $192 / $240 / $250 / $260 / $270 / $280 / $290 / $300

PAY PERIOD 1ST (2ND LIEUTENANT):  $125 / $131 / $183 / $192 / $200 / $208 / $217 / $225 / $233 / $242 / $250

--GreGen

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Way to Go to World War II Navy Veteran Ernie Andrus: Coast-to-Coast for the LST-325

He just finished his cross-country run a few minutes ago in St. Simons, Georgia.  Over 2,900 miles running, slow pace as he says, but nonetheless.  He left San Diego, California, at the Pacific Ocean on October 7, 2013, and accomplished his feat in segments since then.

I watched a life feed and there was quite the big crowd there chanting his name and "U.S.A." as well as a Navy escort.

And, yesterday, he had a birthday.  Today he is 94!!  This would be quite the accomplishment for a twenty-something, not to mention a nonagenerian.

Even better, he is raising money for the LST-325.  This ship is docked at Evansville, Indiana, on the Ohio River and is the only operational LST (Landing Ship Tank) of over a thousand built during the war that is still operational.  It was at D-Day.

Unfortunately, he has not even raised enough money to cover his expenses for the effort.

Ernie, we'll be donating in the next few days.

Of course, I'm the one who missed the boat.  I should have been following along with him in this blog the whole way.  Sorry.

A Real American Hero!  What Did They Say About the Greatest Generation?  --GreGen

Friday, August 19, 2016

Officer Military Pay 1940-1941-- Part 3: Lt. General to Lt. Colonel

These numbers are rounded up.  I will also give the Army rank.  If you want to know what that would be with the Navy or Marines, look at my previous post.  Years of Service.

Under 3 /  Over 3  /  Over 6 /  Over 9 /  Over 12 /  Over 15 /  Over 18 /  Over 21 /  Over 24 /  Over 27 /  Over 30.

PAY PERIOD 8 (LT. GENERAL):  $667 / $668 / All years

PAY PERIOD 7 (MAJ. GENERAL): $500 all years

PAY PERIOD 6 (BRIG. GENERAL/COLONEL):  $292 / $306 / $321 / $335 / $350 / $365 / $379 / $394 / $408 / $483 / $500

PAY PERIOD 5 (LT. COLONEL):  $$250 / $263 / $275 / $288 / $300 / $313 / $325 / $394 / $408 / $423 / $497

--GreGen

Officer Military Pay 1940-1941-- Part 2: Comparison of the Ranks

The officers were grouped into what was called Pay Periods.  I will first go through and explain what the ranks would be for the Army, then Navy and lastly the Marines in each Pay Period.

Pay Period 8:  Lt. General. Rear Admiral Upper Echelon, Major General

Pay Period 7:  Major General, Rear Admiral Lower Echelon, Brigadier General

Pay Period 6:  Brigadier General/Colonel, Captain, Colonel

Pay Period 5:  Lt. Colonel, Commander, Lt. Colonel

Pay Period 4:  Major, Lt. Commander, Major

Pay Period 3:  Captain, Lieutenant, Captain

Pay Period 2:  1st Lieutenant, Lieutenant Junior Grade, 1st Lieutenant

Pay Period 1:  2nd Lieutenant, Ensign, 2nd Lieutenant

The Navy also had, in addition:  Pay Grade 9: Vice Admiral, Pay Grade 10: Admiral and Pay Grade 11:  Fleet Admiral.

--GreGen

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Officer Military Pay 1940-1941-- Part 1: Joint Service Pay Readjustment Act

From Navy Cyber Space "1922-1942 U.S. Military Officer Pay Charts."

The Joint Service Pay Readjustment Act of 1922, Public Law 67-235, signed by President Warren G. Harding on June 11, 1922, was the first pay legislation that dealt with compensation for all of the armed services.

It increased rates of pay for officers and enlisted men because of the higher costs of living.

It remained in effect for 20 years.

--GreGen

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Enlisted Military Pay 1940-1941-- Part 4: Sergeant to Private

For what ranks were in each pay grade, see yesterday's post.  Pay given for Under 4 Years, Over 4 Years, Over 8 Years, Over 12 Years and Over 16 Years.  I also will give you the Army rank associated with it.

4TH PAY GRADE (Sergeant):  $60 /  $66 /  $69 /  $72 /  $75

5TH PAY GRADE (Corporal):  $54 /  $59 /  $62 /  $65 /  $68

6TH PAY GRADE (Private First Class):  $36 /  $40 /  $41 /  $42  / $45

7TH PAY GRADE (Private):  $30 /  $33 /  $35 /  $36 /  $38

Privates with under 4 months service: $21

Additional pay for specialists:
1st Pay Grade:  $30
2nd Pay Grade: $25
3rd Pay Grade:  $20
4th Pay Grade:  $15
5th Pay Grade:  $6
6th Pay Grade:  $3

When Is Pay Day?  --GreGen


Military Pay 1940-1941-- Part 3: How Much You Make? (Master Sergeant to Staff Sergeant

Numbers rounded up.  For Army, Navy and Marine ranks involved with pay grades, see yesterday's post.  I will give the Army ranks for each.  In order going Under 4 Years / Over 4 Years / Over 8 Years / Over 12 Years / Over 16 Years:

1ST PAY GRADE (Master Sergeant):  $126 /  #139 /  $145 /  $151 /  $158

2ND PAY GRADE: (1st Sergeant):  $84 /  $92 /  $97 /  $101 /  $105

3RD PAY GRADE (Staff Sergeant):   $72 ?  $79 /  $83 /  $86  /  $90

--GreGen

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Military Pay 1940-1941-- Part 2: Military Ranks During World War II

Before I list the Pay Grades for the military during the war, I decided I'd find out what members of each grade had for a rank.

These were the enlisted ranks during World War II.  I will give Army first, Navy second and Marines third.

7th Pay Grade:  Private / Apprentice Seaman /  Private

6th Pay Grade:  Private First Class / Seaman 2nd Class / Private First Class

5th Pay Grade:  Corporal /  Seaman First Class /  Corporal

4th Pay Grade  Sergeant / Coxswain / Sergeant

3rd Pay Grade:  Staff Sergeant / Boatswain's Mate Mate 2nd Class / Platoon Sergeant

2nd Pay Grade:  1st Sergeant-Technical Sergeant / Boatswain's Mate 1st Class / Gunnery Sergeant

1st Pay Grade:  Sergeant Major / Chief-Boatswain / Sergeant Major-Master Gunnery Sergeant

--GreGen

Military Pay 1940-1941-- Part 1: The Selective Training and Service Act

In the last post I mentioned that CCC members received $30 a month ($22 of it sent home) and when I wrote that, I got to wondering what new military personnel were paid at that time.  It amounted to the same thing.

From the NavyCyberSpace site.

On September 16, 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt approved the "Selective Training and Service Act of 1940" which consolidated base pay for all military personnel using the Navy/Coast Guard Model 1922.

This then applied to all active Army, Navy, Marine and Coast Guard enlisted men.

--GreGen

Looking Back: Join the CCC in 1940

From the September 9, 2015, MidWeek  (McHenry County, Illinois) MidWeek "Looking Back."

"If there are any young men in the county who can't get a job without experience and can't get experience without a job, the Civilian Conservation Corps may be the answer to their problems.

"The CCC offers healthful, outdoor employment with $30 a month pay, including maintenance (food, housing, medical and dental care) of which $22 goes to the assistance of the boy's family and $8 is used by him in camp.

U.S. Army soldiers were initially paid $30 a month 1940-1941 and essentially received the same benefits.

The CCC experience provided an excellent introduction to military service as it was run essentially as a military undertaking.  No doubt a lot of our servicemen in the war received their initial training in the Civilian Conservation Corps.

--GreGen

Monday, August 15, 2016

Death of Pearl Harbor Survivor Myron Carraway

From the Pensacola News-Journal "Carraway one of last Pearl Harbor survivors" by Troy Moon.

Myron "Jay" Carraway died August 11, 2016, at age 94.

He helped found local Pearl Harbor Survivors Association in 1976 when it had 64 members.  It is down to just three now.

At the attack, he was 19 and a signalman on the seaplane tender USS Hulbert.  He was in the forward crew compartment waiting for breakfast when they heard, "Man your stations!"  He thought it was a drill.  "We just yelled 'Get our breakfast down here.'  We don't drill on Sundays."

A nearby explosion rocked the ship and he rushed topside and manned an anti-aircraft gun.  Japanese planes flew by so close "that you could see the pilots' faces.  Bombs were dropping everywhere."

He served the rest of the war in the Pacific Theater.

We Lose Another One.  --GreGen

Friday, August 12, 2016

Shorpy Home Front Photos: Boxing Time

June 14, 2016, Shorpy  The Fistic Arts: 1943.  January 1943.  "The gymnasium is one of the busiest places at the Manhattan Beach Coast Guard training station.  The physical education program is handled by many noted exponents of boxing, wrestling, track and judo.

"Paul "Tiny" Wyatt, one-time leading contender for heavyweight boxing honors, is shown sparring with Herb Kroeten, former Golden Gloves champ."  Roger Smith, OWI.

Comment:  Herb was a civilian P.E. teacher at West Point for at least 20 years.  Seven of my fractures come from him.  He always used to say, "Okay, you guys, less dancin'. more hittin'!"

Shorpy Home Front Photos: A Need for More Nurses

You can see the photographs by typing in hand the name of the photo.

June 14, 2016, A Shot In the Arm: 1942.  November 1942.  "Nurse training at Babies' Hospital, New York.  Student nurses like Susan Petty of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, are rendering their country a great service by making it possible for experienced nurses to join the Army or Navy Nurse Corps.

"Relieved of such civilian duties as administering injections like this smiling youngster, graduate nurses are attending American fighting men in distant parts of the world."  Fritz Henle, OWI.

Comment:  Susan Petty graduated from Linden Hall, Northwestern University and Columbian Presbyterian School of Nursing and was the war photo icon for the national recruiting campaign for nurses during World War II.  She lived to be 94.

My comment:  Why was the youngster receiving the shot smiling.  Perhaps because the nurse was so pretty and young or perhaps the photo was staged and he really wasn't getting a shot.  I know I would not be smiling under any circumstances if I was getting a shot.

I Don't Care How Pretty She Was.  No Smiles for Shots Unless Alcohol.  GreGen

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Looking Back: Collecting the Aluminum for the Country's Defense

From the August 3, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1941, 75 years ago.

"Huge signs in black lettering on a white background were placed on the collection enclosure in the courtyard today in Sycamore, telling people that aluminum is needed for National Defense.  Meanwhile, before signs had been installed people began dumping aluminum pots and pans.

"Many were the jokes made by people who had not yet learned what the fenced enclosures were for.  Many people thought the Chamber of Commerce was about to sponsor another rooster day.  If someone were there to do some crowing might help, but roosters are not wanted.  It is aluminum that Uncle Sam needs to building planes with which to defend the nation."

--GreGen

Looking Back: Boy Scouts Aiding Aluminum Drive

From the August 3, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) Looking Back.

1941, 75 years ago.

"The Boy Scouts of DeKalb, members of the six troops in the city, will play  a major role in DeKalb's waste aluminum drive to be made this week.

"Every community in the nation will engage in a similar drive this week."

Preparing for War.  --GreGen


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Looking Back: Stop Using Those WWI Helmets As Flower Pots in 1941

From the July 27, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1941, 75 Years Ago.

"The Illinois Reserve Militia asked World War I veterans to stop using their old "tin hats" as flower pots and loan them to state guardsmen.  the appeal was issued through State Commander William F. Waugh of the American Legion, who said the government was too busy equipping the army to supply helmets for state guard units facing action in case of riots or disorders."

Even though the U.S. was not in the war, we sure were preparing for it.  It is of interest though there was talk of possible riots or disorders at home.  Was there that much anti-war sentiment?

--GreGen

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

What Happened at Hiroshima-- Part 5: I Agree That Obama Should Not Apologize

I know there are a lot of people who think the United States was horrible for dropping those bombs.  It certainly was a hard decision for President Truman to make, but like his sign said on his desk, "The Buck Stops Here."

As horrible as the damage was from the blasts as well as number of deaths, I figure it saved a lot more Japanese lives by convincing them not to continue fighting.  And, it also saved at least, by all estimates, 100,000 American casualties as I am sure the Japanese would have fought to the last man, woman and child.

A Hard Decision.  --GreGen

What Happened at Hiroshima-- Part 4: President Obama Visits But Won't Apologize

On May 27, President Obama visited, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima.  He will be accompanied by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.  Obama will lay a wreath at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial.

What the president will say is not known, but the White House has emphasized that he will not apologize for the United States' decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the closing days of the war.

The Chicago Tribune editorial where I got these posts  then said, "Nor should he."


Monday, August 8, 2016

What Happened at Hiroshima-- Part 3: The Aftermath

In the inferno that Hiroshima became, scorched, disfigured bodies lay everywhere.  Railroad ties caught fire.  Thousands died instantly.  By December 1945, the death toll reached 140,000, about 40 percent of the city's population.

In the years that followed, radiation took its toll: intestinal bleeding, stillbirths, cataracts, leukemia and other kinds of cancers.

Books on Hiroshima describe the hell that became the city.  A woman's charred body, frozern in a running pose. ho;ding tight her baby; bloated corpses floating down the Ota River; other bodies with the floral patterns from their kimonos burned into their skin.

All From Just One Bomb.  --GreGen


What Happened at Hiroshima-- Part 2: The Impact

Witness accounts run the gamut, but everyone remembers the blinding flash of light.  Schoolgirls saw it through their classroom windows moments before the ceiling crashed down on top of them.  Middle school student Michiko Yamaoka remembers "a very strong light, a flash," just as her face ballooned and her body flew into the air.

The Enola Gay's (the B-29 bomber that dropped the bomb) pilot, Col. Paul Tibbetts, remembers how "the bright light filled the plane ... the whole plane cracked and crinkled from the blast.  We turned back to look at Hiroshima.  The city was hidden by that awful cloud ... mushrooming, terrible and incredibly tall."

--GreGen

Friday, August 5, 2016

What Happened at Hiroshima-- Part 1: Not What Expected

From the May 26, 2016, Chicago Tribune, editorial.

This editorial appeared because of President Obama's visit to Hiroshima, Japan the next day.

"On August 6, 1945, Hiroshima was a city of 350,000 well-braced for U.S. bombing raids.  makeshift firelanes snaked through neighborhoods.  Locals built concrete tanks alongside houses and filled them with water-- to extinguish fires but also to leap into as a lifesaving refuge,

"That morning, two or three B-29 bombers were spotted--  but no one ran for shelters--  big bombing raids (the ones where you would take shelter) almost always meant a sky filled with attacking bombers.

Then, at 8:14 a.m., "Little Boy" fell from the  Enola Gay flying at 31,000 feet."

--GreGen

What's With "The LST Building" at Fort Knox?

From the October 2014 Naval History Magazine "A Strange Building's Important Purpose"  by Henry J. Rausch Jr, USN (retired).

He was visiting his son in the Army stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, a few years ago and saw that Fort Knox was just a few hours away, so visited.

While there he saw a sign that said "LST Building."  He was a former LSD crewman and knew that LST was a U.S. Navy ship classified as Landing Ship Tank, LST.  What would a ship be doing at a landlocked Army base?

This "LST Building" was not a real ship, but a full-scale model of a Navy LST which the Army built to train truck and tank drivers how to back into a real LST.  This way they would be facing out, the correct direction for beach landing offloading.

After All, You Don't Want to Back Into a Battle.  --GreGen

The Navy Saved Our Hides: Saving the USS Corry Survivors at D-Day

From the October 2014 Naval History Magazine "The Navy Saved Out Hides" by Thomas Chirillo.

The USS Butler (DD-636) was one of three destroyers that picked up survivors of the USS Butler (DD-463) when she quickly sank off Utah Beach on D-Day.  (Whether the ship was sunk by a mine, artillery, or both, is still not known.)

Even though the Corry was perilously close to the beach, the Butler's commander positioned his ship between the beach and the sinking ship; survivors were already in the water and being targeted by machine gunners ashore.

Action Above and Beyond in the Name of Comrades.  --GreGen

Thursday, August 4, 2016

This Date in 1944: Anne Frank Captured

August 4, 1944:  Nazi police raided the secret annex of a building in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and arrested eight people, including 15-year-old Anne Frank, whose diary became a famous account of the Holocaust.

She later died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

--GreGen

Coast Guard Cutter Alexander Hamilton, First U.S. Ship Sunk in the Atlantic After Pearl Harbor

From the Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society.

The Coast Guard Cutter Alexander Hamilton (WPG-34) was launched in 1937 and assigned to the U.S. Navy soon after Pearl Harbor.  Serving as an escort for a convoy heading to Iceland, it was torpedoed by the German submarine U-132 on January 29, 1942.

Twenty-six servicemen died in the attack.

The next day the ship capsized the next day, it was determined to be unsalvagable and sent to the bottom of the ocean.

It was also the U.S. Coast Guard's first ship lost in the war.

--GreGen

Anniversary of Sinking of Coast Guard Cutter Alexander Hamilton

From the January 29, 2016, ABC 4 News Charleston, S.C. "Cutter sunk in World War II being remembered in South Carolina" AP.

North Charleston, S.C.  Coast Guard personnel and historical societies gathered Friday afternoon when the Coast Guard Cutter Alexander Hamilton docked.

This was the anniversary of the day in 1942 when another cutter by the same name was torpedoed by a German submarine.

A plaque was dedicated with the names of the whole crew of that ship.  It is a replica of the plaque placed on the wreckage in the sea off Iceland three years ago.  The wreck was found in 2009.  There were 26 lives lost.

--GreGen

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Tennessee in World War II-- Part 7: Refugee Jews in Tennessee

Several hundred refugees, primarily Jews, voluntarily settled in Tennessee after escape from Hitler's anti-Semitic laws, intimidation and death camps.

Strict immigration laws required refugees to obtain American sponsors to insure that they did not become burdens on society.  Many of the Jews who settled in Tennessee found work at Jacob May's hosiery mill in Nashville.

--GreGen

Tennessee in World War II-- Part 6: Axis POWs

Camps Forrest, Tyson and Campbell also served as prisoner of war camps for German, Italian and Austrian POWs through 1946.  Prisoners were also held at Tellico Plains, Crossville, Memphis, Lawrenceburg and Nashville.

At Camp Forrest, which was the headquarters for several permanent and temporary POW camps in five southeastern states, approximately 68,000 prisoners were processed.

Prisoners in the camps worked at prison hospitals and area farms, cut pulpwood and drained malarial swamps.  Several POW groups produced their own German newspapers, performed plays, wrote poetry and often became the object of curious Tennesseeans.

Again, a Whole Lot better to be a German in an American Prison Than the Other Way Around.  --GreGen


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Richard Winstead Borden-- Part 8: Watch Out For That Falling AA Flack

Continued from July 27.

Things were settling down and it was time to set up "home."

"There was a wall standing where a fortified house was prior to D-Day.  Here we dug our slit trenches just at the base, about three and a half feet deep and long enough for two, for we slept in pairs.  2X4's and 2X6's leaned against the wall and made swell supports for sandbags and gave added protection.

"Understand that you don't build for protection from a direct hit, but from shrapnel and AA flack falling down, and there was plenty of this at night.

"After we settled in our 'home' things were about the same each day.  From the medical supplies picked up from the beach (we lost all of ours except our personal pouches) we set up a dispensary on the other side of the wall and worked as one, except every once in a while when someone got off a trail and hit a mine.

"Well, this is my story and I've said enough.  I am mighty proud to have worked with the bunch I did and believe I did my job well.  Take care of things at home and yourselves, for you are in my thoughts-- always.

"Your Loving Son, Dick."

Tennessee in World War II-- Part 5: The Tennessee Maneuvers

Over twenty counties in Middle Tennessee were utilized for the Tennessee Maneuvers in 1942, which were headquartered at Cumberland University in Lebanon and officially referred to as "somewhere in Tennessee."

Middle Tennessee was chosen for these war games because of its proximity to the railways and federal highways, and the similarity between its terrain and that of western Europe.

Red and Blue "armies" faced each other in training exercises.  More than 800,000 men and women participated in the Tennessee Maneuvers, which produced over $4 million in claims by individuals and municipalities for destruction of property by the opposing armies.

--Advanced Lazer Tag?  --GreGen

Montford Point Marines Honored With Memorial-- Part 2

Between 1942 and 1949, 20,000 black Marines received basic training at Montford Point in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

F.M. Hooper Junior said he remembered his father telling him about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and that's when he knew he wanted to serve his country as a Marine.

"Then, I saw the Battleship North Carolina, go up from scratch.  That's where I was raised in Brooklyn, NY.  I saw the Marines guarding the ship.  I said, OK.  I want to be a Marine."

President Truman gave the order to desegregate the military in 1948 and the Montford Marine Camp at Camp Lejeune was deactivated, ending seven years of segregated black training.

In 2012, the Montford Point Marines received the Congressional Gold Medal for their role in integrating the military and nation and their service.  This is the highest civilian award bestowed by Congress.

--GreGen

Monday, August 1, 2016

Tennessee in World War II-- Part 4: Training for War

Tennessee servicemen were inducted at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, in the early stages of the war and later at Camp Forrest in Tennessee.  Tennessee women who joined the Women's Army Corps, trained at Fort Oglethorpe throughout the war.  Women also joined the Navy WAVES, the Coast Guard SPARS, the Women Marines and the WASPS or Women's Airforce Service Pilots.

Hundreds of thousands of soldiers from all across the nation trained at Camp Forrest (an induction and infantry training center), Camp Campbell (an armor training facility), and Camp Tyson (a barrage balloon center near Paris, Tn.).

Pilots trained at several small airports throughout the state.  Major bases for training pilots were at Smyrna and near Dyersburg.  An air ferry command was located at Memphis.  Millington Naval Base in Shelby County was the country's largest inland naval base.

--GreGen