Friday, June 23, 2017

Young Pearl Vet Shares Memories-- Part 2: Was 7 At the Time

he spent the rest of the attack in the house.  In the hours after the attack, civilians were evacuated to pineapple and sugar fields in the center of Oahu where they stayed for three to four days as a Japanese attack was still feared.

Tom Marname remembers it was "great fun" because they didn't have school.  When they returned home there were foxholes everywhere as well as drills at Wheeler.

He went o a tour of Pearl Harbor and saw the burning battleships.

The family boarded a ship bound for San Francisco's Fort Mason on Christmas Day and they then moved to Oregon for the duration of the war while his father remained at Oahu.

Later, he became a career naval officer and retired as commander of the Pearl Harbor Shipyard (which wasn't bombed) in 1980 for his final posting.

A Different Viewpoint of the Attack.  --GreGen

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Young Pearl Veteran Shares Memories-- Part 1: Was a Child At Wheeler Field

From the February 10, 2016, Lamorinda Weekly by Cathy Dausman.

Tom Marnane is a Pearl harbor survivor and that day was waiting for a bus at Oahu's Wheeler Army Airfield.  He and his friends were strafed, but all survived.  The thing was, he wasn't in the Army and was only seven at the time.

No one had an idea what was going on at the time.  His father was a U.S. Army captain and his family lived on the base.

He said the attack "was fast in and out.  There were always airplanes around."  He also remembers seeing the Rising Sun on the fuselages of the attacking planes and noted a "line of planes" flying in formation.  He and his friends ran to collect spent cartridges until his father dragged him back into the house.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Facts About Sugar Rationing Stamps

From the May 17, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"The ration periods for the first four sugar rationing stamps were announced this morning by the DeKalb Rationing Board.

"The stamps will be honored by any dealer throughout the country but each stamp must be used during the designated period or it will be worthless."

In Other Words, Use 'Em Or Lose 'Em.  --GreGen

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Incendiary Bombs Sent to DeKalb in 1942

From the May 17, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

Incendiary bombs have been received in DeKalb to be used in demonstrations in the various classes of training in the Civilian Defense Council work.

"It is expected that there will be a demonstration for the auxiliary policemen this evening, if the weather permits and there will also be one for the air wardens on Friday night."

Big Boom, Big Fire.  --GreGen

Monday, June 19, 2017

USS Nevada Reunion in 2016-- Part 4: Ship Survived Atomic Blasts

The USS Nevada was the Navy's first battleship with triple turrets. and an oil-fired steam plant.

Les Pullman, 91, of Menasha, Wisconsin, boarded the Nevada in late 1942.  He was also a 5-inch gun pointer and also remembered the 80 straight hours they had at Normandy.

Ansel Tupper, 83, of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, served in the ship's navigation office 1945-1947.  He remembers it surviving two atom bomb blasts at Operation Crossroads in 1946 off Bikini Atoll, but said the ship "wasn't painted red, it was painted orange" at the tests.  It survived a test from above and one from below.

His ship was contaminated with radiation from the blasts and decommissioned, but later served as a target ship before being sunk by a torpedo about 65 miles southwest of Oahu in 1948.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Handful of USS Nevada Crew Attend Reunion in 2016-- Part 3

After D-Day, its 14-inch cannons were refitted with some of the guns recovered from the USS Arizona and Oklahoma before it sailed to the Pacific and Iwo Jima.  It was attacked by kamikazes off Okinawa which killed 19.

Dick Ramsey of Port St. Lucie, Florida was 19 at Iwo Jima and remembers Marines of the USS Nevada volunteering to go ashore and some were killed in a kamikaze attack.  He remembers carrying one of the bodies from sick bay to where it was to be buried.

Cliff Banks, 90, of Dickinson, Texas, was a 5-inch gun pointer and served on the Nevada from November 1942 until December 1945.  At age 18 he was on board for the shelling of the Normandy coast,  "We spent 80 hours of shooting.  I never was so hungry in my life.  They sent us down a can of peaches to split among 13 people."


Friday, June 16, 2017

Handful Attend USS Nevada Reunion in 2016-- Part 2

At Pearl Harbor that day, the battleship USS Nevada was hit by six bombs and a torpedo.  Fifty-seven were killed and 109 wounded.

It was the only vessel on Battleship Row to get underway.

After temporary repairs at Pearl Harbor it sailed to Pugent Sound, Washington for more repairs and a major overhaul to modernize it.

Returning to service, it participated in the Battle of Attu in the Aleutian Islands  After that the Nevada led the offshore firepower in Operation Neptune against Utah Beach on D-Day and is credited for knocking out 90 German tanks and 15 trucks.


Handful Attend USS Nevada Reunion in 2016-- Part 1

From the February 8, 2016, Las Vegas Journal  "Handful of USS Nevada shipmates reunite in Las Vegas."

They saw a 35-minute film by Chuck Pride of Henderson, Nevada, who was formerly in the Army.  The film covered the ship's whole history, including a short service in World War I.

They viewed it to get a better idea of the overall action on their ship on Dec. 7, 1941.  Bryon McGinty, 90, said, "We were aboard the ship at the time, but you don't know what's really going on.  You're in your own little compartment... and you're concentrating on performing your duty.  You don't really understand a lot about what's going on outside."

Only five crew members of that day attended the reunion.  Overall, they believe only about a dozen are still alive.

That day, the crew's average age was 19 1/2.  Today, much older than that.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Remains of USS Oklahoma Sailor Come Home

October 12, 2016, Danbury News Times "Remains of sailor killed at Pearl Harbor returning home" by Michael Casey, AP.

Navy Fireman 3rd Class Edwin Hopkins of Keene, New Hampshire was one of 429 who died on the USS Oklahoma that day.  He was just 19 years old.

His remains arrived Thursday in Boston and then he was flown to Dillant-Hopkins Airport in Keene (named in his honor)  Visitation will be Friday and he will be buried Saturday at Woodland Cemetery in Keene, next to his parents Frank Hopkins Sr. and Alice Hopkins.

He was one of the 388 USS Oklahoma sailors whose remains were disinterred in 2015.  So far about 30 have been identified.

Another one, Navy Seaman 2nd Class James M. Phipps of Ranier, Oregon, also has been identified and will be buried October 17 in Portland, Oregon.

Edwin Hopkins quit high school to join the military to learn a trade.  He served on the Oklahoma with his brother Frank, who survived the attack but was also aboard the USS Hornet and USS Princeton later in the war.  Both of these ships were also sunk by the Japanese.

Edwin was from Swanzey, not Keene.

So Great They Are Identifying Them.  --GreGen

Shorpy Home Front Photos: "Weld Noir" and "Fate's Fickle Finger"

NOVEMBER 18, 2014  "Weld Noir: 1943"  May 1943.  "Bethlehem -Fairfield Shipyard, Baltimore, Maryland.  Liberty Ship construction.  Welding on a hatch assembly at night."  Arthur Siegel, OWI.

American war industry goes mass production to destroy the Axis.  Work continued around the clock.

NOVEMBER 13, 2014   "Fate's Fickle Finger"  New York: 1944.Pawnbroker and prospective customer.  Tony Lick.

JANUARY 7, 2015

JANUARY 4, 2015--  "You  Like It: 1942.  August 1942.  "Bike rack in Idaho Falls, Idaho.  Russell Lee, OWI.  There is Seven-Up advertising on the bike rack.  Bicycling increased so much because of gas rationing.

Don't Drive It... Bike It.  --GreGen

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The World War II Flag on Flag Day

This being Flag Day and all, you'd be flying a 48-star flag which was the one in the United States during World War II.

Alaska and Hawaii had not yet become states, though both played roles  in the war and were the scene of fighting between the Japanese and Americans.

Unfortunately, I don't have a 48-star flag or I'd be flying it.


Shorpy Home Front Photos: Warship of the Air: 1942

From the Shorpy site.

NOVEMBER 23, 2014.  "Warship of the Air: 1942."

December 1942.  "Production B-17 heavy bombers.  The four mighty engines of a new B-17F (Flying Fortress) bomber warm up at the airfield of Boeing's Seattle plant as another warship of the air awaits its test flight.

"The Flying fortress has performed with great credit in the South pacific, over Germany and elsewhere.  It is a four engine heavy bomber capable of flying at high altitudes."

Andreas Feininger, OWI.

Bombs Away!  -GreGen

More War Industry in DeKalb, Illinois

From the March 8, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"A portion of the building, long known as the "red shop" when occupied by the  American Steel Company in DeKalb is to have a new defense industry.

"The assembly of tank tracks is to take place there, a project under the direction of the Northern Illinois Finance Corporation headed by T.E. Courtney.  Space in the building, in the year of that used by the Fourth Street Motors, will be used."


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Petroleum Administration for Defense Districts-- Part 2

TThe five Petroleum Administration for Defense Districts (PADD):

PADD 1--  East Coast
Divided into Subdistricts:

A.  New England
B.  Central Atlantic ( New York to Washington, D.C.
C.  Lower Atlantic  (Virginia to Florida)

PADD II--  Midwest

PADD III-  Gulf Coast

PADD IV--  Rocky Mountains

PADD V--  West Coast


Petroleum Administration for Defense Districts-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

During the war, the United States was divided into five Petroleum Administration for defense Districts (PADDs).  These districts were set up to help the Petroleum Administration for War (PAW)  organize the allocation of fuels including petroleum and diesel.

These districts are still used today for data purposes.

PAW was established in 1942 by Executive Order and abolished in 1946.

The districts are now named for the later Petroleum Administration for Defense which existed during the Korean War and was established by the Defense Production Act of 1950 and abolished in 1954 when it was taken over by the United States Department of Interior's Oil and Gas Division.


Monday, June 12, 2017

Garments For War Relief Made in DeKalb

From the March 8, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Employees of the Joseph Brody Garment Company, located in the Clark Building in DeKalb, worked all day Saturday for the Red Cross.

"Employees of the firm, members of Local 189 of the International Lady Garment Workers Union, produced garments that will be used directly for war relief."

I imagine they were donating their time.


Chairman of "Victory Garden" Campaign Appointed

From the March 8, 2017, MidWeek   (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

Mayor Frank E, Ashelford has appointed R.W. Terrell of the Sycamore High School agricultural department as chairman of the "Victory Garden" campaign here.

"It will be Mr. Terrell's duty to form a committee or similar organization that will take the lead in urging citizens to raise food."

Food For the Wart Effort.  --Cooter

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Cookies for Camp Grant

From the May 10, 2017, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1942, 75 ears Ago.

"A total of 121 dozen cookies were contributed by members of the Waterman Women's Club and women of this community to the cookie jar at Camp Grant (military base near Rockford, Illinois).

"Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Pogue took the cookies to Shabbona where they were added to those given by the Shabbona Women's clubs and all were taken to Camp grant."

Where I Am Sure They Found Someone Willing To Eat Them.  --GreGen

More War Industry in Sycamore, Illinois

From the May 10, 2017, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"The Elmer Little building on South Maple Street in Sycamore did not remain empty long.  After the garage business quietly drifted into the void it was empty until yesterday.  Workmen began on Monday to prepare it for part of the Anaconda Wire and Cable Company works.

Because the south plant of the Sycamore Anaconda is to be converted to a war industry it has become necessary to vacate much of the machinery.  The south plant houses the die making department for the wire industry here.

It is that department that is about to move into the Elmer Little building located a half block south of State Street."


Friday, June 9, 2017

Registering for Ration Books in 1941: Even If You Don't Use Sugar

From the May 10, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1941, 75 Years Ago

"  Millions of Americans began registering today for their first ration books.

"the books will be used in the sugar rationing program which starts tomorrow.  They must be used later for other products.

"Thus, even those people who have no use for sugar are urged to register."


DeKalb County (Il.) Deaths-- Part 9: Freeman to Hemenway

Freeman Kenneth L.--  PVT--   KIA

Friestead, Howard D.--  S SG--   FOD

Furtta, Walter--  SGT--   FOD

Ginder, Walter--  SGT--  FOD

Gauer, Ferdinand E.--  PFC-   KIA

Hammersmith, O.B. Jr.--  2LT--  FOD

Harris, George G.--  PFC--   KIA

Harris, George W.--  PFC--  KIA

Hemenway, Marsh W.--  2LT--   DNB


Thursday, June 8, 2017

DeKalb County, Illinois, Deaths-- Part 8: Davis to Franklin

Davis, Arlie--  PFC--  DOW

Delgadillo, Richard--  PVT--  KIA

Dobson, James L.--  PVT--  KIA

Donnelley, John M.--  PVT--  KIA

Drake, Charles A.--  PFC--  DOW

Dunkelberger, S.L.--  PFC--  KIA

Fishtmaster, Robert F.--  PFC--  DNB

Finney, Curtiss W. Jr.--  2 LT--  KIA

Franklin, John L.--  PFC--  KIA


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Finding Pearl Harbor Scapegoats in 1942

From the March 8, 2017, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel and Major General Walter C. Short, who were commanding officers at Pearl Harbor, December 7, were ordered to stand trial by court martial.

"They were tried on charges of dereliction of duty as alleged by the report of the Roberts Commission which investigated reasons for the success of the surprise Japanese attack on Hawaii which started the war."


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Seventy-Three Years Ago Today

Seventy-three years ago, British, Canadian and American forces came ashore in Normandy, France, in what is known as D-Day.

That was quite an undertaking and led to the liberation of France and eventual end of the war.

June 6,1944.  --GreGen

Monday, June 5, 2017

DeKalb County, Illinois, Deaths-- Part 7: Cahill to Cullen

Cahill, Joseph E..--  CPL--  DNB

Carlson, Norman D.--  1 LT--  KIA

Carney, Albert J.--  Tec 5--   KIA (Technician 5th)

Coleman, Lee A.--  PFC--   KIA

Cook, Harold C.--  2 LR--  FOD

Coppess, Ivan M.--  S SG--   DNB

Cortright, John M. Jr.--  2 LT--   FOD

Cullen, Lawrence P.--  PFC--  KIA


Friday, June 2, 2017

DeKalb County War Deaths-- Part 6: Bickford to Byron

Bickford, Robert R.--  CPL--   DNB

Biederman, George E.--  2 LT--   KIA

Broughton, Russell M.-- PVT--  KIA

Brunke, Herman F.--  PVT--   KIA

Burkart, Ervin T.--  1 LT--   KIA

Burton, Howard J.--  PVT--  KIA

Byro, Ardith E.--  PFC--  KIA

Byron, John B.--   2 LT--   FOD


Thursday, June 1, 2017

DeKalb County World War II Deaths-- Part 5: Some More on FODs

From the With Military Honors site "World War II Casualty Codes."

FOD--  Finding of Death, in the absence of a recovered body, soldiers that were determined to be dead under Public Law 490.

Made in cases, after at least one year from time of disappearance, when there were either conclusive proof that the person is dead or equally overwhelming evidence that the person could not have remained alive."


DeKalb County World War II Deaths-- Part 4: FOD

I did have to look up FOD as a cause of death.

I figured this probably referred to those missing in action, or MIAs as we call them today.

The FOD, according to the Genealogy Trail article stood for Finding of Death.  But it went on to say Under Public Law 490.

I lookd up FOD and found it stands for absence of recovered body at least a year after disappearance or Evidence that he could not have been alive.


DeKalb County (Ill.) World War II Deaths-- Part 3: Anderson to Bemis

From Geneaology Trail.

The Lund family was fortunate in that none of their sons were killed in the war.  But others were not so lucky.

Here is a list of the ones who made the Supreme Sacrifice for their Country.  Rank and cause of death follow the name.  See the first blog entry in this series for cause of death initials:

Anderson, Franklin J.--  1 LT--   FOD

Anthenat, La Vern A--  Tec 5--    KIA

Baie, Wendell M.--  AV C--   DNB

Baird, William R.--  1 LT--  KIA

Bastion, James S.--  1 LT--  KIA

Bemis, Henry M.--  PVT--   FOD


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

DeKalb County World War II Deaths-- Part 2: Did the Lund Boys Come Home?

Back on May 1, I wrote about a family in DeKalb, Illinois, who had three sons either in the service or about to enter it back in February 1942.  there was also a fourth son who was a year away from going in, and no doubt would have.

They were the Samuel Lund family.

I went to Geneaology Trails and found a list of the DeKalb County men who had died in World War II.  It was a long list.

There was no one by the last name Lund listed.

So, they must have all come home.

No Saving Private Ryan Here.  --GreGen

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

DeKalb County, Illinois, World War II Deaths-- Part 1

I am continuing my Salute to the Veterans for Memorial Day 2017.

Actually, this whole blog is a salute to veterans and especially those of World War II.

Back on May 1st, I wrote about a DeKalb, Illinois, family having one son already in the Army in February 1942.  In addition, they had another son about to enter the Navy and a third one set to go to the Marines.  There was even a fourth son who was a year too young to join the military, but no doubt would follow his brothers.

I'll let you know the family name and if they all came back or not tomorrow.

I got to wondering if any of them did not come home so looked up DeKalb County's World War II casualties.  I will be writing the names of the men who died over the next week.

From Geneaology Trails.

These are the abbreviations for how they died.

KIA--  Killed In Action
DOW--  Died of Wounds
DOI--  Died of Injuries
DNB--  Died Non-Battle
FOD--  Finding of Death Under Public Law 490
M-  Missing


Monday, May 29, 2017

World War II Memorial Day 2017: Ambrose W. Klaus

I am honoring our military in every one of my seven blogs today, Memorial Day 2017.

Ambrose W. Klaus was in the U.S. Army in World War II in ordnance.  He rose to be a major.

He was my father-in-law.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Looking Back to 1942: Bicycles Becoming Very Popular

From the March 8, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Bicycles have come into their own again in DeKalb.  The bicycle is again becoming a common medium of transportation, harking back to the days 30 or so years ago, when the bicycle was the favorite means of getting to and from work and to and from school.

"At the DeKalb plant of the California Packing Company a dozen or more of the office staff and others now employed are using bicycles and several have placed orders for bicycles."

Impact of Gas Rationing and Lack of Tires.  --GreGen

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Making Model Planes for the War Effort at DeKalb High School

From the February 15, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Students of the DeKalb Township High School, working under the general direction of Edward Lindgren, member of the faculty, head of the Industrial Arts Department, have set up an organization and started actual construction work on 100 model airplanes that have been requested by the government.

"The models will be taken to training centers of the nation's armed forces and because they are in exact scale they will prove valuable in being used for identification of various types of planes."

You've Got To Know Friend From Foe.  --GreGen

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Red Cross Sewing Center in DeKalb

From the February 15, 2017, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"The Red Cross sewing center located in the Ellwood School in DeKalb will be open on Thursday afternoon only.

"The sewing center located on the second floor of the Chronicle building is open every afternoon."

Sewing for the Boys.  --GreGen

Looking Back to 1942: Sugar Rationing Books Begin

From the February15, 2017,  MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"County Clerk Earle W. Joiner today received 41,000 applications for sugar war ration books.

"Although exact instructions have not been received, it is the understanding of the county clerk that the applications received today will be placed in the hands of a school teacher, who will have charge of compiling the information which will be secured through the blanks.  The blank is an application for a sugar rationing book it is understood."

This information is compiled at the Joiner Library in Sycamore.  Was this named after Earle W. Joiner?

A Sweet Job, But, In Addition To Grading Papers, Etc..  --GreGen

Monday, May 22, 2017

Looking Back to 1942: The Ben Franklin Store's Patriotic Window in Sycamore

From the March 1, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

"Another 'Victory' store window display is receiving attention these days in Sycamore.  The Ben Franklin store has an eyeball of red, white and blue for all passersby.  The entire window is ablaze with the national colors.

"Flags and a display of candy comprise the exhibit.  It is impressive with patriotism rather than commercial appeal.  It is part of the Sycamore retail effort in selling war bonds and stamps."

Getting Our Patriotism On.  --GreGen

Friday, May 19, 2017

The USS Bayfield (APA-33)-- Part 2: At D-Day

The Bayfield was 492 feet long, had a beam of 69.6 feet and regular complement of 51 officers and 524 enlisted.  As a transport, it could carry 80 officers and 1,146 troops.  It was capable of 18 knots and mounted two 5-inch guns and an assortment of anti-aircraft guns.

After commissioning, it carried troops to the British Isles for the D-Day invasion (and Yogi Berra as well).  At D-day, Berra was a gunner's mate, but not on the Bayfield, but a much smaller rocket ship.  After disembarking its troops, the Bayfield supplied firepower and later operated in the area for a while before taking part in operations on the southern coast of France.


The USS Bayfield (APA-33)-- Part 1: Served in Three Wars

From Wikipedia.

Yogi Berra served aboard this vessel during World War II.

A Bayfield-class attack transport named for Bayfield, Wisconsin.  This ship participated in three wars and atomic testing.  And, as I wrote about earlier in the week, was the ship that famous New York Yankee catcher Yogi Berra served on during World War II.  (Evidently not the Coast Guard ship Buckley as reported in the article.  I could not find any mention of a Coast Guard ship of that name.)

It was commissioned 20 November 1943 and decommissioned 28 June 1968.

It received four Battle Stars in World War II, four in the Korean War and two in the Vietnam War.

The Bayfield was scrapped in September 1969.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Bits of War: Winston Churchill's Secret Bunkers and Quonset Huts

**  From the March 9, 2017, Express (U.K.)  "Winston Churchill's SECRET bunkers hidden all over Britain in THESE classified locations.

There was, of course, a serious threat of German invasion in the early 1940s.  There were over 600 secret bunkers spread out over the British landscape.  It was planned to have specially-trained groups of soldiers conduct guerrilla type operations out of them.

**  From the February 17, 2016, Wilmington (NC) Biz  "Proposed Mixed-Use Project Includes Historic Wilmington Structure."

A quonset hut in Wilmington, constructed after World War II is on the path of preservation.  The U.S. Navy used quonset huts a lot during World War II because they were light and easy to build.

Quonset huts were named after Quinset Pointe, a peninsula and former site of a Rhode Island Navy base where they were first made.

--Quon me.  --GreGen

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Yogi At War-- Part 4: First to Receive the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award

When the team behind the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award began preparations for their first awards in 2013, it was an easy decision in Yogi Berra's case.  Said founder Peter Fertig:  We all agreed -- that was the one thing that the board all agreed to -- that Yogi  should have been first, and he was."

Berra received the honor, named for another Hall of Famer noted for his wartime naval service, pitcher Bob Feller.  Berra received the award at his museum in Montclair, New Jersey.  He was also honored there last June on  the 70th anniversary of D-Day for his service that day.

"He was a humble person, "Fertig said pf Berra.  "He was a warm, caring human being who served at a very delicate time in our nation's history.  And he was an instrumental part of it, being at D-Day."

Quite the Amazing Person, Even If he Was a New York Yankee.  --GreGen (White Sox Fan)

Yogi At War-- Part 3: Very Impressive Baseball Stats

Yogi Berra played that major league team and did well, but he was still an unknown., but that was not for long.

He was in the majors with the Yankees at the tail end of the 1946 season and earned his first of ten World Series rings as a Yankee player in 1947 and was voted into his first All-Star game in 1948.

From Wikipedia.

Born 1925  Died September 22, 2015, age 90.

Lifetime Stats:

.285 batting average
358 home runs
1,430 RBIs

18-times All-Star
13 World Series Championships (some as a manager or coach)
3 times AL MVP:  1951, 1954, 1955.

Not Bad for a Swabbie.  --GreGen

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Yogi At War-- Part 2: On Rocket Ship at D-Day

Yogi Berra spent D-Day on a 36-foot long boat just off the Normandy coast that lobbed rockets inland in support of the troops on the beaches.

He remembered getting in some trouble then:  "I kept coming up top to look around, and they kept telling me to get back down there or I'd get hit.  I just wanted to see what was going on.  I liked it more up there!"

Yogi also served in North Africa and Italy before eventually returning to the States to Groton, Connecticut where he joined the submarine base's baseball team; when the club played against the Major League New York Giants.  In that game, Yogi, a Yankee minor-leaguer, went 3-for-4.


Monday, May 15, 2017

Yogi At War-- Part 1: Almost Went With the Army

From the October 12, 2015, Navy Times "Yogi at war: Before pinstripes, Berra donned Navy blue" by Kevin Lilley.

Many consider Yogi Berra as the greatest catcher in history, but in 1943, he first year in pro baseball, he hit .253 with a midlevel minor league baseball team.  But, like many other professional sports figures of the time, Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra joined the military.

Yogi Berra died September 22, 2015, at age 90.

But, before getting to the majors, he left the diamond to serve in the Navy during World War II.  He remembered:  "I almost joined the Army after I had enlisted in the Navy.  The Army would have allowed me to spend a couple weeks back home before I shipped out.  But, off I went to the Navy."

He headed to Europe aboard the Buckley, a Coast Guard attack transport.  Both his ship and Berra had been pressed into Navy service for the Allied invasion of German-occupied France.

There is some confusion here as I can find no mention of a Coast Guard ship named the Buckley, but several sources have Berra serving on the USS Bayfield, an attack transport.

--More to Come.  --GreGen

Bits of War: More Pearl Harbor Deaths-- Daniel S. Schroeder and Bud Christopherson

Always sad as the Greatest Generation continues to pass away.

**  Jan. 31, 2017, Reading Eagle  "Man believed to be Berks County's last Pearl Harbor survivor passes away."

Daniel S. Schroeder, 96, of Wernersville.  Former U.S. Navy captain  he was 21 years old on the USS Ash and had been guest of honor of the 75th anniversary commemoration back in December.

**  Jan. 30, 2017, Statesman Journal

Alvin "Bud" Christopherson 1925-2017.  Memorial service held Jan. 23, 2017 in Portland.  Pearl harbor survivor at Schofield Barracks.  Earned a Bronze Star that day.


Friday, May 12, 2017

Bits of War: Deaths-- Bob Adler (Served on USS West Virginia) and Ken Hartle (Pearl Harbor Survivor)

**  Jan. 17, 2017, Lake County (Wisconsin) Now:  Robert "Bob" Andler, 96.  Born April 30, 1926 in Chicago.  Died Jan. 8, 2017.  In World War II served on the USS West Virginia from March 1944 to May 1946.

**  January 30, 2017 Times of San Diego "Navy Diver  Retrieved Bodies From Pearl Harbor, Dies in Escondido at age 103" by Tom McAllister.

Ken Hartle died January 24.  He may have been the oldest remaining Pearl Harbor salvage diver.

He wouldn't talk about recovering bodies at Pearl Harbor, but did speak of towing unexploded torpedoes and salvaging ships.


Death of Clare Hollingworth, Reporter Who Broke News of World War II

From the January 10, 2017, New York Times by Margalit Fox.

Clare Hollingworth died January 10, 2017, at age 105.

Less than a week after first getting a job with the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph in 1939, she was driving alone from Gleiwitz, then in Germany, to Katowice in Poland, a distance of less than twenty miles.

She happened to be looking when wind lifted a piece of tarpaulin the German side of the road which was being used to screen the village below.  She saw "large numbers of troops, literally hundreds of tanks, armored cars and field guns."

She knew at that moment that the Germans were getting ready to attack Poland and telephoned her editor on August 28, 1939.  Her article was published the next day by the British newspaper The Guardian.

This was probably the greatest scoop of modern times.  Hitler invaded Poland on September 1, 1939 and war began.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Shorpy Home Front Photos: She Sells Celery and Game Night

January 15, 2017--  SHE SELLS CELERY: 1942--  November 1942"  Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  "Mennonite farm woman at her stall in the Central Market."  Marjory Collins, OWI  She is standing under a sign for Millers Celery.

January 14, 2017--  GAME NIGHT: 1942--  October 1942.   "New York.  Dr. and Mrs. Winn with daughters Janet and Marie, a Czech-American family, playing Chinese checkers while the grandmother knits."  Marjory Collins, OWI

Comment:  John A. Winn, his wife Hanna and daughters came to the U.S. from Czechoslovakia in 1939.  he became a well-known psychiatrist and died in 1983.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Looking Back to 1942: The Knit-A-Bit Club

From the February 1, 2017, MidWeek (Dekalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1942. 75 Years Ago.

"Members of the Knit-A-Bit club have established an enviable record in knitting for Red Cross needs.  At the present time every member of the club has completed at least one sweater and Mrs. John McClenahan leads the membership with thirteen completed and turned in."

Sewing for the Military and Red Cross.  --GreGen

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

DeKalb County, Illinois, At War: Books for the Boys

From the February 1, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Books, over 2,500 of them, were collected in a drive sponsored by the friends of the Library, in order to provide reading matter for the boys in army camps and naval training stations throughout the country."


Shorpy Home Front Photos: TVA and Coal

JANUARY 23, 2017--  Turn, Turn Turn: 1942--  June 1942.  "Tennessee Valley Authority power and conservation.  Fort Loudoun Dam construction.  Workman opening valve on a new pipeline of Fort Loudoun Dam, farthest upstream of the TVS's main Tennessee River projects.

"Scheduled for closure and first storage of water early in 1943, this dam will create a 15,000 acre lake reaching 55 miles upstream of Knoxville..  This reservoir will have a useful storage capacity of 126,000 acre-feet.  Power installation of 64,000 kilowatts is authorized, with a possible ultimate of 96.000 kilowatts."  Alfred Palmer, OWI.

JANUARY 16, 2017--  Big John: 1942--  November 1942:  "Pittsburgh (vicinity).  Montour No. 4 mine of the Pittsburgh Cone Company.  Coal miner waiting to go underground."  John Collier, OWI.  The miner is a black man.  Everyone doing their part for the war effort.

What Made America Powerful.  --GreGen

Monday, May 8, 2017

155-mm Long Tom Cannons

From Wikipedia.

The gunmount in the last two entries was designed to hold a 155-mm cannon.  These cannons were used in World War II and the Korean War and fired 100-pound shells with a maximum range of 13.7 miles.

They were a military field gun developed by the United States and classified as secondary armament in coastal defense.

One can be seen at Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, Alabama, by the USS Alabama.

There are also ten others on display around the country.


Saturday, May 6, 2017

WWII Gun Mount Uncovered By Hurricane Matthew-- Part 2: Battle of the Atlantic

During World War II, Charleston was protected by big guns at Fort Sumter and Batteries Jasper and Thompson on Sullivan's Island.  These were built around the turn of the 20th century as part of the Endicott System.

These defensive fortifications were designed for use against smaller warships, but not battleships.  Late in the war, a new battery was built on the Marshall Reservation which mounted two 12-inch guns.  The guns were still around between Stations 30 and 31.

A warship attack by Germany never took place, but U-boats came to be a big problem.

During September 1942, the U-455 laid a dozen underwater mines at the entrance of Charleston Harbor, but a minesweeper detected them and cleared them away before any harm was done.


Friday, May 5, 2017

World War II Gun Mount Uncovered By Hurricane Matthew-- Part 1

From the March 7, 2017, Moultrie (South Carolina) News "World War II gun mount uncovered by Hurricane Matthew-- Relic tells the story of a country at war" by Jack Matthew.

At the western end of Sullivan's Island (Charleston, S.C.) much of the beach was washed away by Hurricane Matthew and this revealed one of the four Panama mounts installed in 1942 in a sub-post of Fort Moultrie known as the Marshall Reservation.

The concrete mounts were fitted for 155-mm field artillery cannons nearly 20-feet long which could fire a shell up to ten miles..  This was added for Charleston's defense which was considered a target because of the shipyard which built destroyer escorts.

Two of the guns were later moved to Folly Beach and the last two were removed later when threat of an attack diminished.  The mounts remained, but were buried.


Ten Reasons the German People Elected Adolf Hitler-- Part 2: The Enabling Act

5.  Widespread hatred of the Jews.

4.   The Stock Market crash of 1929.

3.  The Social Democrats skirted the democratic process.

2.  The Reichstag Fire

1.  The Enabling Act.  Nazis could enact any law without running it through parliament.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Ten Reasons the German People Elected Adolf Hitler-- Part 1

From the February 21, 2017, Listverse by Mark Oliver.

Of course, the site has more information and pictures.  I'm just listing.

10.  The War Guilt Clause

9.  The French occupation of the Ruhr

8.  Hyperinflation

7.  The rise of German Communism

6.  The Barmat Scandal


World War II Deaths in 2017-- Part 3: Saved JFK and Survived Bataan Death March


World War II Navy officer who guided his warship into Japanese territory to rescue future President John F. Kennedy and his crew after their PT boat was sunk by a Japanese destroyer in the South Pacific and they swam to a small island.

Died February 24, 2017.


Chicago native and Army tank commander who survived one of World War II's signature horrors, the Bataan Death March.  he wrote a memoir titles "My Hitch in Hell."

He spent his later years pushing Japanese authorities to apologize for their country's atrocities.

Died February 24, 2017, in California.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

World War II Deaths in 2017-- Part 2: Richard Lyon-- Navy SEALS

Born July 14, 1923  Died February 3, 2017.

Age 93.

Retired rear admiral and first Navy SEAL team reservist to become a flag officer who was also a founding trustee of Children's Hospital in Orange County, California, and had been selected to the U.S, Olympic swim team for the 1940 Games in Tokyo, which was canceled because of World War II.

He was commissioned into the Navy out of college in October 1944 and served as U.S. Navy Scout and Raider in the Pacific Theater during World War II.  He was also in China as an intelligence officer.


World War Deaths in 2017-- Part 1: Doris Lockness

These are just some of the many deaths of our Greatest Generation during February and March 2017.

From the February 12, 2017, Chicago Tribune "Deaths in the News."


Age 106.  Pioneering aviator who collected numerous honors during her flying years, which included a stint with the Women Airforce Service Pilots in World War II and who earned a commercial helicopter rating and licenses to fly seaplanes, gyroplanes, hot air balloons and gliders.

She was a member of the Women in Aviation Hall of Fame and the Smithsonian Institute of Aviation and is listed as one of the 100 most influentual women in aviation by Women in Aviation International, in Folsom, California.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Making Model Airplanes At the High School for the War Effort

From the March 1, 2017, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Students of the DeKalb Township High School will start immediate production on model airplanes for the use of the army and navy.  The production of the model planes, at least a hundred of them, will be rushed in conforming to the needs of the nation's armed forces.

"These planes are to be exact models of the planes used by the United States, Germany, Japan and Italy, and will be used by the U.S. Navy Bureau of Aeronautics in training air and ground personnel."

You Need to Know What They Look Like.  --GreGen

Looking Back to the War: Persons Taking Advantage of the Situation

From the March 1, 2017, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Housewives were today warned not to make any purchases of toilet articles from persons who announce they represent the Red Cross and intimate that profits from the sale of the article will go to the Red cross.

"There have been two imposters working in DeKalb."

Bad-Hearted People.  --GreGen

Monday, May 1, 2017

Sewing Sweaters for the Soldiers

From the March 1, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Announcement was made by the office of the DeKalb Chapter of the American Red Cross this morning that it had received a new supply of khaki colored yarn.  This yarn is to be used in the knitting of v-neck, sleeveless type of sweaters being worn by soldiers.

"The yarn will be available at the sewing center located on the second floor of the Chronicle building and will be given out to those who will come to the center for the material."


Victory Gardens in DeKalb County

From the February 22, 2017, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Every citizen, old or young, who is not engaged in military service or the emergency services of civilian defense now has the opportunity to do his bit through the statewide victory garden and food supply program, it is pointed out by Farm Adviser Roy Johnson and Home Adviser Helen Johnson."


DeKalb Family Giving Its All to War Effort

From the February 22, 2017 MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Samuel Lund of DeKalb will take added interest in the war because one son is already in the army, a second is about to enter the navy, and a third goes to the marine base next month.

"A year from now another son will be of age to go."

Giving Your All.  --GreGen

Friday, April 28, 2017

Looking Back to 1941: DeKalb To Have First Test Blackout

From the April 12, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Ill.) "Looking Back."

1941, 75 Years Ago.

"DeKalb will hold its first test blackout this week.  Mayor Hugo J. Hakala, chairman of the Civilian Defense Council for DeKalb, received word from the war department today stating it had granted the city's request to hold a test blackout for that night."

You Never Know When the Enemy Bombers Will Arrive Over DeKalb, Illinois.  --GreGen

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Looking Back to 1942: A New War Factory and Rationing in DeKalb

From the April 5, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1942. 75 Years Ago.

"The Farmers Implement Company that was located in the former American Steel and Wire Company building on Locust street in DeKalb has moved to the garage which was recently vacated by Arthur Taylor on the southwest corner of Fourth and Locust Streets.

"The move was made so as to make room for the new tank track factory that is to open in the near future.  The first floor of the new quarters will be used for the display and repair of farm equipment while the second floor is being used to store new cars that can be sold through rationing.

"Farm machinery can be sold without rationing but dealers are having a tough time getting their orders filled."

The war hits home.  A new war factory, car rationing and farm machinery.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Last Otter Tail County Pearl Harbor Veteran Dies: Gene Davis

From the November 30, 2016, WDAY 6 (Minnesota) "Honoring a vet:  Last Pearl Harbor survivor in Otter Tail County dies" by Kevin Walleband.

Gene Davis, 94, of Fergus Falls, Minnesota was buried Friday.

He joined the Navy at age 18 and was on the USS California during the attack.  A blast blew him off the deck and he was left for dead, but actually was shell-shocked.

For years, he wouldn't speak about his experience, but that all changed with a trip back to Pearl Harbor in 1980.

One hundred died on the USS California that day.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Portland's Toxic World War II Ship Graveyard

From the December 2, 2016, Portland (Ore) Tribune, by Cassandra Profita.

During World War II, several Willamette River shipyards were busy, but after victory, that stretch of waterfront became a scrapyard where many ships were dismantled.  Areas of the river were covered with ship scraps often laced with toxic pollutants like lead, asbestos and PCB.

At its peak during the war, Portland was launching on average a warship every four days.  Speed was encouraged.  As soon as one was launched, the next one's keel was immediately laid.

Pollution covered 30 acres along a half mile of riverfront.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Congress Approves Gold Medal for Filvets

From the December 2, 2016, Inquirer.Net.

The Gold Medal for the 260,000 Filipino and Filipino-American soldiers who served with U.S. Army Forces of the Far East, USAFFE, during World War II has been approved.

Now it goes to President Obama for his signature.

The Rescission Act of 1946, Congress stripped Filipino soldiers of the benefits they were promised by FDR.  Fewer than 7,000 of them survive today in the United States.  Overall, there are just 18,000 Filipino veterans still alive.

The Tuskegee Airmen and Hawaii's 442nd/100th Infantry Battalion have also received the Congressional Gold Medal.

About Time.  --GreGen

Friday, April 21, 2017

OSS Veterans Get Congressional Gold Medal-- Part 2

In the past, the World War II groups Tuskegee Airmen and Navajo "Code Talkers" have also received the Gold Medal.

The OSS was formed in 1942 by William Donovan who called them the "Glorious Amateurs," responsible for cloak-and-dagger operations throughout the war, including ones behind enemy lines in Germany.

The OSS insignia, the spearhead, is synonymous with the Special Operations Command.

They were dissolved after the war when what was left of the organization became the foundation for the CIA.  Other branches of the OSS became the Green Berets and Navy SEALs.

Now, I'd like to see the Montford Points Marines receive one.

Well Deserved, Even This Late.  --GreGen

Bill Honoring World War II's Intelligence Operatives Finally Passes Congress-- Part 1

From the December 1, 2016, Washington Post by Thomas Gibbons-Neff.

Photo accompanying the article shows OSS founder General William Donovan and members of the OSS operational groups, forerunners of the U.S. Special Forces.

This measure took a long time to pass Congress, despite bipartisan support.

The Congressional Gold Medal will go out to veterans of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).  The problem with them, getting the Gold Medal was a new law that prevented groups from getting it..  This law, however, had earlier been waived in order to honor Civil Rights activists in 1965's "Bloody Sunday" march in Selma, Alabama.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Kansas Family Made Ultimate Sacrifice-- Part 2: Another One Died in France

Their brother Bob joined the Navy when he turned 17 and was in basic training when the war ended in 1945.

Her mother's brother Leroy Blattner joined after the Pearl Harbor attack and was an Air Force pilot.  On August 3, 1944, another plane crashed into his Marauder B-26 bomber in France.  This caused a crash and his whole crew was killed.


Kansas Family Made Ultimate Sacrifice on USS Arizona, Twice

From the November 12, 2016, Hays Daily News (Kansas)  "Hays woman speaks of family's service, sacrifice" by Savannah Downing.

Fay Klein said that on both her mother and father's side, her family made the ultimate sacrifice.

Her father, Walter Becker, was the oldest brother of seven kids.  Three of his brothers:  Harvey, 24; Marcin, 22 and Wesley, 18, were stationed on the USS Arizona on December 7, 1941.  They had requested to serve together.

Harvey was not on the ship at the time as he was on shore leave with his wife, a nurse.  He went to pearl Harbor after the attack to look for his brothers.  Eventually, he had to call his parents to tell them he couldn't find his brothers.

Wesley and Marvin's name are listed on the USS Arizona Memorial.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Looking Back to 1942: Local DeKalb County Man Killed on USS Arizona

From the February 1, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Charles Aves received word that his son Willard was killed at Pearl Harbor on December 7th.  The war department had previously reported Willard as missing and his friends and relatives had felt that he was gone because he had been on duty on the USS Arizona as a fireman.

"His father and sisters have the sincerest sympathy of this community as everyone feels he too has had a loss."

The War Hits Home.  --GreGen

USS Arizona Survivor Laid to Rest On His Ship-- Part 2

Raymond Haerry was 19 that day and the blast blew him off the USS Arizona.  "The oil that was belching out of the ships ignited because of the explosion and he had to swim through that, got to Ford Island, got some medical care and somehow got a gun and fired back at the enemy and survived the day."

He is the 42nd Arizona survivor to rejoin his shipmates.  Out of the 335 who survived that day, five are still alive.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

USS Arizona Survivor Laid to Rest on His Ship-- Part 1: Raymond Haerry

From the April 16, 2017, KITV 4 ABC News Hawaii "USS Arizona survivor laid to rest inside sunken battleship" by Mackenzie Stasko.

Retired Master Chief Petty Officer Raymond Haerry was interned in the hulk of the Arizona on Saturday afternoon.

Over 100 gathered at the USS Arizona memorial for the internment ceremony.

A team of U.S. navy and National Park Service divers took him to his final resting place where the urn was placed in turret #3 in the part of the ship which they believe contain the remains of his shipmates.


New Jersey Native and One of Last USS Arizona Survivors, Gets Final tribute

From by Jeff Goldman.

The remains of Master Chief Petty Officer Raymond J. Haerry were placed on an American Airlines flight after a ceremony at Newark Liberty International Airport.  he was a Paterson native who died in Rhode Island in September at age 94.  His ashes will be interred on the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor.

When the Arizona exploded that day, he was thrown into the water, but swam to safety, got a gun and began firing at the Japanese planes.

Later, he served on the USS Opportune, USS Allagash, USS Luiseno and the USS Muna Kea.  He also served during the KoreanWar, and retired from the Navy in 1964.

He was born November 21, 1924 and enlisted March 11, 1940.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Pearl Harbor Survivor Al Taylor Was a Reluctant Hero

From the January 19,2017, Quad-City (Iowa) Dispatch by John Marx.

Alvis "Al" Taylor died earlier this week at age 93 on January 16, 2017.

In 2013, there were three Pearl Harbor survivors in the Quad-City area: Eldon Baxter, Al Taylor and Bob Cewe.  Bob Cewe died in 2014.

Mr. Taylor was an Army medic at Schofield Barracks and 18 years old in the attack.  He guided ambulances to pick up wounded soldiers and non-survivors, working 48-straight hours non-stop.  Also, he helped a physician who specialized in traumatic head injuries.  he proudly said that the nineteen soldiers he assisted all lived.

"There was no break.  You just did what you needed to do," he recalled.

Another of the Greatest.  --GreGen

Friday, April 14, 2017

Death of Another Pearl Harbor Veteran: Maxwell Burggraaf

From the January 17, 2017, Fox 13 Salt Lake City, Utah "Man speaks after his father, a Pearl Harbor survivor, dies at 98."

Maxwell Burggraad, 98, died.

He was a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy for nearly a decade and a chief electrician's mate on the USS Nevada when the harbor was attacked.  He was born in Ottumwa, Iowa.

On December 7, 1941, he got up early and caught a street car to Waikiki for a priesthood meeting.  Upon arrival there, he was told that all servicemen were to report back to their stations immediately.

He remembers seeing the smoke and fires as he approached the harbor.  He arrived back at his ship,  the USS Nevada, just before it made its dash out of the harbor.

After the action, he found out that his cabin had been destroyed.  The sailor who had taken his place while he was on leave was killed.

The Greatest Generation.  --GreGen

Looking Back to 1942: Use Those Gas Rationing Coupons... Or Lose Them!!

From the January 25, 2017, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"The valid period for coupon three in the Mileage Ration book will expire at midnight tonight for the "A" books.  It is expected that all who have any of these coupons remaining will have used them by this evening, for they will become worthless after tomorrow."

Gas Up, Folks!!  --GreGen

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Looking Back to 1942: Shovel Your Sidewalks

From the January 25, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Several weeks ago an appeal was made to the residents of this city to keep their sidewalks clear of snow.  The answer to that appeal has been most gratifying but there are still a dew who have failed to cooperate.

"Since the advent of gas rationing, many more are forced to walk and it will be a great help to these pedestrians if the residents keep their walks shoveled.  Many are forced to walk to their work and most of them leave for work while it is still dark.'

Shovel for Victory.  --GreGen

Shorpy Home Front Photos: Being Poor and Interracial Activity

March 31, 2017  TOY STORY: 1943:  July 1943.  Washington, D.C.  "A child whose home is in an alley dwelling near the U.S. Capitol."  Esther Bubley, OWI.  A black child sitting in a pile of debris.

Being poor did not take a vacation during the war.  Sad to have such squalor so close to the Capitol.

March 31, 2017:  SPLINT IN A TENT: 1943:  August 1943.  Southfields, New York.  "Interracial activities at Camp Nathan Hale where children are aided by the Methodist Camp Service.  First aid."  By Gordon Parks, OWI.

White and black boys in a tent where the black boy is putting on a splint or bandage on the white boy.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Hoping That New Orleans Will Not Be Taking Down the Confederate Statues

I expect the city will do just that and soon.  This would be too bad, as I really like this town with Bourbon Street and all that great music and food.  I would also like to go to the National World War II Museum which I have been writing about a great project they are undertaking.

However, if those statues come down, I might have to show my displeasure at the horrible thing they have done to my heritage by organizing my own little boycott.  Now, I know that just one person counts for little in the grand scheme of things, but it would be something I would have to do.

My Civil War Round Table group is planning a trip there in a few months to look at sites, but I haven't signed up for it while waiting to see what the city does.

I Really Don't Want to Have to Boycott New Orleans.  --GreGen

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A USS Oklahoma Hero Comes Home

From the April 8, 2017, Albert Lea (Minnesota) Tribune "A hero comes home" by Colleen Harrison.

Glaydon Iverson of Emmons boarded the USS Oklahoma on September 11, 1941, in San Francisco.  He had recently been home on furlough with his parents and family.

After December 7, 1941, his parents, Edwina and Anna received two telegrams from the War Department.  The first said that he hadn't been located and the second that his remains had not been found and was presumed dead.

He was the first casualty of the war from the county.

But, recently, the remains of the Oklahoma's unknowns have been dug up and DNA testing has led to the identification of many, including Mr. Iverson.

He will have a funeral on May 27 with full military honors and will be buried at Oak Lawn Cemetery.


USS Arizona Relic Coming to Coast Guard Auxiliary in Florida

From the April 5, 2017, Treasure Coast Palm "USS Arizona relic to be presented to Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla" by Hank Cushard.

The USCG Auxiliary Flotilla 59 at Stuart, Florida was formed April 11, 1942 to combat the menace of German U-boats off the Florida coast in the first months of the war.  As such, the group marks their 75th anniversary today.

Members of the group during the war rode horseback along beaches looking for U-boat activity or ships or persons in distress.  They manned the tower at House of Refuge on Hutchinson island and had offshore patrols.

In 1986, a member of the group, Captain Spence Kidd, brother of Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, who commanded the USS Arizona at Pearl harbor and whose body was never recovered, donated a model of the USS Arizona to the group.

The USS Arizona relic will be given to the group on April 29.  Unfortunately, the article did not say what the relic was and I was unable to find out in other sources what it might be.


Monday, April 10, 2017

Boy Finds German Plane With Pilot Remains Still Inside

From the March 8, 2017, CNN "Boy finds WWII plane with pilot's remains in the cockpit" by Judith Vonberg.

Fourteen-year-old Daniel Kristiansen and his father, Klaus, have discovered what is believed to be a Messerschmitt fighter plane buried in a field on their farm near Birkelse, in northern Denmark.  He was using a metal detector out in the field, hoping to find something to show at school.

He remembered his grandfather telling him about a German plane crashing there during the war in November or December 1944.

They found the pilot's papers and believe the German was flying his plane from a training base for German pilots in Aalborg, a nearby city.

An ordnance team is working on the site to determine there is nothing dangerous.


Friday, April 7, 2017

Shorpy Home Front Photos: Working On Your Car

March 8, 2017--  BACKYARD MECHANIC: 1943.  June 1943.  Silver Springs, Maryland.  "Man repairing his automobile."  Anne Rosener, OWI.  Comment:  working on a 1937 Plymouth.

With gas rationing and shortages, you had to keep your car running the best you could.

March9, 2017--  D'OILY: 1943:  A different shot of the above photo.


Shorpy Home Front Photos: Buy Coke and War Bonds

MARCH 21, 2017  BOTTLE UP: 1943.  Uncaptioned photograph, circa 1943  Photograph taken by OWI of a brick tower, probably in the Upper Midwest.  The tower has been repurposed to advertise for War Bonds and Coca-Cola.

Shorpy commentators quickly identified the tower as being in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the remnant of the 1886 Minneapolis Exposition Building.  The tower's final owner, Coca-Cola, tore the building down in 1940 to make room for a new bottling plant and left just the tower, which stood for a few more years.

The advertising features a huge bottle of Coca-Cola near the top of it.  Underneath it is a picture of a grave cross at a cemetery and the caption "This Man Gave a Life....  Will You Invest More Than 10% In War Bonds?"

Both the bottle and War Bond Ads appear on two of the sides, perhaps all four.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

World War II Graveyard Off the North Carolina Coast-- Part 2

4.  Photo of the Bluefields--  sunk by the U-576 on July 15, 1942.

5.  The wreck of the Bluefields.  The wreck of the U-576 and its victim, the Bluefields, lie just 240 yards apart.

6.  Sonar scanning of the U-576.

7.  The Baseline Explorer, the research vessel at the shipwreck sites.

8. The Baseline and the 2-man submersible Nomad which went to the ocean floor to explore the wrecks.

9-16  Views of the wreck of the U-576.


Shorpy Home Front Photos: All Aboard the Train, Another Jack Delano Train Picture

March 24, 2017  WHERE I'M COMING FROM: 1943.  "Freight train operation on the Chicago and North Western Railroad between Chicago and Clinton, Iowa.  Somewhere in Illinois between Cortland and Malta (right alongside the Lincoln Highway).  Jack Delano, OWI.

Jack sure takes a lot of train photos.  He took the picture from the back of the caboose looking down the tracks behind him in some mighty flat  country.  This area wold also be near the famed Lincoln Highway.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

George Ray Tweed, Eluded Japanese for 2 Years 7 Months on Guam

From Wikipedia.

This comes about because he appeared on the an old TV show "To Tell the Truth" earlier today on the Game Show Network.  I didn't see it, but Liz did and told me about it, knowing I would be interested.  I'll have to see the next time it is shown.

(July 2, 1902-January 16, 1989)

Decorated U.S. Navy radio man, famous for evading Japanese capture for two years and seven months after the U.S. garrison on Guam island surrendered in 1941.

He enlisted in the Navy in 1922 and was sent to Guam in 1939.

As war loomed on the horizon, his family was sent back to the States in October 1941.  The Japanese invaded the island December 8, 1941.  Guam's garrison consisted of 155 Marines, aided by a force of 200 islanders and 400 Navy personnel untrained for combat.

It wasn't much of a fight.  However, George Tween and five others decided not to surrender and slipped off into Guam's jungle.

Very interesting story of his escapades at Wikipedia.


World War II Graveyard Off North Carolina Coast-- Part 1

From CBS Sunday Morning "World War II graveyard off the American coast."

This is a slide show, mostly on pictures of the German submarine U-576 and the SS Bluefields.  The German U-boat sank the Bluefields and within a short time, was sunk itself very close to its victim.

Slide Show:

1.  The wreck of the USS Monitor from the Civil War.

2.  The SS Dixie Arrow, sunk March 26, 1942 by another U-boat during Germany's Operation Drumbeat to destroy Allied shipping along the U.S. East and Gulf coasts.  In the first eight months of 1942, 400 Allied ships were sunk.  Off the North Carolina coast, 80 were sunk.

3.  The U-576 attacked the KS-520 Convoy on July 15, 1942.  It sank the Bluefields and then was sunk itself.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Jim Doyle, Pearl Harbor Survivor, Dies

I wrote about Mr. Doyle last week.  This is a follow up.

From the March 31, 2017, Lakewood (Colorado) Sentinel "Pearl Harbor survivor dies at 93."

Lakewood resident, Jim Doyle, died March 28, 2017, at age 93.

He was born in Colorado and joined the Navy at age 16, wanting to become a pilot, but instead became an aerial photographer.

Mr. Doyle's memory of the attack:  "I was an aerial photographer and was stationed on Ford Island.  We slept in the hangar, and when I heard the explosions, I grabbed my camera and started taking pictures.  Many of the Dec. 7 pictures used are mine."

After his time in the service, Mr. Doyle worked for the U.S. Geological Service.

I still do not know specifically which of the Pear Harbor attack photos are his, but since he was on Ford Island, I would say the picture of the planes on fire on the island are his.


Shorpy Home Front Photos: Peanuts and Newsboys

March 21, 2017--  MR. PEANUT: 1943.  April 1943.  "Baltimore. Maryland -- peanut stand."  Marjory Collins, OWI.  The peanut stand is on the street.

One comment is wondering about the speakers set up on a street corner pole with speakers facing all directions.  Might it be Air Raid or Civil defense?

March 24, 2017--  YESTERDAY'S NEWSBOYS: 1943.  March 1943.  "Galveston, Texas.  Newspaper delivery boys."  John Vachon, OWI.

The boys are delivering the Houston Chronicle on bicycles.


Monday, April 3, 2017

Omaha Pearl Harbor Survivor Dies At 95

From the March 30, 2017, Omaha (Nebraska)  World-Herald "Omaha man who survived Pearl Harbor attack dies at 95" by Steve Liewer.

(May 19, 1921-March 26, 2017)

Howard Linn was on the nearby USS Nevada when the USS Arizona exploded.  It blew out his eardrums.  Sixty died on the Nevada during the attack and Mr. Linn was one of the 109 wounded.  The Nevada, of course, was the only battleship to get underway that day and the one that made the dash to get out of harm's way.

He was a petty officer 1st class and remembers pieces of the Arizona coming through his ship's portholes.  No one around him on a lower deck at the time was hit, but he said that every man topside was killed.

When later asked by an officer as to how he was doing, Mr. Linn replied that he was concerned About his dad who was working in the fire room of one of the absent carriers.  His dad had enlisted in the Navy after serving in the Army during World War I.

There is a video showing the five remaining crew members of the USS Nevada.


Death of Pearl Harbor Survivor Jim Doyle-- Part 2

Jim Doyle enlisted in the U.S. Navy at age 16.  he was in a hangar on the west side of Pearl Harbor at the time of the attack and saw some of the Japanese planes flying in at street level.  Among his worst memories were the smell of charred bodies and others floating.  "Oil and slime were all over their bodies."

The photographs he took of the attack and aftermath are considered some of the most iconic of the attack.  (I was, unfortunately, unable to locate any source which definitely showed his photos.)

During the Battle of the Coral Sea, he was on the aircraft carrier USS Lexington.  After a sortie, he flew back to his ship, landed but had to abandon ship when it sank.

He later was shot down while ferrying planes to Guadalcanal.  Marines braved enemy fire and rescued him.  Mr. Doyle said he remembers none of this rescue as he woke up in a hospital in Brisbane, Australia.

Because of his injuries, he received a medical discharge in 1943.


Saturday, April 1, 2017

Death of Pearl Harbor Survivor Jim Doyle, 93--Part 1

From the March 31, 2017, Denver Post "Denver Pearl Harbor survivor Jim Doyle dies, leaving a legacy as a war hero and artist" by Monte Whaley.

"Jim Doyle captured some of the most enduring images of Pearl Harbor attack on film."

Died March 27, 2017.

He filmed the scene.  Later, he came under fire again while flying as an aviation mate 1st Class in the Pacific Theater.

For his service, he received two Purple Hearts and a Distinguished Flying Cross, but rarely talked about his experiences.


World War II Gun Arrives in Delaware-- Part 2: Technologically Advanced

The gun weighs 32,000 pounds and could be used on ships or land.  They fired two types of shells:  high-explosive or armor-piercing.  The shells weighed 24 pounds and could hit a target 11 miles away or an aircraft flying at 34,000 feet.

Crews loaded the shells individually, but a highly complex firing system then took over to fire it.  This was extreme armament technology at the time.

When the guns were at Fort Miles during the war, they were placed on the beach, but had wheels for ease of movement.

The Fort Miles Historic Association and Delaware state Parks got the gun from the National Electronics Museum in Linthicum, Maryland.  They are currently looking for a 1918 155 mm gun as the fort at one time mounted eight of them.


World War II Gun Arrive in Delaware-- Part 1: Fort Miles

From the March 30, 2017, Delaware Inline News-Journal "Wold War II big gun arrives in Lewes" by Molly Murray.

The gun arrived Thursday, March 30.  It is like the ones that defended the entrance to the Delaware Bay back in the war.  It arrived at Cape Henlopen State Park.  Over the next year, volunteers will sandblast and restore it for display at Fort Miles.  (Which is turning into quite the World War II museum.)

Guns like this Model M2, 90 mm anti-aircraft were put in to fire on motor torpedo boats, and, of course, German planes.

General George Patton claimed that these guns were second only to the atom bombs as the technology that helped turn the tide of war.


Friday, March 31, 2017

Shorpy Home Front Photos: War Rents and Buses

March 4, 2017--  PEARL REFUSED: 1943.  January 1943.  Washington, D.C..  "Pearl Ginsburg refused to have her boarding house rent raised."  Esther Bubley, OWI.  An obviously unhappy young woman sitting in her room.

 Of course, something for her to think about was the tremendous scarcity of rooms in D.C. because of the war.

March 4, 2017--  ANOTHER PASSENGER: 1943.  September 1943. "Greyhound bus trip from Louisville, Kentucky, to Memphis, Tennessee, and the terminals.  Girl waiting for the bus by the road's edge."  Esther Bubley, OWI.

This is out in the country and not in a town.  With gas rationing and war shortages, trains and buses gained tremendously in popularity.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Personal World War II Stories Going Online-- Part 6: The Hurricane Katrina Factor

The museum has allocated $4.4 million for the project so far --  about two thirds from donations and grants and the rest from the museum's operating budget.  Iron Mountain, a records management company, gave $100,000 to digitize one hundred of the interviews and plans on donating a similar amount this year.

The idea of putting the collection online came about following Hurricane Katrina.  The museum didn't get flood, but was closed for months afterwards to repair damage from roof leaks and looting.  (Looting, really?)  When it did reopen, few visitors showed up.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Personal World War II Stories Going Online-- Part 5: Interviews

So far there are 4,000 staff-collected video oral histories, 3,000 video and audio recordings made by others, and nearly 2,000 "written histories" like journals, diaries that can be photographed, annotated and transcribed for online research.

The museum's six historians travel widely, scheduling at least four interviews per trip.  Afterwards, they add catalog information, including a short description of contents and when and where the interviews were made.  They annotate key words most likely to be searched.

Now, this is a job I would really love.  Just cover my expenses, I don't need to be paid.  Researching is obviously a big love of mine.  And, the chance to get to talk to and record these people.

Wow, I Could Really Go For That Job!!  --GreGen

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Personal World War II Stories Going Online-- Part 4: The Story of Harold E, Ward at Pearl Harbor

Harold E. Ward was a lookout on the cruiser USS San Francisco when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.  He made four videos, covering two hours of interviews.  The videos are divided into 12 segments, each with detailed annotations describing what Ward was talking about.

The USS San Francisco was being overhauled when the planes came in low and slow.  "I just stood and watched," said Ward.  As a lookout, he was wearing headphones.

An ensign somewhere else in Hawaii asked him to describe the scene.  "He says, 'What's going on there?'"  Ward recounted:   "So I told him we were being attacked by the Japanese air force."  The ensign's response:  "Don't you get wise with me, Ward.  I asked you a question."

"So I began to describe what I was looking at.  And there was a dead silence when I finished speaking."


Monday, March 27, 2017

Personal World War II Stories Going Online-- Part 3: Collecting Oral Histories

Since May 2016, the National World War II Museum has collected 500 oral histories.  But the war generation is fading fast.  Even people who were children during the war are in their 70s and 80s.

The U.S. Holocaust  Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., has about 10,000 oral histories available online.  These are among the 66,000 that can be viewed or listened to on their site.

Putting oral histories online is not just a matter of uploading and linking to huge audio and video files.  At the World War II Museum, their six historians also describe the contents for online searching.

Greatest generation.  --GreGen

Friday, March 24, 2017

Personal World War II Stories Going Online-- Part 2

Ultimately, all of these first-hand accounts of Pearl Harbor, D-Day, Germany fighting, surrender, Hiroshima, Japanese surrender and the home front will be online.

Founded in 2000, the National World War II Museum is one of New Orleans' top attractions.  The digital collection is open to anyone, anywhere, but only about 250 of the oral histories are online so far.  Uploading more will take time, partly because the museum's six historians are racing to interview the last veterans.

I'd have to say this recording the histories of the surviving veterans is much more important at this point.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Personal World War II Stories Going Online-- Part 1: Digital-Days, Now

From the December 21, 2016, Chicago Tribune by Janet McConnaughey.

It's D-Days these days, and that's not the famous D-Day.  This stands for "Digital Days."  The National World War II Museum is seeking to move thousands of first-person accounts of experiences in the war online.

The museum is creating a vast online collection of 9,000 oral and written histories.  This will take longer than the war itself lasted, with length figured to be 10 years and cost $11 million.  They have more than 22,000 hours of audio and video and thousands of documents to be digitized as well as millions of words to be transcribed.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Unknowns From the USS West Virginia Next to Be Identified-- Part 2

There were at least four-known sailors who died of the 106 deaths from the West Virginia.  All were identified, however.

Frank J. Bartek, of Wahoo, Nebraska was buried after the war in Colon, Nebraska.

Myron Goodwin, of Sidney, was buried in Gering.

Edward Durkee, of Arlington, and Clement Durr, of Nebraska City, are interred at a military cemetery in Honolulu.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Unknowns from USS West Virginia Next to Be Identified-- Part 1

In connection with Harold Costil, who I wrote about yesterday and Friday.  he was one of the WestVirginia unidentifieds.

From the December 7, 2016, Omaha (Nebraska) World-Herald  "Unknowns from the USS West Virginia will be the bnext to finally be identified" by Steve Liewer.

It is wonderful that the United States has been identifying the remains of the USS Oklahoma's unidentified.  This was the ship sustaining the second-most casualties at Pearl harbor.  The  USS Arizona had the most.  Now, the Department of Defense POW-MIA Accounting Agency can turn its attention on the ship with the third highest number of casualties, as well as unidentifieds.

The agency now has approval to open 35 unidentified graves associated with the USS West Virginia.  These graves contain an estimated 38 sailors and Marines. Most of the graves will have skulls and jawbones with teeth.  This will be a much easier effort as the West Virginia graves were not as commingled as were the ones from the Oklahoma.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Remains of Illinois Flying Tiger Pilot Coming Home-- Part 2

Maax Hammer Jr. was buried in Hawaii where his remains were classified as "Unknown" for the past 67 years.

In the continuing effort to identify World War II's "Unknowns," DNA samples from a family member were collected and the family notified January 4, 2017, that Maax had been identified.  They hope he will be buried at Oakwood cemetery where his parents and grandparents are buried..

Visitation will be today, March 20, in Carbondale, Illinois and a private graveside service held tomorrow, March 21.  A Missing Man Formation flyover will be conducted by A-10 Warthogs, similar to the plane Mr. Hammer was flying.


Remains of Illinois Flying Tigers Pilot Coming Home-- Part 1

From the March 19, 2017, Chicago Sun-Times "Remains of World War II pilot returns for burial" AP.

The remains of Maax Curtis Hammer Jr.,. a member of World War II's Flying Tigers from downstate Illinois Cairo, are being returned.

He was a volunteer pilot with the famed Flying Tigers (before the U.S. entry into the war), helping the British and Chinese defend Burma and China from Japanese aggression.  On September 22, 1941, he apparently got into an inverted spin while flying in a rainstorm and couldn't get out of it.  A crash site investigator reported that Hammer's plane hit the ground nose first and his remains were discovered on the plane's engine, some 15 feet down into the earth.

USS West Virginia Victim Harold "Brud" Costill

From casualty list Pearl Harbor.

Costill, Harold Kendall, F3c, USN, USS West Virginia.  There is a picture of him on the USS West Virginia website.

From the Homestead Site.

There is a letter from Joan Costill Burke, his sister.  In it, she says he graduated from Clayon (N.J.) High School and that his parents had to sign for him to enlist in the U.S. Navy.

She was ten at the time of his death.

His family had been looking forward to him coming home for Christmas.


Friday, March 17, 2017

New Jersey Vet Wants Brother's Remains Returned from Pearl Harbor-- Part 1: On the USS West Virginia

From the February 5, 2016,  "After 74 years, N.J. veteran wants brother's remains back from Pearl Harbor" by Andy Polhamus.

Gene Costill, former mayor of Clayton and World War II veteran has a photo frame full of pictures of his brother, Harold "Brud" Costill, who died at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  He is one of 25 unidentified bodies recovered from the USS West Virginia.

Gene Costill will soon be having his 90th birthday.  He joined the Coast Guard at age 17 and served in the North Atlantic guarding convoys.

Mr. Costill still remembers the day the Western Union man came to the family's house on Pearl Street saying that Harold was on the USS West Virginia and was MIA at age 18, just a few months after joining the Navy.  He has been listed as missing ever since.

"I don't think my mother ever lived another day after that, really.  She was convinced he was off the ship, lost somewhere, and that one day he'd walk through that door.  She waited for the rest of her life."


New Jersey Vet Wants Brother's Remains Returned From Pearl Harbor-- Part 2

Gene Costill shipped out into the Coast Guard just after D-Day.  His other brother, Robert Costill fought in both the European and Pacific Theaters.

Of the dozens of bodies removed from the USS West Virginia in 1942, only two of them were believed to be teenagers.  One was wearing the same watch Brad wore and had several physical characteristics similar to Brad's -- tall, but not fully grown and feet too small for his height.

That sailor is now buried under the tombstone "Unknown, USS West Virginia, Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941" at the Cemetery of the Pacific Punchbowl Cemetery.

Gene wants his brother Brad to come home for burial at Clayton's Cedar Green Cemetery.

DNA has been donated.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

World War II Made George Patton a Hero, But the 'Great War' Made Him a Commander

From the March 10, 2017, Washington Post by Michael E. Ruane.

In April, the Library of Congress opens a new exhibit on World War I that touches on the role it played in his life.

In World War I. Patton became the first soldier assigned to the new tank corps which he helped create.  He also built the Army's first tank school and develop the tank corps' original triangular, tricolor shoulder patch.

Patton was wounded at the biggest battle in U.S. military history, the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, when 26,000 American soldiers were killed.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

America's Oldest Pearl Harbor Survivor Turns 105: Ray Chavez

From the March 12, 2017, KPBS by Susan Murphy.

Ray Chavez turned 105 on March 10, 2017.  He was born in San Bernardino, California, on March 10, 1912, and enjoying his old age at the beach and even working out at a local gym twice a week.

He was on the minesweeper USS Condor that fateful morning and wouldn't talk about it for fifty years after the war.


Survived Seven Torpedoes and Came Back: The USS West Virginia-- Part 3

Then the USS West Virginia had repairs before returning and supporting the Philippines operation until February 1945.  In February, the West Virginia joined the 5th Fleet for the invasion of Iwo Jima and then fought off Okinawa.

It was present in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945, for the Japanese surrender.

The West Virginia continued service until 1947 when it was placed in the reserve fleet.  In 1959, it was sold for scrap.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Survived Seven Torpedoes and Came Back: The USS West Virginia-- Part 2

It took a long time for the USS West Virginia to become battleshape again.  After being raised, patches of concrete and wood were used to plug the hull damage and the ship went to Washington state for full repairs.  The ship's entire deck and armor belt were replaced.  The ship was also updated and became state of the art.  Work was completed in late 1944.

It then returned to Pearl Harbor and refueled, ready to get some payback.  It pounded Japanese shore fortifications on Leyte on October 17.  One week later, the Japanese fleet arrived and the Battle of Leyte Gulf began.

On October 24, the West Virginia and three other battleships resurrected from the ruins of Pearl Harbor spotted four Japanese ships and engaged them.  They sank two battleships and a cruiser in a nighttime combat.  This was the last time that battleships ever engaged each other.


Survived Seven Torpedoes and Came Back: The USS West Virgina-- Part 1

From the February 12, 2016, Daily News "This ship survived 7 torpedoes at Pearl Harbor and went on to help crush the Japanese" by Daniel McDonald.

The USS West Virginia was struck by a torpedo from a Japanese midget submarine and immediately began sinking, listing to the port.  That list got worse as successive torpedoes crashed into her.  The damage was major on its port side, facing out into the harbor.

At least seven torpedoes hit the ship and 2 bombs as well, but fortunately the bombs didn't explode.  The ship was counter-flooded on its starboard side so it wouldn't end up capsizing like the USS Oklahoma.

An oil fire raged through the ship for 30 hours, buckling the metal in many places.

The captain and many of the crew died that day.  Captain Mervyn S. Bennion received a posthumous Medal of Honor for saving his ship as he lay dying from shrapnel that pierced his abdomen.

Navy cook Dorie Miller helped him and then noticed an unmanned .50 caliber machine gun, manned it ans=d shot down 3 or 4 planes.  He became the first black sailor to be awarded the Navy Cross.


Monday, March 13, 2017

Pearl Harbor Survivor Paul Smith Dies

From the January 20, 2017, Naples (Fla.) Daily News "Pearl Harbor survivor Paul Smith of Collier County dies at 95."

Marine Corporal Paul Smith was at Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal and other action in the Pacific Theater.  He got out of the service after the war, but reenlisted for 22 more years, serving in the Army Air Corps and U.S. Air Force.

He was born June 18, 1921, in Bluefield, West Virginia.  At age 17, he enlisted in the Marine Corps, but his mother had to sign for him.

On the attack, he said, "We never dreamed such a thing would happen."  He threw his breakfast, half a grapefruit and spoon at a low flying plane and ran to his barracks to get his gun.


List of Pearl Harbor Honorees Grows to 77 Names

From the January 23, 2017, Times-Tribune (Pennsylvania)  by David Singleton.

The 9-11 Memorial Committee of Lachawana County ordered a plaque honoring county residents who were at Pearl Harbor, but missed some names.  They had a temporary plaque unveiled outside the courthouse on the 75th anniversary of the attack with 31 names on it, but now that number stands at 77.

On January 31, they plan to dedicate a permanent one with that number of names on it.

They started work on the project two years ago.  It is believed that just one man, Walter J. Paciga, of Simpson was the only one killed in the attack.

In a sad footnote, however, the last two living Pearl Harbor survivors since last month's dedication have died.  John Greco, 94, Navy, of Old Forge attended that ceremony and died Christmas Day.  Elmer Burke, 96, Army, died January 7 in Port Richey, Florida.


Friday, March 10, 2017

Looking Back to 1942: Food-For-Freedom Production

From the Jan. 18, 2017, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"How DeKalb County farmers can boost food-for-freedom production and at the same time take care of their soil will be the theme of a mid-winter meeting on soil improvement and erosion control at the Jarboe Hall in DeKalb."


Looking Back to 1942: Quota for a Special Drive

From the January 18, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"The Clinton-Afton Red Cross Chapter has received a special notice from the headquarters of the Red Cross in Sycamore that the quota for a special drive will be $300.

"Contributions will be taken to the Waterman State Bank will be greatly appreciated."


Thursday, March 9, 2017

USS Oklahoma: The Final Story-- Part 3: Capsized

Pounding from the interior of the ship's hull was heard for several days afterwards, but not much drilling was done for fear of explosion from accumulated gasses inside the ship.  The drilling that was done resulted in the rescue of 32 men.

The attack took place on December 7, and all those unaccounted for were declared dead on December 20th.

One of them was Paul Anderson Nash, whose body had been identified in 1949, but reburied.  It has recently been returned to the U.S..

J.C. England--  John Charles England.


The USS Oklahoma: The Final Story-- Part 2: Life Or Death

The USS Oklahoma's watertight integrity had been sacrificed due to an upcoming inspection.

After the ship was repeatedly struck by torpedoes and started keeling over, everyone had to make a life or death decision.  Some decided to get off the ship and crawled over to the USS Maryland on tie-off lines.

The Japanese torpedoes had plywood boxes attached to their rear fins which kept them from going too deep in the water, necessary because of the shallowness of Pearl Harbor.

Five midget submarines managed to penetrate into the harbor.  It is thought that a torpedo from one of them hit the Oklahoma.  These torpedoes were more powerful and would make a much bigger hole in a ship than the ones dropped by the planes.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

USS Oklahoma: The Final Story-- Part 1: The Attack

From the PBS show of November 23, 2016.

The USS Ward engaged a Japanese mini-sub shortly before the attack began.

The first wave of Japanese planes, 183 of them, was discovered 136 miles out when they were picked up on radar.  They were dismissed as being a flight of B-17s coming over from the mainland scheduled for that time.

The Japanese planes had veterans flying and the attack began with the words: "Tora, Tora, Tora."

  They couldn't believe they had caught the U.S. military on Oahu so unprepared.  Their planes flew so low that many Americans reported seeing the Japanese pilots laughing and smiling.

The TV show used actual footage and recreations using special effects.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

21 Lesser-Known Facts About World War II-- Part 4: Killed the Elephant

16.  The largest Japanese spy ring was actually located in Mexico.

17.  The first Allied bomb dropped on Berlin killed the only elephant in the Berlin Zoo.

18.  The mortality rate for POWs in Russian camps was 85%.

19.  Had it been necessary for a third atom bomb, it would have been used on Tokyo.

20.  Japanese Army intelligence officer Hiroo Onoda didn't surrender until 1974.  His former commander traveled to the Philippines and personally issued orders to relieve him of his post.

21.  Total casualties in the war were between 50 million and 70 million.  Of those, 80% came from the Soviet Union, China, Germany and Poland.  Fifty percent of them were civilians, a majority of whom were women and children.

Some Interesting Stuff.  --GreGen

21 Lesser-Known Facts About World War II-- Part 3: Adolf Hitler's Nephew in the U.S. Navy

11.  Only one of every four German U-boats survived the war.

12.  The Siege of Stalingrad resulted in more Soviet deaths that the United States and Britain sustained in the entire war.

13.  To avoid using the German-sounding name "Hamburger,"  Americans started calling them "Liberty Steak."

14.  Adolf Hitler's nephew, William Hitler, served in the U.S. Navy.

15.  Adolf Hitler and Henry Ford kept a framed picture of the other on his desk.


Monday, March 6, 2017

21 Lesser-Known Facts About World War II-- Part 2: For Better Wiping

6.  British soldiers got a daily ration of three sheets of toilet paper.  Americans got 22.

7.  In 1941 more than 3 million cars were made in the United States.  Only 139 were built during the rest of it.

8.  Four of every five German soldiers killed during the war died on the Eastern Front, battling the Soviets.

9.  Only 20% of males born in the Soviet Union in 1923 survived the war.

10.  The youngest U.S. serviceman was Calvin Graham, 12.  He lied about his age and enlisted in the U.S. Navy.  His real age was not discovered until after he was wounded.

Interesting Stuff.  --DaCoot

21 Lesser-Known Facts of World War II-- Part 1: Deaths in U.S. Army Air Corps

From the February 13, 2017, Warrior,

1.  The first German serviceman killed in the war was killed by the Japanese.

2.  The first American killed in the war was killed by the Russians.

3.  Over 100,000 Allied bomber crewmen were killed over Europe.

4.  More U.S. servicemen died in the Army Air Corps than U.S. Marines in action.

5.  Polish Catholic midwife Stanislawa Leszezynska delivered 3,000 babies at Auschwitz.


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Pearl Harbor Survivor Receives His Due

From the August 31, 2016, Canal Winchester (Ohio) Times "Survivor of attack receives his due."

Milton Mapon, 94 will be grand marshal of Canal Winchester's Labor Day parade.  He joined the Navy in 1940 and was on the USS Detroit during the attack.  He hopes to return to Pearl Harbor for the 75th anniversary commemoration.

During the attack, he was injured and remained in a body cast for a year.


Downed World War II Aircraft Found in the Pacific After 72 Years

From the May 26, 2016, Value Walk by Mark Melin.

In July 1944 TBM-1C Avenger torpedo bomber with a three-man crew was shot down over a shallow lagoon near Palau.  A fruitless search was made but with no success.  But now, nearly 3/4 of a century later, it has been found in 85 feet of water.

It was discovered by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC-San Diego.  It is a part of Project recover.

Palau is a small island where the Japanese had an airfield.

The landing at Peleliu during Operation Stalemate II, caused 10,000 Japanese deaths and 1.700 Americans.

The Avenger was one of several dozen aircraft lost in a dense mangrove forests and coral reefs in the area.  Nearly 80 Americans died on those planes.


Friday, March 3, 2017

Pearl Harbor Survivor John Walton Dies in Car Crash-- Part 2: "What's Going On?"

"We heard this plane screaming.  'What's going on?  This is Sunday!'  And then we started hearing  the bombs going off.  We went to the window and see this plane flying over our heads, with red spots on it.  It was probably dropping a bomb on the ol' Utah out there.  Somebody had the sense to say, 'Better get down to the first floor!  That's when it all started for us."

His younger brother William was at Pearl Harbor that day as well.  His family found out that they were both alive by calling their local Congressman.

Mr. Walton remained at Pearl Harbor until the spring of 1942 when he was transferred to the seaplane tender USS Curtiss for a year then he was radioman for a scout plane squadron in the Pacific for the remainder of the war.

He was killed when the car he was driving was clipped by a fire truck.


Pearl Harbor Survivor John Walton Dies in Car Crash-- Part 1: Reading a Newspaper

From the June 1, 2016, New  "Paterson's Pearl Harbor survivor, John Walton, 101, dies from car crash" by Minjae Park and Joe Malinconico.

Mr. Walton was interviewed and talked with students.  He remembered that before the attack, "We drank a lot of soda and we made coffee out of swimming pool water."

He was Paterson's oldest living World War II veteran.  Mr. Walton was born in Hawthorne and went to Paterson Central High School.  He was at Pearl Harbor because he had quit his job at an aeronautical company and enlisted in the Navy the year before.

In the attack, he was 27-years old and reading a newspaper in his bunk at the Ford Island Naval Air Station.


Thursday, March 2, 2017

More Shipwrecks Disappearing in the Pacific

From the Feb. 9, 2017, Gizmodo "World War II Shipwrecks Are Vanishing at a Disturbing Rate" by George Dvorsky.

Last year, the Netherlands confirmed that two of its ships lost in the war have disappeared from the bottom of the Java Sea as a result of illegal salvaging.  Now, the same thing has happened to three Japanese shipwrecks off Borneo.

The Kokusei Maru, Higane Maru and Hiyori Maru, called the Usukan Bay Wrecks and also the "Rice Bowl Wrecks" for their cargoes.  All are located within a kilometer of one another.  They were torpedoed by U.S. forces off the coast of Borneo in 1944.

The recovered materials from the ships are worth a lot of money.  Their propellers, made of phosphor bronze can bring $2,500 a ton.

It is estimated that two of the ships are 98-99% gone and the other one is just a pile of metal.


Shorpy Home Front Photos: Scrap Drive

You can see the photos by searching the title and date.

FEBRUARY 9, 2017  PUMBER'S HELPERS: 1942.  November 1942, Latitz, Pennsylvania.

"Scrap collection drive.  Each household placed its contributions on the sidewalk  It was picked up by local trucks whose owners had volunteered their services for civilian defense.

"The scrap outside a plumber's home consisted of pipes."  Marjory Collins, OWI

His two sons are standing next to the pipes.


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Shorpy Home Front Photos: Apple Jack and Gasoline

February 9, 2017  APPLE JACK: 1942.  November 1942.  Washington, D.C.  "Young huckster in the Southwest section."  Gordon Parks, OWI.  Not sure what he is carrying in the basket.  Could be apples, but I think way too round.

February 6, 2017  AMERICAN GAS: 1942.  November 1942.  Washington, D.C.  "Negro mechanic for the Amoco oil company."  Gordon Parks, OWI

I couldn't see the price of the gas, but one comment said it was 18.7 cents a gallon, adjusted for inflation for today it would be $2.80.


Monday, February 27, 2017

Looking Back to 1941: Air Raid Sirens in DeKalb

From the January 4, 2017, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1941, 75 Years Ago.

"An ingenious scheme is being tried out to give DeKalb siren warnings for blackouts.  Phonograph records are being made from a siren on a fire truck at the fire station.

"The records will be used on public address loudspeaker systems mounted on high spots in the city.  The plan saves the city the cost of buying huge sirens as is being done in many larger cities."

Save a Buck Here, Save a Buck There.  --GreGen

Friday, February 24, 2017

Looking Back to 1941: Local Airport Now Under Guard

From the January 4, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) :"Looking Back."

1941, 75 Years Ago.

"Following orders of the federal government, a 24-hour a day armed guard is now on duty at the Waterman Airport, it was announced this morning by Spencer Mack, operator of the establishment.

"Armed guards are also on duty at the government weather bulletin station, which is situated near the hangar."

Fear of Enemy Espionage.  --GreGen

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Shorpy Home Front Photos: Third Shift and Out on the Farm

10-16-14 FLASH MOB: 1942--  April 1943.  "Baltimore, Maryland.  Third shift workers waiting on a street corner to be picked up by carpools around midnight."  Marjory Collins OWI.  

With gas rationing and restrictions, carpooling was a good idea.  They are waiting under a store sign "Parks Cut Rate Drugs/Liquors."

10-14-14  MIDNIGHT SNACKERS: 1943--  April 1943.  "Baltimore, Maryland.  Third shift workers getting snack at drugstore on the corner where they shared car will pick them up around midnight."  Marjory Collins, OWI

10-11-14 IRON WOMAN: 1943.  June 1943.  Arlington County, Virginia.  "Arlington Farms, war duration residence halls.  Laundry room in Idaho Hall."  Woman ironing.  Esther Bubley, OWI.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Looking Back to 1942: Famous Actress Dies

From the January 18, 2017, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Carole Lombard is killed in a plane tragedy."

Carole Lombard, the wife of Clark Gable, had gone back to her home state of Indiana after the U.S. entered the war and had raised over $2 million in war bonds in a single evening.  She was anxious to get back to Los Angeles and took a plane instead of the train she was scheduled to return on.

The plane stopped in Las Vegas to refuel, but crashed into Potosi Mountain, killing all aboard.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Looking Back to 1942: Home Front Hero

From the January 18, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Mrs. Emily Fox, living at 809 North Twelfth Street, does not get about much but she is doing her share in winning the war.  Despite the fact that she is past 80 years of age, she is one of the most active Red Cross knitters in the city.

"She is setting a pace that many of the knitters of less than half her age will find difficult to maintain.  Mrs. Fox is now working on her 31st Red Cross sweater.  That is a record which should be the envy of many a Red Cross knitter.

A Home Front Hero.  --GreGen

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Aircraft Carriers on the Great Lakes

From the Detroit and Cleveland Navigation Company--  Wikipedia.

During World War II, there was a great need for aircraft carriers to train the huge number of pilots needed in their service.  It was too dangerous for "practice" carriers on the Atlantic or Pacific oceans, but the Great Lakes were safe from enemy attack.

This company's ship, Greater Buffalo, 598 feet, was converted into the aircraft carrier USS Sable.  On its first day of service, 59 pilots became qualified after nine hours of operating planes with each doing eight landings and take-offs from the new carrier.

Landings and take-offs took place seven days a week.  One of the pilots who trained on the Sable was future president George H.W. Bush.

The Buffalo Line's See and Bee became the USS Wolverine aircraft carrier, also used on the Great Lakes.

Another Detroit and Cleveland Navigation Company ship, the Greater Detroit, was not taken by the Navy and during the war saw its passenger revenue increase dramatically, partly due to gas rationing.  But business fell off tremendously after the war and the ship was soon retired.


Friday, February 17, 2017

Pentagon Launches Effort to Identify Crew Members Lost on the USS Turner

From the February 12, 2017, Portland (Oregon) Press Herald "Pentagon launches effort to solve World War II ship mystery" by Chrisd Carola, AP.

An explosion caused the destroyer USS Turner to sink near New York Harbor and nearly 130 of its crew of almost 300 were listed as missing and still are.  According to the research of Ted Darcy, a World War II researcher, at least four of them are buried at a Long Island cemetery, and perhaps most if not all of the rest.

The Pentagon is now looking into it.

The USS Turner was 10-months old at the time and sank off Sandy Hook, New Jersey, on January 3, 1944, after a series of explosions rocked the ship.  The Navy could not determine the cause of the initial blast, but did find that munitions were being handled below deck at the time.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Looking Back to 1941: USS Indiana Launched

From the December 7, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1941, 75 Years Ago.

"The USS Indiana, 35,000 ton floating fortress, carrying nine 16-inch guns and other armament, making her the hardest hitting warship afloat, was launched six months ahead of schedule."

All those speed-up as a prelude to war.  Too bad nothing was written about  Pearl harbor back then that was reported in "Looking Back."