Tag Archives: US Navy

When they go low: SNL’s Pete Davidson mocks US war veteran who lost an eye in war

Pete Davidson is a comedian who works on SNL. He’s also a jerk who mocks disabled veterans.

He appeared on SNL Saturday night to make fun of republicans running in the mid-terms. In the video, Davidson mocks Dan Crenshaw who is running for Congress in Texas. About Crenshaw, from his web site:

“Lieutenant Commander Dan Crenshaw (Retired) is the Republican nominee to replace retiring Congressman Ted Poe as the Representative for Texas’ 2nd Congressional District. Dan knew that he wanted to serve his country with the most elite fighting force in history: the U.S. Navy SEALs. Dan graduated from Tufts University in 2006, where he earned his Naval officer commission through Navy ROTC. He immediately reported to SEAL training in Coronado, CA, where he met his future wife, Tara, just a few months later. After graduating SEAL training, Dan deployed to Fallujah, Iraq to join SEAL Team Three, his first of five deployments overseas.

On Dan’s third deployment in 2012, his life changed forever. After six months of combat operations, Dan was hit by an IED blast during a mission in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was evacuated and awoke from his medically induced coma learning that his right eye had been destroyed in the blast and his left eye was still present, but badly damaged. Dan was completely blind and the doctors did not believe he would ever see again. Tara stood by him every day and night, keeping faith and praying he would see again. After several difficult surgeries, he eventually regained sight in his left eye, a miracle according to the head surgeon. Dan refused to quit and went on to deploy twice more, first back to the Middle East in 2014 and then South Korea in 2016.

Dan was medically retired in September of 2016, after ten years in the SEAL Teams. He left service with two Bronze Stars (one with Valor), the Purple Heart, and the Navy Commendation Medal with Valor, among many other recognitions.”

In the SNL skit Davidson says the following (beginning at the :58 second mark):

“This guy Dan Crenshaw. You may be surprised to hear he’s a congressional candidate from Texas and not a hit man in a porno movie. I’m sorry. I know he lost his eye in war or whatever. Whatever.

Classy. Real classy.

Mr. Crenshaw took the high road and had a classier response to NBC:

“Good rule in life: I try hard not to offend; I try harder not to be offended. That being said, I hope recognizes that vets don’t deserve to see their wounds used as punchlines for bad jokes.”

DCG

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Envelopes sent to Mattis, Navy chief test positive for ricin

You don’t mess with Mad Dog.

From NY Post: Two envelopes addressed to Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson have initially tested positive for the deadly poison ricin at the Pentagon’s mail facility, according to a report.

The packages, which were delivered Monday, were intercepted before making it into the sprawling headquarters of the Defense Department in Virginia near Washington, DC, spokesman Chris Sherwood said Tuesday.

They triggered alarms as they underwent a security screening at the off-site mail processing center, according to the Military Times.

A defense official told CNN that the intended recipients were Mattis and Richardson.

“On Monday, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency detected a suspicious substance during mail screening at the Pentagon’s remote screening facility,” Army Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement.

“The envelopes were taken by the FBI this morning for further analysis,” he said, adding that all US Postal Service mail received at the screening facility Monday was under quarantine and posed no threat to Pentagon personnel.

The FBI said in a statement that as the envelopes are undergoing further testing, “we will have no further comment.”

Ricin, a highly toxic compound extracted from castor beans, has been used in terror plots and is lethal in tiny doses if swallowed, inhaled or injected. It is 6,000 times more potent than cyanide.

If ingested, it causes nausea, vomiting and internal bleeding of the stomach and intestines, followed by failure of the liver, spleen and kidneys, and death by collapse of the circulatory system.

DCG

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US Navy to the rescue!

Hooah!

DCG

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San Francisco lawmaker has had enough of the Blue Angels 'strafing' his city

Hey Avalos, it’s not just YOUR city. You’d better check with the other 864,815 citizens before making demands. Oh, and next time you open your trap, make sure you have a dictionary handy.
And if you’ve never seen the Blue Angels perform up close, DO IT next time they come to your town. It’s AMAZING.
blue angels
From Stars and Stripes: A San Francisco lawmaker has revived a proposal following the crash of a Blue Angels jet last week: It’s time, he said, to ban the renowned Navy squadron from flying over his city.
John Avalos, a member of the board of supervisors, told the San Francisco Chronicle that the jets are a threat to safety and should not be allowed to fly over occupied areas. Rather, he said, they should be kept over San Francisco Bay, where sea vessels typically congregate for Blue Angels performances.
“It’s about them crashing and hitting a building — a place where people live,” Avalos told the Chronicle. “It’s about the terror that they cause in people when they strafe neighborhoods. That’s something I hear about all the time when Blue Angels fly overhead.”

John Avalos

John Avalos


Avalos misused the term “strafing,” a term typically used to describe when pilots are flying their aircraft low to the ground, firing at targets while using machine guns or rotary cannons. Avalos did not return requests for an interview Monday morning, but took to Twitter over the weekend to double down on his comments, saying there are many San Francisco citizens who don’t want the planes.
Avalos has raised the issue before. Last fall, he said a Blue Angels performance over San Francisco reminded him of U.S. “imperialism.” The planes, he said, buzz San Francisco with “feel good jingoism.” He also appeared to allude to the Pentagon budget, which was estimated at $560 billion in fiscal 2015 and $585 billion this year.
Avalos, a former progressive candidate for mayor, is not the first to raise questions about the elite demonstration squadrons like the Blue Angels and the Air Force’s Thunderbirds. Both squadrons have historically had budgets of about $35 million per year, prompting some critics to raise questions about whether they are worth the cost.
The squadrons also occasionally have deadly mishaps. The crash Thursday killed Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss, 32, shortly after he took off from an airport in Smyrna, Tenn. His aircraft went down about two miles from the runway during preparations for the Great Tennessee Air Show over the weekend.
Another crash occurred the same day in Colorado in the Thunderbirds, which were performing as part of the commencement ceremony at the Air Force Academy. In that case, the pilot, Maj. Alex Turner was not hurt and put his plane down in an open field after avoiding homes, military officials said.
Avalos did not explain his opposition to the highly trained Blue Angels as compared to other military aircraft squadrons. There are several military installations in the San Francisco area, including Moffett Federal Airfield, a former Navy base that is now used by NASA, the California Air National Guard and other tenants.
The Blue Angels fly over San Francisco as part of Fleet Week, an annual outreach event that attracts about 1 million people per year to the city. Similar events are held in other cities, including New York.
DCG

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WWII Miracle in the South Pacific


H/T Kelleigh
~LTG

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I want to go for a ride!

Take a ride quick ride with THE BEST pilots in the world, hands down… Catapult and arrested landing POV footage from USS Enterprise.


(Air Force pilots rock too!)
DCG

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A Hero to Remember

Conversations with my dad about his service had inspired me to write about some military heroes that he remembered from World War II, Korea and Vietnam.  First there was a man who dad personally served with, Captain Slade Deville Cutter.  Then there was Commander Howard Walter Gilmore, famous for “take her down!” statement. Lastly, Albert Brown, the last survivor of the Bataan Death March.

Rear Admiral Richard "Dick" O'Kane


Now I’d like to introduce you to Richard O’Kane, a man who participated (directly) in more successful attacks on Japanese shipping than any other fighting submarine officer during World War II.
In July 1943, Lieutenant Commander O’Kane was detached from Wahoo and soon became Prospective Commanding Officer (PCO) of the Tang, which was then under construction. He placed her in commission in October 1943 and commanded her through her entire career. He was an innovator, and developed several operational tactics that markedly increased his ship’s efficiency. Among these tactics were daylight surface cruising with extra lookouts, periscope recognition and range drills—enabling clear tactical sureness when seconds counted, and methods of night surface attacks—one of his favorite techniques to obtain and maintain the initiative in battle.

O'Kane and his crew aboard the USS Tang


In five war patrols, O’Kane and Tang sank an officially recognized total of 24 Japanese ships. This total was revised in 1980 from a review of Japanese war records corroborated by the Tang’s surviving logs and crewmembers to 31 ships totalling over 227,000 tons sunk. This established one of the Pacific War’s top records for submarine achievement. Several times during the war he took the Tang into the heart of a convoy and attacked ships ahead and behind while coolly steering clear of escorting combatants—counting on Tang’s relative position, speed, and low profile to keep clear of enemy escorts.
The Tang and O’Kane’s third patrol, into the Yellow Sea, ranked first in the war patrol records for number of ships sunk in a single patrol. O’Kane claimed eight ships at the time but post-war analysis increased this to ten ships. On one attack he had targeted two large ships with three torpedoes each and assumed three hits in each. 
He was captured by the Japanese when his boat was sunk in the Formosa Strait by its own flawed torpedo (running in a circle) during a surface night attack on October 24–25, 1944, wherein he lost all but eight of his crew, and was secretly (i.e. illegally) held prisoner until the war’s end some ten months later. Following his release, Commander O’Kane received the Medal of Honor for his “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity” during his submarine’s final operations against Japanese shipping.
In addition to the Medal of Honor, O’Kane received three Navy Crosses, three Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit with “V” device for valor, the Purple Heart and several other decorations.
Admiral O’Kane was also awarded the American Defense Service Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 9 battle stars, World War II Victory Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. He was also retroactively entitled to the Prisoner of War Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon.
Dad remembered him as a great man, that was brilliant and dedicated to his crew.  Along with his valiant war efforts, he survived being a prisoner of war. A true hero to remember.
DCG

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A Hero to Remember

Commander Howard Walter Gilmore

Earlier this month I did a blog post on my dad’s World War II hero, Slade Deville Cutter.  My father shared another story of a Commander that made the ultimate sacrifice for his crew and our country, Commander Howard Walter Gilmore.

Gilmore underwent submarine training in 1930 and in the years that followed served in various submarines and at stations ashore. In 1941, he assumed his first command, USS Shark (SS-174), only to be transferred the day following the attack on Pearl Harbor to take command of the still-unfinished USS Growler (SS-215). On his first, Growler attacked three enemy destroyers off Kiska, sinking one and severely damaging the other two, while narrowly avoiding two torpedoes fired in return, for which Gilmore received the Navy Cross. On his second patrol, Growler sank four merchant ships totaling 15,000 tons in the East China Sea near Taiwan. Gilmore received a gold star in lieu of a second Navy Cross.
 
The submarine continued to take a heavy toll of shipping on her fourth war patrol, and on the night of 6–February 7, 1943, she approached a convoy stealthily for a surface attack. Suddenly a fast gunboat, Hayasaki, closed and prepared to ram. As the small ship charged out of the darkness, Gilmore sounded the collision alarm and shouted, “Left full rudder!” — to no avail. Growler hit the Japanese adversary amidships at 17 knots, heeling the submarine 50 degrees, bending 18 feet of her bow sideways, and disabling the forward torpedo tubes.
 
Simultaneously, the Japanese crew unleashed a burst of machine gun fire at Growler’s bridge, killing the assistant officer of the deck and a lookout, while wounding Gilmore himself and two other men. “Clear the bridge!” Gilmore ordered as he struggled to hang on to a frame. As the rest of the bridge party dropped down the hatch into the conning tower, the executive officer, Lieutenant commander Arnold Schade waited expectantly for his captain to appear. Instead from above came the shouted command: “Take her down!” Realizing that he could not get himself below in time if the ship were to escape, Gilmore chose to make the supreme sacrifice for his shipmates. Schade hesitated briefly — then followed his captain’s last order and submerged the crippled ship.

Commander Gilmore's Grave Stone in Meridian, MS

Surfacing some time later in hope of reattacking the Hayasaki, Schade found the seas empty. The Japanese ship had survived the encounter, but there was no sign of Gilmore, who apparently had drifted away in the night. Schade and Growler’s crew managed to control the ship’s flooding and limped back to Brisbane.

For sacrificing his own life to save his ship, commander Howard Gilmore was posthumously awarded the Medal of HonorToday “Take her down!” remains one of the legendary phrases of the U.S. Submarine Force.

Thank you Commander Gilmore for sacrificing your life for your crew and our freedoms. A true hero to remember forever.

DCG

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A Hero to Remember

An American Hero

My father served in the US Navy and was involved in both the Vietnam and Korean Wars.  My father was my hero growing up (most of the time!), raised me as a conservative, and taught me the difference between right and wrong.  He also shared a story with me of his hero, Slade Deville Cutter.  I would like to share his story with you.

My father was a Recruit Chief Petty Officer of Company 497 and completed his US Navy training in San Diego (my father is on the front right). The training was brutal – it involved “gunnery” training (doesn’t sound that bad to me!) and practice run-throughs of the “gas chamber” (that sounds brutal!).

Photo of my dad taken by Captain Slade Cutter on 27 May 1960

My father then went on to serve on the USS Neosho . It was there he met his hero, Captain Slade Cutter.

Slade Cutter was ‘da man. He was a career US Naval Officer and was awarded four Navy Crosses and tied for 2nd place for Japanese ships sunk during World War II. My dad shared the following with me:

“I spent about 2 1/2 years on The USS Neosho, some with Slade Cutter as Captain and some with Reuben Whitaker as Captain. Both were famous and excellent World War II submarine captains.  The only bad feature about the Neosho was no air conditioning! The air search radar was obsolete, but our radar repeaters and communications equipment were good. Most importantly, we respected and admired our Captain Cutter.  He was a man of courage.”

“Cutter was really concerned about the welfare of his crew.  (Dad presumed it came from the fact that he survived so many attacks.)  His crew always came first.  The better the performance of the people on the ship, the better chance they had of surviving.

Cutter’s four war patrols as Commanding Officer of the USS Seahorse netted 19 sinkings and more than 70,000 tons of shipping in the postwar accounting. Cutter succeeded in sinking 9 vessels in enemy Japanese-controlled waters during a Second Water Patrol.  He also succeeded in delivering damaging torpedo attacks against heavily escorted enemy convoys. On one occasion, it was necessary to pursue an enemy convoy over a period of 80 hours and only by exceptional determination and skill was Cutter able to penetrate the escort screen and sink two freighters.

Captain Cutter once stated, “The Seahorse sank 19 enemy ships during the four war patrols I was the skipper. The crew got the job done. I was merely the coordinator. They were brave and talented, and I never had to be reckless.  I thought of the lives of those fine men, and frankly, I was aboard too.

Spoken like a true hero.

DCG

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Was Killing OBL Legal?

Got him!


 The folks over at Politico have a question: was killing OBL legal? As more details of the death of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden surfaced Monday, some individuals suggested that the killing of the Al Qaeda leader by U.S. special forces may have violated international law.
However, human rights and civil liberties groups that have sharply criticized the Obama administration for its use of lethal force against terror suspects outside of war zones remained largely mum after the notorious bin Laden was shot by U.S. Navy SEALs in an operation that took place in Pakistan, where the U.S. is not involved in formally declared combat.
Tom Malinowski, the Washington director of Human Rights Watch, said his group wasn’t prepared to express an opinion “until we know more solid details about the facts of the operation.”
The American Civil Liberties Union, which has vocally opposed the Obama administration’s use of lethal force outside of armed conflict zones, told POLITICO it has not released an official comment on bin Laden’s death, and has no plans to comment on it.
Some legal scholars and intelligence analysts are also expressing concerns that the covert military operation in Abbottabad was further evidence to them that the U.S. is taking the wrong approach in the so-called “global war on terror.”
Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern went as far as to say that bin Laden was “martyred by U.S. forces acting arbitrarily and independently in a Muslim nation.” “The professor turned president was out to show how tough he is and how his crackerjack extrajudicial assassins can get their man,” McGovern said. “There are commonly accepted legal ways to capture and bring such people to a court of law — yes, even the ‘bad guys’ like Osama bin Laden.”
Terrorism – even that perpetrated by Osama bin Laden — is a criminal action and doesn’t necessarily require military force, according to Mary Ellen O’Connell, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame. “If we’re not there by the authorization of the U.N. Security Council, then we should be using law enforcement methods – not military force,” she told POLITICO.
I would like to ask: Was bombing the USS Cole legal? Was the 1993 bombing of the WTC legal? Were the 1998 US Embassy bombings legal? Or was hijacking four planes on 9/11 legal? I’m no lawyer yet I’m going go out on a limb here and suggest justice was served. And I don’t care if it violated U.N. Security Council laws.
DCG

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