Tag Archives: World War II

Ignoring Japan's war atrocities, Obama apologizes for U.S. bombing of Hiroshima

Obama’s entire presidency has been one unending apology-and-diss-America tour around the world. As his days in the White House dwindle to nothing, expect that to accelerate.
The POS took his latest apology-and-diss-America act to Japan, where he managed to outdo even his past acts by condemning the 1,076,245 Americans who gave their lives or were wounded in the Second World War.

Obama bows to Japanese emperor, February 2010

Obama bows to Japanese emperor, February 2010

Yesterday, May 27, 2016, on the eve of Memorial Day, as the President of the United States of America, Obama told the world that the Truman Administration’s decision to drop a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945, arose from America’s blood-thirsty hypocrisy (“justify violence in the name of some higher cause”), religious zeal (“believers who have claimed their faith as a license to kill”), jingoistic nationalism that was “used to oppress and dehumanize those who are different,” and moral degeneracy (“technological progress” without a “moral revolution”).
Condemning the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, Obama said:

How easily we learn to justify violence in the name of some higher cause.

Every great religion promises a pathway to love and peace and righteousness, and yet no religion has been spared from believers who have claimed their faith as a license to kill.

Nations arise telling a story that binds people together in sacrifice and cooperation, allowing for remarkable feats. But those same stories have so often been used to oppress and dehumanize those who are different.

Science allows us to communicate across the seas and fly above the clouds, to cure disease and understand the cosmos, but those same discoveries can be turned into ever more efficient killing machines.

The wars of the modern age teach us this truth. Hiroshima teaches this truth. Technological progress without an equivalent progress in human institutions can doom us. The scientific revolution that led to the splitting of an atom requires a moral revolution as well.

Then Obama commiserated with the Japanese victims:

Why do we come to this place, to Hiroshima? We come to ponder a terrible force unleashed in a not-so-distant past. We come to mourn the dead, including over 100,000 Japanese men, women and children, thousands of Koreans, a dozen Americans held prisoner.

Their souls speak to us. […] We stand here in the middle of this city and force ourselves to imagine the moment the bomb fell. We force ourselves to feel the dread of children confused by what they see. We listen to a silent cry.

But Obama, the bleeding heart, made no mention of the American lives and property destroyed by Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Nor did he mention the Imperial Japanese Army’s wanton slaughter of (Rape of Nanking) and grotesque medical experiments on Chinese civilians, forcing Korean women into sexual slavery (“comfort women“), and unspeakable cruelty toward Allied POWs (Bataan Death March).

Rape of Nanking: Body of Chinese woman killed by being raped with a Japanese bayonet

Rape of Nanking: Body of Chinese woman killed by being raped with a Japanese bayonet

Nor did Obama mention that President Harry Truman’s decision to use the atomic bomb took place only AFTER the U.S. fire-bombing of Japanese cities, and was intended as a means to avoid a full-scale Allied invasion of Japan, which would exact an incalculable loss in human lives — American and Japanese.
Nor did Obama mention that the bomb dropped on Hiroshima was only the first of TWO nuclear bombs. That Japan refused to surrender after Hiroshima, and so three days later, on August 9, 1945, the U.S. dropped a second atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki. Only then did Emperor Hirohito order the military government to accept the terms the Allies had set down in the Potsdam Declaration for ending the war. After several more days of behind-the-scenes negotiations, in a recorded radio address to his people on August 15, Hirohito finally surrendered.
In the words of Joel B. Pollak for Breitbart:

Obama, a native of Honolulu who grew up near Pearl Harbor, said nothing about the fact that Japan started the war; nothing about the fact that the Japanese were responsible for the slaughter of millions of civilians throughout Asia and the Pacific; nothing about the fact that the Japanese refused to surrender after hundreds of thousands had already been killed in conventional bombing. […]
He left out the moral case for ending the war, and the hundreds of thousands of deaths avoided because of Hiroshima.
The contrast to President Harry S. Truman could not have been clearer.
Reflecting on the decision to bomb Japan years later, Truman declared: “That bomb caused the Japanese to surrender, and it stopped the war. I don’t care what the crybabies say now, because they didn’t have to make the decision.”
As he has done before, Obama cast a moral equivalence between different civilizations, implying that Americans were just as bad as the Imperial Japanese, or anyone else.
But he went further, casting doubt on the American effort in World War II itself [….]
There is really only one response to Obama’s gesture, and it goes beyond media disputation and moral condemnation.
It must be made clear that at Hiroshima, Obama represented no one but himself — not the Greatest Generation who fought the war, and not the generations of Americans who have grown up enjoying the freedom that victory over Japan secured.
The U.S. Congress declared war on Japan the day after Pearl Harbor. Millions of Americans fought to save the country, and civilization. Hundreds of thousands died, often in brutal hand-to-hand combat against a fanatically determined Japanese enemy.
It is the inescapable duty of the Congress of the United States today to censure President Barack Obama for casting doubt on the sacrifices and motivations of the Americans who fought the Second World War — on the eve of Memorial Day, no less.

Click here to contact your representatives in Congress.

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The baseball catcher who was a spy

From an email sent to me by John Molloy, Chairman of the National Vietnam & Gulf War Veterans Coalition.

He asks: “Wonder why Hollywood never touched this story?”

moe bergMoe Berg

A second-rate baseball player but a first-rate spy.

When baseball greats Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig went on tour in baseball-crazy Japan in 1934, some fans wondered why a third-string catcher named Moe Berg was included.

The answer was simple: Berg was a U.S. spy. Speaking 15 languages—including Japanese—Moe Berg had two loves: baseball and spying.

In Tokyo, garbed in a kimono, Berg took flowers to the daughter of an American diplomat being treated in St. Luke’s Hospital–the tallest building in the Japanese capital. He never delivered the flowers.

The ball-player ascended to the hospital roof and filmed key features: the harbor, military installations, railway yards, etc.

Eight years later, General Jimmy Doolittle studied Berg’s films in planning his spectacular raid on Tokyo.

Berg’s father, Bernard Berg, a pharmacist in Newark, New Jersey, taught his son Hebrew and Yiddish. Moe, against his wishes, began playing baseball on the street aged four. His father disapproved and never once watched his son play.

In Barringer High School, Moe learned Latin, Greek and French. He graduated magna cum laude from Princeton—having added Spanish, Italian, German and Sanskrit to his linguistic quiver. During further studies at the Sorbonne, in Paris, and Columbia Law School he picked up Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Indian, Arabic, Portuguese and Hungarian—15 languages in all, plus some regional dialects. While playing baseball for Princeton University, Moe Berg would describe plays in Latin or Sanskrit.

During World War II, Berg was parachuted into Yugoslavia to assess the value to the war effort of the two groups of partisans there. He reported back that Marshall Tito’s forces were widely supported by the people and Winston Churchill ordered all-out support for the Yugoslav underground fighter, rather than Mihajlovic’s Serbians.

The parachute jump at age 41 undoubtedly was a challenge. But there was more to come in that same year.

Berg penetrated German-held Norway, met with members of the underground and located a secret heavy water plant—part of the Nazis’ effort to build an atomic bomb. His information guided the Royal Air Force in a bombing raid to destroy the plant.

There still remained the question of how far had the Nazis progressed in the race to build the first Atomic bomb. If the Nazis were successful, they would win the war. (Most of Germany’s leading physicists had been Jewish and had fled the Nazis mainly to Britain and the United States.)

Berg (under the code name “Remus”) was sent to Switzerland to hear leading German physicist Werner Heisenberg, a Nobel Laureate, lecture and determine if the Nazis were close to building an A-bomb. Moe managed to slip past the SS guards at the auditorium., posing as a Swiss graduate student. The spy carried in his pocket a pistol and a cyanide pill. If the German indicated the Nazis were close to building a weapon, Berg was to shoot him—and then swallow the cyanide pill. Moe, sitting in the front row, determined that the Germans were nowhere near their goal, so he complimented Heisenberg on his speech and walked him back to his hotel.

Moe Berg’s report was distributed to Britain’s prime minister, Winston Churchill, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and key figures in the team developing the Atomic Bomb.

Roosevelt responded: “Give my regards to the catcher.”

After the war, Moe Berg was awarded the Medal of Merit—America’s highest honor for a civilian in wartime. But Berg refused to accept, as he couldn’t tell people about his exploits. After his death, his sister accepted the Medal and it hangs in the Baseball Hall of Fame, in Cooperstown, N.Y.

When the war ended, Moe Berg found himself unemployed. He did receive occasional intelligence assignments, including a visit to the Soviet Union, where his ability to speak Russia was valuable. Traveling with other agents, when asked for credentials, by a Soviet border guard in Russian-dominated Czechoslovakia, he showed the soldier a letter from the Texaco Oil company, with its big red star. The illiterate soldier was satisfied.

Roosevelt once described Moe Berg as a “most unusual fellow.” Berg would often drop in, unannounced, at friends’ homes—expecting to be fed. He always wore a black suit (he had eight), a white shirt and a black tie.

Berg lived with his brother Samuel for seventeen years and, when evicted, spent his last final years with his sister, Ethel. A lifelong bachelor, he never owned a home or even rented an apartment. He never learned how to drive.

When someone criticized him for wasting his talent, Berg responded: “I’d rather be a ballplayer than a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.”

His interest in baseball continued throughout his life. Moments before he died (aged 70), Berg asked his nurse: “How are the Mets doing today?”

For more details on this extraordinary man, see Wikipedia’s entry on Moe Berg.


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Soldier from WWII returns home

Army Tech. Sgt. William S. Cassell comes home

World War II veteran identified, returned home

US Army: HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — In 1947, the parents of Army Tech. Sgt. William S. Cassell received word that their son was one of eight U.S. Army Air Corps airmen presumed dead after the aircraft in which they were flying went missing.

The following year, the wreckage of a U.S. B-17G Flying Fortress was discovered in the French-Italian Alps near the Estellette Glacier. It was determined to be Cassell’s plane but the remains were unidentifiable and the wreckage was declared non-recoverable. Until now.

More than 60 years after he was declared deceased, Cassell’s remains were finally returned to his family during a plane-side ceremony Friday at the Richmond International Airport. A day earlier, Hannah Cassell Anderson said she was taken with the news that their older brother was finally coming home.

“I was just amazed and thrilled at the same time,” said the 68-year-old Anderson, “because not only did they have his remains, but they also had his dog tags, which was just wonderful.”

Although bits and pieces of the wreckage were found shortly after the plane went missing, many parts and remains were found between 1983-99 as the glacier slid downward from its resting place at an altitude of 12,000 feet, said the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office. Two years ago, the remains were re-evaluated using advanced DNA technology, and Cassell’s DNA was determined to match that of his mother’s.

Anderson, along with her two older siblings, Franklin, 82, and Mary Lee Cassell Musulin, 80, were on hand to witness the arrival of the remains at the airport. They watched in solemn tribute as Soldiers from Fort Lee, Va., ceremoniously removed the flag-draped coffin from the commercial aircraft’s cargo storage area and carried it to a waiting hearse. They also traveled to Amelia County to do the same in preparation for a memorial service that was held Sunday.

Tech Sgt. Cassell was 21 years old when he died with his fellow airmen. An Arlington National Cemetery burial plot was dedicated to the crew years ago, but no personal items had been returned, said Anderson, who was only a few months old when her brother was drafted and departed for World War II.

Despite the declaration that her brother was deceased, Anderson said her father held a glimmer of hope that his son was still alive, especially considering the fact the no personal items were found.

“My father always thought that maybe, maybe he survived and one day would show up,” said Anderson, “because they got nothing, nothing except a telegram.”
Anderson said the identification of the remains brings an end to the years of speculation about her brother’s death.

“It does bring closure, especially for my sister and brother,” she said. “Also, because I didn’t know him and didn’t experience the grief at that time, it gives me such a good feeling that he’s home. That’s what my father and mother always wanted.”

How great for the family to receive this closure. And for this American soldier to be returned home.


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Two Stories BOTH TRUE – and worth reading!!!!

Well let me put it this way. The way I read it, the story is mostly true. Here’s Snopes link and you decide. Either way it’s a Kule story. 
~   Steve~        —————————   H/T Joseph————————
Many years ago, Al Capone virtually owned
Chicago. Capone wasn’t famous for anything heroic. He was notorious for enmeshing the windy city in everything from bootlegged booze and prostitution to murder.
Capone had a lawyer nicknamed “Easy Eddie.” He was Capone’s lawyer for a good reason. Eddie was very good! In fact, Eddie’s skill at legal maneuvering kept Big Al out of jail for a long time.
To show his appreciation, Capone paid him very well. Not only was the money big, but Eddie got special dividends as well. For instance, he and his family occupied a fenced-in mansion with live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day. The estate was so large that it filled an entire Chicago city block.
Eddie lived the high life of the Chicago mob and gave little consideration to the atrocity that went on around him.
Eddie did have one soft spot, however. He had a son that he loved dearly. Eddie saw to it that his young son had clothes, cars, and a good education. Nothing was withheld. Price was no object.
And, despite his involvement with organized crime, Eddie even tried to teach him right from wrong. Eddie wanted his son to be a better man than he was.
Yet, with all his wealth and influence, there were two things he couldn’t give his son; he couldn’t pass on a good name or a good example.
One day, Easy Eddie reached a difficult decision. Easy Eddie wanted to rectify wrongs he had done.
He decided he would go to the authorities and tell the truth about Al “Scarface” Capone, clean up his tarnished name, and offer his son a semblance of integrity. To do this, he would have to testify against The Mob, and he knew that the cost would be great. So, he testified.
Within the year, Easy Eddie’s life ended in a blaze of gunfire on a lonely Chicago Street. But in his eyes, he had given his son the greatest gift he had to offer, at the greatest price he could ever pay. Police removed from his pockets a rosary, a crucifix, a religious medallion, and a poem clipped from a magazine.
The poem read:
“The clock of life is wound but once, and no man has the power to tell just when the hands will stop, at late or early hour. Now is the only time you own. Live, love, toil with a will. Place no faith in time. For the clock may soon be still.”
World War II produced many heroes. One such man was Lieutenant Commander Butch O’Hare.
He was a fighter pilot assigned to the aircraft carrier Lexington in the South Pacific.
One day his entire squadron was sent on a mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank.
He would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship.
His flight leader told him to return to the carrier. Reluctantly, he dropped out of formation and headed back to the fleet.
As he was returning to the mother ship, he saw something that turned his blood cold; a squadron of Japanese aircraft was speeding its way toward the American fleet.
The American fighters were gone on a sortie, and the fleet was all but defenseless. He couldn’t reach his squadron and bring them back in time to save the fleet. Nor could he warn the fleet of the approaching danger. There was only one thing to do. He must somehow divert them from the fleet.
Laying aside all thoughts of personal safety, he dove into the formation of Japanese planes. Wing -mounted 50 caliber’s blazed as he charged in, attacking one surprised enemy plane and then another. Butch wove in and out of the now broken formation and fired at as many planes as possible until all his ammunition was finally spent.
Undaunted, he continued the assault. He dove at the planes, trying to clip a wing or tail in hopes of damaging as many enemy planes as possible, rendering them unfit to fly.
Finally, the exasperated Japanese squadron took off in another direction.
Deeply relieved, Butch O’Hare and his tattered fighter limped back to the carrier.
Upon arrival, he reported in and related the event surrounding his return. The film from the gun -camera mounted on his plane told the tale. It showed the extent of Butch’s daring attempt to protect his fleet. He had, in fact, destroyed five enemy aircraft. This took place on February 20, 1942, and for that action Butch became the Navy’s first Ace of WW2, and the first Naval Aviator to win the Medal of Honor.
A year later Butch was killed in aerial combat at the age of 29. His home town would not allow the memory of this WW II hero to fade, and today, O’Hare Airport in Chicago is named in tribute to the courage of this great man.
So, the next time you find yourself at O’Hare International, give some thought to visiting Butch’s memorial displaying his statue and his Medal of Honor. It’s located between Terminals 1 and 2.
Butch O’Hare was “Easy Eddie’s” son.
PS: I understand that O’Hare is the busiest airport inn the world, and has been for some time.

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Absolutely Amazing Story. Is history bound to repeat itself?


The Battle of Athens
2 AUGUST 1946
I. Introduction
On 2 August 1946, some Americans, brutalized by their county government, used armed force to overturn it. These Americans wanted honest, open elections. For years they had asked for state or Federal election monitors to prevent vote fraud — forged ballots, secret ballot counts, and intimidation by armed sheriff’s deputies — by the local political boss. They got no help.
These Americans’ absolute refusal to knuckle-under had been hardened by service in World War II. Having fought to free other countries from murderous regimes, they rejected vicious abuse by their county government. These Americans had a choice. Their state’s Constitution – Article 1, Section 26 – recorded their right to keep and bear arms for the common defense. Few “gun control” laws had been enacted.
II. The Setting
These Americans were Tennesseeans of McMinn County, located between Chattanooga and Knoxville, in Eastern Tennessee. The two main towns were Athens and Etowah.
McMinn Countians had long been independent political thinkers. They also had long:
accepted bribe-taking by politicians and/or the Sheriff to overlook illicit whiskey-making and gambling;
financed the sheriff’s department from fines – usually for speeding or public drunkenness – which promoted false arrests;
put up with voting fraud by both Democrats and Republicans.
Tennessee State law barred voting fraud:
ballot boxes had to be shown to be empty before voting;
poll-watchers had to be allowed;
armed law enforcement officers were barred from polling places;
ballots had to be counted where any voter could watch.
III. The Circumstances
The Great Depression had ravaged McMinn County. Drought broke many farmers; workforces shrank. The wealthy Cantrell family, of Etowah, backed Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1932 election, hoping New Deal programs would revive the local economy and help Democrats to replace Republicans in the county government. So it proved.
Paul Cantrell was elected Sheriff in the 1936, 1938, and 1940 elections, but by slim margins. The Sheriff was the key County official. Cantrell was elected to the State Senate in 1942 and 1944; his chief deputy, Pat Mansfield, was elected sheriff. In 1946, Paul Cantrell again sought the Sheriff’s office.
IV. World War II Ends; Paul Cantrell’s Troubles Begin
At end-1945, some 3,000 battle-hardened veterans returned to McMinn County. Sheriff Mansfield’s deputies had brutalized many in McMinn County; the GIs held Cantrell politically responsible for Mansfield’s doings. Early in 1946, some newly-returned ex-GIs decided:
to challenge Cantrell politically;
to offer an all ex-GI, non-partisan ticket;
to promise a fraud-free election.
In ads and speeches the GI candidates promised:
an honest ballot count;
reform of county government.
At a rally, a GI speaker said, “‘The principals that we fought for in this past war do not exist in McMinn County. We fought for democracy because we believe in democracy but not the form we live under in this county.'” (Daily Post-Athenian, 17 June 1946, p. 1).
At end-July 1946, 159 McMinn County GIs petitioned the FBI to send election monitors. There was no response. The Department of Justice had not responded to McMinn Countians’ complaints of election fraud in 1940, 1942, and 1944.
V. From Ballots to Bullets
The election was held on 1 August. To intimidate voters, Mansfield brought in some 200 armed “deputies”. GI poll-watchers were beaten almost at once. At about 3 p.m., Tom Gillespie, an African-American voter, was told by a Sheriff’s deputy, “‘Nigger, you can’t vote here today!!'”. Despite being beaten, Gillespie persisted; the enraged deputy shot him. The gunshot drew a crowd. Rumors spread that Gillespie had been “shot in the back”; he later recovered. (C. Stephen Byrum, The Battle of Athens; Paidia Productions, Chattanooga TN, 1987; pp. 155-57).
Other deputies detained ex-GI poll-watchers in a polling place, as that made the ballot count “public”. A crowd gathered. Sheriff Mansfield told his deputies to disperse the crowd. When the two ex-GIs smashed a big window and escaped, the crowd surged forward. “The deputies, with guns drawn, formed a tight half-circle around the front of the polling place. One deputy, “his gun raised high …shouted: ‘You sons-of-bitches cross this street and I’ll kill you!'” (Byrum, p. 165).
Mansfield took the ballot boxes to the jail for counting. The deputies seemed to fear immediate attack, by the “people who had just liberated Europe and the South Pacific from two of the most powerful war machines in human history.” (Byrum, pp. 168-69).
Short of firearms and ammunition, the GIs scoured the county to find them. By borrowing keys to the National Guard and State Guard Armories, they got three M-1 rifles, five .45 semi-automatic pistols, and 24 British Enfield rifles. The armories were nearly empty after the war’s end.
By eight p.m., a group of GIs and “local boys” headed for the jail to get the ballot boxes. They occupied high ground facing the jail but left the back door unguarded to give the jail’s defenders an easy way out.

Rest of story..

~Steve~     H/T  Joseph

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You Could Have Heard a Pin Drop

This one has been around for awhile; but, a neighbor just emailed it to me and I think it deserves being brought to mind again. ~LTG

At a time when our president and other politicians tend to apologize for our country’s prior actions, here’s a refresher on how some of our former patriots handled negative comments about our country.

These stories are good reminders of how proud and thankful we should always be as Americans:

JFK’S Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, was in France in the early 60’s when DeGaule decided to pull out of NATO. DeGaule said he wanted all US military out of France as soon as possible.

Rusk responded,
Does that include those who are buried here?”

DeGaule did not respond.

You could have heard a pin drop.


When in England ,
at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of ’empire building’ by George Bush.

He answered by saying,
“Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.”

You could have heard a pin drop.


There was a conference in France</strong> <strong>where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break, one of the French engineers came back into the room saying, "Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intend to do, bomb them?"</strong>
A Boeing engineer</strong> <strong>stood up and replied quietly: "<span style="color:#ff0000;">Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck. We have eleven such ships</span><span style="color:#ff0000;">;</span></strong><span style="color:#ff0000;"> <strong>how many does France have?"</strong></span>
You could have heard a pin drop.</strong> <strong>

A U.S. Navy Admiral
was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S. , English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of officers that included personnel from most of those countries.

Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English. He then asked, “Why is it thatwe always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?”

Without hesitating,
the American Admiral replied, “Maybe it’s because the Brit’s, Canadians, Aussie’s and Americans arranged it so you wouldn’t have to speak German.”

You could have heard a pin drop.



Robert Whiting,
  an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane. At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on.

“You have been to France before, monsieur?” the customs officer asked sarcastically.

Mr. Whiting
admitted that he had been to France previously.

“Then you should know enough to have your passport ready.”

The American said,
“The last time I was here, I didn’t have to show it.”

“Impossible. Americans always have to show their passports on arrival in France !”

The American senior
gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained, ”Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn’t find a single Frenchman to show a passport to.”

You could have heard a pin drop.

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Reno Air Races Disaster

RENO, Nev. (AP) — As thousands watched in horror, a World War II-era fighter plane competing in a Nevada event described as a car race in the sky suddenly pitched upward, rolled and did a nose-dive toward the crowded grandstand.
The plane, flown by a 74-year-old veteran Hollywood stunt pilot, then slammed into the concrete in a section of VIP box seats and blew to pieces in front the pilot’s family and a tight-knit group of friends who attend the annual event in Reno.
“It absolutely disintegrated,” said Tim O’Brien of Grass Valley Calif., who attends the races every year. “I’ve never seen anything like that before.”
Three people were killed and more than 50 injured amid a horrific scene strewn with smoking debris.
Authorities say it appears a mechanical failure with the P-51 Mustang – a class of fighter plane that can fly in excess of 500 mph – was to blame. Some credit the pilot, Jimmy Leeward, with preventing the crash from being far more deadly.
Leeward was among those killed.
Rest Of Story and Vid  HERE

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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.

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A Hero to Remember

Albert Brown speaks w/SIUC Army ROTC in 2005.

Albert Brown, 105, was last survivor of Bataan Death March

The last survivor of the Bataan Death March passed away yesterday at the ripe old age of 105.  A doctor once told Albert Brown he shouldn’t expect to make it to 50, given the toll taken by his years in a Japanese labour camp during World War II and the infamous Bataan Death March that got him there. But he made it to 105, embodying the power of a positive spirit in the face of unlikely odds. He was the last known survivor of the march.
“Doc” Brown was nearly 40 in 1942 when he endured the Bataan Death March, a harrowing 105-kilometre trek in which 78,000 prisoners of war were forced to walk from Bataan province near Manila to a Japanese PoW camp. As many as 11,000 died along the way. Many were denied food, water and medical care, and those who stumbled or fell during the scorching journey through Philippine jungles were stabbed, shot or beheaded.
Brown survived and secretly documented it all, using a nub of a pencil to scrawl details into a tiny tablet he concealed in the lining of his canvas bag. He often wondered why captives so much younger and stronger perished, while he went on.
By the time he died Sunday at a nursing home in Nashville in southern Illinois’ Brown’s story was well-chronicled, by one author’s account offering an encouraging road map for veterans recovering from their own wounds in many wars.
“Doc’s story had as much relevance for today’s wounded warriors as it did for the veterans of his own era,” said Kevin Moore, co-author of the recently released Forsaken Heroes of the Pacific War: One Man’s True Story, which details Brown’s experience and his message of hope.
Brown, recognized in 2007 at an annual convention of Bataan survivors as the oldest one still living, couldn’t muster the strength to talk about his experiences until about 15 or so years ago, said his granddaughter, Susan Engelhardt. “I’m not a big military buff at all. But just reading the story about the death march and the situation in the Philippines, it’s an incredible story. And incredibly sad,” Engelhardt said. “ He came through horrible times and came out on top, rebuilding his life. But so many of those men and women triumphed.”
Brown remained in a PoW camp from early 1942 until mid-September 1945, living solely on rice. The once-athletic man — he played baseball, football, basketball and track in high school — saw his weight wither by some 80 pounds to less than 100 by the time he was freed. Lice and disease were rampant.
Despite the hardships, Brown focused on bright spots, including a prisoner called on to fix Japanese soldiers’ radios. The prisoner managed to steal radio parts, scraping together enough components to build a functioning unit of his own. Brown helped craft a listening tube for the device, which brought the captives news from San Francisco that the U.S. actually had won a battle the Japanese soldiers were celebrating as a naval victory.
By the time the war ended in 1945, the 40-year-old Brown was nearly blind, had weathered a broken back and neck and suffered through more than a dozen diseases including malaria, dysentery and dengue fever. He took two years to mend, and a doctor told him to enjoy the next few years because he had been so decimated he would be dead by 50.
“I think he had seen so much horror that after the way, he was determined to enjoy his life,” Moore said.
Not only a survivor but a true hero.  By offering encouraging words to wounded soldiers, he was also an inspiration. Glad he got to enjoy a long life in this world!

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Texas Bank's New Sign



Chappell Hill is a small town between Houston and Brenham on Hwy 290.
CHAPPELL HILL Any would-be robbers looking to walk into the bank here had best think twice.There is a new sign in town.
About a month ago, Chappell Hill Bank president Edward Smith looked at a sign on the front door prohibiting concealed weapons from his business and decided to make a policy change. Licensed to carry a handgun? Come on in, and bring your weapon.
The sign, now prominently displayed on the bank’s front door, says: “Lawful concealed carry permitted on these premises. Management recognizes the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as an inalienable right of all citizens. We therefore support and encourage the carrying of licensed concealed weapons.” Smith said he made the policy change to send a warning to potential robbers, and also to express support to Americans right to bear arms.
“We had the sign on the window, the red circle with the pistol inside and a line through it.And I started thinking, We’ve got this no gun sign up and the guy (robber) can come in and do what he wants. But if you’ve got a policy allowing handguns, he won’t know how many people are going to be in here carrying a concealed weapon. There may be some little old lady who’s mad at the government, and she’d love to use it” he said.
The bank has been robbed twice in the last three years, including last March when a Western-attired man walked in, ordered bank employees to fill a canvas bag with money and then fled in a pickup truck. The man, who did not brandish a weapon, has not been caught.
The sign has made Chappell Hill Bank and Smith somewhat of an Internet sensation. A photo of the sign has made its way around the world, and Smith has even been interviewed for the National Rifle Association‘s radio networkhttps://
www.nranews.com/#/nranews ;. He’s also been contacted by other media outlets wanting to do stories.
“It’s kind of gotten a life of its own” he said.

Expressions of support have far outnumbered criticism.
Smith has been contacted by officials from larger banks considering taking similar action, and has received e-mails in support from across the United States and even from England, Canada,and Germany ..

“I haven’t gotten any from Chicago or California , which doesn’t surprise me”, Smith said with a laugh. “We did get a real nice e-mail from an 88-year-old World War II veteran who said it’s about time somebody stood up in this country.”

The NRA has even invited him to speak at an upcoming convention, but Smith said, “I’m still deciding on that.”
Smith said he’s only received one negative e-mail, from an anonymous sender.
~Steve~                     H/T   May

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