Tag Archives: WWII

USS Grayback submarine discovered 75 years later

Read about the history of this submarine here.

Great job by the folks at the Lost 52 Project. About their mission:

“Our mission objective is to provide the fullest possible documentation and accounting of these locations for our missing WWII Navy Sailors, their families and the nation. Our mission goes beyond discovery and exploration and includes site surveys, developing complete database on each submarine, enabling community outreach and build education components that will stand the test of time. This includes collecting and preserving memorabilia, artifacts, scanned correspondence, official documentation, oral histories, films and photos that are shared by family members. A total of 52 U.S. Submarines were lost in WWII with 374 officers and 3131 men of the Submarine Force who gave their lives. Currently there have been seven of these “Lost 52” that have been found. Our team has discovered five of those submarines and we are engaging with several organizations who have also made discoveries.”

Read about their mission of locating WWII submarines here.

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Friday funnies!

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A Hero to Remember: Francis Currey, one of three remaining WWII Medal of Honor recipients, dies at 94

The above video is from 2013.

Rest in Peace, brave soldier.

From Fox News: Francis Currey, one of the three living World War II Medal of Honor recipients and whose likeness was used to create Medal of Honor G.I. Joe in 1998, died on Tuesday. He was 94.

Currey, a native of Selkirk, New York, joined the U.S. Army when he was just 17. He was in Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge in 1944 as an automatic rifleman with the 3rd Platoon.

On Dec. 21, 1944, as German tanks approached Currey and his company while they were guarding a bridge crossing, Currey found a bazooka in a nearby factory. He crossed the street to secure rockets during an intense fight from enemy tanks and infantrymen. With the help of a companion, Currey knocked out a tank with one shot.

Moving to another position, Currey killed or wounded three German soldiers standing in the doorway of an enemy-held house. He emerged from cover and alone advanced to within 50 yards of the house. He ended up rescuing five Americas who were trapped and taking fire inside a building.

According to his biography on the Congressional Medal of Honor website, “Sgt. Currey was greatly responsible for inflicting heavy losses in men and material on the enemy, for rescuing 5 comrades, 2 of whom were wounded, and for stemming an attack which threatened to flank his battalion’s position.”

Currey received the Medal of Honor near Reims, France, on July 27, 1945, when he was 20 years old.

After being discharged from the Army in 1946, he served as a counselor in the Veterans Administration. He also owned a landscaping business.

He is survived by his widow and children.

The other two living World War II Medal of Honor recipients still alive are Charles Coolidge in Tennessee and Hershel “Woody” Williams.

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Statue of kissing VJ Day sailor vandalized a day after his death

How miserable must your life be to vandalize a statue dedicated to a beautiful, iconic moment?

From NY Post: A day after the sailor seen kissing a woman in a nurse’s uniform in an iconic photo snapped in Times Square died at age 95, a statue in Florida commemorating the couple was vandalized with a “#MeToo” painted in red.

Police responded early Tuesday to someone vandalizing the “Unconditional Surrender” statue in Sarasota, where they found the hashtag about sexual assault and harassment painted on the woman’s left leg, according to the Herald-Tribune.

After searching the area, officers did not find other objects that were defaced or any spray paint bottles. There also was no surveillance video of the incident.

“The approximate damage is estimated to be more than $1,000 due to the large area that the graffiti covers, and the resources needed to repair it,” police said.
The city’s Department of Public works washed off the graffiti by 9 a.m., police said.

George Mendonsa, the jubilant sailor shown kissing white-clad dental assistant Greta Zimmer Friedman at the “Crossroads of the World” on Aug. 14, 1945, died Monday at the age of 95. Friedman died in 2016 at age 92.
Known as V-J Day, it was the day Japan surrendered to the US.

The indelible image by Alfred Eisenstaedt became one of the most famous photographs of the 20th century.

“It was the moment that you come back from the Pacific, and finally the war ends,” Mendonsa told CBS News in 2012.
Some view the smooch as a celebration, but others consider the act a sexual assault by modern standards.

“Unconditional Surrender” was created by Seward Johnson, who was inspired by a lesser-known photograph by Navy photographer Victor Jorgensen, of the same scene captured by Eisenstaedt.

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Give us a break, plead Seattle’s maligned millennials

millenials vs other generations

Don’t blame millennials…they have it much tougher


From Seattle Times: Give it a rest, boomers and Xers. Millennials have heard plenty by now about how they’re just the worst generation ever.
If their detractors are to be believed, they’re entitled, narcissistic, selfie-taking, self-absorbed, “everyone gets a trophy” brats, and they’re to blame for the demise of everything from cereal, paper napkins and bar soap to chain restaurants, the diamond industry and even democracy.
So stop, please, say some Seattleites who were born between 1977 and 2004 — that’s the Millennial Generation, depending on which definition you’re using.
“It’s completely unfair,” said Ashley Krzeszowski, 24, of West Seattle. “We’ve been handed a broken system and we’re just doing the best we can.”
Krzeszowski just graduated from the University of Washington with degrees in cellular, molecular and developmental biology and applied mathematics. She has a job at the same lab she’s been working at for the last few years and yet she is still living with her parents.
No need to judge, she said; it makes “prudent financial sense” for her to do so at this time and with the cost of housing in Seattle as high as it is. “As a group, we work hard and try hard,” she said. “But when my parents bought their house, it was two times their annual income and now houses are 10 times most people’s annual salaries.”
“Give us a break,” she said. “All we’re really asking for is enough pay for our phones, treat ourselves to a cup of coffee every once in a while and buy a dress off the sale rack. Is that really too much?”
Cheryl Kaiser, a professor of psychology at the University of Washington, admires the Millennial Generation and finds her recent crops of students a “joy to teach.”
They’re creative, unrestrained by convention and willing to take risks, she said. In addition they’ve grown up in tough times and have had to be a little more scrappy than their parents. They ought not take the criticism to heart. “Each generation tends to see the new generation as not as good as their own,” she said. “You see it all the time.”
The generation we belong to is part of who we are; we share norms, values and ideologies with our age mates, she explained. “If our generation does something in a specific way or holds specific values, we come to think of those as the right way, the good way and if one generation sees another doing something different, it can feel threatening, as if there’s something wrong with their way.”
“It’s easier to blame the other group and say they’re doing it wrong than it is to question how we’re doing it,” Kaiser said.
Tim Miller, a 52-year-old musician who plays music at Westlake Park with his friend, Paul Vegors, 24, said he knows that tendency well. “It’s silly, but it’s human nature really,” Miller said. “When you are threatened or in pain, you’re going to look around for someone to blame because someone else has to be responsible.”
In a piece written for The Center for Generational Kinetics, Curt Steinhorst writes that people in his generation do not like the phrase “millennial” as it brings with it connotations of laziness and entitlement. In downtown Seattle, a dozen or so young adults who were asked about their generation seemed to confirm that.
Many flinched when asked if they were millennials and then explained why they felt they were really a bit on the young side to be held accountable for such a litany of woes: the death of golf, vacations, the 9-5 workweek and the lowly cork.
“We’re just growing up, and it’s not all our fault,” said Sandra Quiroz, 19, who works near Westlake Center.
“Don’t they know that a lot of things that are going on are not really under our control?” said Pinkeo Phongsa, a 15-year-old visitor from California who believes she is in the much-maligned generation.
“I really think that everyone is just kind of looking for a scapegoat for a lot of things,” said Angela Olson, 24. “There are things about the way society is going that seem wrong, but it’s not all millennials’ fault. We can’t really take the blame as we were made this way.”
“They don’t want to blame themselves, so they blame us,” said 25-year-old William Co, who works at a tech firm near downtown Seattle. “Every generation blames the next one,” said Rian Ellis, 27. “Given enough time we’ll be complaining about the next generation as well.”
But maybe not. Perhaps age really does bring with it a little chance for wisdom, or at least a little charity.
“You can’t really blame them,” said 69-year-old Tim Micek. “They’ve got it much tougher than we did. They get nothing but my sympathy.”


Shortly after I scheduled this post, I came across this on the Daily Mail:
Millennials aren’t ready for the ‘reality of life’ and suffer from panic attacks and anxiety problems, research finds: Millennials aren’t ready for the ‘reality of life’ and suffer from panic attacks and anxiety problems, new research has revealed.
A study of 2,000 young people preparing to start university found that many aren’t ready for the challenges of living independently. 
The research found that more than half of prospective students don’t know how to pay a bill and that many believe that nights out cost more than paying rent. Researchers said that many would-be students have been left worried and confused by the prospect of leaving home to start higher education.
The study found 61 per cent of millennials are anxious about the prospect of starting university, while 58 per cent are having trouble sleeping and 27 per cent are having panic attacks.
Millennials…just doing the best they can.
DCG

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Historic 48-star US flag that was first on Utah Beach on D-Day is up for auction

I really hope whoever ends up with this flag will donate it to a museum. What a great piece of history!

AFP/Getty Image

AFP/Getty Image


From Daily Mail: A rare American flag that was carried by US troops on the historic D-Day invasion During World War II is set to be auctioned off.  The 48-star flag has been kept by the captain of the boat for decades that led the first troops on to Utah Beach on June 6, 1944.
‘This flag is easily one of the most significant artifact of the D-Day invasion that exists in private hands,’ said Marsha Dixey, a Historical expert and Consignment Director at Heritage Auctions.
‘We all know the harrowing story of those chaotic dawn hours as America made its push onto the beaches of Normandy.  The fact of its survival is nothing less than a testament to the irresistible force of the American will.
The torn and tattered flag that is replete with a bullet hole from a German machine gun is expected to fetch as much as $100,000 in the auction.
According to Heritage Auctions, the 30 feet by 57 feet banner is the ‘sole war souvenir of US Navy Lieutenant Howard Van Der Beek’ when it was flown from the stern of Landing Craft Control 60.
After the war, he went on to become an English professor and wrote about the moments before they charged the beach in his memoir of his war experiences titled Aboard the LCC 60: Normandy and Southern France, 1944. ‘At some point I looked astern and saw what lay at sea behind us: the greatest armada the world had ever known, the greatest it would ever know,’ he wrote in the book.
Getty Image

AFP/Getty Image


‘I must have been overwhelmed by the sight as I clung to the rail for a moment to take in the magnitude of that assembled fleet, many great, gray ships majestically poised in their positions; larger numbers of unwieldy landing vessels heaved by the heavy sea; and countless numbers of smaller amphibious craft tossed mercilessly by the waves.’
According to Heritage Auctions, American flags that have been involved in battles have long occupied the ‘upper strata of military collectibles.’  Nearly a decade ago, flags that belonged to JEB Stuart and George Armstrong Custer fetched $956,000 and $896,000 respectively.
The 48-star US flag is set to go on auction Jun 12 in Dallas, Texas.
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World War II Lovebirds Celebrate 70th Wedding Anniversary: 'They've Stuck Together Through Thick and Thin'

Conway's wedding portrait/Photo courtesy of Eileen Kotarski

Conway’s wedding portrait/Photo courtesy of Eileen Kotarski


From People Magazine: Their love story spans decades. Seventy years ago, Francis Conway, then 24, proposed to Marcella McAllister, then 23, in a letter from overseas – the Army soldier was stationed in Japan during World War II and “couldn’t wait” until he got home. The couple, who married on January 5, 1946, celebrated their 70th anniversary in Batavia, New York, on January 2 in a ceremony put on by their children.
“They are as in love as they were when they first got married,” Francis, 94, and Marcella’s eldest daughter, Eileen Kotarski, 69, tells PEOPLE. “You can tell by the way they look at each other and the way she smiles at him.”
Kotarski says there were 80 family members in attendance for the heartwarming anniversary celebration, including seven of Marcella, 93, and Francis’s nine children, 20 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren.
Kotarski says her mother and father, both in wheelchairs, still love teasing each other.
Photo courtesy of Eileen Kortaski

Photo courtesy of Eileen Kortaski


“We asked mom and dad if they knew why we were celebrating and my mom said, ‘An anniversary!’ and then dad winked at her and goes ‘Whose?’ ” Kotarski says with a laugh. “It’s adorable, you can tell they are still so happy with each other.”
The longtime lovebirds reside in the New York State Veterans Home in Batavia and are “completely happy and content with each other.” “They’ve stuck together through thick and thin,” their daughter says. “And they always will.”
DCG

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Monday funnies!



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A Hero to Remember: A tribute to Bill Mauldin

A 90-year-old WWII vet at the retirement center where I work shared this with me. I must admit, I had never heard of Bill Mauldin before. From Wikipedia:
William Henry “Bill” Mauldin (October 29, 1921 – January 22, 2003) was an American editorial cartoonist who won two Pulitzer Prizes for his work. He was most famous for his World War II cartoons depicting American soldiers, as represented by the archetypal characters Willie and Joe, two weary and bedraggled infantry troopers who stoically endure the difficulties and dangers of duty in the field. These cartoons were widely published and distributed in the American army, abroad and in the United States.

Bill Mauldin

Bill Mauldin


Here’s the story the vet shared with me.
He meant so much to the millions of Americans who fought in World War II, and to those who had waited for them to come home. He was a kid cartoonist for Stars and Stripes, the military newspaper; Mauldin’s drawings of his muddy, exhausted, whisker-stubble infantrymen Willie and Joe were the voice of truth about what it was like on the front lines.
mauldin1
Mauldin was an enlisted man, just like the soldiers for whom he drew; his gripes were their gripes, his laughs their laughs, his heartaches their heartaches. He was one of them. They loved him.
mauldin3
He never held back. Sometimes, when his cartoons cut too close for comfort, superior officers tried to tone him down. In one memorable incident, he enraged Gen. George S. Patton, who informed Mauldin he wanted the pointed cartoons celebrating the fighting men, lampooning the high-ranking officers to stop. Now!
The news passed from soldier to soldier. How was Sgt. Bill Mauldin going to stand up to Gen. Patton? It seemed impossible.
Not quite. Mauldin, it turned out, had an ardent fan: Five-star Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, SCAFE, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe. Ike put out the word: “Mauldin draws what Mauldin wants.”
Mauldin won. Patton lost.
mauldin2
If, in your line of work, you’ve ever considered yourself a young hotshot, or if you’ve ever known anyone who has felt that way about him or herself, the story of Mauldin’s young manhood will humble you. Here is what, by the time he was 23 years old, Mauldin had accomplished: He won the Pulitzer Prize & was on the cover of Time magazine. His book “Up Front” was the No. 1 best-seller in the United States.
All of that at 23. Yet, when he returned to civilian life and grew older, he never lost that boyish Mauldin grin, never outgrew his excitement about doing his job, never big-shotted or high-hatted the people with whom he worked every day.
I was lucky enough to be one of them. Mauldin roamed the hallways of the Chicago Sun-Times in the late 1960s and early 1970s with no more officiousness or air of haughtiness than if he was a copyboy. That impish look on his face remained.
mauldin5
He had achieved so much. He won a second Pulitzer Prize, and he should have won a third for what may be the single greatest editorial cartoon in the history of the craft: his deadline rendering, on the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, of the statue at the Lincoln Memorial, slumped in grief, its head cradled in its hands. But he never acted as if he was better than the people he met. He was still Mauldin, the enlisted man.
During the late summer of 2002, as Mauldin lay in that California nursing home, some of the old World War II infantry guys caught wind of it. They didn’t want Mauldin to go out that way. They thought he should know he was still their hero.
Gordon Dillow, a columnist for the Orange County Register, put out the call in Southern California for people in the area to send their best wishes to Mauldin. I joined Dillow in the effort, helping to spread the appeal nationally, so Bill would not feel so alone. Soon, more than 10,000 cards and letters had arrived at Mauldin’s bedside.
Better than that, old soldiers began to show up just to sit with Mauldin, to let him know that they were there for him, as he, so long ago, had been there for them. So many volunteered to visit Bill that there was a waiting list. Here is how Todd DePastino, in the first paragraph of his wonderful biography of Mauldin, described it:
“Almost every day in the summer and fall of 2002, they came to Park Superior nursing home in Newport Beach, California, to honor Army Sergeant, Technician Third Grade, Bill Mauldin. They came bearing relics of their youth: medals, insignia, photographs, and carefully folded newspaper clippings. Some wore old garrison caps. Others arrived resplendent in uniforms over a half century old. Almost all of them wept as they filed down the corridor like pilgrims fulfilling some long-neglected obligation.
One of the veterans explained to me why it was so important: “You would have to be part of a combat infantry unit to appreciate what moments of relief Bill gave us. You had to be reading a soaking wet Stars and Stripes in a water-filled foxhole and then see one of his cartoons.
mauldin7
Mauldin is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Last month, the kid cartoonist made it onto a first-class postage stamp. It’s an honor that most generals and admirals never receive.
What Mauldin would have loved most, I believe, is the sight of the two guys who keep him company on that stamp. Take a look at it. There’s Willie. There’s Joe. And there, to the side, drawing them and smiling that shy, quietly observant smile, is Mauldin himself. With his buddies, right where he belongs. Forever.
mauldin stamp
What a story, and a fitting tribute to a man and to a time that few of us can still remember. But I say to you youngsters, you must most seriously learn of, and remember with respect, the sufferings and sacrifices of your fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers in times you cannot ever imagine today with all you have. But the only reason you are free to have it all is because of them! 
DCG

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On This Day in 1941

The following is an adaptation of a previous post concerning the tragic events that took place on December 07, 1941. The video at bottom is a new addition:

https://youtu.be/Nt13c3olXkU
President Roosevelt’s speech to the nation:




https://youtu.be/CcsRzY4ns9Y
Seventy-one years ago today, America saw a great evil and, in near unison, rose up and removed that evil’s shadow from the face of the Earth.
That was nearly a lifetime ago, and this was a very different America.
We shall never see the likes of that America again.
 -Dave

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