Oregon Local and Selected International History News for 2007

Yakima Herald asking for Stories of World War II

"The Yakima Herald-Republic will be publishing a special project next spring looking at what residents from Central Washington experienced during World War II and in its immediate aftermath. "

See their web site for details.

If you have 8th AF stories you would like to share then you can also send them to the 8thAFHSOREGON.com historian for inclusion in their online archive.

Details on the non-profits web site. (Which I run for them as Secretary of the chapter.)

U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.) Col Jefferson Joseph DeBlanc, Sr.'s Dies at Age of 86

Col DeBlanc was a Medal of Honor receipient for his actions in downing 5 enemy a/c in his Grumman F4F Wildcat on Jan 31, 1943 after taking off from Guadalcanal on an escort mission. He flew into combat even through he had fuel problems and knew he would not be able to return to base. He did this after two other Wildcats had to turn back due to mechanical problems leaving only 4 out of the 6 F4Fs to escort the bombers to attach enemy shipping. Shot down by a Zero he bailed out into the ocean and swam all night to reach Kolombarangara Island - which was occupied by the Japanese. Friendly natives hid him and 15 days later he was back on Guadalcanal.

P38 Found on the Beach in Wales

On Sept. 27 1942 P-38 pilot Second Lt. Robert F. "Fred" Elliott, 24, of Rich Square, N.C., make a fuel mistake while on a gunnery practice mission and ditched on a beach in Wales. The US Army came by and "salvaged" it - but really just took the ammo and guns off of it and left it on the beach. On July 31, 2007 people walking along the beach found it - the sand had shifted and uncovered it.

"Based on its serial number and other records, "the fighter is arguably the oldest P-38 in existence, and the oldest surviving 8th Air Force combat aircraft of any type," said Ric Gillespie, who heads a U.S.-based nonprofit group dedicated to preserving historic aircraft. "In that respect it's a major find, of exceptional interest to British and American aviation historians."

The Lighting was built in 1941, ferried to the UK in spring of 1942 and actually flew combat missions along the Dutch-Belgian coast.

Officially, the U.S. Air Force considers any aircraft lost before Nov. 19, 1961 - when a fire destroyed many records - as "formally abandoned," and has an interest in such cases only if human remains are involved.

Navajo Code Talker

Samuel Tom Holiday, a WW II Navajo Code Talker and Veteran of Iwo Jima, & Okinawa will be talking at 911 NE 11th Ave, the Federal Building near Lloyd Center, in the GSA Auditorium 2-3pm on Wednesday November 7, 2007.  

Paul Tibbetts Dead at 92

General Paul Tibbetts, 8th Air Force B-17 pilot, espionage pilot (flew General Clark into North Afrika before Operation Torch), B-29 manul writer and pilot trainer and the pilot who lead the first mission to drop the atomic bomb onto Hiroshima (that, along with the 2nd bomb and declaration of war of Russia against Japan) which forced the unconditional surrender of Japan to end World War II, died at his home in Ohio November 1, 2007.

Reprots state that he does not want a headstone or other permanent memorial to avoid having his grave act as a anti-nuke rally point, so his ashes may be scattered over the English channel - where he flew over at least 50 times to complete his 25 mission tour in the 8th Air Force during WW II.

Research Allied Crash Sites in the Netherlands

Allied Aircraft crash sites in the Netherlands (Holland) . Download the app which then queries the online database. Jan Nieuwenhuis runs this as part of the museum on Texel Island.

Build a Plastic Kit of a US Military Vehicle or Aircraft - Pay Your Royalties First

One of the newest IP - Intellectual Property - methods is now to make plastic model companies pay royalties to the original manufacturers of US military aircraft, vehicles, ships etc. It seems that their IP lawyers have come to the conclusion that the US Government does NOT own the rights to them in any way at all - the companies that made them own all 'likenesses' - the patent and copyright - of them and thus can charge ANY company whatever they want in order to use images or even make a model of them.

It seems that they ignore the 'to hire' clause of copyright when working for the US Government. This is where the person hiring the person doing the work actually owns the rights unless specifically signed away - they conveniently ignore that when asking for 'extortion' money from the small model makers.

See: http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htmurph/articles/20071029.aspx

for more details.

WW II Ace Norm Mollard Dies October 29, 2007

American Fighter Ace LCDR Norm Mollard died on October 29 in Palestine, Texas.  

Civil War Battlefields always in Danger

America's Civil War battlefields are in danger! The Civil War Preservation Trust is asking all friends of battlefield preservation to contact your U.S. Senators and Representative and urge them to cosponsor the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Act of 2007, H.R. 2933 in the House and S. 1921 in the Senate.

The only place US battlefields are being preserved in the same state as they were when the battle happened, are the Civil War battle sites within the USA - all others sites in Europe, Mexico, Pacific, North Africa - none are being preserved and most are actively being developed into housing or shopping centers. The only way to learn about history, and how things have changed, is to walk an old battlefield and compare how things were then to how they are now.

The last CW funding bill got a few million dollars - as long as the funds were matched locally. Less than most earmarks congress allocates to their pet projects.

See http://www.battlefieldactivist.com/TakeAction.html


Tex Hill Dead at 92

Flying Tiger legend "Tex" Hill died on October 11, 2007. Hill stayed on in China flying with the 23rd Fighter Squadron after the AVG was disbanded on July 4, 1942.

Lead Ammo Ban in California?

On Governor Schwarzenegger desk is a bill that would ban the use of lead in hunting big game. AB 821 (Nava) Ridley-Tree Condor Preservation Act.

"If AB 821 becomes law, they have let it be known that they will be seeking a lead ammunition ban statewide. Anti-hunting groups know that the alternative to lead, (i.e.-copper bullets), is not as effective, will likely result in more crippling of animals, and is also toxic to condors. AB 821 is seen by them as laying the groundwork for a total ban on hunting next as it will allow them to claim that hunting should be stopped because no satisfactory ammunition is available that will not poison condors!!!!"

Another bill, AB 1471 (Feuer) Microstamping, would require all handguns to have the ability to microstamp ammo cases as it fires. And once handguns are there then all guns would then be required soon after.

If you oppose these bills write to:

Mail: The Honorable Arnold Schwarzenegger Governor, State of California State Capitol Sacramento , Ca. 95814
e-mail: http://gov.ca.gov/interact  
FAX: (916) 445-4633

As has been the rule for the past 50 years, how California goes in laws and ideas, the rest of the nation has to follow due to the sheer number of people that firms THINK they MUST market to.

Japan Launches Heli-DD Ship?

A 13,500-ton vessel called Hyuga was launched in August 2007 that carries up to 20 helicopters. The namesake is a re-issued name from an IJN BB from World War II. This new warship was built to destroy submarines. The official designation is 16DDH. It is also the highest tonnage warship built since World War II.

The ship carrier a mini version of the Aegis radar IFF / tracking combat system. 


Gary Mortensen of the National Combat History Archive ( http://www.combatarchive.com ) will be showing selected scenes from his documentary “This is War – Memories of Iraq” followed by a question and answer session at the August 11 meeting of the 8th AFHS of Oregon. “This is War” focuses on the experiences of the Oregon National Guard’s deployment to Iraq in 2004 and 2005. Much of the footage used in the production was taken by the soldiers themselves.

Joining Mortensen will be a soldier of the 2/162 Oregon National Guard who starred in the film.

The Military/Combat Stock Footage Library is the largest non-government motion picture archive devoted to the wars of the 20th Century, including WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Falkland Islands, Israeli/Mid East conflicts, Persian Gulf, and Desert Storm.

Contact information for NCHA is: The National Combat History Archive ; 5801 NW Cornelius Pass Road ; Hillsboro , OR . 97124 ; TEL: +(1) (503) 597-7030 ; FAX: +(1) (503) 597-7037 ; EMAIL: Gary Mortensen grmortensen@militarylibrary.net

The NCHA recently completed a YouTube.com trailer to go with the documentary.

The link can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOGqlyJCm-o

They also completed a relationship with the Wounded Warrior Project so a percentage of all the film's net proceeds will go to that very worthy cause.

WRSA Intermediate Rifle Clinic - Kooskia, ID - July 7/8

Grab your gear and join us on July 7-8 in Kooskia, ID for our first Intermediate Rifle Clinic!

What You'll Need:
* Rifle/carbine
* 200 rounds rifle ammo per day/50 rounds handgun
* At least two mags (Note: we are Garand-friendly, so our courses of fire will accommodate Garand users)
* Rifle sling and ammo carry (mag pouch, bandoleer, etc.)
* Optics/Irons whatever you would use in an emergency; bring back-up irons if possible
* Enough food/water/sungear/raingear to get you through each day's shooting; don't forget the aspirin!
* Pen/pencil/notepad
* Kneepads/elbowpads/groundpads if you use them
* Eye and ear protection
* Binoculars (optional)
* Pistoleros: bring your holstered piece, ammo, and an extra mag/speedloaders; revolvers are welcome

What You'll Learn:
* Practical zeroing for your rifle
* Rapid reaction shots at various ranges (from 3 to 200 yards)
* The importance of follow-up shots
* Immediate action drills
* Reloading techniques
* Moving safely with your rifle
* The necessity of weak-side training
* Your pistol as last resort

Who: Western Rifle Shooters Association
What: Intermediate Rifle Clinic
Where: Kooskia, ID see details below
When: 9:00 AM 6:00 PM
July 7-8, 2007
How much: $75/day; $150/weekend

Prerequisites: Each shooter will be expected at all times to adhere to the standard gun safety rules, with special attention to muzzle and trigger finger control.

Your weekend will be more enjoyable if your rifle is cleaned, properly lubricated, and zeroed at 100 yards. All shooters will have an opportunity to zero their rifles and handguns at appropriate distances.

Make sure to remember your cleaning equipment, lubricants, and any necessary tools/manuals for all of your gear.

Rally point details: All shooter should meet no later than 7:30 AM each morning at Panky's Grocer Store on Main Street in Kooskia, Idaho. Don't worry - it is the only grocer store in Kooskia.

As a group, we will then proceed to the shooting location for the day. Note that the shooting location for each day may be different, so assembly each morning at the rally point will be a necessity. It will take about 20-30 minutes to drive to the range.

Three Rivers Motel & Resort
- www.threeriversresort.com
Highway 12 Mp 97, Kooskia - (208) 926-4430

Mt Stuart Inn & Apartments
6 S Main St, Kooskia - (208) 926-0166

Clearwater 12 Motel
- www.clearwater12motel.com
108 E 3rd St, Kamiah - (208) 935-2671

Contact: westernshooters@gmail.com

New Veteran Status for Merchant Marine Servicemen Proposal

Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska has introduced to the U.S. Senate bill S. 961 which would bestow upon living veterans or their survivors a $1,000 a month tax free benefit for those who served between December 7, 1941 and December 31, 1946 (Dec 31, 1946 is the OFFICAL end of World War II for the US in terms of medals and / or benefits).


Want to see a Machine Gun Being Fired In Person?

The Albany Rifle & Pistol Club has lots of events going on all year - but the most entertaining one would have to be the 2 day Machine Gun Fun Shoot & Matches on May 19-20.

$10 entry fee per person.

At past competition and fun shoots for a fee to cover cost of bullets etc you could fire one of these (price varied by type being fired, Vickers, Browning 30 cal, Browning 50 cal, MG42, MG34, M60, BAR etc).

See their web site for more details of this and other events they sponsor.

Vimy Ridge - 60 Years After

One of the most successful assaults of the First World War was by the Canadians at Vimy Ridge in France. They built multiple tunnels, planned the assault, and in a surprise attack stormed the German lines (some only 75 feet from their own) and took complete control of the ridge. This was after the British repeatedly failed in the two an one-half years they held the line.

Vimy Ridge sniper position looking toward the German Lines some 100 yards away.

I visited the whole battlefield area in 1997.

Veterans's Memorial Highway -- Oregon Interstate 205

Every year during in November a motorcade - convoy - is run along the I-205 starting at the Clark County Fairgrounds to honor all Veterans. People are encouraged to be at the overpasses and show support for those serving and those who have served in the U.S. Military.

Convoy is run the Sunday before Nov 11.

I-205 is a Blue Star Memorial Highway since 2001.

Information is at www.vvoamc.com.

"Captain America" Dead at 66

The comic book hero was killed off in the latest Marvel Comics published in March 2007.

In AP writer Richard Pyle (wonder if he is a relative of Ernie Pyle?) tells of how Marvel decided that Captain America was to be killed off by a sniper on the courthouse steps as he was being led into court by refusing to register with the Government.

Sounds like a lot of "hot button" items all being played up at the same time on both the obvious and the subtle mind control / long term influencing of kids AND adults.

Makes you wonder if "Wonder Woman" is going to be the next AMERICAN hero to be killed off for being AMERICAN.

New Gun Ban Introduced into US Congress

U.S. Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) introduced H.R. 1022 which would re-impose the Clinton Era Gun ban - and eliminate a whole lot more guns from being bought - or even owned.

This bill would re-impose the "assault weapon" ban and use wording so vague that even M1 Carbines, M1-Garands, M1A rifles would be confiscated and destroyed from anyone who has one - owning them would become illegal. (There goes all WW II re-enactments). No compensation of course for this taking of legally owned weapons.

Any and all rifled weapons that have a "pistol" type grip would be banned - again with no compensation.

This is part of hysteria of of gun-ban Democratic party members thinking that LAWLESS people ILLEGIALLY buying weapons and creating laws that ban law abiding people from owning weapons will block LAWLESS people from getting them - by definition LAWLESS people are not going to obey it!

And with open border trucking, no border security enforcement at all by President Bush (and BOTH parties that are elected to congress really are to blame) getting weapons into the US is no problem anyway. 2 million illegals crossing the border and if only 1% want to carry a weapon (the smugglers) that still means 20,000 a year can easily be brought into the US. And if they bring 10 at a time - 200,000 can be smuggled into the US with no chance of ever being stopped.

If you want all your weapons confiscated and destroyed by this Democratic Congress official do nothing.

Else - contact any and all congressional members and let them know that this is just a BAD idea. Call (202) 225-3121 to the House of Representative switchboard and talk today.

A Petition site has a way to sign a petition called No to HR 1022, "Assault Weapons Ban".

However, all electronic petitions are not valid to give to any government as a legal petition. You have to sign in person on a piece of paper - or have a verified method of authentication of a person electronically - in order to any petition to be valid. This site does NOT validate signers so it is of not use for official government petition. As a "straw poll" it is good, or to gauge opinion.

Association of Science & Technology Centers

the Evergreen Aviation Museum is now part of the ASTC network of museums. By joining Evergreen, you automatically get free entrance into other museums around the US and in other countries.

See the ASTC Passlist for the current list.

Colossus Rebuild Finishing Summer 2007

"By summer 2007 the Colossus rebuild project at Bletchley Park will be complete. This first day cover for Royal Mail's "World of Invention" stamp issue features a montage of rare photographs of Colossus at work in 1944. On the rear is shown the completed rebuild."

From the blurb on the site where you can buy a 1st day of issue postcard - for 12 pounds 50 pence from the Bletchley Park post office in the UK.

This is the custom built machine that was used to decode the German "Enigma" machine encrypted messages faster during the 2nd World War.

Winton Churchill let slip in 1965 that they had been reading the German signals which was the first time - other than those that directly worked on it - that the other allies and the Axis members learned that the German military codes had been cracked.

8th AF Historical Society to Visit Oregon Air National Guard Base in May

The local chapter of the 8th AFHS will be going to the Oregon Air National Guard Base on May 19th.

Lunch, a briefing, and a flightline view of a few F-15s take-off from a hundred feet away (bring earplugs!) is the feature.

Must sign up with the 8th AFHS two weeks in advance and have documentation on person to get onto the base for the tour.

See www.8thafhsoregon.com web site for details on the May visit.

NW Appleseed Rifle AQT Shoot in Yakima, Wa

Appleseed? It is rifle marksmanship course taught by Fred and crew of Fred's Military M14 Rifle stocks and is set to be held on April 21/22 in Yakima Wa.

The Site www.rwva.org - Revolutionary War Veterans Association - is set up to sign up people for the Appleseed training.

Two day course is $70.00 (other fees for rifle range may apply, see site for details).

There is firing a rifle, and then there is firing a rifle the correct way. The military teaches people how to fire it but they are not concerned with accurate aimed fire for the most part even now. (Except the Marines, they still teach to hit the enemy at 500 yards.)

If you think you are good go to one, and you will find out quickly if that is true or not.

A rifle course is a great way to learn more about your rifle, and if you are a hunter, a better way to aim and fire so the game tag you paid a lot of money for can be used.

Computer Marksmanship Training

Back in the early 80s the US Military started taking recruits and put them onto a simulated marksmanship course - that cost a few million dollars. This was done to lower the cost by saving ammo (plus wear and tear on the rifles) and to allow safer training since they were not using real ammo. The US still does this, and before heading into combat they only have to fire 40 rounds of live ammo before being sent out.

This same technology has now been reduced to a computer simulation to train in your house using your own computer. Called Home Range it is made by Steve Amdahl in Portland Oregon. Home Range, P.O. Box 91461, Portland, Oregon 97291.

It uses very sophisticated electronics, and a laser to actually simulate 25 yards to 500 (I think) ranges that with your own weapon. I saw it at the December Gun show at the Expo center and it simulated the range expertly. Since you are using YOUR own rifle to fire the simulation with - just no kick after trigger pull - it allows you to train away all the bad habits you pick up unless properly trained.

It also sold for $500 (I think, did not write the price down.) Contact him via e-mail at rhsa @ xringmarkshman.com

5th Annual Camp Logan Days

- In the year 1867...... May 19-20, 2007 Sponsored by the Prairie City School History Club and 5th Grade Class Did you know that at Camp Logan there was an officer who was an author? How about that there was an officer who came to Grant County who was later at the Battle of the Little Big Horn? Camp Logan was a military post close to present day Prairie City and was established in 1865 by the First Oregon Volunteers and then later occupied by the regular army. It remained until 1869. Camp Logan was part of the Department of the Columbia that consisted of the State of Oregon, Washington Territory and Idaho Territory and the Territory of Alaska was added in 1870. Other posts in the Department included Camp Watson and Fort Klamath to name a few. The Headquarters was moved to Portland from Fort Vancouver in 1867. You will have the opportunity to step back in time and relive the year 1867 and see what life was like at the military camp and the town of Dixie. For more information contact, Dianne Lesniak (Dixie Town/Civilians) or Andrew Demko (Camp Logan/Military) at Prairie City School at (541) 820-3314. Camp Logan Days e-mail: cmplogan@yahoo.com Camp Logan Days Prairie City School History Club P.O. Box 345 Prairie City, OR 97869