Those who learned basic flying at Perrin Field and who would like to see if
can find old friends or instructors contact Don Davis perrinafb @ glassportal.com.
An Oscar-winning director and World War II Marine fighter pilot died at the
age of 81 on Dec 27th 2002.
He flew in the in the South pacific. His time spent flying help him film "The Great Waldo Pepper." After WWII he continued flying an antique open-cockpit plane for relaxation.
I ran across an snippet about Mr. Gus Bernardoni. This man is renowned for
teaching of the disabled and in 1978 he authored the book "Golf God's
The way he came up with that name was that he was a paratrooper during World War II and on one jump his chute failed to open - - but he lived.
Tue Dec 17, 9:34 AM ET
BERLIN - Two allied officers were celebrated Tuesday for rescuing millions of documents at the end of World War II that helped relatives trace the remains of millions of German soldiers killed across the continent.
Officials unveiled a plaque in honor of Maj. Henry Steinweiler of the U.S. Army and Maj. Armand Klein of France, who in 1946 persuaded their superiors to drop orders to destroy the detailed records kept by Hitler's army.
Files had been kept on every soldier drafted, detailing where they were deployed and where those who died had fallen — information used since 1939 to help relatives locate their remains and bury them.
"This act of exemplary courage has made it possible that even today the fate of millions of German soldiers can be uncovered," said the German War Graves Association, which co-sponsored the plaque next to the Berlin archive which today holds the documents.
Steinweiler, 84, from Cleveland, Ohio, attended Tuesday's ceremony along with his wife and son. Two cousins of the late Armand Klein were also present, along with officials from France, the United States and Germany.
Swelled with documents that become available after the fall of the Iron Curtain, the archive today holds some 20 million files on soldiers and others who died fighting for Nazi Germany.
The war graves association tends some 1.9 million graves in 800 cemeteries outside Germany.
A site, called "Voices of World War II," is hosted by the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Much of the restored material was found on 2,000 16-inch glass disks recorded at KMBC radio that survived with hardly a scratch.
UMKC library partnered with the Truman Presidential Museum and Library and the Missouri State Library, sharing a grant to preserve these recordings and put them online.
BELGRADE (Reuters) - A Montenegrin family thought a World War II artillery shell was the ideal replacement for a broken table leg - - until it exploded, injuring eight people as they were about to eat a meal.
The Miskovic family in the town of Danilovgrad was preparing the local specialty of grilled pork fat on the table when the old shell went off at the weekend, the Yugoslav daily Vecernje Novosti reported Monday.
"It was our own idea to replace the missing leg with this cannon grenade," house owner Milovan Miskovic said. "We thought it was harmless...it was here in our courtyard for some 50 years."
But "all of a sudden, we heard a loud bang and then everything went black."
The newspaper reported the victims suffered only light injuries.
By Peter Griffiths
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's wartime leader Winston Churchill, whose bulldog spirit inspired the nation during World War II, was voted the greatest ever Briton in a BBC poll late Sunday.
The cigar-puffing former prime minister beat Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel into second place and Princess Diana into third.
"It's clear that Churchill was the choice of the people," former Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam, who promoted him during the voting, said after the result was announced on BBC television.
"Churchill would have been very pleased about that because he was such a fundamental believer in democracy."
The result marked the conclusion of a poll in which viewers cast their votes by telephone or e-mail for their choice out of a list of 100 significant people.
Churchill gained 447,423 votes, beating Brunel by more than 56,000 votes, ahead of Diana with 222,055 votes.
The top three were followed by Charles Darwin, William Shakespeare, Isaac Newton, Elizabeth I, John Lennon, Horatio Nelson and Oliver Cromwell, the BBC said.
Churchill is renowned for his fiery speeches urging Britons to unite against German dictator Adolf Hitler and his allies during World War II.
In one of his most famous deliveries, to parliament in 1940, he said: "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat."
After taking office in the same year, he said it was "as if I was walking with destiny and that all my past life had been but a preparation for the hour and this trial."
By the time of his death in 1965, he had twice been prime minister, swapped political parties twice, served as a soldier and won the Nobel Prize for Literature for his history books.
His success in the BBC vote was good news for the man who once noted of his fellow countrymen: "They are the only people who like to be told how bad things are, who like to be told the worst."
While the poll reinforces Churchill's legacy in Britain, his reputation still divides people across the world.
U.S. President George Bush paid tribute to Churchill last year after accepting a bust of the former PM from the British ambassador. Bush said Churchill was "a constant reminder of what a great leader is like."
However, a German historian last week branded Churchill a "war criminal" after he sanctioned bombing civilian population centers during the war.
Nazis Were Fooled by Britain's Norwegian Spy Duo
Wed Nov 27,10:09 PM ET
By Gideon Long
LONDON (Reuters) - The Nazis were so convinced that two Norwegian double agents were working for them in Britain during World War II that they repeatedly airdropped cash and equipment to them in the belief it would be used for sabotage.
But the spies staged only mock attacks of sites in Britain and confused the Germans by relaying false information to them about British troop movements.
Documents released on Thursday confirmed the agents made several efforts to fool the Nazis into believing Britain planned to invade Norway.
The previously classified documents, released by Britain's Public Records Office, relate to Helge Moe and Tor Glad - - more commonly known by their comic British secret service codenames of Mutt and Jeff.
The pair washed up in a dinghy on a beach in northeast Scotland in April 1941 and surrendered to police as German spies.
They were handed to the British Secret Service MI5 and became two of the country's most effective double agents, wrong-footing the Germans with their misleading radio broadcasts.
To keep up their cover, they also attacked and pretended to attack strategic sites in Britain.
The Nazis were fooled by the stunts and conducted four separate parachute drops to supply Mutt and Jeff with new equipment and money.
On one occasion, in February 1943, the Germans were duped into dropping a wireless transmitter at a remote pre-agreed site in Scotland.
"So far as is known, this was the first occasion on which the Abwehr (German intelligence service) have succeeded in such a venture in England," one of the MI5 documents states.
The files include a previously secret photograph of Mutt being trained in Morse code and wireless telegraphy by the Nazis.
They also give details of operations "Porridge," "Haggis," "Oatmeal," "Pyramid" and operation "Omnibus" - - the infamous but imaginary plan to invade Norway.
They show how in late 1943, MI5 started to question Jeff's loyalty and interned him in a camp on the Isle of Man, off the northwest coast of England. They describe him as "an undesirable character."
Mutt's reputation remained intact, however, and a letter from him, written to a British civil servant in 1947 after he had returned to Norway, suggests his relationship with the British remained cordial.
"If you should like some more sardines, please let me know and I shall send you some," Mutt writes.
Thousands evacuated as French defuse WWII bomb
Wed Dec 4, 5:09 AM ET
LE HAVRE, France - Thousands of people were evacuated from their homes in northern France on Wednesday as experts prepared to defuse a British bomb from World War II.
The 250-kilogram (550-pound) buried bomb was discovered in November by construction workers in the port city of Le Havre.
About 8,700 people who live in a 800-meter (yard) radius of the bomb were asked to leave their homes for the day. Some 550 police were making the rounds, asking people to leave their windows open in case of a blast.
A World War II pilot and then Soldier of Fortune James McGovern, who was shot down on the last supply mission to Den Bien Phue in 1954, remains were shipped to Hawaii in December of 2002 along with the remains of 10 other servicemen.
McGovern was flying a C-119 "Flying Boxcar" loaded with a field gun and other supplies when it took ground fire and was damaged. Trying to get back to Laos it eventually lost structural integrity and cartwheeled into the ground. He, co-pilot Qalace A. Buford and a French flight engineer were killed. Two others were thrown from the plane and survived.
Originally they were not going to be brought back but other members who flew for the CIA - - which owned the airline company that he was flying for - - pressured the military and they finally went to the crash site and dug up the three remains there.
Also recovered were remains from a 1969, 1971, and 1972 crash site.
While looking for information about the USS Dorchester's chaplains that died when they gave up their life vests when it was torpedoed and sunk off Iceland in 1943 from an e-mail that I received I came across this site: http://www.daileyint.com/seawar which is a book published by Franklyn E. Dailey Jr. in 1997 which he subsequently has published completely online.
Personally I still would rather have a book in my hand than electronically. I have not read it yet.
British pubs now allowed to be open 24/7. Restrictions on pub hours were introduced in the 1870s and tightened during World War I to keep factory workers sober. Present 11 p.m. closing time dates back to 1964.
Two hours before a Veterans Day ceremony where he received a Bronze Star for his heroics as a World War II Army medic, Jerome "Jerry" Goldfield, 78, sat at the kitchen table of his West Hartford home struggling to remember the names.
The faces, especially the smiles, were easy, said Goldfield, who exhaled heavily before naming the soldiers he served with in northern France more than a half century ago.
After several seconds and pauses, the names of his fellow medics emerged one by one - first Sandle, then Bickford, and after a few stabs at a variety of pronunciations, Galligat, then Budila.
Sandle and Bickford never made it home alive.
Philippine-born Brig. Gen. Charles Coburn Smith Jr., a highly decorated World War II veteran, died in Seattle at the age of 95 November 7, 2002.
He graduated from West Point Military Academy in 1931.
His awards included The Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and numerous other honors during a military career spanning three decades with service in England, Algeria, Italy, Austria and Korea. Smith was born in Lucena, Philippines, where his father, Charles Coburn Smith, a native of Columbus, Indiana, was a colonel in the Philippine constabulary.
During World War II, Smith commanded 5th Army special troops in North Africa and Italy, winding up as commanding officer of U.S. special troops in Austria in June 1945.
In an article put onto the news wire on Nov 12 by Heba Kandil of Reuters - he wrote about the leftover mines and other unexploded ordnance left on the battlefield. "Egyptian specialists say that in the past 20 years, some 3,000 people have been killed and 5,000 maimed by explosives of the 1942 battle in the Arab country, whose only role was to provide the open desert where the foreign armies fought." He goes on to to state that Egypt states that there were actually 18 million mines laid there whereas in actuality there was closer to 2 million.
We did not hear about the veterans from Britain, Germany and Italy who went to t desert cemeteries in October in the US.
Egypt wants those three counties to send it a half a billion dollars and equipment to remove the mines so that they can put up condos on the shoreline (some 60 miles from most of the battlefield). Course their OWN mines that they put into the Sinai they don't talk about removing.
Queen Elizabeth II, on the 6th of November 2002, unveiled a memorial dedicated to the nearly five million people from the Indian subcontinent, Africa and the Caribbean who served as volunteers with British forces during World War I and World War II.
The four stone pillars with bronze urns on top were inaugurated on Constitution
Hill in Hyde Park in central London.
Tom's Note: When I was visiting France and Belgium you find British graves all over the place. However, in quite a few war cemeteries around The Marne battlefield area you will find graves with the names of Chinese who served with the Empire Forces. Seems that there were thousands who were brought over to work in the rear areas as drivers, support and other needs of the British Army during the First World War.
On November 4, 2002 the Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame inducted Edward L. Anderson four years after he died. Edward was lucky to be in the right place in some of the historical events that the U.S. struck against Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
"We are elated," said Figg, of Hampton who is related by marriage to Edward. "It's a wonderful thing. People are throwing praise on me for getting him into the Hall of Fame. But it was all what he did."
What Anderson did would fill a movie, though it's doubtful that a screenwriter would pen a life so unlikely.
Born in Claremont on Sept. 22, 1914, Anderson - nicknamed "Swede" - enlisted in the Navy in 1932. He did so because he couldn't raise tuition to attend the College of William and Mary or secure an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy.
Two years later, after passing a series of tests, he entered the Naval Academy and went on to graduate in the top third of the class of 1938.
Col Anderson retired in 1968, but he had witnessed - and taken part in - some of the most pivotal moments of World War II.
Some of his credits include:
In Colmar France a French A 14-year-old teenager was killed and his younger brother was wounded in the leg and another child was injured also on Oct 30th 2002 by a World War I mortar shell.
The children were playing with the shell in a courtyard in Wettolsheim, eastern France, when it exploded firefighters said.
Residents in the region occasionally find buried shells from the war, which ended 84 years ago.
Tom's Note: Colmar was also the scene of a WW II battle when the Germans were trapped in the "Colmar Pocket" in the fall / winter of 1944. This area was not along the WWI front lines so I suspect this was really a WWII mortar round. Most WWI shell's explosive mix will be inert after 50 years, WWII munitions are more stable and will be live for a few hundred years.
Died in Portland, Oregon (where I live, I did not even know he lived here) on October 27, 2002. This is the man that coordinated the supplies and equipment that was needed to rescue 2,140 civilians before they were to be shot by the Japanese at the Los Banos prison camp during World War II. This was on February 23, 1945.
150 Paratroopers from the 11th Airborne division dropped onto the camp, and with decisive help from the local Filipino guerrillas, killed all the guards then loaded the now freed prisoners onto amtracks of the 672nd Amphibian Tractor Battalion and then back the 30 miles to friendly lines at Manila.
Only two Filipino soldiers were killed in the engagement due to them attacking the Japanese while the most of guards were all together doing their morning calisthenics.
The historian, best known for the work consulting he did in Saving Private Ryan, HBO's Band of Brothers (based on the book of the same name) and the other military histories that he wrote died at the age of 66 on oct 13, 2002.
He is also known for founding and getting built the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans. Many of the artifacts given to him during his countless interviews when doing research about World War II has ended up in the Museum.
World War II Photographers who DONC (Died Of Natural Causes) in 2001
Leslie Crain Albright (84) - Navy, Aerial; Virginia L. Baker (89) Navy, all at Pearl Harbor Hawaii; Joseph William Alexander (87) Navy, Aleutian theatre; Jules Buck (83) Army, battlefield cameraman for John Houston (ETO); Regis E. Hollinger (80) Navy, combat photographer; Margaret K. Zaimes (85) Red Cross, photos of Red Cross personnel during WW II in the ETO; and Robert W. Nye (82), Army, Combat Photographer, Pacific Theatre (Okinawa, Bikini atoll tests); Bronze star for his photographic work on Okinawa.
Problem was they are not allowed in the Olympic games.
In Athens, at the site of the Summer Olympic Games in 2004 years, Greece Army demolition experts destroyed two large World War II-era 250 lb bombs discovered during Olympic construction at the city's former airport.
During World War II, Hellenikon airport served as a German and Allied air base and was heavily bombed by both sides.
During the most modern wars (1900 onward, and still valid now) about 5% of all bombs/shells dropped/fired were duds.
Each passing day more WW II veterans are dying — while at the same time more effort is being made to honor those left and to put up memorials for those already dead.
While scanning the news I saw that Faith "Bucky" Richards died in a nursing home in Albuquerque at the age of 81 this September 2002. Then, in the same set of search results set, I saw that in Oklahoma City 29 women were inducted into the Oklahoma Aviation and Space Hall of Fame there for being WASPs during the Second World War.
WASPs — Women Air Force Service Pilots. Their job was to fly any type of airplane to where ever it was needed. By using women it freed up men to fight in combat units. thought not supposed to fly into combat zones there are some who ferried planes to the United Kingdom which was a combat zone. They also were instructors, flew radio controlled target drones and lots of other less glamorous work during the war.
Since the Oklahoma Aviation and Space Hall of Fame began inducting aviators back in 1979, 172 Oklahomans and four institutions have been selected to receive the honor.
A news feed from www.chinadaily.com.cn on September 18,2002 (xinhua) told that new evidence was unearthed Anda City in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.
Unit 731 was a Japanese unit that tested biological weapons on Chinese (and some POWs) people during World War II. Japan has denied that there was such a unit (much like them stating that they did not attack the United States, but that the US forced Japan to defend itself, or that the Japanese Army ever treated POW badly, killed any civilians on purpose in China or even had "Comfort Women" for their troops.
They found evidence at the Anda experiment of 11 pottery bacteriological bomb flakes. Similar to those found in the headquarters of Unit 731.
Also found was specific locations of barracks, underground channels, prison cells, dissecting rooms, three wells and a temporary airport.
" A Japanese who attended the tests confessed to Jin Chengmin, " We used live people in the tests, forcing them to wear Japanese army uniforms. A test usually needed about 16 to 20 people. I took part in such tests seven times. About 20 minutes after the warning whistle, planes dropped germ bombs to an area circled by 18 to 20 people. We were about 150 to 300 meters away from the subjects, near enough to observe the situation." "
This is his obituary from London's "Daily Telegraph" August 12, 2002
George Chalmers, who has died aged 81, was a wireless operator in one of the 19 Lancaster bombers which took part in the famous Dam busters' raid over the Ruhr Valley in May 1943.
The raid took place on the night of May 16-17, when 19 Lancasters of No 617 Squadron (led by Wing Commander Guy Gibson VC) took off from their base at Scampton in Lincolnshire. In all, 133 men set off to attack the industrial heartland of Germany; 56 of them did not return from the mission, in which eight Lancasters were shot down.
Flight Sergeant Chalmers, who had previously been mentioned in dispatches, was in Flight Sergeant Bill Townsend's crew of Lancaster "O for Orange"; since joining the RAF as a boy entrant shortly before the outbreak of war, he had shone in his role as a wireless operator.
As Bomber Command set about assembling crews which would work well as a unit, Chalmers made a point of requesting to fly with a crew of non-commissioned officers; and although the norm was for a mix of officers and NCOs, his wish was granted. Paradoxically, this preference did not prevent him accepting a commission after the raid.
On the night of the mission, "O for Orange" was one of the last of the Lancasters to take off from Scampton. She got airborne at exactly 14 minutes past midnight and, as the aircraft climbed from the short runway, Chalmers reckoned she brushed through the boundary hedge like a steeplechaser.
As the aircraft headed across Holland and Germany at a mere 100 ft, Chalmers observed the Lancaster's progress from the astrodome on top of the fuselage. At one stage he was astonished when Townsend flew below tree level and up a fire break in a forest; this was to escape a concentration of flak as they approached the Mohne and Eder dams, the main targets of the raid.
As it happened, however, these dams had already been breached by the preceding Lancasters, and Chalmers received a message from base that "O for Orange" was to divert to the Ennepe dam.
Given a course by the Australian navigator, Pilot Officer Lance Howard (the exception in an otherwise all-NCO crew), Townsend encountered thick mist rising from the valleys and had difficulty locating the reservoir that would reveal the exact whereabouts of the target.
When the dam was finally identified, Chalmers suffered the anxiety of sitting it out while Townsend made four runs before the bomb aimer was satisfied and released Dr Barnes Wallis's brainchild, the six-ton bouncing bomb.
The bomb skipped twice before exploding. As Townsend lifted the Lancaster over first the dam and then a hill, it became apparent that the weapon had detonated short of its target. Chalmers signaled this news to base, and Townsend turned for home.
They flew very low, often hopping to avoid power lines as they traveled across Germany and then Holland. By sunrise they were near Texel, one of the Friesian Islands off the Dutch coast, and flying over water.
In an effort to shoot down the Lancaster, an enemy anti-aircraft crew so depressed its gun that Chalmers noticed the shells bouncing off the surface of the sea and over the top of the aircraft.
Then, over the North Sea, Townsend decided that one of the bomber's four engines was misbehaving and shut it down. The plane finally landed at Scampton - on three engines - at 6.15 am, the last of the raid's surviving Lancasters to make it home.
As he came down the ladder, the captain was asked how it had gone. By now exhausted, Townsend failed to notice that his interrogator was Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur "Bomber" Harris, the commander-in-chief, and brushed aside the great man with a brusque "Wait until debriefing".
Chalmers, meanwhile, though astounded to be greeted on the airfield by a galaxy of top brass, shook hands heartily all round, and was delighted to be congratulated on the clarity of his Morse. He was awarded an immediate DFM.
George Alexander Chalmers was born on February 12 1921 at Peterhead in Scotland. He was educated at Aberdeen Academy before working briefly at a local Crosse & Blackwell factory and joining the RAF as a boy entrant.
After boy's service and qualifying as a wireless operator and air-gunner, Chalmers was posted to No 10, a two-engine Whitley bomber squadron at Dishforth, Yorkshire, from where he took part in leaflet-dropping operations over Germany after the outbreak of war.
In August 1940 Chalmers transferred to No 7, the RAF's first four-engine Stirling bomber squadron which was operating from Leeming.
There followed a spell with No 35, a four-engine Halifax bomber squadron, with which Chalmers was fortunate to survive an attack on the battle cruiser Scharnhorst at La Rochelle - his captain managed to make base despite being severely wounded and piloting a badly-damaged aircraft.
After "resting" in a couple of non-operational postings, Chalmers returned to operations after joining 617 in April 1943. He continued with the squadron after the Dambusters' raid, and was commissioned as a pilot officer in June, then promoted flying officer in December.
In 1944, after completing 66 operations, Chalmers was awarded the DFC. After paying tribute to his "skill and endurance", the citation concluded: "Throughout his long and arduous operational career, this officer has displayed outstanding courage and devotion to duty."
In 1946 Chalmers was granted an extended service commission, and served in No 617 and No 12 Squadrons until 1950, when he was posted to No 38, a Lancaster squadron in the Middle East.
He was released as a flight lieutenant in 1954, and served in the Reserve until 1961. Meanwhile, he had joined the civil service at Harrogate, where he worked for the Ministry of Defence dealing with the RAF's technical requirements.
In this period his advice was much valued in the sphere of flight refueling. On his retirement from the MoD in 1984, the company Flight Refueling hosted a farewell party for him at which he was hailed as an "expert in specialized spares procurement", especially in relation to a refueling system of outstanding value used by the RAF in the Falklands conflict.
In 1940 he married Alma Collier, who survives him. They had five sons and four daughters.
Chalmers died on August 6, 2002.
Tom's Notes: I've visited RAF Scampton in 1997 and went through the museum
that is outside the now deactivated airbase. A small museum but it has original
artifacts from various crews and some very good artwork.
If you happen to have a spare T-54/55 Soviet Main Battle Tank laying around in your back yard, there is now a British company that will convert it to look like a Tiger I which is very realistic looking.The conversion looks very good in pictures and several conversions have been done for use in movies. I would also think that some of these re-enactment groups that could get the money together would be buying them up.
I also saw in a recent issue of Fly Past that a group has been getting all the parts together to restore a FW 200 Condor. It sounds like an ambitious project and I am wondering where they will get any missing parts. Hopefully they will get it flying within the next couple years.
Also the Norwegians have been collecting parts from crashed JU 88s and are rebuilding a couple bombers for display in museums.
The Indians have found a ME 109E, at a technical school, that fought in the battle of Britain. All the parts are there including the original engine which can be rebuilt.
If I remember correctly after the war Kurt Tank moved to India and started working in their aerospace industry.
DOD official cites progress on World War II MIAs in Burma
A Department of Defense delegation has concluded a visit to Rangoon, Burma, where it laid the framework for operations to recover the remains of WWII American servicemen whose aircraft crashed in Burma while flying missions against the Japanese.
Jerry D. Jennings, deputy assistant secretary of defense for POW/Missing Personnel Affairs, met with senior Burmese officials in Rangoon this week to discuss U.S. recovery operations at four sites in Burma. The government of Burma pledged full support for these recovery missions.
Jennings invited Burmese officials to visit the U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory Hawaii next month to meet with U.S. scientists who lead the field excavations and conduct forensic identification work in their laboratory. The visit is to familiarize Burmese specialists with U.S. remains recovery and identification procedures in order to facilitate operations in Burma.
CILHI has identified four crash sites of C-47 cargo aircraft that crashed in 1944 and 1945 in the northern part of Burma. Technical talks are to be held in Burma in November to arrange details on the excavation of the four sites in early 2003. During the talks, the U.S. team will seek to visit each site and survey them for subsequent excavation.
More than 78,000 Americans are missing in action from World War II. The Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office establishes and oversees U.S. policies on accounting for missing Americans from all conflicts.
A Reuters news story reported that the five boys had found a World War II mine in a ravine north of Stalingrad proper and it exploded as they either played with it or tried to dismantle it.
It was likely a defensive mine laid there to prevent movement along the ravine after the German 6th Panzer Army was surrounded. The Battle of Stalingrad lasted from early August 1942 till late February 1943. Around 380,000 German and allied troops died there (93,000 died in prison camps, only 5,500 ever returned to their native countries) and around 2 1/2 million Russians died, or were captured during that part of the Russian campaign by the Germans.
According to the news article the area remains littered with rusty weapons and ammunition.
The man who flew a Mig 21 (??) to Japan during the 1970s grew up in southern Russia and he reported that in 1955 when he was growing up there were vast areas of Russia where minefields and old battlefields were still littered with debris.
Since World War I, some 92,000 U.S. soldiers are listed as missing in combat. 1,957 Americans still unaccounted for from Vietnam.
A total 42,781 former POWs are still alive as of January 1, 2002. This includes 39,719 from World War II, 2,434 from the Korean War, 601 from the Vietnam War, 23 from the Gulf War, one from Somalia and three from the Kosovo Conflict.
A common occurrence in reading your local newspaper (radio, zines etc), or anything for that matter, is that what you think is important and want to know about may not be what the editor(s) think you should know. The best thing about the Internet, and the companies that put news stories onto their sites that can then be indexed and found by people, is that you can eventually learn about things that you never would have seen in your local newspaper or national ones such as:
Robert L. Benney, 97, a Prolific Combat Artist and illustrator died May 14, 2001 at the age of 97.
On July 26th in the year 2000 Capt Joseph F. Enright, skipper of submarine Archerfish (SS-331), which sank largest Japanese aircraft carrier of World War II the Shinano of 59,000 tons on 29 November 1944, died.
Kenneth Proctor, who died at the age of 82, was in the Army from 1942 to 1945 during World War II as a Special Forces fighter who earned the Purple Heart - - in Darby's Rangers.
To get to the enemy first and leave last is the job of the Army's Rangers. The Rangers were modeled about the British Commandos, but they used the name Rangers due to the Revolutionary War exploits of those men from New England and had a slightly different mission goal in World War II. Mr. Proctor was depicted in the movie Darby's Rangers, but his name was changed in the movie because he was still alive when the movie was released in 1958.
These men fought at Monte Cassino and in Anizo some were were two of the worse battlefields in Italy — or most anywhere — during World War II.
In the latest issue of Military History Quarterly they had a short news item stating that finally the person who claimed to be Prime Minister Winston Churchill's voice double was finally proved when a 78 RPM record showing his name and that he did the radio broadcast was discovered.
The person who did this was Norman Shelley. There were no recording equipment in Parliament when he gave the speech so this person read the speeches that Churchill wrote and recorded them at BBC studios. This includes the 13 May 1940 "blood, toil, tears and sweat"; 4 June 1940 "fight on the beaches"; and the June 18th ones for sure.
After the war is when Churchill himself made many recordings of his speeches himself but this means an unknown number of the wartime ones were done by the studio actor Norman Shelly.
In another related secret it was disclosed that there was a duplicate cabinet room constructed outside of London.
398th BG Reunion
September 25-28, 2002
across from Clackamas Towne Center
The very first reunion ever for this unit.
There is also a reunion going on down at the Evergreen Aviation Museum that month but I cannot remember the unit that is going to be there.
You can find out the basic unit history of any 8th Air Force unit by going to http://www.armyairforces.com/ and going through their site.
On August 6th 2002 the turret of the USS Monitor, which sunk off Hampton Roads on Dec 31 1862 while being towed, was raised from the ocean floor. The rest of the ship is too deteriorated to raise.
The first "Iron Clads" to engage in direct combat during any war was fought between the Monitor and the Virginia (ex USS Merrimac. The Merrimac was scuttled by the Northern Army, raised, converted by the Confederates into the CSS Virginia.)
The Monitor was also depth charged during WWII by a US destroyer who thought it was a German U-Boat.
Any US soldier discovered, from any war, goes through the US Army Identification laboratory in Hawaii. On August 5th of 2002 two crewman were buried together, in the same casket since all their remains were intermingled, at Arlington Cemetery in Virginia. The pilot was from Oregon.
In the Thuringia Forest of Germany US Army Central Identification Laboratory has tentatively identified the remains of a Mustang as those of 2nd Lt. William Lewis Jr.
He was shot down and listed as missing on September 11, 1944 while flying as a member of the 55th Fighter Group while escorting bombers to Ruhland, Germany.
During this engagement the US Army Air Force claimed 175 enemy aircraft destroyed for the loss of 84 aircraft of all types.
Though out the world as people come across aircraft and graves the appropriate nations are contacted and send in teams to identify the remains.
Only recently has Germany been allowed to try and find the graves of their dead that were buried in Russia. The Russian Army, when it advanced, destroyed all above ground traces of any graves that if found of German, Italian, Hungarian, Romanian, Belgium, Latvian etc forces. Some times it would dig up the graves and place all of them into a new unmarked mass grave.
During WW-II many foreign civilians were interned by Japan, Italy, Germany, Britain, and the US. Some civilians, including Paul L'Esperance who was captured on Wake island in January of 1942, spent the whole war as a slave laborer for Japan. (Those captured by Japan were NEVER compensated for their abuse unlike the slave laborers who worked for NAZI Germany during the war.) He died in April of 2002 here in Oregon.
POWs of Japan were made to work as slave laborers and they too have never been compensated for. Basically, there is a dual standard of law: If you were forced to work for Germany you (or heirs) get compensated and if you were taken by Japan you are out of luck and the Japanese Government will ignore you and state that it never happened.
Paul ended up working in the iron mine Aomort on Honshu walking up and down 832 steps a day and getting fed a cup of rice.
The Collins Foundation, which owns these two WW-II era bombers: a Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress painted in the colors of "909" and a Consolidated B-24J "Liberator" painted up in the colors of a B-24 that flew in the South Pacific "The Dragon and its Tail"; will be visiting Oregon again in May. Like in prior years, you can purchase a one hour ride and go flying in a real WW-II era aircraft. Like last year, I believe they will only be flying out of Hillsboro airport this year. See the Collins Foundation web site for more details.
The CAF's (Commemorative Air Force — they changed the organization's name from the Confederate Air Force due to "political correctness" movement that has been building in the US over the past 7 years) P-47 crashed on takeoff at ABQ. Pilot badly burned.
In a WW-II film about fighters in the Italian front they show a scene of a P-47 that crashed while landing: that pilot did not make it out alive. They show getting him out after the fire was out. So this pilot was pretty lucky to get out of the aircraft even thought he was badly burned. This guy was likely taking off with a full load of fuel. Some 400 gallons.
On Sunday, March 31 2002 from 3-4 PM I and WW II pilot Pete Hardiman spoke at the Museum at McMinnville concerning P-51s. Pete was in the Eagle Squadron (121 squadron at Rochford) before joining the 4th FG of the 8th AF in the ETO in the fall of 1942. He later flew 51Ks in Korea before converting to F-86s. He will be talking about his experiences. I was the supporting person with facts, figures and photographs concerning the P-51, Bf 109 (BF-109), Spitfires and so on.
Here is a site devoted to the 4th FG, http://home.earthlink.net/~johnrlove/1000_destroyed/frames.html and here is the official home page of the 4th Fighter Group.
This new Museum is where Howard Hughes "Spruce Goose" is housed.
A new edition has just come out. I've purchased a copy every few years to have when I go on trips.
Title Guide to Over 900 Aircraft Museums
Author Michael A. Blaugher,
e-mail: airmuseums @ aol.com
Copyright 02/01/99 TX 4-056-492;
Number of Pages 184
First Edition April 1987;
Latest Edition December 2001
Circulation 2500 Per Year
New Editions 1/Year
Niels Bohr, who was a leading Danish nuclear scientist before World War II, has published to their web site, http://www.nbi.dk/, letters and other documents written during the war and the latest revelations that Wernet Heisenberg was working all out to built the atomic bomb for Germany and not working to delay it as he wrote in his book after the war.
Bohr was later taken out of Denmark by the British in a Lysander and worked on the Allied effort to build the atomic bomb which was known as "The Manhattan Project."
WWII and Korean War Ace Francis Gabreski died on January 31, 2002, he was 83. He flew P-47 "Thunderbolts" during WW-II and was credited with 31 kills over Europe. He was a pilot of one of the "Little Friends" that helped protect B-17s, like this B17-G "909" shown here, from the Luftwaffe.
He then flew F-86s during the Korean War and got another 6.5 kills. 266 total combat missions.
I met "Gabby" a few times over the years. I have a picture of him and Bud Anderson and me on my wall when they were at a fly-in in 1992.
There is a bottle of "Old Crow" on the table in front of us - - after a mission there was a toast of "Old Crow" for every plane shot down. This was also the name of Bud Anderson's a/c.
Miramax Films signed up Bratt Pitt to be the lead star, Col. Henry Mucci, concerning the rescue of allied POWs in the Japanese camp in the Philippines called Cabanatuan. This was written about in the book "Ghost Soldiers."
By SHANNON McCAFFREY, Associated Press Writer
ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - Herman Johnson always believed that his father, a heroic black World War I soldier who single-handedly fended off a German attack, lay in a pauper's grave unrecognized by the government.
On Thursday, the 85-year-old Johnson saw the newly discovered grave at Arlington National Ceremony where Henry Johnson was buried more than 70 years ago - with full military honors.
With New York Gov. George Pataki at his side, an emotional Herman Johnson on Thursday placed a wreath of chrysanthemums and carnations beside his father's white headstone as a lone military bugler played ``Taps.''
``I'm overwhelmed,'' said Herman Johnson. ``I'm extremely happy to know that my father is in a respectable grave.''
The younger Johnson, Pataki and New York military officials are hoping the discovery breathes new life into their push to get Henry Johnson recognized with the Medal of Honor, an oversight they believe is due at least in part to race.
``Some people ask me if it's racism that he didn't receive the Medal of Honor - I say, 'Certainly,''' Herman Johnson said. ``What he did ought to be honored. I'm not condemning anyone ... but we have a chance to make it right.''
The Medal of Honor application, submitted in 1996, was approved by then-Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera in 2001. But Joint Chiefs Chairman Henry Shelton did not concur. The matter is still open and could be reconsidered.
It was the campaign to get Johnson the Medal of Honor that led to the revelation that he was buried in the nation's cemetery of heroes.
Johnson, from Albany, N.Y., joined the Army National Guard's "Harlem Hellfighter '' unit during World War I. Because of strict segregation rules at the time, the black American unit fought under the French in Europe. On May 14, 1918, Johnson fought off a German raiding party with a rifle and later with a knife after he ran out of ammunition. Wounded 21 times by the Germans, he nonetheless rescued a wounded comrade. France awarded Johnson its highest honor, the Croix de Guerre. He was the first American to receive the French accolade and was cited by former President Theodore Roosevelt as one of the five bravest Americans during World War I, Pataki said.
Yet Johnson died in 1929, in his mid-30s, a poor alcoholic undecorated by his own country.
Herman Johnson believes that if his father had been recognized when he returned home he ``might have been a different man.''
The younger Johnson said his parents divorced when he was about 6 years old. He moved away from Albany and only saw his father sporadically. Herman Johnson was in his early teens when his father died. He was led to believe he had been buried in a pauper's cemetery paved over to make way for Albany International Airport. Johnson even went once to the airport and looked out on the runway, believing it was his father's grave.
Herman Johnson went on to serve with the legendary Tuskegee Airmen during World War II and live in Kansas City, Mo., where he worked in real estate. He still operates a cemetery there.
Henry Johnson's final resting place remained undiscovered until state military officials researching his military service for the Medal of Honor last year came upon a newspaper clipping from a black newspaper in upstate New York that mentioned his burial at Arlington National Cemetery, located just outside Washington.
At first, a search of microfilm records at Arlington turned up only a William Henry Johnson. When New York officials asked the cemetery to check the paper records, they saw that ``William'' had been crossed out and that other dates and records matched up.
``He got at least an appropriate burial,'' Pataki said. ``But we're not going to stop until we get him the Medal of Honor.''
Arlington National Cemetery
As an aside, recently they have started converting all paper documents in the Paten office to computer by scanning them in and then throwing away the originals. If they had done the same here, they never would have known that an initial recording error occurred and that he was indeed buried in Arlington. With no original materials to look at it would have continued to be William Henry Johnson.
Also during the 1st World War, two complete Army Divisions fought under the command of the British in the Ypres / Belgium area from when they first arrived in 1918 till the end of the war. American divisions but completely equipped with British gear!
SOURCE: Justice for Veterans
Former POWs Win Legal Victory in California State Court
'The Court Looked at Our Cases and Told the Japanese Companies and The Administration That Their Excuses Won't Work Anymore'
ORANGE COUNTY, Calif., Oct. 25 /PRNewswire/ - - An Orange County Superior Court Judge has ruled in favor of the POWs, giving them their first major legal victory in their struggle for recognition and compensation for enslavement by private Japanese companies during WWII. In his decision, Judge William F. McDonald rejected all the arguments that the State Department and the defendants' lawyers and lobbyists have urged in both Court and Congress, and indicated that the case will continue to move forward.
Judge McDonald has been appointed to oversee every American POW case in California state court. His ruling, the first substantive ruling for the POW cases pending in state court, comes down strongly in support of the POWs' claims and indicates that the cases will continue to move forward to trial.
This California Superior Court ruling, issued October 19 and made public yesterday, applies to three specific cases - - two against Mitsubishi and one against Mitsui. However, since Judge McDonald has been assigned as the trial judge for all the American POW cases brought in California state courts, the decision potentially has broader applicability.
The Departments of Justice and State have been working with the defendants, in court and behind the scenes, to oppose the veterans, arguing that the 1951 Peace Treaty with Japan waived the claims. The defendants filed a Demurrer and a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. If the Judge had ruled in favor of either of those, the POWs' legal efforts would have been halted.
In his decision, Judge McDonald rejected the defendants' and the State Department's position that the treaty unambiguously precluded these suits, and asserted the right of the court to hear the POWs' claims, saying:
* "It is the courts, not the executive branch, that will ultimately
determine the meaning or applicability of a treaty."
* "The 'political question doctrine' does not prevent this Court from
adjudicating the rights of these private party plaintiffs against
* "The Court finds that factual issues exist as to the application, if
any, of the 1951 Peace Treaty with Japan to the plaintiffs' claims made
in this action."
Thousands of American ex-POWs who were forced into slave labor by Japanese companies during WWII have been seeking just compensation for their injuries for many years. These ex-POWs, all now in their 70s and 80s, survived months of forced labor, beatings and starvation in Japanese-owned mines, factories, and shipyards after being captured while on duty, mostly in the Philippines. Their Japanese ``employers'' included such multi-billion dollar companies as Mitsubishi Corp., Mitsui & Co. Ltd., Nippon Steel Co., and Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha Ltd. These Japanese companies never paid them for their labor.
As difficult as the struggle against the Japanese companies has been, the veterans feel most betrayed by their own government. While the United States government helped to facilitate apologies and compensation for victims of WWII slave labor in Europe, it has been working with the Japanese companies to oppose the efforts of these veterans. The administration has based its opposition on the 1951 Treaty with Japan.
In contrast to the State Department's position, Congressional support for the plight of these veterans has been strong and sustained. There are currently three bills (HR 1198, S 1154, and S 1272) that support the POWs' efforts. Additionally, the Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations bill includes an amendment, passed by both the House and the Senate, that would bar the Justice and State Departments from continuing to oppose the veterans in court.
Former POW and Mitsui slave laborer Dr. Lester Tenney, of San Diego, CA, was heartened by Judge McDonald's decision, saying, ``This is a great moment for those of us enslaved by private Japanese companies during the war. This is a decision that tells those of us who fought for our country that we do deserve the justice that we've been seeking. The court looked at our cases and told the Japanese companies and the Administration that their excuses won't work anymore. This is the most exciting development since I filed the first lawsuit.''
For a copy of the decision, or for more information, please contact Elisabeth Rutledge at 202-661-6318 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOURCE: Justice for Veterans
Want to purchase some unusual Russian items? This site, http://www.sovietski.com , does that with items from 1900s onward from Imperialist and Soviet Russia eras.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Dec. 21 /PRNewswire/ - - Mary Antonik, Founder and Chairman of the World War II Museum at Yesteryear Village at the South Florida Fair in West Palm Beach, Florida announced today that the museum is acquiring ``Churchill: The War Years,'' a 24 X 36 mixed-media collage created by Michael Logan, thanks to the gracious donation of WWII Museum Benefactress Annabelle McBride, a long-time supporter. Annabelle McBride is, as well, an artist herself and is currently President of the Palm Beach Chapter of the National League of American Pen Women.
Mary Antonik saw the artwork at a reception for three artists at the Around the World Art Village and was immediately impressed by the powerful piece. ``The 'Churchill' artwork is an important addition to our extensive collection of archives, books and memorabilia of the British WWII Prime Minister,'' said Mrs. Antonik. ``It provides the special impact books and letters cannot carry, telling the history of Churchill's role in the war with accuracy and visual force.''
``Churchill: The War Years'' will remain on view in Gallery I at Around the World Art Village at Fern Street and Sapodilla by CityPlace, West Palm Beach through December, 2001, when it will be moved to its new home in the World War II Museum in January, 2002. Michael Logan's collages are no strangers to museums, having been selected during Horte 40 Competitions for exhibition at the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Art. Logan is donating a percent of the proceeds from December sales of his collages to The Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, Florida.
For more information regarding the World War II Museum, telephone Chairman Mary Antonik at 561-478-0151.
Press Release from: World War II Museum
Press release: Artisan Pictures has tapped scribe Bill Wheeler to pen ``The Garbo Deception,'' a drama based on source material recounting the activities of WWII double agent Juan Pujol.
"You can't do that with conventional capabilities," Rumsfeld told reporters at a Pentagon briefing. "You cannot really do sufficient damage on the ground" using only air power he stated.
This statesmen by the head of the Defense Department shows that he obviously has no one on his staff who had read anything published before 1970. The St. Lo breakout in Normandy in 1944 - - preceded by a strike of B-17s, B-24s, A26s that wiped out the German front line; Pantenella (not sure on the spelling) that had constant air strikes on it (and a naval blockade) which forced it to surrender in 1943 off the coast of Italy without a single landing craft assaulting it; Falaise in July / August 1944; Russian air power at Kursk and numerous other examples show that air power may not take ground directly, but it will allow ground forces to get through a defensive zone a whole lot easier with a massive conventional attack than without.
When was the last time you saw 50 B-52s in formation dropping "en masse" their whole bomb load? NEVER. They have ALWAYS been used in groups of 3 and usually 1 a/c at a time to do pinprick attacks. Put 50 over a target area and have them drop at one time and then 30 seconds later jump off a ground attack into that area and there will be no resistance there.
Our leaders sometimes have no sense of how to use the "old stuff" correctly. They are too ingrained in trying to use the latest "high tech" weapons to solve a simple problem.
He also mentioned the new smart 5,000 lb bombs that penetrate rock to take out blunders - - here is another example where old technology from WW-II had done that long ago. The British "Tallboy" could go through 80 feet of rock (25 feet of reinforced concrete) before it exploded. It weighed 22,000 lbs. The British also developed the "Grand Slam" that was used very effectively. The British bomber crews (mainly 617 squadron) could hit a railroad tunnel from 22,000 using mechanical bomb sights.
The History Channel had a series on what happened to the Americans that were captured in April / May of 1942 in the Philippines. Of the 10,000 Americans captured only around 3,000 lived to see VJ day. It is interesting to note that the US had led the fight (due to US Courts awarding billions in damages to survivors) from the German program of slave labor but the US has DEFENDED Japan against the same charges that had US POWs (and British, Australian, Dutch, French etc.) working under the same type of conditions be awarded compensation that we forced German companies and government to pay out to their slave laborers.
One of the arguments is that since we won the war against Japan so freeing them from slave labor. Therefore they got compensation by being liberated and that is enough. Another is a treaty clause that claims all claims against Japan is waived due to the 1951 treaty with Japan. But that would then only apply to the GOVERNMENT - - not corporations. Yet that same argument was NOT good enough to keep the present German businesses and Government from having to pay their slave laborers.
This comes down to double standards.
A US Bill (H.R. 1198) is trying to overturn the US Government position that Japan and the businesses should not be made to pay for slave laborers (and purposeful working of them to death and execution of them as a matter of policy). Write Congressman Mike Honda or Representative Dana Rohrabacker to voice support in passing that bill. You can also write your own Senators and Representatives to voice support.
As mentioned on other pages you can get movies from WWII on VHS and even some on DVD now-a-days. A new firm, Uncle Sam's Movies, that is based here in Oregon aggregates some WWII classic movies, shorts and other Government produced movies onto VHS. They have usually a few shorts and up to two full length movies on each cassette. Since they were produced by the US Government they are in the Public Domain and, due to the way the Copyright Law was written, anything produced by the US Government cannot be copyrighted!
German WWII Sub Found in Gulf
By JANET McCONNAUGHEY, Associated Press Writer
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The wreckage of a sunken World War II German submarine has been discovered 5,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, and the find may rewrite a bit of wartime history.
BP and Shell Oil Co., which had been surveying the gulf floor for an oil pipeline, announced the discovery Friday of the U-166, which sank in 1942 after it destroyed an American ship.
``This is the find of a lifetime. It really is,'' said Robert Church, a marine archaeologist with C&C Technologies, which identified the wreckage in March. Video taken May 31 and June 1 confirmed the find, which lies about 45 miles from the mouth of the Mississippi River.
Since 1942, an airplane was thought to have sunk the U-166.
It was known that a plane had bombed a submarine on Aug. 1, 1942, two days after the U-166 sank the American passenger-freighter Robert E. Lee.
But the location of the sub and its condition may show that the Robert E. Lee's Coast Guard escort actually sank the U-166, said Jack Irion, a marine archaeologist with the U.S. Minerals Management Service.
Submarines did a tremendous amount of damage in early 1942, before the Navy organized convoys and escorts for U.S. shipping, said Nathan Miller, author of ``War At Sea: A Naval History of World War II.''
``Admiral Ernest J. King didn't believe in convoys,'' he said. ``He thought they would just bring more ships together so they'd be better targets for U-boats.''
U-boats sank 56 merchant ships in the Gulf of Mexico between 1942 and 1943, including the Robert E. Lee at the end of July 1942.
Of about 26 German subs thought to have worked in the Gulf of Mexico, the U-166 is the only one known to have sunk there. Two other subs are thought to have sunk either in the Gulf or the Caribbean.
The 375-foot Robert E. Lee - a private vessel commissioned by the Navy - was loaded with 268 passengers, many of them victims of prior U-boat attacks who were coming back to the United States from Trinidad.
When a torpedo hit the ship, the Coast Guard patrol PC-566, about a half-mile in front of the Lee, turned back immediately and dropped six depth charges.
A tugboat and two Navy vessels rescued nearly everyone, but 15 crew members and 10 passengers died on the Robert E. Lee.
Until March, historians thought that the U-166 had survived that attack and was sunk two days later and about 120 miles away.
However, the newly identified wreck was found lying in a 6-foot-deep impact crater near the shell of the Robert E. Lee. Fifty feet of its bow was blown away from the rest of the submarine.
There were 52 crew members on the U-166.
Because of the discovery, BP and Shell will reroute their pipeline to lie west of the Robert E. Lee, executives said at the news conference at the national D-Day Museum.
The survey took only sonar and video images. Nothing else will ever be taken from either wreck.
``Both the Robert E. Lee and the U-166 are protected by international treaty,'' Church said. ``They are war grave sites They can't be disturbed. They can't be dived upon. They can't be recovered.''
Note: I could not locate the original URL so this cut and paste will have to do.