Tag Archives: WWII

Lost and Found – January 12th Edition

What to remember about January 12th…

  • 1876  American author and journalist Jack London is born (d. 1916)
  • 1932  Democrat Ophelia “Hattie” Wyatt Caraway of Arkansas becomes the first woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate
  • 1942  President Franklin D. Roosevelt re-establishes National War Labor Board to regulate business-labor relations
  • 1943  Soviet forces penetrate the year-and-a-half long German siege of Leningrad
  • 1951  American talk show personality and political commentator Rush Hudson Limbaugh III is born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri
  • 1986  Bill Nelson (D-FL) is second sitting Congressman (now Senator) legislator to take flight aboard Space Shuttle as a mission specialist
  • 1991  U.S. House of Representatives and Senate both approve a resolution authorizing use of force against Iraq to liberate Kuwait
  • 2010  7.0 magnitude earthquake strikes the island of Haiti; estimates of 200,000 dead and over 800,000 homeless

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Lost and Found – January 10th Edition

What to remember about January 10th…

  • 1776  Exiled loyalist and Governor of North Carolina calls for subjects to rise up against patriot “Insurrection”, only 1500 answer the call
  • 1861  Florida secedes from the Union ahead of the Civil War
  • 1862  Pioneering firearms manufacturer and businessman Samuel Colt dies of gout in Hartford, Connecticut (b. 1814)
  • 1917  Medal of Honor recipient, hunter, and showman William Frederick “Buffalo Bill” Cody dies in bed in Denver, Colorado (b. 1846)
  • 1920  Covenant of the League of Nations goes into effect; formally establishes the League of Nations even without U.S. membership
  • 1941  President Franklin D. Roosevelt introduces lend-lease program to support allies without direct military confrontation with the Axis
  • 1946  General Assembly of the United Nations convenes for 1st time meeting at Westminster Central Hall in London; 51 nations represented
  • 1984  United States and Vatican City establish full diplomatic relations
  • 2016  Musician, actor, songwriter, and cultural icon David Bowie (David Robert Jones) dies from liver cancer at home in New York City (b. 1947)

Lost and Found – January 9th Edition

What to remember about January 9th…

  • 1776 Patriot Thomas Paine 1st publishes his pamphlet on independence from Britain “Common Sense”
  • 1788  Connecticut becomes 5th state admitted to the Union
  • 1861  Confederate forces in Charleston fire on the Union supply ship Star of the West when it tries to reach Fort Sumter
  • 1913  Future 37th president of the United States Richard Milhous Nixon is born on this day in Yorba Linda, California
  • 1916  Ottoman Empire defeats Allied forces at Battle of Gallipoli leading to evacuation by sea
  • 1945  U.S. forces led by General MacArthur land at Luzon to continue recapture of the Philippine Islands
  • 1964  One of the Hillside Stranglers, Angelo Buono, is sentenced to life in prison; his accomplice Kenneth Bianchi testifies
  • 1991  Talks between representatives of the U.S. and Iraq fail to resolve growing crisis over the invasion of Kuwait
  • 2007  Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveils the first iPhone

MacArthur returns to the Phillipines

Lost and Found – January 1st Edition

What to remember about January 1st…

  • 1781  1500 Patriot troops under General Anthony Wayne mutiny over not being paid; they march off on their own to capture Princeton
  • 1808  As the 20-year constitutional prohibition against legislation in relation to slavery expires, Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves goes into effect in any U.S. jurisdiction
  • 1863  As promised, President Lincoln signs the Emancipation Proclamation freeing all slaves in rebellious America; Union army is instructed to liberate any they find
  • 1892  Federal immigration receiving station opens on Ellis Island
  • 1934  Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring goes into effect in Nazi Germany; court ordered sterilization
  • 1942  President Roosevelt and Minister Churchill issue proclamation at end of the Arcadia Conference vowing to create United Nations
  • 1958  At San Quentin Johnny Cash plays his 1st prison performance; inmate Mearle Haggard is inspired to change his life
  • 1959  Communist led by Fidel Castro force Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista to flee the country for the Dominican Republic
  • 1962  United States Navy’s Sea, Air, and Land Teams (SEALs) are established
  • 1966  Advance units of 1st Marine Division arrive in Vietnam; by march 20,000 Marines will be in country
  • 1984  As a result of 1974 anti-trust lawsuit brought by Justice Department, AT&T is broken into 7 holding companies known as “Baby Bells”
  • 2004  Roman Catholic and Protestant Boy Scout organizations reunite after almost a century of division

Spirit of WWII Would Serve Us Well Today

A friend on Facebook (thanks J.R.) shares a great quote from a book by WWII B-24 bomber pilot Ralph Welsh.  We should start each day with this in our heads and hearts.

“I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon if I can. I seek opportunity, not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me. I want to take the calculated risk, to dream and to build, fail and succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole. I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence, the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia. I will not trade freedom for beneficence, nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid. To think and act for myself, enjoy the benefits of my creations, and to face the world boldly and say, ” This I have done..””

 

The book is WOW!: An anthology with 149 World War II stories of bombing missions, personalities, diverse life experiences by Ralph Welsh.  Check it out at Amazon.com.

WOW! by Ralph Welsh

 

Warbirds – B-24 Liberator Heavy Bomber

December 29th marks the anniversary of the first-flight of the Consolidated B-24 Liberator.  Designed by Consolidated under the name Model 32, in 1939 the proposal was offered to the War Department as the highest flying, fastest, and most advanced heavy bomber that American forces would have at their disposal.  Though having a shorter hull and less wing area, the innovative design features of the B-24 resulted in a lighter aircraft with substantially greater carrying capacity.  Only nine months after the awarding of the contract, the first prototype took flight.

b-24 liberator line drawing

Often forgotten alongside the more famous B-17 Flying Fortress, the Liberator is still the most produced American military aircraft of all time.  More than 18,400 units were delivered by war’s end; over half coming produced at the Ford Motor Company Willow Run plant at Belleville, Michigan.  At peak, this purpose-built production plant rolled out B-24s at a rate of one per hour.  Over 1000 crewmen slept in cots at the facility just to accommodate testing and delivery of the bombers.

b-24 liberator willow run assembly line

b-24 liberator willow run assembly line final assembly

The B-24 entered service in 1941 with the British as transports and anti-submarine coastal patrols.  The first American B-24 to see action was the lone Liberator stationed at Pearl Harbor and it was destroyed on the ground during the Japanese attack December 7th, 1941.  Despite this less than heroic debut, the legacy of this aircraft is one of the most storied of WWII.  During the war, crews of the Liberators would earn every honor available to our aviators; including the awarding of several Medals of Honor.

http://youtu.be/YWOk2–CY6E

Notable crewmen on B-24s included:

  • George McGovern – pilot (Senator and Presidential candidate)
  • Jim Wright – bombardier (Congressman and Speaker of the House)
  • Stewart Udall – waist gunner (Congressman, Secretary of the Interior, author, and conservationist)
  • Jimmy Stewart – pilot, squadron commander (actor)
  • Robert Altman – co-pilot (film director)
  • Don Herbert – pilot (actor, host of TV show Ask Mr. Wizard)
  • Louis Zamperini – bombardier (Olympic runner and POW)

B-24 Liberator with Jimmy Stewart as pilot

By the end of its service life, dozens of B-24 variants flew with a whole host of nations, including:

Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czechoslovakia, Germany (as Beuteflugzeug, captured aircraft, India, Italy, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Romania (At least three B-24Ds and one B-24J were rebuild from wrecks around Ploiesti in 1943–44.), Poland, Portugal, Soviet Union, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States

In its time, the B-24 was one of the most advanced and effective heavy bombers in the world.  Though crews (and history) seem to prefer the B-17, the lessons learned during the creation, evolution, and service of the B-24 would lead to the development of the B-32 and B-36.  These Warbirds would carry the Liberator’s legacy forward through Korea, to Vietnam, and into the height of the Cold War.  Today, only 3 of these historic bombers remain airworthy.

B-24 Liberators over Ploiesti Oil Fields 1943 low level run

B-24 Liberators over Ploiesti Oil Fields 1943

Lost and Found – December 19th Edition

What to remember about December 19th…

  • 1732  Benjamin Franklin first publishes Poor Richard’s Almanac
  • 1776  Thomas Paine published his American Crisis pamphlet to boost flagging Patriot morale:

“These are the times that try men’s souls; the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”

  • 1777  Continental Army enters its winter encampment at Valley Forge
  • 1828  Vice President John C. Calhoun submits his South Carolina Exposition and Protest to state legislature; argument for states rights and nullification of federal excesses
  • 1942  Adolf Hitler fires many top generals and appoints himself Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the German Army
  • 1972  Splashdown of Apollo 17 capsule in the Pacific marks end of program and last human visit to the Moon
  • 1984  Britain agrees to give sovereignty over Hong Kong to the Chinese government
  • 1998  House of Representatives approves 2 articles of impeachment against President Clinton; 1 each  for perjury and obstruction

1733-poor-richards-almanack

Lost and Found – December 17th Edition

What to remember about December 17th…

  • 1777  France formally recognizes the United States as an independent nation; victory at Saratoga convinces them we have a chance
  • 1862  Enraged by black market profiteering and speculation, General U.S. Grant orders all Jews to leave Military district under his authority; later he admits decision rash and criticism justified
  • 1903  Orville and Wilbur Wright make the 1st powered flight of a heavier-than-air craft in history near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
  • 1935  Douglas DC-3 (military C-47) makes its 1st flight; many of these aviation workhorses are still in service today
  • 1941  Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel is relieved of command of U.S. Pacific Fleet following Pearl Harbor attack; no more at fault than many others,FDR makes him a scapegoat
  • 1944  Public Proclamation 21 declares that internment of Japanese Americans is ending and that evacuees can return to their homes
  • 1944  1st of Malmedy massacres is committed by SS Kampfgruppe Peiper; hundreds of U.S. POWs and Belgians executed
  • 1969  USAF closes Project Blue Book; study of purported UFO sightings concludes there is no evidence of extraterrestrial activity
  • 1975  Charles Manson devotee Lynette Alice “Squeaky” Fromme is sentenced to life for attempted assassination of President Ford
  • 1997  Firearms Act of 1997 goes into effect in Great Britain; extends gun ban to include all but antique and show weapons; through 2008 firearms crimes and deaths have doubled in the UK
  • 2003  Privately owned and developed SpaceShipOne makes 1st supersonic flight; piloted by Brian Binnie
  • 2011  U.S. announces that the last troops have left Iraq; War is over?

Lost and Found – December 16th Edition

What to remember about December 16th…

  • 1773  Outraged at British tax policy, Samuel Adams and 60 members of the Sons of Liberty dump tea cargoes of 3 ships into harbor; 1st Boston Tea Party
  • 1811  Estimated 8.6 magnitude earthquake rocks New Madrid fault in Missouri; landscape dramatically altered and Mississippi River flows backwards in places
  • 1944  Massive German counter-attack surprises Allied troops in Belgium; Battle of the Bulge begins
  • 1950  President Truman declares state of emergency following Chinese entry into Korean War with hundreds of thousands of troops
  • 1989  1st of 4 pipe bombs sent by Walter LeRoy Moody arrives; Federal Judge Robert Vance killed instantly
  • 1998  President Clinton orders airstrikes against Iraq for failing to cooperate with UN weapons inspectors; political observers see attacks as an attempt to distract public from ongoing impeachment proceedings; see movie Wag the Dog

Lost and Found – December 13th Edition

What to remember about December 13th…

    • 1577  Expedition of 5 ships led by Francis Drake sets sail from England to explore Pacific and beyond
    • 1862  Confederates deal decisive blow to Army of the Potomac as well as Union morale at Battle of Fredericksburg
    • 1887  Medal of Honor recipient Sergeant Alvin York is born near Pall Mall, Tennessee (d. 1964)
    • 1918  Woodrow Wilson arrives in France becoming 1st sitting president to visit Europe
    • 1942  Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels records his contempt for the Italians’ treatment of Jews stating “The Italians are extremely lax in their treatment of Jews.
    • 1949  Israeli Knesset votes to move nation’s capital to Jerusalem
    • 2000  Al Gore concedes defeat in presidential election after Supreme Court rules a 7th recount would violate Equal Protection Clause
    • 2003  Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein is captured hiding in a 6’x8′ hole near his hometown of Tikrit