The Silver Star is the third-highest honor for gallantry in the U.S. Armed Forces. Previous recipients include Audie Murphy, Chuck Yeager, and Norman Schwartzkopf. But few people have heard of Magd…
Source: Intermission (5) – POW in Japan
As the Intermission stories come to a close, until we reach the break of 1944-1945, we take a look at one of the pilots the Allied Air Forces were up against….. Saburō Sakai in the co…
At 7:40 a.m. Jan. 25, 1944, five B-24 Liberator heavy bombers from the 308th Bombardment Group, 425th Squadron, took off from their base at Kunming, China, on a routine supply run to India. Their r…
In honor of Women’s History Month this week’s posts will be a dedication to them…..
As WWII unfolded around the globe, women were also affected. Some found themselves pressed into jobs and duties they would never have previously considered. Hitler derided Americans as degenerate for putting the women to work, but nearly 350,000 American females alone served in uniform voluntarily. A transformation of half the population, never seen before, that began evolving in the early ‘40s and continues today.
For the WASPs, 1,830 female pilots volunteered for Avenger Field outside Sweetwater, Texas alone and it was the only co-ed air base in the U.S. These women would ferry aircraft coming off the assembly lines from the factories to the base. They acted as test pilots; assessing the performance of the planes. The WASPs were flight instructors and would shuttle officers around to the posts where they were needed. For artillery practice, they would…
Lt. Steve Cibik, 21st Marines
“We were a veteran company with Guadalcanal behind us and we thought we knew the jungle. But here on Bougainville we were battling a jungle such as we had never dreamed of. For 19 days we struggled in miasmal swamps, fought vines that wrapped themselves bout our neck like whips, birds that dived at us like screaming Stukas, bats whose wings whirred like falling artillery shells, snakes, lizards and insects without name or number. For 19 days we attacked this natural enemy with our machetes and knives, hacking our way through…
Commander Melvin H.McCoy of the U.S.Navy had survived the Bataan death march on the Philippines and was now in the notorious Davao Prison camp on Mindanao. Like most prisoners of the Japanese they were on starvation rations and men were dying on a daily basis.
On 29th January 1943 they got a lucky break. For whatever reason the Japanese had for once decided to hand over the Red Cross parcels that had been sent from the States. This was a very irregular event. Many prisoners of the Japanese never saw any of them.
The importance of such support from home could never be underestimated:
“It’s Christmas, Commander McCoy!” he shouted. “It’s Christmas!”
I was well aware that Christmas had already passed, practically without notice, so I asked him to explain his excitement.
“Stuff from home,” he babbled. “Boxes from the States. Red Cross boxes.”
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Story brought to us by Ian from Welcome to My World and Aussie Emu.
The Time a Fighter Pilot Ejected Into a Thunderstorm and Rode the Lightning
Marine Corps Lt. Col. William H. Rankin had flown combat flight operations in both World War II and the Korean War, but it wasn’t enemy fire that came closest to killing him during his military flying career. It was a summer thunderstorm over the east coast of the United States.
On July 26, 1959 Rankin and his wingman, 1st Lt. Herbert Nolan, were flying a pair of F-8 Crusaders from South Weymouth, Mass back to their home base at Beaufort, S.C. when they encountered a line of severe thunderstorms over North Carolina. Shortly after the fighters climbed up to 47,000 feet to go over the growing cumulonimbus clouds, Rankin heard a loud grinding noise followed by a loss of power from…
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The Japanese altered their pre-war message codes after the Coral Sea (6 May 1942), and a few weeks before the Aleutians and Midway ( June 1942). The changes were enough to send US Naval Intelligence in Honolulu scrambling.
The Secret Service brought in a well-known Southern Baptist missionary who had recently arrived in Hawaii after being booted out of Japan along with the other undesirable westerners. Reverend Edwin Burke Dozier, who became part of the Olivet Baptist Church in Honolulu, was the son of S.B.C. missionaries from Georgia. He had been born and raised in Japan – the Nagasaki-Fukuoka area of Kyushu’s west coast.
Rev. Dozier’s masterful ear for the Japanese language discerned that the enemy was using Japanese baby-talk in the key parts of their altered code. These were not words found in any dictionary and a person would have had to…
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The Doolittle Raid was launched on the morning of 18 April 1942, 150 miles further from mainland Japan than originally planned. At 0843 hours, Lt. Ted William Lawson took flight in “The Ruptured Duck” B-25B # 40-2261, of the 95th Bomber Squadron/17th Bomber Group.
“A Navy man stood at the bow of the ship with a checkered flag. He gave Doolittle [the lead plane] the signal to begin racing his engines again. Doolittle gave his engines more and more throttle until I was afraid he’d burn them up. A wave crashed at the bow and sprayed the deck.
“The man with the flag was waiting, timing the dipping of the ship for it’s take-off. The man gave a new signal. Navy boys pulled the blocks from under the wheels. We watched him like hawks, wondering what the wind would do to him…
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