WWII Kilroy Was Here The Americans Gordon Sinclair Operation Market Garden Bomb Oregon Dollar Bill Nobuo Fujita Rosie the Riveter Butch O'Hare Taps Wilie Dee Kilroy

The Rest of the Story

Japan bombs mainland USA! Army Air Corps becomes Army Air Forces, The Americans. Interesting, inspiring, unusual stories generally like Paul Harvey's "The Rest of the Story."

WWII Kilroy Was Here The Americans Gordon Sinclair Operation Market Garden Bomb Oregon Dollar Bill Nobuo Fujita Rosie the Riveter Butch O'Hare Taps Wilie Dee

 




Updated 03/24/2013

1 November 1950 The young Catholic Chaplain, now wide awake, was busily running from foxhole to berm dragging wounded back and saying prayers over the dying, hearing confessions under fire, all the while dressing wounds. Men screamed at him to run, but he ignored them. "I'm going to give you guys the last rites," he said "because a lot of you guys are not going to make it home." He called out the sacred words in English, not Latin.

He has been awarded the Medal of Honor and is one step away from sainthood. Just one more forgotten hero of the forgotten Korean war!

Click the Star

The Doolittle Raid and
Sweetheart Wings

A moving and unknown sidebar to the well known story!

Click the star for details and for The Rest of The Story

Also the SS America, a sad ending . . .

USS WestPoint


This Photo shows the "ss America, uss Westpoint, ss America,
ss Australis, ss America, Italis, Alferdoss, Noga, and American
Star" as she was in 1994. This picture of her along with a
complete history can be found at the
web site by
Darren Byrne. It is a sad but beautiful site!
Well worth a visit whether or not you served aboard her.

http://www.ss-australis.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_America_%281940%29

"From the Cradle to the Grave"

Sgt Joe Tillery wrote

I don't really have enough personal identification with the SS America to submit anything of interest other than the fact that I crossed the North Atlantic in the dead of winter. We had only two meals a day and we stood in line most of the day for those two meals. The cabins and all the 1st class area was "Officers Country" but I was able to peek in a little from my KP station .I guess I was so very impressed with how beautiful it was how large it was that I tried to keep up with her. As you will see, the old girl came to a tragic end but better than being scraped.

Editor's Note:

This wonderful luxury liner, the SS America, was the first liner to have her interior designed by women to be warm, comfortable, and friendly unlike the stodgy, stuffy designs before her. She was sponsored by Eleanor Roosevelt herself but her career as a top luxury liner in the lucrative north Atlantic route was cut very short. As the war stirred up in Europe, her beautiful hull was painted with huge American flags to deter U-boat attacks and she started sailing further south. But like her brothers and sisters in America,

and while sitting at Saint Thomas she was abruptly ordered to return. She was drafted in May, 1941 and became the USS Westpoint (AP 23.) She remained a transport until 1946. She briefly became the SS America after the war but was sold and became the SS Australis in 1964. She became, in turn, SS Italis, SS Noga, and SS Alferdoss and the SS American Star.

While still the SS America, in 1941, she had a chief butcher called Franz Stigler and a crew member named Erwin Siegler. They were both Nazi spies collecting information especially about the Panama Canal and as couriers for other spies. They were uncovered by the FBI shortly after her induction and convicted. Stigler was sentenced to serve 16 years in prison on espionage charges with two concurrent years for registration violations. Siegler was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on espionage charges and a concurrent two-year term for violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

She was sold the last time to be a 5-star hotel ship off Phuket, Thailand. She was refitted for that purpose and began being towed by a seagoing tug to Thailand. Apparently unhappy with her fait, she broke her tow lines in a storm. Attempts to reattach were unsuccessful so she was left adrift to finally come aground in the Canary Islands.

On the shore, pounded by waves throughout 2007 she slowly broke up and disappeared under water. In 2008 only the tip of her shapely bow remained in site.

 

The Magnificent C-47

A SIGHTING!


Another WWII Sighting of Kilroy Was Here

 

Click the star for details and for The Rest of The Story


Image thanks to David Dunham Fine Art
This is not the original Kilroy is Here. See curator's explanation.
Click image for larger view


Angled T-joints
Image thanks to The Century of flight

The largest cannon ever built


The LONDON GUN

In July 1944 Hitler tried to keep a promise to the German people. He promised over and over that his secret weapons would, at last, turn the tide and Germany would win. To do it he authorized the building of what was at that time the most potentially devastating weapon of the war – THE LONDON GUN! It was also known as the V3 Cannon after the V1 Buzz Bomb and the V2 Rocket. These massive long range cannons had already been test fired in a remote Baltic sea location. They were big at 460 feet long. Timed explosions along the length of the barrel at angled T-junctions bumped the shell a little faster with each explosion as it proceeded along the barrel. This resulted in a muzzle velocity of over 1500mps (4,921 ft/sec) for a 140kg (308 lb.) shell. They could lob this shell more than 100 miles. By comparison, USS Missouri's 16" guns could fire about 20 miles depending on the type shell. So far, it was the largest gun ever built. Fifty of these guns along the coast of France sitting just across the channel near the port of

Calais would lob some six hundred shells PER HOUR into London every day.

Soon some five thousand engineers and workers (many slave) descended upon a small French town, Mimoyecques, just inland from Calais to build the first battery. These gun emplacements would have concrete and steel roofs 100 feet thick. Only the muzzles would protrude above ground but even they would have 8-inch sliding steel doors covering them until firing. They had their own rail line, their own storage facilities, and elevators to lift the huge shells to the breach. There were to be 25 guns in this, the first battery.

But the French underground soon spotted strange activity near the hamlet. They sent word quickly to British Intelligence. With this and other vital information, they soon deduced the activity and construction was for the LONDON GUN. But what could they do about it? It was built hundreds of feet underground. In late 1943 there was a plan hatched by the Americans and British to deal with the GUN. This plan, in addition to regular conventional and "penetrating bombs," was very dangerous and had never been done before by the Allies although the Germans had successfully used similar, if smaller, radio-controlled drones - see Nazi Smart Bombs. It involved an aircraft filled with explosives to be flown by pilots to a point near the target then flown into the construction by another following behind with radio guidance equipment. One young American Lieutenant named Joseph Patrick volunteered to command the drone until it was ready to attack. It was a B-24 Liberator that had a normal payload of 2,700 to 8,000 pounds. They removed the guns, ammo, crew (except for Joseph Patrick and his copilot) and everything else not nailed down. They loaded it with some 22,000 pounds of high explosives.

Construction under way
Image thanks to The Other Side

In November 1944, Joseph Patrick and his copilot struggled off from a base in Southern England. They were followed quickly by the another Liberator. The plan was to get the overloaded B-24 near Mimoyecques where Joe Patrick and his copilot would bail out over enemy territory, making it very likely that they would spend the rest of the war as guests of the Germans – if they survived. The second Liberator using primitive remote control equipment would guide the now unmanned flying bomb into the LONDON GUN being built.

Shortly after takeoff something went very wrong! Something, perhaps a spark from the radio remote control, ignited the 22,000 pounds of high explosives which exploded over southern England. The blast was so huge that no remains of Joseph Patrick nor his copilot were ever found. To this day, results of the inquiry have never been released . . . if indeed there were results. We don't know why the Liberator exploded.


The galley work.
Image thanks to The Other Side

Although the LONDON GUN never fired a shot, it inexorably affected US history, Cuban History, and SE Asian history in ways we will never know. As interesting as the story of the LONDON GUN is, it isn't the most important part of the story. Continue below for, as Paul Harvey says, "The Rest of the Story."

For "The Rest of the Story" Continue reading below

"The Rest of the Story*"

The London Gun

You see, the young lieutenant named Joseph Patrick had the last name of Kennedy. He was the oldest son of Joe Kennedy, the former ambassador to England and a crony of the wartime President Roosevelt. His father and FDR were grooming Joseph Patrick, known to all as Joe, to be president. He would, after the war, come home as a hero and possibly a former POW. If he had his younger brother Jack's charm, he would certainly have beaten Nixon in 1960 instead.

Had he lived and become president, would President JOE Kennedy abandon the Bay of Pigs invasion that might have lead to Castro's downfall in 1961? Would President JOE Kennedy escalate the war in Viet Nam? And finally, would President JOE Kennedy feel the need to shore up his political position with a visit to Dallas in November 1963?











Lieutenant Joseph Patrick Kennedy
Image thanks to Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum

Tallboy Penetrating bomb
Image thanks to The Other Side

One more final, bitter, irony

Before Joseph Patrick Kennedy's abortive attempt, massive bombings of the site using conventional bombs continued to no avail. Then they used huge 5400kg (5.95 ton) "Tallboy Penetrator" bombs but they too failed to damage the construction until 6 July 1944 (4 months before the loss of Kennedy) when by sheer luck, one found its way into one of the shaft openings. It exploded 100 feet below the surface killing dozens. Work was then abandoned. Allied planners did not know this so the attempt by Joseph Patrick Kennedy went on as planned. They died never knowing that their sacrifice was not even needed!

References and more reading

 


Three spent cartridges in the flag

This Rest of the Story was inspired by the funeral of a lost friend and distant relative Sgt. Paul Tillery. Paul contributed to his country in the almost forgotten, most vicious battle of the Pacific war . . . the battle of Driniumor River. In spite of living through such a experience, Paul was always there to help anyone until he could no longer. Many people will remember Paul as the angel who helped them find their loved one's life story both personally and with his writings.


Click the image for a larger view
A military funeral is a very moving event. While a casket draped with an American flag sits silently in front of the mourners and as the mournful refrain of taps is played by a nearby bugle, three volleys are heard from a

firing squad in the distance. The three volleys fired over the casket have become a tradition to mean that the dead have been cared for. Firing the three volleys over the casket is one of the highest honors to give a deceased military veteran. After the volley, some smartly dressed military personnel carefully fold the flag (traditionally triangular) and present it to the next of kin with these words: "On behalf of the President of the United States, please accept this flag as a symbol of your loved one's honored and faithful service to this country.".

At some point the flag folders slip three spent cartridges into the flag never to be seen again. These are often from the shots

fired during the ceremony but not always. It is not important if they come from this volley but it is important that they be there. The flag can never be opened but it is important to the ceremony and tradition that these spent cartridges be there. Why? Why is it important if the flag is never to be opened? They will never be seen. The practice of firing three rifle volleys over the grave originated in the old custom of halting the fighting to remove the dead and wounded from the battlefield. Once each army had cleared their dead and wounded, it would fire three volleys to indicate that the dead had been cared for and that they
Note: Some years ago, this tradition was quietly changed. The cartridges are no longer secreted in the flag but handed to the next of kin. The reason? It was decided that over years the combination of powder and brass would stain the flag.
were ready to fight again. This has evolved into a military salute for the deceased who served their country. Three spent shell casings inside the folded flag are there to prove now and forevermore that the deceased and his flag have had proper military honors. The remaining shell casings from the volley after the 3 may be presented separately to the next of kin so that he or she can distribute them to family or friends.

Click the image for a larger view

Image thanks to CapitolFlags,com
Click the image for a larger view
If the funeral flag and the shell casings are publicly displayed after the funeral, the box holding the remaining shell casings should be positioned to the immediate left (the viewer's right), or directly in front of (but not "on"), the display case holding the Funeral Flag.



The three spent shell casings represent Duty, Honor, Country.

For mor information, see:
http://militarysalute.proboards.com
http://usmilitary.about.com/od/jointservices/a/twentyonegun_2.htm

 

The Third Anniversary of a Magnificent Ship's Burial at Sea.

Click the Star

To see the original story about her burial click here


Awating her fate the night before the funeral1


1941 Monopoly Game

1 of the most popular board games of all times


Boardwalk and Park Place go to War


Suggested by Bill Lewis of WOF Productions

Who hasn't played Monopoly? It is one of the most popular board games of all times and the best-selling board game in the world. Monopoly is sold in 103 countries and in 37 languages. Invented in 1934 by Charles B. Darrow of Germantown PA, it was first turned down by Parker Brothers Games due to "design errors." In 1935 they changed their mind and, in one year Monopoly became the best-selling game

in the U.S. But why is Kilroy Was Here, a site dedicated to the history of WWII and Korea, featuring a board game?

For "The Rest of the Story" Click the image or the star ->

The Missionary who saved them

The Rest of the Doolittle Raid Story

We all have heard of the daring raid on Tokyo. But have you heard the "Rest of the Story?"

Click the Star


Doolittle's Crew


Does this look like the entire US Congress? Well, in case of nuclear war, this was it!
This fall-out sheltered room would allow the entire Legislative branch of government to meet after a nuclear exchange. It is in the (no longer secret) "Bunker" under the famous 5-star Resort The Greenbrier. Click the star

"The Japs weren't on Iwo Jima . . . they were in Iwo Jima"

The Emperor's Reluctant Warrior

This Japanese General didn't want a war with America, but he answered the call from his Emperor. He changed Japanese tactics from this point on in the war. Did this change actually win the battle for Iwo Jima? Read this excerpt from Trinity

For Gen. Kuribayashi's story click the star.

Suggested by Col. Norm Gertz, USMC (R) He was there!

". . . the most horrible campaigns in the history of man"

An Invasion not Found in the History Books


The Planned invasion of Japan

Ever wondered how the Pacific war would have ended if not for the atomic bombs? Well, here's an answer. The plans for Operation Downfall have been pulled from the archives. It would have been "the most horrible campaigns in the history of man." General Douglas MacArthur estimated American casualties would be one million men by the fall of 1946. One million young men of the "Greatest Generation" wouldn't have come home to build the greatest nation ever known.

But what about Japan? "Japan today could be divided much like Korea" "The cost in human life that resulted from the two atomic blasts would be small in comparison to the total number of Japanese lives that would have been lost by this aerial devastation."

Don't miss this story! It has been hidden away in the archives for decades.
Click the star . . .

Suggested by Tom Kercher, Florida WWII Kilroy Was Here The Americans Gordon Sinclair Operation Market Garden Bomb Oregon Dollar Bill Nobuo Fujita Rosie the Riveter Butch O'Hare Taps Wilie Dee Dollar Bill Tom Kercher


Masonic emblem of U.S.-Australian friendship from 1908.
Click for a larger view

Why I love America

A Day Brightener

David Cooper, a mate from Australia, remembers a terrifying time in Australia when their army was in Europe fighting for England and Japanese forces threatened a brutal invasion. Then the Americans came. Click the star for the story.


USS Oriskany's

BURIAL AT SEA

This beautiful, magnificent, corpse will "lie in state" at the municipal pier in Pensacola Florida until it's "burial at sea" some 22.5 miles offshore. Watch here for details! Click the star for the story.

 Hero's son heard a different drummer

What Happened to Hero's Son?

Eric Shackle sets out to find the beautiful child that his wife, Jerry knew in Australia in 1942. The youngster disappeared after his father, General Douglas MacArthur, returned to the US from another war in Korea

Click here to read the rest of this story


General MacArthur, Arthur MacArthur IV, and Jean. American Caesar, Little, Brown and Co., 1978
Click Image for larger view

The Army Air Corps became the Army Air Forces on June 20, 1941, six months before Pearl Harbor.

This seems to be universally unknown. As you can see from the poll results below, the answer least selected was, actually the correct one. I have spoken to many who served in the Army Air Forces during WWII who still believed they were in the Army Air Corps. Why is, perhaps, stated best by The Army Air Forces Historical Association.

"World War II Air Corps personnel had a strong sentimental attachment to their branch. The Air Corps had an aura about it that seemed to set it apart from other Army branches. Now, sixty years later, many WW II servicemen still proudly identify themselves as veterans of the Air Corps. However -- although the Air Corps was their branch -- they actually served and fought in the Army Air Forces! "

My thanks to the The Army Air Forces Historical Association who's excellent site gives details and the history behind the move.

The One Dollar Bill Explained .

 

The Dollar Bill

 


WWII Kilroy Was Here The Americans Gordon Sinclair Operation Market Garden Bomb Oregon Dollar Bill Nobuo Fujita Rosie the Riveter Butch O'Hare Taps Wilie Dee Dollar Bill

Click any picture for a full size view

Take out a one dollar bill (older version) and look at it. The one dollar bill you're looking at first came off the presses in 1957 in its present design. This so-called paper money is in fact a cotton and linen blend, with red and blue minute silk fibers running through it. It is actually material. We've all washed it without it falling
apart. A special blend of ink is used, the contents we will never know. It is overprinted with symbols and then it is starched to make it water resistant and pressed to give it that nice crisp look.

WWII Kilroy Was Here The Americans Gordon Sinclair Operation Market Garden Bomb Oregon Dollar Bill Nobuo Fujita Rosie the Riveter Butch O'Hare Taps Wilie Dee Dollar Bill sealIf you look on the front of the bill, you will see the United States Treasury Seal. On the top you will see the scales for the balance - a balanced budget. In the center you have a carpenter's T-square, a tool used for an even cut. Underneath is the Key to the United States Treasury.

That's all pretty easy to figure out, but what is on the back of that dollar bill is something we should all know. If you turn the bill over, you will see two circles. Both circles, together, comprise the Great Seal of the United States. The First Continental Congress requested that Benjamin Franklin and a group of men come up with a Seal. It took them four years to

accomplish this task and another two years to get it approved. If you look at the left hand circle, you will see a Pyramid. Notice the face is lighted and the western side is dark. This country was just beginning. We had not begun to explore the West or decided what we could do for Western
WWII Kilroy Was Here The Americans Gordon Sinclair Operation Market Garden Bomb Oregon Dollar Bill Nobuo Fujita Rosie the Riveter Butch O'Hare Taps Wilie Dee Dollar Bill

Civilization. The Pyramid is uncapped, again signifying that we were not even close to being finished. Inside the capstone you have the all-seeing eye, and ancient WWII Kilroy Was Here The Americans Gordon Sinclair Operation Market Garden Bomb Oregon Dollar Bill Nobuo Fujita Rosie the Riveter Butch O'Hare Taps Wilie Dee Dollar Bill  pyramidsymbol for divinity. It was Franklin's belief that one man couldn't do it alone, but a group of men, with the help of God, could do anything. "IN GOD WE TRUST" is on this currency. The Latin above the pyramid, ANNUIT COEPTIS, means "God has favored our undertaking." The Latin below the pyramid, NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM, means "a new order has begun." At the base of the pyramid is the Roman Numeral for 1776.

If you look at the right-hand circle, and check it carefully, you will learn that it is on every National Cemetery in the United States. It is also on the Parade of Flags Walkway at the Bushnell, Florida National Cemetery and is the centerpiece of most hero's monuments. Slightly modified, it is the seal of the President of the UnitedWWII Kilroy Was Here The Americans Gordon Sinclair Operation Market Garden Bomb Oregon Dollar Bill Nobuo Fujita Rosie the Riveter Butch O'Hare Taps Wilie Dee Dollar Bill eagle
States and it is always visible whenever he speaks, yet no one knows what the symbols mean. The Bald Eagle was selected as a symbol for victory for two reasons: first, he is not afraid of a storm; he is strong and he is smart enough to soar above it. Secondly, he wears no material crown. We had just broken from the King of England. Also, notice the shield is unsupported. This country can now stand on its own. At the top of that shield you have a white bar signifying congress, a unifying factor. We were coming together as one nation. In the Eagle's beak you will read, "E PLURIBUS UNUM", meaning "one nation from many people." Above the Eagle you have thirteen stars representing the thirteen original colonies, and any clouds of misunderstanding rolling away. Again, we were coming together as one. Notice what the Eagle holds in his talons. He holds an olive branch and arrows. This country wants peace, out we will never be afraid to fight to preserve peace. The Eagle always wants to face the olive branch, but in time of war, his gaze turns toward the arrows.

They say that the number 13 is an unlucky number. This is almost a worldwide belief. You will usually never see a room numbered 13, or any hotels or motels with a 13th floor. But, think about this: 13 original colonies, 13 signers of the Declaration of Independence, 13 stripes on our flag, 13 steps on the Pyramid, 13 letters in the Latin above, 13 letters in "E Pluribus UnumWWII Kilroy Was Here The Americans Gordon Sinclair Operation Market Garden Bomb Oregon Dollar Bill Nobuo Fujita Rosie the Riveter Butch O'Hare Taps Wilie Dee Dollar Bill 13", 13 stars above the Eagle, 13 plumes of feathers on each span of the Eagle's wing, 13 bars on that shield, 13 leaves on the olive branch, 13 fruits, and if you look closely, 13 arrows. And for minorities: the 13th Amendment. I always ask people, "Why don't you know this?" Your children don't know this and their history teachers don't know this. Too many veterans have given up too much to ever let the meaning fade. Many veterans remember coming home to an America that didn't care. Too many veterans never came home at all.

Author unknown (if you know, please email me)
Thanks to Tom Kercher, FloridaWWII Kilroy Was Here The Americans Gordon Sinclair Operation Market Garden Bomb Oregon Dollar Bill Nobuo Fujita Rosie the Riveter Butch O'Hare Taps Wilie Dee Dollar Bill Tom Kercher



 The largest airborne operation in history!

Operation Market Garden

Operation Market Garden was as an attempt to free occupied Holland in September 1944. It was billed as the largest airborne operation in history (see sidebar Quizlet Results).

But don't take my word for it. Read a translation

 Quizlet Results

What was Operation Market Garden? It was a an attempt to liberate the Netherlands in September 1944. Had it succeeded, the war might have ended months before it did. As to the answer that it was the largest airborne attack in history, there was a little trap here. It was billed as "The largest Airborne operation in history." Operation Varsity landings in Northern Germany (March 1945) were also billed as the largest airborne operation in history. It is possible that they were both correct. Operation Market Garden was the largest up to then and Operation Varsity perhaps broke the record six months later.

There were 295 respondents in 2 weeks.
1. Attempt to liberate occupied Holland ---------- 56%
2. Largest airborne attack in history. --------------- 26%
3. MI-6 try to destabilize Nazi Government------- 05%
4. Escape Attempt from Stalag 43 - Poland------- 05%
5. Attempt by US spies to assassinate Hitler-----08%

from a web site in the Netherlands discussing it. Thanks to Jeroen Cornelissen for this translation of the Operation Market Garden web site. At the end of his translation, he gives the address of this and another, the Wings of Liberation Museum (in English) for more information.

Click here for the translated web site

WWII Kilroy Was Here The Americans Gordon Sinclair Operation Market Garden Bomb Oregon Dollar Bill Nobuo Fujita Rosie the Riveter Butch O'Hare Taps Wilie Dee Bomb Oregon

 The mainland US has never been bombed from an enemy aircraft . . . Wrong!

 Read about this almost forgotten attack on the USA!

On September 9, 1942, Nobuo Fujita, a Chief Warrant Officer and pilot in the Japanese Imperial Navy, and his crew man, Petty Officer Shoji Okuda, surfaced in the Japanese Navy submarine I-25 off the coast of Oregon near Brookings. His tiny seaplane had folding wings and  was

WWII Kilroy Was Here The Americans Gordon Sinclair Operation Market Garden Bomb Oregon Dollar Bill Nobuo Fujita Rosie the Riveter Butch O'Hare Taps Wilie Dee Nobuo Fujita

Chief Warrant Officer Nobuo Fujita, 1942

 transported in a small Hangar attached to the deck of the submarine. Thus began the mission which would write Fujita in the history books.

Click here to read the rest of this story



Dr. Makio Mukai, a Kilroywashere.org contributing editor and author of Legend 7 "Kilroy and Rosie the Riveter" tells us about the first and only bombing of mainland USA from the Japanese viewpoint. Do the Japanese recognize by Nobuo Fujita and other Japanese fighting men as as heroes? Read this!

Read Dr.Mukai's discussion of Fujita's feat from A Japanese viewpoint


The sword has been moved! See Donald McArthur's report.

WWII Kilroy Was Here The Americans Gordon Sinclair Operation Market Garden Bomb Oregon Dollar Bill Nobuo Fujita Rosie the Riveter Butch O'Hare Taps Wilie Dee Pappas
     

A special July 4th Message
by Robert Pappas

Editor's note: Robert is a retired US Marine Colonel who flew two combat tours in Viet Nam. He was shot down over enemy territory once, but evaded capture by ejecting out to sea. He earned the Purple Heart, Navy Commendation Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star, Air Medal (26) and two stars, Distinguished Flying Cross (2) and the Legion of Merit (2). (He insists on adding an old saying, "It's not what we get, but what we give that measures the worth of the life we live.")

After retirement he became Regional Director of Banking and Finance, Northwest Florida Region with offices in Pensacola, in 1995; Acting District Administrator, District 10, Department of Children and Families in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Regional Director of Banking and Finance, Southwest Florida Region with offices in Fort Myers, in December 1999.

Click here to read Robert's message

     

WWII Kilroy Was Here The Americans Gordon Sinclair Operation Market Garden Bomb Oregon Dollar Bill Nobuo Fujita Rosie the Riveter Butch O'Hare Taps Wilie Dee

O'Hare Airport and the WWII connection

During the course of World War II, many people gained fame in one way or another. One of these was Butch O'Hare, a fighter pilot assigned to an aircraft carrier in the Pacific. On one occasion his entire squadron was assigned to fly a particular mission. After O'Hare was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank. Because of this, he would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship. His flight leader told him to leave formation and return.


As he was returning to the mother ship, O'Hare could see a squadron of Japanese Zeroes heading toward the fleet to attack. With all the fighter planes gone, the fleet was almost defenseless, his was the only opportunity to distract and divert them. Single-handedly, he dove into the formation of Japanese planes and attacked them. Butch dove at them and shot until all his ammunition was gone, then he would dive and try to clip off a wing or tail or anything that would make the enemy planes unfit to fly. He did anything he could to keep them from reaching the American ships. Finally, the Japanese squadron took off in another direction, and Butch O'Hare and his fighter, both badly shot up, limped back to the carrier. The American fighter planes were rigged with cameras, so that as they flew and fought, pictures were taken so pilots could learn more about the terrain, enemy maneuvers, etc. So, even though O'Hare told his story, it was not until the film from the camera on his plane was developed, that they realized the extent he really went to, to protect his fleet. He was recognized as a hero and given one of the nation's highest military honors.

O'Hare Airport in Chicago was later named after him.

And now, as Paul Harvey says, the Rest of the Story!

During the gangster era, in Chicago, there was a man called Easy Eddie. He was working for a man you've all heard about: Al Capone. Al Capone wasn't famous for anything heroic, but he was notorious for the murders and crimes he'd committed. Easy Eddie was Al Capone's lawyer, and a very good one. In fact, because of his skill, he was able to keep Al Capone out of jail. To show his appreciation, Al Capone paid him very well. He not only earned big money, he would get extra things, like a residence that filled an entire Chicago city block. The house was fenced, and he had live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day.

Easy Eddie had a son. He loved his son and gave him all the best things while he was growing up: clothes, cars, and a good education. And, because he loved his son he tried to teach him right from wrong. But one thing he couldn't give his son was a good name, nor could he be a good example. Easy Eddie decided that this was much more important than all the riches he had given his son. So, he went to the authorities in order to rectify the wrong he had done. It meant he must testify against Al Capone, and he knew that Al Capone would do his best to have him killed. But, he wanted most of all to try to be an example and to do the best he could to give back to his son a good name. So, he testified. Within the year, he was shot and killed on a lonely street in Chicago.

The story about Butch is somewhat inconsistent with other accounts I have read. Firstly, the a/c Butch O'hare was credited with downing weren't Mitsubishi Zero's, they were supposed to have been Mitsubishi G4M (Betty) bombers. However this is apparently somewhat in dispute as US airmen had the propensity to call any twin engine Japanese bomber a "Betty".

The portion of the story about Easy Eddie cooperating with the feds against Al Capone is apparently correct and there is an old black and white movie about Capone in which his bookkeeper is depicted testifying against him which resulted in his (Capone's) conviction. Part of this is covered by Paul Harvey in his book, "The Rest of the Story".

The reaming of Orchard Field Airport in Chicago is more complex than your story suggests. The Army Air Corps operated Orchard Place/Douglas Field for some time prior to any airline operations being conducted there. In 1945, the City, realizing that Midway Airport was becoming inadequate as a city airport asked the Air Corps to allow them to build an airline terminal over on the south side of the field and "They would run a few airline operations, but wouldn't get in the Air Force's way." (Dialogue approximate) By the early '50s the airline operations were becoming predominate and the Air Force tried to evict the airlines. It became a very bitter internecine battle that was decided in court (coincidentally a court located in Chicago) who finally ruled in the City's favor. Then as a final affront, the City renamed this formerly US Air Force facility, not only for a Naval Aviator, but for one with known and well publicized underworld connections. And as Paul Harvey would say, "That's the Rest of the Story". (Name another US Air Force facility that is named for a Naval Aviator) Coincidentally, the old International Terminal which United Airlines demolished in order to make space for their new Concourse B and C was the original Airline Terminal.

Ted Wilkinson


For the rest of Ted's letter, click here


Do these stories seem unrelated . . . ? Butch O'Hare was Easy Eddie's son.

Thanks to John W. Greenley


This is not completely true according to Snopes. Thanks to Terry Hostetter. See her letter at:

"It's still a good story even if it isn't all true"

 


WWII Kilroy Was Here The Americans Gordon Sinclair Operation Market Garden Bomb Oregon Dollar Bill Nobuo Fujita Rosie the Riveter Butch O'Hare Taps Wilie Dee Taps


The first time the haunting, sad Taps was played
This story has been debunked. Please read to the bottom!

It all began in 1862 during the Civil War when Union Captain Robert Ellicombe was with his men near Harrison's Landing in Virginia. The Confederate army was on the other side of the narrow strip of land. During the night Captain Ellicombe heard the moan of a soldier who lay mortally wounded on the field. Not knowing if it was a Union or Confederate soldier the Captain decided to risk his life and bring the stricken man back for medical attention. Crawling on his stomach through the gunfire the Captain reached the stricken soldier and began pulling him toward his encampment.

When the Captain finally reached his own lines he discovered it was actually a Confederate soldier but the soldier was dead. The Captain lit a lantern. Suddenly he caught his breath and went numb with shock. In the dim light he saw the face of the soldier. It was his son. The boy had been studying music in the south when the war broke out. Without telling his father, he enlisted in the Confederate Army.

The following morning, heartbroken, the father asked permission of his superiors to give his son a full military burial despite his enemy status. His request was partially granted. The Captain had asked if he could have a group or Army band members play a funeral hymn for the son at the funeral. That request was turned down since the soldier was a Confederate.

Out of respect for the father they did say they could give him only one musician. The Captain chose a bugler. He asked the bugler to play a series of musical notes he had found on a piece of paper in the pocket on his dead son's uniform. This wish was granted.

This music was the haunting melody we now know as "Taps" that is used at all military funerals.


THESE ARE THE WORDS TO "TAPS"

Day is done
Gone the sun
From the lakes
From the hills
From the sky
All is well
Safely rest
God is nigh

WWII Kilroy Was Here The Americans Gordon Sinclair Operation Market Garden Bomb Oregon Dollar Bill Nobuo Fujita Rosie the Riveter Butch O'Hare Taps Wilie Dee Tom KercherThanks to Tom Kercher, Florida

Note from the editor: Since Tom sent this moving tale of Taps, new information has been received from Bruce Deeter who wrote:

"I was doing some research on inspirational stories, actually searching for links on the "Butch O'Hare - Easy Eddie" story and found your "Rest of the Story" site. From what I've read a Major General Butterfield is given credit as the composer. I suggest you check out some of these links:

http://www.west-point.org/taps/Taps.html
http://www.arlingtoncemetery.com/taps.htm

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.com/tapsproj.htm
http://www.arlingtoncemetery.com/taps-pro2.htm

Sincerely,
Bruce Deeter

To read Bruce's entire letter, see the letters page.

Another email debunking the Taps story. This one from Mac Smith. Too bad, it was a beautiful story.

To read Mac's entire letter, see the letters page.


WWII Kilroy Was Here The Americans Gordon Sinclair Operation Market Garden Bomb Oregon Dollar Bill Nobuo Fujita Rosie the Riveter Butch O'Hare Taps Wilie Dee Willie Dee

The Unlucky Saga of the Willie Dee

 

The Ill-Fated USS William D. Porter, DD-579

By Kit Bonner

Reprinted from The Navy Times (1995)

From November 1943 until her bizarre loss in June 1945, the American Destroyer William D. Porter was often met with the clever greeting, "Don't shoot, we're Republicans!" when she entered port or joined other naval ships. The significance of this expression was almost a cult secret of the United States Navy until the story resurfaced and received wide publicity after a ship's reunion in 1958.

More than half a century ago, the "Willie Dee, " as the William D. Porter was nicknamed, accidentally fired a live torpedo at the battleship Iowa during a practice exercise on November 14, 1943. As if this weren't bad enough, the Iowa was carrying President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Secretary of State Cordell Hull and all of the country's World War II military brass to the "big three" conferences in Cairo and Teheran. Roosevelt was to meet with Stalin of the Soviet Union and Churchill of Great Britain, and had the W.D. Porter's successfully launched torpedo struck the Iowa at the aiming point, the last 50 years of history of world history might have been quite different. Fortunately, the WD Porter's warning allowed the Iowa to evade the speeding torpedo and historic events carried on, as we know them.

The USS William D. Porter (DD-579) was one of hundreds of big war-built assembly line destroyers. Although smaller than current destroyers, they were powerful and menacing in their day. They mounted a main battery of five dual-purpose 5-inch, .38-caliber guns, and an assortment of 20 mm and 40 mm AAA guns, but their main armament consisted of 10 fast-running and accurate torpedoes that carried 500-pound warheads.

The WD Porter was placed in command on July 6, 1943 under the command of LCDR Wilfred A. Walter, a man on the Navy's career fast track. In the months before she was detailed to accompany the Iowa across the Atlantic in November 1943, the WD Porter's crew members learned their trades, but not without experiencing certain mishaps that set the stage for the "big goof." The mishaps began in earnest with the mysterious order to escort the pride of the fleet, the big new battleship Iowa to North Africa. The night before it left Norfolk, Virginia, the WD Porter successfully demolished a nearby sister ship when she backed down along the other ship's side and, with her anchor, tore down railings, a life raft, the captain's gig and various formerly valuable pieces of equipment. The Willie Dee suffered merely a slightly scratched anchor, but her career of mayhem and destruction had begun.

The next event occurred just 24 hours later. The four-ship convoy, consisting of the Iowa and her secret passengers, the WD Porter and two other destroyers, was under strict instruction to maintain complete silence as they were going through a known U-boat feeding ground where speed and silence were the best defenses. Suddenly, a tremendous explosion rocked the convoy, and all of the ships commenced anti-submarine maneuvers. The maneuvers continued until the WD Porter sheepishly admitted that one of her depth charges had fallen off of the stern and detonated in the rough sea. The safety had not been set as instructed; Captain Walter's fast track career was fast becoming sidetracked.

Shortly thereafter, a freak wave inundated the WD Porter, stripping everything that wasn't lashed down and washing a man overboard who was never found. Next, the engine room lost power in one of its boilers. And, during all, the captain had to make reports almost hourly to the Iowa on the Willie Dee's difficulties. At this point, it would have been merciful for the force commander to have detached the hard luck ship and sent her back to Norfolk. But that didn't happen.

The morning of November 14, 1943, dawned with a moderate sea and pleasant weather. The Iowa and her escorts were just east of Bermuda when the president and his guests wanted to see how the big ship could defend herself against an air attack, so the Iowa launched a number of weather balloons to use as anti-aircraft targets. Seeing more than 100 guns shooting at the balloons was exciting, and the president was duly proud of his Navy. Just as proud was Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Ernest J King, large in size and by demeanor a true monarch of the seas. Disagreeing with him meant the end of a naval career. Up to this time, no one knew what firing a torpedo at him would mean!

Over on the Willie Dee, Captain Walter watched the fireworks display with admiration and envy. Thinking about career redemption and breaking the hard luck spell, the captain sent his impatient crew to battle stations, and they began to shoot down the balloons that, missed by the Iowa, had drifted into the WD Porter's vicinity. Down on the torpedo mounts, the WD Porter's crew watched and waited--and prepared to take practice shots at the big battleship, which, even at 6,000 yards, seemed to blot out the horizon. Torpedomen Lawton Dawson and Tony Fazio were among those responsible for the torpedoes and for ensuring that the primers (small explosive charges) were installed during actual combat and removed during practice. Dawson, unfortunately, forgot to remove the primer from torpedo tube number three.

Up on the bridge, a new torpedo officer ordered the simulated firing and commanded, "Fire one." "Fire two," and finally, "Fire three." There was no "Fire four." The sequence was interrupted by a whoooossshhh - the unmistakable sound made by a successfully armed and launched torpedo. LT H. Seward Lewis, who witnessed the entire event, later described the next few minutes as what hell would look like if it ever broke loose. Just after he saw the torpedo hit the water on its way to the Iowa, where some of the most prominent figures in world history stood, he innocently asked the captain, "Did you give permission to fire a torpedo?" Captain Walter uttered something akin to, "Hell, no. I, I, iii, aaa, iiiii --- what?!" Not exactly in keeping with some other famous naval quotes, like John Paul Jones', "I have not yet begun to fight," or even Civil war era RADM David Glasgow Farragut's, "Damn the torpedoes - full speed ahead!" although the latter would have been appropriate.

The next five minutes aboard the Willie Dee were pandemonium. Everyone raced around shouting conflicting instructions and attempting to warn the Iowa of imminent danger. First, a flashing light attempted a warning about the torpedo but indicated the wrong direction. Next, the WD Porter signaled that she was going in reverse at full speed. Despite the strictly enforced radio silence, it was finally decided to notify the Iowa. The radio operator on the destroyer yelled, "Lion [code word for the Iowa], lion, come right!" The Iowa operator, more concerned about improper radio procedure, requested that the offending station identify itself first. Finally, the message was received, and the Iowa began turning to avoid the speeding torpedo.

Meantime, on the Iowa's bridge, word of the torpedo firing had reached President Roosevelt. He only wanted to see the torpedo and asked that his wheelchair be moved to the railing. His loyal secret Service bodyguard immediately drew his pistol as if to shoot the torpedo! The Iowa began evasive maneuvers, yet trained all guns on the William D. Porter. There was now some thought that the W D. Porter was part of an assassination plot. Within moments of the warning, a thunderous explosion occurred behind the Iowa. The torpedo had been detonated by the wash kicked up by the battleship's increased speed. The crisis was over, and so were some careers. Captain Walter's final utterance to the Iowa was in response to a question about the origin of the torpedo. His answer was a weak, "We did it."

Shortly thereafter, the new state-of-the-art destroyer, her ambitious captain and seemingly fumbling crew were placed under arrest and sent to Bermuda for trial. It was the first time in the history of the United States Navy that an entire ship and her company had been arrested. The William D. Porter was surrounded by Marines when it docked in Bermuda and was held there for several days as the closed-session inquiry attempted to find out what had happened. The outcome was delayed for a couple of days until Torpedoman Dawson finally confessed to having inadvertently left the primer in the torpedo tube, which caused the launch. Just after the torpedo left its tube, Dawson had thrown the primer over the side to conceal his mistake. The truth was eventually pried out of him, and the inquiry drew to a close. The whole incident was chalked up to an incredible set of circumstances and placed under a cloak of secrecy. That's not to say that the Navy took no action. Captain Walter and several former William D. Porter officers and sailors eventually found themselves in obscure shore assignments and Dawson was sentenced to 14 years of hard labor. President Roosevelt intervened, however, and asked that no punishment be meted out as the near disaster had been an accident.

The destroyer next found herself in the upper Aleutians on patrol. It was probably thought that this was as safe a place as any for the destroyer and those around her. But before being reassigned to another area in the Pacific, she accidentally, but of course, successfully, lobbed a 5-inch shell into the front yard of the American base commandant.

When the William D. Porter later joined other ships off Okinawa, the destroyer did distinguish herself by shooting down a variety of Japanese aircraft and, reportedly, three American planes! She was generally greeted by, "Don't shoot; we're Republicans," and the crew of the Willie Dee had become used to the ribbing. However, the crew members of a sister ship, the USS Luce, were not so polite in their greetings after the WD Porter accidentally riddled her side and superstructure with gunfire. On June 10, 1945, the hard luck ship met her end. A Japanese "Val" bomber, constructed almost entirely of wood and canvas, slipped through the defenses. As it had very little metal surface, the bomber was not unlike our present-day stealth planes. It did not register on radar. The bomber, a fully loaded kamikaze, headed for the ship near the WD Porter but, at the last moment, veered away and crashed alongside the unlucky destroyer. There was a sigh of relief as the plane sank out of sight without exploding. Unfortunately, it then blew up underneath the destroyer and opened up the ship's hull in the worse possible location. Three hours later, the last man, the captain, jumped to the safety of a rescue vessel, leaving the ship that almost changed the face of the world and national politics to slip stern first into 2,400 feet of water.

Miraculously, not a single soul was lost in the sinking. It was almost as if the ship that had been so unlucky chose to let her crew live. The saga of the USS William D. Porter was over.

WWII Kilroy Was Here The Americans Gordon Sinclair Operation Market Garden Bomb Oregon Dollar Bill Nobuo Fujita Rosie the Riveter Butch O'Hare Taps Wilie Dee Tom KercherThanks to Tom Kercher, Florida

 

WWII Kilroy Was Here The Americans Gordon Sinclair Operation Market Garden Bomb Oregon Dollar Bill Nobuo Fujita Rosie the Riveter Butch O'Hare Taps Wilie Dee

 

WWII Kilroy Was Here The Americans Gordon Sinclair Operation Market Garden Bomb Oregon Dollar Bill Nobuo Fujita Rosie the Riveter Butch O'Hare Taps Wilie Dee Gordon Sinclair"The Americans"

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It was June 5, 1973. The United States had just pulled out of the Vietnamese War which ended in defeat. It was a war condemned daily on TV, over radio and in the press. The war had divided the American people. At home and abroad it seemed everyone was lambasting the United States. The American president was being investigated and it seemed that all American institutions were being torn down. It was a sad time in America. That's why this broadcast was immediately flashed across the US It was received by a grateful America -- finally someone with something nice to say about us.

Gordon Sinclair, in his noon-hour broadcast rose to the defense of the American people. His voice was heard around the world as no Canadian has before or since. Years afterwards, his words are repeated over and over again. They were read into the U. S. Congressional Records several times. They keep reappearing because they are true and because it is so unusual for someone to defend America. I'm proud to repeat them here again

Gordon Sinclair's "The Americans" - Original Script "LET'S BE PERSONAL" Broadcast June 5, 1973 CFRB, Toronto, Ontario

Topic: "The Americans"

The United States dollar took another pounding on German, French and British exchanges this morning, hitting the lowest point ever known in West Germany. It has declined there by 41% since 1971 and this Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least-appreciated people in all the earth.

As long as sixty years ago, when I first started to read newspapers, I read of floods on the Yellow River and the Yangtse. Who rushed in with men and money to help? The Americans did.

They have helped control floods on the Nile, the Amazon, the Ganges and the Niger. Today, the rich bottom land of the Mississippi is under water and no foreign land has sent a dollar to help. Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy, were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of those countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.

When the franc was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.

When distant cities are hit by earthquakes, it is the United States that hurries into help... Managua Nicaragua is one of the most recent examples. So far this spring, 59 American communities have been flattened by tornadoes. Nobody has helped.

The Marshall Plan .. the Truman Policy .. all pumped billions upon billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now, newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent war-mongering Americans.

I'd like to see one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplanes.

Come on... let's hear it! Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tristar or the Douglas DC-10? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all international lines except Russia fly American planes? Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or women on the moon?

You talk about Japanese technocracy and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy and you find men on the moon, not once, but several times ... and safely home again. You talk about scandals and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everyone to look at. Even the draft dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, most of them ... unless they are breaking Canadian laws .. are getting American dollars from Ma and Pa at home to spend here.

When the Americans get out of this bind ... as they will... who could blame them if they said 'the hell with the rest of the world'. Let someone else buy the Israel bonds, Let someone else build or repair foreign dams or design foreign buildings that won't shake apart in earthquakes.

When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke. I can name to you 5,000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble.

Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.

Our neighbors have faced it alone and I am one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles.

I hope Canada is not one of these. But there are many smug, self-righteous Canadians. And finally, the American Red Cross was told at its 48th Annual meeting in New Orleans this morning that it was broke.

This year's disasters .. with the year less than half-over… has taken it all and nobody...but nobody... has helped.

(c) 1973 BY GORDON SINCLAIR
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WWII Kilroy Was Here The Americans Gordon Sinclair Operation Market Garden Bomb Oregon Dollar Bill Nobuo Fujita Rosie the Riveter Butch O'Hare Taps Wilie Dee Ray HildebrandThanks to Ray Hildebrand, Florida


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