Letters, page 2 . . .

Letters to the Editor. Talk back to the editors. What do YOU think?

KilroyWasHere welcomes letters to the editor. We reserve the right to edit for length and clarity. Send email to Editor@KilroyWasHere.org. We cannot post your email address but will forward any response to you.


An interesting and scholarly addition

Another Excellent Addition/Correction

From Ted Wilkinson

Contrary to the story of Trinity, There was a forth A-bomb.

Actually the Allies didn't have any bombs. The United States had two which they used at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but they also had another plutonium bomb which became ready for use at about the time of the use of the Nagasaki bomb. This bomb was still in the U.S. and following Nagasaki, Tibbets was directed to get that bomb to Tinian immediately.

Click the star

Another Correction See original story Click Here

Good B17 story (Last Flight of the Southern Comfort,) Pat. He said 79,000 American airmen lost their lives out of Britain? hmmmmm . . . seems a bit high to me compared to the total killed in the war (which includes the war with Japan)

Good story, nevertheless.

John Hopkins
Crystal River Fl.


Response
Once again, the reader is right. A better paragraph would be "I think the official figure is something like 79,000 aircrew members who lost their lives flying from England. The air museum at Duxford says 30,000 American lives were lost, and the U.S. Adjutant General's office says 34,362 AAF personnel were killed in action in the "Atlantic Region".

Thank him for me for keeping us on our toes!

Woody and Trevor

Another Correction See original story Click Here

Your data on Marine dead on Iwo Jima and Okinawa referenced on the "Trinity" story page are incorrect. Your article treats total casualties (KIA+wounded) as KIA. Iwo Jima had about 6800 killed; Okinawa about 12,500 killed.

Good reads, nevertheless.
R.M. 'Zeb' Zobenica
Capt. USMC (Ret)


Response

Right on, Zeb! Also a hearty Semper fi! Believe it or not, I love corrections. Not only do I need all that I can get but it means that someone is actually reading some of my drivel. I did mention that they were "casualties" first but got carried away with my examples that I messed up an did, indeed, treat them like KIA. What I said was:

Americans would recoil from the thought of invading their homeland."<2> They did! 25, 850 young Marine casualties. See "An Invasion Not Found in the History Books" The Marines fought in World War II for forty-three months. Yet in one month on Iwo Jima , one third of their total deaths occurred." <1> 25,850 Marines on one stinking (literally - it's name in Japanese means Sulfur Island) eight square mile island. It is hard to grasp that figure. Three thousand were lost in the World Trade center. 2403 were lost at Pearl Harbor, <4> nearly two hundred at the Alamo, Almost 26,000 on Iwo Jima. If their bodies were laid end to end, they would reach from Dallas to fort Worth, from Manhattan to New Brunswick or from Beverly Hills to the Queen Mary.

Changed to:

Almost 26,000 casualties on Iwo Jima. If these casualties were laid end to end, they would reach from Dallas to fort Worth, from Manhattan to New Brunswick or from Beverly Hills to the Queen Mary.

The correction is already made but I will post your letter soon. I'll let you know.

Thanks again!

Our German Corrected! See original story Click Here

As a teacher of German and a student of the Second World War I noticed a misspelling or two. The word is Lebensraum (room to live), not Liebensraum (room to love). Also, the past tense of to forbid is forbade, as in Hitler forbade the bombing of ....
Sincerely,

Mark McCulloh, Davidson College NC


Response
As to forbade, you are absolutely correct! I fixed it already without contacting Woody, the author, because as "editor" I should have spotted it myself instead of repeating it in the text box. As to the "sraums," here's the response from my Elizabeth Cook, My German consultant extraordinaire followed by Wallace Wood's response:.

" He is right. The word Lieben means to love...so a literal translation of Liebensraum..would be loving room...Leben means to live...so Lebensraum is living space..."

"Yes, of course they are right, Pat. No harm done. Please make the corrections!

Thank you, Mark! I appreciate the correction. They are made! If the Nazi's had used "Liebensraum" they would be better off!

More on the O'Hare Airport naming

Editor,

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 U.S. 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 renaming 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.

I am a retired professional pilot, and amateur historian, and without some research cannot cite all the sources of my information about the a/c Butch O'Hare downed on this occasion.

Interestingly, about Butch O'Hare, he was likely downed by 'friendly fire'. He and another F-6 'Hellcat' launched on a night 'combat air patrol' mission. Radar for the night intercept was being furnished by the shipborne radar and augmented by the less powerful radar of an accompanying TBF. Apparently O'Hare got separated and while he was attempting to rejoin the flight, the ventral gunner got a shot at something which he described as a 'darkened plane' but he wasn't certain what he shot at. At any rate Butch O'Hare didn't return from this mission. This account is given in volume III of "Airwar" by Edward Jablonski, copyright 1971, (reprinted 1979) This account begins on page 113.

I am in possession of a newspaper clipping of an article written by F.N. D'Alessio under the dateline of the Associated Press, which details the history of O'Hare Airport, and which states, in part:

O'Hare is named for Navy Lt. Edward "Butch" O'Hare who single-handedly downed six Japanese bombers 50 years ago. On Feb. 20, 1942, the 27 year old O'Hare was the only fighter pilot in the air when nine Japanese twin engine bombers suddenly approached the USS Lexington off the Gilbert Islands in the Pacific. "Somebody yelled, 'Nine of them, and he's up there alone!'" recalled Lexington radioman Joseph Brazda.

"After that, nobody said a word. They were all just watching and hoping and praying."

As the Lexington's other pilots scrambled and the rest of the crew watched, O'Hare flew his Grumman "Wildcat" (Ted note, he was flying a "Hellcat") above the bombers, then dived toward one of them. In a matter of seconds, the bomber was in flames and plunging toward the sea.

Brazda said O'Hare evaded the Japanese tailgunners, regained altitude and swooped again to take out another bomber.

O'Hare shot down five of the bombers and crippled a sixth. The Lexington's other fighters managed to shoot down two more of the fleeing bombers.

In the second to last paragraph this source notes . . . O'Hare disappeared without a trace on November 26, 1943 while breaking up an attack by Japanese planes near New Britain, in the South Pacific.

The cited source- "Airwar" by Jablonski can be found in most good libraries. I regret I cannot furnish the date of the cited newspaper article, however these accounts are consistent with other accounts of the same events.

I really enjoy your 'Kilroy Was Here' site. I didn't serve in WW-II but I certainly remember it, and 'Kilroy'.

Oh and I almost forgot, the part about O'Hare Airport having been named for political reasons was related to me by (among others) Dr. Paul Garber who was, prior to his demise, Aviation Director Emeritus of the "National Aviation and Space Museum" of the Smithsonian, in Washington D.C. Dr. Garber was responsible for the preservation of many of the rare and unusual aircraft in the NASM , and had a good number of NASM planes stored at O'Hare prior to their sudden eviction back in about 1960. I was proud to be acquainted with Dr. Garber. Paul Harvey also mentions part of the "Butch O'Hare story" in his books.

Ted Wilkinson

To read the entire story along with Ted's sidebar, click here


Relative Confirms Kilroy Was Here Legend #1 . . . Click the star for Legend #1

I am married to one of Kilroy's daughters and that alleged Legend #1 is the absolute truth. None of the family was or ever had any interest in capitalizing on it all.

I am 75 and remember drawing that figure at the top of your website when I was a little kid during WWII.

Al Needham
Learn about honeybees & beekeeping
http://www.bees-online.com
http://beginningbeekeeping.com

Camp Clinton after the POW Camp

Enjoyed reading your history of Camp Clinton. One addition; my Army Reserve Unit, The 365th Supply & Service Bn occupied the former Concrete Testing Lab bldg. in the early 70s. Don't recall how long we were there but eventually relocated to a new facility on South Drive in Jackson.

The property was used extensively for training and due to it's isolation from communities was ideal. The bldg. was constructed in a way very similar to later reserve facilities with two stories of offices on the front and a large hall in the rear. We used a building close by for a motor pool. We set up land navigation courses, were able to erect tents and do various training activities thruout the property. All this was prior to the property being transferred to Mississippi College.

Kenny Windham
Jackson, MS

Daughter of a WWII USMC combat infantry vet Remembers Kilroy

I am the daughter of a WWII USMC combat infantry vet Hawk Rader (D, then A/1/8) who was still seeing Kilroy in the 1950's & early 60s when I went to elementary school in Centennial District, Warminster PA. We lived between Willow Grove NAS & Johnsville NADC & had a lot of military kids in our schools. We knew what was what in the Cold War, especially during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Anyway, I remember drawing Kilroy, air combat pictures & Iwo Jima on paper in 1st grade. In 6th grade I had a teacher, WWII vet, who sailed on an AK much like the one in the movie "Mr. Roberts". He used Kilroy on the blackboard's as his "signature" & also used versions of it to announce class assignments. Kids got a kick out of it.

Marsha Rader, Baltimore, MD

Fore River Shipyard was started by Thomas Watson,
Alexander Graham Bell's assistant

My late father didn't tell us much more than that about Kilroy but he always drew the "Kilroy Was Here" picture whenever he doodled. My late father-in-law worked at the shipyard and knew Kilroy too. He basically reiterated the story my father told.

Did I mention that Fore River Shipyard was started by Thomas Watson, Alexander Graham Bell's assistant?

He started the Fore River Ship and Engine Company there. He actually started his first machine shop further down the river at the Braintree/Weymouth landing until he moved it to Fore River a few years later. There's a school, a library and a park still there named for Watson. He's buried at the North Weymouth Cemetery which overlooks Fore River.

Fred. Kawa

Sad Sack, Bill Maulden's GI Joe, and Kilroy

When I was a kid during WW II, (I was born in 1935) there were three icons that made life a tiny bit more durable for the "Greatest Generation" fighting that war, and were admired by us all. They were Sad Sack, Bill Maulden's GI Joe and Kilroy. My Uncles told me that Kilroy was everywhere. I became quite adept at drawing him and Sad Sack on walls all over Baltimore, MD where I was born and lived through those sad days. Although very young during the war, I was very aware of everything that went on and it affected my life. I was a first generation American and have always been an unabashed patriot. I spent half of my adult life in the U.S. Air Force, am proud of my service to my country, and will always support the US Military. I may not agree with being in Iraq, but as long as the troops are there (one of them is my youngest son) I will support them.

I sent the poster of Kilroy to my son Mike in Mosul. I hope that Kilroy is on the walls all over Iraq and Afghanistan.

Regards,

Morton M. "Pat" Pasco

RAF also knew Kilroy

NOTE: This letter was sent to Colonel Pappas in response to his column about Kilroy.

Colonel, Sir........

This RAF Veteran would like to inform you that the British armed forces very quickly picked up on the Kilroy image and subsequently he was seen world wide, wherever the British Army, the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and the Royal Air Force had served.

Kilroy was quickly adopted and we were proud to have him in our midst for, as you say, he represented the huge sense of humor displayed by every fighting man, on land, in the air and at sea, no matter what the current hardship.

I can recall doing my "walk around" and peering up into the bomb bay and seeing Mr. Kilroy chalked on the side of a blue painted, dummy bomb that was about to be dropped on Salisbury Plain, during a trial. On emerging into the daylight, I caught sight of my Crew Chief gazing innocently up at the sky!

Semper Fi ........... Per Ardua ad Astra.

Jim Newman

Honor and Blessing should always be bestowed upon you.

Dear Sir

My Dad served on, as you call her the Big A, during WW2 and I have inherted an original copy of that book (War Diary of the USS Alabama.) Even though it's worn and faded I still adimire it and all who served on her. I thank you and all service men who fought and died for our country Honor and Blessing should always be bestowed upon you.

W Michael DeWitt


Response: I heartily support your main comment. May Honor and Blessing always be bestowed upon servicemen and women who risk their lives everyday for us.

Aircraft Trivia

Hello,
I just found the information about the MC 72 from Mario Lecce. There was a link to our old site page mentioned. Should you wish to update the posting, our page was moved to: http://www.aviationtrivia.info/Macchi-Castoldi-MC-72.php

After reading the information from Mr. Lecce and doing further research, I added more information about the engine(s). Yes, there were two Fiat V12 engines linked together driving the MC-72. Their drive shafts rotated in opposite directions. I suppose because the engines were linked, they are referred to as a single engine.

It seems improbable that each engine produced 2,600 hp for a total output of 5,200 hp. If so the MC-72 would have been capable of higher speeds.

The engines of the most powerful piston engine aircraft, capable of 420 mph + speeds, such as the Pratt & Whitney R2800 in the F8F Bearcat, produce about 2,100 hp.

An estimated total output of between 2,500 hp and 3,000 hp appears to be more realistic for the Fiat engine(s) in the MC-72.

Regards,
Charles Varvaro - Aviation Trivia

Response

Thank you Charles for the update!


Living proof that Kilroy WAS here!

Hi,

I was just emailing to let you know that my grandfather was a Kilroy. I'm not sure if he was the original, but he and his brothers (he had several) all served in the Navy and Army during WWII and all have admitting to adding their "Kilroy was Here" to the rest. My grandfather was a gunners assistant and would have to climb into the big guns to load them, explaining why some bullets and such were tagged.

As a side note, Walt Disney had a made for TV miniseries during 60's that was based on "Kilroy" returning home after the war and having to hear all his neighbors ask if he was the one. Disney hasn't released this on film or DVD, but when they heard my grandfather was dying, converted it to VHS and mailed a copy to my mother. My family and Disney are the only ones that have this on tape. They only made two copies of the four part series.

I hope this adds to your gallery.

Thank you,

LeAnn Hanna (Living proof that Kilroy WAS here)


Response

Thank you LeAnn! Living proof indeed. Thank you!

. . it wasn't till I read your article that it seemed real.

My dad is 86 and lives in Lexington, KY. I just learned to use the computer so I thought I would look up Richmond air base where he was a AM 1st class from 43 till 45. He talked about securing the base before the hurricane and about a blimp that went down but it wasn't till I read your article that it seemed real. I'm copying this and will take it to him tomorrow. He told me how he would get off work at 4:30 ride a bus to the barracks, change clothes take a shower and be on the bus to Miama by 5:00, still wet! His names is George Wheeler.

Nice article,

Melinda Wheeler Veirs

O'Hare's story not complety True!

Dear Editors,

It's still a good story even if it isn't all true according to snopes.com


Partly True. See http://www.snopes.com/glurge/ohare.asp

Terry Hostetter

Harrison Township, Mi.


Response Thank you Terry! You are right. See the original story at:

O'Hare Airport and the WWII connection

 

God bless all our veterans!

Dear Editors,

Just by chance today, I came across your website. The "Kilroy was here." image struck me on a very personal level. Back in 1967 I remember drawing that exact cartoon image as a child at school. I have wondered how I came to learn it and realized it was because my late Dad, Alexander Martinez, Jr. had taught me to draw it. He had met and married my mother overseas in Northwest England when he had been stationed at Sealand Air Force and had been transferred to Davis Monthan Air Force Base here in Tucson, AZ in 1961.

I didn't realize he had passed on something to me of this significance until just now!

Thank you and God bless all our veterans!

Debra K. Martinez
Tucson, Arizona


Soviet Badger

Click the image for a larger view

CORRECTION!

Bison

Badger


Soviet Bison

Click the image for a larger view

In the "Aircraft recognition slides 1955":
http://www.kilroywashere.org/005-Pages/AC-Rec/05-AC-Recog-03-.html
The twelfth picture down of the Bison is actually a Badger.

The bottom picture of the Badger on page 2 is a Bison.

Pat Flannery

Response To see all the A/C Recognition slides, click the star

Pat, thank you very much for the correction! Literally thousands have seen that but you are the only one to bother to correct me. I failed my own aircraft recognition course! The corrections have been made (you may have to refresh or reload to see them.) Your letter will be on in the weekend update. How is it you are so knowledgeable about Soviet aircraft?

Thanks again!

They're one of my hobbies; back when I was a kid, my older brother gave me a copy of "The Observer's Guide To Aircraft" and I got hooked. I've got a copy of a book called "The Army-Navy Journal Of Recognition, September 1943 - February 1944" which is chock full of aircraft identification tests; but these are a lot harder, as the aircraft are seen at a distance such as an antiaircraft gunner or pilot would see them. It also has an interesting captured Japanese aircraft identification poster of U.S. aircraft.

I'm really surprised that the Post Office hasn't done a "Kilroy Was Here" stamp already; it's certainly one of the best remembered images from WW II. (A set of "Willy and Joe" stamps would be another great one)

The World Record for piston powered float planes


Aermacchi MC72
Image by Mario Lecce taken at Italian Air Force Museum is at Lago Bracciano.
Click the image for a larger view

Aermacchi MC72

A Correction From Mario Lecce

Please correct your statements regarding the Aermacchi MC72 made on page:
http://www.kilroywashere.org/009-Pages/Woody/TopProps.html
The World Record for piston powered float planes is:
Piston-Powered Seaplane:
Macchi MC72 440.68 mph (709.21 km/h)
23 October 1934

Not only is the date in error but the speed also. Your website posts a speed of 326 mph. The record is 440.68 mph according to the FIA (International Aircraft Records Organization.) I have also been to Italy twice to visit that airplane and the record is there on a plaque at the Italian Air Force Museum is at Lago Bracciano, just North of Rome

You may not know but the plane is powered by two V12 engines, one behind the other. The front engine drives the rear prop. The rear engine drives the front prop through the front engine hollow crankshaft and hollow drive shaft. The engines run opposite direction from each other. Each engine produces 2,600hp! Counter rotating props are to cancel the torque or "P-factor." Just like the P-38, the props turn in opposite directions so there is an opposite and equal torque action against anything that rotates.


The double engines. Image by Mario Lecce taken at Italian Air Force Museum is at Lago Bracciano.
Click the image for a larger view
Even with P51s, Typhoons, Tempests, later versions of Spitfires, Corsairs, P47s, high-powered engines adding too much power at the wrong speed would tend to flip the aircraft at take off.
Far worse were twin engine aircraft during take off or even just flying and an engine fails. There is a strong push in the running engine side. One needs to apply lots of counter rudder/rudder trim and aileron to keep the plane from spinning to the dead engine side. Counter rotating props balance those forces.

Caproni-Campini CC-2 , jet plane.

Image by Mario Lecce taken at Italian Air Force Museum is at Lago Bracciano.
Click the image for a larger view
Also I thought I'd include a shot of the world's first jet aircraft. This is the Caproni-Campini CC-2 , jet plane. August 27, 1940 first flight of a "jet" engined airplane. Officially it was the first jet aircraft to fly. Until Germany announced that the Heinkel He178 had flown August 27, 1939, though it was illegal according to the Verseille Treaty of WW1 to have done so. The He178 was in fact the first full jet- a turbojet as the compressor was run by the combustion process of the engine itself. Whereas the Caproni had a piston engine driven compressor section running independently of the combustion/thrust
chamber. Caproni-Campini had also devised what later was to be called an afterburner, the injection of fuel into the post combustion exhaust for added thrust.

Sincerely,

Mario Lecce


Response from the author, Wallace (Woody) Wood

Editor -- Mario Lecce is correct: 440.68 mph (709.21 kph) is the "official" FAI record (FAI =Federation Aéronautique Internationale) for piston-engine seaplanes. That record is still in effect, set in 1934 by the Macchi MC-72, a floatplane. Quote from the FAI record book:

Speed over a straight 3 km course at restricted altitude: 709.21 km/h

Date of flight: 23/10/1934
Pilot: Francesco AGELLO (Italy)
Course/place: Desenzano-Garda (Italy)

Aircraft:
MC-72 (1 Fiat AS6)

A second record by the Macchi floatplane is also listed by the FAI -- and still in effect:
Speed over a closed circuit of 100 km without payload: 629.37 km/h

Date of flight: 08/10/1933
Pilot: Guglielmo CASSINELLI (Italy)
Course/place: Falconara - Pesaro (Italy)

Aircraft:
Macchi C.72 (1 Fiat AS 6, 2 400 hp)

But here's another oddity:
The FAI lists the MC-72 as having a single engine. Both Mario and I agree it was actually a twin-engine with contra-rotating props. He was able to view the actual aircraft. I don't know what to make of that, except the one-engine listing may be wrong for the "official" record. Here are some links mentioning a single engine:

http://www.aviationtrivia.info/Macchi-Castoldi-MC-72.php
http://www.flyandrive.com/Story3.htm

And here's a TWO ENGINE mention:
http://avia.russian.ee/air/Italy/aermacchi_mc-72.html

Records and information are a little tricky, being passed down over the years. Websites may carry official and nonofficial records. I regret my error. Here's an example of another set of records:
http://members.chello.se/ipmsairrace/records.htm Link No Longer active

The "official" FAI list can be found here:
http://records.fai.org/general_aviation/#history

http://records.fai.org/general_aviation/current.asp?id1=142&id2=1

------------ Wallace Wood


See additional information about the MC-72 from Aircraft Trivia at Letters to the editor.


history of the brave men who did so much with so little

Link Trainers! Tough to fly but Invaluable!

Link Trainer with instructor.
Image courtesy of http://www.381st.org/
I came upon your wonderful website while searching for information on the Link trainer. My father, James Erle Holt, was a civilian "enlisted" to train on the Link system at Wright Patterson AFB in 1939. He was selected by Government training recruiters who came to a small shoe plant in Huntsville, AL and observed him supervising an entire assembly line of women making shoes. I suppose they were impressed by his natural instructional capabilities, and they offered him a very good position in Dayton, OH. After the war, Dad had a very long and illustrious career with the Army Missile Command back in Alabama, having worked with Dr. Werner Von Braun to redesign the V-2 into the Redstone Missile. He retired in 1976 with two Meritorious Service Awards. Sadly, he passed on April 12, 2005. His career all started with the Link trainer, though.

Thank you for your efforts in retaining the history of the brave men who did so much with so little.

Jan Herndon


Thank you, Jan for the kind words and for the info and please, in your prayers, thank your father for his work when his country needed him. You might also apologize to him for the nasty thoughts I had about Link instructors. I have spent my time in them and they are a lot harder to fly than airplanes. Invariably instructors like your father were able to prove that they could be flown in spite of our clumsy efforts. How your father and other instructors were able to fly those evil machines, I will never know BUT the skills they did teach probably saved my fanny many times.

School Breakfast

Kilroy won't be forgotten no veteran should be!

Lenore K. Ottens wrote

I am a volunteer at a local elementary school (first grade.) This morning they had their 8th annual all school breakfast. I attended for the first time as a volunteer. The tables had white paper on them so the children could draw or color - I could not resist. I drew the picture and wrote Kilroy was here. After the breakfast I asked the first grade teacher if she ever heard of Kilroy and being much too young to have been here during WWII, I told her the best I could, including my writing on the paper.

Well, because she didn't know about Kilroy, I went on line to get some information. I am going to send in to get the stamp. Kilroy should have a stamp! He is very much as important as some they have stamps for, - so let's hope they get enough petitions.

I wasn't aware there was a Kilroy was Here organization, but I am glad there is. I decided to write to you to let you know that (as long as I am around) Kilroy won't be forgotten no veteran should be.

I intend to tell my one and only grandchild about Kilroy, too.

Very sincerely and respectfully,

Response

Thank you, so much Lenore for the nice letter and for joining the campaign to get a Kilroy Was Here Commemorative stamp! One of the real pleasures of this site is letting kids know about Kilroy and The Greatest Generation!

Bombed Oregon

Noburo Fujita's sword moved!

Noburo Fujita's sword is no longer in the police station in Brookings, Oregon. It now resides in a special case at the Brookings library, along with a model of the I-25 submarine and a model of the


Fujita's Kai Gunto (navy sword) with my identical specimen in front of it.
Click the image for a larger view

Yokosuka E-14 Y-1 "Glen" aircraft, and a Sacred Treasure medal that belonged to Fujita's gunner, Shoji Okuda. You probably already know all this, but I thought I'd write.

Cheers Donald McArthur

Response

Thank you, Donald! That story is one of my favorites!

See the full story of the bombing of Oregon: http://www.kilroywashere.org/006-Pages/06--0Rest-.html#BombOregon

To the Editor:

Washington Times recognizes the legend

Dear Pat:
Don't know if you have seen this morning's papers, but The Washington Times has an article about James L. Kilroy.

''Yes, 'Kilroy was here' and to fans he still is
By Jennifer Harper
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Kilroy is still here. James L. Kilroy, that is. The ship inspector credited with creating one of America's most potent military mottos remains dear to the nation's heart. On the job around 1942, he wrote just three words in presumed anonymity on the hull of a Liberty ship: "Kilroy was here."

http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20050502-125927-2244r.htm

All best,
Ron Crockett


Response

Thanks Ron, What a perfect segue to to some wonderful news . . . and from one of my favorite newspapers too. USS Salem, now in Quincy, MA,. was built at the Fore River Shipyard during WWII and currently serves as a museum. They are promoting Quincy's ties to Kilroy (James Kilroy worked at the Fore River Shipyard.) In addition they are promoting an essay contest and a photo contest concerning Kilroy. KilroyWasHere.org will be helping and will publish the winning essays and photos. We will also participate in the effort to get a memorial stamp featuring Kilroy Was Here and the naming of a navy ship the USS Kilroy. For more details, see
www.whereiskilroy.com
www.uss-salem.org/museum/events/kilroy_was_here_essay_contest.htm

Patches

More on Marianna Army Air Field

I hope this email finds you in good health. I want to tell you how much I enjoyed your web article on Marianna Army Air Field. It was well written, informative and enjoyable to read.

I recently purchased five cloth patches from different training flights and several had Graham Air Base Florida on them. I lived down in Avon Park, Florida near Sebring (both old Air Fields) and thought I knew of all the Air Fields in the state of Florida. Well I searched and searched for Graham Air Base and couldn't find a thing. Then I realized the patches didn't say Graham Army Air Field nor did it say Graham Air Force Base . . . so then I figured it was a Civilian operated Air Force contracted field as it said Graham AIR BASE. They did that to give the civilian run fields some kind of official extension status.

I found one brief mention on a web site telling about the several Air Force contracted fields in Georgia & Florida and Graham Air Base was mentioned in Marianna, Florida. But no history or story was on that web site. Your information has brought a new meaning to the patches. Attached are five photos of Graham Air Base Training Flight Patches. I believe these to be mid to late 1950s.

Each Training Flight had a mascot and a patch to identify their training flight. It was like a High School mascot that they could identify and be identified by. Army Air Force and later US Air Force training classes had identifying numbers such as 43-12 (1943 class #12) later the USAF did classes like 50-C (1950 Class "C")

I noticed that two of these patches carry numbers on them. One has 110 on the nose of the airplane and the Indian has 130 on his headband. This may indicate the class number from Graham Field under the civilian instructors, starting from class #1 in the beginning years. They are from the 1950's years I am pretty sure and they have cartoon characters on them and are identified as different Flights. One is Lobo flight and has a wolf wearing a flight helmet, one is an alligator in a plane, one is an eagle another is an Apache Indian. I got the patches from a man who got them from an estate of a retired Air Force pilot that was deceased.

Again I loved your story it really took me back with you to the war years!

Best,

R. Chad Le Beau
AVIATION ARTIFACTS INC.
ST. CHARLES, MO

WEB SITE: www.aviationartifactsinc.com


Click any image for a larger view


Tony with his M-16

A day brightener from Down Under

DEDICATED UNTIRING SUPPORT TO OUR FIGHTING FORCES



From Tony Blake

G'DAY MATE. Thanks for the Easter greeting. Hope it has been a good one for you and the family. I was up till 2AM watching "Band of Brothers", the story of the 101st Screaming Eagles in Europe during WW2. AWESOME! We owe these guys so MUCH!

I WILL NEVER HEAR A BAD WORD SPOKEN ABOUT THE USA in my presence. People who mouth off about the USA, including your own citizens should be MADE to sit and watch Band of Brothers and Saving Private Ryan from start to finish to see what these kids did so that they could live their miserable lives in a Free World (that goes for the dick head French as well.)

WHILE WE THAT ARE LEFT GROW OLD
AGE SHALL NOT WEARY THEM
AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN
AND IN THE MORNING
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM

LEST WE FORGET

OINK, Tony - GRUNT - 7RAR Vietnam 70-71
DEDICATED UNTIRING SUPPORT TO OUR FIGHTING FORCES


"A GRUNTS VIEW" This is an Aussie Digger's personal view of the Vietnam War.


Editor's note: Couldn't agree more with your sentiments and couldn't have said them better! Thanks for the day brightener!

but you said it much better.

The Decision to Drop the A-bomb

Captain Gilliland's comments on the use of the A-bomb are cogent and persuasive. People commonly make a fundamental error in trying to pass judgement on the actions of the makers of history in light of contemporary thinking. We today regard use of nuclear weapons as a last resort, if not positively unthinkable, because we believe that civilians are not permissible targets of military action. But civilians had been targeted by both sides throughout WWII. The firebombings of Tokyo and Dresden were much more terrible than the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Until the effects produced by these new weapons were seen by the world, atomic bombs were regarded simply as more powerful weapons which would produce the same results obtained from conventional weapons with much less effort and expense.

Another aspect of the first and only use of atomic weapons in warfare that I have never seen any comment on I believe needs to be appreciated. The use of these weapons on a relatively small scale to end the war with Japan has enabled the world to avoid (so far) the much wider nuclear exchange which almost certainly would have occurred at a later date had the world not seen the terrible effects these weapons produced. Obviously this was not considered by President Truman when he ordered the bombings, but I believe it may have been a providential benefit of the decision.

Oscar H. McNew
(retired U.S. Air Force officer and Strategic Air Command pilot)


Oscar, your comments are right on -- and very well put! With your permission, I will include it as a letter and link it from Trinity page like Capt. Gilliland's. I made an attempt to say what you did about the aftermath in my very last comment in Trinity but you said it much better.

I will also forward your letter to Capt. Gilliland.

Thank you for comment.

The original story about Trinity, Destroyer of Worlds

Too bad, it was a beautiful story.

About the story on Taps

Mac Smith wrote:
Dear Editor, Here is the real 'Rest of Story' on TAPS! See TruthOrFiction.com's story at:
http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/taps.htm

mac


Mac, thanks a lot for the constructive criticism. I appreciate it! I even appreciate it when the criticism isn't constructive but keeps me from making a COMPLETE idiot of myself.

I agree with the site you sent. As a matter of fact two of the links I already had there from Arlington say the same thing. I should have been clearer about the fact that the story, though beautiful, poignant and stirring is probably untrue. I will do so now by adding your letter and link.

. . . a twinge of guilt?

The Leopoldville Disaster

I noticed Allan Andrade's entry about his book "S.S. Leopoldville Disaster." We tied up next to the giant liner in Southampton She had taken the very same route we usually took-following the assault channel buoys into port. We were anchored in the Seine River when she was sunk. I distinctly recall the black crewmen and the filth of the main deck, covered with large buckets overflowing with urine. The ship was painted white and heavily streaked with rust stains running vertically from gunwhale to waterline. I imagine the Leopoldville was kept busy carrying troops and that would explain the obvious lack of maintenance. I recall referring to the Belgian ship as the "Belgian Barf Bucket." That was the image then as seen through the eyes of an eighteen year-old. We later would sail directly over the Leopoldville's final resting place at the entrance to Cherbourg, France, each time we made the cross-channel trip from Southampton, England. The only positive thing about it all was the fact she took her overwhelming stench with her to the bottom of the English Channel. I sometimes wonder if the Americans, enjoying Christmas Eve festivities ashore in Cherbourg, ever felt a twinge of guilt after learning that hundreds of their comrades were drowning within earshot? I imagine the gusty cheers of celebration actually drowned out the shouts for help not far beyond the outer anchorage of Cherbourg. It took a long time for them to die. It will take a longer time for those who-intentionally or not- ignored their cries for help. Cherbourg is just the place to die, however, as it has got to be the most depressing port I have ever dropped anchor in. The mines sown in both the Petite Rade (inner anchorage) and the Grande Rade (outer anchorage ) were quite active during the frequent gales that swept over the rubble of Cherbourg. If the bearings of known landmarks were not sighted properly and the landing ship drifted from its anchorage during the night while you were asleep below, you were a dead man! So, you see, every time someone mentions the sinking of the Leopoldville, a vivid mental image of this bombed-out port comes to mind. The dead rule the murky depths of the waters crashing against the breakwaters of Cherbourg-even today. I didn't like Cherbourg then and I certainly don't care for it today, regardless of any cosmetic improvements made.

Tony Leone
See The original book review about the Leopoldville Disaster


Editor's note: This is an important addition to Andrade's account of the disaster. Tony Leone is a noted historian and writer/publisher of war genre books sold to special groups throughout the world. He has many stories to tell and has a collection of photographs circa WWII. Currently, he publishes a monthly newsletter "Mail Bag" distributed free to the survivors of D-Day and friends who work for the local press and school systems. He has published eight books thus far and is working on his ninth. See his tribute to D-Day 2003

spared many American and Japanese lives:

The Decision to Drop the A-bomb

The TRINITY portion of the web site is outstanding. I wish that more Americans could read it and understand it! Sadly, the later generations, who were not there, or were not around then, apparently cannot connect with the ambiance of the times. The decision to drop the A-bomb made good sense then, and I still believe that Truman's judgment was sound.

My subsequent 8 years of working at Oak Ridge gave me an additional appreciation of the magnitude of the Manhattan Project and of the vision that Franklin D. Roosevelt demonstrated in backing the project. Most people forget that FDR was able to persuade congress to appropriate 7 billion dollars for the project, without being told the particulars of the outlay. That was real trust-me leadership and it undoubtedly spared many American and Japanese lives, perhaps, even my own!

Best regards,

Burl E. Gilliland


Editor's note: This is a valued comment from one who knows! Dr. Burl Gilliland is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at The University of Memphis. He retired in 1997. He served in WWII on LSTs and in the Korean War on minesweepers. He retired in 1987 with the rank of Captain. He has co-authored several major graduate level psychology and counseling textbooks.

Nukes weren't as much fun:

A Very Interesting Correction

January 27, 2002
Al Lansdowne wrote

Slight correction. In the specs for USS Drum you list TWO main engines. There are actually Four Fairbanks-Morse 1600 HP ten-cylinder opposed-piston diesels plus the "dinky," a smaller 800-HP auxiliary engine used mainly for battery charging. I didn't serve on Drum but I served on boats just like Drum. I also served on the nukes, but that wasn't as much fun.

I did serve on her sister ship, Sea Lion. She did have only two main engines and the dinky-- two engines had been removed to make room for a troop space (marines or special forces). The official crew complement was seven officers and 72 enlisted. Though this was the "official" number, it varied from boat to boat depending on availability. The Division Commander couldn't figure out why we could outrun the four-engine boats when we were headed for home. He rode with us on more than one occasion, snooping to see if we were overloading the engines. Actually we were, but we had figured out how to hide it.

These were "Smoke Boats." This is the origin of the "smoke boat" appellation: At the beginning of WWII almost all of the submarines in commission were the old "S" boats. These boats used the diesel exhaust to blow the remaining water out of the ballast tanks after they surfaced. The smoke didn't condense in the tanks. It just sort of lingered. When they opened the ballast tank vents for the next dive, big puffs of smoke were released. This was a dead giveaway to any enemy aircraft or patrol boats looking for them. The fleet boat sailors began referring to the older boats as smoke boats. The name hung on to refer to any diesel boat.

When those diesels are really loaded down, they smoke like crazy. I remember a time when I was returning to Norfolk on the Sea Lion after a couple of weeks of local ops. Whenever we were "heading for the barn" we really poured it on, and thick black smoke billowed from the exhausts. Our Division Commander was following on another boat. He sent a message to our skipper-- "What are you burning-- rags?" Our skipper replied with a "logrep"-- logistics report. It said "Logrep: urgently need more rags."

Kilroywashere is a nice site! I really enjoyed it.

Al Lansdowne
EMC(SS) USN Ret.
"Smoke-boat" vet


Response

Al, thanks for the correction. I have made them at the USS Alabama/USS Drum Page. Mostly, thank you for the information and stories about the smoke boats. That's a side-bar to history that mustn't be forgotten.

"We are with you" . . .


A letter from Paris


September 13, 2001

Dear Kilroy Was Here,


Pascal Sabas

I live in Paris nowadays but I spent several very happy and productive years as a journalist in the US during which I covered a few major events for the French media including the Gulf War and the "removal" of a Mr. Manuel Noriega of Panama who's hardly remembered by anyone now.

I was in a way in the eye of Desert Storm since my assignment was the Pentagon. A place much more interesting than the press pool sent to Saudi Arabia which got prudently locked up in a press room in Ryadh, out of harm's way. I even scooped CNN once. (LOL!!)

I also covered the State Dept. and the White House at times, filling in for my colleagues. I saw the inner workings of the US government and it may seem a mess at times, but it's the best mess I've ever had the honor to cover. I've seen the best, brightest and most dedicated there. Believe me, you guys are not short of leaders. All the friends I made in DC and New York from those years
are safe. I'm lucky.

I feel extremely close to your country. I am from this generation of French kids who grew up on John Wayne movies, Coca Cola and Rock'n Roll. My idea of a vacation when I was in the US was to go to Wyoming and push cattle with a bunch of $300 a month breakneck cowpokes. Living the Legend. They're good people, and so are the horses.

All the French -- and European -- flags fly at half-mast since yesterday September 13th, And today, September 14th at noon three minutes of silence was observed all over Europe. The passing bell from Notre Dame cathedral sounded over the silenced city and the Republican Guard ended the three minutes playing the Star Spangled Banner in the Elysée Palace's courtyard, in front of President Jacques Chirac standing at attention. For three minutes life stopped. I'd never seen Paris stopping dead in its tracks like that before. Metro and bus traffic was interrupted. In schools, pupils stood silent and in the streets people stopped too. There was a crowd in front of the US embassy, and flowers, candles and people weeping, and they were not all Americans.

Sometimes my American friends ask me: "Why are French people so rude with Americans?" My answer is: " Not to worry, we don't discriminate, we're rude with everyone. We're even more rude among ourselves." And also, arguing is a national pastime. Remember "The Odd Couple?" Felix must have been French. But when it comes to grief and pain there is no more arguments. We are here! No questions asked. Believe me, you are not the only ones to be hurt. The ancient Romans had a god for every situation. The one in this particular case was Mars Ultor. Mars the Avenger.

Having lived a total of eight years in the US, I know that those terrorists have awakened him. And knowing the American people as I know them, I'm pretty sure that, as the French saying goes, those assassins should put a sweater on because nights are gonna be nippy. You need comforting. Here is some for you. It's from the heart. We are with you. All the way. To Victory!

Yours truly,
Pascal Sabas




at Buckingham Palace

From England

September 14, 2001
Gary Murphy wrote

I sure hope you and your colleague, Pascal are aware that the British played The Star Spangled Banner during the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. I am very happy to hear that!

"America will surely prevail . . ."

From Australia

September 14, 2001
Tom Gillin wrote,

I am an Australian living in Sydney.By sheer coincidence I happened to turned on the TV about 11:30 PM Tuesday night (our time) just before the second plane crashed into the World Trade Centre. This event has touched ordinary people all around the world. Here in Sydney, the US Consulate stairs, a couple of blocks from my office are now a small shrine draped with US flags and flowers, and personal messages from ordinary passers by. In my suburb, my local church is running special services for remembrance. This is an ordinary little church a world away, the main Sydney cathedrals are, of course, also running special services too. In the office, amongst family and friends, the common theme is outrage of a crime so sordid.

The thing that sustains me in dark
times like we are seeing now, is the bright contrast between the firemen of New York and the "soldiers" of Bin Laden. The terrorists used decent innocent people as human shields to effect their bloody massacre of the innocents. The terrorists did not even have the decency to tell their aircraft hostages the truth of their imminent and awful execution. Only the chance event that a brave and quick thinking pilot, leaving on the intercom foiled their plan over Pennsylvania. To call the terrorists acts "holy" is to dishonor and defame every religion of mankind. In contrast the New York Fire Department, whose men would have known the risks involved better than any of us, knowingly rushed into jaws of death to save life, many tragically losing their own in the aftermath.

If moral fibre is in any way relevant to modern warfare, America will surely prevail!

Regards

Tim Gillin
Sydney Australia


Sgt. Paul Tillery

A hero writes to a tough young man . . .

"An excellent job of writing"

Paul Tillery wrote:

Hi Jim - Congratulations! Your stories, Return to Driniumor and Patrol to River X are excellent and the pictures are great - a good job and well done! It took a lot of courage for you to make that trip to the Driniumor River and I for one, am glad that you did. Your handling of your Dad's material presented an excellent story of his


Jim McCracken
experiences at the Driniumor River. My job with the 124th Infantry Regiment (one of four Regiments) on the Driniumor River line, was Regimental Motor Sergeant and I was not called on to endure what Lt. James E. McCracken and the others on the River line went through. I can tell you I have the utmost respect for them, as I know what they had to withstand. If his personal story seems confusing at times, let me hasten to tell you that there was a lot of confusion there. With the Japs having broken through our line and thousands of them wandering around there between the River Line and the MLR at the Base, it was indeed confusion. Anywhere you turned you might run into Japs. Once again let me say you did an excellent job in writing this up. And Pat you accomplished your usual good job of displaying the writings and pictures on the website. To both of you a job well done and I will continue to read and reflect on these postings.

Best Regards, Paul

Response

Thank you, Paul for the kind words to me. More important, your recognition of Jum's courage and sense of adventure that took him back to New Guinea and his efforts in telling of his father's sacrifice.

See Paul's own story The Battle of the Driniumor River & 124th Infantry.


Honor guard identified

Bill Hoover's Burial at Sea
Photo Sparks Identification

Matt Hession wrote:

My Father-in-law, John 'Horse' Adie was with the 3/10, the howitzer battalion that stopped the last Banzai charge on Saipan. In the burial at sea photo we can identify one of the honor guard, fourth from bottom right is Gilbert 'Cisco' Carbajal, 3/10 Howitzer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, my father-in-law's best friend. (See Bill Hoover's story)
 
Official USMC Combat Photo (Click pictre for larger view.

Response

Matt, thanks for the identification! I will add his name to the caption. It is great to be able to identify him! You obviously found Bill Hoover's stories about Saipan (that first paragraph about the Jap trying to infiltrate down the beach is the most chilling one on the entire site.)

But have you seen any of the rest? That Banzai charge has been
mentioned so often (see Battle Sites and Thomas Iradi) that Makio Mukai is trying to find Japanese survivors to tell how it felt to charge into those howitzers. He is also going to translate a Japanese pamphlet on the battle for Saipan. That WILL be interesting. Some of Makio's contributions are: Bomb Oregon and The whimsical Kilroy and Rosie the Riverter legend.

A fallen hero remembered again

A caregiver recalls a hero

06/25/01
Rene Ice wrote:

My name is Rene Ice, I have been Mrs. Rose's caregiver for close to seven years now, and I just wanted to thank you for remembering Captain Bud Smith. Mrs. Rose has so much vital information on her brother Bud during that time, letters, pictures and boxes full of this man's life. At first I didn't think I would be able to find the particular Good Morning column you requested but after reading it only once nearly seven years ago, I knew which one it was. I'll never forget it. All the information Betty has about that transports you back in time. All the emotion is brought back . It was very emotional for Betty and is any time she thinks of Bud and her parents. I am 40 years old. My own grandfather served in the military but we do not have as much vital personal information on my grandfather as Betty has on her brother. I consider it quite a privilege for Betty to share her most intimate details of her brothers life, I feel as if I knew him too, like he was my brother too. I went to www.kilroywashere,org to see what you did for Bud, and will make a copy of it for Betty . Again thank you for all that you are doing for our fathers,brothers, Grandfathers,

I was just so pleased to seeCaptain Smith's memorial, I had to answer in gratitude. What an honor. Another way he can reach out after all these years to others. Praise be to God and for the many men and women you have remembered and will carry on!

Sincerely,



Response

Rene, thank you for recognizing and remembering! It would be so easy to see Mrs. Rose only as an old lady who needs help. We, however can see her for what she is: a strong woman who has given and sacrificed so much. But what a life! What times she experienced! What stories of life, love, romance, and death she could tell. Give her my love.


A correction:

Mislabeled Aircraft Recognition slides

Tony Newcomb wrote:

In the Aircraft Recognition Slides (Site 5 Miscellany) you have the A4D slides labeled as "Skywarrior." They should be "Skyhawk". . . the Skywarrior was the A3D - both were built by Douglas aircraft. . .


Response

Tony, you are absolutely right! Of the thousands who have looked at those, you are the only one to 1) know the difference and/or 2) took the time to correct it. Thank you! It is doubly embarrassing because the slides are mine and I would have given my team hell for a stupid mistake like that. Thanks again. I have corrected the page. You may have to refresh or reload to see the corrections. I will post your letter in the next week or so, so all can share my embarrassment.

From a caring teacher:

A Blind Student Sees Kilroy Through the Eyes of a Caring Teacher!

Shirley Kondruk wrote:

I work with a blind student and told him of this practice of writing "Kilroy was here" when thinking that you are the first person to appear at a certain place. He said he had never heard of it. I tried to explain and thought that I might find a better explanation on the Web and came across your site while searching. He found the legend quite interesting. He has decided to leave "his mark" somewhere in the school when he leaves. This is his last year at school. Thanks!


Response

Shirley, thank you very much for signing the guest book with your heart warming story! This sort of thing makes it all worth while. Please tell him he has already made his mark on kilroywashere. He will be here as long as www.kilroywashere.org is:


Shirley Kondruk wrote:

My student was quite excited to learn that you responded to my e-mail. For his mark he decided to leave the three letters of his name along with "was here!", the date and the time, in braille, with the print translation under each word (which I put in). He had me hide it in a semi-conspicuous place (behind the light switch plate). He did not want anyone to see it for a while. He also wanted to come back to this school sometime in the future to see if it was still there. I guess you could call it his variation of "Kilroy was here." He is the first blind student to attend this school, so far, so he will have that in common with the phrase.

To the Editor:

A Teacher Tells His Son About Kilroy

Last evening as I was reading to my seven-year-old son, we began talking about what graffiti was and where you might see this special kind of art form. I told him he might have noticed it in a rest room wall or two. He told me he had. I told him people painted entire mass transit cars with spray paint and that I thought I even noticed some on the maintenance shed behind our high school. I told him most of it wasn't very nice. But then I remembered another example of wall writings that were very special.

I told him what I knew of "Kilroy" and how our soldiers in WW II wrote it on nearly everything. I said it reminded them that they were never alone. It reminded them that there was always going to be someone behind them, beside them, or in front of them to help them through the horrible war. I told him that "Kilroy's" name became a very powerful message. It became a symbol of the spirit of the American people who stood together to make sure our country would always be free.

As I began further research on "Kilroy" today to share with my son, I was delighted to discover your website. As the son of a Navy Lieutenant Commander who served in North Africa and a mother who worked in a homefront factory, I salute your efforts. Your site is a marvelous tribute to the men and women who served, and the families that waited and worked so hard at home, so that I would have the freedom today to read whatever I wish, whenever I want, to my little boy.

Three cheers for Kilroy Was Here!

God Bless You All.

Gordon Gair, Media Arts Department
Cypress Lake High School Center for the Arts


Response

WOW, what a nice letter from one who sounds like a great father and great teacher! Thank you for your kind words -- this makes so much work worthwhile. It will also help with a recent question that I have been struggling with. The question is "WHAT" was Kilroy, not who. Another asked what was he USED for. I finally realized that there is a whole generation out there that doesn't know Kilroy. But the answer is much harder than "it was graffiti." Your letter helps! Thanks again


I tip my hat

The Positive Attitudes

Surfing the websites for various news articles, I happened upon your site. I have known throughout my years, many American servicemen. In the majority of the conversations we had, they never boasted of their combat experiences; they preferred to speak of the trueness war represents - good overcoming evil. Your site brought tears to my eyes as I thank you for speaking of the positive attitudes that make us all God's children - and for knowing the difference; just like our GI Joes and Janes did - and still do.

I tip my hat to Wayne, Earl, Bob, Dean, Harry, Woody, Bruce . . . and the many who fought for us. Thank you for recognizing and honoring all of them, as I do.

Thank you

D.Straub


We need to remember the sacrifice

A Letter from the Guest Book

Lance Wentworth wrote:

Excellent site!! Growing up I would spend my time in the library reading the books on WWII. Not until reading these first hand accounts from the Vets was I truly there. Wally Hoffman's story regarding Black Thursday is incredible. It was if I were riding along with him on that
fateful yet important day. It brought tears to my eyes.

I am 31 years old and serve in the Naval Reserves and I am grateful to these guys who have payed the ultimate price so we may live in the greatest country in the world. Thank you for this site, we as American citizens need to remember the sacrifice the men and women of the Armed Forces have made and this is a great way to do it. WWII Vets are passing away every single day and their stories, good and bad, have gone with them. This is a good way to put their history in the "books".

Thanks again for a great site!!!


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 "From the Cradle to the Grave"

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/

"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.

See more on the magnificent luxury liner that fought a war . . . .HERE


Restoring an LST

George Steel wrote:

A small group of WWII and Korea War sailors have brought back from Greece the LST325. It is now in drydock near Mobile being put into shape as an active memorial . they need help and money to finish the work. To get all of the story go to www.lstmemorial.org.


Response

Thanks George. It's a good cause. I have been keeping up with the story. Wish they had asked me to help -- I would have gone even though I was an airplane driver. I'll put your letter and a link to them on next Sundays update. Their link has been added permanently to the Research Page.

Note to William Tillery about his story about Marianna Army Air Field

Your report on the Marianna Army Training base was most interesting! Thanks. I was based at Stuttgart, Ark Army Air base at the time you speak of (August '42 to December '44.) I was a medical person. The base trained glider pilots at the beginning and, later A20 pilots. After leaving there I was a Medical Tech flying with Air Evac. Like you, I went back to visit old friends 18 years later. Nothing was the same! The base was a industrial park. Kilroy looks the same though. He was been seen all over the world. Seeing him again is a good moral booster.

EZ ED


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