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The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.-- General Dwight D Eisenhower
We set off at dawn from our base, West Island, Cocos, in a 356 Squadron Liberator on our flight to Malaya carrying a great load of medical supplies and comforts for PoWs and civilians. With the Japanese surrender, there are no bombs this time. Guns and armament have been stripped from the aircraft to provide more lift, and the cavernous bays which normally house 500 and 1,000-pounders, now contain dozens of large drop-canisters strapped to chutes.
Friday, 14 September 2001, turned out to be a tough day. We all got to NNMC early in the morning and boarded the buses for the 4-hour ride up to Earl, New Jersey. Eventually, we all got unloaded, checked aboard, got our rooms, unpacked our seabags, and checked into our workstations. Then, within an hour of arriving, there was an announcement that there had been a change in the mission. The hospital ship was going to be used to provide comfort, meaning living spaces, food spaces, and showers for the rescue workers. And except for a very core crew, everybody else was told to pack their seabags to go home.
March 10, '45 was my sixtieth mission. From now on I'd be eligible for rotation home. It was a happy prospect. What wasn't was a 2,000' ceiling and 5,000' thick cloud cover by no means great weather to be flying combat in. Since I'd joined the 36th Fighter Group on August 1, 1944, a lot of good friends in the Group hadn't made it as far as I had. They'd either been killed or were missing in action.
Note: by 1st. Lt. Philip N. Wright, Jr., 36th Fighter Group, 23rd Fighter Squadron, 9th Air Force 8555 Reads
Headquarters Department Northeastern Virginia, Arlington, VA, August 4, 1861. Colonel:
I have the honor to submit the following report of the battle of the 21st of July, near Manassas, Va. It has been delayed till this time from the inability of the subordinate commanders to get earlier a true account of the state of their commands.
The [heavy cruiser USS] Indianapolis [CA-35] had come to the Navy Yard, Mare Island [in San Francisco Bay] in early May 1945, to get heavy underwater damage repaired from a Kamikaze [Japanese suicide aircraft] hit that she took in [the Battle of] Okinawa on 30 March . We had more time there than anticipated and knew that we were due back in the forward area at the earliest practicable date.
Note: Recollections of Captain Charles B. McVay, III, USN, Commanding Officer of USS Indianapolis (CA-35). 6594 Reads
Pearl Harbor occurred about six months after I graduated from High School. I believe we all were aware it would change our lives and the things we believed in but none of us knew how much. It placed restraints on our lives. We wanted to keep on working and enjoying our new found freedom of being out of school and yet we were all moved by feelings of duty to the country and many of my friends joined the service.
On 16 February I was in a six-plane flight of Mark 5 Spitfires that encountered about twelve ME 109s in the region between Orvieto and Perugia, about sixty-five miles north of Rome. Our six-plane flight was in line-astern formation, with the planes about fifty feet apart and stepped to the right and down, slightly, so the pilots can easily see the planes ahead of them. I was leading the last two-plane element of the flight, and Bob Confer, a veteran of the North African Campaign was my wingman.
Haven't had much time to write as we have been on the move pretty much lately. We had pushed up twelve miles north of the 38th parallel. Got hit up there by the gooks about four days ago. I guess our lines held pretty strong, but the ROK's caved in on our right flank and the army pulled out on our left.
On my 87th mission, I flew a reconnaissance mission deep into North Korea. My primary target was an area of troop emplacements just north of the front lines and consisted of a requirement to photograph the area with vertical camera coverage in what is known as "mosaic photography".
I am not quite sure where Major Eskridge’s wound is so do not guess at it. V.
July 14, 98
My dear Mrs. Helmick,
I have been sent home with a broken leg to get ready for Puerto Rico. I am not writing this to tell you about myself, but about the rest of the reg’t, which I know will be good news to most of you.
Note: The 10th U.S. Infantry took part in the action at San Juan Hill, on the far west end of the line. 5766 Reads
A fellow named Kendall and I palled up the day after he joined our company. We were in a sugar factory at the time, where we were to spend the night before going into the line. I had found two planks and trestles, and thought, in my ignorance, to make a bed where the rats would not disturb me, and while I surveyed the available floor space the slinking form of a large rat, just discernible in the dimming light, made me turn sharply round.
6th May, 1916, signed the enlistment papers after having been previously rejected in 1915. 20th June, left Byron Bay by train to Lismore for the medical examination. This time, Dr Bignell passed me, without even examining me, because he could see that I was eager to enlist and men were badly needed.
Many stories of World War II combat missions in B-17s over Europe have been written. Rarely did any of these tell much about the planning, briefing, organization of the formations, form up and what happened after the planes returned to their bases. This mission was chosen to document for the casual readers to profile a typical combat mission in those days.
Entry One For most of 1917 I was at Lehr, North Dakota working as a rural mail carrier. In September, when the first draft was called, I was at the depot to see the boys off. Mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers of the boys were there also. There was crying, praying, yelling and the band was playing. It was an awful sight.
His Majesty's late Ship DETROIT, Put In Bay Lake Erie, 12 September 1813 The last Letter I had the Honor of Writing to you dated the 6th Instant, I informed you that unless certain intimation was received of more Seamen being on their way to Amherstburgh, I should be obliged to sail with the Squadron deplorably Manned as it was, to fight the Enemy (who Blockaded the Port) to enable us to get supplies of Provisions and Stores of every Description.
1296: Edward I defeats the Scots at the Battle of Dunbar.
1746: King George II wins the battle of Culloden.
1813: American forces capture York (present-day Toronto), the seat of government in Ontario.
1863: The Army of the Potomac begins marching on Chancellorsville.
1937: German bombers of the Condor Legion devastate Guernica, Spain.
1941: The German army enters the Greek capital, signaling the end of Greek resistance. All mainland Greece and all the Greek Aegean islands except Crete are under German occupation by May 11. In fending off the Axis invaders, the Greeks suffer the loss of 15,700 men.
1972: North Vietnamese troops shatter defenses north of Quang Tri and move to within 2.5 miles of the city. Using Russian-built tanks, they took Dong Ha, 7 miles north of Quang Tri, the next day and continued to tighten their ring around Quang Tri, shelling it heavily.
1975: Saigon is encircled by North Vietnamese troops.
1978: Afghanistan President Sardar Mohammed Daoud is overthrown and murdered in a coup led by procommunist rebels.