Monthly Archives: January 2020

Letters From Iwo Jima

I have a post coming for the 75th anniversary of the Iwo Jima landings set to come out next month. I also watched the companion movie to Letters (they were made simultaneously)  Clint Eastwood made in 2006  –  Flags of Our Fathers. So you had 2 movies of Iwo Jima – from the perspectives of both sides.

It is all too easy to lump a wartime enemy into “they” with monolithic stereotypes and behavior.

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Filed under Movie Review, Travel

John Basilone

If you drive up I5 from San Diego in a half hour or so you’ll transit the massive USMC base of Camp Pendleton. If you are lucky, looking to the left towards the ocean, you may see some Osprey‘s landing or taking off.

And you will pass a sign on the right telling you that you are on the Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone Highway.

I wonder of the many thousands of people passing that sign every day know who John Basilone was?

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Filed under Heroes Among Us, History, Valor

James E. Williams

James E Williams

In between working on another post, which may take a few days, I was watching a program on Amazon Prime involving that famous trio, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May.

Except this wasn’t the Grand Tour but a boat trip through Cambodia and the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. It was a pretty interesting program, with the usual silly assortment of vehicles.

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Filed under Heroes Among Us, History, Naval History, Navy, Vietnam

Some History Long Neglected

In the recent past, what was the most welcome thing a serviceman could receive, particularly when overseas? Something equally precious to Privates and Seamen, Generals and Admirals?

Something that, upon getting, could lift you out of a deep depression?

Or occasionally put you into a depression?

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Highways Through Time


This stretch of Rt 66 to Holbrook, AZ was active from 1926 through 1958. It was the only section of Rt 66 that went through a National Park. (Painted Desert). Today only the old telephone poles remain, with the pavement under the dirt and sagebrush.

Coming back from my latest drive, I had a number of misconceptions cleared. In addition to a few historical misconceptions, from Judge Roy Bean to the Alamo, a highway surprised me.

Coming up through New Mexico I saw a sign for US Route 60.

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