Tag Archives: History

Snapshots In The Mind

From time to time, I’ve liked to post some memories of those whom I’ve come across during life. I had a neighbor who was a character – I seem to gravitate towards characters – people who like to carve their own path through life instead of blindly following the paths of others. And I thought that most of the time, these “snapshots” – memories held and cherished to be occasionally revisited by the owners, leave us when the owner leaves us, never to be known by others.

Several of these friends, in telling me their stories, had me at the time believing silently that it was “hyperbole”. My neighbor was telling me that he enlisted in the Marines when he was 16 during WW2 (there were a few who did that). He was at Tarawa and Saipan. Then after WW2, recalled to Korea where he was one of the “Frozen Chosin”. I thought this was hyperbole, until he invited me to a Chosin Reunion. There were a couple of Army guys there too. He liked to remind me that it took a Marine General who took the place of the Army General to finally get them out and not be slaughtered by the vastly bigger invading Chinese force.

He would tell me things that one who lived by lies about service would not say. They are always about their “heroism” and made up units.

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American Bomber Boys

I have long had a fascination with the aviators of WW2. In training, it was up or out. And by “out”, so many were killed in training flights and not simply washed out. Chuck Yeager’s autobiography had a chapter or 2 on his training days at Tonopah, NV.

I’d have to admire any aviator who, graduating from the venerable PT-17 (Stearman) biplane, to the T-6 (called by the AAF) or SNJ (called by the Navy) when finally strapped into a 1,500 hp Mustang or 2,000 hp Corsair (there were no dual seat trainers) and takes off, hopefully giving it enough rudder so the massive torque wouldn’t run it off the runway.

And kill yourself.

Happened to a lot of students.

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Filed under Air Force, Army Aviation, Books, Uncategorized

Innovation and Guinness

A Post Hizzoner Would Have Found Interesting

I thought Guinness was just a great beer with a long history. Apparently it is a company steeped in innovation going back 100s of years. To attract and keep the best talent, they offered company benefits that today would be considered cutting edge by companies like Google. Only they started this 100s of years ago.

The key to Guinness’ robustness has been innovation. Through a series of key innovations, Guinness was able to stay on top despite (among other things) a famine, mass emigration, two World Wars, a civil war, and the changeover from British to sovereign rule. Guinness is responsible for changes in workplace relations, several foundational advances in the physics of brewing, and even the famous Student’s t-test in statistics. Indeed, Guinness has been one of the key drivers of innovation in Ireland.

And it all started in 1759 with a 9,000 year lease on the property.

H/T to David Foster of Chicago Boyz

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Celebrating July 2nd

Apparently we’ve been 2 days off.

On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress unanimously adopted a resolution stating “That these United Colonies are, and, of right, ought to be, Free and Independent States.” Two days later, after further debate, it approved the Declaration of Independence, the document that, over time, brought eternal fame to its main author, Thomas Jefferson.

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8th AAF Attrition

Bill Brandt, June 24, 2022

I just started a book that Hogday recommended, about the 8th Army Air Force in England. I know that they suffered tremendous casualties, but just cold numbers really don’t tell the whole story. Yes, more were killed flying those bombers and fighters into Nazi-occupied Europe than all of the Marines killed in the Pacific. Over 26,000 airmen were lost in those skies.

One had to complete 25 missions before you could rotate home and the odds, particularly in 1943, of doing that were if not stacked against you, pretty heavy. I’m trying to remember a statistic citing death or seriously wounded before those 25 missions were complete, but 1:3 seems to come to mind.

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Russia Today: Living Under the Soviet Union’s Shadow?

For more years than I can remember since 1992, I have wondered if the West squandered an opportunity to help bring democracy to Russia. Much like during the height of the Cold War in the 1950s, when people accused others of “losing” Eastern Europe after WW2. It was a UVA Professor who was very influential to my thinking who said that Eastern Europe wasn’t ours to “lose” – the Soviets already occupied it. Although surely one could argue that a geopolitically naïve Franklin Roosevelt erred greatly in agreeing to let Stalin take Berlin – and have his spheres of influence. But then, the frail and dying Roosevelt believed Stalin when he promised to allow free elections.

But could Russia have evolved differently today had Boris Yeltsin had some more help and encouragement?

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The 6th of June in History

By lex, on Thu, June 3, 2004

Milblog readers will find plenty to keep them occupied during the drive to commemorate the Normandy invasions of 60 years ago..

But did you know the date’s other significance in military history? In naval history (keeping in mind that the USMC is a naval force)?

No? Then read on:

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Filed under by lex, History, Marines, Military, Neptunus Lex

Maria Aus Stuttgart *

I’ve met some interesting people along the way, and Maria is no exception. She is in my car club, and 87 years young. When we connected a few days ago, she remembered that 20 years ago, with her husband recently passed, I took her on a club drive.

I have trouble remembering something from 2 hours ago.

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Ukraine – A Bit of Recent Alternative History

A Lexican recently made a post on the F/B page that surprised me.

We just past the date where the number of days since the Berlin Fell was equal to the number of days that it was up.

10,316 days.

From August 3, 1961, when I was 11 years old, to November 9, 1989 when I was 39 years old.

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Miscellaneous Ramblings – 01/06/22

If there is an informal poll for “Worst Commerical Airport – Passenger Category” – my vote would go to SFO – San Francisco. Even getting there, between the weather and the traffic, can be a challenge. I can remember years ago, picking up my parents, that the wind and rain was so strong that I would unintentionally change lanes driving over the Bay Bridge. And on that bridge, it’s a long way down.

And because traffic can really bite you, sometimes I’ll leave an hour earlier than what I think I really need.

Once you get there – turning off from the Bayshore Freeway – that’s US 101 – you are funneled into several “Y” intersections with little time to react.

I think that they built this facility over the years in sort of an “ad hoc” manner and any “master plan” to handle the traffic went by the wayside.

At least that’s my opinion.

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