Newsletter 10-16-23

News & Updates


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The Colonel’s Corner
~Comment by the Colonel~
It’s quite obvious that the invasion across our southern border is a major crisis. Millions of individuals coming over illegally. We have no idea if any of them have diseases, if they speak English, have any work skills, love our nation, are carrying drugs, or are agents of foreign powers who hate us (a large number of military-aged males from Communist China have crossed the border). Our nation is already so deep in debt from overspending that we’re not even giving free housing and food and other support to our homeless American veterans—or homeless American citizens. We have no idea how their presence will negatively impact our schools and community safety. We need to totally close our borders and begin returning all these illegals to their countries of origin—our children and grandchildren will suffer greatly if we don’t. I encourage you to join me in asking our members of Congress why they think this is good—and if they don’t think it’s good, what are they doing to stop it.
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The Smiling Ranger – This book is a series of short, mostly funny, stories of my time in uniform (it’s for sale at I was thinking about… my time in Vietnam. I had little experience with a .45 caliber automatic pistol before arriving in country as a second lieutenant, but I quickly found one and carried it along with my rifle. The pistol was WWII vintage and badly worn. It jammed so often I really didn’t consider it reliable. When I’d loan it to a trooper who was going into a tunnel, I warned him that often it was good for only one shot.
After my first Vietnam tour I was assigned to Fort Campbell, KY, where I assumed command of an airborne rifle company. My assigned weapon was, yes, a .45 pistol. It might have been the same one I’d left in Vietnam. It rattled when I fired it, the parts were so worn. Then the division was ordered to deploy to Vietnam, so we all had to qualify with our weapons. For the life of me, I just couldn’t hit all those bulls-eyes with my old rattley weapon. When qualifying with a rifle, the shooter shot at a silhouette, but with the pistol it was a bulls-eye target. After about a hundred tries I finally barely qualified. I deployed with my company to Vietnam—wearing that old pistol. That’s why I own only revolvers today. (I have since been converted and own a Glock and a Sig Sauer today, along with my revolvers.)
If you don’t already have one, order your copy of ‘The Smiling Ranger’ today or one for a friend.
*We should all be proud Americans; despite our current challenges and differences, we live in the best and freest nation in the world. Let’s end all the name calling and appreciate each other and our nation, even if we don’t all agree on everything. Good Americans come in many flavors.
Military History
In the last half of October, the Mason-Dixon Line was created. The Battle of Yorktown was won; this was the last major battle of our Revolutionary War; yes, we won. The Statue of Liberty was delivered to us from France. And, during WWII, he Japanese began using kamakaze (suicide) bombers.
On 17 Oct 1777, during our Revolutionary War, British general and playwright John Burgoyne surrendered 5,000 British and Hessian troops to American General Horatio Gates at Saratoga, New York.
On 18 Oct 1767, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon completed their survey of the boundary between the colonies of Pennsylvania and Maryland as well as areas that would eventually become the states of Delaware and West Virginia. The Penn and Calvert families had hired Mason and Dixon, English surveyors, to settle their dispute over the boundary between their two proprietary colonies, Pennsylvania and Maryland. The Mason-Dixon Line also became the reference point between the north and the south in our Civil War.
On 18 Oct 1942, during WWII, Vice. Adm. William Halsey replaced Vice Adm. Robert Ghormley as commander, South Pacific. The man nicknamed “Bull” by the press began his military career as a destroyer commander during WWI. Halsey was made a captain at the age of 53, earned his naval aviator’s wings, and was promoted to vice admiral in 1940. Halsey had his carrier task force out on maneuvers when Pearl Harbor was attacked, so his was one of the few functioning battle groups left after the destruction of so much of the American fleet, placing him in the position of making the unpredictable and aggressive strategic decisions for which he would become renowned.
On 19 October 1781, during our Revolutionary War, the British Army at Yorktown surrendered. On 21 August, General George Washington quietly began moving his army, along with his French allies, with a goal of crushing British Gen. Cornwallis’ isolated force at Yorktown, VA. As any success would be dependent upon the French navy’s ability to prevent Cornwallis being resupplied, this movement was supported by the fleet of Rear Admiral Comte de Grasse, whose ships assumed a blockading position and defeated the reinforcing British fleet.
As Washington’s force reached Williamsburg, they joined with the forces of Gen Layfayette, who had been shadowing Cornwallis’ movements. The force arrived on 28 Sept.
In Yorktown, Cornwallis was expecting heavy reinforcements. On the night of October 5/6, Washingotn began construction of the first siege line. By dawn, a 1-mile long trench opposed the the British works. Two days later, Washington personally fired the first gun.
For the next three days, French and American guns pounded the British lines around the clock.
The first major attack on two positions began after dark on 14 Oct.
Cornwallis shifted 1,000 men and his wounded to Gloucester Point with the goal of transferring his army across the river and breaking out to the north. As the boats returned to Yorktown, they were scattered by a storm. Out of ammunition and unable to shift his army, Cornwallis decided to open negotiations with Washington. At 9:00 AM on October 17, a single drummer mounted the British works and beat the long roll as a lieutenant waved a white flag.
The fighting at Yorktown cost the allies 72 killed and 180 wounded. British losses were 156 killed, 326 wounded. In addition, Cornwallis’ remaining 7,018 men were taken prisoner. The final surrender documents were signed on October 19. At noon the French and American armies lined up to await the British surrender. Two hours later the British marched out with flags furled and their bands playing “The World Turned Upside Down.”
With the surrender complete, Cornwallis’ army was taken into custody rather than paroled. The victory at Yorktown was the last major engagement of the American Revolution and effectively ended the conflict in the American’s favor.
On 20 Oct 1944, during WWII, after advancing island by island across the Pacific Ocean, General Douglas MacArthur waded ashore onto the Philippine island of Leyte, fulfilling his promise to return to the area he was ordered to leave in 1942.
On 21 Oct 1967, in Washington, DC nearly 100,000 people gathered to protest the American war effort in Vietnam. Over 50,000 protesters marched to the Pentagon to ask for an end to the conflict. The protest was the most dramatic sign of waning support for President Lyndon Johnson’s war in Vietnam. Polls taken in the summer of 1967 revealed that, for the first time, American support for the war had fallen below 50%.
A group of hippies tried to exorcist the Pentagon. The brainchild of Abby Hoffman, the plan was for people to sing and chant until it levitated and turned orange, driving out the evil spirits and ending the Vietnam war. The Pentagon didn’t move.
On 23 October 1921, in the French town of Chalons-sur-Marne, an American officer selected the body of the first “Unknown Soldier” to be honored among the approximately 77,000 US servicemen killed on the Western Front during WWI.
On 23 Oct 1983, a suicide bomber drove a truck filled with 2,000 pounds of explosives into a US Marine Corps barracks at the Beirut International Airport. The explosion killed 220 Marines, 18 sailors and three soldiers. A few minutes after that bomb went off, a second bomber drove into the basement of the nearby French paratroopers’ barracks, killing 58 more people. Intelligence determined that the instructions for the attack came from Iran. Four months after the bombing, American forces left Lebanon without retaliating.
On 25 Oct 1862, during the Civil War, a sarcastic President Lincoln wired General George McClellan: “I have just read your dispatch about sore tongued and fatigued horses. Will you pardon me for asking what the horses of your army have done since the battle of Antietam that fatigue anything?” Lincoln was nearly out of patience with McClellan. The president had ordered him to pursue Confederate General Robert Lee into Virginia after Antietam on September 17, but McClellan dallied for more than a month. A little over a week after sending this message, Lincoln replaced McClellan with Ambrose Burnside.
On 25 Oct 1971, in a dramatic reversal of its long-standing commitment to the Nationalist Chinese government of Taiwan, and a policy of non-recognition of the communist People’s Republic of China (PRC), America’s UN representatives voted to seat the PRC as a permanent member. Over American objections, Taiwan was expelled.
On 25 Oct 1983, the US invaded Grenada. President Ronald Reagan, citing the threat posed to American nationals on the Caribbean nation of Grenada by that nation’s Marxist regime, ordered the Marines to invade and secure their safety. There were nearly 1,000 Americans in Grenada at the time, many of them students at the island’s medical school. In little more than a week, Grenada’s government was overthrown.
On 25 Oct 1944, during the WWII Battle of the Leyte Gulf, the Japanese deployed kamikaze (“divine wind”) suicide bombers against American warships for the first time. It proved costly–to both sides.
On 27 Oct 1962, complicated and tension-filled negotiations between the US and the Soviet Union finally result in a plan to end the two-week-old Cuban Missile Crisis. A frightening period in which nuclear holocaust seemed imminent began to come to an end as the Soviets withdrew their missiles from Cuba.
On 28 Oct 1886, the Statue of Liberty, a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the US, was dedicated in New York Harbor by President Grover Cleveland.
On 29 Oct 1956, Israeli armed forces pushed into Egypt toward the Suez Canal, initiating the Suez Crisis. They would soon be joined by French and British forces, creating a serious Cold War problem in the Middle East.
On 30 Oct 1965, just miles from Da Nang, US Marines repelled an intense attack by successive waves of Viet Cong troops and kill 56 guerrillas. A search of the dead uncovered a sketch of Marine positions written on the body of a 13-year-old Vietnamese boy who had been selling drinks to the Marines the previous day. This incident was indicative of the nature of a war in which even the most seemingly innocent child could be the enemy. There were many other instances where South Vietnamese civilians that worked on or near US bases provided information to and participated in attacks alongside the enemy.
On 31 Oct 1956, Rear Admiral GJ Dufek became the first person to land an airplane at the South Pole. Navy men landed in R4D Skytrain on the ice at the South Pole. RADM George Dufek, CAPT Douglas Cordiner, CAPT William Hawkes, LCDR Conrad Shinn, LT John Swadener, AD2 JP Strider and AD2 William Cumbie are the first men to stand on the South Pole since Captain Robert Scott in 1912.
On 31 Oct 1961 – End of Lighter than Air in US Navy with disestablishment of Fleet Airship Wing One and ZP-1 and ZP-3, the last operating units in Lighter Than Air branch of Naval Aviation, at Lakehurst, New Jersey.
On the weekend of Oct 21-22, we’ll talk with Jimmie Smith from Concerned Veterans for America on areas that need our attention. And we’ll meet retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Tony Schaffer. Quinton Roberts will discuss last weekend’s Service Academy Football games. And Gen Chris Petty will present the Battle of the Month.
And on the weekend of Oct 28-29, Congressman and retired Marine General Jack Bergman will identify some of our nation’s main problems.
Then we’ll discuss the abuse of a military prisoner with his fiancee.
Quinton Roberts will discuss last weekend’s Service Academy Football games. And Diane Raver from the Garden State Film Festival will discuss the Movie of the Month.
~ Humor/Puns ~
English is Hard
1. The bandage was wound around the wound.
2. The farm was used to produce produce.
3. The dump was so full it had to refuse refuse.
4. We polish Polish furniture.
5. He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6. The man decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
8. A bass was painted on the bass drum.
9. When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10. I did not object to the object.
11. The insurance for the invalid was invalid.
12. There was a row among the oarsmen on how to row.
13. They were to close to the door to close it

The Frontlines of Freedom Newsletter is published twice monthly;
the dates of publication each month depend on the events and history of that month.

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