Newsletter 4-16-24

News & Updates


Keep up with host Lt. Col. Denny Gillem & never miss an episode
The Colonel’s Corner
~Comment by the Colonel~
A crowd of pro-Hamas demonstrators gathered in Dearborn, Michigan chanted, “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.” Yes, folks. It happened in Michigan, not Gaza.
One of the speakers called the United States “one of the “Rottenest Countries”
on Earth.
No Catholic or Christian praying in front of a federally funded Abortion Clinic or blocking a doorway ever chanted, “Death to America” or burned an American Flag, but the DOJ is infiltrating Catholic churches and jailing pro-lifers. Note that those who hate our nation are NOT being forced to stay here; they’re free to leave right now.
Our FBI and the Department of Justice have expended great time, energy and money to shut American patriots down, prosecute many of them and actually imprison some of them. Peaceful Catholics are a danger to our country, while extreme jihadist calling for our deaths are not. And much the same thing happened during the Summer of Hate with violent riots (AKA peaceful demonstrations by America haters their obedient media) and massive wanton destruction by the fascists of Antifa and the racist thugs of BLM in Seattle, Portland, LA, DC, Dallas, Atlanta, Kenosha, NYC and many other places. While there were some arrests, there were few if any prosecutions and not sure if anyone was ever convicted, much less incarcerated. Hard to reconcile with the physical damage of $2 billion across our country, as well as the number of Small and Minority Businesses that never reopened; never mind the loss in productivity and the psychological damage on our Citizens.
It’s time for us to get control over our government. Pay attention to whom you vote for this year.
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 April, British troops marched out of Boston headed for Lexington Green where the Shot Heard Around the World would be fired. Col Robert E Lee resigned from the Union Army after being offered command of it. During WWII the Bloody Red Barron was shot down. The Batan Death March began during WWII. The Bay of Pigs invasion began; it ended in disaster.
On 17 Apr 1943, during WWII, Lieutenant Ross Bullard and Boatswain’s Mate First Class Mike Hall boarded the U-175 at sea after their cutter, the CGC Spencer, blasted the U-boat to the surface with depth charges when the U-boat attempted to attack the convoy the Spencer was escorting. They were part of a boarding party sent to seize the U-boat before the Nazi crew could scuttle it. The damage to the U-boat was severe, however, and it sank after both had boarded it and climbed the conning tower. Both men ended up in the water as it slipped beneath the waves. Nevertheless, they carry the distinction of being the first American servicemen to board an enemy warship underway at sea since the War of 1812. The Navy credited the Spencer with the kill. She rescued 19 of the U-boat’s crew and her sister cutter, Duane, rescued 22. One Spencer crewman was killed by friendly fire during the battle.
On 17 April 1961, the Bay of Pigs invasion began when a CIA-financed and -trained group of Cuban refugees landed in Cuba and attempted to topple the communist government of Fidel Castro. The attack was an utter failure.
The failure at the Bay of Pigs cost the US dearly. Castro used the attack by the “Yankee imperialists” to solidify his power in Cuba and he requested additional Soviet military aid. Eventually that aid included missiles, and the construction of missile bases in Cuba sparked the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962, when the US and the Soviet Union nearly came to blows over the issue. Further, throughout much of Latin America, the US was pilloried for its use of armed force in trying to unseat Castro, a man who was considered a hero to many for his stance against US interference and imperialism. Kennedy tried to redeem himself by publicly accepting blame for the attack and its subsequent failure, but the botched mission left the young president looking vulnerable and indecisive.
On 18 April 1775, British troops marched out of Boston on a mission to confiscate the American arsenal at Concord and to capture Patriot leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock, known to be hiding at Lexington. As the British departed, Boston Patriots Paul Revere and William Dawes set out on horseback from the city to warn Adams and Hancock and rouse the Minutemen.
About 5 am on April 19, 700 British troops under Major John Pitcairn arrived at the town to find a 77-man-strong colonial militia under Captain John Parker waiting for them on Lexington’s common green. Pitcairn ordered the outnumbered Patriots to disperse, and after a moment’s hesitation, the Americans began to drift off the green. Suddenly, the “shot heard around the world” was fired from an undetermined gun, and a cloud of musket smoke soon covered the green. When the brief Battle of Lexington ended, eight Americans lay dead and 10 others were wounded; only one British soldier was injured. The American Revolution had begun.
On 18 April 1942, during WWII, 16 American B-25 bombers, launched from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet 650 miles east of Japan and commanded by Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle, attacked the Japanese mainland.
The now-famous Tokyo Raid did little real damage to Japan (wartime Premier Hideki Tojo was inspecting military bases during the raid; one B-25 came so close, Tojo could see the pilot, though the American bomber never fired a shot)–but it did hurt the Japanese government’s prestige. Believing the air raid had been launched from Midway Island, approval was given to Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto’s plans for an attack on Midway–which would also damage Japanese “prestige.” Doolittle was eventually awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
On 18 April 1983, the US embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, was almost completely destroyed by a car-bomb explosion that killed 63 people, including the suicide bomber and 17 Americans. The terrorist attack was carried out in protest of the US military presence in Lebanon.
On 20 Apr 1861, Colonel Robert E. Lee resigned from the US Army two days after he was offered command of the Union army and three days after his native state, Virginia, seceded from the Union. Lee opposed secession, but he was a loyal son of Virginia. Two days later, Lee was appointed commander of Virginia’s forces with the rank of major general. The next year, Lee assumed command of the Army of Northern Virginia after General Joseph Johnston was wounded in battle. Lee quickly turned the tables on Union General George McClellan, as he would several other commanders of the Army of the Potomac. His brilliance as a battlefield tactician earned him a place among the great military leaders of all time.
On 21 April 1918, in the skies over Vauz sur Somme, France, Manfred von Richthofen, the notorious German flying ace known as “The Red Baron,” was killed by Allied fire.
Richthofen, the son of a Prussian nobleman, switched from the German army to the Imperial Air Service in 1915. By 1916, he was terrorizing the skies over the western front in an Albatross biplane, downing 15 enemy planes by the end of the year.
Then, with 80 victories under his belt, Richthofen penetrated deep into Allied territory in pursuit of a British aircraft. The Red Baron was flying too near the ground–an Australian gunner shot him through his chest, and his plane crashed into a field alongside the road from Corbie to Bray. Another account has Captain A. Roy Brown, a Canadian in the Royal Air Force, shooting him down. British troops recovered his body, and he was buried with full military honors. He was 25 years old. In a time of wooden and fabric aircraft, when 20 air victories ensured a pilot legendary status, Manfred von Richthofen downed 80 enemy aircraft.
On 24 Apr 1863, the Union army issued General Orders No. 100, which provided a code of conduct for Federal soldiers and officers when dealing with Confederate prisoners and civilians. The code was borrowed by many European nations, and its influence can be seen on the Geneva Convention.
The orders were the brainchild of Francis Lieber, a Prussian immigrant whose three sons had served during the Civil War. Lieber was a scholar of international law who took a keen interest in the treatment of combatants and civilians. He wrote many essays and newspaper articles on the subject early in the war, and he advised General Henry Halleck, general-in-chief of the Union armies, on how to treat guerilla fighters captured by Federal forces.
Halleck appointed a committee of four generals and Lieber to draft rules of combat for the Civil War. The final document consisted of 157 articles written almost entirely by Lieber. The orders established policies for, among other things, the treatment of prisoners, exchanges, and flags of
truce. There was no document like it in the world at the time, and other countries soon adopted the code. It became the standard for international military law. Lieber’s concepts are still very influential today.
On April 24, 1980, an ill-fated military operation to rescue the 52 American hostages held in Tehran ended with eight US servicemen dead and no hostages rescued.
With the Iran Hostage Crisis stretching into its sixth month and all diplomatic appeals to the Iranian government ending in failure, President Jimmy Carter ordered the military mission as a last-ditch attempt to save the hostages.
Three of eight helicopters failed, crippling the crucial airborne plans. The mission was then canceled at the staging area in Iran, but during the withdrawal one of the retreating helicopters collided with one of six C-130 airplanes, killing eight soldiers and injuring five. The next day, a somber Jimmy Carter gave a press conference in which he took full responsibility for the tragedy. The hostages were not released for another 270 days.
On 26 April 1865, during the Civil War, Confederate General Joseph Johnston officially surrendered his army to General William Sherman at Durham Station, North Carolina. After the surrender of General Robert E. Lee’s force on April 9, Johnston’s army was the last hope of the Confederacy.
On 27 April 1805, after marching 500 miles from Egypt, US agent William Eaton led a small force of US Marines and Berber mercenaries against the Tripolitan port city of Derna. The Marines and Berbers were on a mission to depose Yusuf Karamanli, the ruling pasha of Tripoli, who had seized power from his brother, Hamet, a pasha who was sympathetic to the US. The First Barbary War had begun four years earlier, when President Thomas Jefferson ordered US Navy vessels to the Mediterranean Sea in protest of continuing raids against US ships by pirates from the Barbary states. American sailors were often abducted along with the captured booty and ransomed back at an exorbitant price. After two years of minor confrontations, sustained action began in June 1803, when a small US expeditionary force attacked Tripoli harbor in present-day Libya. In April 1805, a major American victory came during the Derna campaign, which was undertaken by US land forces in North Africa. Supported by the heavy guns of the USS Argus and the USS Hornet, Marines and Arab mercenaries under William Eaton captured Derna and deposed Yusuf Karamanli. Lieutenant Presley O’ Bannon, commanding the Marines, performed so heroically in the battle that Hamet Karamanli presented him with an elaborately designed sword that now serves as the pattern for the swords carried by Marine officers. The phrase “to the shores of Tripoli,” from the US Marine Corps song, also has its origins in the Derna campaign.
On the weekend of April 20-21, General Chris Mookie Walker will discuss his service and his plans. Nathan Chang will discuss his appointment to West Point. Vet Ron Allen will discuss the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Gen Chris Petty will present the Battle of the Month.
And on the weekend of April 27-28, Vet Zuhdi Jasser will discuss his service and his goals. Steve Wilson will present Army vet Paul Mayhue will discuss his service in and out of uniform. And Diane Raver will present the Movie of the Month.
~ Humor/Puns ~
The high school music teacher was quite controversial. He told his students to read band books.
I told a pun in civics class. It went down in history.
The orthopedist said that working with fractures isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.
How did the Dermatologist and the Dentist afford their new Mansion? By the skin of their teeth.
Making fun of a tree is a knock on wood.
If you said you were from South America, I would not Bolivia.
I would like to go to Holland one day, wooden shoe?
Why would an hour-glass only take half an hour to finish? It was filled with quick-sand.
There was a sale at the fish market today. I went to see what was the catch.
The baker had only half the flour he needed so he decided to make short bread.
Bring me a rubber band and make it snappy.
If you boil a funny bone it becomes a laughing stock. That’s humorous!
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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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