Newsletter 6-1-22


Monthly News & Updates

 Keep up to date with host Denny Gillem

Visit our Website

We should all be proud Americans; we live in the best and freest nation in the world. Early June includes some major events for us to celebrate, especially Frontlines of Freedom’s 15th birthday, D-Day, the invasion of Europe during WWII, and Flag Day which is also our Army’s Birthday.
On the first Sunday in June 2007, the first Frontlines of Freedom show was broadcast on Wood Radio in Grand Rapids, MI. Today we’re on 180+ stations across our nation. It’s been a fun ride.
Here are some of the great things that happened in early June:
On 2 June 1865, in an event that is generally regarded as the end of the Civil War, Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith, commander of Confederate forces west of the Mississippi, signed the surrender terms offered by Union negotiators. Thus, the last Confederate army ceased to exist, bringing a formal end to the bloodiest four years in US history.
Our Civil War began on April 12, 1861, when Confederate shore batteries under General Pierre Beauregard opened fire on Union-held Fort Sumter in South Carolina’s Charleston Bay. During 34 hours, 50 Confederate guns and mortars launched over 4,000 rounds at the poorly supplied fort, and on April 13, the commander, US Major Robert Anderson, surrendered. Two days later, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for 75,000 volunteer soldiers to help quell the Southern “insurrection.” Four long years later, the Confederacy was defeated at the total cost of 620,000 Union and Confederate dead.
On 4 June 1942, the Battle of Midway–one of the most decisive US victories against Japan during WWII–began. During the 4-day sea-and-air battle, the outnumbered US Pacific Fleet succeeded in destroying four Japanese aircraft carriers while losing only one of its own to the previously invincible Japanese navy.
In 6 months of offensives prior to Midway, the Japanese had triumphed in lands throughout the Pacific, including Malaysia, Singapore, the Dutch East Indies, the Philippines and numerous island groups. The US, however, was a growing threat, and Japanese Admiral Yamamoto sought to destroy the US Pacific Fleet before it was large enough to outmatch his own.
A thousand miles northwest of Honolulu, the strategic island of Midway became the focus of his scheme to smash US resistance to Japan’s imperial designs. Yamamoto’s plan consisted of a feint toward Alaska followed by an invasion of Midway by a Japanese strike force. When the Pacific Fleet arrived at Midway to respond to the invasion, it would be destroyed by the superior Japanese fleet waiting unseen to the west. If successful, the plan would eliminate the Pacific Fleet and provide a forward outpost from which the Japanese could eliminate any future American threat in the Central Pacific. US intelligence broke the Japanese naval code, however, and we anticipated the surprise attack.
In the meantime, 200 miles to the northeast, two US attack fleets caught the Japanese force entirely by surprise and destroyed three heavy Japanese carriers and one heavy cruiser. The only Japanese carrier that initially escaped destruction, the Hiryu, loosed all its aircraft against the American task force and managed to seriously damage the US carrier Yorktown, forcing its
abandonment. At about 5:00 pm, dive-bombers from the carrier Enterprise returned the favor, mortally damaging the Hiryu. It was scuttled the next morning.
When the Battle of Midway ended, Japan had lost four carriers, a cruiser and 292 aircraft, and suffered an estimated 2,500 casualties. The US lost the Yorktown, the destroyer USS Hammann, 145 aircraft and suffered approximately 300 casualties.
Japan’s losses hobbled its naval might–bringing Japanese and American sea power to approximate parity–and marked the turning point in the Pacific theater. In August 1942, the great US counteroffensive began at Guadalcanal and did not cease until Japan’s surrender three years later.
On 6 Jun 1918, the first large-scale battle fought by American soldiers in WWI began in Belleau Wood. In late May 1918, the third German offensive of the year penetrated the Western Front to within 45 miles of Paris. US forces under General John Pershing helped halt the German advance, and on June 6 Pershing ordered a counteroffensive to drive the Germans out of Belleau Wood. US Marines under General James Harbord led the attack against the four German divisions positioned in the woods and by the end of the first day suffered over 1,000 casualties.
For the next three weeks, the Marines, backed by US Army artillery, launched many attacks into the forested area, but German General Ludendorff was determined to deny us a victory. Ludendorff continually brought up reinforcements from the rear, and the Germans attacked the US forces with machine guns, artillery, and gas. Finally, on June 26, we prevailed but at the cost of nearly 10,000 dead, wounded, or missing in action.
On 6 June 1944, now known as D-Day, Gen Dwight Eisenhower, then supreme commander of Allied Expeditionary Forces in WWII implemented the massive invasion of Europe called Operation Overlord. By the first week of June 1944, Nazi Germany controlled most of Western Europe. Allied forces, numbering 156,000, were poised to travel by ship or plane over the English Channel to attack the German army dug in at Normandy, France, on June 5. Eisenhower had a window of only four days of decent weather in which an invasion would be possible. When bad weather hit the channel on June 4, Eisenhower wrestled with the idea of postponing Operation Overlord. Weather conditions were predicted to worsen over the next two weeks, and he had thousands of personnel and thousands of tons of supplies that were in his words, hanging on the end of a limb. After a promising but cautious report from his meteorologist at 9:45 pm on June 5, Eisenhower told his staff let’s go.
That night, from Allied headquarters in England, Ike, as he was later affectionately called, composed a solemn and inspirational statement that was delivered the next day as a letter into the hands of every soldier, sailor and airman set to embark on Operation Overlord. In a radio delivery of the message, Eisenhower displayed confidence and leadership. Reminding the men that the eyes of the world are upon you and that their opponents would fight savagely, Ike exhorted them to be brave, show their devotion to duty and accept nothing less than victory! In closing, he wished his troops good luck and sought the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking. At the time, no one knew that, along with that statement, Eisenhower had also scribbled a note in which he accepted all blame in case the mission failed. The note remained crumpled up in his pocket. Meanwhile, back at the White House on the afternoon of June 5, President Roosevelt waited for word of Operation Overlord’s commencement. Roosevelt had hoped to be in England with
Churchill and Eisenhower for the monumental event, but his declining health made travel impossible. Instead, Roosevelt sat in his office tinkering with the speech he planned to deliver once the invasion began. At his daughter and son’s suggestion, Roosevelt turned the speech into a prayer entitled Let Our Hearts be Stout. At 3 am Eastern time on June 6, Roosevelt received the call that the invasion had commenced. He notified the nation by radio that night, saying at this poignant hour I ask you to join with me in a prayer.
On June 8, 1944, after years of planning, preparation and placating egos among his military peers, Eisenhower was able to report that the Allies had made a harrowing and deadly, but ultimately successful, landing on the beaches of Normandy.
On 10 June 1965, some 1,500 Viet Cong started a mortar attack on the district capital of Dong Xoai, about 60 miles northeast of Saigon, and then quickly overran the town’s military headquarters and an adjoining militia compound. Other Viet Cong forces conducted a raid on a US Special Forces camp about a mile away. US helicopters flew in South Vietnamese reinforcements, but the Viet Cong isolated and cut down the troops. Heavy US air strikes eventually helped to drive off the Viet Cong, but not before the South Vietnamese had suffered between 800 and 900 casualties and the US had 7 killed, 12 missing and presumed dead, and 15 wounded. The Viet Cong were estimated to have lost 350 in the ground combat and perhaps several hundred more in air attacks. Two Americans later received the Medal of Honor for their actions during this battle.
First Lt. Charles Williams assumed command of the Special Forces camp when his commanding officer was seriously wounded in the early minutes of the battle. Williams repeatedly dashed through heavy gunfire to rally the outnumbered defenders, receiving five wounds in the process. At one point, the American forces were pinned down by a Viet Cong machine gun. Williams grabbed a 3.5-inch rocket launcher and asked for a volunteer to help him go after the gun. CM3 Marvin Shields, a member of the camp’s Navy construction battalion (Seabees) who had already been wounded three times, stepped forward. Completely ignoring their own safety, the two attacked, with Shields loading and Williams firing as they assaulted the enemy position. They destroyed the enemy gun, but on the way back to friendly lines, Shields was mortally wounded. President Johnson presented the Medal of Honor to Charles Williams in the White House on June 23, 1966. On September 13, 1966, Joan Shields accepted her husband’s posthumous Medal of Honor from the president.
On 14 June 1775, Congress adopted “the American continental army” after reaching a consensus position in The Committee of the Whole. This procedure and the desire for secrecy account for the sparseness of the official journal entries for the day. The record indicates only that Congress undertook to raise ten companies of riflemen, approved an enlistment form for them, and appointed a committee (including George Washington) to draft rules and regulations for the government of the army. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, US ARMY!
On 14 June 1777, during the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress adopted a resolution stating that “the flag of the United States be thirteen alternate stripes red and white” and that “the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.” The national flag, which became known as the “Stars and Stripes,” was based on the “Grand Union” flag, a banner carried by the Continental Army in 1776 that also consisted of 13 red and white stripes. According to legend, Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross designed the new canton for the Stars and Stripes, which consisted of a circle of 13 stars and a blue background, at the request of General George Washington. Historians have been unable to conclusively prove or disprove this legend.
With the entrance of new states into the US after independence, new stripes and stars were added to represent new additions to the Union. In 1818, however, Congress enacted a law stipulating that the 13 original stripes be restored and that only stars be added to represent new states. June 14th is now celebrated as FLAG DAY.
On 15 June 1877, Henry Ossian Flipper, born a slave in Thomasville, Georgia, in 1856, became the first African American cadet to graduate from the US Military Academy at West Point. Flipper, who was never spoken to by a white cadet during his four years at West Point, was appointed a second lieutenant in the all-African American 10th Cavalry, stationed at Fort Sill in Indian Territory.
Ten years after the establishment of the US Military Academy in 1802, the growing threat of another war with Great Britain resulted in congressional action to expand the academy’s facilities and increase the West Point corps. Beginning in 1817, the US Military Academy was reorganized by superintendent Sylvanus Thayer–later known as the “father of West Point”–and the school became one of the nation’s finest sources of civil engineers. During the Mexican-American War, West Point graduates filled the leading ranks of the victorious US forces, and with the outbreak of the Civil War former West Point classmates regretfully lined up against one another in the defense of their native states.
In 1870, the first African American cadet, James Webster Smith, was admitted into the academy but never reached the graduation ceremonies. It was not until 1877 that Henry Flipper became the first to graduate. In 1976, the first female cadets were admitted into West Point. The academy has an enrollment of over 4,000 students.
The patron saint of poverty is St. Nickeless.
What did the man say when the bridge fell on him?
The suspension is killing me.
Do you have weight loss mantras?
Fat chants!
My tailor is happy to make a new pair of pants for me. Or sew it seams.
What is a thesaurus’s favorite dessert?
Synonym buns.
A relief map shows where the restrooms are.
There was a big paddle sale at the boat store. It was quite an oar deal.
How do they figure out the price of hammers?
Per pound.
helpvet banner