Newsletter 8-1-23


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The Colonel’s Corner
~Comment by the Colonel~
The weaponization of our legal system where law enforcement and the judicial system are all focused on people on one side of the political spectrum is totally contrary to the US Constitution we vets took an oath to support and defend. It’s clearly been going on at the federal level for many years. Not surprisingly, it’s now dipping down into the states. My home state of Michigan is now attacking and charging—guess what—members of the political party not in power. Is this happening in your state yet? We, the people, need to fight back by demanding that our elected officials fight against this. Please, have regular contact with your federal, state, and local elected officials and encourage them and hold them accountable. We all need to be doing this now.
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…one of the most useful classes I ever attended while in the Army. I was a company commander in the 101st Airborne Division and was sent to a week-long class on maintenance of vehicles and equipment. I was sent because one of the things we officers were often assigned to do was, in teams, be sent to inspect other unit’s maintenance and procedures.
Well, one day they wheeled this large trailer into the class area; it had a big collapsible tower on it; the tower had a propeller on it. No one had any idea what it was or what it did. We were then asked what we would do it we were sent to inspect a unit that had a bunch of these things. None of us had a clue. Then they opened our eyes. Yes, we all had trailers and knew how to inspect wheels, tires, hitches and the like. Good start. Then we were told to ask for the operator and ask him to get his whatever-it-was ready to operate. Finally, we’d ask him to operate it while we questioned him about how he maintained his equipment. He never had to know that we didn’t know what his thing-a-ma-jig was until he explained it.
I became a bit smarter that day. Another team of sergeants had made me a better officer. By the way, the thing measured wind velocity at airfields
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 first half of August, our Army abolished flogging and our Army got their first airplane from the Wright Brothers. During WWII, the PT boat commanded by future president John Kennedy was sunk. WWII ended and Operation Desert Shield began.
On 1 Aug 1825, William Beaumont, a US Army assistant surgeon at Fort Mackinac in the Michigan territory, began experiments to study the digestive system of Alexis St. Martin, a fur trader who was accidentally shot in the abdomen in 1822.
On 1 Aug 1864, during our Civil War, Union General Ulysses Grant appointed General Philip Sheridan commander of the Army of the Shenandoah. Within a few months, Sheridan drove a Confederate force from the Shenandoah Valley and destroyed nearly all possible sources of Rebel supplies, helping to seal the fate of the Confederacy.
On 1 Aug 1942, during WWII, Ensign Henry White, while flying a J4F Widgeon plane, sank U-166 as it approached the Mississippi River, the first U-boat sunk by the US Coast Guard. In the summer of 1942, German submarines put saboteurs ashore on American beaches.
On 1 Aug 1943, during WWII, a Japanese destroyer rammed American PT boat, No. 109, slicing it in two. The destruction was so massive other PT boats assume the crew is dead. Eleven crewmen survived, including Lt. John Kennedy. Japanese aircraft had been on a PT boat hunt in the Solomon Islands, bombing the PT base at Rendova Island. It was essential to the Japanese that their destroyers make it to the tip of Kolombangara Island to get war supplies to forces there. But the American PTs were a potential threat. Despite the base bombing at Rendova, PTs set out to intercept those Japanese destroyers. In the midst of battle, PT-109 was hit, leaving 11 crewmen floundering in the Pacific. After five hours of clinging to debris from their PT boat, the crew made it to a coral island. Kennedy decided to swim out to sea again, hoping to flag down a passing American boat. None came. Kennedy began to swim back to shore, but strong currents, and his chronic back condition, made his return difficult. Upon reaching the island, he fell ill. After he recovered, the PT-109 crew swam to a larger island, what they believed was Nauru Island, but was in fact Cross Island. They met up with two natives from the island, who agreed to take a message south. Kennedy carved the distress message into a coconut shell: “Nauru Is. Native knows posit. He can pilot. 11 alive need small boat.” The message reached Lieutenant Arthur Evans, who was watching the coast of Gomu Island, located next to an island occupied by the Japanese. Kennedy and his crew were paddled to Gomu. A PT boat then took them back to Rendova. Kennedy was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal. The coconut shell used to deliver his message found a place in history-and in the Oval Office.
On 1 Aug 1957, the US and Canada agreed to create the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD).
On 2 Aug 1819, the first parachute jump from a balloon was made by Charles Guille in New York City.
On 2 Aug 1865, the captain and crew of the CSS Shenandoah, still prowling the waters of the Pacific in search of Yankee whaling ships, was finally informed by a British vessel that the South has lost the war. The Shenandoah was the last major Confederate cruiser to set sail. Launched as a British vessel in September 1863, it was purchased by the Confederates and commissioned in October 1864. The 230-foot-long craft was armed with eight large guns and a crew of 73 sailors. The Shenandoah pulled off another remarkable feat by sailing from the northern Pacific all the way to Liverpool, England, without stopping at
any ports. Arriving on November 6, the skipper surrendered his ship to British officials.
On 2 Aug 1909, what would become the US Army Air Corps was formed as the Army Signal Corps took 1st delivery from the Wright Brothers.
On 2 Aug 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait, seizing control of the oil-rich emirate. 330 Kuwaitis died during the occupation and war. Sadam Hussein, leader of Iraq, took over Kuwait. Pres Bush led
an inter-national coalition for sanctions and a demand for withdrawal. The Iraqis were later driven out in Operation Desert Storm.
On 3 Aug 1943, during WWII, Gen. George Patton slapped a private at an army hospital in Sicily, accusing him of cowardice. Patton was later ordered by Gen. Dwight Eisenhower to apologize for this and a second, similar episode.
On 5 Aug 1815, a peace treaty with Tripoli–which followed treaties with Algeria and Tunis–brought an end to the Barbary Wars.
On 5 Aug 1861, the US Army abolished flogging.
On 5 Aug 1917, during WWI, the entire membership of the National Guard was drafted into federal service. All 18 Guard divisions served overseas as part of the 43 division American Expeditionary Forces; 12 of the 29 divisions that saw combat were from the Guard (the rest of the divisions were broken up and the men used as replacements).
On 6 Aug 1945, during WWII, Hiroshima, Japan, was struck with the uranium bomb, Little Boy, from the B-29 bomber, Enola Gay. The atom bomb killed an estimated 140,000 people in the first use of a nuclear weapon in warfare. The bomb’s yield was in the region of 20,000 tons on TNT. Sixty percent of the city was destroyed in the blast and the firestorm. About 80,000 Japanese were killed. Many more were severely burned and others became ill later, from exposure to radiation. It was not the most devastating bombing attack of the war, but the economy of the effort involved in sending only one plane on to destroy a city shows only too well the complete change in military and political thinking which has begun.
On 7 Aug 1942, during WWII, the 1st Marine Division began Operation Watchtower, the first US offensive of the war, by landing on Guadalcanal, one of the Solomon Islands.
On 7 Aug 1990, President George HW Bush ordered the organization of Operation Desert Shield in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait on August 2. The order prepared American troops to become part of an international coalition in the war against Iraq that would be launched as Operation Desert Storm in January 1991. To support Operation Desert Shield, Bush authorized a dramatic increase in US troops and resources in the Persian Gulf.
On 9 Aug 1813, during the War of 1812, after reports that British naval vessels were nearing St. Michaels, Md., to attack the shipbuilding town that night, the county militia placed lanterns on the tops of the tallest trees and on the masts of vessels in the harbor; and had all other lights extinguished. When the British attacked, they directed their fire too high and overshot the town.
On 9 Aug 1945, during WWII, a second atom bomb was dropped on Japan, at Nagasaki, resulting finally in Japan’s unconditional surrender. The devastation wrought at Hiroshima was not sufficient to convince the Japanese War Council to accept the Potsdam Conference’s demand for unconditional surrender. The hills that surrounded the city did a good job of containing the destructive force, but the number killed is estimated at anywhere between 60,000 and 80,000.
On 10 Aug 1949, President Harry Truman signed the National Security Bill, which established the Department of Defense. The bill also removed the cabinet-level status of the secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, who would be subordinate to the Secretary of Defense. The bill provided for the office of chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
On 13 Aug 1918, Opha M. Johnson enlisted at HQMC, becoming the first woman Marine.
On 13 Aug 1945, during WWII, about 1600 American aircraft flew over Tokyo and other Japanese cities dropping millions of leaflets explaining the position reached in the surrender negotiations and the state of affairs in Japan. The next day, at a government meeting, the emperor stated that the war should end. He recorded a radio message to the Japanese people saying that they must “bear the unbearable.” The Japanese decision to surrender was transmitted to the Allies.
On 14 Aug 1945, General Douglas MacArthur was appointed supreme Allied commander to accept the Japanese surrender. An immediate suspension of hostilities was ordered, and Japan was ordered to end fighting by all its forces on all fronts immediately.
On 15 Aug 1845, the US Naval Academy was established at Annapolis, MD on former site of Fort Severn.
15 Aug 1945, Japan formally surrendered. This is VJ Day (Victory over Japan Day). Since Germany had surrendered in May, this was the end of WWII.
~ Humor/Puns ~
-I was at the Post Office when I saw a blonde lady shouting into an envelope. I asked her what she was doing. She said she was sending a voice mail.
-Why do seagulls fly over the sea? If they flew over the bay they’d be bagels.
-An old friend went bald several years ago, but he still carries an old comb with him all the time; he just can’t part with it.
-I’m really surprised that people who call themselves florists know absolutely nothing about linoleum.
-What do you call an apology written in dots and dashes? Re-morse code.
-I finally did it. I bought a pair of shoes with memory foam insoles. No more walking into a room and forgetting why I came in.
-Remember, if you lose a sock in the wash, it comes back as a Tupperware lid that doesn’t fit any of your containers.
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