Navy Memorial’s Navy TV Airs 120 Rarely Seen, Archival Navy Films

May 10th, 2010 by xformed

Received via email from the Navy Memorial, announcing the showing of recovered WWII Navy 16mm films on Navy TV!

It’s history not seen in a long time.

For Immediate Release

Navy Memorial’s Navy TV Airs 120 Rarely Seen, Archival Navy Films

Internet Television Network Partners With Periscope Film

To Showcase Vast Film Collection

WASHINGTON, D.C. [May 10, 2010] – With Washington’s GI Film Festival launching this week, the U.S. Navy Memorial is announcing their screening of 120 rarely seen archival Naval films on the U.S. Navy Memorial’s Internet television network Navy TV. Obtained through a partnership with Periscope Film LLC, the films were salvaged by the founders of Periscope Film, who also share a passion for military history.  Within the next twelve months, visitors of Navy TV will be able to view the collection in its entirety at www.navytv.org.

While making a documentary, Periscope Film founders Doug Weiner and Nick Spark obtained several original 16mm films from World War II, which they intended to use as stock footage for their film.  Realizing the historical value of this footage, they began producing VHS and DVD collections of the films. “They proved so popular that we just kept expanding our library, acquiring rare military and aviation footage from World War I to Vietnam,” says Spark.

Discovering excerpts of the films on YouTube, the Navy Memorial contacted Periscope Film to request permission to screen the footage on Navy TV.

“When I saw the vast quantity and extensive variety of the collection, I knew this collection would appeal to our Navy TV audience,” said Rear Admiral Edward K. Walker, Jr., SC, USN (Ret.), President and CEO of the Navy Memorial. “Periscope Film’s willingness to allow us to air the entire collection on our network is a testament to our shared commitment of educating the public about the sacrifices our sea service men and women have made throughout the history of our nation.”

Some examples of the rich collection include:

  • “U.S. Navy Blasts Marshall Islands” – 1942 newsreel that shows the first offensive action of the Pacific Campaign of WWII;
  • “The Fathoms Deep” – 1952 film containing early footage of French naval officer Jacques Cousteau demonstrating his revolutionary underwater breathing apparatus known as SCUBA; and
  • “Seapower” – 1968 film featuring Hollywood actor Glenn Ford as star and narrator that shows the fleet at the height of the Cold War.

Viewers can watch any of the films free of charge and on demand at www.navytv.org and can sign up on the website to receive alerts about new films from Periscope Film on Navy TV. The films aired on Navy TV are available for purchase at www.PeriscopeFilm.com.

Internet Television Network Partners With Periscope Film

To Showcase Vast Film Collection

WASHINGTON, D.C. [May 10, 2010] – With Washington’s GI Film Festival launching this week, the U.S. Navy Memorial is announcing their screening of 120 rarely seen archival Naval films on the U.S. Navy Memorial’s Internet television network Navy TV. Obtained through a partnership with Periscope Film LLC, the films were salvaged by the founders of Periscope Film, who also share a passion for military history.  Within the next twelve months, visitors of Navy TV will be able to view the collection in its entirety at www.navytv.org.

While making a documentary, Periscope Film founders Doug Weiner and Nick Spark obtained several original 16mm films from World War II, which they intended to use as stock footage for their film.  Realizing the historical value of this footage, they began producing VHS and DVD collections of the films. “They proved so popular that we just kept expanding our library, acquiring rare military and aviation footage from World War I to Vietnam,” says Spark.

Discovering excerpts of the films on YouTube, the Navy Memorial contacted Periscope Film to request permission to screen the footage on Navy TV.

“When I saw the vast quantity and extensive variety of the collection, I knew this collection would appeal to our Navy TV audience,” said Rear Admiral Edward K. Walker, Jr., SC, USN (Ret.), President and CEO of the Navy Memorial. “Periscope Film’s willingness to allow us to air the entire collection on our network is a testament to our shared commitment of educating the public about the sacrifices our sea service men and women have made throughout the history of our nation.”

Some examples of the rich collection include:

  • “U.S. Navy Blasts Marshall Islands” – 1942 newsreel that shows the first offensive action of the Pacific Campaign of WWII;
  • “The Fathoms Deep” – 1952 film containing early footage of French naval officer Jacques Cousteau demonstrating his revolutionary underwater breathing apparatus known as SCUBA; and
  • “Seapower” – 1968 film featuring Hollywood actor Glenn Ford as star and narrator that shows the fleet at the height of the Cold War.

Viewers can watch any of the films free of charge and on demand at www.navytv.org and can sign up on the website to receive alerts about new films from Periscope Film on Navy TV. The films aired on Navy TV are available for purchase at www.PeriscopeFilm.com.

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33 Years Ago: First Day at Work

April 4th, 2010 by xformed

…in my chosen profession. It was a Monday and I had checked in the prior Saturday night while the USS MILWAUKEE (AOR-2) was moored on the southside of Pier 2 at Norfolk Naval Station. LTJG George Parrish, the Ship’s Navigator was the CDO that Saturday night. He ended up being the first one I carpooled with from the Virginia Beach area to our normal location at NOB.

But on Monday morning, I began real work, after many years of study and almost a year of directly related schooling.

My assignment was to be the Combat Information Center/Electronic Material Officer (CIC/EMO). I met CDR Dave Martin, the XO, LCDR Frank Mueller, the Operations Officer, LT Randy Rice, the Communications Officer, CAPT Richard Wright, the Commanding Officer, and, shortly after lunch, ET2s Mike Krutsch and Craig Johnson, when they needed a set of initials on a CASREP Update. The officer I was relieving was on leave, so I didn’t meet him for a few more days.

But the highlight of the day, was OSC Michael P. McCaffrey. USN, inviting me to the Chief’s Mess for a cup of coffee.

It was a day full of good sea stories, another one was about the schooling of mine being put to work.

It was not my choice to end up on MILWAUKEE, which, was the oldest ship I served abaord at 8 years when I stepped aboard, I got there by failing to make it through the Salvage Diving Course, but it was a blessing in disguise at about the 14 year point in my career.

Sometimes it takes that long to see what’s the right path in a career path, beyond what you thought was good at 22 years old.

My other shipmates I can recall off the top of my head at the moment were LCDR “Doc” Seibart, CDR Karl Kline, and Engineering Duty Officer who was pushing for EDOs to serve aboard ships as Engineers, ENS Harry Watkins, LTJG Cliff Barnes (DCA), LT Pat Wahl (2nd Div), LCDR Leo Pivonka (1st LT), OS3 Tom Mazzula,and many, many more in a crew of about 450 on a 653′ ship that carried 6M gallons of F76/DFM, 2.5M Gallons of AV GAS and later F44/JP-5, 600 tons of cargo ordnance, and then chow and spare parts.

That part of the Navy is now all in the hands of the Military Sealift Command (MSC), but I was lucky to have begun a career as a Naval Professional on a ship where the main mission was seamanship based.

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Category: "Sea Stories", History, Leadership, Maritime Matters, Military, Military History, Navy | 3 Comments »

RIP: CPL Jonathon Proto, USMC

March 24th, 2010 by xformed

Monday a local hero returned home from Afghanistan, not with his unit, to happy families, but to be placed at final rest.

Cpl Jonathon Porto, USMC


Cpl Porto Arrives 3/22/2010. Photo credit: 10 Connects

Today was perfect weather for such a fitting ceremony – high 60s and mostly clear, bright skies.

At the Bay Pines National Cemetery, St Petersburg, FL, his family, friends, the Patriot Guard, othrs who came a show of community support, an Air Force Chaplain, and a reasonable number of Marines in Full Dress Blues, CPL Porto’s life was eulogized.

The Patriot Guard surrounded the area with flags.  The St Petersburg Police guided traffic.  Marines from LCol to PFC were there, some to the side, 8 in a rifle squad, 6 as pall bearers and two of them the CACOs (Casualty Assistance Call Officer) to the Porto Family since the death on 3/14/2010.

The hearse arrived in the motorcade, with large Marine Corps emblems on it’s side.  After the family had gathered near the rear of the hearse, the 6 Marines carried their fallen brother to the center of a small gazebo in the portion of the grave site for the ceremony.  It was the same place my friend, Jim Sr, had his final good byes from those of us who knew him.

The Chaplain delivered a strong message about a man, who, like Christ, had lived and died and had risen, a man who served his fellow mankind.

The eulogies began with one of Jonathon’s older sisters.  She told of a man in diapers, who was one to stand up to the system, to be himself, in a humorous way.  She described a man who grew and was loved, and loved and had a love of cars, rock music and girls.  One who, when he met his wife, told his sister that she was “the one.”

The family and friends came forward to speak.  The Best Man at Jonathon and Rachel’s Wedding talked of a great friend, an inseparable buddy, who loved his blue Porsche.  Younger and older sisters spoke of a “protector,” long before he was a Marine.  One sister read a poem she had written about her brother and his service and his death.  His mother said she always said “I love you” at the end of each phone call, but lamented she had not talked to him more.  Brothers spoke of a brother who had found his passion in the Marine Corps, and how they admired how he had served a greater purpose than himself.

Jonathon’s wife, came to speak.  She allowed us to know of a short romance before the wedding, but a wonderful relationship, and how proud she was of her husband.  Standing strong in the circumstances, she ended saying she would not say “Goodbye” as that was forever, but she would one day, be with him again.

Jonathon’s father spoke.  He marveled at how his son grew into a man, and into a Marine.  How proud he was of someone, and he being admittedly biased, that he thought of as the best man he had ever met.  A man who loved and sacrificed for the justice of others.  In addition to speaking of his fine son, he also talked of an in credible outpouring of support and love from an entire community, and how he vowed to do something with that show of support, settling, as prompted by one of his sons to turn it into service.  He invited us all, even those who he had no clue who we were, just that we were there, to come to a reception after the funeral.

The wife of a Marine Sargent, who knew CPL Porto, talked of how Marines are all brothers, and how Jonathon’s wife is now and will be part of the “family.”  The Marine Sargent is stationed in Okinawa, and his wife said for the next 30 days, morning formation in Jonathon’s honor would be held.

The rifle squad was commanded to attention by the Staff Sargent and 21 volleys filled the air, and “Taps” played as the last 7 rounds echoed in our ears.  The flag from Jonathon’s coffin was folded with dignity and honor, and three flags were presented to the family by kneeling Marines.

We were excused.  I asked the LCOL to point out the two CACOs, which had been mentioned by several of the speakers as preforming their duties in a superior manner, and I went and thanked them.  I received the training many years ago, but never was called upon for that difficult and extremely important duty.  Off to the car and the rest of my day, considering my privledge to have heard of a fine man, who served the country well.

One very sad note:  Jonathon, who was not only a friend, son, brother, and husband before departing life, was also a father, yet he had never held his daughter, since she was born after he deployed.  A trust fund has been set up in her name and the details are listed at the end of the post here.

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Category: Military | 1 Comment »

65 Years Ago Today in History: USS FRANKLIN (CV-13) is attacked

March 19th, 2010 by xformed

USS Franklin (CV-13) approaches New York City,...
Image via Wikipedia

50 miles off the coast of Japan on 19 March, 1945, the crew of the USS FRANKLIN (CV-13) got a close up look of hell.  A Japanese bomber made it through the defenses and sent two bombs into the flight deck full of armed and fueled aircraft.  The resulting death and devastation, and heroism were beyond belief.

I have written on the subject before, in more detail.  SteelJaw Scribe did an excellent job with his post in 2008:  “The Crucible.”

Today, in Branson, MO, the crew members and family and friends are gathered for a reunion and holding a memorial ceremony.

I also had the privilege of posting a memorial to Omer Dee Simms, thanks to the trust of his son, Richard.  Omer died saving his shipmates on this day 65 years ago.

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Reconnect Marine Brothers in Arms: Find HM2 James Pell, USN

March 18th, 2010 by xformed

United States Marine Corps seal
Image via Wikipedia

Update 3/23/2010:  It was CPL Powers who saved HM3 Pell, not the other way around, as I first wrote in the post below.  In any case, please help get these two reconnected!

Update 3/25/2010:  Chasing referenced links, I found out CPL Powers, having taken the Combat Lifesavers Course, saved HM3 James Pell from certain death on the battle fiend, after being shot 11 times and falling off a roof from an article in Leatherneck Magazine.

——————————————–

This post was originally done on my Blogspot blog as “How to Bury a Hero,” and while many of the older posts were moved over in 2006, I hadn’t gotten to moving them all to this blog.  Back then, it was a manual moving process, and now…well…”import” in WP is much more advanced.

I need help:  I got an email request to act on the comment (all contained below) to reconnect HM2 Pell with one of the men he saved, LCPL James Powers, USMC.  I did email with James Pell back in the 2005/2006 time frame, then his email apparently changed.  Could everyone get the word out and try to track down HM2 Pell?

The info is below.  Use this as a “connector piece” or send James straight to James Powers.

Let’s put the power of the MilBlog community to work in getting these men back together.

Original post replicated here:

How to Bury a Hero

I’ve not been posting too much the last few days, for I was “teaching history” to those who want to equate the “WHERE are the WMDs?!?!?!?” discussion to the moral equivalent of “hate” crimes against the transgendered. It really wore me out. I was a little discouraged, realizing the emotional toll that occurred trying to have an actual discussion with a bunch of animated Democratic talking points. In a few moments of surfing this afternoon, I found the following comments just a few minutes ago. I was chasing links to read about a young Marine, LCpl Antoine Smith. He was killed by hostile fire at Fallujah. I chased the links to Pull on Superman’s Cape and under this post, titled The Heros of India Company, I found the words of a junior enlisted Navy Corpsman who had been at the side of LCpl Smith when he was killed. He recalled that moment like this:

“Forgive my spelling. I was next to Lcpl Smith as he took his last breath. As a US Navy Corpsman I am there to help trasition heroes into the next life. I was flipping through the TV Sunday night and came across “Heroes of India Company”. I wasn’t aware that this documentary existed. I paused and watched as I relived the fight. I was with 3/5 untill I was shot Nov 15, 2004. I am the Sniper platoon Cormpsman. After Smith went down and the bombs were dropped we pushed on. We engaged in a fierce fight with five insurgents across the street. It was roof top to roof top. Then out of no were the house next to us opened up and pinned us down. My Sniper partner and myself stormed the third story roof killing two insurgents. Once ontop of the third story the Marines started moving across to the second deck. First over was Shane. No sooner had he crossed over the wall I heard him scream for help. I looked over the edge and saw him holding his head, still screaming. I did what any true Marine loving Corpsman would do, I went after him to pull him out of the line of fire and treat his wound. I never made it to Shane though. I hung my feet over the third deck to jump to the second were Shane was no lying motionless. As I started to slide off It felt like a sledge hammer smashed into my right thigh, and it went limp. No sooner the same feeling in my right calf. It hit me, I’m being shot! I looked for a way to get out of the insurgents path and chose to jump off the side of the building. Before I could make the move My left leg went limp as more AK-47 rounds went through the upper thigh, calf and foot. As I was falling the insurgents rounds found target again, two round to the lower right abdomin and two round to the upper groin. I fell two stories and dislocated my right shoulder. Because of the medical training I gave my Snipers every day, Lcpl James Powers saved my life. He prompty stopped the massive bleeding from my legs. From the beginning to the end I was with both Smith and Shane. Everything medicaly possiable was done to preserve life. I am now training others that are heading to combat, awaiting my Marine Corps family to return from Fallujah this month. EMCEE: James, I cannot express in words just how much brave Marines like you mean to me. Everything I can think of just fails to say to you what I feel. Let me just say: Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. On behalf of the American people I thank you. On behalf of the brave men and women that you serve I thank you. Your courage and valor inspire me. I thank God for patriots like you sir. God Bless You! Posted by: HM3 Pell, James at March 1, 2005 09:36 AM”

That was powerful to read the after action report of a comrade in arms. A few comments down, here was something that speaks with even great power about the bond that combat forges between warriors by the same young man. This was not said by a Marine General, or a Pentagon Press Briefer, but by one who has been “there:”

“How to bury a hero. Andrew Keeler was one of the best SS [Scout Sniper] I ever knew. He was dedicated to his country and his brother in arms. He died outside of of the capital in early April. Killed while participating in convoy operations. We, his military brothers, flew to the funeral to be the his honor guard. Once at the cemetary the uligy was read and flowers placed on the casket. The five of us wated until all the public had left the site and we, the people that knew more about Andrew than his own family, opened his casket and pinned on the medals he earned in combat. We closed the casket and together lowered it into the ground. Before we landed for the funeral we all agreed that no minumum wage cemtary worker was going to touch this heros coffin, or the dirt that was to cover it. So the five of us picked up our shovels and burried Andrew shovel by shovel. We tamped the dirt and relaid the sod, then stood over the sight silently for a few minutes to honor Andrews life. Then we got smashed on the plane ride home. This is how I wanna go when the time comes… Posted by: HM3 Pell James at April 12, 2005 01:59 PM’

As HM3 James Pell is now forever a part of the brotherhood of the USMC, despite his beginnings at a Navy Boot Camp, I’m sure his brethern will honor his wishes. I hope you find it in you to pass these words along to those who haven’t yet comprehended what the real meaning of friendship is. Please make sure the credit to Hospital Corpsman Third Class James Pell, USN of the Fleet Marine Force, is always included with this quote. To reconnect with my opening remarks, while the subject matter above is sad, knowing these young men have passed from our presense, I am overjoyed to see that there are those in the younger generation who truly “get it.” More amazing still that HM3 Pell shows wisdom beyond his years. I’m hopeful for the future of the US and the western world as a result. Email HM3 James Pell here Thanks to Mudville Gazette’s Open Posting!

posted by chaoticsynapticactivity | 6/14/2005 04:35:00 PM

9 Comments [ed:  some spam deleted]:

Anonymous Anonymous said…
I knew all of the guys mentioned here. You hit the nail right on the head when you talked about how we “get it”. I sure miss all of em.

3/27/2006 03:04:00 AM
Anonymous james powers said…
I am James Powers, the Lcp that was there with James Pell and Shane Keelion when they were both shot, I personally watched Shane get shot in the forehead, and James Pell’s legs shake violently as the bullets impacted. I went to boot camp with Shane, he was a great man. I havn’t spoken to James since I exited the USMC but if he is still a corpsman I believe he is one of the best if not the best the navy has to offer, an example for all of us. I’m mainly posting this in hopes to reconnect with him, but I feel I must contribute to this blog in order to be taken seriously by a reader. If anyone knows him personally or if you are reading this yourself James, try to contact me, facebook would be best since some of the same people, (snipers) that we worked with are my friends still. IE Moon, Ramsey. I don’t mind answering or replying if anyone has anything to say after this is posting.

That day is a day I coulnd’t forget even if I tried, I hope that this reaches you James.

3/16/2010 04:41:00 PM
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USS FRANKLIN (CV-13) Reunion – 18-21 March, 2010

February 23rd, 2010 by xformed

Aircraft carrier USS Franklin (CV-13) attacked...
Image via Wikipedia

Received for distribution:

The crew of the USS FRANKLIN (CV-13) will hold their 2010 reunion from the 18th to the 21st of March, in Branson, MO.

Specific location:  Lodge of the Ozarks.

Special event:  Memorial service morning of 19 March.  This will be held on the 65th anniversary of the attack off the coast of Japan.

Registration closes 1 March, 2010.

Contact for Questions:
Sam Rhodes  772-334-0366 or
Beth Conard Rowland (daughter of crewman) 740-524-0024  (please leave message)

These men who went to war, preformed well, suffered a horrible blow, yet sailed their ship home may not be around much longer to share their stories.  If you’re close by, I’m sure they wouldn’t mind a visitor or two who would thank them and listen to a story of two for history’s sake.  Take your camera and notepad and post the things you learn!

More information on the USS FRANKLIN (CV-13):

The story of the day the ship was struck by a kamikaze off Japan is “Inferno.”

As a warm up to getting your hands on “Inferno,” SteelJaw Scribe provided an excellent synopsis of that horrible day in his 2008 post:  “The Crucible.”

LCDR Joseph T. O’Callahan, USN, ChC was awarded the Medal of Honor for his action on 19 March, 1945.  LTJG Donald Gary, USN, of the Engineering Department served heroically below decks to save his ship and shipmates.  He also was awarded the MOH.

Seaman 1/c Omer Dee Simms, USN died that day, after saving 12 of his shipmates, by relentlessly working to free them from the internal compartment they had been trapped in by damage and fire.  After he led them to safety, he re-entered the skin of the ship to save more people.  He did not survive.  His son graciously shared with me family photos and letters to enable me to post some personal history of the battle not otherwise published.

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Category: "Sea Stories", History, Maritime Matters, Military, Military History, Navy, Public Service, Supporting the Troops | 11 Comments »

Today in History: Linebacker II Begins

December 18th, 2009 by xformed

When the enemy thinks they can stall peace talks, how do you respond?  With a diplomatic tools that “communicates” beyond the Paris meeting room.

On this day in 1972, Linebacker II, the largest air campaign since WWII began, with Air force and Navy planes filling the skies over North Vietnam.

For 11 days, the fury of America was unleashed over their capital and sea ports. On this day, 189 bombers (B-52D/Gs) and 39 support aircraft from the 7th Air force, and Navy and Marine Corps assets (EB-66/EA-6B/KC-135s/F-4/A-6/A-7/F-111/F-105), as well as SAR (Search and Rescue) aircraft took to the skies for a night attack. This mission targeted airfields and warehouses.

3 B-52s were shot down, and three more heavily damaged. One F-111 was also shot down, as the North Vietnamese put and estimated 220 SAMs in the air.

This afternoon, I attended an MOAA lunch and one of the men there reminded the MC to mention the history of today. It turns out that gentlemen had spent time in a B-17 over Schweinfurt, B-29s over Korea and B-52s over Vietnam. I suspect he was in the cockpit for this operation, but I did not have the opportunity to speak with him, as the room was full of living history.

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