2/25/2011 “WRAP Pack” CNA and Birthday Celebration

March 11th, 2011 by xformed

As is the manner of it is to gather every other Saturday AM, last time we met, we celebrated the birthday of two of our members (2 USMC (Ret) Colonels), as well a recognition of the Centennial of Naval Aviation (CNA).

If you have an excellent eye for history, there is some of them in the video…..

The creator of the document that became known to me as the “EDORM” (Engineering Department Regulation and Organizational Manual) is present,

along with the high time and most traps pilot in the Vought F7U Cutlass. A RA-5C NFO, several P2V/P-3 pilots, three “‘Shoes,” two Army types from the Vietnam Era, a A-1 pilot with VA-196, and a Navy Cross recipient are all around the table, as well as the two senior Marines, who both flew in WWII.

Category: Army, History, Marines, Maritime Matters, Military, Military History, Navy | Comments Off on 2/25/2011 “WRAP Pack” CNA and Birthday Celebration

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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Category: Military | 3 Comments »

Iwo Jima Survivors

February 20th, 2010 by xformed

Image via Wikipedia

He walked slowly through the tables, as I stood to gather my backpack full of stuff and leave.  An older gentleman, wearing a blue ball cap bearing the title of this post’s title.  As I stepped into the room, rather than to the door, my two friends, neither of them vets, looked quizzically at me, but I kept moving, standing a respectful few feet, while he reached for the chair back, indicating he was at the table of his choosing, I stepped up and asked to shake his hand and thank him.  He smiled and allowed me to do so.

Making the basic assumption that he was one of the few and the Proud, but not set on it, I asked what he had done there.  He said “Amphibs.  I took the Marines ashore.”  About this time, another gentleman, also elderly arrived beside us and reached out to shake the first man’s hand and said with a smile on his face, not to large, but more of a knowing one.  He said “5th Marines.”

So there I was, thanking one man for his service at that difficult battle, and I managed to be able to thank two of them.

From the USS BOSTON (CA-69) Blog (click to get there)

We chatted for a few moments.  He had joined the Navy in 1940, was assigned to a destroyer (I missed the name), was a radioman and had been in the Battle of Midway, screening the USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6), and later commissioned USS BOSTON (CA-69).  What ever his assignment was in 1945, he took that Marines ashore as said “I was on Red Beach.”  I handed him my card as I told him a week from today, the old war horses would gather for breakfast and to talk and enjoy each other’s company, and I’d be happy to give him a lift (he doesn’t drive any longer).  He rattled off a list of the campaigns he had been in and they were the many big ones.  He did his time all in the Pacific, all on sea duty, all in the fight.  He mentioned, but only in one sentence, that he spent 20 some years in the Air Force.

I then asked if the lady sitting at the far end of the table was his wife, and he said yes, of 56 years, proudly told me.  He then added a story of how he bought her engagement ring in Pearl Harbor, and then carried it in his shirt pocket, in case the ship sank, until he could mail it home to his mother.  It took two months to get there, and his mom slipped it on his then fiancee’s finger, I believe he said at Christmas, and they were married in 1946.  I went over and thanked her for sharing him with me so patiently and let her, and his daughter know about this coming Saturday.  His daughter, whom he pointed out had been an Air Force Nurse, said, “Dad, I think you’d really enjoy that.”  I made sure she had my card, too.

And, in doing a little homework for links here, I found, via the USS BOSTON Blog mentioned above, that a son of one of the Plank Owners, William Kelly, a Signalman, wrote a book based on their Father’s story:  “A Bird’s Eye View.”

We’ll see….oh, and that night, I met a 21 year Army Vet, a Green Beret, who flared up when I mentioned Khe Shan, commenting how they didn’t believe the Special Forces Camp really had tanks in the wire…..

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Category: "Sea Stories", Air Force, History, Marines, Maritime Matters, Military, Military History, Navy | 2 Comments »

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