Thursday, March 15, 2018

A Korean War Vet Memory

While collecting and sorting the affects of my cousin, Rogene Kilpatrick, to be stored, moved or tossed forever - his brother-in-law, Walter Mullins (A Vietnam Vet) came upon an envelope in the 
bottom of a box with this note - handwritten - inside.  For those who know the history of the Korean War and the Chosin Reservoir and the heroic stand of Marines there, this note will bring a chill.  God Bless all those souls who suffered there. 

For those faced with similar sorting of family treasures and histories, consider museums, the university archives and simply taking digital photos of the articles that have to be discarded. UWF Archives and the Jay Museum are receiving much of these materials.

Obituary      Chosin Battle  NEWSREAL   NEWSREEL2   A personal Account  FILM

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

WW2 in the air

Interesting military history and probably not known by many  today, particularly the millennials. (source unknown)

    In those days the military & naval services didn't have civilians looking over their shoulders telling them what was not PC and how to conduct operations.  Comparatively speaking we have a lot of fuzzy thinkers in this country today.

    The North American A-36 was mentioned.  I'd never heard of that plane, but apparently it was an early model P-51 with dive brakes and used as a dive bomber.

Back in the day when America was in the "Big War" WWII, these planes were flown by young boys.

Politically correct was go to war to break things and kill the enemy. Apparently no one worried about nose art on the bombers. BTW. More airmen died in WWII than Marines. At the bottom after the pictures there are amazing stats for the Army Air Corps in WWII.

Probably would not be allowed to leave the ground today

WWII Statistics Army Air Corps.

Almost 1,000  Army planes disappeared en route from the US to foreign locations.

But an  eye-watering 43,581 aircraft were lost overseas including 22,948 on combat missions (18,418 against the Western Axis) and 20,633 attributed to non-combat  causes overseas.

In a single 376  plane raid in August 1943, 60 B-17s were shot down.

That was a 16 percent loss  rate and meant 600 empty bunks in England ..

In 1942-43 it was  statistically impossible for bomber crews to complete a 25-mission tour in  Europe .
Pacific theatre  losses were far less (4,530 in combat) owing to smaller forces  committed.

The worst B-29 mission, against Tokyo on May 25, 1945, cost  26 Super Fortresses, 56 percent of the 464 dispatched from the Marianas.

On average, 6,600 American servicemen died per month during WWII, about 220 a  day.

By the end of the war, over 40,000 airmen were killed in combat theatres and another 18,000 wounded.
Some 12,000 missing men were declared dead, including a number "liberated" by the Soviets but never returned.

More  than 41,000 were captured, half of the 5,400 held by the Japanese died in  captivity, compared with one-tenth in German hands.

Total combat casualties were pegged at 121,867.
US manpower made up the deficit. The AAF's peak strength was reached in 1944 with  2,372,000 personnel, nearly twice the previous year's figure.

The losses were huge---but so were production totals.

From 1941 through 1945, American  industry delivered more than 276,000 military aircraft.

That number was enough not only for US Army, Navy and Marine Corps, but for allies as diverse as Britain, Australia, China and Russia.

In fact, from 1943 onward, America produced more planes than Britain and Russia combined.

And more than Germany and Japan together 1941-45.

However, our  enemies took massive losses.

Through much of 1944, the Luftwaffe sustained uncontrolled hemorrhaging, reaching 25 percent of aircrews and 40  planes a month.

And in late 1944 into 1945, nearly half the pilots in Japanese squadrons had flown fewer than 200 hours. The disparity of two years before had been completely reversed.

Experience  Level:
Uncle Sam sent  many of his sons to war with absolute minimums of training. Some fighter pilots entered combat in 1942 with less than one hour in their assigned aircraft.

The 357th  Fighter Group (often known as The Oxford Boys) went to England in late 1943 having trained on P-39s. The group never saw a Mustang until shortly before its first combat mission.

A high-time P-51 pilot had 30 hours in type. Many had fewer than five hours. Some had one hour.

With arrival of new aircraft, many combat units transitioned in combat. The attitude was, "They all have a stick and a throttle. Go fly “em."

When the famed 4th Fighter Group converted from P-47s to P-51s in February 1944,there was no time to stand down for an orderly transition. The Group commander, Col. Donald Blakeslee, said, "You can learn to fly `51s on the way to the target. 

A future P-47 ace said, "I was sent to England to die." He was not alone.  

Some fighter pilots tucked their wheels in the well on their first combat mission with one previous flight in the aircraft.

Meanwhile, many bomber crews were still learning their trade: of Jimmy Doolittle's 15 pilots on the April 1942 Tokyo raid, only five had won their wings before 1941.

All but one of the 16 copilots were less than a year out of flight school.
In WWII flying safety took a back seat to combat. The AAF's worst accident rate was recorded by the A-36 Invader version of the P-51: a staggering 274 accidents  per 100,000 flying hours. 

Next worst were the P-39 at 245, the  P-40 at 188, and the P-38 at 139. All were Allison powered.
Bomber wrecks were fewer but more expensive. The B-17 and B-24 averaged 30 and35 accidents per 100,000 flight hours, respectively a horrific figure considering that from 1980 to 2000 the Air Force's major mishap rate was less than 2.

The B-29 was even worse at 40; the world's most sophisticated, most capable and most expensive bomber was too urgently needed to stand down for mere safety reasons.

The AAF set a reasonably high standard for B-29 pilots, but the desired figures were seldom attained.

The original cadre of the 58th Bomb Wing was to have 400 hours of multi-engine time, but  there were not enough experienced pilots to meet the criterion. Only ten percent had overseas experience.

Conversely, when a $2.1 billion B-2  crashed in 2008, the Air Force initiated a two-month "safety pause" rather than declare a "stand down", let alone grounding.
The B-29 was no better for maintenance. Though the R3350 was known as a complicated,troublesome power-plant, no more than half the mechanics had previous experience with the Duplex Cyclone. But they made it work.


Perhaps the greatest unsung success story of AAF training was Navigators. 
The Army graduated some 50,000 during the War. And many had never flown out of sight of land before leaving "Uncle Sugar" for a war zone. Yet the huge majority found their way across oceans and continents without getting lost or running out of fuel --- a stirring tribute to the AAF's educational establishments

Cadet To Colonel:
It was possible for a flying cadet at the time of Pearl Harbor to finish the war with eagles on his shoulders.That was the record of John D Landers, a 21-year-old Texan, who was commissioned a second lieutenant on December 12, 1941. He joined his combat squadron with 209 hours total flight time, including 2 in P-40s. He finished the war as a full colonel, commanding an 8th Air Force Group --- at age 24.

As the training pipeline filled up, however those low figures became exceptions. 
By early 1944, the average AAF fighter pilot entering combat had logged at least 450 hours, usually including 250 hours in training. At the same time, many captains and first lieutenants claimed over 600 hours.

At its height in mid-1944, the Army Air Forces had 2.6 million people and nearly 80,000 aircraft of all types. 
Today the US Air Force employs 327,000 active personnel (plus 170,000 civilians) with 5,500+ manned and perhaps 200 unmanned aircraft.

The 2009 figures represent about 12 percent of the manpower and 7 percent of the airplanes of the WWII peak.IN  SUMMATION:
Whether there will ever be another war like that experienced in 1940-45 is doubtful, as fighters and bombers have given way to helicopters and remotely-controlled drones over Afghanistan and Iraq.

But within living memory, men left the earth in 1,000-plane formations and fought major battles five miles high,  leaving a legacy that remains timeless.

Saturday, February 24, 2018


Vist that blog regularly for superb curated news headlines.


The Week in Good News: The Garlic Girls, Rhodes Scholarships and an African Funk Pioneer

Inside New York's oldest store in Chinatown – photo essay

Seattle Residents Complained About A 'Confederate Flag.' It Was Actually The Flag Of Norway.

Justin Trudeau Makes A Fool Of Himself Again, Insults Entire Nation Of India With Condescending, Ethnic Attire

News Quiz: Test Your Knowledge of the Week’s Headlines (10/11)


What’s better for you: a low-fat or low-carb diet? Scientists have an answer

Good news: you’re not getting older, you’re getting better


US bank halts NRA credit card, car rental firm ends discount


OOPS! Teachers in 12 states have pension funds invested in gun stocks


Rare Footage of Wolverine on the Hunt in Montana

Rare Fossils Discovered on Lands Cut From Bears Ears National Monument


Storm Unleashes River of Rushing Rocks in New Zealand


Eyes On Vulnerable AWACS, Rivet Joint, Etc., Air Force Studies replacements


Marine Corps again lowers requirements for Infantry Officer Course ( “[The change] was not about lowering attrition, it was about making students more successful to complete the course,” ... It's difficult for me to believe that he actually said that ... it's just nonsense.)


Louisiana school bars student who said math symbol looks like gun


Democrats Say America Is The Worst Western Country For Mass Shootings. That's [not true]

US gun control advocates exaggerate benefits of Australia's gun restrictions

Trump and the GOPers have a great opportunity to steal a key issue from the Dems

The Four Reasons Congress Won’t Do Anything About Gun Control


Their daughters were held at the border – then the blackmail from fake Ice agents began


US Tightens Sanctions On North Korean Shipping


Why Richard Gates is a key player in the Mueller probe

-- "Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality of those who seek to change a world which yields most painfully to change." - Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), A Farewell to Arms, 1929

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Marine From WW2 interview

My friend, Don Schuld interviews Jonathan Mendes in NYC for the Naval Order of The United States.  This episode brought to you by the NYC Commandery of the Naval Order.  Selected for this page by . The Naval Order is one of the oldest oldest organizations in America to promote the knowledge and history of Americas Sea Services. The New York Commandery is particularly active and promotes excellent Authorship of history through its annual Samuel Eliot Morison Awards.

A few years ago when still in High School, my son, Alex Campbell met Mr. Mendes at the Naval Order Luncheon in NYC. Alex enjoyed talking with several of the Marines there and after his degree in History from Auburn U. he eventually enlisted and now serves in the reserves.

was begun by founding members that included Admiral  George Dewey and Teddy Roosevelt.

To learn more and to inquire about membership you may inquire HERE or email Don Schuld,

DON SCHULD and UNCLE VIC last summer when Karen and I made a trip to visit our old town of Sparta NJ.  Don sparked me to get involved with the Naval Order once he became a member. He knew me from some Rotary Club activity in the mid 90's. I was already a member because my friend Otto Schwarz of the USS Houston brought me in. I Knew Otto because of hearing is talk on the USS Houston and "The Bridge on The River Kwai" at a meeting of Tin Can Sailors .... which ..... led to my making a documentary about the Houston.   But I did not like to drive into NYC for those luncheons  superb though the were.  Don became my "driver" and good friend along with another navy vet Roy DeFranco who was another soul thirsty for history. Roy is a retired school principal. Don is a retired investment counselor.  The trips into NYC became some of my fondest memories of our time in NJ.

Here is a photo of me and Don last summer. I presented him with one of my ship challenge coins that constitutes an IRISH BLESSING from the history of Fr. O'Callahan and the ship named for him. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


Girl Scouts warn parents about forcing kids to hug relatives for the holidays (Actually a pretty good article teaching kids about consent.)

Strange tale: Why the tail chopped from your Thanksgiving turkey will travel 5,000 miles


This idyllic Swiss village wants to pay you more than £50,000 to move there

The News in Zingers

After Weinstein: A List of Men Accused of Sexual Misconduct and the Fallout for Each

25 Richest Members of Congress

What $1,000 invested in 15 popular stocks before Great Recession looks like now

Toyota Warns US Workers: Build Camry for Less, or Else

Amazon wants to disrupt the neighborhood pharmacy—but its sketchy health products could get in the way

$900MM – Stanley Black And Decker Buys Craftsman

Geo-Economics in Central Asia and the ‘Great Game’ of Natural Resources: Water, Oil, Gas, Uranium and Transportation Corridors (WP)

Soil Management: Key to Fighting Climate Change?

More Harvey-Sized Hurricanes Likely to Hit Texas (Same old bulls__t ... Harvey wasn't particularly large, it just hung around for a long time.)

A Helping of Science With Your Thanksgiving Dinner

This man is about to launch himself in his homemade rocket to prove the Earth is flat

What monarch butterflies prefer

Are your medical records safe?

• Two women in Arlington, Texas, called police for help on July 10 as a mentally ill man doused himself with gasoline in preparation to commit suicide. When responding officers began talking with the distraught man, he poured more gasoline on himself and appeared to be holding a lighter in his hand. Hoping to subdue him, one of the officers used his Taser on the man and the gasoline ignited, engulfing him in flames. Officers wrapped him in blankets and removed him from the house. His family reports he was severely burned, and at press time he was in critical condition. [NBC DFW, 7/11/2017] 

FCC plan would give Internet providers power to choose the sites customers see and use (This is a really, really, really BAD idea.  The end result will be massive censorship.  If you think the problem with the liberal print media is bad, wait until the liberals control the ISPs.)

Low-skilled immigrants and their correlation with why America can't $hake child-poverty rates

Single U.S. airstrike wipes out 100 terrorists in Somalia

The US Secretly Let Thousands Of Heavily Armed ISIS Fighters Escape Raqqa In Broad Daylight

The Latest: US slaps new sanctions on NKorean, Chinese firms

With technology, these researchers are figuring out North Korea’s nuclear secrets (All of this might be unavailable under the proposed FCC internet rule.)

Air China suspends North Korea flights, deepening isolation


“The last resort of the competitive economy is the bailiff, but the ultimate sanction of a planned economy
is the hangman."
                ~ F. A. Hayek

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Very Worst Road: Travellers' Accounts

I enjoyed this book. It is about the National Road that crossed Georgia and Alabama enroute to New Orleans.  It was originally a native trail across the Southeast. One of my favorite parts of the book talks about the old Rev War hero, the Marquis de Lafayette making his grand tour, including Alabama in the route. At some point before the Montgomery stop and after Columbus -- he was feted by the Creek Indians with a tremendous display of "lacrosse" - a ball game. The Creeks (there was a faction of Creeks who were always allied to the Americans although the "Red Stick" faction had never settled well into the arrangments.)  were as fascinated by him as were the pioneer folks. This was the early 1820's.  Lafayette was an old man then.

The Very Worst Road: Travellers' Accounts of Crossing Alabama's Old Creek Indian Territory, 1820-1847 (Alabama Fire Ant) by Jeffrey C. Benton
The Very Worst Road: Travellers' Accounts of Crossing Alabama's Old Creek Indian Territory, 1820-1847 (Alabama Fire Ant) 
by Jeffrey C. Benton 

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

A ship and It's SEAL

FROM USS O'CALLAHAN Supported by Save The Collards and WME3 Network

Perry Hunter, Vic Campbell
A lunch at Mcguire's in Pensacola, August 2 was organized to retrieve the USS O'Callahan plaque my shipmates placed there at our reunion in 2016. It will be transported to our new reunion in Valley Forge and hosted at Molly Maguire's, there for the next year. Those who touch the brass seal and say a prayer for a living or deceased veteran or active service member are blessed through Fr. Joseph O'Callahan, the namesake of our ship.

This is a new tradition for us. The seal was donated to us by I.C. Smith, a veteran sailor who left the Navy (he was an FT) in 1966. He found this plaque and several others at a flea market in Virginia that came by them from an estate sale. We do not know the origins other than that --- and that it was cast probably in Taiwan in the early 1970's from surplus brass shell casings left over from gunfire support missions off the coast of Vietnam. I was given one myself from a second (or third) casting during the third Vietnam deployment for the ship. What to do with this new plaque? We could auction it to a shipmate. We could give it to a museum? But ... We came up with the idea of a tradition.

This "ship's seal" in brass was to become an ambassador of good-will through Irish Pubs around America - to be hosted in towns wherever we hold our reunions. The host Pub will encourage admirers of the seal to touch it and say a prayer for living or deceased veteran or serving member of the military. Before the next reunion, the seal is retrieved and brought to the next city - where the tradition is carried forward.

Nancy, Perry, Kathy, Aubrey
in the picture to the left, We have the manager of McGuire's, Perry Hunter, holding a facsimile of his "Port-of-Call" Certificate from the IRISH SONG Association. Holding the plaque is Nancy Dandino who is the daughter of Bill Worthington, our shipmate in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She is a USO volunteer here in Pensacola while her husband is attached to the military here. Kathy and Aubrey Penton are standing to the right and helped support our memorial service last year before the McGuire's plaque presentation. Kathy related a story of her dad in the Philippines in WWII and how he would not talk about it or his wounds. This story came up as we discussed Fr. O'Callahan and USS Franklin off the Philippines in 1945, and that his sister ( a nun) had just been released from imprisonment. Fr. Joe was to fly over to visit his sister after all these ordeals but the Franklin was called away in a rush to attack the

Call sign - "IRISH SONG"
home islands of Japan. It was off Japan that the events occurred in which Fr. O'Callahan's actions led to the award of the Medal of Honor. Years later, after his death, Sister Rose Marie O'Callahan Christened our ship when it was launched.

I hope you are following the links in this post. you will learn so much more than what you see in the pictures.

Perry Hunter's dad, ( Perry is the manager of McGuire's), was a Blue Angel. But in combat over Vietnam, his aircraft was shot up and it crashed on the deck of the Oriskany and he died. The Oriskany is today an artificial reef and divers attraction in the Gulf near Pensacola. Perry's dad's Blue Angel (F-8) was until recent years on display at the entrance to Pensacola Airport. The news article linked here honors that legacy. As do the actions every day in which Perry supports and encourages the spirit of the warriors at McGuire's.

Nancy's dad, BT, Bill Worthington was working the boilers on watch one night off the coast of Vietnam while those of us above were taking the ship into harm's way to get close in gunfire support for our forces ashore. (Well, the Captain was taking us - we just followed orders but if given a choice - I would have suggested we go the OTHER way).  An enemy shell "ALMOST" opened a hole in the ship very near to Bill's head. A surprise, you can be sure. Last year, I asked a blind friend to paint his vision of what Bill saw as the lights flickered out in the boiler room and you could peer into the black depths of Bill's pupils. Here is a photo of Roy Allen and some of his other works. Here is a media collection of our ship at the time -- the gun missions start about halfway.

SO -- our tradition is off to a great start, thanks to Mr. I. C. Smith, McGuires and our band of happy (or somewhat happy) shipmates. The register board shown here has our FIRST PUB listed as McGuires for the 2016-17 year.

Our upcoming reunion is in Valley Forge, PA in tandem with the Annual Meeting of the Destroyer Sailors Organization (Tin Can Sailors). We invite other sailors at this meeting to join us at Molly Maguire's as we transition our seal to its next home.

We have expressed our gratitude to Mr. Smith by providing him with one of our challenge coins and a certificate of Honorary Shipmate. Anyone can order challenge coins from our ship's store. Get some to share with very special people who deserve an Irish blessing or a dose of history. The flags on the ship on the reverse side - are BRAVO and ZULU. In Navy code speak this means "WELL DONE". So, giving someone the challenge coin (a poker chip version) is a way of telling your friend - you appreciate their good work or something they have done .. (there is a link to the ship's store).

We are not sophisticated here You'll need to send a check. Coins are 2 for $10. I suggest a pocketful.

The ship was decommissioned about 1988 and transferred to the Pakistani Navy as PNS Anslat. Members of the ANSLAT CREW (Pakistani's) often contribute to our stream of media, especially on facebook. After a few years of service it was returned to the USA and sold for scrap. It was one of the last "STEAM" powered US warships. Within ten years the "Oliver Hazard Perry Class" of FRIGATE (no longer called a Destroyer Escort) came to the fleet. These ran on gas turbines (jet engines). All line ships except the nuclear fleet now use these efficient power plants. The age of steam is gone.

Actually - today - 2017 - Even the Perry Class is gone. Time moves onward.

Thanks also to Pensacola's Beach Bum Trolleys