May 25 2015

WorWorto: Remembering Hotshot

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May 25 2015

“Hotshot”, War Hero

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forestMy son’s granddad, “Hotshot” or “Hots” (at left), was awarded a Silver Star after World War II. He fought in Europe, including the Battle of the Bulge. My son wrote:

“Dad told me that when he and Hots were traveling across country sometime in the late 90s they were eating breakfast at some roadside diner somewhere in Wisconsin.  At that point Hotshot began to describe what was likely the circumstances surrounding the medal.

As you figured out, Hotshot was in charge of very large long range guns.  They were huge and unwieldy.  They were constantly getting hopelessly stuck in the mud while his superiors were imploring him in no uncertain terms to move faster.  There were forward observers who served as the “eyes” of the big guns.  These guys would forward coordinates back to those manning the guns.  If the shot missed, the forward observer would correct the coordinates and send them back to the guns for revised firing.

One night Hotshot’s battalion came under tremendous fire from the Germans (big guns).  The first barrage overshot them.  When another barrage fell just short, Hots knew that the Germans were “bracketing” him and that they were just about ready to have the shit blown out of them.  Before he had a chance to think another thought, they took a direct hit.  I can only imagine the force of it and what it did to him.

When Hots got up, he saw that every single person around him was dead.  It seemed that somehow Hotshot was the only survivor.  When he took another look, he noticed that there were other survivors.  He gave them orders to get up and man the freaking guns.  The remaining men were all terrified; shell shocked and whatever other descriptors you can come up with for their situation.  They would not or could not follow orders and get up.  Meanwhile they are still coming under heavy fire.  So Hotshot climbs up on the guns and begins the multi-person task of firing the big guns all by himself.  The old boy stood up there in the middle of all that and proceeded to fight the Germans single handedly.

That’s about all I know.  He didn’t tell anybody about it because he felt tremendous survivors’ guilt –he just wanted a nice quiet life.


May 25 2015

Captain John West’s Last Letter

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John sent a letter to his father-in-law on December 14, 1969.

The war over here, i.e. Laos, is serious…. I feel that I need to let you know that things are a lot more active than I project in Donna’s letters… What I want to point out is that aircraft loss in Laos has been heavy…

On my 7th mission I had to make a pass only it was along a river with high karst (very jagged stone formations) on both sides. This pass is extremely well protected by guns as it is one of the main routes from North Vietnam to Laos. The lead airplane went through and as he called off the target … he excitedly warned me of the AAA fire. I had a little over 500 knots with 900 of bank and dodging karsk in order to get through. Finally I leveled off only to see air bursts to my right and tracers going by. After we landed I had a nice hole in the right leading edge wing flap and one of my bomb stations was missing.

…Two days ago we were in a flight of four F4’s up in northern Laos going after NVN storage areas and AAA guns. I was number 4 in the flight and “#4” always seems to be the best target. I was delivering special anti-AAA ordnance and the bad guys decided that since I was last one in “on the gun’ that they’d discourage me.  Well, after all the air bursts of 37 mm AAA going off my right wing, one gun position is no longer. My leader had to continue to tell me to junk (take evasive action) as the gunners were still tracking me as I was climbing through 10,000 feet.

The day after I took a hit, a 558th F-4 … was shot down in the exact area I traversed. The two pilots were able to eject but they landed right where they were most vulnerable. The AC couldn’t get to cover and the gunners simply shot him. The back seater took cover and 52 hours later after every AF strike mission was diverted to the recovery operation, he was finally rescued. One para-rescue man was killed and 4 rescue droppers were shot up…

His F-4 Phantom II was shot down over Laos on January 2, 1970 and he was never recovered.  His wife, Donna (my husband’s sister) was expecting their son in April and she delivered without his support. A life and future were cut tragically short.


Jun 06 2014

Defeating Hitler, Defeating Tyranny

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June 6, 1944, 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. General Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which “we will accept nothing less than full victory.” More than 5,000 Ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion, and by day’s end on June 6, the Allies gained a foot- hold in Normandy. The D-Day cost was high -more than 9,000 Allied Soldiers were killed or wounded — but more than 100,000 Soldiers began the march across Europe to defeat Hitler.

Jun 06 2014

40th Anniversary of D-day

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“This is how a President of the United States celebrates Freedom with humility and represents his country with class. “

May 23 2014

Honoring our fallen heroes

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This was previously published in May 2010, but I’m moving it to May 2014.

Remind those of our sacrifice and don’t confuse arrogance with leadership. How many French, Dutch, Italians, Belgians and Brits are buried on our soil, defending us against our enemies? We don’t ask for praise, but we have absolutely no need to apologize!

Our arrogance in alphabetical order:

1. The American Cemetery at Aisne-Marne, France. A total of 2289 of our military dead.

2. The American Cemetery at Ardennes, Belgium. A total of 5329 of our dead.

arrogance2 Read more »

Nov 26 2013

The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth Colony

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After half their numbers perished during the 1st winter, Governor Bradford came up with a novel concept. Private property!

Taken from written by William Bradford, the governor of the Plymouth Colony

[Social organization of property and economics at Plymouth – 1623]
All this while no supply was heard of, neither knew they when they might expecte any. So they begane to thinke how they might raise as much corne as they could, and obtaine a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length, after much debate of things, the Gov[erno]r (with the advise of the chiefest amongst them) gave way that they should set corne every man for his owne particular, and in that regard trust to themselves; in all other things to goe on in the generall way as before. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number for that end, only for present use (but made no division for inheritance), and ranged all boys and youth under some family. This had very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corne was planted than other ways would have been by any means the Gov[erno]r or any other could use, and saved him a great deall of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now wente willingly., into the field, and tooke their little-ones with them to set corne, which before would allege weakness, and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.’ Read more »

Oct 24 2013

Mark Levin on Sean Hannity

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This was filmed in August 2013 (better late than never!). Levin talks about his new book, The Liberty Amendments, Restoring the American Republic.  It is based upon Article V of the Constitution which describes how amendments may be proposed and ratified.

Amendments may be proposed by either:

To become part of the Constitution, amendments must then be ratified either by approval of:

Fat chance that Congress would propose a term limits amendment on itself, but the states have the power to do so. How about term limits for Supreme Court Justices as well? What about amendments to limit taxing and spending? Levin suggests 11 amendments well worth considering. They offer hope for our Republic.

Jul 04 2013

Going Home

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Just try to keep a dry eye through this one!

Jul 04 2013

Happy Birthday America!

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See more great old pictures at The Daily Mail (UK)