Holiday Ensigns

American flag backlitAccording to U.S. Naval Regulations, Chapter 12;

1.  The ceremonial hoisting and lowering of the national ensign at 0800 and sunset at naval commands ashore and aboard a ship of the Navy not underway shall be known as morning and evening colors respectively and shall be carried out as prescribed in this article.

2.  A band and the guard of the day will assemble in the vicinity of the hoist of the ensign.

3. “Attention” shall resound, followed by the playing of the National Anthem by the band.

4. At morning colors, the ensign shall be started up at the beginning of the music and hoisted smartly to the top of the peak or truck.  At evening colors, the ensign shall be started from the peak or truck at the beginning of the music and the lowering so regulated as to be completed at the last note.

5. At the completion of the music, “Carry-on shall be sounded.

6. In the absence of a band, or an appropriate recording played over the public address system, “To Colors” shall be played by the bugle during morning colors and “Retreat” at evening colors. The salute shall be rendered as prescribed for the National Anthem.

A larger national flag or ensign is flown on Sunday and Holidays.

According to my shipmate, Carl Snow:

The national ensign flown on Sundays and holidays is sized according to the ship’s length.
The largest size, for ships longer than 451 feet is size 5: 8 feet, 11 3/8 inches at the hoist and 17 feet at the fly for the holiday ensign, and size 7: 5 feet at the hoist and 9 feet, 6 inches at the fly for daily use. The jack is the same size as the blue field on the ensign that is being flown.
Jack of the United States
The Jack displayed on the bow of Navy ships
According to wikipedia
The jack of the United States is a maritime flag representing U.S. nationality, flown on the jackstaff in the bow of U.S. vessels that are moored or anchored. … The jack is flown on the bow (front) of a ship and the ensign is flown on the stern (rear) of a ship when anchored or moored.

Carl Snow, Scuttlebutt Editor

Carl’s anecdote about the wrong holiday flag allegedly being flown off the stern of his ship:

When I was a Chief Petty Officer aboard USS Lockwood (FF-1063) based in Yokosuka, Japan we found ourselves tied up to berth seven at pier 6 with USS Worden (CG-18) at berth six on the other side of the same pier. USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) was moored at berth nine “around the corner” from both Lockwood and Worden with a clear view of both our sterns. Commander Seventh Fleet was embarked, with his staff, in Blue Ridge.

On Sunday morning I had the fore-noon quarterdeck watch and checked to make sure that the holiday ensign was ready for morning colors at 8:00 am. Colors were rendered and both ours and Worden’s ensigns shot simultaneously up the staffs at our sterns. Almost immediately the off-ship telephone rang, and the petty officer of the watch picked it up and handed it to me. It was the Seventh Fleet Staff duty officer, an Ensign, who began berating me for not having the holiday ensign up. I assured him that our ensign was, indeed, the holiday size. He told me in no uncertain terms that he was “looking right at your ship and it is apparent that your ensign is considerably smaller than the other ship at the same pier.”

I reminded him that the “other ship” was a cruiser, a hundred feet longer and almost four thousand tons heavier in displacement. The beam of the two ships, however, was only about five feet different. Maybe he was assuming that we were both of the same size, since he could only see our sterns.

He promised to get back to us and “fix” this. He hung up and we never heard back from him or anyone else on the admiral’s staff.


To read more about Carl Snow click here.



In Times of Crisis, They are a Mercy and a Comfort — Reblog of Hospital Ships in the US Navy

Yesterday, President Trump announced he was sending one hospital ship to New York City and the Navy’s second hospital ship to somewhere on the West Coast.  Many of you may wonder what’s taking so long.  Click here to find out more.

USNS Mercy gliding out of San Diego Harbor
USNS (United States Naval Ship) Mercy (T-AH-10) leaving San Diego Bay October 2019

Reblog: 20 Slang Terms from World War I

Are you a Downton Abbey Fan?  If so, do you remember Thomas Barrow, the conniving under butler, who went to the Western Front as a medic?  He held a match up in his hand so that it would be shot at by a German sharpshooter.   The subsequent wound proved to be a ‘blighty”  that earned him a return to Downton Abbey after it became a convalescent hospital.

For the meaning of blighty and 19 other slang terms from WWI, click here.


Happy K-9 Veterans Day–March 13!

The guard dog was incorruptible; the police dog dependable; the messenger dog reliable. The human watchman might be bought; not so the dog. The soldier sentinel might fall asleep; never the dog. The battlefield runner might fail … but not the dog, to his last breath would follow the line of duty.”  -Ernest Harold Baynes, Animal Heroes of the Great War

usps-dog-stamps-017March 13 is K9 Veterans Day, the day when all military dogs should be commemorated. This is an unofficial holiday, but the enthusiast make efforts to change the situation.

  • K9 Veterans Day was created by Joe White of Jacksonville, Florida. He was a Vietnam War veteran, K9 handler and trainer.
  • Joe White died on October 24, 2009, and since then his wife continued the effort to get nationwide recognition for this holiday. New Jersey officially recognized the holiday in 2010.
  • In addition to Military Dogs, other K-9 units include
    • Border Patrol
    • Customs
    • Police
    • Secret Service
    • Airport
    • FBI
  • Dogs have been part of military campaigns for centuries. Documentation of their use during wartime dates as far back as the mid-7th century BCE.
  • During WWI, the US military began to utilize dogs for message delivery between troops. The need for military dogs became so great that American families began to donate their dogs to the war effort. It has been estimated that approximately 1,000,000 dogs were killed in action during the war. During the war, dogs were reported to have performed acts of bravery and heroism during combat. One such dog was Sergeant Stubby.
  • With the creation of the United States K9 Corps on March 13, 1942, dogs were officially adopted into US military ranks during WWII. The Army’s Dogs for Defense program trained 10,000 dogs who were again donated to the war effort by American families.
  • Upon completion of training, MWDs were deployed to several places both at home and abroad:
    • The USMC used MWDs in the Pacific theater to recapture islands overrun by Japanese forces
    • The Coast Guard used MWDs at home to patrol the coastline
    • The Navy use MWDs to guard shipyards
  • This changed when the story of an MWD named Robby entered public awareness. Robby’s former handler petitioned to adopt him after he was retired from service as an MWD. This request was denied for unspecified reasons, and Robby was euthanized.
  • On September 27, 2000, Representative Roscoe Bartlet introduced a bill to help change the fate of MWDs like Robby. President Bill Clinton signed the bill into law in November of 2000. Robby’s Law required that all MWDs deemed to be suitable for adoption should be available for placement after retirement from service.
  • The law also gave priority for adoption of retired MWDs to law enforcement agencies or former handlers, and then “other persons capable of humanely caring for these dogs.”
  • On June 1, 2015, the Military Dog Retirement Bill, a bill sponsored by Representative Walter Jones, Senator Richard Blumenthal, and the US War Dog Association was introduced. It passed by both the Senate and the House, and was signed into law by President Barack Obama. This law stipulates that MWDs may no longer be deemed “equipment.”
  • It requires the Department of Defense to arrange and “…pay for transportation of trained military dogs back to the United States,” when they retire from service while deployed abroad.

For more information on Military Working Dogs, click here.


Family of 99 Year Old WWII Vet Wants him to Receive Birthday cards

Arthur HanaganThe family of Arthur Hashagen is asking that interested people to send birthday cards to him for his 99th birthday on March 23.  He served in the Army during World War II and returned home to raise a family.   Click here to read more about Arthur.

His address is:

Arthur Hashagen
211 Persimmon Circle West
Dover DE 19901


Thanks to GP Cox of Pacific Paratrooper for the info.

Rare Historical Photos WWII Japanese Pre-Surrender

From a forwarded email.

The Japanese planes did not have armor and did not have self sealing gas tanks.  U.S. planes had a rubber bladder liner in the gas tanks.  If a bullet penetrated the gas tank, the rubber would seal the hole.  The bladder collapsed as the gas was drained so there were no fumes to ignite.  The U.S. called these bombers, “Bettys.”  The Japanese called them, “Flying Cigarette Lighters.”

Rare photos of a fascinating piece of history.  This was overshadowed by the Tokyo Bay surrender ceremony a few weeks later.  But what rare photos (and some personal descriptions of that event).

Interesting photos of the preparation of Surrender of Japan in August 1945.  (Officially signed on the USS Missouri in the Tokyo Bay, September 2, 1945).

A delegation of Japanese Representatives flew to an American Base close to Okinawa.  The Japanese planes were requested to be painted in white and have the”Meatballs” replaced by a Green Cross.

Here are photographs of some of those Green Cross flights and Green Cross aircraft, starting with the most photographed of them all “The Green Cross Bettys of Iejima.”

Let the surrender begin.  B-25J Mitchell bombers of the 345th Bomb Group (The Apaches) lead two Green Cross Mitsubishi G4M “Betty” medium bombers into the island of Iejima (called Ie Shima by the Americans).  The 345th Bomb Group (the 498th, 499th, 500th and 501st Squadrons) was based on Iejima and was given the task and the very special honour of escorting the Bettys from Tokyo to the rendezvous with United States Army Air Force C-54s, which would take the Japanese officers and envoys on to Manila to meet with no less than Douglas MacArthur himself.  Photo: USAF

The two Bettys (ironically and deliberately given the call signs Bataan 1 and Bataan 2 by the Americans) fly low over the East China Sea, inbound for Iejima wearing their hastily painted white surrender scheme and green crosses.  One can only imagine what is going on in the conflicted minds of the Japanese airmen as they fly over their own territory in the company of the hated enemy, headed for an event of profound humiliation in front of thousands of enemy soldiers. 

These two Bettys would become the most photographed Green Cross surrender aircraft of the end of the war.  Photo: US Navy

A photograph taken from the same 345th Bomb Group Mitchell that is depicted in the first photograph, looking back at another B-25 Mitchell and a B-17.  Above, P-38 Lightnings provide top cover.  The top cover was needed, because some Japanese officials had ordered the remnants of the Japanese Army Air Force to attack and bring down their own bombers rather than surrender.  Instead of flying directly to Iejima, the two Japanese planes flew northeast, toward the open ocean, to avoid their own fighters.
Photo via

The Betty was officially known as the “Type-1 land-based attack aircraft;” but to its Japanese Navy crews, it was lovingly known as the Hamaki ( Cigar), the reason for which is obvious in this photograph (also because one could light it up fairly easily).  The Betty was a good performer, but it was often employed in low level, slow-speed operations such as torpedo attacks, and it had a tendency to explode into flames when hit by even light enemy fire, leading some unhappy pilots to call them the “Type One Lighter” or “The Flying Lighter.”  We can clearly see that the Betty’s traditional armament: nose, tail, waist and dorsal guns, have been removed as demanded by the Americans.
The B-17 in the distance is from 5th Air Force, 6th Emergency Rescue Squadron carrying a type A-1 lifeboat.  The A-1 was dropped by parachute and was motorized.  It seems that American authorities did not want to lose these men in the event of a ditching.
Photo via

As thousands of American soldiers, airmen, sailors, dignitaries and press photographers on the island of Iejima look to the sky, the two 345th Bomb Group B-25J Mitchells escort the two white Green Cross Bettys over the airfield before setting up for a landing.  Photo: James Chastain, 36 Photo Recon Squadron

As thousands of suspicious, curious and anxious young men look on, the Japanese pilot brings his Mitsubishi Betty down on to the bleached coral airfield of Iejima.  Note the all-metal Douglas C-54 waiting for their arrival.  Photo via Pinterest

It is plainly obvious that in August of 1945, on the island if Iejima, it was brutally hot the day the Green Cross Bettys landed.  Here, one of the two aircraft drops on to the runway as soldiers, the formal welcoming committee and pressmen wait, finding shade where they could.  Photo: U.S. Naval Historical Center The second of the two Green Cross Bettys makes its final approach while press photographers and reporters capture the long-awaited moment.  Photo: James Chastain, 36 Photo Recon Squadron

As the second Betty alights on the coral airstrip, every eye on the island is trained on them.  One cannot even imagine what this scene looked like to these Japanese as they looked out from the aircraft windows at a sea of mistrust and a new, grim reality.  Photo: James Chastain, 36 Photo Recon Squadron

Another view taken farther back at Iejima shows the two massive and beautifully kept Douglas C-54 aircraft waiting for the passengers of the landing Betty.  Image via

With its clamshell canopy open and her Captain standing up to direct his co-pilot through the crowd, the first Green Cross Betty to land at Iejima taxis past a seemingly endless line of enemy soldiers.  The scene is one of abject humiliation and intimidation.  That pilot must surely have felt the mistrust of the thousands of pairs of eyes burning as he rolled by.  Photo: USAAF

A close-up of the Betty taxiing along in front of the thousands of suspicious American servicemen.  This had to be intimidating to the Japanese, especially to the lone pilot standing up and accepting the glares of all.  Photo: USAAF

I found the personal family memoirs of Army combat engineer Leigh Robertson on the web.  Leigh was an eyewitness to the arrival on leshima of the Green Cross surrender aircraft.  The following link to his memory of that day is perfect as he immediately wrote it down in a letter back home to his parents:

Sunday, August 19th 1945
Dear Folks,

I don’t know how long it will be until I can mail this letter.  I am writing it now, while things are fresh in my mind.  I have just seen what is probably the most important event in the world today.  It was the arrival of the Japanese envoys on their way to Manila to sign the preliminary peace agreement with Gen. MacArthur.

We had known for the last three days that they were going to land here.  We expected them yesterday, but they were delayed for some reason.  We went to work this morning as usual and worked until about ten.  Then the word went around that the Japs were coming.  We piled into trucks and drove up to the airstrip.  We waited expectantly for over an hour.  Finally, word went out once more that they would not arrive until 1:30 P.M, so we decided to come on back to camp and eat lunch (we had baked ham, by the way).

Just before we left, we watched two giant four engine transports (C-54s) circle the field and land.  These were the planes that would take the Japs on to Manila.

Just as I was leaving the mess hall, the news came over the radio that the Jap planes were circling the island, and sure enough, they were!  I ran to my tent, put away my mess gear, grabbed my cap and climbed on a truck.  It is about two miles to the airstrip, but we made pretty good time, because all the traffic was going the same way.  As we came closer to the field, we became part of a strange procession.  Directly in front and to the rear of us were two P-38s (twin engine fighter aircraft).  Further on down the line there were tractors, motor graders, and in fact, most every kind of vehicle you can imagine–all loaded with G.I.s.

We parked the truck about a quarter mile from the strip and ran the rest of the way.  I got separated from the rest of the men and stopped on a high spot about 75 yards from the strip.  I had scarcely gotten settled when the planes started in for a landing.  The planes themselves were Japanese “Betty” bombers, with two engines, bearing some resemblance to our B-26.  They were painted white, with green crosses.  It had been a hasty paint job — you could still see the red of the rising sun showing through the white.

Naturally, the planes had been stripped of all armament.  They were escorted by two B-25s, and I don’t know how many P-38s, probably a hundred or more.  The latter continued to circle the field for an hour or more, until all the excitement was over.

Both planes made perfect landings, rolled to the far end of the strip, turned and taxied back to our end.  They parked right alongside the two large transports that had arrived earlier.  They were dwarfed by comparison to our transports.

We were not permitted within a hundred yards or so of the four airplanes.  There were several hundred people gathered around the planes, most likely photographers and Air Corps officers.  They pretty well hid from view the events of the next few minutes.  I could see various people boarding the transport but couldn’t tell much about them.

Presently they towed one of the Jap planes up a taxiway to a parking area close to where I was sitting.  One of our boys pulled his truck right up to the fence and raised the dump bed.  This gave us a grandstand seat about 15 feet off the ground.  When the plane came to rest, the crew started climbing out.  There were five in all, dressed in heavy flying clothes.  There were two jeeps waiting to take them away.  Evidently, they didn’t speak English, for there was much waving of hands and shrugging of shoulders.

About this time, two or three thousand soldiers broke through the ring of guards and started for the Japs.  They didn’t have any bad intentions, just curiosity, and wanting to take pictures.  I know that if I had been in the place of those Japs, I would have been just a wee bit scared!  At any rate, they lost no time in getting into the Jeeps and away from the mob!

Finally, they managed to get the crowd back far enough to bring the other”Betty” over to the parking area.  After a few minutes, one of the C-47s (edit C-54s?) warmed up its engines and taxied onto the strip.  With a mighty roar, she started down the runway.  Before she got halfway down the runway, she was in the air, on her way to Manila.

It was a great show, and one I don’t think I shall ever forget, for it is part of the last chapter of this war that has caused so many hardships and so many heartbreaks.  Thank God it is all over.

I wish that you would save this letter for me, or make a copy of it.  What I saw today is one of the few things that I have seen, or will see, while I’m in this army that will be worth remembering.

Just as soon as I find out from the censor that it is O.K., I’ll mail this.  You will probably have read about it in the newspapers and seen it in the newsreel, but this may give you a little different slant on it.

I sure do think of you folks a lot.  Maybe it won’t be too long now till I can be back with all of you again.  I want to write to Barbara tonight, so I’ll end this now.

Love, Leigh

The captain of the second Mitsubishi Betty also stands up to direct his co-pilot through the crowds waiting and watching.  We can tell this is a different Betty as the previous one has a window panel just behind the nose glazing under the chin of the aircraft.  This one does not have that particular window pane.  Photo: Fred Hill, 17th Photo Recon Squadron

With his twin Kasei 14-cylinder engines thundering, the Japanese pilot guides the Betty through the crowded taxi strip.  Photo: Fred Hill, 17th Photo Recon Squadron

Guiding his co-pilot from his perch above the Betty, the commander of the second Green Cross Betty commands him to swing round into position near the awaiting C-54 transports of the Americans.  In doing so, he blasts the crowd of American sailors and airmen.  We can see in this photo that all of the men in the background have their backs turned against the dust storm.  Perhaps this was the one satisfying moment for the Japanese crews in this most humiliating of days.  Photo: Fred Hill, 17th Photo Recon Squadron

One of the two Bettys comes to a stop across from the waiting Douglas C-54 aircraft that will take the envoys to Manila.  Photo: U.S. Naval Historical Center

The second Green Cross Betty to land at Iejima begins to unload its passengers and crew, while American soldiers crowd around.  The distinguishing features that help us tell this Betty from the other are the different glazing panels on the nose and the fact that this does not have the Radio Direction Finding (RDF) loop antenna on the top of the fuselage.  Photo

The two Green Cross aircraft are stared at by thousands of American soldiers, who watch from the gullies surrounding the airstrip, hoping to get a close look at the once hated, now defeated, Japanese airmen.  Note the RDF loop antenna at the top of the fuselage. Photo: U.S. Naval Historical Center

American soldiers and airmen, in daily working gear, gawk at the once-hated Mitsubishi G4M Betty painted white like a flag of surrender and no longer wearing her proud red rising sun roundels known as the Hinomaru.  Instead they are required to wear green crosses — Christian symbols if there ever were any.  With her RDF loop, this is clearly the first of the two Bettys.  Photo: U.S. Naval Historical Center

Moments after the second all-white Betty shuts down on the leshima ramp in the blistering sun, she is surrounded by airmen and plenty of Military Police (MPs).  While some of the Japanese stand on the ground, a young airman steps out of the doorway carrying two large bouquets of flowers as a peace offering to the American delegation.  The offer of the flowers was rejected by the Americans who felt that it was too soon to make nice with the once haughty Japanese who had treated Allied POWs so roughly.  It would be like Auschwitz survivors accepting flowers from the SS, but you have to feel sorry for the young man bearing the gift.  Photo

Looking more than a little worried and even terrified, the young Japanese soldiers look about them to see only angry, disdainful faces.  The soldier on the left is the one who has just had his gift of flowers rejected and is no doubt looking for a place to hide.  Photo: U.S. Naval Historical Center

Japanese officers and leaders, with a mandate to negotiate their surrender, cross from their Mitsubishi Betty to awaiting C-54 aircraft which will take them to Manila.  The truth is there were no negotiations. Surrender was unconditional.  But they were there to accept the orders of surrender.  The formal signing of the surrender would take place aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on 2 September 1945 (two weeks later).  Photo: U.S. Naval Historical Center

Formalities on the ground were quickly performed; and within 20 minutes, the eight official commissioners were guided up a ladder into a massive Douglas C-54 transport aircraft, a luxurious accommodation when compared to the Japanese Bettys.  They were then flown to Manila in the Philippines to meet with MacArthur.  Photo: U.S. Naval Historical Center

After the Japanese delegates boarded the American C-54 Skymaster at Iejima, they were flown 1,500 kilometres over the South China Sea to Manila, the capital of the Philippines.  Here, we see General Douglas MacArthur watching the arrival of the Japanese entourage from the balcony of the ruined Manila City Hall.  Most of the city’s fine old Spanish-style buildings were destroyed in the battle to retake the city from the Japanese in February and March of that year.  Americans and Filipino citizens look on warily.  More than 100,000 Manilans and 1,000 Americans were killed battling the Japanese, so this crowd would not be considered to be welcoming.  Photo: U.S. Naval Historical Center

Reblog: Mission 41: 4th Annual Medal of Honor Mail Call!

Medal of honorStar-Spangled Girl, Janine Stange, is once again asking us to write to the 71 living Medal of Honor winners.

National Medal of Honor Day is March 25th. For the 4th year in a row, letters, post-cards, drawings, and paintings are being collected from grateful Americans all across the country and given to our Recipients. This is a great way for students, businesses, groups, and individuals to learn about – and thank our nation’s heroes.

This year, I have partnered with the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation to further the reach of this program! If you participated in past MOH Mail Calls, the only notable difference for you is that you will be sending your packages to the museum office in Arlington, Texas (all info below). Mail for each Recipient will be sorted and delivered to each of their homes.

Deadline for mail to be received in Arlington, TX is March 18, 2020.

NEW ADDRESS THIS YEAR! Mailing Your Letters/Items to:

National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation
1905 East Randol Mill Road
Arlington, TX 76011

For particulars go to Janine’s webpage for information about the individual recipients, how individuals and/or groups may participate and FAQs.

Medal of Honor Factoid:

Established U.S. Navy: December 21, 1861
U.S. Army: July 12, 1862
U.S. Air Force: April 14, 1965

Air Force or Navy: What Do You Call the Person Who Is Not the Pilot?–Part 2

From Quora:  A Naval Aviator is a commissioned officer or warrant officer qualified as a pilot in the United States Navy, United States Marine Corps or United States Coast Guard.

A naval flight officer (NFO) is a commissioned officer in the United States Navy or United States Marine Corps who specializes in airborne weapons and sensor systems. NFOs are not pilots )(naval aviators per se, but they may perform many “co-pilot” functions, depending on the type of aircraft.

From my shipmate Carl Snow,

Navy pilots (and NFOs) are a pretty salty bunch and, once you get past the Nugget stage,
confident in their abilities.
Oddly, the Air Force calls officer aircrew who are not pilots, WSO, or Weapons Systems Operator, the same thing the Marines call them. Others, of course, are TACCO, or Tactical Coordinator for AWACS type airplanes. The Air Force has far fewer non-pilot flyers, insisting that the guy in the back seat also be a pilot. One difference between F-4 Phantoms used by the Air Force and Navy was that the Air Force fighters had full flight controls in the back seat, while the Navy Phantoms did not


Air Force or Navy: Which Service is Right for You? Part 1

Bob Norris is a former Naval aviator who also did a 3-year exchange tour with the Air Force flying the F-15 Eagle. He is now an accomplished author of entertaining books about US Naval Aviation including “Check Six” and “Fly-Off”. In response to a letter from an aspiring fighter pilot on which military academy to attend, Bob replied with the following.
Young Man,
Congratulations on your selection to both the Naval and Air Force Academies. Your goal of becoming a fighter pilot is impressive and a fine way to serve your country. As you requested, I’d be happy to share some insight into which service would be the best choice. Each service has a distinctly different culture. You need to ask yourself “Which one am I more likely to thrive in?”
USAF Snapshot: The USAF is exceptionally well organized and well run. Their training programs are terrific. All pilots are groomed to meet high standards for knowledge and professionalism. Their aircraft are top-notch and extremely well maintained. Their facilities are excellent. Their enlisted personnel are the brightest and the best trained. The USAF is homogeneous and macro. No matter where you go, you’ll know what to expect, what is expected of you, and you’ll be given the training & tools you need to meet those expectations. You will never be put in a situation over your head. Over a 20-year career, you will be home for most important family events. Your Mom would want you to be an Air Force pilot…so would your wife. Your Dad would want your sister to marry one.
Navy Snapshot: Aviators are part of the Navy, but so are Black shoes (surface warfare) and bubble heads (submariners). Furthermore, the Navy is split into two distinctly different Fleets (West and East Coast). The Navy is heterogeneous and micro. Your squadron is your home; it may be great, average, or awful. A squadron can go from one extreme to the other before you know it. You will spend months preparing for cruise and months on cruise. The quality of the aircraft varies directly with the availability of parts. Senior Navy enlisted are salt of the earth; you’ll be proud if you earn their respect. Junior enlisted vary from terrific to the troubled kid the judge made join the service. You will be given the opportunity to lead these people during your career; you will be humbled and get your hands dirty. The quality of your training will vary and sometimes you will be over your head. You will miss many important family events. There will be long stretches of tedious duty aboard ship. You will fly in very bad weather and/or at night and you will be scared many times. You will fly with legends in the Navy and they will kick your ass until you become a lethal force. And some days – when the scheduling Gods have smiled upon you – your jet will catapult into a glorious morning over a far-away sea and you will be drop-jawed that someone would pay you to do it. The hottest girl in the bar wants to meet the Naval Aviator. That bar is in Singapore.
Bottom line, son, if you gotta ask………….pack warm & good luck in Colorado.
snoopy flying a plane
PS Air Force pilots wear scarves and iron their flight suits.

Reblog: How Military Law and Ethics Impacts the Military Medical Officer.

Ever Wonder How Military Law and Ethics Impacts the Military Medical Officer?

by Trudy Hawkins

Providing medical care for soldiers has been a hallmark of civilization and dates as far back as Ancient Egypt. Fundamentals of Military Science defines military medicine as the application of medical art and science in a military setting. The medical doctor and military officer are two of the most prestigious professions in the United States. Military Medical Officers (MMO) are expected to be experts in both fields.

This comprehensive reference provides foundations for a medical response within the battlefield of deployed military personnel by land, sea, or air. It also explores the operational, humanitarian, ethical, and strategic roles of military medicine and all officers, including command staff.

MMOs vow to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic and to hold faith and allegiance while also following orders of the President. They must adhere to both medical and military ethical standards. Additionally, MMOs ensure that the medical dimension of law of armed conflict is enforced in accordance to the United States’ obligation to the Geneva Convention. In the chapter covering the “History of the Military Medical Officer,” you will learn about some of the most shocking crimes that were conducted by doctors in Nazi Germany, who ran lethal experiments on human beings. These war crimes led to the development of the Nuremberg Code, the regulation of human medical experiments, and the adoption of the Geneva Convention of 1949.

“Military Law and Ethics,” another important chapter, provides several military law definitions and an overview of the military justice system.  Additionally, there are examples of “civilian” offenses, “uniquely military” offenses, military “catchall” offenses, and war crimes. The chapter goes onto to describe how the military justice system works with command discretion, investigations, mental health evaluation, courts-martial, disciplinary rules unique to public health service officers, and more. The section dedicated to  “Enlisted Members” narrates a brief history of the enlisted members in military medicine. Outlines are provided of the rank structure for military service personnel across America’s military branches, such as Junior Enlisted promotions to the Noncommissioned or Petty Officer.  This chapter also includes an overview of medical training of the enlisted personnel, such as laboratory equipment and diagnostic services, nursing and specialty medical care across many areas such as surgery, respiratory, preventive medicine, veterinary, and more.

Task Force Marauder participates in mass casualty exercise. Image from publication (by Capt. Jessica Donnelly).

Fundamentals of Military Medicine provides an in-depth look at various aspects of healthcare that the military prioritizes and includes dedicated chapters within this authoritative volume. Some of these include military law and ethics, physical fitness, performance nutrition, environmental extremes, psychological well-being, recovery, injury prevention, spiritual fitness, family readiness, tactical medicine, CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosive) threats, and more.

The topics in this book serve as an introduction and as a broad overview of the responsibilities of America’s Military Medical Corps. This authoritative work may appeal most to people interested in military medicine and for medical students who want to explore a career in military medicine.

Many of the resources published by the Borden Institute can be found by searching GPO Online Bookstore Borden Institute collection and by searching through the Catalog of Government Publications, also commonly known as the “CGP” to academics and librarians.

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Reblog: 104 year old USMC Vet looking for Valentine’s Day Cards

Valentine’s Day is one-month from today!

Maj. Bill White served in World War II, survived the Battle of Iwo Jima and went on to continue a long career in the U.S. Marine Corps.

White keeps his proudest memories tucked away on his bookshelf and the 104-year-old veteran said he’s hoping his collection grows a little bigger this Valentine’s Day.

To read more about his story, click USMC Logohere.

If you would like to send White a Valentine’s Day card, you can address it to:

Operation Valentine
ATTN: Hold for Maj Bill White, USMC (Ret)
The Oaks at Inglewood
6725 Inglewood Ave.
Stockton, CA 95207

Repost: Citroen’s WWII Sabotage

I can’t vouch for the accuracy of this story.  It was part of a forwarded email, but I sure do like what it says.  Clever Citroen.


 You’re likely unaware that this year is the 100th anniversary of Citroën.

While doing some research I happened to stumble upon a fascinating bit of wartime Citroën lore.  It involves screwing with Nazis in a genuinely clever and

 I’ll explain:

When France was occupied by the Germans in 1940, major French factories like Citroën were forced to produce equipment for the Nazis. Citroën president Pierre-Jules Boulanger knew he couldn’t just refuse to produce anything, but he also knew there’s no way in hell he’s going to just roll over and build trucks for a bunch of filthy Nazis.

Pierre had a plan.

John Reynold’s book Citroën 2CV describes Boulanger’s sabotage efforts.
Of course, he instructed workers to set a nice, leisurely pace when building trucks (likely Citroën T45 trucks) for the Wehrmacht, but that’s fairly obvious.  What was brilliant was Boulanger’s idea to move the little notch on the trucks’ oil dipsticks that indicated the proper level of oil down just a bit lower.

Citroen T45 trucks

By moving the notch down, the trucks would not have enough oil, but German mechanics would have no idea, because, hey, the little notch on the dipstick says its just fine.

Then, after the truck has been used for a while and is out deployed somewhere crucial, whammo, the engine seizes up, and you’ve got a lot of angry, stranded, vulnerable Nazis, balling up their little fists and madly barking curses in German.

It’s such a fantastic act of sabotage: it’s extremely cheap to implement, it’s subtle, there’s no way to see something amiss is happening as the trucks are being built, and it delivers its blow away from the site of the sabotage and when it will cause the most inconvenience and trouble.

That’s some mighty good sabotaging, Pierre.
Happy 100th Anniversary, Citroën.

The Free World thanks you.



When the Germans occupied France in 1940, they started sweeping the large factories, shutting down those that couldn’t be useful, while forcing the rest to build equipment for them. Citroën had to build trucks. Obviously, they could not refuse but Pierre-Jules Boulanger, chairman of the Citroën at the time, hatched a brilliant plan to mess things up for the Nazis.

The details of Boulanger’s plan were revealed in John Reynold’s book “Citroën 2CV”. Monsieur Pierre-Jules instructed workers to set about building trucks like the T45 and told them to set the oil level indicator a little higher than it should be, so that it would show more oil than it actually contained and the trucks would constantly run on low levels of oil. The German mechanics couldn’t know that because the notch kept telling them the oil level was spot-on. Eventually, this would make the trucks would come to an unexpected halt, leaving the Germans stranded.


Yesterday was the 227th Anniversary of the First Manned Balloon Flight in America

On January 10, 1793, Jean-Pierre Blanchard (who also made the first manned balloon flight across the English Channel on January 7, 1785) made the first manned flight in America.

His hydrogen-filled balloon took off from a prison yard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The flight reached 5,800 feet (1,770 m) and landed in Gloucester County, New Jersey. President George Washington was among the guests observing the takeoff.


First balloon ascension

Other notables included Vice President John Adams and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson.

For more information about the history of ballooning click here.

From Wikipedia, “The first military use of a hot air balloon happened in 1794 during the battle of Fleurus, when the French used the balloon l’Entreprenant for observation.[13″

From the Encyclopedia Britannica

Balloon Corps , civilian aeronautical unit (1861–63) created during the American Civil War to provide aerial surveillance of Confederate troops for the Union army. Balloons supported Union campaigns from ground stations and naval vessels in the Peninsular Campaign, the capture of Island Number Ten, the Savannah Campaign, and the Battle of Chancellorsville.

Riding With Private Malone

Allen Rizzi has written about a personal experience that closely follows the lyrics of Riding with Private Malone.  Enjoy reading this powerful personal essay about how he acquired someone else’s vehicle and made it his own.  There are just some times you gotta believe and this is one of them.

via Riding With Private Malone

“THIS IS THE ARMY!” part one (1)

Some information that you probably never knew about Irving Berlin’s groundbreaking and highly entertaining “This Is The Army” Part 1 from GPS Cox at Pacfic Paratrooper

Pacific Paratrooper

“This Is The Army”

The most successful and popular patriotic show of World War II and one of the most unique productions in the history of entertainment was Irving Berlin’s This Is the Army, which originally began as a Broadway musical. General George C. Marshall gave Berlin permission to stage a morale-boosting revue early in 1942 to raise money for the military.

Rehearsals were held at Camp Upton, New York, beginning in the spring of 1942 in an old Civilian Conservation Corps barracks called T-11. At one end was a large recreation room with a stone fireplace, where Berlin placed his special piano.  It was next to a latrine, which had a hot water tank. Berlin liked to lean against the tank to warm his back.


Berlin completed most of the score by the end of April. The show was then auditioned on Governor’s Island in New York…

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US Households Headed by Veterans are Better Off Than Those Headed by Non-Veterans

Source: Pew Research Center, Dec 14, 2019

U.S. households headed by veterans are better off than those headed by non-veterans

U.S. military veterans and their families have consistently had higher standards of living than non-veterans over the past 40 years. Households headed by veterans have higher incomes and are less likely to live in poverty, on average, and this is especially the case for veterans in racial or ethnic minority groups and those without a college degree.

Reblog: Current News – Japanese Librarian

For years  Stars and Stripes has been the American military hometown newspaper, particularly before the Internet and if they were stationed overseas. Read about the Japanese librarian who has made maintaining the Stars and Stripes, his life’s work.

Pacific Paratrooper

TOKYO — Thousands of newspapers dating back to 1945, countless clippings of old stories and half a million priceless photographs fill a room that Norio Muroi has tended for the past 42 years.

Stars and Stripes’ library in Tokyo preserves the stories and heroics of countless service members from World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars alongside records of newsworthy events on American bases in the Far East over the past 75 years.

A tailor’s son from Otawara in Tochigi prefecture, Muroi in 1977 was studying economics at Hosei University in Tokyo when he started as a Stars and Stripes copyboy, he recalled during a recent tour of the library at Hardy Barracks, the newspaper’s Pacific headquarters in the Japanese capital.

“It was rare to see American people so much in those days and to have an opportunity to talk with native speakers,” he said of his first…

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