Armed Forces Day is May 21, 2022

From the USO, by Andrew Lee

Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May, and it is the day Americans celebrate their military.

Armed Forces Day was created on August 31, 1949, by then-Secretary of Defense, Louis Johnson, to replace separate Army, Navy, and Air Force Days. The event stemmed from the Armed Forces’ unification under one Department of Defense by then-President Harry S. Truman when he signed the National Security Act into law on July 26, 1947.

While some may be tempted to point out that the U.S. Coast Guard does not technically fall under the Department of Defense when not at war, the National Security Act of 1947 was very specific about the term “Armed Forces” in the definitions section 606 paragraph eight, which reads, “The term ‘Armed Forces’ means the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.” (It should now also include the Space Force.)

The first Armed Forces Day was celebrated on May 20, 1950. The annual Army Day Parade held in Washington, D.C., during the first week of April was replaced by an Armed Forces Day Parade held during the third week of May.

  • In 2021, 69% of the public had faith in the Armed Forces
  • Roughly 18 million Americans or about 7 percent of the adult population were veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces in 2018. Ranging from 18 to over 100 years old,
  • Enlisted military members come from all fifty states and the District of Columbia, but some contribute more than others. In absolute terms, the top five for recruitment in 2018 were California, Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and New York, which is reflective of their relatively large populations.
  • Women make up 16 percent of the enlisted forces and 19 percent of the officer corps.
  • The Department of Defense (DoD) is the largest employer in the U.S. There are more than 1.4 million active-duty personnel, 1.1 million National Guard and Reserve personnel and 700,000 civilians working for the DoD.
  • 31 of the 44 presidents have served in the military. President Teddy Roosevelt earned the Medal of Honor, the highest honor in the military. The only enlisted President who didn’t become an officer was James Buchanan.
  • The U.S. Military is one of the largest providers of international aid and disaster relief. Ships called Marine Expeditionary Units patrol the oceans watching for signs of danger and can reach the shoreline of nearly any location on Earth within 48 hours.
  • The DoD owns nearly 30 million acres of land worldwide. In the U.S., it is the single largest consumer of energy.
  • Only 28 percent of Americans ages 17-23 are eligible for military service. Nearly 1.4 million Americans, or .4 percent of the U.S. population, are active military personnel.
  • Military members are more highly educated than the general population. Those who enlist are required to have a high school diploma or a GED. That means that 99 percent of the military has a high school education. On the other hand, only 60 percent of the general population has a high school education.
  • The Lewis and Clark Expedition that mapped out the west would not have happened without the U.S. Army. We may remember them only as explorers, but the members of the expedition were actually a small Army unit.
  • The U.S. military began to desegregate long before civilian institutions. Schools and other public institutions were ordered to desegregate in 1954, but many lagged behind into the 1980s. The Army, on the other hand, had the first desegregated troops during WWI.
  • The first time women were allowed to enlist in a non-nursing role was during WWI. The first women in the military worked in clerical roles and as Signal Corps operators. This allowed more men to take on combat roles. In 1948, President Harry Truman signed an anti-discrimination bill. This attempted to put an end to racial discrimination in the military, but also discrimination against women joining the military. This bill allowed women to enlist in times of peace, rather than just wartime.

New USS Midway (CV-41) Research Library Instagram Page

Recently, the USS Midway Library launched an Instagram Page to highlight some of the fascinating things contained within the Research Library. Although not a lending library, the library does have an unusual collection of books, memorabilia, CDs, Videos, cruise books, and other things related to the library’s core areas of interest

  • To be a repository for resources that will help to preserve global and national naval aviation and naval history.
  • To provide support for staff research projects within the museum.
  • To provide a resource for the San Diego community.

The Instagram page is the brainchild of Lindsay, a Library volunteer since 2016. Her proposal was Purpose:  To highlight our diverse and interesting collection of books, magazines, and other items while promoting awareness of the library’s available services It is published on Tuesday and Friday.

https://www.instagram.com/ussmidwaylibrary/

Top Gun Maverick Premiere Review

From A Colleague at the USS Midway Museum

Attended the World Premiere at the North Island Naval Air Station base theater on 4 May as a guest of my wife.  That event kicked off about 2:45 PM.  We got in a little after 2 PM, found some decent seats on the aisle up the back, and then just watched the world roll by.  Lots of sailors and officers in their whites, a few Marines, and even a handful of Navy midshipmen and whatever the Air Force equivalent is called (space cadets?). 

We were called to order by a CNAP protocol type with the words that everybody was welcome to take all the photos and video they wanted with their phones of the upcoming introductions, but use of the phone in a similar manner during the movie would result in the offender’s phone being taken from them by roving security teams – and being arrested. 

Soon after, members of the royal party made their way from the back of the theater to the stage.  The 3-star Emcee was CNAF/CNAP himself, affectionately known as Air Boss.  He allowed as how in 1986 when TOPGUN I had come out that he was a fresh young pilot with a RAG of some sort getting ready to learn how to fly in the fleet.  He said at that time the Navy was having difficulty in recruiting pilots.  One year after TOPGUN hit the cinemas, Navy pilot accessions had increased five-fold; everybody wanted to be a Navy jet fighter pilot.  So, the Navy was especially thankful for version I and was only too happy to participate in the sequel.  In doing so, the Navy got to show off its pilots and sailors once again. 

As if to underscore Big Navy commitment, the person the Air Boss introduced first was SECNAV.  SECNAV did not spend overlong saying just what one would have hoped/expected he would say.  Then the big behind-the-scenes guys for the movie were introduced, and finally the Producer, one Tom Cruise, who accepted the microphone and said a few words.  The premier had been delayed excessively by the pandemic, so Tom was very happy to see nobody wearing masks, etc.  He explained how he put his actor/pilot-RIOs through a four-aircraft-type training regime (prop trainer, jet trainer, etc.) so they could get used to flying before being subjected to all the G’s they were going to pull in F/A-18s.  He said all the internal cockpit shots with the cast were in real aircraft, and he was happy the Navy had gone along with that scenario. 

Then it was time for the movie to start.  Maverick departed and went to the USS Carl Vinson over at the carrier piers where some other function was to take place while the film rolled.  From the Vinson, while the film still rolled, he flew by corporate helo over to the flight deck of the Midway Museum for what was billed as a Fan Fest.  No movie, just a live appearance by Tom and all the major cast members in typical Hollywood fashion, staged by Paramount Pictures, complete with lots of red carpet, MTV, etc. 

If you wish to see the Fan Fest, it is on You Tube and runs for an hour and 17 minutes. 

I have not watched the whole thing.  One of my two recommended good bits is Tom Cruise landing on the Midway – starting at about the 21:45 mark. 

I think that is where the above link begins, but you can go back and watch from the very beginning if you wish.  The other bit I like is a 4 X F/A-18 flyby starting at about the 1:04:25 point while a song Lady Gaga recorded, supposedly for this movie, plays in the background.  I don’t remember hearing it in the movie.  

If there are red carpet fans in your family, this UK Daily Mail article has it in spades – all the celeb photos, video clips, etc. 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-10783999/Tom-Cruise-arrives-Gun-Maverick-premiere-HELICOPTER-USS-Midway-San-Diego.html

The guy on the left plays Goose’s son. 

HUMINT collected on the ship today includes reports from multiple sources that one of the last to leave the Midway was Tom Cruise.  Evidently, he really enjoyed the Fan Fest.  Midway types were instructed by Paramount not to even look any of the celebrities in the eye at any point in the festivities, but Tom approached one of our Midway types late in the piece and asked if she’d like to take a selfie with him in the shot. 

The Midway uses a very life-like Tom Cruise imposter for TOPGUN movie nights on the flight deck, usually once a year.  The guy is French, has studied Tom’s mannerisms very hard, and pulls off a really good impression of Tom, besides looking very much like Maverick.  This is the guy. 

Somehow, he got issued a VIP ticket for the Fan Fest and showed up wearing a non-descript t-shirt and a baseball cap, but he still got thrown off the ship by Paramount Security because women were flocking to him for photos. 

After the Fan Fest, the attendees had tickets to a late afternoon/evening showing of the movie at the CIVIC Theater in downtown San Diego.  That was followed by some sort of eating function at the new Brigantine Restaurant on the waterfront where Anthony’s Fish Grotto used to be. 

We went directly home from the NAS North Island theater when the World Premiere showing was over.  I wanted us to go to the I-Bar until the traffic cleared out, but … 

And the movie?  I didn’t care much for the original and expected a dud as a sequel, but I quite enjoyed it.  Found myself wiping tears away more than once, but I am getting old and seem to cry at the drop of a hat these days.  Only caught myself thinking, “That could never happen in real life,” a couple of times.  Cheers,

Reblog Janine’s Mission 71

Hello (again!!), 
I sent out mission 71 about a week ago, but we have 2 veterans to add. So now you have a total of 7 cards to send. Keep scrolling to get all the info you need to send them a card.   For your convenience, I’ve also kept the first 5 in this email as well in case you missed the original email. 
When missions are completed, the families usually send over pics of these veterans (with big smiles😁) holding all the cards they received! I post the those pics on my facebook, instagram, and twitter– so make sure you’re following along on your favorite platform! You can also scroll all the way down on this email to see recaps of recently completed missions if you don’t use social media. For those wishing to share a veteran’s birthday: please try to give me at least 2 month’s notice via email.  MOH Mail Call Update: Thanks to ALL who wrote our Medal of Honor Recipients! The National Medal of Honor Museum has received your cards and is delivering them to our Recipients! Last but not least, a warm welcome to all our new members! Thank you so much for joining! I hope you find this to be a fulfilling and meaningful way to do what you can, with what you’ve got, from where you are! 🤗
david hoffman
#6 (New!): Send your card by April 30th! Tom Partsch’s 75th! About Tom: He served in Vietnam from 1966-67, and was a grenade launcher for the Army. Tom was born and raised in Johnstown, PA. He now lives in in Florida with his wife – of 50 years.   Like so many of our Vietnam Veterans, he was not treated kindly when he returned. Let’s give him a warm welcome home and wish him a Happy 75th Birthday. Tom’s birthday is May 3rd.  Mail your card by April 30th to: Tom Partsch
919 Fieldstone Way
Haines City, FL 33844
#7 (New!) Send your card by May 15th!! Francis Newcomer’s 105th! About Francis: Colonel (Ret.) Newcomer is an Army World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War veteran. During World War II he served in the Pacific on the Southeast Asia Command of Admiral Mountbatten. In Korea, Newcomer commanded an Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion. He is a 3rd generation U.S. Officer and a 1939 graduate of Military Academy at West Point. He retired from the Army in 1967 after serving on the staff of the Secretary of Defense. Dave’s birthday is May 25th. Veteran’s Last Patrol is collecting cards for him at their office, but will be traveling to NJ to hold a ceremony for him. So please mail your cards on or before May 15th to: Veteran’s Last Patrol
Attn: Francis Newcomer
140-B Venture Blvd.,Spartanburg, SC 29306

The Original 5 – ICYMI:
david hoffman
#1: Send your card by April 30th David A. Hoffman’s 75th! About David: He entered the US Army in April, 1969 at Fort Bragg, NC with advanced training at Fort Gordon, GA.
David left for Vietnam in November of 1969 and returned home in November 1970. Before heading to Germany, David married Olivia Ann Hassler. David left the Army January 12, 1972.
David currently lives in Texas with his wife of 51 years. He has a daughter and son-in-law, also in Texas.
A car guy his entire life, David still owns his original auto love, his 1965 Pontiac GTO convertible. David’s birthday is May 3rd.  Mail your card by April 30th to: David A Hoffmann
18125 Mammoth Cave Boulevard
Pflugerville, Texas 78660

#2 Send your card by May 1st! Dave Frank’s 90th! About Dave: He was in the Korean War from 1952 till 1954. Started out in the infantry then became a cook for 175 Army service members. Dave worked at Ft. Hamilton in the offices for 9 months, becoming a First Private First Class officer, lastly transferring to the Newfoundland office and coming home as a Sargent.. Dave’s birthday is May 4th. Mail your card by May 1st to: David Frank
P.O. Box 356
Augusta, MI. 49012
david hoffman #3: Send your card by May 10th Jim Herald’s 95th! About Jim: Ballard James (Jim) Herald was in the U.S. Navy, 1944 – 1946. This was during WWII. He was stationed on the USS Buckingham Naval Vessel, and was a C-man 1st class. His hometown was Elizabethton, Tennessee, where he got married shortly after his service. After he was laid off at the Rayon Plant where he worked in Elizabethton, he moved his family to Akron, Ohio. He has 2 living children, and 1 child who passed away in 2009. His wife passed away in 1992. He remarried in 1995. He still resides in Canton, Ohio, along with his wife Lou. Jim’s birthday is May 15th. Mail your card on or before May 10th to:
Canton Christian Home
Room 342
2550 Cleveland Ave. NW
Canton, Ohio 44709

#4 Send your card by May 12th Richard Gray’s 104th! About Richard: He was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. He served as a medic in the Army during WWII. He was assigned to the 82nd airborne division when landing at Normandy. He was on a ship in the English Channel on D-day and went ashore on D-day +2. After the war he and my mother moved to New Jersey to raise their family; 2 sons and a daughter. He was an optician for many years until retiring in his 70’s. He attributes his long life to walking several miles to/from work everyday for many years. He was married for 79 years when she passed away in 2020 at age 99. He still lives in the home they shared and enjoys visits from his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He enjoys reading the Atlantic City Press and doing the crossword puzzle everyday. He is an Eagles and Phillies fan and enjoys Lawrence Welk reruns on TV every Saturday night. Richard’s birthday is May 16th. Mail your card on or before May 12th to:
Richard Gray
52 Stow Creek Rd.
Bridgeton, NJ 08302
david hoffman
#5: Send your card by May 20th

Jack Collier’s 101st!

About Jack: He was born in Republic, Alabama. It is just outside of Birmingham. He joined up on October 1, 1943, what was then called the Army Air Force, now the US Air Force. He was assigned to the European Theater. He reached the rank of 1st Lt.

He was a twin engine bomber pilot -he flew the B-26 (Martin Marauder) and A-26. As far as missions, he just “went where they told him to go”. He flew 45 missions, 141 hours in combat.

He separated from service on October 22, 1945. Jack’s birthday is May 25th.

Mail your card on or before May 21st to:

Jack Collier
704 Circlewood Lane
Birmingham, AL 35214

Janine Strange: Mission 70

…here is Mission 70!
https://americasveteransstories.com/wwii-project/john-coates-82nd-airborne/
Send a Card to WWII Navy Vet Warren Shilling for His 96th Birthday! A bit about Warren:  He enlisted with the Navy at the age of 17, after telling the recruiter he was 18. At the time, Warren was a senior in high school at St. Mary’s High School in Katonah, New York. Warren served in the Pacific as a Radioman-Gunner in a Grumman TBF Avenger, operating from the USS Princeton Aircraft Carrier. While serving his country, Warren’s sister, LaVelle accepted his High School diploma.
Upon returning from the War, Warren had a successful career as a carpenter, while also continuing a commitment to service, joining the Katonah Volunteer Fire Department. Today, Warren is the longest serving volunteer in the Katonah Fire Department and has recently served as the Grand Marshall of numerous Annual Katonah Firemen’s
Parades.
Warren is one of 4 children, with a brother Bill and sisters Kathleen and LaVelle. Warren currently resides in Newtown, CT with his wife, Patricia (celebrating their 73rd anniversary in October). Together, they have 6 children, 16 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren, who all live locally and enjoy visiting them often.  He loves spending time with his family at Fairfield Beach, cheering for the NY Mets and indulging in his afternoon Scotch. Together, Warren and Patricia maintain a strong commitment to their health, faith, and family.

Please join us in wishing Warren a very Happy Birthday, much health, and continued happiness! As a proud member of the Greatest Generation Warren can always been seen wearing his Navy hat. Your kind words will make him smile on his special day.
Please mail a card by April 5th to:

J. Warren Shilling
2 The Boulevard
Room 308
Church Hill Village
Newtown, CT 06470


####
PS:
1.  6th Annual Medal of Honor Mail Call  deadline is 3/25. The National Medal of Honor Museum is excited to get your letters! All info to participate is here.  2. If you haven’t sent a card in for Korean War Vet Howard Ferguson’s 90th Birthday (Mission 69) you have until April 7th!  Mailing Address:  Joy Nemeth
2160 N. Coldspring Rd
Arlington Heights, IL 60004

K9 Veterans Day-13 March

The program was approved by the U.S. Army in March 1942, the U.S. Army K9 Corps was founded on March 13, 1942, and the rest is history (literally).

To read more, click here.

Did you know that there is a monument to Military Working Dogs National Monument at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland?

“The development of the Military Working Dog Teams National Monument (MWD) was spearheaded by Mr. John Burnam, a U. S. Army combat infantryman and German Shepherd Scout Dog Handler during the Vietnam War. While his war dog partners died in Vietnam he wanted to keep their memories alive and mounted a campaign to create the monument. To provide the foundation for the project he established the John Burnam Monument Foundation in 2008. With the support of Congressman Walter Jones, R-NC, the National Defense Authorizations Act for 2008 was amended and authorized the Burnam Foundation to design, fund, build and maintain the Military Working Dog Teams National Monument. The Burnam Foundation solicited private and corporate donations and collected more than $2 million for the publicly funded National Monument. Since the Monument could not be placed on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., Joint Base San Antonio — Lackland was the most appropriate alternate location. The local command welcomed the National Monument and provided the land needed to build it adjacent to the parade ground. The monument was constructed and unveiled on October 28, 2013. In 2014, the John Burnam Monument Foundation was deactivated, gifting the structure to Lackland, and transferring maintenance of the Monument to the Airman Heritage Foundation.”

Coast Guard Canines

Reposted from the National Archives Catalog

Today we salute the hard working canine mascots of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Knobby the dog holds one paw on the wheel aboard an 83 foot rescue cutter
“Knobby” at the wheel. The mongrel mascot of a Coast Guard 83-foot rescue cutter stayed with his shipmates in the historic sweep across the English Channel. National Archives Identifier 205582997
Coast Guardsman poses with Kodiak, a dog wearing a hat and binoculars around his neck
“Kodiak” is the mascot aboard a Coast Guard-manned invasion transport, and is a veteran of Kiska, Tarawa and Saipan. National Archives Identifier 205582985
 
During World War II, Coast Guard mascot dogs worked across seaman’s duties. From assisting in sickbay to providing docking support, these seafaring companions were an essential part of the crew. You can find photographs of the US Coast Guard Mascots within Record Group 26: Records of the U.S. Coast Guard, Series: Photographs of Activities, Facilities, and Personalities, 1886 – 1967, RG-26-G
Dog stands alert on a ship, looking out in the distance
Determined to follow his Coast Guard mates to the beach, “Hobo” hops onto a war machine which is about to be hoisted into a landing craft. National Archives Identifier 205582904
     
Mascot of the fighting Coast vessel in the Atlantic, “Sparky” stays topside during moments of excitement. His battle station is flexible. National Archives Identifier 205583186
Small dog climbs a steep ladder aboard a ship with ease
 
Pete the Pooch, Able Seaman and LeHavre’s mooring expert, knows all about ships and the way to moor them. He’s handled many vessels in his war-time life, such as this Coast Guard 83 foot cutter about to be tied up. Pete goes into the sea after the line, brings it ashore and then makes the vessel fast. It’s all in the day’s work of a sea-dog. National Archives Identifier 205583269
Small dog holds a rope in his mouth, pulling in a Coast Guard cutter ship from the dock
 
Coast Guard dogs also provided comfort and companionship to recovering service members.
Injured Coast Guard members smile while petting a dog. Two men have their arms in casts
If ever a dog smiled – it is “Doc Sunshine,” self-appointed official cheerer upper below decks on a Coast Guard-manned troop transport ferrying back casualties from Europe. All day long, “Doc Sunshine” makes his rounds from bunk to bunk. National Archives Identifier 205582889
     
Back from Peleliu, Coast Guardsmen and Marines are warmly welcomed by the mascot dogs of a Coast Guard-manned invasion transport. The pups that go along to the Pacific invasions are good companions and true pals. Here three happy mutts gather with three convalescent fighting men to catch a bit of the sun. National Archives Identifier 205582949
Several men sit on cots aboard a ship while two dogs sit nearby for companionship
 
Of course, they also managed to find themselves in some trouble…
“Bozo,” mascot aboard a Coast Guard combat cutter in the Far North, chewed the captain’s shoes. Court-martialed and confined to the brig for conduct unbecoming a ship’s mascot, “Bozo” was defiant. But when he stared through the porthole and saw the liberty party getting ready to cast off, he turned on his most repentant expression. The skipper relented, and Bozo went ashore in search of more trouble. 26-G-3411. National Archives Identifier 205582880
Small dog looks through a porthole on a ship
Dog wearing a coast guard hat walks through the door of his doghouse.
Wearing a “sad sack” expression, “Rowdy” heads for his court martial at the San Diego, Calif., U.S. Coast Guard patrol Base. For being AWOL three hours while on sentry duty the Coast guard pooch was demoted from first class to second class specialist, lost extra rations, and given time in the brig. Tender hearts caused restoration of his first class rating the following day. 26-G-3042. National Archives Identifier 205582937
     
But at the end of the day, they are all good dogs! Check out many more amazing images of service members and their animal companions (including cats, parrots, chickens, goats, and even a kangaroo!) currently available in the National Archives Catalog
Group of servicemen crouched on the floor petting a group of dogs
An injured man lies on a cot holding a dog while others look on
Seagoin’ Pooches Stand Inspection on Transport. National Archives Identifier 205582952
The Good Companions. National Archives Identifier 205582982
     
Many thanks to the Still Pictures Branch at the National Archives for their work making these images available in the Catalog. And special thanks to Meghan Guthon and Kelsey Noel. This feature was adapted from their posts on the Unwritten Record blog:  It’s a Dog’s Job… – The Unwritten Record Bad Boys – The Unwritten Record The Further Adventures of Sinbad – The Unwritten Record Spotlight: Hero Dogs – The Unwritten Record

History of the Midway Chapel, Pt 4

by David Hanson Museum Curator

An important part of the back wall of the chapel is the mounted ship’s memorial board. We had the original memorial board that was used in the latter years of the ship’s career in storage, but it only listed the deaths from 1970 to 1991, which was the final period of the ship’s operational life after her massive overhaul and refit in 1970. We decided to make a new memorial board to cover all of the deaths of Midway crewmen from 1945 to 1991. Our ship’s carpenter made a new wooden board which held the over 200 engraved brass plates in a chronological fashion. Over the years we have updated the board as we got more information, and we now have over 240 plates on the board. (A new board is
now being made as a final update.)

Courtesy of David Hanson

After the chapel had been completed a dedication ceremony was held on November 13, 2008. With introductory remarks from RADM Leendert Hering and from museum president / retired admiral John “Mac” McLaughlin, the standing room only attendees of 40 Navy and Marine chaplains were introduced to the Midway’s chapel. The chapel was then blessed by three different chaplains (Senior chaplain for San Diego County CAPT Gerald Seely, Jewish chaplain CAPT Irv Elson, and Buddhist chaplain LT Jennifer Shin), each in the way of their particular religion. Following the blessings and
ribbon cutting, the assembled chaplains stayed for a training session on current issues in the chaplain corps.

Courtesy of David Hanson

The chapel is now open to the public and is visited by hundreds of thousands of guests each year. Before and after museum hours the chapel is available for rent for small weddings, memorial services, and other ceremonies. Several events have already been held there, including two memorial services – one of which was for Joan Ring, who was one of the main volunteers who built the new chapel.

Courtesy of David Hanson

Greg, Ed, Joan, and myself did most of the work. Mike is the one who retrieved the stained glass windows from the Indy, Art built the new memorial board, Carol was the outside volunteer who embroidered the altar cloth, Bill did the sound system and helped Ed with the lighting, and Jimmy scraped paint and cleaned all the chairs. I believe Ken is the one who made the individual plates for the memorial board, and Darrel (as a member of Ship’s Restoration) helped with the basic
renovation of the space.


There is a collection of over 200 photographs on the Curatorial network drive that document the various stages of the chapel’s restoration, and also show the volunteers at work. And here are two other tidbits of knowledge: all of the photos on the poster of the Chaplain Corps were taken from official Navy websites, except for one. The bottom photo that shows a “counseling session”, is actually a posed photo of Senior Chaplain Seeley and myself in my post office Navy uniform, as I could not find a photo of a counseling session on the web.

The photo of the chaplain giving a Protestant service on the USS Abraham Lincoln was originally not on the first version of the poster. One of the chaplains who had attended the dedication ceremony had seen the first poster and contacted me to complain that there were no female chaplains represented on the poster. So we remade the poster with a new photo showing the female chaplain in Iraq, satisfying her complaint. We also added a photo of Navy chaplains who had help rebuild an orphanage in Cameroon Africa, which was an accomplishment that the USS Midway chaplains also did in
the Philippines during her time there.

Janine Strange, Mission 68 Bettie G. Army Air Force WWII Vet Turning 98!

Army Air Force WWII Vet is Turning 98!
Janine’s Team Mission #68!
Hello!! This mission comes with ample time to complete…but don’t procrastinate – because we will be launching our 6th Annual Medal of Honor Mail Call later this week! Mission 67 for Harvey Hess was a great success, thank you for your help!  When missions are completed, the families usually send over pics of these veterans (with big smiles😁) holding all the cards they received! I post the those pics on my facebook, instagram, and twitter– so make sure you’re following along on your favorite platform! You can also scroll all the way down on this email to see recaps of recently completed missions if you don’t use social media. For those wishing to share a veteran’s birthday: please try to give me at least 2 month’s notice via email (I don’t always see my social media messages). Last but not least, a warm welcome to all our new members! Thank you so much for joining! I hope you find this to be a fulfilling and meaningful way to do what you can, with what you’ve got, from where you are! 🤗 …here is Mission 68!  
https://americasveteransstories.com/wwii-project/john-coates-82nd-airborne/
Wish this WWII Vet a Happy 98h! Army Air Force WWII Vet Bettie Giraudin of Texas will be turning 98 on March 18th.  Learn about Bettie and her service:  WAC 1944-1946
Bettie’s son shared this info about her time in service: Bettie enlisted into the Army Air Force as a WAC on June 24, 1944 at the Recruiting Station in Camp Swift, TX. She entered into active duty in July 20, 1944.
She was a clerk typist assigned to the 555th Army Air Force Base Unit at Love Field, Dallas, TX.

She was separated from the AAF on January 7, 1946.

My father, a pilot in the AAF, was temporarily assigned duty at Love Field where he met my future mother. They were married on December 15, 1945.
A bit more info: Nearly 150,000 American women served in the Women’s Army Corps during World War II. Many of these women served throughout the world with the Army Ground Forces, the Army Service Forces, and the Army Air Forces, in a variety of supporting, non-combat roles. The majority of WACs served with the Army Service Forces. Learn more here. ####
Her son Paul will be collecting your cards (so feel free to mail ASAP). Deadline 3/14: Bettie Giraudin C/O Paul Giraudin 297 Cedar Mountain Dr
Marble Falls, TX. 78654

History of the Midway Chapel, Pt 3

By David Hanson, USS Midway Museum Curator

We needed an altar cloth for the altar, and I found this vintage Midway chapel photo.

Courtesy of David Hanson

I mapped out a full-size recreation of the altar cloth design on a three foot piece of graph paper. Joan Ring found a volunteer seamstress in a local sewing group who was willing to embroider the complex design on the linen we provided. The result was this:

Courtesy of David Hanson

With the front of the chapel completed, attention moved to the rear of the chapel. A tall glass display case to house chaplain-related artifacts was purchased from a downtown industrial furnishings store, which delivered the large case to the ship. When it came time to move the case into the chapel it was found that the case seemed to be too tall/long to make the turn from the narrow outside passageway into the chapel. We had almost given up on the move when we finally were able to get it inside. It is now the only glass display case with Midway artifacts on display to the public.

Courtesy of David Hanson

In addition to various Midway chaplain department items displayed in the case (a chaplain’s flight helmet and cap, a plaque, t-shirt, pamphlets, and a Jerusalem Bible that was used in past Midway religious services), the top shelf was dedicated to a display about Navy Chaplain Joseph O’Callahan, who was the only Navy chaplain to receive the Medal of Honor. Father O’Callahan was the head chaplain on the aircraft carrier USS Franklin in WWII and risked his life leading damage control efforts when the ship was heavily damaged by Japanese kamikaze aircraft. It is believed that his actions
resulted in the saving of the ship, which might have sunk if he had not directed the disposal of bombs and ammunition overboard from the fire-ravaged areas of the ship. I wanted to show the public that Navy chaplains were not only religious leaders but fighting sailors as well.

Courtesy of David Hanson

History of the Midway Chapel, Pt. 2

by David Hanson, USS Midway Museum Curator

Courtesy of David Hanson

Over the course of a couple months in late 2008 the chapel took shape, being worked on by myself and the few volunteers in our spare time. Once all of the paneling had been installed the space had a different look and feel to it, and I began to look at how to furnish the space. While I perused furniture catalogs for things like appropriate chairs, I got word that the USS Kittyhawk CV-63 had arrived in town, making a stop on her way to Bremerton to join the Ready Reserve Fleet there. Contact was made with the Chaplain’s department onboard Kittyhawk and the head chaplain (knowing that the Kittyhawk was leaving active service) offered to give the Midway Museum all of their chapel
furnishings as well as most of the items from their chaplain’s offices. Again, NHHC made the gifts an official loan from the US Navy to the Midway Museum (items that have to be accounted for in an annual report each year).

We received from Kittyhawk a room full of chairs, a host box, a holy water dispenser, a podium, an altar, and other items which we installed in the chapel. The podium was an ugly piece of (mostly) unpainted bare metal, which we scraped clean and then covered with leftover wood paneling from the walls so that it now looks like it is made of wood. A large Midway logo decal was purchased on eBay and affixed to the front of the podium, making it a Midway podium.

All of the items from the Kittyhawk’s chaplains office were transferred to the Midway’s chaplains office next door (that space was semi-restored after the chapel was completed, and is now open for “behind the scenes” tours). We heard later that the XO of the Kittyhawk was livid with anger that someone had removed equipment from his ship without his permission. He had been tasked by the Navy to keep the ship in fighting condition as the ship went into the active reserve fleet. However someone convinced him that the ship could still fight without the chapel being available, so he supposedly relented.

Lights were installed in the ceiling panels. Stanchions with thick leather ropes were purchased to separate the sitting area from the front where the altar, podium, and items not to be touched by the public were located. An alarm system to detect intruders going past the stanchions was installed (but later permanently deactivated because the alarm kept going off.)

I found an old (1950’s) record album on eBay of the Naval Academy chapel choir singing Navy hymns and transferred one recording to a digital file that now plays over speakers installed in the ceiling. That track is “Eternal Father, Strong To Save” (The Navy Hymn).

History of the Midway Chapel, Pt 1

By David Hanson, USS Midway Museum Curator

During the first few years of the Midway Museum’s being open to the public (2004-2008), many new areas were added to the tour route as additional spaces were refurbished for public access. The highest priority was for unique spaces that helped tell the story of the “City At Sea”, which told the visitors of how a large carrier had all of the amenities that you would expect in any city: eating places, laundry, post office, barber shop, etc.

I thought one aspect that was missing from the story was the aspect of religion. The ship had a chapel, but it was not to be restored or made available for visitation due to being “off the tour route”. Around this time (2008) I had heard that the Midway chapel’s original stained glass window (which had been removed from the ship prior to decommissioning) had been located onboard the USS Independence CV-62, which was in the mothball fleet at Bremerton Washington.

The story was that the three-panel stained glass window had been installed in the Midway’s chapel during her 1967-1970 overhaul at Hunter’s Point. The Midway had sailed with that window for the next 22 years, until she was sent home to be decommissioned after having been the flagship during Desert Storm. In 1992 as she passed through Pearl Harbor on her way back to the States for decommissioning and an assumed future with the scrap yard, Midway cross-decked with the USS Independence at Pearl Harbor, where the airwing and other equipment was transferred to the Indy, which was replacing Midway at Yokosuka Japan as America’s only aircraft carrier to be homeported in a foreign
port. The Indy installed the window panels in her own chapel and went on to Japan, keeping the windows for the rest of her operational career.

Fast forward to 2008, and the report came in that the Midway’s chapel windows were still intact on the now mothballed Indy. We received permission from the Naval History and Heritage Command to board Indy and retrieve the windows, which were to be put on loan to the museum and re-installed on the Midway. With the windows returning “home”, I proposed the idea to the museum’s Exhibits Planning Committee that a chapel should be opened on the public tour route, adding one more aspect to the “City At Sea” story.

Fortunately the perfect location for the new chapel was available for acquisition and restoration. It was on the tour route and was located adjacent to both the chaplain’s offices and the chaplain’s staterooms. It was currently being used as a non-public exhibits preparation space, but those duties were easily transferred elsewhere. It had the added incentive in that it had once served as an auxiliary chapel and classroom for the chaplain’s department, so it already had a history of hosting religious services.

The Exhibits department already had their hands full restoring other spaces onboard, so I volunteered to do the restoration with volunteers from my Curatorial department. I received approval to go ahead with the project, and led a small team (usually 3-4 other people) in the restoration.

The white painted metal walls were prepped to receive coverings of an artificial wood veneer, similar to that used in the original chapel (which still exists one deck lower in the ship). New ceiling panels were cut and installed to replace the many ceiling panels that were missing. One of the three stained glass window panels had been received broken into pieces, but it was repaired with no visible damage, and all three panels were cleaned. A framework to hold the panels and a system of backlit lights was installed at the forward end of the new chapel, and the windows were once again on display onboard their home, the USS Midway.

Why I Like Volunteering on the Midway

Longtime readers know that I sometimes include posts about incidents or shipmates from the USS Midway where I have served as a volunteer for almost 8 years. There are several good reasons to be a volunteer anywhere that meets your wants/needs.

  • Opportunity to meet/socialize with like-minded people. (Human interaction is good for us mentally, physically, and emotionally.)
  • Opportunity to retain/learn new skills. (Keeps the mind and body in better working order.)
  • Opportunity to give back (if that is important to you).
  • Adds variety and challenge to you day (whether you volunteer remotely or go onsite).
  • If you are in the right volunteer situation, it can be fun, rewarding, challenging, learning opportunity, all of the above.

The Log recently interviewed some Midway volunteers including some of my friends in the library.

US Naval Institute Proceedings Project Update for 2021

by CDR Phil Eakins, USN (ret)–This is a USS Midway (CV-41) Library project.

The Proceedings Project is an effort started in late 2011 to summarize the Main Article and ancillary item types appearing in the U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings magazine, a professional journal of the sea services which has been published at varying intervals, now monthly, since 1874.  In the six-month period ending 31 December 2021, the team finished summarizing the final 29 of some 13,000 main articles remaining on 30 June 2021, thus completing Phase I of the Project.  They have now moved into Phase II, summarizing Comment and Discussion (C&D) items.  C&D items remark on previously appearing (Referenced) items in the magazine or express opinions relate information not directly connected to a previously appearing item (Standalone).  In addition, some team members are cataloging C&D items not yet cataloged and other item types, such a Professional Notes, in advance of summarizing them in later phases of the project. 

14 team members contributed during the second half of 2021: Barry Austin, Alan Blake, Don Campbell, Jim Cejka, Phil Eakin, David Gauss, Bruce Goodwin, Les Hane, Norman Kumabe, Martha Lepore, Joe Rangus, Marty Vehanen, David Wallace, and Ed Wong.  Barry, Don, and Jim reside out of state most or all of the year. 

Items completed in the second half of 2021 are listed below in typical order of most-to-least difficulty/time required for completion of a single item. 

There are still thousands of items to be cataloged and summarized and years of awe-inspiring work ahead. 

                          *** 

The database is not yet online and there are no plans to place it online in the near future, although we do use the database to gather material for the occasional researcher or research project.  The most recent request satisfied was for material on the Composite Warfare Commander (CWC) concept, which I believe is to be used in the Midway docent continuing education series. 

Close contact with the Naval Institute (USNI) has dissipated, especially through the pandemic, and I hope to revitalize that in the near future.  If the scheduled, in-person WEST Conference goes ahead in San Diego next month, I will try to set up a visit with one of the USNI reps there.  USNI is a co-sponsor of that multi-day event at the Convention Center.

Janine Strange: Mission 67

…here is Mission 67!  
https://americasveteransstories.com/wwii-project/john-coates-82nd-airborne/ Wish this Desert Storm Vet a Happy 56th! Desert Storm Thomas Lynch lives in Louisville, KY, and will be turning 56 on January 23rd.  Learn about Thomas and his service:  Served: Iraq 1990-1991

His wife sent this note to me: Based at Fort Knox, Thomas was in Iraq during 1990-1991 for Desert Shield / Desert Storm. His cav unit 5 &17th attached to Big Red One, 63 Delta artillery self-propelled
field artillery E4 specialist at the time. He still fusses about having to work on the Bradley’s because they always threw tracks in the sand. He drove at night when only a pair of night vision goggles mounted to the roof of the vehicle was utilized.

Thomas grew up in Mount Washington, Kentucky, after he and his sister were adopted together at age 12. He is a welder/fabricator and has a knack for bringing out the best in people. Currently gutting and renovating our house by himself. We have 3 rescue pitbulls and 1 very spoiled American Bully.  Thomas is my everything.
####
Please mail your cards no later than January 20th  to:  Thomas Lynch 9220 Fenmore Ave,  Louisville, KY 40272

Janine Strange Mission 66

Good morning and Happy New Year! We have a WWII Veteran who is turning 94 on January 14th!! When missions are completed, the families usually send over pics of these veterans (with big smiles) holding all the cards they received! I post the those pics on my facebook, instagram, and twitter– so make sure you’re following along on your favorite platform! You can also scroll all the way down on this email to see recaps of recently completed missions if you don’t use social media. If you are a new member, thank you so much for joining! I hope you find this to be a fulfilling and meaningful use of your time!
…here is Mission 66!  
https://americasveteransstories.com/wwii-project/john-coates-82nd-airborne/
Wish this Korean War Vet a Happy 94th! Korean War Vet Harvey Hess is from Pittsburgh, PA, and will be turning 94 on January 14th.  Learn about Harvey and his service:  Served: Korea 1950-1952

His daughter sent me this info: Thankfully, he did not have to see combat. Because he was from the melting pot of Pittsburgh he was able to read all the polish and other hard-to-pronounce names during mail call so he was assigned to work in the mail room for part of his time in the service. I believe that was God protecting him from combat!  After the service: He proposed to Dorothy in a letter from Korea. They were married Jan. 22, 1953 and have 7 children, 16 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren. He was an executive in the convenience store industry in Pittsburgh for over 30 years. Please mail your cards no later than January 11th  to:  Harvey Hess c/o Chris Hess 1505 Gill Hall Road Jefferson Hills, PA 15025

Origins of Happy Hour

Contributed by Bonnie Brown: From https://corkdining.com/cocktails/its-prime-cocktail-time-the-origin-of-the-happy-hour/

Further info was provided by Carl Snow: ” I’ve always heard that the reason boxing matches are called “Smokers” is that, along with the happy hour, cigars were made available, and the smoking lamp was lit in the vicinity of the boxing ring, usually on or adjacent to the quarterdeck on the aft main deck.”

From Barrett Tillman

Passing the word about Happy Hour, which reminds me:
In Mid 70s the USAF proclaimed that Happy Hour carried undesirable connotations so bases were instructed to call it something else.
Fairchild’s CO thereby complied by saying that the social hour would be called Something Else.