Neith: Goddess of the Hunt. And Me

This is courtesy of JR Reddig, AKA Vic Socotra, retired US Navy Intel officer and creator https://www.vicsocotra.com. Purveyor of Glib Words.

This is a story about a boat, so bear with me. It includes the modern manifestation of the Egyptian Goddess of the Hunt and record-setting ocean crossings. It only includes me for a few months, but it may have been a tipping point when something got in my blood and never could get rid of it. The object of my desire (at that time) was a lady 57-foot long, narrow on her beam and foc’sle from which you could do Shakespeare. She was designed by a man named Nathanial Herreshoff and therefore connected to modern sailing history and industry. She is directly responsible for a long association with fairly-narrow and resolute mattresses and the smell of the sea.

“Nat H” was known in the boat trade as the Wizard of Bristol. His story defines his age. He was born in 1848 before the Civil War and didn’t pass from this world until nearly the beginning of the Second World War. He was an earnest man of his time, but wild for innovative and brilliant design and boatbuilding. He had 70 years designing small and large sailboats and did not shy away from the power barges. He pioneered features common in today’s yachts, including sail tracks and slides, bulb keels, fin keels, and hollow aluminum masts. He also built one of the earliest catamarans seen on this side of the pond. So anything he touched has a connection to the way he saw how the waves worked.

He was an end-to-end craftsman and a gifted navigator. He defended the America’s Cup six times, in: Vigilant, 1893; Defender, 1895; Columbia 1899 and 1901; Reliance, 1903; and Resolute, 1920.

So, good bones, good blood. The owners of Neith, named for the Mother of all gods in Rome’s pantheon, at that moment in 1975 were pals of college roommate Jim Forrest. She had returned west across the ocean a bit bereft under command by some mariners of eccentric ways. Their tales still lingered on the piers, one of them about taking detailed navigational information from a thoroughly compromised taffrail log missing one blade. I have tried to live to that exacting standard since.

Ed Callahan was then-holder and had a lot on his plate, a young family and an ocean to manage. Jim was doing professional hardhat diving with his charming future wife Jeanette and there was a great circle of people doing actual things mostly oriented at the water. The boat was not sailable and needed mostly some cosmetic work, but otherwise empty. I spent the summer in a delightful culture of Beverly’s harbor. Berthed next door was a couple guys living on a big old schooner, and there were a string of young people on other boats to share the communal showers and latrines off the parking lot.

The boat that introduced me downstream to some of Nat Herreshoff’s ideas was built after Reliance, in 1907. Her name was Neith. She was special and personal, built for his own doctor. There was a clear and personal interest in her sleek slippery lines.

Neith was purpose-built as a Flush Deck Cutter and gentleman’s weekender. She was named in honor of the Egyptian Goddess of the Hunt. The Doctor and the Goddess parted ways, and by 1920 she was under her third master who attempted to take her east to England. Instead, she left Rhode Island and ran headlong into humiliating hurricane force winds.

She was pushed back and a bit battered. Commander Houghton was her owner and a determined man. He had her re-rigged as a yawl, and after a quick workup, was ready to cross the Atlantic. Under the Commander’s firm hand, Neith cast off in 1921 for a record-breaking Atlantic crossing. Houghton took her out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and brought her to England in 25 days. He wasn’t satisfied with the record passage and wanted better performance from his sails.

From then on, Neith was a continental lady until just a few years before I met her. She spent her first half century in Europe, based in the UK, and raced throughout Scotland and Europe. The Commander campaigned her early and steadily. A sail-lady named Virginia Tweedy was quoted as saying “My grandparents were friends with the Houghtons and my grandfather often crewed the boat when she was in England, including in 1922 when Neith competed at Cowes and won on August 7th that year.”

So, she was racing well but the Commander wanted more. The new yawl rig had done well enough on the passage over, but did not perform as well as he desired. In 1926, he was talking to renowned yacht designer Charles Nicholson, who suggested a Marconi rig might improve the situation. The Commander gave her a Nicholson-style Marconi rig that she wears to this day. She remained in Scotland until 1970 when she returned to the US. She was still watertight when I left her at the end of 1976, but she sank while up on the Connecticut River and was abandoned.

When I was aboard in ’76, scraping old paint and living with the harbor gypsies there were still stories. One of them was about a Scottish owner who kept a bronze Egyptian image of the Goddess on the hearth of his home. It is said that when preparing to cast off or return to port, a salute in bagpipes was sounded and Neith was born from below-deck storage to a place of honor in the main cabin by the foot of the massive mast. It was all bare white paint when I was scraping it, but being alone on her in the night there was the feeling…maybe it was the paint thinner fumes.

That life in Beverly was in keeping Neith’s condition. Solid, but a bit down at the seams. Her lines were as grand as ever, but she needed a good yard period on the stilts. No one was in the financial condition to devote the money for a complete job. But we tried. The lines were fairly decent and the mast true. She was worth saving, which is how a curious conversation occurred back in Michigan, about whether Dad would mind having a Marconi-rig flush deck 57-foot cutter on a brace in the side yard. Dad was kind enough not to howl in laughter at the money pit that implied, and to this day I have never invested in one. He did, though. But that conversation was the last direct interaction with her after one of those autumns that have magic in the air. She had remained in Scotland until she returned to the US in 1970. She was still watertight when I left her at the end of 1976.

Ships can be homes, and I am glad I did not know of her status. Sinking is not necessarily a permanent condition, but altering it would require a significant investment. There was someone willing. He is described as “Third Owner” which with the modifying “unincumbered” word might be accurate. But he made the investment with a vision to preserve her. When they got her refloated, he had Neith restored well enough to participate in the prestigious Herreshoff Rendezvous in 1981.

Since then, the Lady has now been in one family for over thirty years and their standard was to keep her “Original Condition.” A major overhaul was just done a few years ago to keep her that way. In 2014, Taylor and Snediker Yacht Restoration did something any old wooden boat would want. Rather than a comprehensive restoration, this work was done in manner the family preferred. The company says nearly everything from the sheer planks up was replaced, her sheer line was restored to original specs, hull was strengthened with structural upgrades and replacement of structures with any degradation. The result was several awards including “Best Restoration,” “Judges Choice” and the Centennial Society Award honoring vessels over a century old.

So, that is the only other ship I felt a part of that still lives, and why she still commands my interest. Midway is the other one. They don’t have an iota in common. And yet they are part of the same process against powerful and beautiful foe.

Copyright 2021 Vic Socotra

http://www.vicsocotra.com

So, that is the only other ship I felt a part of that still lives, and why she still commands my interest. Midway is the other one. They don’t have an iota in common. And yet they are part of the same process against powerful and beautiful foe. The sea.

Copyright 2021 Vic Socotra

www.vicsocotra.com

This is a story about a boat, so bear with me. It includes the modern manifestation of the Egyptian Goddess of the Hunt and record-setting ocean crossings. It only includes me for a few months, but it may have been a tipping point when something got in my blood and never could get rid of it. The object of my desire (at that time) was a lady 57-foot long, narrow on her beam and foc’sle you could do Shakespeare off of. She was designed by a man named Nathanial Herreshoff and therefore a connection to modern sailing history and industry. She is directly responsible for a long association with fairly-narrow and resolute mattresses and the smell of the sea. 

“Nat H” was known in the boat trade as the Wizard of Bristol. His story defines his age. He was born in 1848 before the Civil War and didn’t pass from this world until nearly the beginning of the Second World War. He was an earnest man of his time, but wild for innovative and brilliant design and boatbuilding. He had 70 years designing small and large sailboats and did not shy away from the power barges. He pioneered features common in today’s yachts, including sail tracks and slides, bulb keels, fin keels, and hollow aluminum masts. He also built one of the earliest catamarans seen on this side of the pond. So anything he touched has a connection to the way he saw how the waves worked in his time.

He was an end-to-end craftsman and a gifted navigator. He defended the America’s Cup six times, in: Vigilant, 1893; Defender, 1895; Columbia 1899 and 1901; Reliance, 1903; and Resolute, 1920. 

So, good bones, good blood. The owners of Neith, named for the Mother of all gods in Rome’s pantheonat that moment in 1975 were pals of college roommate Jim Forrest. She had returned across the ocean a bit bereft under command of some mariners of eccentric ways. Their tales still lingered on the piers, one about taking detailed navigational information from a thoroughly compromised taffrail log missing one blade. I have tried to live to that exacting standard since.

Ed Callahan was then-holder and had a lot on his plate, a young family and an ocean to manage. Jim was doing professional hardhat diving with his charming future wife Jeanette and there was a great circle of people doing actual things mostly oriented at the water. The boat was not sailable and needed mostly some cosmetic work, but otherwise empty. I spent the summer in a delightful culture of Beverly’s harbor. Berthed next door was a couple guys living on a big old schooner, and there were a string of young people on other boats to share the communal showers and latrines off the parking lot.

The boat that introduced me downstream to some of Nat Herreshoff’s ideas was built after Reliance, in 1907. Her name was Neith. She was special and personal, built for his own doctor. There was a clear and personal interest in her sleek slippery lines. 

Neith was purpose-built as a Flush Deck Cutter and gentleman’s weekender. She was named in honor of the Egyptian Goddess of the Hunt. The Doctor and the Goddess parted ways, and by 1920 she was under her third master who attempted to take her east to England. Instead, she left Rhode Island and ran headlong into humiliating hurricane force winds. 

She was pushed back and a bit battered. Commander Houghton was her owner and a determined man. he had her re-rigged as a yawl, and after a quick workup, was ready to cross the Atlantic. Under the Commander’s firm hand, Neith cast off in 1921 for a record-breaking Atlantic crossing. Houghton took her out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and brought her to England in 25 days. He wasn’t satisfied with the record passage and wanted better performance from his sails. 

From then on, Neith was a continental lady until just a few years before I met her. She spent her first half century in Europe, based in the UK, and raced throughout Scotland and Europe. The Commander campaigned her early and steadily. A sail-lady named Virginia Tweedy was quoted as saying “My grandparents were friends with the Houghtons and my grandfather often crewed the boat when she was in England, including in 1922 when Neith competed at Cowes and won on August 7th that year.”

So, she was racing well but the Commander wanted more. The new yawl rig had done well enough on the passage over, but did not perform as well as he desired. In 1926, he was talking to renowned yacht designer Charles Nicholson, who suggested a Marconi rig might improve the situation. The Commander gave her a Nicholson-style Marconi rig that she wears to this day. She remained in Scotland until 1970 when she returned to the US. She was still watertight when I left her at the end of 1976, but she sank while up on the Connecticut River and was abandoned. 

When I was aboard in ’76, scraping old paint and living with the harbor gypsies there were still stories. One of them was about a Scottish owner who kept a bronze Egyptian image of the Goddess on the hearth of his home. It is said that when preparing to cast off or return to port, a salute in bagpipes was sounded and Neith was born from below-deck storage to a place of honor in the main cabin by the foot of the massive mast. It was all bare white paint when I was scraping it, but being alone on her in the night there was the feeling…maybe it was the paint thinner fumes. 

That life in Beverly was in keeping Neith’s condition. Solid, but a bit down at the seams. Her lines were as grand as ever, but she needed a good yard period on the stilts. No one was in the financial condition to devote the money for a complete job. But we tried. The lines were fairly recent and the mast true. 

She was worth saving, which is how a curious conversation occurred back in Michigan, about whether Dad would mind having a Marconi-rig flush deck 57-foot cutter on a brace in the side yard. Dad was kind enough not to howl in laughter at the money pit that implied, and to this day I have never invested in one. He did, though. But that conversation was the last direct interaction with her after one of those autumns that have magic in the air. She had remained in Scotland until she returned to the US in 1970. She was still watertight when I left her at the end of 1976, but sank while on the Connecticut River and was abandoned. 

Ships can be homes, and I am glad I did not know of her status. Sinking is not necessarily a permanent condition, but altering it would require a significant investment. There was someone willing. He is described as “Third Owner” which with the modifying “unincumbered” word might be accurate. But he made the investment with a vision to preserve her. When they got her refloated, he had Neith restored well enough to participate in the prestigious Herreshoff Rendezvous in 1981.

Since then, the Lady has now been in one family for over thirty years and their standard was to keep her “Original Condition.” A major overhaul was just done a few years ago to keep her that way. In 2014, Taylor and Snediker Yacht Restoration did something any old wooden boat would want. Rather than a comprehensive restoration, this work was done in manner the family preferred. The company says nearly everything from the sheer planks up was replaced, her sheer line was restored to original specs, hull was strengthened with structural upgrades and replacement of structures with any degradation. The result was several awards including “Best Restoration,” “Judges Choice,” and the Centennial Society Award honoring vessels over a century old.

So, that is the only other ship I felt a part of that still lives, and why she still commands my interest. Midway is the other one. They don’t have an iota in common. And yet they are part of the same process against powerful and beautiful foe. The sea.

Copyright 2021 Vic Socotra

This is actually part of a larger book- the “Fieldmarshall’s Daughter” chapter comes after this and is an indoctrination to the world of professional lies and living overseas in the Intelligence World, there needs to be a companion piece for Midway days in Japan. It is a fun book.

Janine’s Mission 64: Veteran’s 95th Birthday

Mission 64:
https://americasveteransstories.com/wwii-project/john-coates-82nd-airborne/
Wish this WWII Army Vet a Happy 95th! Paul Stenftennagel served in the Army during WWII. He turns 95 on December 8th, and his family will celebrate his birthday on the 12th. So you’ve got a little over a week to complete this! 🙂  I received this message from Paul’s nephew: My Uncle served as Senior Master Sergeant with headquarters Battery 63rd Field Artillery Battalion in the Pacific Theater of operation as a communication Chief Supervising Operations and Installation of frequent modulated transmitters and receivers also repairs responsible for the communication between division artillery and battalion and the control coordination of station.
His entry date into service was April 7, 1945. Is there a way your team can recognize him with cards for his 95th birthday?  Please mail your cards no later than 12/8 to:  Paul Stenftennagel 648A Old Nassau Road
Monroe Township, NJ 08831
Pictured below is a letter he received from Harry S Truman.  (Beneath the photo is info on Mission 61 – cards for our vets in hospice care deadline is 12/3)
ICYMI: Here is Mission 61: 
https://americasveteransstories.com/wwii-project/john-coates-82nd-airborne/
Holiday Cards for our Veterans in Hospice It’s Veteran’s Last Patrol 3rd Annual Operation Holiday Salute!  Teachers, managers, families, coaches, associations, companies…this is a GREAT group project. There are many veterans in hospice care who could use extra love this holiday season. Please take an hour or so out of your day to write to them. Here’s how: Create your own cards, buy a batch of cards, send postcards…they will love it all! Send as many as you would like. The more the merrier!! Here is a message from Veteran’s Last Patrol: Last year we obtained and delivered over 30,000 Holiday Cards.  Americans across the nation participated in this amazing operation to bring a little joy to veterans on their Last Patrol.  This year our goal is 50,000! Can you help us? You are welcome to send cards to us addressed: Dear Hero or Dear Veteran. Our packaging and postage expenses for this drive to get these cards to dying veterans is significant. Would you consider a small donation to help? Tax deductible donations can be made here.
We’re motivated to deliver as many Christmas & Holiday Greeting Cards to veterans in hospice care around the country as we can.
Please mail your cards no later than 12/3 to:  Veteran Last Patrol
140B Venture Blvd
Spartanburg, SC, 29306

If you’re sending more than one card, just put them in one package and send all together. No need for individual stamps on each card.

Interview with Troy Prince, Pt 2

  1.  Troy, I’ve learned from you that being on the Midway is a family affair.  Did you all decide to be stationed on the Midway accidently or coincidently?  How many of your family have served on the Midway and when? Were you ever on at the same time as any of your cousins?

There have been four of my family who served aboard the Midway. We are all cousins and three of us were actually aboard at the same time:

  • ATCS Shirley Duane Bangerter, VA-23, 1963
  • LT David Scott Killpack, HS-12, 1989-1991
  • AN Marcus Steven Killpack, VAQ-136, 1989
  • ADAN Thomas Troy Prince, VAQ-136 1989-1991

2. What has been your most difficult information request from the Midway Library since you have become a volunteer?

I can honestly say I have never received a difficult request from the Midway Library. Some requests have required more research than others and there have been a few I was unable to answer due to a lack of source material.

3. What do you like best about being a Midway Library volunteer?

I love working with the other Library volunteers. Although I’ve never met any of them in person (I work remotely from Minneapolis), I feel I’ve made many friends and work well with everyone.

4. What types of information have you been providing to the Midway? 

,In the beginning, when the Museum first opened, I contributed the ship’s history research I had done for my website. I was also able to occasionally help with questions and provide various photos. Later, I began asking for various documents and started offering updates or corrections. Since 2019, I have written or contributed to several lists and projects. My main contribution has been deployment dates, locations, and squadrons.

5. How many volunteer hours have you earned since you started (the nearest 1000 hour level will be fine.)  And how long have you been a volunteer?

As of October 2021, I have now exceeded 2,000 hours. I officially became a Library volunteer in June 2020.

6. Have you planned your next visit to the Midway?  Hint Hint, the volunteer dinner in September would be a good time, if it works with your schedule.

I have visited the Midway three times since her arrival in San Diego: January 2004 (I rode the ship across San Diego Bay from NAS North Island to her present location), June 2004 (for the Museum’s Opening Week, during which I volunteered with the Safety Team) and March 2005. I have always wanted to make a return visit (or two or many) but haven’t been able to yet. There have been so many changes and additions to the Museum that it will be a whole new experience for me when I am finally able to return.

7. Is there a project that you would like to be involved in, but have not yet had the opportunity to?

To date, I am involved in every project I would like to be with and have even been able to contribute towards others I wasn’t. I really have so many projects I’m currently working on that I have to prioritize them in order to make any progress. However, it is nice to have some smaller projects to work on when I need to take a break from the larger ones.

8. Have you ever thought about writing a Midway related book?  If so, what might it  be about?

I never thought about writing a book until my family and a few friends suggested I should take the research I’ve done and publish it. If I ever do go through with it, it wouldn’t be a story-type book like Scott McGaugh’s books. It would most likely be similar to Pete Clayton’s books, but with much more updated information and photographs.

9. Do you have a good Midway sea story that you would like to share?

I only have one good story and it was when I witnessed one of Midway’s planes crash right in front of me:  On June 22, 1989, while in the South China Sea, about 90 miles west of the Philippine island of Luzon, I watched VFA-151’s F/A-18A Hornet (BuNo. 162908, NF 207) experience an engine failure while being launched from Midway’s starboard catapult. I was standing all the way forward on the port bow with one of our EA-6B Prowlers and watched NF 207 go down the cat with sparks flying out behind it. The aircraft became airborne, suddenly wobbled and went into the water directly in front of the ship. All I could see as it hit was a huge spray of water and smoke with a parachute floating down. The Hornet sank immediately, and the ship turned hard to port to avoid hitting the pilot, LCDR D.C. Conrad who was rescued soon after by a helo from HS-12.

10. Is there anything about your volunteer experience that you would like to share with us?

Only that all the volunteers I work with are wonderful people and that there aren’t enough hours in the day to work on all the projects I’m involved with.

Troy’s bio from https://equipsblog.wordpress.com/2020/09/04/troy-prince-creator-of-midway-sailor-website/

I started out in life as a “Military Brat” because my father was in the U.S. Navy. I spent my early years moving around the States and the world. After high school, I decided that I “liked” the military life so much that I joined up myself. I spent ten years in the Navy, with nine of those stationed in Japan. I was assigned to the Gauntlets of VAQ-136, an EA-6B Prowler Electronic Warfare squadron for the first three years. Our home port was NAF Atsugi, Japan and we embarked aboard USS Midway, CV-41. When Midway was replaced by USS Independence, CV-62, I cross-decked over to the  Indy with the squadron. After I left the squadron in 1992, I transferred to a two year shore duty billet at NAF Atsugi AIMD. I then transferred to another shore duty billet at NAF Misawa AIMD for four years.

New Together We Serve App Available from the VA

From the VA blog:

Based on its acclaimed “Veterans Roll of Honor” tribute website, TWS’s app is a comprehensive directory of all 2.1 million Veteran members of its community website, Togetherweserved.com. Organized by service branch and with an easy-to-use search function, Veterans can discover people they trained or served within their former units, squadrons, ships, or bases. Simply by clicking on their name and logging in, Veterans can view their full-service history, including medals and awards, insignia and badges, basic training unit, unit assignments, combat/non-combat operations, as well as photos and memories.

Together We Served (TWS) is proud to offer all Veterans the opportunity to find and connect with people they served with using its new free ‘Veteran Finder’ app, which was specially designed for Android and Apple mobile phones.

Veteran’s Day–November 11

Did you know that Veteran’s Day was called Armistice Day until 1954 when President Eisenhower officially changed the name of the holiday?

Did you know that, unlike Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day honors all veterans from all wars (living or dead)?

Did you know that Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on November 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I? Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and November 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938.

Did you know that Great Britain, France, Australia, and Canada also commemorate the veterans of World War I and World War II on or near November 11th: Canada has Remembrance Day, while Britain has Remembrance Sunday (the second Sunday of November)?

Did you know that in Europe, Great Britain, and the Commonwealth countries it is common to observe two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. every November 11?

Do you know how many countries have Tombs of the Unknown Soldier? After 1945 it became a global phenomenon. Today more than 50 countries have a war memorial housing the remains of an unidentified soldier. These tombs have become national shrines.

Did You Know that the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is 100 Years Old This Year?

Since November 11, 1921, the Tomb has provided a final resting place for one of America’s unidentified World War I service members, and Unknowns from later wars were added in 1958 and 1984.

To read more and see what ceremonies are planned, click here.

Whether they rest in peace
or rest in pieces
In the quiet tomb
it doesn't matter
World's worry ceases.

For the first time in nearly 100 years, and as part of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemoration, the public will be able to walk on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Plaza and lay flowers in front of the Tomb on Nov. 9 and 10, 2021.

The flower ceremony will start at 8 a.m. Nov. 9 with representatives from the Crow Nation placing flowers at the Tomb. They will recite a prayer in honor of Chief Plenty Coups, who served as a scout for the U.S. Army.

Invited by President Warren Harding, Chief Plenty Coups was the sole representative of Native Americans for the dedication of the Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier in 1921. He gave a short speech in his native tongue in honor of the soldier and the occasion. He placed his war-bonnet and coup stick upon the tomb, which are preserved in a display case in Arlington.

Janine’s Mission 61–Christmas Cards for Veterans in Hospice

Janine’s Team Mission #61
https://americasveteransstories.com/wwii-project/john-coates-82nd-airborne/
Holiday Cards for our Veterans in Hospice It’s Veteran’s Last Patrol 3rd Annual Operation Holiday Salute!  Teachers, managers, families, coaches, associations, companies…this is a GREAT group project. There are many veterans in hospice care who could use extra love this holiday season. Please take an hour or so out of your day to write to them. Here’s how: Create your own cards, buy a batch of cards, send postcards…they will love it all! Send as many as you would like. The more the merrier!! Here is a message from Veteran’s Last Patrol: Last year we obtained and delivered over 30,000 Holiday Cards.  Americans across the nation participated in this amazing operation to bring a little joy to veterans on their Last Patrol.  This year our goal is 50,000! Can you help us? You are welcome to send cards to us addressed: Dear Hero or Dear Veteran. Our packaging and postage expenses for this drive to get these cards to dying veterans is significant. Would you consider a small donation to help? Tax deductible donations can be made here.
We’re motivated to deliver as many Christmas & Holiday Greeting Cards to veterans in hospice care around the country as we can.
Please mail your cards no later than 12/3 to:  Veteran Last Patrol
140B Venture Blvd
Spartanburg, SC, 29306

If you’re sending more than one card, just put them in one package and send all together. No need for individual stamps on each card.

Learn more about Veteran’s Last Patrol’s year-round efforts by visiting their website.

Colin Powell’s 13 Rules of Leadership

Colin Powell, son of Jamaican immigrants, passed away today from COVID complications. He was fully vaccinated but had been suffering from some underlying health conditions. He was the National Security Advisor under President Reagan, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George H. W. Bush and President Clinton. He was Secretary of State under President George W. Bush.

I was the librarian at Ft Myer when he lived in Quarters 1 at Ft Myer. Although he did not visit the library, he wife, Alma was a frequent library user. He left most of his papers to the NDU Library and frequently called the Special Collections Staff to do research from his collection. He would visit the library occasionally, where I had to privilege of meeting him.

Colin Powell’s Leadership List

Like most of our leadership lists, Powell’s rules are actually lessons themselves, gleaned from his decades in uniform.

1. It ain’t as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning.

There’s a silver lining in every cloud, you just have to find it. That’s not always as easy as it sounds. Things might look bad today, but if you’ve put in the effort, tomorrow will be a brighter day. It’s a state of mind; believe it and you will make it happen.

2. Get mad, then get over it.

There’s always going to be days when events—or people—push you to the edge. When you do lose your temper, don’t lose control at the same time. People always remember the leader with a bad temper, and never in a good way.

3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.

People who think that their way is the only way tend to experience a lot of disappointment. Things aren’t always going to go your way, that’s just a fact of life. Be humble enough to accept that fact.

4. It can be done!

Just about anything can be accomplished if you set your mind to it, have the necessary resources, and the time to get it done. Don’t succumb to the skeptics; listen to what they have to say and consider their perspective but stay focused and positive.

5. Be careful what you choose.

Don’t rush into a bad decision. Take the time to consider your options, weigh the relevant facts, and make reasoned assumptions. Once you pull the trigger, there are no do-overs. So make it count.

6. Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.

Powell was fond of connecting good leadership to good instincts. Be a leader who hones judgement and instinct. Take the time to shape your mental models. Learn how to read a situation for yourself. Become the decision-maker your people need you to be.

7. You can’t make someone else’s choices.

Never allow someone else to make your decisions for you. Ultimately, you’re responsible for your own decisions. Don’t duck that responsibility and don’t succumb to external pressures. Make your own decisions and live with them.

8. Check small things.

Success is built on a lot of seemingly minor details. Having a feel for those “little things” is essential. In a 2012 interview, David Lee Roth shared the story of how Van Halen used brown M&Ms as an indicator of whether large concert venues paid attention to the minor details critical to a major performance. Leaders must have ways to check the little things without getting lost in them.

9. Share credit.

Success relies on the effort of the entire team, not just the leader. Recognition motivates people in ways that are immeasurable. Don’t be a glory hog. Share credit where credit is due and allow your people to stand in the spotlight. It ain’t about you. It’s about them.

10. Remain calm. Be kind.

Keep calm and carry on. Kill ‘em with kindness. When chaos reigns, a calm head and a kind word go a long way. When everyone is under incredible stress, be the leader people want to follow, not the leader people want to avoid.

11. Have a vision. Be demanding.

Followers need to things from leaders—a purpose and a firm set of standards. When you see leaders fail, it is almost always for one of those two things. They either lead their followers in a flailing pursuit of nothing, or they don’t set and enforce an example for their people.

12. Don’t take counsel of your fears or naysayers.

Fear can be a powerful motivator, but it can also paralyze a leader at the worst possible time. Learn to understand your fears and channel them in ways that you control rather than allowing them to control you. Think clearly, think rationally, and make decisions that aren’t rooted in emotion.

13. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

Optimism is infectious. Maintaining a positive attitude and an air of confidence is as important for you as it is for those around you. People will feed off your optimism. Believe in your purpose, believe in yourself, and believe in your people. And they’ll believe in you.

Janine’s Mission 60: 2 WWII Vets Celebrating BIG Birthdays!

Veteran 1:  Wilferd McCallister’s 96th Birthday
https://americasveteransstories.com/wwii-project/john-coates-82nd-airborne/
96th Birthday Cards for WWII Veteran Wilferd McCallister was drafted from Normady High School (St. Louis, MO) in 1943 and served in the Army until 1946. He worked in the Message Center in Europe. While in Europe, he was able to visit Vatican City, where he met Pope Pius XII and received a blessed cross.
Wilferd’s birthday is October 31st his family will be throwing a birthday party for him on that day. His daughter is collecting the cards so they can surprise him with the cards. To ensure they get there in time, please put your cards in the mail on or before October 24th.  Here’s the address:
Patty Kellett 6121 Cedar Springs Rd.  Cedar Hill, MO 63016 attn: Wilferd McCallister
…and here’s info on Bernie, our second veteran of Mission 60….
Veteran 2:  Bernie Regan’s 102nd Birthday
https://americasveteransstories.com/wwii-project/john-coates-82nd-airborne/
102nd Birthday Cards for WWII Veteran Bernie Regan joined the “Enlisted Reserve” in 1942, awaiting orders to report for active duty. He graduated from college, then took a job at General Motors machine gun plant. In May, he reported for military duty, graduating as a pilot in April 1943. It was June 6, 1943, D-Day and Lt. Regan was now a member of the 391st. He and his flight crew flew a B26 bomber just minutes before 6:00 am to the target of Omaha Beach, northern France. The next mission was to bomb the submarine pens in Brest, France. Then a gasoline storage area at the edge of Paris, all in the effort to defeat Hitler’s war machine. He flew 65 missions in France and Germany. Lt. Regan was married to Kathleen Rohde in 1944, a marriage that lasted over 77 years. His amazing wife Kay, worked in a factory during the war. They lived many places, Laredo, Tx., California, Japan, Massachusetts, Michigan, Florida, and Washington, DC. They raised two sons. Kay passed in 2021. Regan earned a Law degree in 1954 from McGeorge College of Law. When he returned to Michigan (his home state) he taught college at Michigan State University. In 1962, he was stationed at Otis AFB, Air Defense Command at Cape Cod Mass., then Eglin AFB in Ft. Walton Beach, Fla. In 1966, Lt. Col. Regan also was in Saigon, Viet Nam as US military Assistance Command. Finally, he served at the Pentagon as a Staff Officer in Deputy Chief of Staff, Chief of Legislative Matters for Personnel. Lt. Col Bernard Regan retired in 1973 and moved back to Ft. Walton Beach, Fl. Bernie’s 102nd birthday is November 8th. His son is collecting the cards. To ensure they get there in time, please put your cards in the mail on or before November 1.  Here’s the address: Mike Regan 318 Snapper Dr. Destin, Fl. 32541 attn: Bernie Regan

2021- Midway Volunteer of the Year: Bonnie Brown, Midway Volunteer Librarian

At the annual Midway Volunteer dinner, each of the Midway’s departments nominates a volunteer to be considered for Volunteer of the Year. Usually the Award goes to one of the more prominent sections like the Docents, Engineering, Safety, or Ship Restoration. This year, it went to Bonnie Brown who volunteers in the Library, part of the Curatorial Division.

It is the first time that someone from Curatorial has won the award.

When Bonnie’s picture was flashed up on the screen as each of the awardees was introduced in turn, the description was a dry recital of library factoids–so many books, magazines, newspapers, etc. It did not include the breadth of services that the library provides to crew members (staff and volunteers alike), guests (whether they are former crew members or friends/family of former crew members), researchers, and other libraries including the Smithsonian.

In her acceptance speech, Bonnie shared what we do:

I accept this honor on behalf of our entire library team of 65 volunteers.

For our Bookstore team who keep our store open every day the ship is open.

For our Magazine indexers and summarizers who read and index USS Midway related articles

For our Crew List researchers who go through muster rolls, newsletters, and deck logs to find our former crew members which now number almost 100,000

For our Facebook manager, Don, who has posted everyday for almost 6 years

For our publishing team of writers, proofers, and artists that have published 4 books and are working on a 5th

For our Deck Log transcribers who stare at computer screens for hours to type out our Midway history

For our scanning and PDF expert, Hal

For our researchers and catalogers who find and document our history

For our long distance researchers, Pat, Kyle and Troy, who log in from Virginia, Minnesota, and Santa Barbara to upload and catalog materials

For our Zoom coordinator, Liza, who began in March last year to coordinate and kept us all connected over the shutdowns

And especially for our 30 volunteers who continued to work at home when the ship was closed

For the Proceedings team who have summarized every Naval Institute Proceedings article back to 1874

And, for Joan Ring who had a passion for the library and who sadly passed away in 2019 after volunteering over 13,000 hours

For the Library Co-Lead Phil Eakin who loves research and is really good at making that research accessible to others,

and last but not least to our leader, Dave Hanson, who guides us and allows us the freedom to pursue our goals

Thanks, too, to my husband, Roger, who supports my volunteering and supports all things Midway

I am standing here because of these fantastic people who have created a library that has journalists and other museums, including the Smithsonian, contacting us for information.

I would like to ask all the Library volunteers to please stand to be recognized for their contribution to this wonderful ship and wonderful museum.

Reblog: The Return of LTjg Winky

Reblog from Vic Socotra’s website:

(Winky’s plush Philippine rattan cruisebox quarters have not survived the years since 1980, his last embarked and underway period on the Best Damn Carrier in the Fleet. For now, Ship’s Company personnel have reserved a special berthing arrangement in the legendary Ship’s Library in order for Winky to be rapidly accessible to answer emerging questions on efficient crisis operations in the Pacific, South China Sea and Indian Oceans).

With his escort, Pat Alderman, the trip from the Atlantic Seaboard was meticulously executed. They would both like to express their gratitude and thanks to the people who prepared a magnificent “welcome back” ceremony.

There was considerable buzz along the waterfront. Before he even came aboard, one of the safety team inquired if he was here, and took a pre-boarding picture to document the return.

Click here to read more.

Pictures from Winky Enroute to California

Janine’s Mision 59: Special 65th Birthday for a Navy Vet

65th Birthday Cards and Prayers for Navy Vet
I received this note from Robert’s sister: I am writing to ask your support in celebrating my brother’s 65th birthday on October 5th. It is a very special birthday with family and friends. He is terminally ill with three different types of cancer and complications with side effects from the chemotherapy. This disease process has significant links to his Naval Service.  Robert Paul Kanzleiter served as leading Petty Officer, G Division, GMG2 on the USS Peterson DD 969 from 11/25/80 to 11/24/85. He was also Senior ASROC Guard along with the other hats aboard he wore while serving on the Peterson. Combat duty was in the Beirut Theater of Operations. He also belongs to that small group of sailors who earned the title “Blue Nose” while in the Arctic. Learn more about what it takes to earn a blue nose here. His passion for his years spent in the Navy is heard by many in the stories he shares about tours in the Mediterranean and Aegean seas, shore visits and encounters at sea. Bob’s love of country and commitment to the crew and officers of the Peterson was the basis for serving with excellence.  He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, lymphoma, and leukemia 9 months ago. Research has indicated that the benzine derivatives used to maintain the ships guns had a significant role in his deteriorating health status. I will be sending them to him. His sister knows that the cards will arrive later than his birthday which is 10/5, but emphasized it is the thought and words in the cards that are more important. 
Please put your cards in the mail ASAP. I will send them out around October. 10th to ensure everyone has a chance to get their cards to me.  Here is the address: Janine Stange 3717 Boston Street ste 311 Baltimore, MD 21224 ATTN: Robert K. 

LTJG Winky’s Final Thoughts before Leaving Virginia and Returning to the USS Midway (CV-41)

I am conflicted this evening as I lay awake contemplating my return to the USS Midway. It is a momentous trip for this aging spokesman. I have lived in Virginia for a long time, with my publicist , JR Reddig. When he yanked me out of my snug quarters last April and gave me to Pat, whoever she is, I knew it was going to be the beginning of my next adventure.

So far I have mostly been set aside on a chair or a couch. She brings me out to perform like some trained equine. Once she and I sat together to read a portion of JR’s book, Nick Danger, Third Eye. She took our picture and sent it to JR. I assume he liked the picture, since she really does not tell me much.

Now she keeps assuring me that we will travel by plane from Charlottesville, Virginia through the Charlotte airport and then on to San Diego. She says it will be a fun trip. I’ll probably spend it stuffed in her purse. Will I have to wear a mask or are spokesmen excepted from that rule? As an officer of the Naval Service, albeit retired, I will do my duty as required.

I’m looking over her shoulder and can see that she is corresponding with JR and another old Intel type Phil about my return to the USS Midway at 0930 on Thursday, 23 September. As a Lieutenant, junior grade, I warrant two side boys. Phil thinks he can convince two of the Midway’s volunteers to serve as the side boys when I cross the brow one more time. Pat is bringing donuts to bribe those who prefer such things.

One of the disadvantages of being an alter ego, is that I have very little say in what happens to me. Yes, I have been a spokesperson, respected briefer, and one of the first to visit Gonzo Point (not sure you will find it on any maps), but even my rank has worn off my yellow fur arms.

After the trip, I understand that JR will be in San Diego in October for his son’s wedding and plans to visit the Midway in an attempt to relive some of the days of his misspent youth about the Best Ship in the Damned Navy. Ships and shipmates come and go–we cherish them when we see each other again.

LTJG Winky remembering–picture courtesy of Vic Socotra. That’s his picture up on the screen.

Set Ale, with Carl and Phil

When somebody donated what they thought was a ship’s mobile compass, both Phil and Carl thought it might be a boat compass which lead to the following sea stories.

Phil-It would be a boat compass, as I remember them.  In my first ship, a Gearing-class destroyer, the Captain’s gig had a boat compass.  It is a magnetic compass and had to be compensated once a year.  My first job of the ship was a Navigator, and to the navigator falls the job of compensating the ship’s magnetic compasses.  The ship’s magnetic compass is compensated through a process call swinging ship.  The ship steers cardinal heading in sequence and the difference between the magnetic and gyro compasses are noted.


For the gig, we had go swing that, so myself and a couple quartermasters and a coxswain and engineman take the boat to a sheltered spot in Subic Bay.  Turns out it is closer to Subic City than to Olongapo.  After an hour or so out there on a hot and sunny tropical day, a local comes up to us in a bonca boat (native outrigger craft) from Subic City and asks us if we’d like to buy a nice cold beer.  A real leadership test.  Doing ship’s business during working hours.  They guys all wanted one, and we were far away from our ship, so I said OK.  And it was just one piece. (Phil remembers that each man had a San Miguel).

Carl-This is getting farther away from boat compasses, but when I was aboard USS Bainbridge, a nuclear-powered cruiser, one of the Bosun’s Mates was due to ship over. I think he was a first-class petty officer and had something to do with the guys who manned and maintained the captain’s gig. The ship was anchored jut out of Pearl Harbor during an ORE and the bosun asked to be re-enlisted in the gig. Captain “Wild Bill” Sheridan granted his request and volunteered to do the shipping over ceremony himself. They put the gig in the water and loaded a case of cold beer from the captain’s “pic-nick” supplies. The gig laid out a half-mile from the ship, the Bosun’s Mate re-enlisted, and the half-dozen or so folks aboard all toasted him with the captain’s beer. They laid alongside the ship and dis-embarked, the gig was hauled in, and they all went back to work. So, I think Phil was on solid ground with the gig crew, which is NOT a commissioned vessel, and their beer break.

Escape from the Pentagon Library

This is a written interview with my friend and National Defense University Library co-worker, Lily McGovern. In September 2001, Lily was a reference librarian at the Pentagon Library (PL) . The Library was in the section of the Pentagon hit by the plane, but because it mostly in the inner most or A ring, the plane did not penetrate that far into the building.

During the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001—60 years to the day after construction began on the Pentagon—a hijacked plane struck the building, killing 189 people and damaging roughly one-third of the building.

From History.Com
  1. Where were you when the plane hit  and what were you doing?

I was at my desk in the Pentagon Library (PL).  I had been on vacation and it was my first day back at work.  Someone heard about events in New York so we were watching the planes hit the World Trade Center on the TV in the PL.  It was upsetting to watch the tragedy in NY, especially the second plane hitting the World Trade Center and the collapse of the Twin Towers, so I decided to get back to work at my desk.

I should add for anyone who is not familiar with the layout of the Pentagon that the PL was previously in space that straddled wedges 1 and 2 of the Pentagon renovation project.  The temporary wall erected between wedge 1 and wedge 2 was actually in the library area.  There was a lot of planning and physical work to rearrange the PL and squeeze into a much smaller space.  Since the temporary wall between the renovation wedges cut off the A ring at the PL, the library gained some space from what had been the A ring corridor.  The front door was now in the A ring. For over a year we could hear the sounds of wedge 1 being stripped to the bare concrete, construction equipment backing up, jackhammers, saws, drills and all that. 

When I heard the big boom, I immediately thought that someone had dropped a big heavy something in wedge 1.  They were moving offices into the renovated area and we knew that shelving was being installed in the part of wedge 1 where the PL would be.

Note: From the Pentagon Renovation Program, Wikipedia:

Wedge 1 was the first above-ground section of the Pentagon to undergo renovation. Demolition of the existing structure and hazardous material abatement began in 1998, and the first move-in of tenants occurred in February 2001. The last tenants moved in on February 6, 2003.

The renovation of Wedge 1 involved the renovation of one million square feet of space. This involved the removal of 83 million pounds of debris (70% of this was able to be recycled), and 28 million pounds of hazardous material. The renovation also saw the installation of eight new passenger elevators, new blast-resistant windows, escalators traversing all five floors, skylights, a new HVAC system, a new communications infrastructure, and a new open-plan office layout.

The Library was between Wedge 1 (in blue) and Wedge 2 (in light green). It was on the first floor in the A (or inner most ring.)

2. How as the word spread on what to do? What did you do?

One of my coworkers saw the heavy glass doors of the PL swing open as we heard the big boom.  He yelled that it was a bomb and to get away from the windows which lined that side of the library.  I recall being told to evacuate the PL and that people who exited using our fire evacuation route came back saying there was smoke that direction.  I was checking with the other librarians to see that we got everyone to leave and when we were sure, I left. I don’t recall whether the fire alarms went off. Funny how many details I have forgotten over the years. You might think I’d remember it so clearly but not thinking or talking about my experience for years has faded my memory.

3. Were you allowed to get your personal items, such as a purse or take anything with you when you exited the library?

Luckily since I was at my desk. I shut down my computer and grabbed my purse, pretty much as a reflex action.  During fire drills, it might take a while to get back into the building and I seem to always need a tissue.  My friends who left with only their Pentagon badges, which we had to wear at all times, were not allowed back into the PL to retrieve their purses and belongings for several months.  They had to cancel credit cards, replace driver’s licenses, and any important items. They also didn’t have money or their Metro passes unless they kept them with their badge..

4. How did you exit the Library and where did you go?

Since our usual exit route had smoke, we exited into the A ring through the PL’s main door and over to the exit to north parking. Going through the Pentagon there was no sign of smoke and the only unusual thing was people moving fast towards the exit or in the direction of where the smoke was seen by my coworkers.  I felt no great danger as I exited the building.

 I carpooled with Ann Parham who was the Army Librarian and worked in an office in the renovated and reopened part of Wedge 1. We were parked in north parking so I went to her car.  Once I was outside the building, security guards were telling people to move away from the building and smoke was visible around the side of the building that faces Henderson Hall and Arlington Cemetery.  People were saying that a plane had hit the building.  It was a very sunny and warm day for September.  Very soon the guards were telling us that we had to move farther away from the parking lot because there was another airplane that could be headed for us.  I scribbled a note to Ann that I was out of the building and OK, placed it under the windshield wiper and started walking away with some of my coworkers.

5. How did they account for everyone and were there any library staff who could not be accounted for?

There was no opportunity to account for everyone once we evacuated.  It was standard procedure to insure no one was left behind during a fire drill and that was done before the PL Director Katherine Earnest and the last librarians left.  Once outside we were told to move farther from the building and parking lot so couldn’t meet at our assigned spot.  Ms. Earnest and division supervisors called employees at home to account for everyone.  I know it must have taken quite a while and I’m not sure when Ms. Earnest arrived home.  Cell phones were not working by the time we were out of the building and moving.  The call volume had crashed the system.  I’m not sure when cell service was restored since I didn’t own a cell phone at the time. By the next day I heard that everyone was accounted for and all were unscathed.

6. How and when did you get home?

We had walked some distance from the parking lot and came to a road. A woman pulled her car to the side of the road and yelled out that she was headed to Alexandria and could give a ride to anyone who needed one.  I told my friends to jump in and we could go to my house.  I am eternally grateful to this woman and regret that even though she told us her name, none of us could remember it later.  She was a real good Samaritan to the 4 of us.

She asked where in Alexandria we wanted to go.  Since one of my friends lived in Maryland and rode the Metro to work, I asked her to drop us at the King Street Metro.  My house is within walking distance so the rest of us could go there and use our land line to call their families.

As we traveled towards Alexandria listening to the car radio, we were hearing all the confusing and sometimes inaccurate reports.  Traffic was getting heavy, and our angel was getting worried about getting home to her family.  She asked if we would mind if she dropped us off in Old Town rather than at the Metro.   I knew that she had saved us a lot of walking on a hot day and that we could easily walk from there.  We thanked her profusely as she dropped us off.  I only wish I could have thanked her more.

We were all hot, thirsty, and eager to contact our families.  We found a little shop where we could buy cold drinks and use a pay phone.  I was able to call my husband at home to tell him that I’m OK and will be arriving with friends. We walked to the Metro and checked that it was running through to Maryland.  I gave Shirley money for the ride home and my home phone number in case the Metro stranded her in Virginia and wished her luck. The rest of us continued on foot to my house.

7. How did you feel during and after the evacuation?

I didn’t feel in immediate danger of losing my life at any point.  I did feel shocked at what I saw happening in New York and that a plane crashed into my workplace.  I was relieved that there had been no smoke in the PL even though there was a fire not that far away in the building.  I knew from previous events that there could be a fire in a part of the Pentagon that I was not even aware of till the next day or more.  The building was built during wartime to withstand bombing and to limit damage.  That and its sheer size made me more confident that we could walk out safely. 

I was more concerned after I knew that it was a plane that struck the building and when we were told there was an unaccounted-for plane that might be headed for us.  It was a totally unplanned for type of evacuation so everyone was on their own when we were ordered to get away.  As we were walking, I was thinking how I’d get home if I wasn’t able to go back and find Ann.  Pentagon Metro was out of the question, Pentagon City would have meant going back through the south parking lot to cross under 395, and I wasn’t sure if Metro from Arlington Cemetery would have taken me past the Pentagon to get to Alexandria. I didn’t know the bus routes on streets near the Pentagon. I had used an express bus from Fairlington to the Pentagon on occasion but figured I’d have to change buses in order to get from Arlington to Alexandria. Everything was happening fast. News was sketchy and hard to come by as I walked so evaluating options was very difficult. I really didn’t have time to feel scared because I was trying to figure out what to do. When the wonderful lady offered us a ride, it beat all the options I had in mind.  I was very relieved to know I could get to Alexandria and confident that I’d be able to walk from there. I wasn’t sure what forms of public transportation were working or how well but I can walk 10 miles .

8. What did you do the next day or the next week?

I was told to stay home until notified where to report to work by my supervisor. On the 12th I talked with family and friends who called to see if I was OK, checked in with coworkers to see how they got home, and called a friend who worked across the street from the World Trade Center in NYC.  I don’t recall how long it was till we were told to report to an office building in Crystal City.  When we first arrived at our temporary space in recently vacated offices it had been stripped to the bare concrete floor, walls between rooms were sparse and showed signs that it was expected they would be replaced.  Furniture was an odd assortment of old metal desks and various chairs.  We didn’t have computers or access to internet so couldn’t really accomplish work tasks like database searches or looking for material in the library catalog. We moved several times to different locations in those office buildings as better space was available. Equipment improved and it felt less like being a refugee.

We could not access the library collection in the Pentagon or any personal belongings for 2 months. That part of the building was considered a crime scene and no one was allowed in.  It also took time for an assessment of the building to determine if it was structurally safe. There were fires in the roof area that had to be fought for days and more water was used. 

The PL Director was only able to go into the Library after a few weeks to assess what damage was done.  By that point there was water and mold from the water used to fight the fires. 

9. How were they able to save the materials in the library?  What was saved?  Did you have a role in that?

Most of the Library materials were saved due to the efforts of the PL Director.  She made the case for hiring a firm that specializes in remediation after fires or flooding.  They brought in fans and dehumidifiers to reduce the dampness and stop further mold growth.  I didn’t have any specific role in the efforts.  The PL staff were doing whatever tasks the Director assigned them.  I worked off site at the National Defense University Library for a short while because they offered office space and their computer access until we had that in the Crystal City offices.   

10. How long did it take for you to feel ‘normal’?   When were you first allowed back in the library?  

The Pentagon Library never felt normal to me again. The Library never reopened in the old space in wedge 2 or in the space that was designated in Wedge 1 before 9/11.  I left the Pentagon Library for another job in January 2002.  Books were moved into space in the Crystal City office building as the PL Director wrangled to get space anywhere in the Pentagon to provide service and let our community know we were still able to assist with their information needs.   

I recall that it was about 2 months before people were allowed back to get their purses, car keys, house keys, cell phones and important papers.  It was a hard hat area, no electricity for lights and instructions to not spend any more time than necessary getting only the most important items. Later we were allowed to clear out our desks.

11. Is there anything you would like to share with us about the experience?

I have led a very fortunate life.  From growing up in a loving middle-class family in rural central Pennsylvania, to having a rewarding career doing work I really enjoyed, to good health and good luck in more ways than I can count, I have benefited from circumstances beyond my control. I can’t claim to deserve the luck that allowed me to walk out of the Pentagon and have a total stranger offer me a ride home.  I think of the people who lost their lives, had injuries and a traumatic exit (like my carpool partner Ann), or the horrible journeys that some of my coworkers had getting home. I have no words to express my gratitude for a million things that could have gone wrong that didn’t for me on that memorable day.  My hope is that I can return the favor of the woman who went out of her way to assist strangers.

One way to assist strangers is to remind people to keep their Metro card (your local transit pass) and some form of money with their government badge.  In case you must evacuate quickly you will have means to get home.  If your workplace allows you to keep your phone at your desk or on your person, you may be able to keep your pass and money in your phone case.  Having a plan on how to get home or to some agreed upon meeting place really pays off in an emergency.  I doubt that anyone in Washington, DC expected to have to evacuate their workplace due to an earthquake when one struck in 2011.  Fires, shootings, and other extreme events can and do happen.  Please give some thought to how you could get home if something awful happens or how you would let your family/friends know where you are or where you would go if you can’t contact them by phone or email. Ask your supervisor if you don’t know the evacuation and meet up plan for your workplace.  

Ted Williams, USMC

Theodore Samuel Williams
August 30, 1918 – July 5, 2002

Ted Williams was an American professional baseball player and manager. He played his entire 19-year Major League Baseball (MLB) career, primarily as a left fielder for the Boston Red Sox from 1939 to 1960; his career was interrupted by military service during World War II and the Korean War. Nicknamed “Teddy Ballgame”, “The Kid”, “The Splendid Splinter”, and “The Thumper”, Williams is regarded as one of the greatest hitters in baseball history.

Williams was a nineteen-time All-Star, a two-time recipient of the American League (AL) Most Valuable Player Award, a six-time AL batting champion, and a two-time Triple Crown winner. He finished his playing career with a .344 batting average, 521 home runs, and a .482 on-base percentage, the highest of all time. His career batting average is the highest of any MLB player whose career was played primarily in the live-ball era, and ranks tied for 7th all-time (with Billy Hamilton).

Born (Hispanic mother) and raised in San Diego, ( Hoover HS) Williams played baseball throughout his youth. (Pacific Coast “Padres”, (later he played up in Minnesota, for the Minneapolis “Millers” (AA))  After joining the Red Sox in 1939, ($5,000) he immediately emerged as one of the sport’s best hitters. In 1941, Williams posted a .406 batting average; he is the last MLB player to bat over .400 in a season. He followed this up by winning his first Triple Crown in 1942. Williams was required to interrupt his baseball career in 1943 to serve three years in the United States Navy and Marine Corps during World War II.

( ” Williams was drafted into the military, being put into Class 1-A. A friend of Williams suggested that Williams …. as the sole support of his mother, should be reclassified to Class 3-A. Williams was reclassified to 3-A ten days later. Afterwards, the public reaction was extremely negative*,   . … so, Williams joined the Navy Reserve on May 22, 1942, went on active duty in 1943, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps as a Naval Aviator on May 2, 1944.  On September 2, 1945, when the war ended, Lt. Williams was in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii awaiting orders as a replacement pilot. While in Pearl Harbor, Williams played baseball in the Navy League. Also in that eight-team league were Joe DiMaggioJoe Gordon, and Stan Musial. The Service World Series with the Army versus the Navy attracted crowds of 40,000 for each game.     …. at Furlong Field, Hickam …..

Williams was discharged by the Marine Corps on January 28, 1946, )

Upon returning to MLB in 1946, Williams won his first AL MVP Award and played in his only World Series. In 1947, he won his second Triple Crown.

Williams was returned to active military duty for portions of the 1952 and 1953 seasons to serve as a Marine combat aviator in the Korean War.

( Williams’s name was called from a list of inactive reserves to serve on active duty in the Korean War on January 9, 1952. Williams, who was livid at his recalling, had a physical scheduled for April 2. Williams passed his physical and in May, after only playing in six major league games, began refresher flight training and qualification prior to service in Korea.

In 1952, at the age of thirty three, Ted Williams was called to duty from the inactive reserves and sent to the Korean War. As a member of the first Marine Air Wing, Williams landed in Korea in February of 1953.

At the same time, John Glenn also turned up there, and the two became good friends. The man who would go on to become the first American to orbit the earth and the Splendid Splinter were paired together on missions, with Williams as Glenn’s wingman, flying F-9 Panther jets.

After eight weeks of refresher flight training and qualification in the F9F Panther jet at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, he was assigned to VMF-311, Marine Aircraft Group 33 (MAG-33), based at K-3 airfield in Pohang, Korea.

On February 16th, 1953, Williams was part of a 35-plane strike package against a tank and infantry training school just south of Pyongyang, North Korea. During the mission a piece of flak knocked out his hydraulics and electrical systems, causing Williams to have to “limp” his plane back to K-13, an Air Force base close to the front lines. For his actions of this day he was awarded the Air Medal.

Ted Williams flew thirty nine mission in the Korean War, over half of them with Glenn. The future astronaut remembers Ted as a very capable pilot, one who got out of more than his share of tight spots. “Once, he was on fire and had to belly land the plane back in.” Glenn recalled.

“He slid it in on the belly. It came up the runway about 1,500 feet before he was able to jump out and run off the wingtip.” The plane burst into flames moments later.

In 1957 and 1958 at the ages of 39 and 40, respectively, he was the AL batting champion for the fifth and sixth time.

Williams retired from playing in 1960. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966, in his first year of eligibility.  Williams managed the Washington Senators/Texas Rangers franchise from 1969 to 1972. An avid sport fisherman, he hosted a television program about fishing, and was inducted into the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame. Williams’s involvement in the Jimmy Fund helped raise millions in dollars for cancer care and research. In 1991 President George H. W. Bush presented Williams with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award bestowed by the United States government. He was selected for the Major League Baseball All-Time Team in 1997 and the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999.

* He was widely criticized by the press, who took out their feelings on Williams by snubbing him as American League MVP in 1942, even though he led the league in batting average, home runs, and RBI, taking the first of his two Triple Crowns. They voted Joe Gordon of the New York Yankees the honor, thus cementing a running feud that Ted Williams would carry on with the print media for the rest of his career in Boston.

Another Two Missions from Janine Stange

100th Birthday Cards for a WWII Vet and Welcome Home Cards for a Vietnam Vet
Janine’s Team Mission #58!
The summer has flown by – and it was filled with so many more missions than I had expected. Which is a good thing.  Thank you for responding so quickly! You are awesome! 
Thanks to all for sending cards to Joe Butkus (90) and Ed Hyatt (100), Pat Rudd (100) and Ann Nalley (100), and Robert Mintz (90)….also the super short-notice mission that I posted to my facebook for Denny Snow (70).   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.

…and now on to Mission 58.
We’ve got two veterans: Lawrence and Michael.  Lawrence is turning 100 and we are welcoming Michael home from Vietnam (50 years later).  Both cards need to be mailed on or before 9/23…so you only have to make one trip to the mailbox!  
Janine’s Team Mission #58 (vet 1: Lawrence)
https://americasveteransstories.com/wwii-project/john-coates-82nd-airborne/
Happy 100th Birthday, Lawrence! WWII Veteran Lawrence Decker from New Mexico is turning 100 on September 30th!! I received this note from Lawrence’s friend: Shortly after graduating from High School Lawrence was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1942. He served in the infantry in North Africa, France, Italy and Germany. After the war, Lawrence returned home to his family farm in Springer, NM where he continued to ranch and farm. Lawrence was also employed by the local school district as a School bus driver.  He will be turning 100 on September 30th and we’d love to present him with cards at his party! There will be a party at his senior center on the day of his birthday, so please send your cards by September 23rd. 
MAIL YOUR CARDS TO:
Lawrence Decker
POB 928
Springer, NM 87747Keep scrolling down for our second veteran….
Janine’s Team Mission #58 (vet 2: Michael)
https://americasveteransstories.com/wwii-project/john-coates-82nd-airborne/
Welcome Home, Michael! I received this note from Michael’s son:   I am reaching out to you to let you know about my father. He is a Vietnam Veteran. He served from 1970-1971. He was discharged on September 27th 1971 at Ft. Louis in Seattle Washington. He kissed the ground when he got off the plane. He was happy to be back home. Others however, were not so happy to see him. They spit at him and called him many names, names I am too much of a gentleman to repeat. He did not understand this, after all, he had been protecting their freedom. He was drafted and was only doing what his country asked of him. To serve in the United States Army in the 23rd Infantry Americal Division, an Artillery Gunman on a 155 cannon. From the time he was asked to served, he knew life would never be the same. I never got a chance to meet the man he was before he did his duty. I only know him after. I can tell you he is a proud veteran and if asked would do it all over again for God and Country. He wears a Vietnam Veteran hat everywhere he goes and has many of his brothers come up to him and welcome him home. I am proud of my father and the man he is. I am sure you have heard the phrase, “Though I have left Vietnam, Vietnam has not left me.” These last 50 years have had their share of challenges, struggles, many surgeries, and he is a Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma Survivor. I do not know how he has done it. If I turn out to be 1/8th of the man he is, I will be doing good. MAIL YOUR CARDS TO:

Spec. 4 Bishop, Michael L12849 OakdaleSouthgate, MI 48195

Seeking Anectdotes about Where You Were on 11 September 2001

On Saturday, September 11, we will be celebrating the 20th Anniversary of 9-11 when the twin towers in New York City and the Pentagon were both hit by hijacked airplanes. I would like to share your stories of where you were, what you experienced and how that has affected you.

I was working at the National Defense University Library in Washington, DC. As soon as we entered the building, our Chief of Staff told us about the first plane hitting the World Trade Center . Soon there were rumors about a second plane hitting the other tower.. Some of us rushed to a library training room where we were hoping to get an updated news report. I tried several search engines trying to get some updates, along with thousands of others. The sites crashed quicker than the news of airplane crashes.

Cell phone service was soon nonexisent. Text messages were more likely to et through. People were sent home resulting in typical Washington DC gridlock since the HOV lanes and Metro schedules were still set for inbound traffic not, outbound traffic.

It was one of the prettiest September days that Washington has experienced. NDU is located at the confluence of the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers, at Greenleaf Point. Five us decided to wait for the traffic so subside and had potluck picnic near the river. We shared sandwiches, chips, cookies, and wine.

On the way home on 395, I remember a huge American flag waving over the Navy Annex next to Arlington Cemetery and black smoke billowing out of the E ring of the Pentagon. Seeing that flag still flying reassured me that the country would survive.

When we returned to work the next morning, traffic was backed up the entire length of 4th Street and onto M Street because each car was searched thoroughly including an examination of each vehicle’s undercarriage before it could enter the gate to Ft McNair where NDU is located.. People that lived on 4th Street were unable to get out of their drive ways because traffic was not moving and there was no place to maneuver a car out of the way.

What is your story?