Friday, October 21, 2016

Panoram and "Soundies"-- Part 3: Mills Novelty Co.

Panorams used mirrors and were about the size of a refrigerator.  The films shown were on a continuous loop and everything was housed in an art deco-style, high quality wooden cabinet.

They were first produced by the Mills Novelty Company of Chicago, Illinois which also made art deco-style, fancy slot machines.

With the beginning of World War II, production of "Soundies" and Panorams were drastically reduced due to wartime raw material shortages.


Panoram and "Soundies"-- Part 2: Televison Killed It

The Mills Company built a vast library of short, 3-minute videos for their "Soundies."  They featured the music stars of the era like Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Cab Calloway.  Many of these videos survive and are considered priceless archives of music from the pre-war period.

The Panorams were priced at $10,000 in 2006 dollars and generally found in bars, cafes and upscale dancing establishments.  They were quite a curiosity.

After World War II, they never regained their popularity due to competition from television.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Panoram "Soundies"-- Part 1: Showed Early Music Videos in the 1940s

In the last post, there was a photograph of two Mills Panogram "Soundies" and mention that they were a sort of an early video jukebox.  A little more research was necessary as I'd never heard of them.

Good old Wiki to the rescue.

Panoram was the trademark name of visual jukeboxes that played music accompanied by a synchronized, film image (like today's music videos).  It was a jukebox playing a closed-loop 16 mm film reel projected out onto a glass screen.

They were popular in the United States in the 1940s.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Shorpy Home Front Photos: Slots of Music

SEPTEMBER 25, 2016 LOTS OF SLOTS: 1944--  "Slot machine stockroom, Maser Music Co., Mission and Washburn streets, San Francisco.  1944.  40s One-Armed Bandits.  Take My Money!!

SEPTEMBER 19, 2016,  PLUG-AND-PLAY: 1944--  June 7, 1944.  "Maser Music showroom, Mission and Washburn streets, San Francisco.  "On display on D-Day Plus One, a selection of Wurlitzer jukeboxes and two Mills Panoram "Soundies" machines, a sort of early video jukebox that played 16 mm film loops of musical acts for a dime.

One comment says these "Soundies" were before MTV.  Some mighty pretty machines.  Wish i had one in my cave.

Even In war, Gotta Gamble and Tune In.  --GreGen

Shorpy Home Front: Toys to Heal

Again, you can see the actual photograph by typing in the capital letters.

SEPTEMBER 5, 2016  PINE & SECOND 1943    February 1943  "Daytona Beach, Florida, street scene.  Gordon Parks, OWI.  This was one of several photos he took in the black section of town.

SEPTEMBER 22, 2016  TOY HOSPITAL : 1942   November 1942.  Babies' Hospital, New York.  "Nurse training.  Through classes in pediatrics, student nurses learn how the right toys can be almost as important as medicine and diet in getting a sick child well.

Encouraging an interest in play and normal activity of childhood hastens convalescence.  Fritz Henle, OWI

Another aspect of the war you don't think much about.


Monday, October 17, 2016

Arizona Football Team Honors USS Arizona With Uniforms-- Part 2

One shoulder will have the patch of the 47th Pursuit Squadron which was stationed at Pearl Harbor.  On the other there will be a 48-star flag (Arizona was the 48th state admitted to the Union and, of course, it was the 48-star flag that flew in Pearl Harbor that day.

The University of Arizona's football team helmets will feature a red block "A" that is based on a photo of the USS Arizona's football team.  Also, there will be a 12-7-41 date where the helmet and face guard meet.  there is also a helmet logo of the Arizona's ship's bell.

All jerseys will say USS Arizona on the front and BB-39 on the back where the names would be.

A Fitting Honor.  --GreGen

University of Arizona Football Team Wears Jerseys Honoring the USS Arixzona-- Part 1

From the September 14, 2016, Arizona Sports "Arizona football releases uniform honoring USS Arizona vs. Hawaii."

The uniforms honor the upcoming 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor and will remember the sinking of the state's namesake.  The helmets and shoulder patches will especially reflect the USS Arizona.

The white-shaded helmets are the colors of the USS Arizona's upper mast.  The white jerseys are the colors of the hull and red pants are the color of the keel.


Friday, October 14, 2016

USS Oklahoma Sailor's Remains Returned Home

From the August 2, 2016, WCBE Central Ohio National Public Radio "Remains of Ohio Soldier killed in Pearl Harbor attack to be returned home in September" by Jim Letizia.

Clark County resident Navy Seaman William Welch's remains will be returned.  He was killed on the USS Oklahoma.


USS Pennsylvania Survivor Dies: Norman Lee Vance

From the August 9, 2016, Rushville (Indiana) Republican "Local Pearl harbor survivor passes away" by Kate Thurston.

Rush County native Norman Lee Vance died August 6, 2016.  He was born August 1, 1921, in New Castle.  After New Castle High School he enlisted in the Navy on was aboard the battleship USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) when the Japanese attacked.  The Pennsylvania had 15 killed, 14 missing and 38 wounded.

On December 20, 1941, the USS Pennsylvania sailed for San Francisco for repairs, arriving December 29.  It underwent those repairs until March 39, 1941.

He later served on the USS Columbia (CL-56).  he received many World War II ribbons and battle stars.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

World War II Army Veterans Gather in Rockford for Their 70th Reunion

From the June 24, 2016, Rockford (Illinois) Star by Sarah Wolf.

The 103rd Division, 2nd Battalion, 410th Infantry had their first reunion with a group of eight men from Company G in a Chicago hotel in 1946..

John LaVelle was one of those men and his son, Mike LaVelle, said, "Supposedly they partied and trashed the place, vowing to do the same thing again the next year."

Needless to say, the reunion is much more tame these recent years, as are World War II reunions all over the country.  These young men are getting quite old.  World War II veterans are mostly in their 90s and are dying at the rate of 430 a day.

Once, as many as 200 veterans and their families attended this group's reunion.  This year's week-long event was held at the Rockford Holiday Inn.

Only four veterans attended it:  Bert Miller, 94, Mike Egan, 96, Fred Kann, 91 and Charlie Atkinson, 92.  The last two were in Company G.  Kann spent a year in a hospital in the war after he stepped on a mine.


Frederick Morin Survived the Pearl Harbor Attack

From the June 26, 2016, Newark (Ohio) Advocate  "Frederick Morin was born October 30, 1921, in Licking County, Ohio.  He graduated from Newark High School in 1938 and joined the Navy on December 12, 1940.  When the Japanese attacked the fleet he was on the USS Nevada.

He remembered:  "I was a second loader on the five-inch anti-aircraft gun.  Eventually we ran out of ammunition so the gun captain sent me and another guy down below to an ammunition hoist to bring up some more..

"I had just loaded the first round in the hoist, pushed the button, and a bomb came down through the laundry and went off.  The guy that came down with us was killed.  It blew me against the outward bulkhead.  When I came to, my skivvy undershirt was on fire.  I tore it off and got out of there.  I was running and my arm was bleeding badly from shrapnel."

He was in the hospital for 4-5 days.

Mr. Morin served aboard the USS Nevada for the rest of the war and died August 30, 1988.

The Navy, however. misprinted his name as "Moran" when he enlisted.


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

USS Arizona 2016 Reunion

From the USS site.

The ship's 2016 reunion will be held December 1-9, 2016, in Hawaii (the 75th anniversary of the attack).

The Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort will serve as the host.

Currently five of the six remaining survivors will be attending.

Now, of course, there are just five survivors.  I don't know if Mr. Haerry was one of the ones planning to attend.


Raymond Haerry, USS Arizona Survivor Dies-- Part 4: 24 Years in the Navy

Mr. Raymond remembers the horror of swimming past the burning remains of his shipmates.  He swam to Ford Island.

He managed to avoid much of the flaming oil covering the water by swimming underwater and surfacing to push the burning oil aside with his arms.

Later service in the war and postwar years was on the USS Opportune, USS Allagash, USS Luiseno and the USS Muna Kea.

Retirement came November 1964, after 24 years service in the Navy.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Raymond Haerry, USS Arizona Survivor Dies-- Part 4

From the USS Arizona. org site.


DUTIES:  work with canvas and handle boats, know signaling

ENLISTED:  11 March 1940

BORN:  New Jersey

BOARDED THE USS ARIZONA:  30 September 1940 from RS Norfolk.


One of Last Pearl Harbor USS Arizona Survivors Dies: Raymond Haerry-- Part 3

Upon enlisting in the Navy, Mr. Haerry's first assignment was on the USS Ranger, an aircraft carrier.  While on that ship, he that the Arizona was looking for crew members and he volunteered for it and got his transfer.  In September 1940, he boarded the USS Arizona which was refitting in Bremerton, Washington.

On the Arizona, his duties involved working on the deck crew, cleaning and painting and operating boats ferrying crew to shore and back.

The morning of December 7, 1941, he had already taken a boat to shore and was back aboard and having breakfast when he saw the Japanese planes.  The big hit blew the Arizona out of the water 8-10 feet and knocked him unconscious and into the water.  He half-walked and half-swam to nearby Ford Island where he found a machine gun and began firing.


One of Last USS Arizona Pearl Harbor Survivors Dies: Raymond Haerry-- Part 2

From the October 7, 2016, USA Today.

Raymond Haerry was barely 18 when he enlisted in 1940.  He had initially enrolled at MIT after high school in New Jersey, but didn't like the classes so dropped out and enlisted in the U.S. Navy.  In September 1940, he joined the crew of the battleship USS Arizona.

That December 7, 1941, the massive explosion blew him off the ship and into the burning water of Pearl Harbor.

There are now five remaining USS Arizona survivors:

Lou Couter, 95, Grass Valley, California

Lauren Bruner, 95, La Mirada, California

Lonnie Cook, 95, Morris, Oklahoma

Ken Potts, 95, Provo, Utah

Donald Stratton, 94, Colorado Springs, Colorado


Monday, October 10, 2016

One of the Last USS Arizona Survivors Dies: Raymond Haerry, 94-- Part 1

From the October 7, 2016, Fox News "1 of last USS Arizona survivors of Pearl Harbor attack dies."

Raymond Haerry, 94, died September 27, 2016.  He was one of the six remaining survivors from that doomed ship.

When the attack came, he ran to an anti-aircraft gun only to find its ammunition was in storage.  He was trying to get that ammunition when the bomb exploded and then swam through burning waters to the shore.

His son plans to take his ashes to the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor to have his ashes buried on the ship. as soon as he can afford it.   Only USS Arizona crew members can be buried on that ship.  All others are buried on the USS Utah memorial.

Mr. Haerry served 25 years and retired as a master chief.

And Then there Are Just Five.  --GreGen

Shorpy Home Front: The Delivery Boy

From the September 8, 2016, Shorpy Old Photo site.


May 1943.  "Buffalo, New York.  Peter Grimm, age 10, delivers for Loblaw's grocery store with his wagon.  This was a rainy day with few customers.

"Sometimes Peter makes as much as $3 on a Saturday.  He pays for all of his school supplies and much of his clothing.  His mother, a 26-year-old widow, is a crane operator at Pratt & Letchworth."

Marjory Collins, OWI

The photo shows stacks of Orchard Park Brand Tomato Juice.  Peter's image is captured in a reflection behind the cans.


Friday, October 7, 2016

Looking Back to September 1941: The CCC Wants You

From the September 28, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1941, 75 Years Ago:  "There was a a time when the CCC was faced with too many applications.  Today the steady decreasing unemployment problem has caused the corps to start a recruiting campaign.  Today the word goes out that the Civilian Conservation Corps is seeking young men for service between the ages of seventeen and 23 years.

"If a young man signs for CCC service and his parents are on relief he receives $8 a month and the balance, $22, is sent home.  If they are not on relief the CCC recruit still receives $8 a month and the $22 is deposited into a savings account in his name."

As we neared the war, at this point just a little over two and a half months away, young men were either entering the military or found work in war production factories.

A Way to Take Care of the Great Depression.  --GreGen

Herbert F. Rommel-- Part 2: At Pearl Harbor on USS Oklahoma

That day, December 7, 1941, Rommel was on board the USS Oklahoma and preparing to attend a pistol match when he heard an explosion.  He remembered: "I went to see what was going on.  As I reached the deck, I saw a plane with bright red balls beneath its wings fly right over me.

"The officer of the deck sounded air defense on the bugle.  I ran off toward the turret.  On the way, I grabbed the intercom and announced over the loudspeaker, 'This is a real air raid.  This is no (expletive deleted)'"

Afterwards, he served on the USS Gridley for the next three years and was awarded 12 battle stars and a Bronze Star.

He was promoted in ranks and eventually commanded the USS Wilkes at the end of the war.  Mr. Rommel said, "That was the most damn fun I ever had."

After that he became commanding officer of the Washington Navy Yard and later commanded five different ships.

He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Section 66, Site 6321.