Thursday, July 28, 2016

Tennessee in World War II-- Part 3: Still Preparing for War

Tennessee also designated land for potential use as military bases, an act which resulted in the establishment of Fort Campbell near Clarksville and Camp Forrest near Tullahoma.  In 1941, the state bought over 3,000 acres near Smyrna, which was cleared and leased by the federal government as  Stewart Air Base.

During June of the same year, Major General George S. Patton conducted armored maneuvers in Middle Tennessee.

--GreGen

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Richard Winstead Borden-- Part 9: After the War He Continued in the Medical Field

From the obituary for him:

"Dr. Richard W. Borden, 87, of Newport, passed away Thursday, December 20, 2012, at Carolina East Medical Center in New Bern.

"He was born October 29, 1925, in Goldsboro, the son of Paul Lambert and Martha Gold Winstead Borden.  After serving his country as a Navy Corpsman in WW II, he pursued his medical training at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University.  He practiced first in Goldsboro and later in Morehead City.

"He was an avid outdoorsman and had a lifelong involvement in Scouting.

"In 2004 he and 99 other veterans of WW II were invited to France by the French government to participate in the 60th Anniversary of D-Day.  Days before his death he was awarded by the U.S. Army the Bronze Star and Medical Combat Badge for his service in the Normandy invasion.

--GreGen

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Tennessee in World War II-- Part 1: A Huge Impact

From the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture.

The total war effort reshaped Tennessee's whole economy from a primarily rural, agricultural one to an increasingly urban, industrialized one.  Besides the impact of all the people serving in the military, thousands migrated from the countryside for new opportunities in the burgeoning war industries.

Tennessee also played a huge role in the creation of the Atomic Age at Oak Ridge which grew out of the Manhattan Project.

More than 300,000 Tennesseeans served in the Armed Forces and 5,731 were killed.  Six won the nation's highest honor, the Congressional Medal of Honor.  Cordell Hull served as FDR's Secretary of State.

In addition, Tennessee became the location of many military installations,training facilities and prisoner of war camps.  Another 280,000 worked in war manufacturing.

--GreGen

Monday, July 25, 2016

Tennessee in World War II-- Part 2: Preparing for War

The war was raging in Europe, but the U.S. was not yet in it, but had determined to  become the "Arsenal of Democracy."  This quickly reversed the  low productivity and high unemployment of the Great Depression.  Defense and armament capabilities greatly increased.

And, in 1940, a further step was taken when the U.S. Congress enacted its first-ever peace-time draft, the Selective Service and Training Act.

Tennessee was one of the first states to engage actively in military preparedness.  After meeting Hitler during a Rotary tour of Europe in 1937, Tennessee Governor Prentice Cooper became convinced that the United States could not avoid war with Germany.

Tennessee established the first state defense organization in 1940, the Advisory Committee on Preparedness.  In January 1941, the state legislature created a Tennessee State Guard, the largest in the South, to provide protection for the state in the absence of the Tennessee National Guard, which had been activated as the 117th Infantry Regiment in the 30th Division.  This regiment served with distinction in Europe until the end of the war.

--GreGen

Richard Winstead Borden-- Part 7: "There Was Hell Everywhere"

That was a nice break when he got to board the Navy ship.  But, that thing called D-Day was fast approaching.

"The morning of the invasion we watched the pre-invasion bombardment from the deck of the ship, and wished luck to the First Division as it went over the sides.  I must admit things looked good from the ship.  We landed on the same day, (D-Day), and lost quite a few men.

"Jerry had his 88's mortars and machine guns zeroed all along the beach and they worried us quite a bit.  We were never bothered by or even saw a Jerry plane by daylight.

("Jerry" was a nickname for German soldiers and was less than complimentary.)

"Our (the corpsmen's) work was heaviest D-Day and D-1 as many expected, and there was Hell everywhere!  About day 3 we were evacuating casualties smoothly and began to set up a 'home.'"

--GreGen

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Richard Winstead Borden-- Part 6: Back in the Navy Again-- Ice Cream!!

Dick Borden has finally gotten back on a Navy ship and is mighty happy to be back with his own folks.  Unfortunately, this was only a few days before D-Day, so all that didn't last long.

"   They were mighty nice to us aboard ship.  We ate with Ship's crew and were able to buy ice cream at their Ship's Service.  We were in the Navy again-- well, for a day or so at least."

We All Scream for....  --GreGen

Richard Winstead Borden-- Part 5: Preparing for D-Day

A letter home.

"When we arrived in England last January we came directly to this spot.  The huts had just been completed and mud was everywhere.  We soon got straightened out and later helped the C.B.'s build the chow hall and drain the place.

"  After about seven weeks we were moved up to ______________ Wales where we joined the Army _________.  From there until now we ate and lived with the army.

(The blanks suggest that he was not allowed to giver certain details because of censorship.)

"There were several maneuvers and after about two months we moved into what they call 'Concentration Area' which was a camouflaged camp where we had all our equipment and were restricted.

"From this camp we had one very large maneuver, the last 'dry run.'  Then came a briefing that is studying maps, models, photos, etc.  Then we moved to the marshalling area, then aboard the troop transport, where we got Navy chow!"

--GreGen

Richard Winstead Borden-- Part 2: Awarded Bronze Star

From the June 12, 2016, Goldsboro (N.C.) News-Argus.  "Dick Borden sailed ocean blue, walked the fields of battle, too" by Sherwood Owl Williford.

BRONZE STAR MEDAL AWARDED TO GOLDSBORO MAN

Probably from a local newspaper from the time period.

"U.S. Naval Forces in Europe--

"Richard Winstead Borden, pharmacists' mate, third class, USNR, son of Paul Lambert Borden of 305 West Mulberry Street, Goldsboro, N.C., has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal by Admiral Harold R. Stark, USN, Commander of U.S. Naval Forces in Europe, in the name of the President of the United States.

"His citation reads:

"'For meritorious duty above that normally expected while a member of the medical section of the beach battalion, United States Navy, Normandy, France, in action against the enemy on June 6 and 7, 1944.

--GreGen

Richard Winstead Borden-- Part 4: A Letter Home "Instantaneously Jump At Sharp Sounds"

Dick Borden's brother, Paul, died almost a year later.

Sometime after D-Day, Dick wrote a letter home to his parents.

'We have almost gotten situated here, the place from which I sent the pictures.  You have no idea how swell it is to be back in this peaceful, quiet spot, and be able to relax, although I must admit that most of  us are still a bit jumpy.

"For we instantaneously jump at sharp sounds and sort of flinch at first when we step off a path into tall grass, or bushes, for, 'over there' we had to watch carefully for mines.  Give us a week or two though and I think we'll all be normal.

"I know you want to know just as much as possible, so here goes.  I hope you will understand that some things will have to wait, and some are better not mentioned at all."

--GreGen

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Richard Winstead Borden-- Part 3: Action at D-Day

Continuing with his Bronze Star Medal citation:

"'Borden performed his duties in tending and evacuating the wounded under direct enemy artillery shelling, disregarding his own personal safety, in such an outstanding fashion that he has not unquestionably saved many lives but also gave such an example of coolness and efficiency to his shipmates that he contributed materially to the success of this phase of the operation on his sector of the beach.

"'The gallantry and devotion to duty displayed by Borden on this occasion were in keeping with the best traditions of the United States naval service.'"

Dick Borden was just 18-years-old at the time.

--GreGen

Friday, July 22, 2016

Thanks Mom

The last post and the next several are from one of the last newspaper articles my mom pulled out of her local paper and saved for me.  She died last month and I am at her house now and organizing her stuff.  I found this article in a special cubby hole in an old desk where she saved newspaper clippings she thought would be of interest to me.

This article was from the Sunday, June 5, 2016, Goldsboro (N.C.) News-Argus  "From My Perch: Dick Borden sailed ocean blue, walked the fields of battle, too" by Sherwood Owl Williford.

I am really thinking about her right now.

Thanks Mom.

Richard Winstead Borden-- Part 1: General Eisenhower's Words to the Forces Before D-Day: "Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen..."

One of the Americans hitting the beaches June 6, 1944, was Goldsboro, North Carolina's Richard Winstead Borden.

The words addressed to the Allied forces about to hit the beaches of Normandy June 5, 1944.

"Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

"You are about to embark on the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months.  The eyes of the world are upon you.  The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you... in company with our Allies you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine.

"Your task will not be an easy one.  Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened.  He will fight savagely ... the free men of the world are marching together to Victory!

"I have full confidence in your courage and devotion to duty and skill in battle..  We will accept nothing less than full Victory!  Good luck!  And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking."

Words to Charge Ashore.  --GreGen

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Shut Down for World War II

From the May 27, 2016, WTTV (Indianapolis) "Eight Pearl Harbor Survivors will be honored at Indianapolis 500" by Kylee Wierks.

The win by co-drivers Floyd Davis and Mauri Rose in the No. 16 Noc-Out Hose Clamp Wetteroth/Offy in the 29th Running of the Indy 500 on May 30, 1941, was the last race held at the track until 1946 because of the war.

The IMS facilities-- track, garages and grandstands deteriorated quickly during the war.  Anton "Tony" Hulman saved it when he purchased it in November 1945.  He then spearheaded a huge effort to get it ready for the 30th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 30, 1946.

--GreGen




Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Another USS Oklahoma Casualty's Remains Identified

From the July 13, 2016, Vinton County Courier "7 decades later, remains of local Pearl Harbor casualty identified" by Tyler Buchanan.

The relatives of James Bryce Boring of Radcliffe, Vinton County, were notified earlier this year that his remains from the USS Oklahoma had been identified.  He was Vinton County's first casualty in World War II.

He was born August 28, 1920, the youngest of his family.  His mother died a few months later and his father passed away a few years later.  He and his siblings grew up in the Vinton County Children's Home.
A graduate of McArthur High School, he enlisted in the Navy and trained in Chicago before being assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma as a firefighter 2nd class.

A few days after the attack, his relatives received a telegram reporting him "missing in Pacific action."  He was Vinton County's first death of 51 others.

When the USS Oklahoma was uprighted, he was buried as an unknown and later exhumed and reburied in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific when it was opened in 1949.

However, it is now known that his body had been identified when it was recovered, but there was shoddy bookkeeping.

There will be a ceremony on August 6 at 1 p.m. at Bowen Cemetery.

--GreGen




Monday, July 18, 2016

World War II Veteran Reunited With His Ship From the Pearl Harbor Attack

From the June 24, 2016, WBAL (Baltimore) TV-11 News by Jennifer Franciotti.

Howard Hayes, 96, of Nevada was on the Nevada Honor Flight and visited the USCGC Taney, the last surviving ship from the infamous attack nearly 75 years ago.

His battle station during the attack was on the ship's mast.  "When the Japanese planes came over us and the power plant the didn't know we were there.  I gave the range and how high they were and surprised the Japanese so much they didn't have a chance to do anything."

He was 21 that day and a cook on the Coast Guard cutter.

The ship wa sin service for fifty years and is the only remaining ship afloat that was there.

Quite a Story.  --GreGen

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Shorpy Home Front Photos: Washing Clothes and Waiting for the Parade

June 24, 2016,  DRIP-DRY: 1943.  June 1943.  "Arlington, Virginia.  Washing clothes in one of the laundry rooms at Idaho Hall, Arlington Farms, war duration residence hall for women government workers."  Esther Bubley, OWI.

July 10, 2016, WAIT WATCHERS: 1943.  July 1943.  Washington, D.C.  "Waiting for the parade ti recruit civilian defense volunteers."  Entertaining themselves with the hand-held device known as a "newspaper." Esther Bubley, OWI.

What is surprising about this photo, especially considering the segregation of the time is that blacks and whites are together by the statue of Union Civil War General Winfield Scott Hancock.

--GreGen

Friday, July 15, 2016

Shorpy Home Front Photos: Lighter-Than-Air Craft and Hangar

June 14, 2016  NAVAL GAZERS: 1943.  January 1943.  "A blimp of the U.S. Navy is led onto the apron of an East Coast lighter-than-air station before taking off on a patrol over the Atlantic Ocean."  OWI

Comment:  Looks like the USS Los Angeles (ZR-3).

Comment:  The hanger was built for the dirigibles Shenandoah and Los Angeles.  Th hangar was 966 feet long, 350 feet wide and 224 feet high with a floor area of 211,434 square feet and both airships could be in there side-by-side.

The hangar could shelter six of the K Type blimps shown in the picture.

--GreGen

Shorpy Home Front Photos: The Monster Body Cast

From the Shorpy Old Photo Site.

June 16, 2016  PLASTERED: 1942.  Nov. 1942.  Babies' Hospital, New York. "When student nurses have completed much of their training they can relieve nurses like this one for war service, and can take over such duties as attending patients in corrective casts."  Fritz Henle, OWI

The patient is in a full body cast (looking a bit like the robot from "The Day the Earth Stood Still" movie.  Resembles an old-time diving suit.  Comment: "a plaster monstrosity."

I won't ever complain about my leg cast back in 1966.

--GreGen

Thursday, July 14, 2016

USS North Carolina in Contest for 20 Best Museum Ships-- Part 3

11.  USS Olympia and USS Becuna in Philadelphia
12.  USS Hornet in Almeda, California
13.  USS Intrepid and USS Growley in New York City

14.  USS Constitution and USS Cassin Young in Boston
15.  Potomac in Oakland, Californi (FDR's presidential yacht)
16.  USS Constellation, USS Torsk and Coast Guard Cutter Taney in Baltimore
17.  U-505 in Chicago

18.  USS Nautilus in Groton, Connecticut
19.  USS Pompanito in San Francisco
20.  SS Jeremiah O'Brien in San Francisco

--GreGen

USS North Carolina in Contest for Top 20 Best Museum Ships-- Part 2

I was wondering what the other 16 ships in the contest were and looked them up.

The Historical Naval Ships Association represents 108 historic ships in 12 countries around the world.

5.  USS New Jersey in Camden, New Jersey
6.  USS Yorktown and USS Laffey in Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
7.  USS Lexington in Corpus Christi, Texas

8.  USS Alabama and USS Drum in Mobile, Alabama
9.  USS Massachusetts,  USS Lionfish and USS Joseph Kennedy, Jr. in Fall River, Massachusetts
10.  USS Missouri at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

--GreGen