Saturday, December 3, 2016

Bits of War: Pearl Harbor: 100 to Be Honored-- Joe Triolo to Be Honored

As we are just now four days away from the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

1.  100 TO BE HONORED--  Over 100 Pearl Harbor survivors will be honored for the 75th anniversary of the attack ceremony in Hawaii.

2.  JOE TRIOLO TO BE HONORED--  Pearl Harbor survivor Joe Triolo of Des Plaines, Illinois, was on the USS Tangier on December 7, 1941, and is expected to attend the annual Pearl Harbor remembrance ceremony December 7 at the Prairie Lake Theater in Des Plaines.  He is one of the last surviving men in northern Illinois.

The event is put on by the Sons & daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors.

--GreGen


World War II PT-Boat Restored--- Part 1: 13 Feet Chopped Off

From the November 21, 2016, New York Times "New Victory for World War II PT Boat: Restored and Museum-Ready" by Patrick McGeehan.

The PT-305 was taken to a barge on the Mississippi River and from there it will become a fully interactive exhibit for the National World War II Museum in New Orleans this April.  The museum hopes to offer the only opportunity in the U.S. to ride in a PT Boat.

It weighs 50 tons and is 78 feet long. and was found in Galveston, Texas as a sawed off wreck.

After the war it was a tour boat in New York City and later an oyster boat in the Chesapeake Bay.  Like other revamped PT Boats that survived the war, it had 13-feet of its hull chopped off so it wouldn't need a licensed master captain under Coast Guard regulations.

--GreGen

Shorpy Home Front Photos: Painting the Trains and Florida Ice

From the Shorpy Photo site.

NOVEMBER 22, 2016--  BOXCAR BROWN 1942:  December 1942.  "Research laboratory worker at Chicago & North Western's 40th Street Yard examines paint samples used on freight cars and coaches of the railroad."  By Jack Delano, the "Train Guy,"  OWI.  Have to keep those trains looking good and provide a canvas for the graffiti folk.

NOVEMBER 24, 2016--  FLORIDA ICE:  February 1943.  "Jacksonville, Florida.  Street scene in the Negro section."  Gordon Parks, OWI.

Even with the war on, people still needed to keep items cold in their ice boxes.  Many people did not have refrigerators yet.

--GreGen

Friday, December 2, 2016

Rosie the Riveter at Age 95

From the October 5, 2016, "See Rosie the Riveter at 95:  Woman Who Inspired WWII Poster was lost to history for 7 decades" by Tiare Dunlap.

Naomi Parker-Fraley turned 95 in 2009, did not think the iconic Rosie the Riveter poster looked much like her when she first saw it.  She was one of six million women who worked in U.S. wartime industries while the men were away fighting.

The poster was based on a photo taken in 1942 and it caught the eye of artist J. Howard Miller who made the poster in 1943.

There are some who also think woman was Geraldine Hoff Doyle (1924-2010).  Mrs. Fraley is still alive.

--GreGen

Looking Back to 1941: WPA to Concentrate on Defense Operations

From the July 6, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

"Although an order has been issued stating that all WPA projects not of a defense nature are to cease no later than July 8, word was received yesterday stating that the DeKalb WPA playground will continue to operate until September 2.

"The project sponsors three playgrounds at the Haish, Ellwood and Glidden schools, in this city as part of the activities of the DeKalb Recreational Council."

Preparing for War, But Time Enough for Playgrounds.  --Cooter


With Thanks and Remembrance: Six WW II Veterans at Lindenhurst, Illinois Ceremony

From the November 23, 2016, Hi-Liter.

Six World War II veterans: Earl Kelly, Frank Kraft, Tom Atchinson, Marvin Ryan, Norbert Pischke and Don Martin, were recognized for their service at the Veterans Day ceremony held at the Lindenhurst, Illinois Veterans Memorial on Friday, November 11.

Always great to see a group of them still alive as we continue to lose the Greatest Generation.

GreGen

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Government Project at Wilmington, Illinois

In the last blog entry, I mentioned that the DeKalb Wagon Works Company, in DeKalb, Illinois, was building thirty special truck bodies for the government project at Wilmington, Illinois.

This very likely was what became known as the Joliet Army Ammunition Plant.which opened in 1940.

--GreGen

Looking Back to 1941: Preparing for War

From the February 10, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

"At the present time the DeKalb Wagon Works Company is thought to be the only firm in the city working on a government contract.  Thirty special bodies for trucks are being made there which will be used in the government's big project at Wilmington.

"The firm has also figured on some small gun carriages, but did not receive the bid, and are working on other bids that are being asked for special equipment which the firm is able to manufacture."

There's Money to Be Made.  --GreGen

Stealing World War II Warships Off the Ocean Floor-- Part 2

The site of the Battle of Java Sea is considered a graveyard for the 2300 Allied sailors who died there.  As such, there should be no diving, salvage or anything else that would disturb the final resting p;ace of those men.

A recent mission to film the sunken vessels as part of the 75th anniversary commemoration discovered that many of the wrecks are no longer there.

The HNLMS De Ruyter and HNLMS Java, both Dutch ships, are completely gone and a large chunk of the HNLMS Kortenner is also gone.  The HMS Exeter and HMS Encounter and the submarine USS Perch (SS-17) also have been completely removed.

The wrecks of the ships were found in the early 2000s and believed to have been hit by metal scavengers.

The Lowest of the Low to Desecrate Graves Like That.  --GreGen

Stealing World War II Warships Off the Ocean Floor

From the Nov. 18, 2016, Extreme Task "World War II warships, submarine are being stolen off the ocean floor" by Joel Hruska.

A very alarming story here.

On February 27, 1942, Allied forces consisting of two heavy cruisers, three light cruisers and nine destroyers fought the Japanese Navy at the battle of Java Sea.  The Japanese Navy was on a roll since Pearl Harbor and this too proved to be a massive defeat for the Allies consisting of ships from the Australian, Dutch, British and American navies.

The Allies lost two light cruisers and three destroyers sunk and one heavy cruiser badly damaged.  The Japanese lost no ships and only one destroyer was damaged.

--GreGen

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Death of Navy Man John Howard Fuss

From the September 16, 2016, The News (S.C.)

John Howard Fuss, 95, died in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

He was born in 1921 in Boston, Massachusetts and attended the University of Kansas and Lamar University where he studied mechanical engineering.

On January 18, 1942, he joined the U.S. Navy and served until January 4, 1946.  Ships he served on were the USS Pennsylvania, USS Orletta, USS APL-11 and the USS YTB.

--GreGen

Monday, November 28, 2016

Looking Back At 1941: Knitting Sweaters for Servicemen

From the November 23, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1941, 75 Years Ago.  "Knitters in DeKalb, who are willing to supply pull over sweaters for the young men in service, will be provided yarn without charge, according to an announcement made this morning.

"A supply of olive drab yarn has been received by the DeKalb Chapter of the Red Cross and will be given out to those who desire to knit sweaters, which are to be returned to the Red cross."

Getting Ready for War.  --GreGen

Friday, November 25, 2016

Deaths: US Army Air Force Felix Michael Rogers in 2014

Felix Michael Rogers, 92  Born July 6, 1921.  Died April 23, 2014.

United States Air Force general.  Enlisted as a private in April 1942 and became an aviation cadet in August of that year.  Completed pilot training and commissioned second lieutenant in 1943 in Yuma.

Served as a P-39 Airacobra pilot.with the 353rd Fighter Squadron.  Also flew the P-51 Mustangs and became a squadron commander.  Credited with 12 kills flying out of England, Italy and France.


Thursday, November 24, 2016

World War II Veteran Dies One Month After Remarkable Flight: Col. Frank Royal

From the November 21, 2016, KKTV News.  Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Colonel Frank Royal, 101, died over the past weekend.  He was able, one month ago, to visit the P-38 fighter plane he flew during the war and actually went up in another plane and flew beside his old one.

This took place at the Museum of World War II Aviation in Colorado Springs.  Back then he flew the P-38 named "White 33.

It was damaged in a dogfight over Papua New Guinea.and is now at the museum.  Frank Royal's son happened to be at the museum and saw the name "White 33" and knew it was one his father had flown.

Col. Royal went up in a chase plane, but said, "Mentally I was flying it."

Glad He Got To Revisit His Past.  --GreGen

Hero Lost At Pearl Harbor Comes Home: John Charles England

National Geographic "Hero Lost at Pearl Harbor Comes Home After Years in an Unknown Grave" by Gabe Bullard.

John Charles England was an ensign on the USS Oklahoma and disappeared after returning to his stricken ship to save fellow crew members.

He was one of the 388 Oklahoma Unknowns buried in the Punch Bowl in Hawaii.

Thirty of the Unknowns have been identified so far.

He was featured in the PBS TV show "Pearl Harbor:  USS Oklahoma - The Final Story on November 23, 2016.


Shorpy Home Front Photos: Of Cars and Of Women

Oct. 22, 2014:  PARKED FOR THE DURATION: 1942--   1942  "Effect of gasoline shortage in Washington, D.C..  Albert Freeman, OWI.  The photo and caption makes you think these cars will not be driven as long as the war and gas rationing remains.

Comment:   The person thinks they just might be parked for a workday as many have their windows open.

Oct. 17, 2014:  GINGHAM STYLE: 1942--  June 1943.  "Arlington, Virginia.  Girl getting food at the service shop at Idaho Hall, Arlington Farms, a residence for women who work for the U.S. government for the duration of the war."  Esther Bubley, OWI

I have written about the Arlington Farms often.  The war effort required a large amount of written work in these days before computers.

--GreGen

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Pearl Harbor Veteran Clarence Lux Honored At Senior Center

From the Nov. 9, 2016, Hi-Desert Star "Pearl Harbor survivor honored at Senior Center" by Leah Swanson.

Clarence Lux, 95, was on the USS Tennessee that day and had only been in the Navy for a year.  He was in the engine room and didn't know what was going on or the severity of the attack.  He remembers, though, that people would occasionally call down to tell them what was going on.

It is always nice to write about a Pearl Harbor survivor who is still alive.  On November 21,  I wrote about Art Gruber, 93, who was also in the engine room of the USS Tennessee that day so it is very likely that they knew each other.  Mr. Gruber also wrote about not knowing what was going on during the battle.

--GreGen

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Shorpy Home Front Photos: A Jewish Shop and A Magazine Rack

From the Shorpy photograph site.

Oct. 29, 2014--  ROMANCE OF A PEOPLE: 1942:  August, 1942:  New YorkWindow of a Jewish religious shop at Broome Street."  There is a banner in the window reading:  "Equality * Liberty * Justice / God Bless America.   /  We Are Proud Americans."  By Marjory Collins, OWI.


Oct. 23, 2014--  READ ALL ABOUT IT (COLORIZED): 1942:  May 1942.  "Southington, Connecticut.  Woman looking at a huge magazine rack."  Fresno Jacobs, OWI.  Quite a few of the magazines have military pictures on the cover and many comic books.

--GreGen

Monday, November 21, 2016

Pearl Harbor Survivor Addresses Norman Schoolchildren

From the November 12, 2016, Oklahoman by Tim Willert.

Art Gruber, 93, was on the USS Tennessee that day and leaning against a wall far below deck when he was blown about four feet into the air.  He was waiting for the Tennessee's boilers to heat up when the USS Arizona exploded.

"I thought, 'Oh my gosh, we've run aground.'"  More than four hours later he learned that the Japanese had attacked.  The Tennessee was the only battleship in the harbor not sunk.

He later found out that the ship's commander had ordered the boilers turned on to get the propellers moving to move the oil floating in the water away from the ship.

Mr. Gruber gave his talk at the Cleveland Elementary School along with 40 other veterans.

It Is Always Great When School Kids Get to Hear a Veteran Speak, Especially a Pearl Harbor Survivor.  --GreGen

Friday, November 18, 2016

95th Anniversary of Christening of the USS West Virginia on November 19th

From This Week in West Virginia History--  Huntington Junior College.

NOVEMBER 19, 1921  The battleship USS West Virginia was christened.  It was one of six battleships at Pearl Harbor and suffered massive destruction from torpedoes and bombs.

It was raised, rebuilt and rejoined the 7th Fleet for the invasion of the Philippines.

--GreGen