Thursday, June 30, 2016

Three of Nebraska's Last Living Pearl Harbor Survivors Gather-- Part 3

Earl Brandes, 95, was a Marine and had just arrived at Pearl Harbor just the month before the attack.  He was in an engineering unit building in a camp near Honolulu and reading a newspaper across the channel from Battleship Row.

After the attack, he went back to the states and came back later where he participated in Guadalcanal, Guam and Iwo Jima.

It Is Always Nice to Write About Living Pearl Harbor Survivirs.  --GreGen

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Three of Nebraska's Last Living Pearl Harbor Survivors Gather-- Part 2

Lawrence Osterbuhr, 96,  was in the Coast Guard during the attack on the Coast Guard Cutter Kukui, a buoy tender anchored in Honolulu Harbor.  He was sunning himself when he saw smoke from Pearl Harbor, about six miles away and then he heard air raid sirens.

He began loading .30 caliber machine guns.  A high level Japanese bomber flew overhead and a bomb fell nearby.

"We could hear the sound of a bomb dropping before it hit."

The Kukui left the harbor before noon and worked all night putting out buoy lights around Maui and Molaka because of the enforced blackout.  Afterwards, he spent two more years in Honolulu before transferring to St. Louis.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Three of Nebraska's Last Living Pearl Harbor Survivors Gather-- Part 1

From the June 23, 2016, Omaha (Neb) World Herald "Three of Nebraska's living Peral Harbor survivors gather at new Central City veterans memorial" by Steve Liewer.

Earl Brandes, 95, of Central City, Ed Guthrie, 97, of Omaha and Lawrence Osterbuhr of Hildreth gathered in Central City.  They were all long-time members of the Nebraska Chapter of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association which once had fifty members.  These three are believed to be the last survivors in the state of the long-ago battle.

Mr. Guthrie was a Navy electrician's mate on the destroyer tender USS Whitney, and remembers the planes "flying so low you could see smiles on faces and their scarves."  Also, "You could feel the explosion of the Arizona all over the harbor."  He later served on the USS Banner, a transport ship and witnessed nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll in 1946.


Monday, June 27, 2016

USS Arizona Memorial To Be Closed Two More Days

From the June 24, 2016, Daily Journal "The National Park Service says the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor will be closed to visitors for an extra two days while the dock is replaced."

The new dock would not be finished on Sunday as planned, but hopefully by Tuesday.  In the meantime, visitors to the site will be taken by boat close by to view it, but no one will be allowed to go on it.

It is expected to reopen on Wednesday.

I Sure Would Hate to Go All the Way There and Not See This One "Must See" Thing for Me in Hawaii.  --GreGen

Pearl Harbor Survivor Max Baker Dies: "That Damn Navy, They're Even Practicing on Sundays"

From the June 23, 2016, Topeka (Kansas) Capital-Journal "Pearl Harbor survivor from Topeka dies at age 94" by Phil Anderson.

Max Baker, 94, died June 11, 2016,. During the attack he was in the U.A. Army Air Corps based at Hickam Field.  The native of Altoona, Pennsylvania, said he had his obituary printed in at least two Pennsylvania newspapers in the days of confusion that followed the attack.

He was in his bunk thinking about getting breakfast when he heard explosions.  "My first thought was 'That damn Navy, they're even practicing on Sundays."

Running out of the barracks, he helped get ammunition and machine guns into two of the few undamaged B-17 bombers at Hickam Field.  A bomb struck his barracks and destroyed his bunk and all of his possessions except his Bible.

He served 52 consecutive months with the 31st Bomb Squadron in the Pacific Theater and moved to Topeka after the war.


Friday, June 24, 2016

One of Two Remaining Doolittle Raiders Dies: David Thatcher-- Part 2

After the bombs were dropped on Japan, the "Ruptured Duck, was low on fuel and crash landed in the ocean near China.  The plane flipped over on impact and all the crew members except Thatcher were seriously injured.

he was knocked out, but soon regained consciousness and gathered the rest of the crew, administered first aid and convince Chinese guerrillas to take them safely inland and away from Japanese patrols.

Mr. Thatcher was born July 31, 1921, in Bridger, Montana, one of ten children.

After the war, he worked for the U.S. postal service for 30 years.


One of the Two Remaining Doolittle Raiders Dies: David Thatcher-- Part 1

From the June 22, 2016, Fox News "One of two remaining airmen who flew in World War II 'Doolittle Raid' dies." by AP.

Retired Army Staff sergeant David Jonathan Thatcher died June 22, 2016, at age 94, in Missoula, Montana.  That leaves just Lt. Col. Richard "Dick" Cole remains of the eighty airmen who flew 16 B-25 bombers against Japan on April 18, 1942.  This gave a huge boost to U.S. morale which was still down because of Pearl Harbor and a string of defeats in the Pacific afterwards.

Mr. thatcher was an engineer-gunner on the plane named "Ruptured Duck."


Death of Pearl Harbor Survivor Walter Bailey, 96

From the June 23, 2016, Everett, Washington Herald "Pearl Harbor survivor Walt Bailey was a true outdoorsman."

Walter Bailey, 96, died May 27, 2016.

Mr. Bailey joined the CCC for two years during the Depression and cut trails, built shelters and fought fires in the Cascade Range.  He sent his mom $25 of the $30 he made each month.

In 1941, he joined the Army and was tending flower beds outside his barracks when the first shots were fired December 7, 1941.  He grabbed a rifle and fired seven shots at the Japanese planes.

Much of the war was spent training German shepherds as guard dogs and operating searchlights and radar equipment.  In 1944, he was at Leyte Island in the Liberation of the Philippines.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Looking Back to 1941: A Signal Honor for a Local Girl

From the June 8, 2016, MidWeek (for DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

"A signal honor has been conferred on Miss Barabara Engh, 19 years old, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Engh, former Sycamore residents, she having been named 'color girl' of the graduating class of the United States Naval Academy as June week activities got underway."


Looking Back to June 1941: American Red Cross Gathering Aid for War Victims

From the June 8, 2016, Midweek (for DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

Even though the United States was not yet in World War II, it was involved in various other ways.

"So urgent has the demand for material aid for the war sufferers in Europe been that the American Red Cross has continued its campaign for funding a house to house canvass of Sycamore was begun and will be continued throughout the week."

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Shorpy Home Front Photos:

9-2-14  GREYHOUD GARAGE: 1943--  September 1943, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Esther Bubley, OWI.

8-30-14  GOGGLE GLASS: 1942--  December 1942.  "Chicago, Illinois.  Workmen grinding out a small part at the Chicago & Northwestern repair shop."  Jack Delano, OWI.

8-28-14 POP CULTURE: 1943.  "Columbus, Ohio.  A Greyhound bus driver off duty."  In a diner.  An ad in the background says, "I'd Give a Month's Pay for a Dr. Pepper."

10-11-14   IRONWOMAN: 1943--   June 1943.  Arlington County, Virginia.  "Arlington Farms, war duration residence halls.  Laundry room in Idaho Hall."  Esther Bubley, OWI.  Women are ironing their clothes.

Somebody's Got to Do It.  --GreGen

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Shorpy Home Front Photos: Take the Bus

September 7, 2014   COLUMBUS: 1943.  "September 1943.  Washington Courthouse, Ohio.  Passengers boarding Greyhound bus."  Esther Bubley, OWI

The name "Pennsylvania Greyhound Line" is above the window.

The names of Los Angeles, St. Louis, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Washington, Philadelphia and New York also on the bus.  The front of the bus has a sign for Columbus.

With all the gas rationing, the bus was a good alternative.


Shorpy Home Front Photos: Day Care

From September 12, 2014   SMALL FRY: 1944--  May 1944.  "New York.  A small boy who receives day care at Greenwich House while his mother works."  Risdon Tolley, OWI.

September 11, 2014   APERTURE: 1944--  Another photo of a boy at Greenwich House.

September 9, 2014   WORKING MOMS: 1944.  Greenwich House.  Someone had to watch the small children while their mothers were at work in war industries.


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Groups Move to Preserve Pearl Harbor Quays-- Part 2

The groups hope to preserve six concrete mooring quays lining Battleship Row.  The quay steel components are rusting and the mooring quays may collapse if not restored.

They hope to get $250,000 from the grants to get the project started.  The final cost is expected to be $5 million.  The Pacific Historic Parks intends to run fundraising campaigns to raise the rest.

The Navy built sixteen quays in Pearl Harbor before the attack for additional space for the Pacific Fleet which had been concentrated there as war with Japan loomed. The National Park Service currently manages six of them, including the two next to the USS Arizona.

The Concrete Preservation Institute will handle the restoration and will use Army and Navy servicemen looking to learn abilities for use after they leave the military.

Plans call for work to begin in September.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Groups Move to Protect Historic Pearl Harbor Moorings-- Part 1

From the May 25, 2016, Stars and Stripes "Groups move to protect historic moorings at Pearl Harbor" by Audrey McAvoy.

The National Park Service and Pacific Historic Parks on Wednesday launched an effort to win grant money to preserve the historic quays at Pearl Harbor.  These were where the battleships on Battleship Row were moored December 7, 1941,

They are competing with twenty other National Park Historic Sites across the country for grants from Partners in Preservation campaign funded by American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation/.  Winners will be chosen according to voting online at www.VoteYour on July 5.


Friday, June 10, 2016

Pearl Harbor Survivor Celebrates His 99th Birthday

From the June 3, 2016, Hawaii News Now "Pearl Harbor survivor, longtime volunteer, celebrates big birthday" by Jolanie Miller.

Herb Weatherwax, 99, celebrated his birthday at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument on Friday.

He volunteers there four days a week.

He was stationed at Schofield Barracks and on leave near Pearl Harbor when the attack came and remembers seeing the Arizona on fire and the Oklahoma keeled over.  The planes at Wheeler Army Airfield were lined up and demolished.


Shorpy Home Front Photos: Office of War Information and Buses

September 25, 2014, A TO Z: 1943.  May 1943.  Washington, D.C.  "Office of War Information researchers working."  Ann Rosener, OWI.  Nothing like getting your photos at home.  These OWI photographers compiled quite a history of the Home Front during the war.

September 17, 2014,   BUS BAGGAGE: 1943.  Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  bringing baggage from a bus."  Esther Bubley, OWI

There were ads on the wall for Kellogg's Rice Krispies "A hit for wartime meals."    Also one for Amoco Oil reading, "The Gas Behind the Guns."

Buses were another major way to get around.


Shorpy Home Front Photos: On the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe

October 2, 2014, LUX AETERNA: 1943.  Brakeman on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad in the caboose.  By Jack Delano, OWI.    Jack Delano sure rode the rails a whole lot during the war.  Shorpy has had many, many train photos by him.

Of course, the railroads were a major way of transporting troops, civilians and armaments.


Shorpy Home Front Photos: Bethlehem Fairfield Shipyard at Baltimore

September 27, 2014, SECOND SHIFT: 1943.

April 1943 Traffic jam on the road from Bethehem Fairfield shipyard at Baltimore as the second shift of workers leaves the plant."  Majory Collins, Office of War Information (OWI)

Comment from Charles Street:  "My maternal grandfather worked a Bethlehem Fairfield shipyard during WWII even though he was a butcher by trade (and bought a small grocery store/ butcher shop after the war with money he made at the shipyard).  He commuted by street car."

Plenty of work and money to be made supplying the country with the tools of war.


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Relic of the USS Arizona Finds New Home at Pearl Harbor-Hickam Field Joint Base

From the June 3, 2016, Ho' Okele Pearl Harbor-Hickam News "Relic of the USS Arizona finds a new home at Joint Base."

An anchor cross made from salvaged metal from the sunken battleship USS Arizona that was crafted by retired U.S. Navy Captain Charles Swanson in the early 1970s has been given to the Pearl Harbor-Hickam Joint Base.

It had been kept for many years at St. George's Episcopal Church in Hawaii, which has since closed.


Alfred Wells' Family Officially Notified of His Death in 1942

From the February 24, 1942, Syracuse Herald-Journal "Alfred Floyd Wells Death at Pearl Harbor Disclosed."

Official announcement was received by his parents Mr. and Mrs. A.F. Wells, 2509 Burnet Avenue, yesterday.

A telegram signed by Rear Admiral Randall Jacobs arrived to his sister.  It read:  "After exhaustive search it has been found impossible to locate your brother Alfred Floyd  Wells, machinist mate, first class, U.S. Navy, and he has therefore been officially declared to have lost his life in the service of his country as of Dec. 7, 1941.  The department expresses to you its sincerest sympathy."

The last letter from him was received by his family from Pearl Harbor on November 27.

Alfred Wells had  enlisted in the Navy in 1927 and served in China, panama, Alaska and Hawaii.  He was discharged last August but reenlisted in November and was sent to Pearl harbor to serve on the USS Oklahoma.

Surviving are his wife and two daughters residing in California.  They will come to Syracuse next month.  He is survived by his parents, 5 sisters and one brother as well as several cousins.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Body of Syracuse Pearl Harbor USS Oklahoma Sailor Comes Home

From the June 6, 2016, (New York)  "Body of Syracuse sailor killed at Pearl Harbor ID's; he's coming home for burial" by Elizabeth Doran.

Alfred Wells died on the USS Oklahoma on December 7, 1941, at age 312, leaving behind a wife and two daughters.  He was one of the older sailors on the USS Oklahoma to lose his life.  his remains will arrive in Syracuse on Friday and burial will be on Saturday.  He was one of the Oklahoma's unknowns buried at the Punch Bowl in Hawaii all these years.

One of his two surviving sisters, Mary Lou Schmeltzer, 89, said, "My brother is finally coming home."

Alfred Wells was a Machinists Mate 1st Class and an Eastwood native.  He will be buried at Onondaga County Veterans Cemetery on Onondaga Hill.

After serving in the Navy for many years, he was discharged in March 1941 to get married and built a house in Long Beach, California where he had two daughters.  Unable to find a job in the Great Depression, he went back into the Navy in August 1941 and was assigned to the USS Oklahoma.


Shorpy Home Front Photos: Social Media 1943

6-7-16 SOCIAL MEDIA: 1943  May 1943 Arlington, Virginia.  "Reading the Sunday paper at Arlington farms, duration residence halls for women war workers."  Esther Bubley, OWI.

There was great need in the Federal Government for records keeping which had to be done manually.

Two young women are reading sections of the newspaper which is much wider than today's newspapers.  One is reading a color section of the the Sunday comics.

There was a painting/print on the wall behind them and a reader commented it was painted by Vincent Canade in the 1930s while working for the WPA Federal Art Project.  It had that look that much of the artwork had.


Shorpy Home Front Photos: Back to Arlington Farms Women Housing

Esther Bubley of the Office of War Information (OWI) was out to Arlington Farms women's housing taking photos of life there for them.

I have previously written about the housing there, hit the Arlington Farms label.  Of course, with all the single women there, it was a big magnet for male service personnel.

5-27-16  NIGHT MOVES: 1943.  June 1943, Arlington, Virginia.  "Girls entertain their guests in one of the two card rooms at a residence for women who work in the U.S. government for the duration of the war."  In this one, the three women and three soldiers are actually playing a game of cards, maybe.

5-28-16 FOUR OF HEARTS: 1943--  June 1943, Arlington, Virginia.  "Girls entertaining their guests in one of the two card rooms at a residence for women who work in the U.S. government for the duration of the war.  More privacy is afforded here than in the main lounge.

And, these two gals are doing their part for the war effort.  No cards are being played, but lots of smooching going on.  I volunteer to pose for this photo.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

How Many American D-Day Survivors Are There?

From the June 6, 2014, Desert Sun.

On the 70th anniversary of F-Day, the newspaper reported that no one knows for sure.

Estimates range from 5,000 to 10,000.

A total of 156,000 Allied soldiers: American, British and Canadian, hit the beaches of Normandy that day.  Of that number, 73,000 were Americans.  Many died that day and in the days of hard fighting afterward.

And, then, there are the passing years taking large numbers from old age and disease.

Whatever the Number, We Owe Them a Huge Debt of Gratitude.  --GreGen

Shorpy Home Front Photos: Decoration Day 1943

From May 30, 2016, Decoration Day: 1943--  May 31, 1943.  "Gallipolis, Ohio.  Soldiers at Decoration Day ceremonies."  By Arthur Siegel, OWI.  The soldier is saluting in the downtown area with a lot of people standing around.

From may 31, 2016, In Memoriam: 1943--  May 31, 1943.  Girl Scouts at decoration Day ceremonies."  Arthur Siegel, OWI.  Two Girl Scouts and adults standing behind them.


Monday, June 6, 2016

D-Day, June 6, 1944


I have my U.S. flags flying, although, they are of the 50-star variety instead of the 48-stars U.S. flags had back then.

"During World War II (1939-1945), the Battle of Normandy which lasted from June 1944 to August 1944, resulted in the Allied liberation of Western Europe from Nazi Germany's control.  Codenamed Operation Overlord, the battle began on June 6, 1944, also known as D-Day, when some 156,00 American, British and Canadian forces landed on five beaches along a 50-mile stretch of heavily fortified coast of France's Normandy region.

"The invasion was one of the largest amphibious military assaults in history and required extensive planning.  Prior to D-Day, the Allies conducted a large-scale deception campaign designed to mislead the Germans about the intended invasion target.

"By late August 1944, all of northern France had been liberated, and by the following spring the Allies had defeated the Germans.

"The Normandy landings have been called the beginning of the end of war in Europe."


What Does the "D" in D-Day Stand For?

From the National World War II Museum.

Many people entering the museum thing the "D" stands for "designated Day," "Decision Day," "Doomesday" or even "Death Day."  Stephen Ambrose's "D-Day June 6, 1944: The Climatic Battle of World War II says that according to Time magazine, the first recorded use of the term was used during World War I, when the A.E.F. Field Order No. 8 said, "The First Army will attack on H-Hour on D-Day" in an attempt to break the salient at St. Mihiel.

D-Day stands for "Day."  Days before D-Day are designated with negative signs, so D-4 would mean 4 days before D-Day.  Days afterwards are show with a plus sign.  So D+7 would mean seven days after D-Day.


Friday, June 3, 2016

Death of Pearl Harbor Survivor Adolph Hengl-- Part 2

"I wasn't hurt, although I guess I might have been out momentarily.  Then men came running and said, 'Boy, oh boy, you did a pop!'  I hollered at them, 'Get a hose and let's put these fires out.'"

His primary concern was the whereabouts of his younger brother Virgil, who also was aboard the Tennessee.  He later found out that he had gone over to the USS West Virginia to make plans with a high school friend.  "I couldn't find him for the longest time.  I finally saw him coming across the gangway back to the Tennessee as the West Virginia was starting to go over."

Mr. Hengl got married in 1940 and he and his wife had a secret code so she would know from his letters where he was because of security censorship.

He ended up serving on the USS Tennessee for the duration of the war.  Latter he served on the USS Commencement Bay, USS Philippine Sea, USS Essex, USS Shangri-La and the USS Coral Sea before his retirement.


Death of Pearl Harbor Survivor Adolph Hengl, 99, of the USS Tennessee-- Part 1

From the May 26, 2016, Livermore Independent "Pearl Harbor Survivor Passes Away at the Age of 99" by Carol Graham.

Adolph Hengl, 99, died May 14, 2016.  He served in the U.S. Navy for 28 years.

He was an aircraft maintenance officer on board the USS Tennessee that fateful day and below deck when the attack came.  The Tennessee was moored directly in front of the USS Arizona.

"I couldn't see what was happening outside.  When there seemed to be a lull, I came out on the quarterdeck to see what was going on.  A bomb hit and sent me back through the door, slamming me into a metal wall.  I stood up and saw tiny fires all over the linoleum floor.


Thursday, June 2, 2016

Death of Pearl Harbor Survivor Fran Jenkins, 98: "Caught Us With Our Pants Down"

From the May 31, 2016, Marin County (Cal.) Independent Journal "Fran Jenkins, one of the last two Marin County Pearl Harbor survivors, dies at 98" by Paul Liberatore.

Mr. Jenkins died Sunday, May 29, 2016.  Now, only George Larsen of Novoto remains in Marin County.

Fran Jenkins was a young Navy petty officer on the destroyer USS Bagley, docked across from Battleship Row.  He said it was like he "had a seat on the 50-yard line."

"We were surprised and mortified because they caught us with our pants down."  he clearly remembered seeing the pilots' faces as they roared by so close above him.

At one time there were seventeen Marin County and 84,000 nationwide.  Now, nationally there are only about 2,500.  The Pearl Harbor Survivors Association disbanded in 2012 due to declining membership and disabilities..

Mr. Jenkins was born in Spokane, Washington in 1918.


Philadelphia's Last Remaining Pearl Harbor Survivor

From the May 27, 2016, CBS Philly "Philadelphia's Last Remaining Pearl Harbor Survivor Remembers December 7, 1941" by Kristen Johanson.

Alex Horzany is now 94.

He was in the 42nd Infantry Division and remembers "I was sleeping" when the attack began.  He later fought in New Guinea where he contracted malaria.


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Some More On Those Eight Pearl Harbor Survivors at the Indy 500

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

All are from Indiana.

IMS (Indianapolis Motor Speedway) President J. Douglas Boles said: "Indianapolis 500 weekend has always stood as a celebration of our servicemen and women and the chance to applaud these tremendous individuals will be one of the most unforgettable moments of the 100th Running."


Eight Pearl Harbor Survivors Honored at Sunday's 100 Running of the Indy 500

From the May 29, 2016, 13 WTHR NBC "Eight Pearl Harbor survivors, World War II veterans honored at Indy 500."

Eight Pearl Harbor Survivors were honored at 11:45 a.m. in a ceremony commemorating the upcoming 75th anniversary of the attack that plunged the United States into World War II.

The trip to the race was organized by the Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors.

I was at the race Sunday and this was shown on the giant TVs around the track and was quite impressive, especially after the flyovers by two World War II aircraft.  There was also a video of the attack with them giving their memories.


Another Oklahoma Sailor Laid to Rest

From May 22, 2016 "Missouri sailor killed at Pearl Harbor laid to rest."

Navy Chief Herbert Moore was aboard the USS Oklahoma that fateful day and his remains unidentified until recently.  Now they have been identified and his remains arrived in St. Louis on Friday.

Welcome Home.  --GreGen

USS Oklahoma Sailor to Be Buried in Kansas

From the May 21, 2016, News On 6 (Oklahoma) "USS Oklahoma Sailor Killed At Pearl Harbor To be Buried In SE Kansas" by Russell Hulstine.

The body of Seaman Second Class Dale Pearce, 21, of Dennis, Kansas, was recovered a year after he died, but was unidentified and his remains buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii.

He was born May 26, 1920, the youngest of eleven children.  He enlisted in 1940 and served as a gunner on the USS Oklahoma.

His remains arrived at Tulsa International Airport on Tuesday, May 24.  Family members, law enforcement and Legion Riders escorted the hearse to Parsons, Kansas, for the Thursday afternoon burial.

Welcome Home.  --GreGen