Friday, June 30, 2017

Pearl Harbor Veteran Laid to Rest

From the February 16, 2016, KOLO News ABC.

Fernley, Nevada.

One of the last Pearl Harbor survivors in northern Nevada, Roland Peachee, 99, has died.

He was a petty officer 1st class on the USS Rigel and going about his duties as a butcher when the attack came.  He came through the attack unscathed, but the Navy sent a telegram to his foster family in Indiana saying he was missing..

They were greatly shocked when they saw him again.  According to Mr. Peachee, "They said, 'It can't be you,' I said, 'Well, why not?' 'Well, you were reported dead at Pearl Harbor.'"

Also in attendance was his friend of thirty years, Robert Lloyd, 94, the last remaining northern Nevada Pearl Harbor survivor who was at Hickam Field.

In an update, it was learned there is another northern Nevada survivor, Richard Laubert, 94, who was stationed at the Naval Hospital during the attack.  He retired from the Navy after 20 years service.


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Unknowns from USS West Virginia Next To Be Identified-- Part 2: "If I Had It To Do Over"

"This is great.  This is the best news," said Nancy Eckler, whose uncle, Harold Kendall "Brud" Costill, died on the West Virginia.  His remains were never identified.

Eckler grew up in Clayton, New Jersey, in the same house as "Brud," who got the nickname because he couldn't pronounce "brother" when he was younger.  Her grandfather had signed papers that allowed "Brud" to enlist in the Navy at age 17.

In his last letter home, Brud wrote: "If I had it to do over I would join in a second.  Even though I have been away from home so long, I have been to places and seen things that I never would have seen."

He died four days later.

"There was so much guilt," Eckler said.  "My grandfather never forgave himself."

She hopes her son, a captain on the the Maryland National Guard will be able to escort her uncle's remains back home.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Unknowns From USS West Virginia Next To Be Identified-- Part 1

From the December 7, 2016, Omaha (Nebraska) World-Herald  "Unknowns from USS West Virginia will be next to finally be identified" by Steve Liewen.

The Department of Defense POW-MIA Accounting Agency is now in the process of identifying the USS Oklahoma's unknowns.  It now also has the approval and plans to open 35 graves assigned to the USS West Virginia's unknowns.  These graves contain the remains of an estimated 38 men.  Most of the graves will contain skulls and jawbones with teeth which will be easier to identify than those of the Oklahoma whose remains were extremely co-mingled.

At least four of the sailors of the 106 who died on the West Virginia were from Nebraska.  They were all identified, though:

Frank J. Bartok of Wahoo is buried in Colon, Nebraska
Myron Goodwin of Sidney is buried in Gering
Edward Dunkee of Arlington is buried at the military cemetery in Honolulu
Clement Durr of Nebraska City is also interred in the above cemetery.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Ten Japanese Weapons Invented Too Late To Win the War-- Part 2: The Nakajima Kikka

You can go to the Listverse site to see pictures and read more about each one.

5.  Kyushus J7W--  Originally designed as a jet, but later adapted to propellers.

4.  Nakajima Kikka--  jet

3.  Type 5 Chi-Ri--  Designed to destroy the American M4 Sherman tank.

2.  Nakajima G8N--  four-engine heavy bomber.

1.  Shimakaze Class destroyer--  A super destroyer with 5-inch guns, 15 torpedo tubes and capable of doing 40 knots.

Sure Glad These Came Too late.  --GreGen

Monday, June 26, 2017

Ten Japanese Weapons Invented Too Late To Win World War II-- Part 1: I-401 Class Subs

From the February 16, 2016, Listverse by Sam Derwin.

10.   I-200 Class Submarines.  They could travel underwater faster than 20 knots while most submarines of the time couldn't do more than 10 knots.

9.  I-401 Class Submarine.  The largest ever constructed.  It was 60% larger than U.S. subs and could carry three aircraft.

8.  Kawanishi N1K1-J--  fighter plane

7.  Type 5 15-centimeter AA gun.  It could fire shots up to 65,000 feet and could easily reach our B-29s who were bombing Japan.

6.  Ki-83--  twin engine long-range fighter

Too Late, Too Little.  -GreGen

Friday, June 23, 2017

Pearl Harbor Child Shares Memories-- Part 2: Was 7 At the Time

he spent the rest of the attack in the house.  In the hours after the attack, civilians were evacuated to pineapple and sugar fields in the center of Oahu where they stayed for three to four days as a Japanese attack was still feared.

Tom Marname remembers it was "great fun" because they didn't have school.  When they returned home there were foxholes everywhere as well as drills at Wheeler.

He went o a tour of Pearl Harbor and saw the burning battleships.

The family boarded a ship bound for San Francisco's Fort Mason on Christmas Day and they then moved to Oregon for the duration of the war while his father remained at Oahu.

Later, he became a career naval officer and retired as commander of the Pearl Harbor Shipyard (which wasn't bombed) in 1980 for his final posting.

A Different Viewpoint of the Attack.  --GreGen

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Pearl Harbor Child Shares Memories-- Part 1: Was a Child At Wheeler Field

From the February 10, 2016, Lamorinda Weekly by Cathy Dausman "Young Pearl vet shares memories."

Tom Marnane is a Pearl harbor survivor and that day was waiting for a bus at Oahu's Wheeler Army Airfield.  He and his friends were strafed, but all survived.  The thing was, he wasn't in the Army and was only seven at the time.

No one had an idea what was going on at the time.  His father was a U.S. Army captain and his family lived on the base.

He said the attack "was fast in and out.  There were always airplanes around."  He also remembers seeing the Rising Sun on the fuselages of the attacking planes and noted a "line of planes" flying in formation.  He and his friends ran to collect spent cartridges until his father dragged him back into the house.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Facts About Sugar Rationing Stamps

From the May 17, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"The ration periods for the first four sugar rationing stamps were announced this morning by the DeKalb Rationing Board.

"The stamps will be honored by any dealer throughout the country but each stamp must be used during the designated period or it will be worthless."

In Other Words, Use 'Em Or Lose 'Em.  --GreGen

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Incendiary Bombs Sent to DeKalb in 1942

From the May 17, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

Incendiary bombs have been received in DeKalb to be used in demonstrations in the various classes of training in the Civilian Defense Council work.

"It is expected that there will be a demonstration for the auxiliary policemen this evening, if the weather permits and there will also be one for the air wardens on Friday night."

Big Boom, Big Fire.  --GreGen

Monday, June 19, 2017

USS Nevada Reunion in 2016-- Part 4: Ship Survived Atomic Blasts

The USS Nevada was the Navy's first battleship with triple turrets. and an oil-fired steam plant.

Les Pullman, 91, of Menasha, Wisconsin, boarded the Nevada in late 1942.  He was also a 5-inch gun pointer and also remembered the 80 straight hours they had at Normandy.

Ansel Tupper, 83, of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, served in the ship's navigation office 1945-1947.  He remembers it surviving two atom bomb blasts at Operation Crossroads in 1946 off Bikini Atoll, but said the ship "wasn't painted red, it was painted orange" at the tests.  It survived a test from above and one from below.

His ship was contaminated with radiation from the blasts and decommissioned, but later served as a target ship before being sunk by a torpedo about 65 miles southwest of Oahu in 1948.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Handful of USS Nevada Crew Attend Reunion in 2016-- Part 3

After D-Day, its 14-inch cannons were refitted with some of the guns recovered from the USS Arizona and Oklahoma before it sailed to the Pacific and Iwo Jima.  It was attacked by kamikazes off Okinawa which killed 19.

Dick Ramsey of Port St. Lucie, Florida was 19 at Iwo Jima and remembers Marines of the USS Nevada volunteering to go ashore and some were killed in a kamikaze attack.  He remembers carrying one of the bodies from sick bay to where it was to be buried.

Cliff Banks, 90, of Dickinson, Texas, was a 5-inch gun pointer and served on the Nevada from November 1942 until December 1945.  At age 18 he was on board for the shelling of the Normandy coast,  "We spent 80 hours of shooting.  I never was so hungry in my life.  They sent us down a can of peaches to split among 13 people."


Friday, June 16, 2017

Handful Attend USS Nevada Reunion in 2016-- Part 2

At Pearl Harbor that day, the battleship USS Nevada was hit by six bombs and a torpedo.  Fifty-seven were killed and 109 wounded.

It was the only vessel on Battleship Row to get underway.

After temporary repairs at Pearl Harbor it sailed to Pugent Sound, Washington for more repairs and a major overhaul to modernize it.

Returning to service, it participated in the Battle of Attu in the Aleutian Islands  After that the Nevada led the offshore firepower in Operation Neptune against Utah Beach on D-Day and is credited for knocking out 90 German tanks and 15 trucks.


Handful Attend USS Nevada Reunion in 2016-- Part 1

From the February 8, 2016, Las Vegas Journal  "Handful of USS Nevada shipmates reunite in Las Vegas."

They saw a 35-minute film by Chuck Pride of Henderson, Nevada, who was formerly in the Army.  The film covered the ship's whole history, including a short service in World War I.

They viewed it to get a better idea of the overall action on their ship on Dec. 7, 1941.  Bryon McGinty, 90, said, "We were aboard the ship at the time, but you don't know what's really going on.  You're in your own little compartment... and you're concentrating on performing your duty.  You don't really understand a lot about what's going on outside."

Only five crew members of that day attended the reunion.  Overall, they believe only about a dozen are still alive.

That day, the crew's average age was 19 1/2.  Today, much older than that.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Remains of USS Oklahoma Sailor Come Home

October 12, 2016, Danbury News Times "Remains of sailor killed at Pearl Harbor returning home" by Michael Casey, AP.

Navy Fireman 3rd Class Edwin Hopkins of Keene, New Hampshire was one of 429 who died on the USS Oklahoma that day.  He was just 19 years old.

His remains arrived Thursday in Boston and then he was flown to Dillant-Hopkins Airport in Keene (named in his honor)  Visitation will be Friday and he will be buried Saturday at Woodland Cemetery in Keene, next to his parents Frank Hopkins Sr. and Alice Hopkins.

He was one of the 388 USS Oklahoma sailors whose remains were disinterred in 2015.  So far about 30 have been identified.

Another one, Navy Seaman 2nd Class James M. Phipps of Ranier, Oregon, also has been identified and will be buried October 17 in Portland, Oregon.

Edwin Hopkins quit high school to join the military to learn a trade.  He served on the Oklahoma with his brother Frank, who survived the attack but was also aboard the USS Hornet and USS Princeton later in the war.  Both of these ships were also sunk by the Japanese.

Edwin was from Swanzey, not Keene.

So Great They Are Identifying Them.  --GreGen

Shorpy Home Front Photos: "Weld Noir" and "Fate's Fickle Finger"

NOVEMBER 18, 2014  "Weld Noir: 1943"  May 1943.  "Bethlehem -Fairfield Shipyard, Baltimore, Maryland.  Liberty Ship construction.  Welding on a hatch assembly at night."  Arthur Siegel, OWI.

American war industry goes mass production to destroy the Axis.  Work continued around the clock.

NOVEMBER 13, 2014   "Fate's Fickle Finger"  New York: 1944.Pawnbroker and prospective customer.  Tony Lick.

JANUARY 7, 2015

JANUARY 4, 2015--  "You  Like It: 1942.  August 1942.  "Bike rack in Idaho Falls, Idaho.  Russell Lee, OWI.  There is Seven-Up advertising on the bike rack.  Bicycling increased so much because of gas rationing.

Don't Drive It... Bike It.  --GreGen

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The World War II Flag on Flag Day

This being Flag Day and all, you'd be flying a 48-star flag which was the one in the United States during World War II.

Alaska and Hawaii had not yet become states, though both played roles  in the war and were the scene of fighting between the Japanese and Americans.

Unfortunately, I don't have a 48-star flag or I'd be flying it.


Shorpy Home Front Photos: Warship of the Air: 1942

From the Shorpy site.

NOVEMBER 23, 2014.  "Warship of the Air: 1942."

December 1942.  "Production B-17 heavy bombers.  The four mighty engines of a new B-17F (Flying Fortress) bomber warm up at the airfield of Boeing's Seattle plant as another warship of the air awaits its test flight.

"The Flying fortress has performed with great credit in the South pacific, over Germany and elsewhere.  It is a four engine heavy bomber capable of flying at high altitudes."

Andreas Feininger, OWI.

Bombs Away!  -GreGen

More War Industry in DeKalb, Illinois

From the March 8, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"A portion of the building, long known as the "red shop" when occupied by the  American Steel Company in DeKalb is to have a new defense industry.

"The assembly of tank tracks is to take place there, a project under the direction of the Northern Illinois Finance Corporation headed by T.E. Courtney.  Space in the building, in the year of that used by the Fourth Street Motors, will be used."


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Petroleum Administration for Defense Districts-- Part 2

TThe five Petroleum Administration for Defense Districts (PADD):

PADD 1--  East Coast
Divided into Subdistricts:

A.  New England
B.  Central Atlantic ( New York to Washington, D.C.
C.  Lower Atlantic  (Virginia to Florida)

PADD II--  Midwest

PADD III-  Gulf Coast

PADD IV--  Rocky Mountains

PADD V--  West Coast


Petroleum Administration for Defense Districts-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

During the war, the United States was divided into five Petroleum Administration for defense Districts (PADDs).  These districts were set up to help the Petroleum Administration for War (PAW)  organize the allocation of fuels including petroleum and diesel.

These districts are still used today for data purposes.

PAW was established in 1942 by Executive Order and abolished in 1946.

The districts are now named for the later Petroleum Administration for Defense which existed during the Korean War and was established by the Defense Production Act of 1950 and abolished in 1954 when it was taken over by the United States Department of Interior's Oil and Gas Division.


Monday, June 12, 2017

Garments For War Relief Made in DeKalb

From the March 8, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Employees of the Joseph Brody Garment Company, located in the Clark Building in DeKalb, worked all day Saturday for the Red Cross.

"Employees of the firm, members of Local 189 of the International Lady Garment Workers Union, produced garments that will be used directly for war relief."

I imagine they were donating their time.


Chairman of "Victory Garden" Campaign Appointed

From the March 8, 2017, MidWeek   (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

Mayor Frank E, Ashelford has appointed R.W. Terrell of the Sycamore High School agricultural department as chairman of the "Victory Garden" campaign here.

"It will be Mr. Terrell's duty to form a committee or similar organization that will take the lead in urging citizens to raise food."

Food For the Wart Effort.  --Cooter

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Cookies for Camp Grant

From the May 10, 2017, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1942, 75 ears Ago.

"A total of 121 dozen cookies were contributed by members of the Waterman Women's Club and women of this community to the cookie jar at Camp Grant (military base near Rockford, Illinois).

"Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Pogue took the cookies to Shabbona where they were added to those given by the Shabbona Women's clubs and all were taken to Camp grant."

Where I Am Sure They Found Someone Willing To Eat Them.  --GreGen

More War Industry in Sycamore, Illinois

From the May 10, 2017, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"The Elmer Little building on South Maple Street in Sycamore did not remain empty long.  After the garage business quietly drifted into the void it was empty until yesterday.  Workmen began on Monday to prepare it for part of the Anaconda Wire and Cable Company works.

Because the south plant of the Sycamore Anaconda is to be converted to a war industry it has become necessary to vacate much of the machinery.  The south plant houses the die making department for the wire industry here.

It is that department that is about to move into the Elmer Little building located a half block south of State Street."


Friday, June 9, 2017

Registering for Ration Books in 1941: Even If You Don't Use Sugar

From the May 10, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1941, 75 Years Ago

"  Millions of Americans began registering today for their first ration books.

"the books will be used in the sugar rationing program which starts tomorrow.  They must be used later for other products.

"Thus, even those people who have no use for sugar are urged to register."


DeKalb County (Il.) Deaths-- Part 9: Freeman to Hemenway

Freeman Kenneth L.--  PVT--   KIA

Friestead, Howard D.--  S SG--   FOD

Furtta, Walter--  SGT--   FOD

Ginder, Walter--  SGT--  FOD

Gauer, Ferdinand E.--  PFC-   KIA

Hammersmith, O.B. Jr.--  2LT--  FOD

Harris, George G.--  PFC--   KIA

Harris, George W.--  PFC--  KIA

Hemenway, Marsh W.--  2LT--   DNB


Thursday, June 8, 2017

DeKalb County, Illinois, Deaths-- Part 8: Davis to Franklin

Davis, Arlie--  PFC--  DOW

Delgadillo, Richard--  PVT--  KIA

Dobson, James L.--  PVT--  KIA

Donnelley, John M.--  PVT--  KIA

Drake, Charles A.--  PFC--  DOW

Dunkelberger, S.L.--  PFC--  KIA

Fishtmaster, Robert F.--  PFC--  DNB

Finney, Curtiss W. Jr.--  2 LT--  KIA

Franklin, John L.--  PFC--  KIA


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Finding Pearl Harbor Scapegoats in 1942

From the March 8, 2017, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel and Major General Walter C. Short, who were commanding officers at Pearl Harbor, December 7, were ordered to stand trial by court martial.

"They were tried on charges of dereliction of duty as alleged by the report of the Roberts Commission which investigated reasons for the success of the surprise Japanese attack on Hawaii which started the war."


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Seventy-Three Years Ago Today

Seventy-three years ago, British, Canadian and American forces came ashore in Normandy, France, in what is known as D-Day.

That was quite an undertaking and led to the liberation of France and eventual end of the war.

June 6,1944.  --GreGen

Monday, June 5, 2017

DeKalb County, Illinois, Deaths-- Part 7: Cahill to Cullen

Cahill, Joseph E..--  CPL--  DNB

Carlson, Norman D.--  1 LT--  KIA

Carney, Albert J.--  Tec 5--   KIA (Technician 5th)

Coleman, Lee A.--  PFC--   KIA

Cook, Harold C.--  2 LR--  FOD

Coppess, Ivan M.--  S SG--   DNB

Cortright, John M. Jr.--  2 LT--   FOD

Cullen, Lawrence P.--  PFC--  KIA


Friday, June 2, 2017

DeKalb County War Deaths-- Part 6: Bickford to Byron

Bickford, Robert R.--  CPL--   DNB

Biederman, George E.--  2 LT--   KIA

Broughton, Russell M.-- PVT--  KIA

Brunke, Herman F.--  PVT--   KIA

Burkart, Ervin T.--  1 LT--   KIA

Burton, Howard J.--  PVT--  KIA

Byro, Ardith E.--  PFC--  KIA

Byron, John B.--   2 LT--   FOD


Thursday, June 1, 2017

DeKalb County World War II Deaths-- Part 5: Some More on FODs

From the With Military Honors site "World War II Casualty Codes."

FOD--  Finding of Death, in the absence of a recovered body, soldiers that were determined to be dead under Public Law 490.

Made in cases, after at least one year from time of disappearance, when there were either conclusive proof that the person is dead or equally overwhelming evidence that the person could not have remained alive."


DeKalb County World War II Deaths-- Part 4: FOD

I did have to look up FOD as a cause of death.

I figured this probably referred to those missing in action, or MIAs as we call them today.

The FOD, according to the Genealogy Trail article stood for Finding of Death.  But it went on to say Under Public Law 490.

I lookd up FOD and found it stands for absence of recovered body at least a year after disappearance or Evidence that he could not have been alive.


DeKalb County (Ill.) World War II Deaths-- Part 3: Anderson to Bemis

From Geneaology Trail.

The Lund family was fortunate in that none of their sons were killed in the war.  But others were not so lucky.

Here is a list of the ones who made the Supreme Sacrifice for their Country.  Rank and cause of death follow the name.  See the first blog entry in this series for cause of death initials:

Anderson, Franklin J.--  1 LT--   FOD

Anthenat, La Vern A--  Tec 5--    KIA

Baie, Wendell M.--  AV C--   DNB

Baird, William R.--  1 LT--  KIA

Bastion, James S.--  1 LT--  KIA

Bemis, Henry M.--  PVT--   FOD