Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Ready-To-Eat Soups Removed From Rationing

From the January 23, 2019, MidWeek   "Looking Back."

1944, 75 Years Ago.

"Ready-to-eat canned or bottled soups, which were listed as zero points on the December table of point values for processed foods, have been removed entirely from the new January table and will not hereafter be considered a rationed food.

"The supply of this type of soup is so limited, none having been backed since June 30, 1942, that it is not practical to ration, and therefore theses soups are eliminated from the list of rationed foods.  Ready-to-serve soups  are unconcentrated and are ordinarily used used in their original form.  They do not require the addition of any liquid for dilution."


Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Making Surgical Dressings for the Wounded in Sycamore

From the January 9, 2019, MidWeek   "Looking Back."

1944, 75 Years Ago.

"Now that the holiday season is a matter of history,  people of Sycamore are asked to turn their thoughts to the more serious and necessary work of providing surgical dressings for the use of wounded service men in hospitals of this and other countries.

"Friday of each week is devoted to the making of dressings and the work room of the Red Cross in the basement of the library are open on Friday at 9 o'clock in the morning to 9 o'clock in the evening."


Sunday, October 13, 2019

USS Oklahoma Unknowns: Two More Identified-- Wilbur Clayton Barrett and Johnnie C. Laurie

September 13, 2019--  WILBUR CLAYTON BARRETT--  Seaman 2nd Class of El Dorado, Kansas.   Enlisted at age 25 in May 1940.  Remains arrived in Wichita September 12 and buried at El Dorado September 14.

September 18, 2019--  JOHNNIE C. LAURIE--  Mess Attendant 1st Class, 25, of Bessemer, Alabama.  He will be buried October 19, 2019, in Montevallo.


Friday, October 11, 2019

USS Arizona Survivor Lauren Bruner Dies-- Part 2

From the September 12, 2019, Rogersville (Az) Review  "Pearl Harbor survivor Lauren Bruner, honored before the 2016 Arizona-Hawaii football game, dies at 98"   Arizona Daily Star.

There are now just three USS Arizona survivors alive:  Don Stratton, Lou Conter and Ken Potts.

When the attack came that December 7, he was at his duty station about 70 feet above the deck of the Arizona when the explosion that killed 1,177 of his crew mates.  He wad hoping to go to college and be a cheerleader  "we called  it a 'yell leader' then," he said.  he was one of the final two men rescued from the ship.

His hands and  arms were charred and he was shot twice in the leg.  Afterwards, he spent  seven months in hospitals with about 70% of his body burned.

He survived that ordeal and accepted assignment to another battleship and fought in eight major battles in the Pacific Theater.


Tuesday, October 1, 2019

USS Fulton (AS-11)-- Part 1: Five Ships By This Name in U.S. Navy

Last month, I wrote about four previous USS Fultons that served in the U.S. Navy in three of my blogs.

USS Fulton (USS Demologos), designed by Robert Fulton, launched in 1815.  steam frigate in my Not So Forgotten" War of 1812 blog.

USS  Fulton (1837)  A sidewheel  steamer carrying four cannons.  Captured by the Confederates in 1861 and destroyed by them at Pensacola, Florida, to prevent capture in 1862.  This was in my Running the Blockade: Civil War Navy blog.

USS Fulton (AS-1).   The first purpose-built submarine tender launched in 1914 and reclassified as a gunboat in 1930 in my Cooter's History Thing blog.

USS Fulton (SP-247) a tugboat converted to a patrol boat 1917-1919.  In my Cooter's History Thing blog.

And this is the last U.S. ship by that name and a submarine tender which was in World War II and served until 1991.  At the time of decommissioning, it was the third oldest U.S. Ship, behind the USS Constitution and USS Vulcan.


Monday, September 30, 2019

Some More On the Palmer Boys Who Died on the USS Oklahoma-- Part 4

Senator John Hoeven, on the Senate  Defense Appropriations Committee, said:  "We are grateful that the Palmer brothers, who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation at Pearl Harbor,  have now been accounted for.  These brave brothers who perished along with 427 others on the USS Oklahoma during the attacks on Pearl harbor, remind us once again of the  of the bravery and sacrifices our nation's Greatest generation."

Plans are for the brothers to be buried in early August in Port Orchard, where other family members and their friend from the  USS Oklahoma, Charles  Burns (and her father) are buried, Helene Jensen said.


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Some More On the Palmer Boys Lost on the USS Oklahoma-- Part 3

Calvin, Wilfred, Doris, Florence and Joyce were all children of Harry and Rosie Palmer.  The two boys and Doris were all born in Minot, North Dakota and the two other sisters might have been.  The Palmer family moved from Minot to San Francisco where Calvin and Wilfred joined the Navy.

According to the DPAA, the Palmer brothers were among the 429 killed on the Oklahoma that day.  Remains were recovered from December 1941 to June 1944 and most were unidentifiable due to length of time.    They were interred in two cemeteries:  Halawa and Nu'uanu.

In September 1947,  members of the American Graves  Registration Service disinterred the graves in the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks where they were able to identify 35 of them.  The remainder were  were buried in 46 plots at the National Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl.

Between June and November 2015, the DPAA exhumed the 46 plots and used DNA analysis on the remains.

Helene Jensen aid that her aunt had provided DNA before her death and that is what provided the positive identification.


Monday, September 23, 2019

Some More On the Palmer Boys Lost on the USS Oklahoma-- Part 2

From the May 14, 2019, Minot (ND) Daily News "Casualties of USS Oklahoma:  Two Navy brothers  from Minot accounted for from World War II" by Eloise Ogden.

Pictures of Calvin H and Wilfred D. Palmer accompanied the article.

On March 19, 2019, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency identified their remains

Helene Jensen, their niece from Port Orchard, Washington, told the Minot Daily News that her father, Charles F. Burns, was also aboard the USS Oklahoma when the ship was attacked and "tried to save them to get them out of the laundryroom but was unsuccessful."  She said her father had to jump off the ship but the water was full of flames.  "He found an opening without flames " and was able to get to shore.

She also said that the Oklahoma and other ships in Pearl Harbor were not armed because the country was not at war.  (Well, they were armed, just not ready to fight.)

Her father died in 1998.  Her mother Doris then married Warren Houk.  She is 95 and resides in Port  Orchard.  Besides the two brothers and Doris, there were also two daughters:  Florence and Joyce.

So, There Were the Two Brothers and a Brother-In-Law On the Oklahoma That Day.  --GreGen

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Some More on the Palmer Family Who Lost Two Sons on the USS Oklahoma That Day-- Part 1

From Find-A-Grave.

Both sons, Wilfred (also I've seen it spelled Wilferd) Dewey Palmer and Calvin Harry Palmer were remembered at the USS Oklahoma Memorial on Ford Island.  Their  unidentified remains were buried at the Punch Bowl, National Cemetery of the Pacific on Oahu.


Only their mother is listed in Find-A-Grave:

Rose E. Stredwick Palmer

Born:  Feb. 1895 in North Dakota.
Death: October 1984, age 94

Buried at Sunset Lane Memorial Park
Port Orchard, Washington (state)

However, an added section shows that she was from England and Sweden and that her husband was Harry C. Palmer from Illinois.  In 1930 the census recorded them as living in North Dakota with two sons, Calvin and Wilferd and three daughters:  Florence E.,  Joyce D., and Doris M..

The mother's tombstone lists her as a Gold Star Mother.  The brothers were reburied at Port Orchard, Washington (state), evidently to be with their mother.

Such a Sad Story.  --GreGen

Friday, September 20, 2019

Oklahoma Unknowns: Three More Identified-- Calvin and Wilfred Porter and Grant Cook Jr.and

MAY 14, 2019--  Minot (ND) Daily News.  The remains of two bothers from Minot have been identified.

Calvin H. Palmer, 23, Seaman 2nd Class
Wilfred D. Palmer, 21, Seaman 2nd Class  (Wilferd)

They were buried August 9, 2019 in Port Orchard, Washington.

When I think of the agony of not knowing for this poor family and then their sadness to find that they had lost not just one, but both of the brothers is unfathomable.

MAY 14, 2019--  NTV ABC

Grant Cook Jr.,  Fireman 1st Class from Cozad, Nebraska.  One of 429 who died on the ship.  He will be buried at the Punch Bowl in Hawaii.


Thursday, September 19, 2019

Bits of War: A Pearl Harbor 101st and Bell Ringing

Bits of War.

1.  A PEARL HARBOR 101ST BIRTHDAY--  Bernie Rubien celebrated his 101st birthday in Rancho Mirage, California.  he was in the Army Air Corps and U.S. Air Force for 25 years.  He celebrated with his best friend, 98-year-old Clarence Lux, a World War II U.S. Navy veteran.

Both men were stationed at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, but did not know each other then.  They met many years later when they belonged to the Coachella Valley Pearl Harbor Survivors Association.  They are the last two members living of the group that at one time had 24 members.

2.  A BELL RINGING--  The bell in the University of Arizona Student Union Memorial Center Tower rang 21 times on Friday, September 13 for Lauren Bruner who died on September 11, 2019.

Ruth Campbell, wife of USS Arizona survivor Joe Campbell and leader of the USS Arizona Survivors Group visited the campus for the bell ringing and paid her respects at the USS Arizona Mall memorial.


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

They're Coming Home At Last: Killed at Tarawa and On USS West Virginia

Again, I am so proud of the United States government's continued search for our nation's unknowns buried overseas.

SEPTEMBER 6, 2019--  Private 1st Class Kenneth W. Likens, USMC Reserve was killed at the Battle of Tarawa on November 22, 1943 while in Company B.  His remains have been identified and he is coming home.

SEPTEMBER 10, 2019--  Fireman 3rd Class Harold Kenneth "Bud" Costill was 18 when he died December 7, 1941, aboard the USS West Virginia at anchor in Pearl Harbor.  That ship lost 106 in the attack.  he was reburied September 14 in New Jersey.  He was one of 66 crew members who were unidentified after the attack and buried  in Oahu's Punch Bowl.


Tuesday, September 17, 2019

U.S. Vet Returns Captured Japanese Flag-- Part 4: Nearly Half of Japanese Soldiers Killed Overseas Have Not Been Found

Marvin Strombo was not only able to return Sadao Yasue's flag, but could also provide the Yasue family with some answers involving his death.

He said that he found Sadao Yasue's body on the outskirts of Garapan, a village in Saipan, when he got lost and found himself near the Japanese front line.  He told them that their brother likely died of concussion from a mortar round.  That Sadao was lying on the ground on his left side, looking as if he was sleeping and without severe wounds.

Garapan is in the United States Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands.

And, importantly, with those details, the family can now hope that they might be able to find his remains now.

The remains of nearly half of the 2.4 million Japanese war dead overseas have yet to be found.  It is an increasingly pressing issue as bereaved families are reaching old age and memories fade.

In 2012, Marvin Strombo was connected to the Obon Society, an Oregon-based non-profit that helps U.S. veterans and their descendants return Japanese flags to the families of the fallen soldiers.

Tuesday's handover meant closure for Strombo, too.  "It means so much to me and the family to get the flag back and move on," he said.

A Great Story.  --GreGen

Monday, September 16, 2019

U.S. Vet Returns Captured Japanese Flag-- Part 3: "My Brother Came Out of Limbo"

The return of the flag brought closure to the Yatsue family.  "It's like the war has finally ended and my brother can come out of limbo," younger brother Sadao Yasue, 89, said.

Tatsuya Yasue last saw his older brother  the day before he left for the South Pacific in 1943.  he and two siblings had a small sendoff picnic for his oldest brother outside his military unit over sushi and Japanese sweet mochi.  At the end of it, his older brother whispered to him to take care of the parents as he was going to the the Pacific island s where chances of returning were minimal.

A year later, the Japanese government sent the family a wooden box with a few stones at the bottom -- a substitute or the body.  They knew no details of Sadeo's death until months after the war ended, when they were told he died somewhere in the Mariana Islands, presumably on July 18, 1944, the day Saipan fell.  The brother was just 25.

"That's all we were told about my brother," he said.


Sunday, September 15, 2019

America's Oldest World War II Veteran Celebrates His 110th Birthday in New Orleans

From Fox News by Nicole Darrah.

Lawrence Brooks, considered to be our oldest WW II veteran, celebrated his 110th birthday Thursday in New Orleans at the National World War II Museum  he was born September 12, 1909 and served in the 91st  Engineer Battalion stationed in New Guinea and then the Philippines.  The 91st was predominately a black unit.

He served between 1940 and 1945 and his primary duty was as a servant to three white officers.  He attained the rank of private 1st class.

he is now considered to be the oldest veteran after the death of Richard Overton in December at the age of 112.  He has been returning to the museum for birthday celebrations ever since his 105th birthday.

One of the Greatest Generation.  --GreGen

Friday, September 13, 2019

USS Arizona Survivor Lauren Bruner Dies at 98

From the September 11, 2019, Hawaii News Now  "USS Arizona survivor who was second to last to leave  the sinking battleship dies at 98"  by Lisa Kubota.

One of just four remaining survivors from that fated ship.  Died Tuesday, September 10 in California.

On December 7, 1941, he was a 21-year-old fire controlman third class.  Bruner, fellow survivor Donald Stratton, and four others narrowly escaped by pulling themselves along a rope connected to another vessel.

In the attack, he was wounded by enemy  fire and suffered burns over  more than 73% of his body.

His story is chronicled in the recently published memoir "Second to the Last to Leave USS Arizona."

One of the Greatest.  --GreGen

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Deaths of 9-11 First Responders Continue to Rise

Continued from my Not So Forgotten: War of 1812 and Cooter's History Thing blogs posted today.

Three hundred forty-three New York City firefighters died during the initial response on Sept. 11.  In July, NYC mayor Bill Deblasio announced that the 200th NYC firefighter had died from a Ground Zero-related illness, a number expected to continue to grow even to exceeding the original firefighter toll.  (The number of these deaths this date in 2018 was approaching 180.)

Tom Frey remembers a detective who sat at the desk next to his, who was one of the first to succumb to a pulmonary illness.  His friend and fellow NYC detective Luis Alvarez, who supported Frey through his cancer treatments and made news in June when he gave emotional testimony before Congress in support of extending the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund, died two weeks after his testimony.

In July, the victim fund was extended through 2090 -- a necessary measure, says Dr, Greg Cosgrove, chief medical officer at the Chicago-based Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, because illnesses such as that will continue to be linked to ground zero exposure.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

"Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)"-- Part 1

Because of the anniversary of 9-11, I will again write about it in all seven of my blogs.

This song hit me hard back then.  By Alan Jackson.


Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?

Were in the yard with your wife and children?

Or working on some stage in L.A.?

Did you stand there in shock

At the sight of that black smoke

Risin' against that  blue sky?

Did you shout out in anger

In fear for your neighbor

Or did you just sit down and cry?


Eighteen Years Ago.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

U.S. Vet Returns Captured Japanese Flag-- Part 2: "It Meant Everything In the World To Her"

U.S. veteran Marvin Strombo reached over to Sayoko Furata's shoulder and gently rubbed it,.  "I was so happy that I returned the flag," he said.  "I can see how much the flag meant to her.  That almost made me cry.  It meant everything in the world to her."

The flag's white background is filled with signatures of 180 friends and neighbors in this tea-growing mountain village of Higashishirakawa, wishing for Yasue's safe return.  It was those signatures that helped Strombo find the flag's rightful owners.

The brother of Sadao Yasue, the slain Japanese soldier, Tatsuya Yasue said the smell of the flag brought back old memories.  "It smelled like my hood old big brother, and it smelled like my mother's home cooking we ate together.  The flag will be our treasure."

The return of the flag brought closure to the 89-year-old farmer and his 93-year-old sister, Sayoko Furuta.

A Very Touching Story.  --GreGen

Monday, September 9, 2019

U.S. Vet Returns Captured Japanese Flag-- Part 1: Taken From a Dead Soldier's Body

From the August 16, 2017, Chicago Tribune "U.S. vet: 'I was so happy that I returned the flag' by Mari Yamaguchi, AP.

Higashishi, Japan.  Tatsuya Yasue buried his face into the flag and smelled it.  Then he held the 93-year-old hands that had brought the treasure home, and kissed them.

Marvin Strombo, who had taken the calligraphy covered Japanese flag from a dead soldier during a World War II battlefield 73 years ago, returned it Tuesday to the family of Sadao Yasue.  They had never gotten his body or -- until that moment -- anything else of his.

Yasue and Tatsuya's sister, Sayoko Furuta, 93, sitting in her wheelchair, covered her face with both hands as Tatsuya placed the flag in her lap.

A Touching Story After All This Time.  Time to Heal.  --GreGen