Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Shorpy Home Front: Keep 'Em Sailing


May 1942  "Twenty-four hours a day the sparks from acetylene torches of steel workers in eight Denver fabricating plants are flying thick and fast that the U.S. Navy may carry the battle to the enemy in all parts of the world.

"Here in secluded Denver, the world's largest city not on a navigable waterway, this war production worker, who has never seen a battleship or ocean, fashions the steel hull parts being assembled at Mare Island Navy Yard in California, 1,200 miles from where he and his fellow workers are on the job to help 'Keep 'em sailing."

OWI, photographer unknown.

Why We Won.  --GreGen

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Some More On James Sisson of Roanoke, Virginia

I did find in MyLife site the name James Sisson in Roanoke, Virginia, who is/was age 92 and born June 18, 1925.  Perhaps this is he.

I also found another entry in the Find-A-Grave site for a Willis James Sisson who served in the U.S. Navy from 1934-1964 and is listed as being a World War II, Korean War and Pearl Harbor survivor.  But he was born and died in Washington state, so likely is not the James Sisson I'm looking for.

This man was born 19 March 1913 in Tacoma, Washington and died 20 November 2006 in Washington state.  He is buried at Mount Angeles Memorial Park in Washington.


Home On Furlough From Pearl Harbor After the Attack

From the March 6, 2017, Roanoke (Va.) Times  "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Although the ship which he was aboard was the first United States vessel attacked by Japanese bombs on the morning of December 7 at Pearl Harbor, James Sisson, ... now home on furlough, said yesterday no one in the ship was injured."

Unfortunately, they didn't mention what ship he was on.  I didn't find out any other information on him either.

One Home, Anyway.  --GreGen

Monday, February 26, 2018

A Slice of Pumpkin Pie for Battleship USS North Carolina (Well, A Lot of Them)

From the March 2018 Our State (NC) Magazine

On Thanksgiving 1943, the 2,300+ crew of the battleship USS North Carolina received a special feast while stationed off the Gilbert islands in the Pacific Ocean.  They had baked ham and giblet gravy, whipped potatoes, Waldorf salad, French peas, Parker House rolls, pumpkin pie and ice cream.

Baker Donald Ayers pumpkin pie dough recipe for the mass of men called for 200 pounds of flour, 96 pounds of shortening and 6 pounds of salt.

Baker Oscar David Taylor's pumpkin filling included evaporated milk, sugar, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger as well as pumpkin.

Eating Good Out In the Pacific.  --GreGen

Friday, February 23, 2018

Follow Up On Yesterday's Post: William Harding Newton On USS Reuben James

Yesterday, I wrote that William Harding Newton of Roanoke, Virginia, had been on the doomed destroyer USS Reuben James when it was sunk.  At the time, it was not known if he was a survivor or not.

I looked it up and sadly, he was not a survivor.

The USS Reuben James (DD-245) was sunk by a German U-boat 31 October 1941.  Of a crew of 7 officers and 136 men, only 44 survived (no officers).


Cost of Homes Going Up in Roanoke, Now $6,300

From the April 3, 2017, Roanoke (Va.) Times  "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Cost of building a six-room residence in Roanoke as of March 1 was $6,300, representing an increase of $1,244 in the building costs since March 1938."

War Preparations Were Expensive on the Home Front.  --GreGen

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Roanoke Man on USS Reuben James Sunk By German Submarine

From the October 3, 2016, Roanoke (Va.) Times "Looking Back."

"William Harding Newton, 21, son of William S. Newton, former Roanoke police lieutenant, was a member of the crew of the USS Reuben James, destroyer sent to the bottom by a torpedo in the North Atlantic Thursday night."

The War Hits Roanoke Even Before Pearl Harbor.  --GreGen

The Victory Book Collection and the Normandie

From the March 6, 2017, Roanoke (Va.) Times :"Looking Back."

1942, 100 Years Ago.

**  "The victory book collection in Roanoke has brought in some 1,800 volumes donated for the libraries of service camps, forts, and posts, it was said yesterday by Miss Pearl Hinesley, city public librarian and chairman of the drive here."

**  "R. Powell Black, of Roanoke, yeoman, 3rd class, United States Navy was one of the seamen who aided in the rescue of men aboard the USS Lafayette, formerly the French liner Normandie, and fought the flames on the huge ship when she burned in New York harbor February 9."


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The USS Indianapolis' Last Survivor

The January 2018 Columbia Daily Tribune said that Gerald Melbourne Poor is the last surviving member of the crew of the tragic USS Indianapolis.

When we go to the Indy 500, we park the RV at the American Legion Post 500 across from the IMS and they have a picture of the doomed ship on the wall.


Remains of Wisconsin Soldier Identified

From the January 26, 2018, Stars and Stripes "Remains of missing World War II soldier from Wisconsin identified"  AP.

Army PFC Lloyd J. Lobdell's remains will be buried February 2, 2018, in the National Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.

He died November 19, 1942, at age 23 at the Japanese Cabanatuan Prison Camp Hospital after an illness after being captured with the surrender of the Philippines.

His was one of ten graves exhumed in 2014 and identification was based on DNA.


Making Model Planes in Schools for the War Effort and Life Magazine

From the March 6, 2017, Roanoke (Va.) Times  "Looking Back."

1942, 100 Years Ago.

**  "More than 200 boys taking general shop instruction in senior and junior high schools of this city already are at work on exact scale models of the world's fighting aircraft for the U.S. Navy Bureau of Aeronautics."

(They were also dong this in schools in DeKalb County, Illinois.)

**  "Roanoke friends of Lieutenant J. Lewis Ingles, attached to a balloon barrage corps on the west coast, were displaying pictures of the Army officer yesterday when copies of Life magazine reached here."

Someone Got Their Picture in the Magazine.  Wonder Who?  --GreGen

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

USS Arizona Survivor Don Stratton Honored in Colorado

From the January 26, 2018, Colorado Springs (Co.) Gazette  "  Legislators hon Don Stratton, Colorado Springs survivor of Pearl Harbor attack" by Marianne Goodland.

The Colorado General Assembly honored Don Stratton, a survivor of the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor.  he was one of the 300 who survived the attack.

Later during the war, he served on the USS Stack.


Death of Another Pearl Harbor Survivor

From the January 25, 2018, KEVN, Rapid City, South Dakota  "Stan Lieberman, Pearl Harbor survivor. dead."

Stan Lieberman, one of the last two Pearl Harbor survivors living in South Dakota died at age 100.

He was with the United States Army Air Corps and did aerial photography.  Some of the famous pictures of the aftermath of the attack are his.


Women in the War Factories and Boy Scouts

From the March 13, 2017, Roanoke (Va.) Times "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

**  "Roanoke women are coming into  themselves as industrial workers.  The first class to train them for making the guns, ships, and planes for victory began yesterday afternoon at the Jefferson vocational building as 15 women were introduced to the skills of air craft sheet metal work."

**  "A new phase of Boy Scout wartime service, the messenger service being set up to aid the Civilian Defense Volunteer Office, will be introduced to Roanoke scouts and scouters as a feature of the mammoth inspection at the Roanoke Auditorium this evening.


Monday, February 19, 2018

Pearl Harbor Survivor Melvin Heckman Dies in Wyoming

From the February 13, 2018, Sheridan (Wtoming) Press  "Heckman leaves a lasting legacy in Sheridan" by Michael Illiano.

Melvin Heckman died last week at age 94.  He was 17 and based at Ford Island as an aviation machinist serving on the firefighter staff when the attack came. While he and others were rushing to a firetruck, a bomb landed 20 feet away, and he received shrapnel in his back but continued fighting, later receiving a Purple Heart for it.

After the attack, he was transferred to Palmyra, an atoll a thousand miles south of Pearl Harbor.  One day while there, he was assigned to escort a group of Naval officers around that island.  He got into a talk with one and said he would really like to be a pilot.  A moth later, he was transferred to Naval Flight School at Pensacola, Florida.

The officer he had been talking to turned out to be Admiral Chester Nimitz, Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

At Pensacola, he completed Officer Candidate School and after more training, became a pilot, but by then the war had ended.

In later years, he was the chairman of the Wyoming Pearl Harbor Survivors Association.


Another USS Oklahoma Victim Buried

From the February 13, 2018, KMA Missouri.

The remains of Fireman First Class Charles R. Ogle were buried Monday at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery .

He was on the USS Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor and one of the unknowns who have been recently identified.


Illinois USS Oklahoma Victim Returns Home After 76 Years

From the February 16, 2018, Aurora (Illinois) Beacon News  "After 76 years, Aurora sailor killed at Pearl Harbor finally coming home" Denise Crosby.

U.S. Navy Petty Officer, Second Class Walter Howard Backman was 22 when his ship, the USS Oklahoma, was destroyed in the attack on Pearl Harbor.  he will be buried at River Hills Memorial Park in Batavia next to a memorial stone already there.

He was born in 1919 in Wilton, North Dakota.  His family moved to Aurora shortly afterwards and he enlisted in the Navy in 1938.  His job was radioman.

Another Aurora sailor died on the USS Arizona during the attack.  His name was Eugene Fitzsimmons.

Aurora Hit Particularly Hard.  --GreGen

Sunday, February 18, 2018

A Thank You from England

From the March 20, 2017, Roanoke (Va.) Times "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"A moving letter of appreciation from England has been received by the Junior Red Cross of Belmont school in response to Christmas packages sent for the children of that country."


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Lack of Bomb Volunteers and Girl Scout Cookie Sales

From the March 20, 2017, Roanoke (Va,) Times "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

**  "Completion of the civilian defense set up is being somewhat retarded here because of lack of volunteers for service in bomb squads, one of the most dangerous branches of the auxiliary police program."

**  "Roanoke Girl Scouts went over their goal in the annual cookie sale last night, the latest report showing a grand total of 14,410 pounds sold compared to the goal of 14,000 boxes."

I Wonder If Cookie Sales Continued During the Rest of the War.  --GreGen

Impact of War Hits Toothpaste and Shaving Tubes

From the April 3, 2017, Roanoke (va.) Times "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Observance of the new WPB [War Production Board] order prohibiting the sale of tubes of tooth paste or shaving cream by retailers unless the customer turns in a used, collapsible tube of some kind was still varied among the city's stores today."

I Imagine for Reuse.  --GreGen

Friday, February 16, 2018

February 9, 1942: Guadalcanal and the SS Normandie

FEBRUARY 9, 1942:

The World War II battle of Guadalcanal ended with an Allied victory over Japanese forces.

This same day, The SS Normandie, a former French ocean liner being refitted for the U.S. Navy at a New York pier, caught fire.  It capsized early the next morning.


February 9, 1942: U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Meet, "War Time" Goes Into Effect

On February 9, 1942, the U.S. Joint Chief of Staff held its first meeting to coordinate military strategy during World War II.

Also on this date during the war, Daylight Saving "War Time" went into effect in the United States, with clocks moved one hour ahead.


February 3, 1943, SS Dorchester Torpedoed (Four Chaplains)

On February 3, 1943, during World War II, the U.S. transport ship SS Dorchester, which was carrying troops to Greenland, sank after being hit by a German torpedo in the Labrador Sea. Of the more than 900 men aboard, only some 230 survived.

Four Army chaplains on board gave their life jackets to save the others and went down with the ship.


Thursday, February 15, 2018

WPA Work on Stadium Suspended in Roanoke and Noted Author Speaks

From the March 27, 2017, Roanoke (Va.) Times  "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

**  "Temporary suspension of WPA work on the uncompleted stadium was announced yesterday."

**  "William L. Shirer, famous for his best-selling "Berlin Diary," his on-the-scene description of events in Berlin during the first two years of the war over the Columbia Broadcasting System, and his subsequent analysis over CBS, will speak at the Academy of Music this evening at 8:30 o'clock."


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

USMC Women's Reserve Established

This date in 1943, the United States Marine Corps Women's Reserve was officially established.


Monday, February 12, 2018

"The Mighty Eighth"-- Rosie's Crew-- Part 4: At the Nurenburg Trials

After returning to England, Robert "Rosie" Rosenthal attempted to return to flight operations but was turned down.  Rosie had to quit flying after 52 missions.

After  the war, Rosenthal served as as assistant U.S. prosecutor at the Nurenburg Trials where he interrogated Hermann Goring, a high-ranking Nazi official responsible for many wartime atrocities.

In total, Rosenthal received 16 American awards, including the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.  he also received the the Distinguished Flying Cross from Great Britain and the Croix de Guerre from France.


Sunday, February 11, 2018

"The Mighty Eighth" Rosie's Crew-- Part 3: A Terrifying 52nd Mission

On February 3, 1945, after volunteering for a third tour of duty, Rosie led the entire Third Air Division of 1,000 bombers on a mission to Berlin.  Rosie's plane was hit by flak as they approached the target.  Only after completing the target run did Rosie radio the second-in-command and instruct him to take over.

With dead and wounded aboard, Rosie's crippled bomber headed east toward Russian lines before encountering an uncontrolled spiral descent.  Rosie finally bailed out and was found by Russian troops.

Rosie and a few of his men wound up in Moscow.


Friday, February 9, 2018

"The Mighty Eighth"-- Rosie's Crew-- Part 2: Two Tours of Duty

On October 10, 1943, not long after joining the 100th, Rosie took part in a particularly perilous, ill-fated mission over Munster, Germany.  With two engines dead, the intercom and oxygen system non-functional, and with a large ragged hole in the right wing, Rosie's plane was the only plane from his group to make it back to base.

Rosie went on to volunteer and complete two tours of duty (50 missions).

During his second tour of duty, Rosenthal's plane was shot down over German-occupied France; he fractured his right arm, had multiple head contusions and other injuries.  He was rescued by members of the French Resistance and insisted on returning to duty as soon as his wounds were healed.


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

"The Mighty Eighth" "Rosie's Crew"-- Part 1: Volunteered the Day After Pearl Harbor

From the Paralyzed Veterans of America February 2018 calendar.


Painting of a bomber crew getting ready to take off.

Lieutenant Colonel Robert "Rosie" Rosenthall (June 11, 1917-April 20, 2007) enlisted in the U.S. Army on December 8, 1941, following the attack on Pearl Harbor.

In August 1943, he joined the 418th Squadron of the 100th Bombardment Group (BG), stationed at Thorpe Abbotts, East Anglia, England, as a pilot and aircraft commander of the B-17, Rosie's Riveters.

A Very Patriotic Fellow.  --GreGen

Monday, February 5, 2018

Even Police Cars Rationed

From the April 3, 2017, Roanoke (Va.) Times "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Finally free from complicated entangling restrictions, six new automobiles, specifically built for police work, were delivered to the Roanoke police department after approval certificates by the city rationing board."

Everything Controlled.  --GreGen