Tuesday, March 25, 2008

HMAS Sydney-- No Slaughter of Crew Members

From the March 24th Australian.

Theories of German survivors of the Kormoran slaughtering the survivors of the Sydney should be debunked by the findings of the current mission.

The Kormoran's commanderTheordoe Detman, in his 1959 book on his ship, said, "We were unable to move at all. At 18.25 hours, I gave orders to cease fire. By this time, the enemy cruiser was over 10,000 yards distant, drifting rather than sailing, and, little more than a flaming hull.

Up until 21.00 hours we could see the glow, and then we saw the flame suddenly dart up higher as though from an explosion."

The 315 survivors of the Komoran would have been more preoccupied with getting off a burning ship carrying 420 mines than to stick around killing the Sydney's crew.

I Don't Think I'd Much Like to be On a Burning Ship with 420 Mines. --Da Cooter

Monday, March 24, 2008

Illinois' Trail of Tears

"Efforts to preserve Trail of Tears fitting, proper" editorial in the Voice of the Southern, Jan. 15, 2008.

Illinois Highway 146 between the Ohio and Mississippi rivers is one of the most beautiful stretches anywhere in the state, and it has one of the oldest communities, Golconda. The 60 mile route goes through flood plains into rolling hills and forests. Often, it is in the Shawnee National Forest and through the towns of Vienna, Anna and Jonesboro.

Most folks agree that the spring and fall shows are something special, but it is also the route the hapless Indians traversed on their way to what became Oklahoma on what is now called the Trail of Tears for all the suffering they endured.

This route needs to be preserved, just as those of Marquette and Joliet and Lewis and Clark and their related sites in the state are.

Recently, the National Park Service has dedicated a site along Il-146 as part of the Trail of Tears National Historical Trail.

More interpretive signs are badly needed along the way.

This, like the internment camps, is not one of our prouder moments, but it happened and should be observed. --Cooter

Dead Page-- Last Marine in Iwo Jima Photo-- Raymond Jacobs

Raymond Jacobs, believed to be the last-surviving Marine in the original Iwo Jima flagraising died Januray 29.

He spent his last years trying to prove he was the radio operator in the picture taken Feb. 23, 1945. His face is not fully visible, but other negatives show he was there.

He had returned to his unit by the time the more famous photo was taken and was honorably discharged in 1946. In 1951, he was called up again for the Korean War and retired as a sergeant.

On Japanese Internment Camps

The Feb. 25 US News & World Report had an article "Preserving the Japanese-American Internment Camps" by Justin Ewers.

This was not one of our country's prouder moments, but under the circumstances that existed after the attack on Pearl Harbor, well, sometimes things happen.

Nearly 120,000 Japanese-Americans were forcibly removed from their homes and taken by truck or train to ten remote internment camps. One of these became temporarily the tenth largest town in Colorado.

At the end of the war, they were released. The barracks and mess halls were torn down for scrap and the government got down to the business of not talking about the episode.

In 2006, President Bush signed a bill authorizing $38 million devoted to the preservation of the camps along with dozens of smaller-scale confinement sites. This was the first major federal effort at addressing the situation.

At present, only two camps are dedicated national historic sites. Even worse, the promised funds have not yet been appropriated.

Hey. Government, It's Time to Do the Right Thing!! Cooter

Sunday, March 23, 2008

HMAS Sydney-- The Crew Had to Know They Were Doomed

The crew of the HMAS Sydney had to have known they had a fiery death in store for them.

Sydney discoverer David Mearns has done thousand of interviews with the survivors of the Kormoran.

"The Sydney suffered serious and catastrophic damage in the bow and ultimately I think that was what led to the bow dropping off."

Sonar imaging has proven the German accounts to be correct. Mearns is sure that the Kormoran got off ten salvos before the Sydney was able to return fire. "It was like a street fight, whoever gets the first punch in wins the fight." Within the first minute and a half of the fight, the Sydney had already suffered the fatal blow. The Kormoran's crew was definitely good at what they did.

From March 23rd Herald-Sun of Australia.

The Mystery Continues to Unfold. --Cooter

Dead Page--Some Deaths of Note from 2007-- Motels--Rental Cars-- Double Sausages-- Advertising

Notable Entrepreneurs who died in 2007

William Becker, 85-- Motel 6-- On a cross-country trip in 1960, couldn't find any cheap motel rooms so decided to start own motel chain. First one in Santa Barbara, Ca in 1962. Featured $4 Spartan rooms and later $6. Today, more than 800 Motel 6s with rooms for around $45.

Warren Avis, 92-- Rental cars-- former pilot who founded car rental company in 1946 to address one of his chief frustrations-- finding available cabs at airports-- became second biggest car rental company.

Bob Evans, 89-- sausage and restaurants-- Began a 12-stool diner in Gallipolis, Ohio and today there are 579 Bob Evans Restaurants and his brand of sausage and hash browns sold in grocery stores.

Ralph F. Stayer, 93-- Founder of Johnsonville Sausage-- Grew up poor and fatherless in the Great Depression. Saved every penny so he could buy a butcher shop in Johnsonville, Wi. --Today Johnsonville products are sold nationwide and widely regarded as the best brat.

Lois Wyse, 80-- Wyse Advertising-- cofounded Wyse Advertising with husband Marc in Cleveland in 1951. Persuaded Bed & Bath to change name to Bed, Bath & Beyond. One of biggest accomplishments was the tagline "With a name like Smuckers..." See below if you don't know.

Quite a Group pf Accomplished Folk Here. --Da Coot

"It has to be good."

The Second Battle of the Alamo

The Feb. 9, 2008 San Antonio Express-News ran the article "Women battled over the fate of the Alamo's Long Barracks" by Scott Huddleston.

I had never heard of this aspect of the Alamo.

One hundred years ago, Adina De Zavala, all 5'3" of her barricaded herself in the Long Barracks and stayed for three days and, as a result, saved the Alamo's oldest structure. She is thought to be the first person to use civil disobedience to preserve Texas history.

In 1908, San Antonio was using its first bonds for streets and replacing horse-drawn fire pumpers with motor vehicles. What little was left of the Alamo was an eyesore. The church had been saved, but many wanted to level the Long Barrack as they were unaware of its importance.

For thirty years, its exterior had been covered by a dry goods store.

Clara Driscoll, the "Savior of the Alamo" had put up funds in 1903 to buy the building and raze it. She only wanted the church. She and De Zavala led warring factions of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas.

Adina De Zavala lost a court fight to save it and on Feb. 10, 1908, she barricaded herself in the building. "There was nothing else for me to do but to hold the fort," she said in a 1935 interview. It worked.

The dry goods store was torn down in 1912. However, in a sneaky move, the Long Barracks' second story was razed in 1913.

De Zavala went on to form the Texas History and Landmarks Association which has put 38 markers at historic sites around the state.

Quite a Remarkable Woman. -- the Old Coot

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Pearl Harbor Suvivor Wants Remains Returned to Home States

Honolulu Advertiser Dec. 10, 2007

Paul Goodyear now wants the remains of his shipmates and others returned to their home states.

At least 640 unidentified are buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, otherwise known as the Punch Bowl.

He says they could now dig up the bones, identify them by DNA, and return them.

The body of one Oklahoma sailor, Alfred Livingston of Worthington, Indiana, were identified and returned home.


For Pictures and More Complete Account of HMAS Sydney

Wikipedia has an excellent page on the Sydney.

Also, another good account at www.ww2australia.gov.au Go to left side of page and scroll to HMAS Sydney.

Both sites have photographs.

More on the HMAS Sydney

1. SV Geosounder found wreck-- ON March 20th due back in the Port of Geraldton where a civic reception is to be held. Premier Alan Carpenter is expected to attend.

2. David Mearns, the man who found the wreck-- The Geosounder is expected to spend three days in port before heading back to the site for further research.

Mearns says the break in the bow is now the most evident with large pieces of structure lying adjacent to the bow.

The Sydney evidently slid 50-100 meters after impact.

He was able to find it so fast after careful study of the weather conditions at sea Nov. 19, 1941 and also the leeway drift analysis before he left Geraldton. This analysis used the pick up position of the first life raft recovered after the Kormoran sank and an estimate of winds and ocean currents over the 82 hours it was floating. This enabled Mearns to determine the probably final resting place of the Kormoran.

3. Forgotten report led to locating the wrecks-- a long-forgotten encrypted report helped find the final resting places of the Kormoran and Sydney. David Merans and Peter Hore found a coded page account by the Kormoran's captain Theodor Detmers that was hidden until 2001.

This is one of three pieces of evidence that led to the discovery of the ships.

Quite a Good Bit of Detective Work Here. --Cooter

WWII Vet Honored Again

From Mar. 19th Sacramento, Ca, News 10 ABC.

Bill Behms, 87, of Stockton, was given a Distinguished Flying Cross by Representative Jerry McNerney.

During the war, he flew more than 100 combat missions in the South Pacific.

He was shot down once, shot up about six times, and once came home on one engine in his P-38.

He described a typical dogfight, "Youd have as many as thirty airplanes, or more, in a small area, going around in circles. It was a swarm of bees, going in all directions up there."

This is Behms' third Distinguished Flying Cross, as it takes some time to formally document it.

Always wondered how come pilots didn't hit their own planes in fights like he described.

A Great American. --Da Coot

Looking for the Battle of Medino

Lots of folks have heard about the Battle of the Alamo, but if you ask anyone, including myself, or a Texan, what the Battle of Mendino was, most wouldn't know. Why, no one even knows where the actual battle is, but at least 1000 Anglo settlers, American Indians and Tejanos (Texans of Mexican descent) were killed there on August 18, 1813, 20 miles south of the more famous Alamo and 23 years before that battle.

There are a small, but determined group of history detectives are attempting to locate the battle site by using metal detectors.

The Texans were brutally crushed in a four hour battle with Spanish forces and their bodies left on the field for ten years. Fewer than 100 escaped the battle.

There is a plaque at a ranch three miles from where the people are currently looking at a 600 acre ranch in southeast Bexar County.

Jan. 27th MySA.com "History buffs hunt for evidence of 'forgotten battle' before Alamo" by Hernan Rozemberg of the Express-News

I Sure Would Like to Know More About this Battle. --Old Coot

Friday, March 21, 2008

How the Oklahoma Memorial's Architect Came up with the Design

The architect of the USS Oklahoma Memorial, Don Beck, was struggling with how to come up with a design. He was on Ford Island one day staring at the Oklahoma's mooring stone looking for inspiration.

A ship was coming into port with hundreds of sailors in dress whites lining the sides in respect to the Arizona and Oklahoma. They were "manning the rails."

Hence the idea of the white columns forming the shape of a ship.

From Dec. 8, 2007, Honolulu Star-Bulletin "Oklahoma gets memorial" by Gene Park.

You Always Wonder Where Ideas Come From-- Cooter

Another USS Oklahoma Survivor Gives His Story

From the December 8, 2007 Honolulu Star Bulletin "Oklahoma gets memorial" by Gene Park.

Survivor George A. Smith did not recognize any of the names on the marble columns at the new USS Oklahoma Memorial.

At age 17, he had joined the navy only two months before Pearl Harbor was attacked and had just joined the crew. He was one of twenty Oklahoma survivors who attended the ceremony Dec. 7th.

He had just finished the 4-8 am watch on the starboard machine gun ten minutes earlier and had started heading for shore for food when he was ordered to his battle station.

"We thought, 'Oh great we're having drill now.' So, we took our time until the guy on the loudspeaker went, 'This is no (expletive) drill. Move it!'"

He was so new he didn't know how to fire the gun. Minutes later, the ship began to capsize and he went overboard and swam to Ford Island about where the monument stands.

A Day That Still Lives in Infamy. --

The HMAS Sydney Story Continues

1. Commemorative Ceremony-- The RAN (Royal Australian Navy) will place a plaque and a wreath at the site. A National Memorial Service is planned in Sydney April 24th. Australian authorities are also working with the German government in commemorating the Kormoran.

2. Armaments and Battle-- The Sydney was hit 50 times by the Kormoran's 5.9 inch guns before returning fire. Overall, it had 150 hits. A torpedo struck her early in the battle doing major damage to the bow. My thought is that this probably had a big part in the fast sinking.

3. Special Cameras-- were flown in from Norway to examine the wreckage.

4. Wreckage Site Predicted in 1991-- Two professors predicted correctly where the wreckage would be found back in 1991 after going through 70 accounts given by the Kormoran's survivors.

5. Another National Commemoration-- is planned for November 19th to commemorate the 67th anniversary of the battle.

5. Father Died on Sydney-- John Owen of Ashtonfield watched his father sail away on the Sydney 66 years ago at age 6. He never saw his father again.

He always wondered why the Kormoran was able to sink the Sydney.

Word of his father's death was delivered by a PMG boy ( Post Master General). He handed the letter to John's mother, and, without a word, got on his bicycle and rode away.

World War II German V-1 Rocket Spotted on I-5

There was a lot of staring going on along I-5 in Everett, Washington Monday, when a flatbed pulling a World War II German V-1 Rocket was seen going to its new home at Paine Field.

It is owned by Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen and was being moved from Arlington Airport to its new home in a former hangar. Allen began his Flying Heritage Museum ten years ago and two more of his planes will be moved to Paine as well, an American F6F Hellcat and a Japanese Nakijima K143-1B Oscar.

The new facility has 51,000 square feet and is scheduled to open on June 6th.

Hey Buddy, Was that a Rocket I Just Saw on I-5? --Da Cooter

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Newest USS North Carolina to be Commissioned in Wilmington

Right now the submarine is called the PCU North Carolina. PCU means Pre Commissioning Unit. The ship is undergoing sea trials at this time.

It will be commissioned in Wilmington, NC, in May.

It is the first ship to carry the name since the battleship USS North Carolina was decommissioned in 1947. This ship is now on permanent display in Wilmington.

It would be something to see the two ships together. What a photo op!

Pride for the Tarheel State. --Da Coot

More News on the HMAS Sydney

The Australian papers are full of articles on the locating of the wreck of the HMAS Sydney.

Some of the things they are talking about:

March 18th Adelaide Advertiser-- The front third of the ship is sheared off and the vessel likely sank in seconds. Perhaps diving like a submarine or capsizing. The ship was found about exactly where the German survivors said it would be.

March 18th Perth Now-- Amazing Grace and Waltzing Matilda was played at the statue of a woman staring out to sea to symbolize the heartbreak of all the women who lost loved ones on the Sydney. Took place at the HMAS Sydney Memorial in Geraldton.

Herald Sun-- The Australian government has issued a provisional ban on any diving on the HMAS Sydney which is regarded as the most important maritime discovery in Australian history.

Limited research and filming will continue as they are still looking for clues as to the Sydney's final hours.

Both wrecks (the Kormoran as well) will be classified as war graves and the government is also considering a Commonwealth Heritage listing for the wreck.

According to German survivors at the time, the Sydney sailed too close and the Kormoran's first shots caused catastrophic damage to the ship's bridge, radio, and gun control.

ABC-- cameras record the discovery. Footage will be seen April 1st on ABC1 as part of a documentary The Hunt for HMAS Sydney.

The search has incolved multi-millions of dollars.

Again, One Great Find. --Da Cooter

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

We'll Leave the Light On

The state of Michigan has one of the most proactive lighthouse programs in the nation; they also have the most lighthouses, 124.

They have been selling lighthouse license plates and the White Shoals Lighthouse has raised $215,000. Altogether, about a million dollars has been raised.

Under the National Historical Preservation Act of 2000, 70 of Michigan's lighthouses were to be given away by the Coast Guard.

The Lighthouse News is the place to go if you're into these structures.


An Enlightening Article. --Da Coot

Dead Page-- Pearl Harbor Survivor-- Pete Deletkanich

Pete Deletkanich

USS California Survivor

Pete Deletkanich was on board the USS California that fateful day in December when the ship sank after being hit by 4 Japanese torpedoes.

He said he was sitting down to breakfast when "all hell broke loose. The Japanese came out of nowhere.....I looked out the window of the foremast and a Japanese plane passed alongside about 25 feet away. I could see the pilot's face. Right after the plane passed, I saw the Pennsylvania take a hit."

After the California was hit, he was ordered to abandon ship and jumped over the side and swam the 500 feet to Ford Island. "I was a pretty good swimmer, but it was the longest swim of my life.

He died February 27th.

Wreckage of the HMAS Sydney Found

Without a doubt, the biggest story in history this week has been the finding of the HMAS (His Majesty's Australian Ship) Sydney off the west coast of Australia on March 16th. This is HUGE news in Australia, but I haven't seen much about it around here in the Midwest.

The intact hull of the HMAS Sydney, sunk in the battle with the German raider Kormoran on November 19, 1941, has been found. All 645 men aboard her died. It was found about 100 nautical miles off Australia's west coast in the Indian Ocean, about 12 nautical miles from the wreck of the Kormoran and 8 nautical miles from the battle site.

A major search effort has been made since 2001. The wreckage of the Kormoran was found two days earlier on March 14th.

The battle took place about 500 miles north of Perth and both ships sank. There were 317 survivors of the Kormoran's 397 man crew. But there were no survivors on the Sydney. It just disappeared, putting the whole country into shock. The Sydney's loss was the largest ship lost in the war in which there were no survivors.

This amounted to one-thirds of the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN) losses in the entire war. Only a Carley Float (life boat) was found.

Today, there is a new HMAS Sydney, a guided missile frigate. There is also an HMAS Sydney Memorial on Mount Scott, Geraldton, Western Australia.

Definitely Glad This Vessel was Found. --Cooter

Surviving Veterans of World War I

According to wikipedia, these are the survivors of WW I by country.

Australia- 3
Germany- 1 However, Franz Kuntzler died at the beginning of the year
Canada- 2 (one living in US)
Italy - 2
Turkey- 1
United Kingdom- 3

Plus, there are five more who joined after the Armistice was signed, but before the Treaty Of Versailles officially ending it.

Look up "Surviving veterans of WW I."

You can also find a list of Last surviving US war veterans that goes back to the American Revolution on wikipedia.

Plans for the Passing of the Last Doughboy

Frank Buckles is 107 and in fine health, but it will just be a matter of time before he joins the 4 million other American men and women who participated in World War I. He is the sole remaining member of that generation. His was also a generation that lived through the Great Depression, World War II, and Man on the Moon.

Plans are underway at the National World War I Museum in Kansas City to commemorate his passing when it happens. This won't be just for him, but for all of his generation. It "will make a war that took place some 90 years ago feel suddenly very real and very close to us." said Denise Rendina, spokesperson.

The announcement of Mr. Buckle's death will be different from the announcements of the deaths of the last survivors of the Civil War and Spanish-American War. When that happened, others suddenly showed up to claim the honor of last veteran. There will be little dispute that Frank Buckles is the last veteran.

Plans are not finalized for the ceremony, but, weather permitting, museum officials plan to gather at the base of the Liberty Memorial, a national monument to the war erected in 1921. A bugler will play taps, a 21-gun salute will be fired, and then someone will read Lt. Col.John McRae's "In Flanders Fields." Dignataries will attend as well as Buckle's family.

From Feb. 20th Chicago Tribune "Rol lcall for last doughboy" by Kirsten Schamberg.

Sounds Like a Very Fitting Ceremony. --Cooter

Monday, March 17, 2008

Follow Up on USS Shark's Cannons

Last month, two cannons believed to be from the 1840s wreck of the USS Shark washed up on the shore of Cannon Beach, Oregon. The state of Oregon was ecstatic about the find, but the US Navy would like to point out that these cannons still belong to them. Once Navy property, always Navy property.

My guess is that they will allow the state to keep them, though. I'd like to see some sort of a display or memorial in Cannon Beach.

The two cannons will now undergo an 18-month stretch in electrified bath of sodium hydroxide to leach out the salt. Then they will be boiled in de-ionized water, coated with tannic acid to bring back their black color, and then coated to protect the finish.

Whose Cannons, Anyway. --Cooter

My WWI Relatives

Both my grandfathers participated in WWI. My mother's father, William Graham Hood was in the Army, but never was sent overseas. My great uncle, William Prince, served overseas in the AEF as a lieutenant. He returned to Goldsboro, NC, but lost his life a short time later when he drowned while rescuing a young boy from a flood, for which he received a Carnegie Medal.

My father's father, Norman Kirby Hatch, was in the Merchant Marine.

Some More on Frank Buckles

Mr. Buckles was born on a farm in Bethany, Mo., in 1901, lied about his age to enlist shortly after turning 16. He fought in France and Germany, and also served during WWII, where he was captured after the Japanese invaded the Philippines and was a prisoner of war for 39 months. At the time, he was working foran American shipping company and not in the military.

He does at least one interview a day.

This will be a sad day when he passes on. That brings to an end one aspect of my grandparents' generation.

Wikipedia has a nice account on Mr. Buckles.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Last US WWI Veteran-- Frank Buckles

The Feb. 20th Chicago Tribune ran and article about the last remaining American veteran of the Great War. He survives four million others who participated in it from 1917-1918.

At age 107, he is in excellent health, but, as everyone knows, it will just be a matter of time before we have the passing of that generation. Earlier this week, we had the passing of the last French veteran and in January, the last German soldier. About five weeks ago, the second-to-the-last American soldier died. There are 12 veterans still living, mostly English. I also know of one other Canadian soldier living in the state of Washington.

I'll give more information on Frank Buckles later.

It is Pleasant Being Able to Write About This While He is Still Alive. --Da Coot

Friday, March 14, 2008

Going Back to Pearl Harbor-- USS Oklahoma Memorial

I'm glad they finally got around to honoring those who died aboard the USS Oklahoma on that fateful day. Even though this ship sustained the second highest number of casualties, it was as if it was all about the USS Arizona.

From the December 8th Tulsa World "USS Oklahoma memorial dedication: Salute to shipmates" by Ashley Hamershook.

The main gist of the memorial is the white marble columns, one for each crewman who died aboard the Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry was there and said, "Today, we begin a new chapter in our remembrance of those who fought and died a few hundred yards from here."

The memorial is on Ford Island. Hopefully, those going out to the USS Arizona Memorial will also have the opportunity to go to the Oklahoma's.

At least eight Japanese torpedoes hit the ship which took less than eleven minutes to capsize. Paul Goodman, a survivor and major supporter of the memorial raised the US and Oklahoma flags. This is the cumulation of years of his work and fundraising.

Oklahoma architect Don Beck designed it. There are four rows of seven foot high columns in a v shape. Cost was $1.2 million.

Survivor Ed Vezey, 87, said, "It's right where it belongs." On Dec. 7, 1941, he and his roommate were deciding on whether to go swimming before or after breakfast. "We were rather rudely interrupted...."

Survivor Ray Turpin, 86, of Las Vegas, said he'd always felt it was an injustice not to have a memorial to his fallen crew mates.

The 583 foot long USS Oklahoma was known as the "Okie." It was pulled from the water in 1943 and was to be sold for scrap metal. While being towed to California for dismantling, it sank about 540 miles from Oahu.

A Big Salute to Paul Goodyear and All the Others Who Led the Drive to Accomplish This. --Cooter

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dead Page-- Last French WWI Vet-- Lazare Ponticelli

Lazare Ponticelli (1897-2008)

Last French WWI Veteran

Lazare Ponticelli outlived 8.4 million other "poilus", a name given to French soldiers of World War I meaning hairy or tough, dying March 12th at age 110.

He was born in Italy, but chose to fight for France in the "la Grande Guerre" as it was called in France. Born Dec. 7, 1897, he left a hard childhood at age 9 to join his brothers in France. When war broke out in 1914, he lied about age to enlist.

He joined the Foreign Legion and served in the Argonne region digging trenches and burial pits. "At the beginning, we barely knew how to fight and hardly had any ammunition. Every time that one of us died, we fell silent and waited our turn," he said in a 2005 interview.

When Italy entered the war, he tried to hide, but was caught and served in the Italian Army versus the Austrians.

He returned to France in 1921 and, along with his brothers, started a company that made factory smokestacks. He became a French citizen in 1939.

Monday, France will have a national funeral ceremony honoring him and all the other WWI veterans.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Doing a Historical Drive and Vacation

Whenever Liz and I go somewhere on vacation, historical sites and roads are always a high priority.

We just returned from 17 days in an attempt to escape from this lousy Midwestern winter. Normally, I have no problem with them, but this year, it was particularly miserable.

We drove historic Route 66 through Illinois from Dwight to Springfield. WE also spent quite a bit of time on US-90 and US-98 as we cruised the Gulf Coast.

I also went into three masonary Civil War forts, saw how Jefferson Davis' Beauvoir was coming along, drove around historic Pensacola, Fl, and visited the Naval Air Museum while there.

We came back most of the way on US-45 from its southern terminus in Mobile, Alabama, to Champagne, Illinois. These four mentioned US highways were all part of the original road system developed in 1928.

One other sad historical thing we encountered was the highest gas prices-ever in the US, especially yesterday and Monday night.

We saw two gas stations charging $3.50 for regular gas.

Good Thing We Came Home Yesterday. We Might Not Have Been Able to Afford it Today!!