Friday, August 27, 2010

Three British World War I Ships Located

August 23rd AP "Three British World War I-era ships found off Estonia island."

The Estonian military officially announced that the wrecks of three British warships that sank in the Baltic Sea off the coast of Estonia after World War I were found.

The wracks of the HMS Cassandra, HMS Gentian and HMS Myrtle were found near the island of Saaremaa, about 90 miles southwest of the capital of Tallinn. The report didn't say what condition the ships were in.

These ships were part of a British squadron sent to the Baltic Sea 1918-1919 to deliver arms to Estonia, a newly established state fighting for its independence against the Bolsheviks and Germans.

OK, I Didn't Know. --DaCoot.

What Was the Mothball Fleet?-- Part 1

From the Jan. 20th MyReporter in the Wilmington (NC) Star News.

The "Mothball Fleet" was officially called the National defense Reserve Fleet, but very often simply the "Ghost Fleet."

The one by Wilmington was anchored in rows in the Brunswick River and described as the second largest ship graveyard in the world. The first largest was in the James River in Virginia near Hampton Roads by the Chesapeake Bay.

After Wold War II, the US Maritime Commission established the Reserve Fleet Basin to primarily house Liberty Ships and others after demobilization. The first one at Wilmington was the SS John B. Bryce which arrived August 12, 1946. Eventually 426 more ships joined it, the most ever at one time.

Ships moved in and out. In all, there were 628, many built by the North Carolina Shipbuilding Company.

There were also 68 Victory Ships and 41 others, including tankers.

Five were always kept completely ready to go at a moment's notice.

More to Come. --Cooter

Thursday, August 26, 2010

History of Fort Johnston, NC-- Part 3

On February 21, 1888, Fort Johnston was officially dropped as a seacoast defense. The only part of the fort remaining today appears to be the officers' quarters which has been used by a variety of groups from that time to today.

At one time, it was used by the US Army Corps of Engineers and later the US Surveying Corps.

During World War II it was a USO building.

In the 1950s, officers from the Air Rescue Unit stayed there and then it was transferred to Sunny Point Military Ocean Terminal in 1955.

This year, the Southport Branch of the North Carolina Maritime Museum will move into it.

It is listed on the National register of Historic Places.

A Little-Known Fort. --Cooter

History of Fort Johnston, NC-- Part 2

Continuing with yesterday's post.

In 1754, soldiers at Fort Johnston were sent off the fight in the French and Indian War.

In 1759, men went off to fight the Cherokees.

When the Revolutionary War broke out, British Royal Governor Josiah Martin fled from New Bern to Fort Johnston and transferred the government there. A month later, he fled to a British ship and away from the colony. Patriots burned the fort.

After the war, the fort was abandoned and soon became overgrown with vines and bushes. However, president Washington and Congress created the First System of Fortifications and Fort Johnston was one. Money was spent for its rebuilding. In 1795, the first documented 4th of July celebration in the state took place there.

During the War of 1812, the garrison was increased but saw no action.

By 1836, it was mostly evacuated with troops going off to fight the Seminoles in Florida.

In 1838, Fort Johnston's military significance was reduced drastically with the construction of the larger and stronger Fort Xaswell by the Atlantic coast.

During the Mexican War, the fort served as a recruitment and training facility.

I wrote about its role in the Civil War in my August 18th Saw the Elephant Blog.

More to Come. --Cooter

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The History of Fort Johnston, North Carolina-- Part 1

Fort Johnston is a fort located by Southport, NC, near the mouth of the Cape Fear River south of the city of Wilmington. It dates back to the colonial days. Last week, I wrote about it on my Civil War blog Saw the Elephant, http://sawtheelephant.blogspot.com.

From the May 10, 2010, MyReporter column in the Wilmington Star-News. Much of the information is gleaned from Wilson Angley's "A History of Fort Johnston on the Lower Cape Fear."

The fort was built by the colony as protection against Spanish attack. In 1744, North Carolina Royal Governor Gabriel Johnston (for whom the fort was named) ordered a fort to be constructed. However, work was progressing slowly and it was nowhere near completed when, on September 4, 1748, two Spanish privateers made their way up the Cape Fear and captured a sloop on tried to seize slaves working on the fort. They also looted Brunswick Town.

The fort was finally completed in 1749, but no longer needed for protection against the Spanish. Its new job was to prevent diseases from entering the colony and on foggy days, fired its cannons to warn ships.

More to Come. --DaCoot

Young Anglers the Last to See the Centaur

From the Dec. 23, 2009 Chronicle (Australia). This was back when a search was on to locate the wreck of the AHS Centaur, a hospital ship sunk by a Japanese submarine. I have done many entries about this vessel. Surprisingly, very little was printed in the United States about it.

On May 14, 1943, Kevin Watkins, now 76, was fishing off South Stradbroke Island with his brother and father when he saw the distant light of the Centaur.

"We saw a boat going north towards Brisbane and it was all lit up. We made remarks at the time because it was war-time and the ships should usually be blacked. So we figured it must have been a neutral or a hospital ship."

They later noted a bright flash over the water.

The next day they found a crate of oranges washed up on the shore and now feel sure it was from the Centaur. They ate it all.

A Sad Story of a War Tragedy. --Cooter

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wilmington, NC, Heroes-- Part 2

SGT. 1ST CLASS EUGENE ASHLEY, JR. (1930-1968)

Born in Wilmington. An Army Green Beret. Received a posthumous Medal of Honor after he personally led five assaults on North Vietnamese to rescue a besieged detachment of fellow Green berets and was fatally wounded. Wilmington's Ashley High School named for him.


WILLIAM WING LONG (1818-1886)

Nicknamed "Old Blizzards." An Indian fighter, Confederate general. Born in Wilmington but moved to Florida. Fought in the Mexican War.

Quarreled with Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign. In 1863 transferred to Mississippi where he supervised and commanded Fort Pemperton. Later, he was at the battles of Franklin and Nashville.

After the war he went to Egypt and was in their army until returning to the US.

Tarheel Heroes. --Cooter

Monday, August 23, 2010

Wilmington, NC, Heroes-- Part 1

From the Wilmington Star-News Dec. 23, 2009 MyReporter.

WILLIAM P. MURRAY, JR.

A Wilmington native drafted into the Army in 1942. 1st Lt. 3rd Infantry and leading a scout platoon and fought a larger German force near Kayserberg. Called in artillery strikes and attacked the enemy with a grenade launcher, a Browning Automatic Rifle and mortar. Was wounded, but continued fighting and received a Medal of Honor July 5, 1945. Wilmington's Murray Middle School is named after him.


WILLIAM DAVID HALYBURTON, JR.

A graduate of New Hanover High School in 1943 and enlisted in the US Navy and became a corpsman (medic) with the US Marines. Was killed in action at Okinawa while tending the wounded under heavy enemy fire and posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Wilmington's Halyburton Park is named in his memory.

Heroes All. The Greatest Generation. --Cooter

"...So Much Owed By So Many to So Few."

August 21st ABC News.

August 20, 1940, marked the 70th anniversary of one of Winston Churchill's most famous speeched thanking the RAF fighter pilots for their gallant service defending the homeland during the Battle of Britain.

Several former RAF World War II Spitfire pilots and thousands of others gathered in front of the old wartime cabinet rooms and the replica of a Spitfire to commemorate that speech. The pilots are in their 80s and 90s.

From July to October 1940, these valiant few battles huge numbers of German aircraft intent on destroying England and London especially.

A Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft did a fly-past.

The speech also honored British bombers who were attacking German positions over the Channel.

"The gratitude of every home...goes out to British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the world war by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

Quite a set of words.

Well-Done Winston and RAF. --Cooter

Saturday, August 21, 2010

World War II Plane Rises in San Diego-- Part 2

The SB2Cs had several nicknames, including "The Beast" which the article called this one. Also, according to Wikipedia, it was called "Big Tailed Beast," Two-Cee" and "Son-of-a-Bitch 2nd Class" after its designation and handling problems.

From the San Diego Union-Tribune article.

The plane was found by a fisherman named Duane Johnson who was using a fish finder when he came across the shape of the Helldiver and reported it.

A & T Recovery of Chicago recovered it after being hired for $125,000 by the National Naval Air Museum in Pensacola, Florida.

From a July 21st Union Tribune article.

Around 30,000 Helldivers of different classes were built for the Navy during the war. Not many remain as most crashed or were shot down. They suffered from structural weaknesses, unreliable electronics and engines that tended to stall which was the problem that brought this one down.

Lower Otay, or Savage Dam, was built in 1919. Besides fishing, it is also used to train the US Olympic rowing team.

More to Come-- DaCoot

World War II Plane Rises in San Diego-- Part 1

From the August 20th San Diego Union-Tribune "World War II Helldiver plane lifted from reservoir" by Ed Zieralski.

On August 20th, a SB2C-4 Navy Helldiver was raised from the depths of Lower Otay Reservoir where it had been since crashing during a mishap May 28, 1945. Hundreds of people has gathered this past week watching the proceedings.

E.D. Frazar of Richmond, Texas was the pilot that day who was forced to ditch "The Beast" as it was named, when the engine failed. He and machine gunner Army Sergeant Joseph Metz of Youngstown, Ohio, swam to shore and hitched a ride back to their base at Ream Field in South Bay.

Both men have since died, but many members of their families were on hand for the recovery. E.D.'s son, Richard Frazar received permission to recreate a pose his father took leaning up against the fuselage. "That was an awesome feeling to get up there and touch the plane."

It is great that this plane has been recovered and will be restored so future generations can understand the war the Greatest Generation fought.

Way to Go. --Cooter

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Centaur's Felt Hat

From the Jan. 18th Redland Times "Felt hat symbol of Centaur tragedy." By far, one of the most telling photos taken of the wreck of the Australian Hospital Ship Centaur was of the felt hat sitting upright on the ocean floor.

Pam Gilbert received a "jolt" when she saw it. Her father and uncle were both drivers with the 2/12 Ambulance Unit. Both died in the tragedy.

She was fine while looking at the photos until she saw that hat. "That gave me quite a jolt." This was the type of hat her father and uncle would have worn.

Could it have been one of theirs?

She was just five when the Centaur was torpedoed.

That hat was the most telling of all the photos of the wreck for me as well. I tried to download it, but was unable.

A Very Sad Event. --Cooter

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Boy Scouts Time Line

As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Boy Scouts.


1910 Boy Scouts of America incorporate din Washington, DC.

1911 Boys' Life debuts.

1918 Scout troops fight Spanish influenza epidemic.

1930 BSA lunches the Cub Scouts.

1941-1945 BSA aids war effort by distributing war bonds, recycling rubber and assisting fire brigades.

1960 BSA membership soars as more baby boom boys become scout age.

1967 BSA changes Cub Scout 'den mother" position to "den leader" to make room for men.

1980 Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta creates a new Boy Scout uniform.

2010 BSA celebrates 100th anniversary.

I was both a Cub Scout and a Boy Scout from around 1963 to 1966. I never got beyond Tenderfoot though, as I couldn't tie my knots. I still can't, except for one knot I use to tie up the boat.

From August 1st Chicago Tribune.

A Really Fine Organization. --Cooter

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Brief History of Military Pullouts

Auguest 16th Time Magazine.

On August 2nd, President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to end the US combat mission in Iraq by the end of the month and to drop our number to 50,000 who will remain to "advise and assist" Iraqi forces.

The Romans controlled most of Britain for 350 years, until 410, when, because of attacks elsewhere in their empire, just left.

In 1812, Napoleon's 500-mile retreat from Moscow to France led to the death of 80% of his army.

When the US left Vietnam, $6.5 billion in equipment was left.


SOME OTHER PULLOUTS:

1940-- Nearly 350,000 French and British troops escape German advance in the evacuation of Dunkirk, but leave their tanks and artillery behind.

1975-- The last Americans are airlifted out of Vietnam, almost two years after US troops are formally withdrawn.

1989-- The Soviet Union's departure from Afghanistan is followed by a civil war.

Time's Brief History page is always an interesting one looking back at the history of things happening in today's news, much like the Chicago Tribune's "Ten Things You Might Not Know" column.

Too Bad We Got Into Iraq Anyway. --Cooter

1967-- the News-- Part 3

Some More News from 1967.

Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys was indicted for draft evasion.

The Tonight Show, starring Johnny Carson, is shortened from 105 to 90 minutes.

The Newly Wed Game debuts on ABC TV. "Where's the strangest place you've ever made whoopie?"

The US Military Command reports that so far 774 American planes have been lost in the Vietnam conflict so far.

President LBJ: "And then in the name of millions of Americans who object to treating their fellow Americans one way on the battlefield and another way in the country they're fighting to defend..."

Quite a Turning Point of a Year. --Cooter

Monday, August 16, 2010

1967-- Part 2-- The News

Along with ten songs from the year, Bob Stroud also plays lines from movies, commercials and news clops from the year. Here are the comments between every two songs:

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards serve a month in jail for drugs.

We're living in a bizarro world: Jimi Hendrix quits as opening act for the Monkees. The Who are opening for Herman's Hermits.

The FCC ordered radio and TV stations to give significant time to anti-smoking advocates.

On January 7th, the cost of a first-class stamp went up a penny to 6 cents.

A flash fire in a practice launch killed astronauts Virgil Grissom, Ed White and Roger B. Chaffee.

More to Come. --DaCoot

1967-- Part 1-- The Music

On my August 13th Down Da Road I Go blog http://downdaroadigo.blogspot.com O wrote down the names of the songs played on Bob Stroud's Ten at Ten show he did from the year 1967.

INCENSE & PEPPERMINT-- Strawberry Alarm Clock
THE WIND CRIES MARY-- Jimi Hendrix
TO SIR WITH LOVE-- Lulu

RUBY TUESDAY-- Rolling Stones
ITCHYCOO PARK-- Small Faces
COME ON DOWN TO MY BOAT-- Every Mothers Son
ROCK AND ROLL WOMAN-- Buffalo Springfield

MARY MARY-- Monkees
REFLECTIONS-- Diana Ross and the Supremes
SHE'S LEAVING HOME-- Beatles

Events of 1967 coming up the next post.

Good Music, Maynard. --Cooter

Saturday, August 14, 2010

V-J Day 65th Anniversary and 65th of "The Big Kiss"

I'm starting to read a lot of articles about the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II which took place on today's date back in 1945. I decided to find out some more information on it so turned to good old Wikipedia for a quick summary.

V-J day stands for Victory Over Japan Day, but is also called V-P day, Victory in the Pacific (although I have never seen it referred to that way).

It refers to both the actual day the Japanese government surrendered, August 15th in japan and August 14th in the US and September 2, 1945, when the surrender was officially signed on board the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay

On this date 65 years ago, Japanese Emperor Hirohito announced over Radio Tokyo that Japan had accepted the terms of the Potsdam Declaration. He then sent a cable to President Truman by way of Switzerland's diplomatic mission in Washington, DC.


THE BIG KISS

This is also the day in which photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt took the famous picture of the sailor kissing the nurse in the Times Square V-J celebration. To this day, we still do not know who the sailor is for sure (although many have claimed to be the guy.

The nurse was Edith Shain, who, unfortunately died at age 91 this past June 20th.

A Great Day in US History. --DaCoot

St. Louis' Gateway Arch

From the August 5th Chicago Tribune "Improving Arch could prove to be tall order" by Blair Kamin.

Architect Eero Saarinen built the 630-foot-tall arch (the tallest national monument in the US) as a tribute to American westward expansion. It is impressive, but the grounds around it definitely are not.

Security barriers erected after 9-11 take from the experience the nearly 2.5 million who visit each year.

The City Arch River 2015 Foundation wants to change the Arch's surrounding and even the view of East St. Louis across the Mississippi River and are hosting a design competition. Five teams are finalists and will be presenting their designs this coming Tuesday and a winner will be announced September 24th. The foundation wants to have the revamp completed by the Arch's 50th anniversary, October 28, 2015.

This arch is impressive and we've been seeing it more of late because of our Route 66 travels. One alignment goes right by it. And, you can easily see it at the old Chain of Rocks Bridge north of town.

We visited it once, but found out you'd better pre-order your tickets if you want to go to the top of it. Nice visit anyway. Impressive museum at the base.

Looking Forward to Seeing the Designs. Cooter

Friday, August 13, 2010

65th Anniversary of the End of World War II

Tomorrow marks the 65th anniversary of the Japanese surrender, marking the end of World War II. I haven't seen too much about it, actually just this one article in the August 13th Wilmington (NC) Star-News "Wilmington celebrates V-J Day" by Wilbur D. Jones, Jr.

Back on August 15, 1945 (Japan time) Winter Park resident and New Hanover High School graduate Lt. jg Ralph "Buck" Barden, a TBM Avenger bomber pilot, was on his way to bomb a Tokyo electronics plant.

Half way there, he was ordered to abort the mission, jettison his bombs and return to the carrier USS Lexington. His war was over and so was everyone else's.

President Truman announced that the Japanese had surrendered at 7 pm, Tuesday, August 14, 1945. News reached Wilmington at sunset. Those businesses still open, immediately closed and thousands of celebrants gathered at Front Street. Autos were blasting their horns and many people were singing patriotic songs.

The article's writer remembers sitting at home with his parents and sister and listening to the news over the radio and later managing to get through on their party line and call friends.

he remembers that friends of his family had a baby girl born that day and that his mother had tried, tongue-in-cheek, to have her named VJ.

Jones said that VE Day had come during the day and again all businesses and schools were closed and people were out on the streets to celebrate.

A Great Day in US History! --Cooter

Dead Page: Daddy of Spaghetti-Os

DONALD E. GOERKE, 83

Died January 10, 2010

Campbell Soup executive who led the ream that invented the famous circular pastas. In 35 years with the company, he helped introduce one hundred products.

Spaghetti-Os were introduced in 1965. Famous singer Jimmie Rodgers sang the jingle that ended with "Uh oh, Spaghetti-Os." Great timing here because there were 20 million kids under the age of 5 at the time. (Not me, i was 14,)

He also introduced Chunky Soup in 1970.

He served in the US Army Air Force during World War II.

Born in 1926 in Wauhesha, Wisconsin, and was on "What's My Line." i sure would have liked to see them guess what he did for a living.

I Must Admit, I'm a Fan of Spaghetti-Os. Still am.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Leo Burnett Moment-- Part 5

A few last-minute things about this remarkable man and his company.

Time Magazine has him on the list of 100 Most Influential Men of the 20th Century.

His agency is the tenth largest in the world.

QUOTE: "Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read." I'd say he stuck to these ideas quite well and his company still does.

Some other Burnett ad campaigns:

Who had the "Spot"?

Who had "The best for you each morning"?

"You're in good hands" with who?

Answers below.

A Remarkable Man. --Cooter



7-Up

Kellogg's

Allstate

A Leo Burnett Moment-- Part 4-- The Marlboro Man and Don Draper

From the August 4th Chicago Tribune "Leo Burnett, the Marlboro Man of ad agencies, turns 75" by Phil Rosenthal.

Nearly 40 years after he was last on TV and more than a decade after he was last on a billboard, the Marlboro Man stills stands big in our memories. No one thinks of Marlboro as a woman's cigarette, but that's how it started back in the 1920s.

That is, until Leo Burnett's agency got ahold of it. Now "he still stands tall in the mind's eye as a macho icon of virility." No woman stuff here.

Even when he came to be, the Marlboro Man was there to steer us away from the growing health concerns of cigarettes.

Who, in the agency, exactly "created what arguably is the most indelibly etched, well-defined advertising character of all time" has been up for debate for years.

In a 2002 NPR report had Leo Burnett recalling the moment of creation, "I said, 'What's the most masculine symbol you can think of" And right off the top of his head one of the writers spoke up and said a cowboy. And I said, 'That's for sure.'"

A man by the name of Draper Daniels was one of the creative forces at Burnett and has been credited as the Father of the Marlboro Man by some. Of course, the fact that there is a character on AMC's "Mad Men" TV show about a New York City ad agency might lead someone to think that he was also the model for Don Draper.

Of course, Don Draper is also the show's creative force and they did have a problem in an earlier season of coming up with an ad campaign for a cigarette company.

It's a Mad, Mad World. --Cooter

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Boy Scouts in the 21st Century-- Part 1-- Challenges for the Second Century

From the August 1st Chicago Tribune "Scouts work to blend tradition, technology" by Scott K. Parks. Comments in parentheses are mine.

The Boy Scouts of the 20th century were defined by Norman Rockwell's paintings. Times were different back then when the Scouts were formed in 1910. "Most of the country lived in rural settings. People were familiar with hunting, fishing and outdoor labor. By mid century, boys still practically lived outdoors, traveling the neighborhood on bicycles and playing sandlot baseball until sunset."

But, now in it's second century, Scout membership has been declining for five years. Smart phones, iPods and laptops present stiff competition.

(Plus, too many of today's youth regard Boy Scouts as nerds and will not be associated with them.)

Chief Executive of the Boy Scouts, Bob Mazzuca, has three targets for change.

1. Integration of technology into Scouting such as new uniform pocket for smart phones and a teaming with MIT for a new invention badge.

2. More Hispanic boys, including a Spanish language Boy Scout Handbook.

3. Becoming advocates for children's health since the new generation may become the first to be less healthy than the ones before.

(I went through Cub Scouts and two years of Boy Scouts, but never advanced beyond Tenderfoot. I just couldn't learn those knots and I was mostly in it for the camp outs. Now THOSE were a lot of fun.)

What Was That Scout Law Again, Something About "Friendly, Courteous and Kind?" --DaCoot

A Leo Burnett Moment-- Part 3

Leo Burnett's "images, ideas and characters tend to be the ones that made themselves at home in your head many years ago..."

Other Burnett images in our heads:

1. Who will always be lonely?

2. Who will always be finicky?

3. Who is always cooking in that tree?

4. Who is soft in the middle and always laughs if you poke him there?

5. Exactly what does that laugh sound like?

6. Whose nose knows?

7. Who thinks it's "Gr-r-reat!"

8. What brand did that rugged cowboy out west represent?


Answers Below.

It is amazing how many of his campaigns have stuck with me, and, if you're in my age bracket, almost 60, you as well.



1. the Maytag repairman.

2. Morris the Cat

3. the Keebler elves

4. the Pillsbury Doughboy

5. I can't spell it out, but know the sound well.

6. Toucan Sam

7. Tony the Tiger

8. the Marlboro Man

How'd You Do? --Cooter

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Leo Burnett Moment-- Part 2

Here are some lines from famous Leo Burnett ad campaigns. See if you can complete them.


Sorry ____

Don't Get mad, ___ ____

Strong Enough for a man, but ____ ___ _ _____

United, we still fly the _______ _____

Beef, it's what's ___ ______

If you could finish any of these (answers below), old Leo made inroads into your brain.





Charlie

get Glad

made for a woman.

friendly skies.

for dinner.

I got them all.

Great Job, Leo. --DaCoot

Coast Guard Ship Eagle

I wrote about ths vessel earlier today in my Civil War blog, Saw the Elephant http://.sawtheelephant.com. As it went past Fort Fisher on the Cape Fear River, the fort fired a welcoming cannon from its 32-pounder at Sheppard Battery.

The August 6th Wilmington Star-News had an article about it by Amy Hotz. Currently, the ship is in the US Coast Guard and used to train Coast guard and other officer candidates and is based in New London, Connecticut.

It is a 295 foot long, square-rig tall ship, USCGC WIX327. The hull is .4 inch thick and has a raised forecastle and a quarterdeck with 3-inch teak over steel. Under full sail, it can make a top speed of 17 knots (20 mph). One striking feature of the ship is the gold eagle on its bow. It has three masts, the tallest of which is 150 feet high.

The reason I am placing this story here is because of its World War II and subsequent history.

It was built in 1936 in Hamburg, Germany and commissioned as Horst Wessel. Originally used as training vessel for German cadets. Adolph Hitler and Rudolph Hess were present at its launch. Horst Wessel was a Nazi party member killed by Communists.

During World War II, it had eight 20 mm machine guns mounted on it and is credited with shooting down 3 Soviet aircraft and one German. This last plane was determined to be an accident after it was found that the pilot had radioed in the wrong code for his battle group, but it certainly didn't help the man's blood pressure.

After the war, the United States received the Wessel in war reparations.

Interesting Story. --Cooter

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Leo Burnett Moment-- Part 1

August 4th Chicago Tribune "Leo Burnett, the Marlboro Man of as agencies, turns 75" by Phil Rosenthal.

Here is an ad company that has given us so many mindsets since 1935 when it comes to ingrained in the mind, and I'm talking about the Leo Burnett Company.

On August 6, 1935, there was a three paragraph item announcing that the former vice president with the ad agency Erwin Wasey & Co. and some other members had left and set up shop at 360 North Michigan Avenue in Chicago. The firm just celebrated 75 years in the business.


AND WHAT A BUSINESS

There was a cigarette brand introduced in the 1920s that targeted women. It wasn't doing well until Leo Burnett changed its image in the 1960s to the Marlboro Man.

The first client of the firm was the Green Giant Company and then came the Jolly Green Giant in 1936 and then the Little Green Sprout in 1972.

And, We're Far From Finished with Leo's Advertising. --Cooter

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Preservationist Buy Wright Home

From the July 2nd Chicago Tribune "Preservationists buy Wright home" by Blair Kamin, architecture critic.

Historic preservationists have bought a Frank Lloyd Wright home in Kankakee, about 60miles south of Chicago with the intentions of opening the home for tours and perhaps turn it into an arts education center.

The seven-room B. Harley Brady House is regarded by some as being the first example of Wright's Prairie Style architecture. In addition, it has more than 100 of Wright's striking art glass windows. It has a storied and tragic past, at one time the site of the popular Yesteryear restaurant. Also, in 1987, media heir Stephen Small was abducted from the house and died after being buried alive.

The Wright in Kankakee organization bought the house June 30th for $1.7 million, $200,000 less than the asking price. Former owner, architecture professor at the University of Illinois, and his wife had spent $1 million restoring the house and are happy that it will be maintained and open to the public.

The organization plans to rent the house out for events to help pay off the mortgage.

I am a big Frank Lloyd Wright fan so will have to make sure I get to Kankakee for a visit. It is definitely great news to hear that another Wright house has been saved.

Way to Go. --DaCoot

How About World War II Re-enactors?

You always see and hear about those who re-enact the life of soldiers and sailors during the Civil War. Plus, we even have Revolutionary War, American frontier re-enactors, but you don't hear much about those who recreate World War II.

The July 30th Chicago Tribune had an article "Ambush at New Lenox front" by Barbara Dargis.

These World War II re-enactors have huge collections of war-related memorabilia. They say it is important to bring the experience to the younger generations especially as those who actually lived it are dying off as fast as they now are.

Most of the article was about those who play the parts of German soldiers. July 24th was excessively hot and humid, but25 re-enactors did show up.

They pay attention down to the tiniest detail. Dargis described ione scene as "Big band music drifted from an original World War II radio in an American headquarters tent cluttered with radio and communications equipment and the effects of officers who would have been inside. Maps of France lay open beside a .45 caliber Colt on a field desk and under the gaze of a pinup girl."

World War re-enactors are in Danville this weekend and will be in Rockford in September (probably at Midway Village.)

With my fairly new found interest in World War II, I'd like to get out and see these people.

Bringing Back the Greatest Generation. --Cooter

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Last Three Surviving World War I Veterans

Besides Frank Buckles, two other certified World War veterans are still alive. Both served in the English military.

Unfortunately, in the last year, three British veterans have died, leaving just the two, a woman and a man.

Until recently, I did not see her name among the survivors, but now she is listed in Wikipedia.

Claude Stanley Choules, 109, lives in Australia and served in the Royal Navy.

Florence Beatrice Green, 109, still lives in England and was in the Royal Air Force and Royal Air Force Women.

I have been following the last World War I veterans for some time now and it is sad to see their end coming. Another part of our history gone forever.

To see the other post on the survivors, hit the World War I survivors tag.

An interesting article is at Wikipedia under List of Surviving Veterans of World War I.

It Will Be a Sad Day When These Great People Pass On. --Cooter

The Last Doughboy's Final Fight-- Part 4

America's last World War I veteran is fighting to have a national memorial built in Washington, DC, in the Mall area.

The American Battle Monuments Commission was established by Congress in 1923 with General John J. "Blackjack" Pershing in the leadership role. He had led American forces (the AEF) in France. Many beautiful monuments to our forces were built, but, unfortunately, all in Europe.

However, few Americans visit the sites and most don't even know they exist.

"The veterans I interviewed had one thing in common. No matter what they thought about their war in general or Army life, they were proud of their service to their country. And Frank Buckles is proud to stand up for them now. 'Veterans of all the wars deserve their honor,' he says."

Richard Rubin from the May 30, 2010 Parade Magazine. He is writing a book about the last American veterans of World War I. Should be a great read.

I am 100 per cent behind Mr. Buckles and his effort. It is the least we can do.

Time to Honor Our World War I Veterans (and My Grandfathers). --Cooter

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Last Doughboy's Final Fight-- Part 3

From the article by the same name by Richard Rubin in the May 30th Parade Magazine.

Back in 2003, Richard Rubin wanted to get in contact with a few remaining veterans, but even the Department of Veterans Affairs didn't even seem to know how many there were, much less where they were.

He eventually found more than thirty on his own.

Among them was "LAURENCE MOFFITT, a corporal in the 26th Division who spent his 21st birthday hunkering down in a rotten trench; BILL LAKE, a machine gunner whose good friend was killed by a German sniper as they were chatting; ANTHONY PIERRO, an Italian immigrant who survived three fierce battles, and GEORGE BRIANT, a Cajun artilleryman who saw many of the men in his battery killed on the very last night of the war."

All of these are interesting stories, but war definitely has interesting and horrible stories.

And now, our last Doughboy, Mr. Frank Buckles, believes the time has come for a national memorial. He has my support. --DaCoot

The Last Doughboy's Final Fight-- Part 2

More Americans died in World War I than in Korea and Vietnam combined. The US played a key role in the Allied victory and became transformed into a world power as a result of it.

So, why no National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC? Part of the problem is a territorial feud between those who want to enhance the current mall memorial and those who say the Liberty memorial in Kansas City, Missouri, the site of the National World War I Museum already is the national memorial. Both groups have strong backers in the Congress.

The DC monument has deteriorated a lot since 1931, so much that in 2006, the D.C. Preservation League put it on their Most Endangered Places List.

A compromise has been reached between DC and Kansas City whereby both would be designated national World War memorials, but a bill still has to pass through Congress for it to come to pass.

A total of 4.7 million Americans served in the First World War (including my two grandfathers; one in the Army and the other in the Merchant Marine) and they seem to be the forgotten warriors.

Here's Hoping This Get Resolved While Mr. Buckles is Still With Us. --Cooter

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Last Doughboy's Final Fight-- Part 1

May 30th Parade Magazine "The Last Doughboy's Final Fight" by Richard Rubin.

Back in 1917, Frank Buckles, 16, lied about his age and got into the US Army and was sent to France during World War I for the excitement and history that would be the Great War.

Now at age 109, and living in West Virginia, he has become America's last living Doughboy.

And, recently, he has become an activist as I have reported earlier. He has said, "I know that I am the representative of all those who have gone before me. Those veterans, especially those who made the supreme sacrifice, should be remembered." This referring to a national memorial in Washington, DC.

There is already a small memorial in DC honoring the 500 or so residents who died. It was dedicated in 1931, when Americans honored their dead in towns. Then, in 1982, the National Vietnam Veterans Memorial "The Wall" was unveiled on the
More to Come. --Cooter

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Some World War II Stories

The article that was posted just for this had some stories told by the veterans.

JIM WATSON, 87

Barely escaped by parachuting after his plane was shot down by enemy fire over Europe, but five members of his crew didn't. He was in the Army Air Force and was a waist gunner in a bomber and had volunteered for this particular mission. He was captured on the ground and spent four months in a POW camp in Poland.

SIGMUND BIERNAT, 90

His hometown in Poland was seized by Germans in 1940 and he and his family were taken over in cattle cars. He eventually was recruited into a small Polish unit of the British Royal Army and sent to fight in Egypt and Libya. He still has shrapnel in his heel where he was wounded.

DONALD McCORMICK, 85

He was an Army Ranger and captured in his first battle in Italy and spent more than a year in a German work camp.

The Greatest generation. --Cooter

Miniature Version of the World War II Memorial Coming to Chicago Area

From the July 2nd Chicago Tribune "Coming home" by Elizabeth Owens-Schiele.

The World War II Memorial in Washington, DC, opened in 2004 and has drawn millions of visitors and a lot of veterans of the war as well. Many have also gotten Honor Flights to see it where all expenses are paid for them.

However, that still leaves many who are unable under any circumstance to go that far. With the youngest of the World War II veterans now in their 80s, that is not surprising.

However, a group of Chicago-area veterans are planning to bring a miniature version of it to the area so that the estimated 23,000 remaining veterans in the area will have a chance to see that.

The group, Pillars of Honor, have spent months and thousands of dollars to bring the original scale model to the area. They've had help from Friedrich St. Florian, the architect who designed it.

This coming Sunday, August 8th, it will be unveiled at the Des Plaines Public Library. It is about eight by eight feet in size. In months to come, Pillars of Honor hopes to show it within a 500-mile radius of Chicago.

An Honorable Thing for the Greatest Generation. --Cooter

Gotta-Have-Its That Fizzled

The July 11th Chicago Tribune had an article The Early Birds" by Wailin Wong and Julie Wernau about those folks who feel obsessed to get the newest and latest things when they come out.

That definitely is not me on two counts: #1 it is always more expensive, and #2 it's just something else I have to learn how to do.

The Tribune ran an interesting graphic of some things that came out to revolutionize our lives, but ended up flopping.

1975 SONY BETAMAX-- Came out first but lost out to VHS by JVC.

1978 PIONEER LASERDISC-- Expensive and never had home recording capability. Final blow was the DVDs of the early 1990s.

1992 SONY MINIDISC-- created to replace the cassette player, but lost favor when CD-R prices fell and MP3 players gained in popularity

1996 WEBTV-- Internet via the TV

2001 SEGWAY-- Created to revolutionize human transport, now mostly used by police and tourists. (It might have made it had they not looked so stupid, other than when Niles Crane was tooling around on one on Fraser.)

2006 HD-DVD-- went head to head with Sony's Blu-ray format. It was discontinued in early 2008.

MICROSOFT KIN-- Introduced this past April to be the ultimate social networking device; dead by June.

I must say I never bought any of these, although I considered the webTV. How many to YOU have?

Could a Person Look Any Dumber When They're On a Segway? --DaCoot

Monday, August 2, 2010

USS Missouri SSN-780-- Part 2

The new Missouri is the fifth naval ship to bear the name.

The first USS Missouri was an steam-powered warship.

The second was actually the CSS Missouri, a Confederate ironclad. After capture, it was taken into the US Navy, but never commissioned because it was in such bad shape.

The third was a Maine-Class battleship commissioned in 1903.

The fourth was the famous Mighty Mo on which the Japanese surrendered ending World War II and today a memorial in Pearl Harbor tied up near the USS Arizona (where the war began for the US).


VIRGINIA-CLASS NUCLEAR SUBMARINES

Now that the age of battleships have passed, our nuclear submarines are named after states. There will be a total of twenty submarines in this new class. Six are already commissioned in service, now seven with the Missouri.

The others are the Virginia, Texas, Hawaii, North Carolina, New Hampshire and New Mexico.

A Glorious Name. --DaCoot

USS Missouri SSN-780-- Part 1

The newest commissioned US Naval ship is the USS Missouri, a Virginia -Class nuclear submarine.

From the July 30th Marshall (Mo) Democrat-News "New USS Missouri to sail with a bit of Saline County aboard" by Eric Crump.

Two retired Navy men, Charlie Guthrie and Stanton Thompson will present a World War II shell casing filled with dirt from Thompson's farm in Saline County, Missouri, saying "We wanted the ship's roots to grow well."

The shell case has the date 1942 on it and is from the estate of James Gary Neff, a Marine who served in the Pacific Theater during World War II. This is the first war the previous and famous battleship USS Missouri fought in.

The new Missouri was laid down September 2008, christened December 2009 and began sea trials in June 2010.

Great Luck and Fortune to This Newest Naval Ship. --Cooter