Wednesday, June 12, 2019

McHenry County, Illinois, Deaths in World War I

From the National Archives.

56 KIA

8 Died of Wounds

16 Died Non Battle


1 M

89 Total

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Before Wrigley Field, Cubs Had West Side Grounds-- Part 4

After the Cubs moved out, the park hosted Wild West-type shows and other events before the state of Illinois purchased the property in 1919 for $400,000 with plans to build a research and educational hospital.

The group name of the folks wanting to mark the site, Way Out In Left Field is in reference to the West Side Grounds.  Patients at a nearby psychiatric hospital behind the left field grandstand were said to make loud and odd remarks that could be heard within the park.

Glad to Have It Marked.  --Cooter

Monday, June 10, 2019

Before Wrigley Field, Cubs Had West Side Grounds-- Part 3:

"I just thought that there should be a marker commemorating the ballpark and, more importantly, the success of the '06. '07, '08 teams, said Brian Bernardoni, 49.  "I mean, the Cubs were one of the great teams of the era, like the 1927 Yankees."

The West Side Grounds opened in 1893.  The ballpark sometimes has a II after its name to distinguish it from a predecessor stadium near Congress Parkway that was usually referred to as West Side Park but occasionally was labeled with "grounds" in the title.

Built for $30,000, the park had a capacity of 16,000 and was the name of the same ballclub that used different names:  Colts, Orphans and, finally, Cubs.

Despite playing games in four World Series matchups at the park, including a loss to the Philadelphia Athletics in 1910, the Cubs never clinched a championship at home.

The Cubs played their last game there October 3, 1915, a 7-2 win over the Cardinals in front of 2,800 fans.  The next season, they moved to Weeghman Park, later renamed Wrigley Field and have played there ever since.


Sunday, June 9, 2019

Before Wrigley Field, Cubs Had West Side Grounds-- Part 2

From the June 3 post.

Before I stopped for posts on the 75th anniversary of D-Day, I was writing about the place where the Chicago Cubs played before moving to what is now called Wrigley Field, the West Side Grounds.

Indeed, few people, or even Cub fans have ever heard of the West Side Grounds.  Even UIC students and faculty know nothing of it, although part of their campus is on the site.

Mike Reischl is a big West Side Grounds fan and  has led an effort to get the state and city to recognize the site.  He has joined a like-minded fellow in the person of Brian Bernardoni and together they have formed  the Way Out In Left Field Society to drum up interest.  They eventually raised $1000 and got the support of the university for a marker.

In September 2008, the Illinois State Historical Society unveiled a plaque at 912 S. Wood St. designating the site.  It sits near where the centerfield clubhouse and flagpole of the old park were located.

When the Cubbies WERE REALLY GOOD!!  --CootCub

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Destroyers at D-Day

From Wikipedia "List of Allied Ships at the Normandy Landings."

There were seven battleships, five heavy cruisers, twenty light cruisers and 139 destroyers and escorts.  Of interest, not all were British (85 ships including Canadian ones)or U.S. (40 ships).  There were also 7 Free French and 7 other Allied ones ( 2 Greek, 2 Polish and 3 Norwegian).

According to yesterday's article, three British and three U.S. destroyers were sunk at D-Day.

However, according to this list, just the USS Corry (DD-463) was sunk during the invasion on June 6, 1944.  Also a Norwegian destroyer (see below)

The others were sunk at later dates:

HMS Boadicea (H65) torpedoed and sunk June 13 June
HMS Fury (H76) mined June 21 and not repaired
USS Glennon  (DD-620)  Hit a mine June 8, sunk by German artillery June 10
USS Rich  (DE-695)  Sunk by mine June 10
HMS Swift  (G46)  Mined and sunk June 24 off Normandy

HNoMS Svenner  (GO3)   Norwegian   destroyer  Hit by German torpedo and sunk off Normandy at dawn, June 6, 1944


75 Years Later, D-Day-- Part 4: Showing Respect

"The younger generations don't realize enough what sacrifices those men and women made for our freedom.  The world would have been a much different place if that war had been won by Germany," said Annie Riley, a singer dressed in a World War II-era uniform of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force, or WAAF's.

"I do sometimes feel they don't get the recognition they deserve, and then you come to something like this and it is just so humbling to see how loved they are and how respected they are."

The veterans and the families crowded onto the decks.  A few pulled a few pints.  The mood was festive.

This time, however, everyone was looking forward to landing in France, not like the last time.

75 Years Later, D-Day-- Part 3: This May Be the Last Commemoration for Significant Numbers of D-Day Veterans

The events of June 6, 1944, when more than 10,000 Allied servicemen were killed or wounded, still mark the lives of the men who fought that day.  The emotions are even more pronounced this year, as the dwindling group of aging World War II (the British call it the Second World War) D-Day veterans prepare to honor their lost comrades in what may be the last major commemoration that involves significant numbers of the soldiers, sailors and airmen who took part in the invasion.

But, in Dover, as the veterans prepared to set sail, there were bands and veterans from later conflicts  to see them off.  The Swing-Time Sweethearts -- a pair of singers who specialize in period standards such as "The White Cliffs of Dover" and "We'll Meet Again" set the mood.

I figured out that if a soldier at D-Day were 18 years old at the time, he'd be 93 today.

Friday, June 7, 2019

75 Years Later-- Part 2: On Board a British Destroyer That Day

Retired Rear Admiral John Roberts, 95, was a 20-year-old junior officer aboard a Royal Navy destroyer that day and bombarded the German defenses.  Three British destroyers and three American destroyers were sunk on D-Day, but Roberts downplayed the danger he faced.

"I was in a ringside seat, as it were, watching the coast being bombarded by bombers, battleships; everything was firing at the shore.  But the fact is that it was a success, and we knew that really by the end of that day.  We caught the Germans by surprise."

Thursday, June 6, 2019

75 Years Later, D-Day Veterans Cruise Back to Landing Beaches-- Part 1

From the June 5, 2019, Chicago Tribune by Danica Kirka.

Retired British Rear Admiral John Roberts, 95,  got back into the military side of his life quite easily as he boarded a ship bound for Normandy, France, and events marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day.  He had his white beret in place, a chestful of medals and began inspecting Sea Cadets line up for him.  Then, he got on a boat, just hoping that after being away from the sea for 40 years that he wouldn't get seasick.

Roberts and about 300 other veterans of the Normandy invasion left Dover Sunday for a six-day trip that will take them back to where they were all those years ago.  They will cruise to Dunkirk and Poole before arriving in Portsmouth, England where British Prime Minster Theresa May and Donald Trump will join other world leaders for a commemoration of D-Day on Wednesday.

They will then leave Portsmouth Harbor that evening and arrive in Normandy the next morning, retracing that famous crossing they made in 1944.

June 6, 1944-- D-Day: Other Events That Happened on June 6 Through the Years

Today marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day here in the United States.  In most of Europe, June 6 was yesterday because of the international dateline.

From the June 6, 2019, Chicago Tribune "On June 6."

Here are some other events that took place on June 6.

1918--  The World War I battle of Belleau Wood, which resulted in a U.S. victory over the Germans in France.  This was a great day in the history of the USMC.

1925--  Walter Percy Chrysler founded the Chrysler Corporation.

1933--  The first drive-in movie theater opened in Camden, New Jersey.

1942--  Japanese forces retreated in the World War II Battle of Midway, regarded as the turning point in the war in the Pacific.

1944--  Allied forces launched their invasion of Europe, landing on the beaches of France in what became known as D-Day.


Monday, June 3, 2019

Before Wrigley Field, There Was the West Side Grounds for the Cubs-- Part 1: Tinker to Evers to Chance

From the October 6, 22017, Chicago Tribune  "Cubs rules at long gone West Side Grounds" by Patrick M. O'Connell.

A century ago, it was baseball, not medicine that was featured at the plot of land now occupied by the University of Illinois at Chicago's School of Medicine.  This was the site of the Chicago Cubs' most dominant and successful period in franchise history.

"Before Wrigley Field's ivy, before the 'W' flags and the beloved manual scoreboard, there was the West Side Grounds."  The legendary Tinker to Evers to Chance combination were doing their thing in the infield.  Attendance was booming and fans also packed adjacent rooftops.

The Cubs won back-to-back World Series titles in 1907 and 1908.  And, this is where the only intercity World Series between the White Sox and Cubs took place. the year before when the Hitless Wonders downed the heavily favored Cubs in 1906.

The field was located between Polk, Wood and Taylor streets and Wolcott Avenue (then Lincoln Avenue).

)h, Those Were the Days My Friend.  We Thought They'd Never End.  --DaCootSox

The Oscars By the Numbers-- Part 3: Of British Monarchs and Real People

19--  Number of acting nominations that have gone to performers playing British monarchs, including Olivia Colman, who is nominated for Best Actress this year for portraying Queen Anne in "The Favourite."

Five have won:  Colin Firth, Helen Mirren, Charles Laughton, Katherine Hepburn "The Lion In Winter" (1969) and Judi Dench "Shakespeare in Love" (1999).

72--  The number of actors/actresses who've won for playing real people, including Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman and Jaime Fox.

89--  Age of "Call Me By Your name" screenwriter James Ivory when he accepted his award in 2018, becoming the oldest winner ever.


Sunday, June 2, 2019

The Oscars By the Numbers-- Part 2: Charlie Chaplin's Ovation

7--  Number of times "The Wife" Best Actress nominee GLENN CLOSE has contended for a trophy.  She has never won one.

10--  Age of TATUM O'NEAL when she won Best Supporting Actress in 1974 for "Paper Moon."

12--  Minutes of CHARLIE CHAPLIN's  standing ovation in 1972 when he received his lifetime achievement award.

14--  Most nominations ever for a film in a single year.  Three-way tie:  "La La Land". (2017), "All About Eve" (1951), and "Titanic" (1998).


Saturday, June 1, 2019

The Oscars By the Numbers-- Part 1:"Thank You"

From the February 24, 2019, Parade Magazine by Mara Reinstein.

Here are some of the smallest and biggest numbers related to Hollywood's biggest night.

0--  Number of nominations Richard Gere has received.

1--  Weekends it took Best Picture Nominee "Black Panther" to outgross the entire run of 2018 Best Picture Winner "The Shape of Water" at the Box Office.

2--  Number of words in the shortest acceptance speech ever.    In case you're wondering, Patty Duke in accepting her Best Supporting Actress award in 1963 for "The Miracle Worker."  No playoff the stage music for her.

5--  Number of actors/actresses who've pulled off consecutive wins, including Tom Hanks' Best Actor trophies for "Philadelphia" (1994) and "Forrest Gump" )1995).


Friday, May 31, 2019

Missouri's Jerry Corp Memorial Highway

State of Missouri Revised Statutes.

Effective August  28, 2015

Chapter 227



The portion of U.S. Highway 160  in Ozark County from the bridge that crosses Bryant Creek to a location two and a half miles east of such bridge shall be known as the "Jerry Corp Memorial Highway."

The costs for such designation shall be paid by private donations.


Thursday, May 30, 2019

Jerry Corp on the Vietnam Wall

From the Wall of Faces site of Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.


A picture of him accompanies this.

Honored on Panel  11W, Line 30 of the Wall.

Wall Name:  Jerry M. Corp

Date of Birth:  4/14/50

Date of Casualty:  4/21/70

City / County of Record / State:  Tecumseh, Ozark County,  Missouri

Branch of Service:  Army

Casualty Province: Quang Ngai

Rank:  PFC

He is buried at Sallee Cemetery, Ozark County, Missouri.

The Good Die Young.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Vietnam Service of Tom Dier

Yesterday, I wrote about this man giving a talk at the Northbrook, Illinois, Memorial Day service and he was going to talk about his buddy, Jerry Corp who died in Vietnam.

Tom Dier himself was drafted at Christmas 1968 and served ten months and 29 days in Vietnam.  he won a Silver Star there for gallantry.  Moving to Tennessee in 1972, he worked as a house painter and raised three boys.

As was the case of many Vietnam veterans, at first he tried to distance himself from the memories, but later wrote a book about his experiences titled "Miss Li Thi Van & Other Stories of Vietnam."

"I wasn't a great fan of the war, but I have never felt that the country owed me anything because there were a lot of guys who didn't come home."

A picture accompanied the article of Tom Dier in Vietnam in 1970 and Tom Dier today, who is standing next to Jerry Corp's mother, Irene Corp.