Posts filed under ‘SHAKO’

FRIDAY FOTO (September 9, 2016)

Airborne Weaponry.

frifo-9-9-2016

U.S. Air Force photo by Technical Sergeant Joshua L. DeMotts

The U.S. Air Force concerns itself with things that fly — fixed wing aircraft, helicopters,  missiles — and M-1 rifles with fixed bayonets, too, apparently.

Here we see the Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team performing at the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, to honor Vietnam War veterans.

September 9, 2016 at 1:07 am Leave a comment

SHAKO: A D-Day Memory Repeated

Twice Told Tale: June 5, 1944.

In honor of the 72nd anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy during World War II, we thought we’d re-run this post from the 40th anniversary in 2014. – John M. Doyle

A D-Day Story – With a Twist.

ike and 101st

Gen. Eisenhower talks with 101st Airborne Division paratroopers before D-Day. (Defense Dept. photo)

All the attention and remembrances that the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in France is getting recently jogged my memory about another D-Day story I uncovered 30 years ago – for the 40th anniversary of history’s biggest amphibious invasion.

Your 4GWAR editor was South Bend, Indiana correspondent for the Associated Press when someone told me about a priest then serving at the University of Notre Dame who had a great D-Day story. Monsignor Francis L. Sampson had been an Army chaplain serving with the 501st Parachute Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division. (The same division but a different regiment from the one featured in the book and cable TV series “Band of Brothers.”)

Sampson parachuted into Normandy along with the 101st the night before D-Day, was captured by the Waffen SS and almost shot on June 6. After the Germans realized he was only a chaplain they let him return to the barn where he had been tending wounded paratroopers too badly hurt to be moved. He and an Army medic tended both German and U.S. wounded until American forces overran the area and captured the Germans who had captured Sampson.

He went on to jump into Holland in late 1944 in Operation Market Garden (“A Bridge too Far”), was captured again at the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944 and liberated from a grim German POW camp by Russian troops in April 1945.

Pretty good story, I thought, as I pitched it to my editor in Indianapolis. But he told me about a Frenchman, now a local business magazine publisher who was a small boy in Normandy on that night in June, 1944. Bernard Marie, who was then in his mid 40s, was offering a free lunch in Indianapolis to any U.S. vet who could prove he was in Normandy on what became known as “The Longest Day.”

We decided to combine both men’s stories after I interviewed them and also put them in touch with each other. Here is the beginning of the story that ran in U.S. newspapers on the afternoon of June 5, 1984:

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – On the night of June 5, 1944, Bernard Marie spent his fifth birthday huddled in a cellar 25 miles from Omaha Beach. Monsignor Francis L. Sampson flew through German anti-aircraft fire over Normandy, convinced he was going to die.

The story had some humorous and harrowing anecdotes. My favorite was when the first U.S. paratroopers broke into little Bernard’s house. He thought their four-letter-word cussing sounded like German (think about it). And was terrified the Germans had come to get his family. But when he saw the American flag patch sewn on every trooper’s sleeve he knew things were going to be all right, he told me.

Back to 1984: Press photographers captured the embrace of the 72-year-old Catholic priest and the grown up French boy – even though they had never met before – amid scores of applauding WWII vets.

But the story doesn’t end there. While trying to find a complete copy of the original story, which so far hasn’t happened. I came across Monsignor Sampson’s obituary in the Des Moines Register (he was a native of Iowa). I learned that he had stayed in the Army rising to the rank of major general (two stars) and had served as the Army’s Chief of Chaplains from 1967 to 1971. He died in January 1996.

Fr_ Francis L Sampson grave marker 1912 to 1996

But what really got my attention was a sidebar in the obituary, that noted an action Sampson performed in the days immediately after D-Day, may have inspired – at least in part – the movie “Saving Private Ryan.” See for yourself, here.

For more on this remarkable career that spanned three wars and a lot of souls in need, click here.

To learn more about D-Day, click here for the Defense Department’s 72nd Anniversary page.

SHAKO

SHAKO is an occasional 4GWAR posting on military history, traditions and culture. For the uninitiated, a shako is the tall, billed headgear worn by many armies from the Napoleonic era to about the time of the American Civil War. It remains a part of the dress or parade uniform of several military organizations like the corps of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York.

 

About these ads

Occasionally, some of your visitors may see an advertisement here
You can hide these ads completely by upgrading to one of our paid plans.

Upgrade now Dismiss message

Entry filed under: National Security and Defense, SHAKO, Skills and Training, Traditions. Tags: , , , , , .

THIS WEEK in the War of 1812 (June 1-June 7, 1814) FRIDAY FOTO ADVISORY

 

June 6, 2016 at 3:33 pm Leave a comment

SHAKO: Memorial Day 2016

Assessing the Toll.

Memorial Day, a holiday that grew out of efforts to honor the dead of the Civil War — North and South — commemorates the fallen. Veteran’s Day, as the Washington Post points out, was created after World War I to honor all who served their country in war and peace.

They say Freedom has a price. The chart below shows how Americans have been paying that price for more than 200 years.

Military deaths chart

The photos below show that debt has been paid — with interest — by the living as well.

Memorial Day in Arlington National Cemetery 2015

Army photo by Rachel Larue

Brittany, left, and her four-year-old son, Christian, spend time at the grave of husband and father, Marine Corps Sergeant Christopher Jacobs, in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. Christian wore his father’s cover (uniform hat) during the Memorial Day visit.

Memorial Day FistBump

Dept. of Defense  photo by Roger Wollenberg

Marine Corps veterans Eric Rodriguez, left, and Anthony McDaniel fist bump during the gold medal wheelchair basketball competition at the 2016 Invictus Games for wounded warriors in Orlando, Florida on May 12.

May 30, 2016 at 9:56 pm Leave a comment

SHAKO: St. Patrick’s Day

Wearin’ of the Green.

Green Camouflage Paint

(Army photo by Staff Sergeant Opal Vaughn)

There seems to be a lot of photos coming from the Defense Department website today with a green theme. Oh wait, it’s St. Patrick’s Day, a day honoring the patron saint of Ireland and a day when anyone with a little Irish blood in them wears the color green.

That’s not why U.S. Army Captain Andy Jenks is painting his face green in the above photo. But we thought it was an eyecatcher photo.

Captain Jenks is applying camouflage paint during Exercise Sky Soldier 16 at Chinchilla training area in Albacete, Spain. Jenks is assigned to the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment of the 173rd Airborne Brigade.

Aviators train with Air Guard controllers at Fort Drum

. ( U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Eric Miller)

It’s probably just a coincidence that airmen from the New York Air National Guard’s 274th Air Support Operations Squadron were using green signal smoke during Close Air Support (CAS) training at Fort Drum’s urban training site in Upstate New York on March 5. But hey, Paddy’s Day!

Rock Sokol

(U.S. Army photo by Davide Dalla Massara)

And everything looks emerald green when seen through a night vision scope.

Here an Army paratrooper notes measurements at night during Exercise Rock Sokol at Pocek Range in Postonja, Slovenia on March 10.

The training exercise between U.S. and Slovenian troops focuses on enhancing readiness between allied forces. The emerald paratrooper is assigned to 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment of the 173rd Airborne Brigade.

St. Paddy's Day-Navy on 5th Ave.

(U.S. Navy photo by Lieutenant Matthew Stroup)

The only things green in this photo are the Manhattan street signs and the green stripe painted down the middle of Fifth Avenue for New York’s massive St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Here we see the Navy Band Northeast marching up the avenue during the 255th St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Speaking of the New York Parade, we leave you with this photo and the accompanying story.

69th Infantry leads St. Patrick's Day Parade once again

(Army National Guard photo by Colonel Richard Goldenberg)

This 2013 photo shows members of the New York National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment leading two Irish Wolfhounds, their mascots, up Fifth Avenue.

The “Fighting 69th” — a nearly all Irish unit during the Civil War — traditionally leads the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade. To read more about this fabled unit (Warner Brothers made a movie about their World War I exploits in 1940) click here.

— —

SshakoHAKO is an occasional 4GWAR posting on military history, traditions and culture. For the uninitiated, a shako is the tall, billed headgear worn by many armies from the Napoleonic era to about the time of the American Civil War. It remains a part of the dress or parade uniform of several military organizations like the corps of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York.

March 17, 2016 at 11:58 pm Leave a comment

SHAKO: Mexican Punitive Expedition 1916

Pancho Villa’s Raid.

Pancho_villa_horseback

General Francisco “Pancho” Villa. (Photo from Library of Congress via Wikipedia

A hundred years ago today the tiny border town of Columbus, New Mexico was reeling and the rest of the country was howling for revenge following a bloody cross border raid by hundreds of Mexican irregulars commanded by bandit-turned general and Mexican Revolution hero “Pancho” Villa.

In the early morning hours of March 9, 1916, about 500 mounted gunmen loyal to Villa attacked Columbus — three miles north of the border — and the adjoining U.S. Army base, Camp Furlong.

Part of the town was looted and burned and at least 17 Americans — both civilians and soldiers — were killed in the three-hour attack. More than 100 Villistas were also killed, wounded or captured on the streets of Columbus and on their retreat back to Mexico by pursuing U.S. cavalry troopers.

The Columbus raid prompted President Woodrow Wilson to send a punitive force of cavalry, infantry and artillery — eventually numbering more than 10,000 men — plus trucks and airplanes (deployed by the Army for the first time in a conflict zone) to catch and punish Villa’s irregular forces.

Pershing-River-Crossing

Brigadier General John J. Pershing and some of his staff crossing a river in Mexico 1916.

Crossing into Mexico on March 15, under the command of Brigadier General John J. Pershing, the U.S. troops — including the celebrated Buffalo Soldiers of the black 10th Cavalry regiment — pushed hundreds of miles over rugged terrain deep into the Mexican state of Chihuahua searching for Villa.

Within two months they killed or wounded scores of Villistas in several gun battles. But after two skirmishes with Mexican government troops nearly brought both nations to the brink of war, Pershing’s force returned to U.S. territory in February 1917. Just two months later the United States was at war with Germany.

We’ll be following the major events of this unusual U.S. military action over the next few months, and looking for parallels to the current border security crisis.

shakoSHAKO is an occasional 4GWAR posting on military history, traditions and culture. For the uninitiated, a shako is the tall, billed headgear worn by many armies from the Napoleonic era to about the time of the American Civil War. It remains a part of the dress or parade uniform of several military organizations like the corps of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York.

March 10, 2016 at 11:50 pm Leave a comment

SHAKO: The First “Official” Thanksgiving, In the Midst of War

Lincoln’s Proclamation.

Mr. LincolnIf you’re reading this, you’re probably stuffed after a meal of turkey with all the trimmings. You’re also probably done with watching football, The Godfather or X-Men. Maybe you’ve read or heard some of the annual Thanksgiving Day news pieces about the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Massachusetts or the equally ubiquitous stories about what they really ate at that first thanksgiving meal and who was or wasn’t there or how President Franklin Roosevelt was persuaded to move the holiday up a week in 1939 to extend the Christmas shopping season — and bolster the economic recovery from the Great Depression

But here at 4GWAR, we’re mindful that the first official national day of Thanksgiving came in the midst of a terrible Civil War that had cost thousands of lives and was still far from over. It seems strange remarkable (what I shouldda wrote) to think President Abraham Lincoln decided the country needed to pause and consider what it did have to be thankful for despite all the carnage.

Well here is what Mr. Lincoln had to say about all that more than 150 years ago.

 

Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

To read more about the story of Mr. Lincoln’s proclamation, click here or here or here, where Lincoln issued a second Thanksgiving proclamation a year later — while the war still raged.

Thanksgiving Day 1863 as envisioned in Harper's Weekly.

Thanksgiving Day 1863 as envisioned in Harper’s Weekly.

SHAKOSHAKO is an occasional 4GWAR posting on military history, traditions and culture. For the uninitiated, a shako is the tall, billed headgear worn by many armies from the Napoleonic era to about the time of the American Civil War. It remains a part of the dress or parade uniform of several military organizations like the corps of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York.

November 26, 2015 at 11:59 pm Leave a comment

SHAKO: Veterans Day 2015

Vets Getting More Attention.

Is it your 4GWAR editor’s imagination or are veterans getting more attention from the media, industry and the public this year?

Veterans and U.S. Air Force Brigadier Generaql Barry Cornish, commander of the 18th Air Wing, salute the Prisoner of War/Missing in Action wreath during a Veterans Day ceremony on Kadena Air Base, Japan. The veterans are from Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9723. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Lynette Rolen)

Veterans and U.S. Air Force Brigadier Generaql Barry Cornish, commander of the 18th Air Wing, salute the Prisoner of War/Missing in Action wreath during a Veterans Day ceremony on Kadena Air Base, Japan. The veterans are from Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9723.
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Lynette Rolen)

There were stories about veterans’ health and employment needs on radio, television and in almost every newspaper across the country. Businesses from local restaurants to national chains like J.C. Penny, Home Depot and Meineke were offering special deals for veterans and their families. And there seemed to be a healthy turnouts at local Veterans Day parades and other outdoor events.

But there are some who think parades and solemn memorial services aren’t enough to help those who have served their country, like the author of this op ed article, that first appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

U.S. Army retired Lt. Col. Luta C. McGrath -- the oldest living U.S. veteran -- is honored during a Veterans Day ceremony near the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery Nov. 11, 2016. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley)

U.S. Army retired Lt. Col. Luta C. McGrath — the oldest living U.S. veteran — is honored during a Veterans Day ceremony near the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery Nov. 11, 2016.
(U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley)

In May, on Memorial Day, the United States of America remembers the honored dead, those who gave their lives in this country’s wars since 1775.

Every November on Veterans Day (no apostrophe, we’ve been informed — despite what the calendars and holiday sale ads say), Americans honor all who served or continue to serve in uniform — in war and peace. November 11 is the anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I – the “War to End All Wars” — in 1918. Unfortunately, history has proven that was an overly optimistic term for what turned out to be the First World War.

After years of bloodshed in the 20th and early 21st centuries, we’d like to pause here to remember the sacrifice of all those who serve their country. Even far from a combat zone, many of them have risky jobs on aircraft carrier decks, in fast moving Humvees and high flying aircraft. There is hard work, as well as danger, in airplane hangars and ships at sea. Depots and warehouses are stuffed with equipment and supplies that can blow up, burn, sicken or maim the humans working nearby.

Those risks are illustrated in some pretty amazing images in an insurance company’s television commercial thanking “those who dared to take the oath.”

*** *** ***

SHAKOSHAKO is an occasional 4GWAR posting on military history, traditions and culture. For the uninitiated, a shako is the tall, billed headgear worn by many armies from the Napoleonic era to about the time of the American Civil War. It remains a part of the dress or parade uniform of several military organizations like the corps of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York.

November 11, 2015 at 11:30 pm Leave a comment

Older Posts


Posts

March 2017
M T W T F S S
« Feb    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Categories


%d bloggers like this: